- The village they start in is in northern Nyrond
- The “friend” of the three (Isak, Garrick & Odus), his house burnt down! Apparently, this “friend” (Solomon Van Buren) did something so bad, that it “ticked off” this witch enough for her to want to turn him into a vampire!
- Based on this evidence, the three realize, “Wow; this is not the Solomon we knew… what’s the deal?”
- After the tragedy of his house burning down, and both his wife and young daughter perishing in the flames, Solomon remains missing two days later.
- The fact that Solomon was away during the attack is not common knowledge; Kane knew because he had been doing reconnaissance on Solomon briefly before the attempted theft. It seems clear that the witch was unaware of Solomon’s absence as well, because she arrived expecting to find him at his home.
- What is commonly known about Solomon is that he’s a very charming man, he seemed to have it all, but wasn’t very big on showing off. He wasn’t ostentatious, but it was clear he lived more than comfortably!
- It was known throughout town that he could get his hands on anything to trade, given enough time and that his trade contacts ranged clear across the Flanaess, and even into the Underdark!
- Solomon would always say, “Give me enough time, and I’ll get it.” and he did. This made it clear he had a great amount of ability to acquire rare items.
- After being confronted with Kane‘s plight, all the heroes said, “We never really knew much about him. He was nice, he was pleasant, but that was it! No one knows where he comes from, no one knew his lineage, and he never traded in the city itself. He would always leave and return with these trinkets and valuables.
- Even his wife and child were missing at most city functions and no one could remember being invited over for dinner, and after some serious introspection, the heroes each realized that they all thought the other ones knew Solomon better than you, but it turns out that wasn’t the case for anyone!
- As the only ones who are aware of what has transpired in the aftermath of the fire, the heroes decide to help Kane, not only to help loose him from his curse, but also to find out what really happened to Solomon.
- The Knights Hospitaler is an organization set up by King Archbold of Nyrond in consultation with Tanamier Half-Elven. This was inspiring to Odus, so he decided to set his life on this course.
- The Purple Dragon Knights is a new order in Nyrond of which Garrick has aspirations of joining.
- Isak didn’t have any such aspirations for servitude, but cannot deny the benefit to his coinpurse of selling his sword.
- The nagging question remains: “What could be the reason that such a powerful witch might go after Solomon with such venom?!”
And the session begins!
The heroes set off from the village in the dead of night to track down leads on the whereabout of both Solomon and the mysterious witch.
Solomon, being well-known for trading well beyond the borders of the town has his name come up almost immediately. A nearby trading post, where presumably Solomon has had dealings is called Coppernight Hold. The Hold is supposed to be run by dwarves who sell to the surrounding human settlements. It was more than once that Solomon would return to the village with items of dwarven make and origin, so this sounded like a great place to start for the heroes.
Heading north for a couple of days, the heroes frequented hostiles and small inns; comforted only by the knowledge that they were heading in the right direction. As the heroes approach, things are not quite as they expected them to be in Coppernight Hold…
As the heroes approach the hold, in the distance, it is not dwarves that the heroes perceive in the distance, but kobolds! The rocky terrain and clustered bushes offered the heroes some cover, but it was almost certain they had already been spotted. The kobolds are fidgety and nervous, fingering their javelins as the heroes approach. These small, dragon-like creatures were known to claim ancestry with dragons, but they were disheveled and dirty; far from the race that inspired both fear and awe in all.
Kane, trying to recall whether dwarves and kobolds associate with one another, can’t really recall any known alliance between the two races; something is amiss.
The kobolds start yelping at the heroes in draconic, “Yap! Yap yap yap!” Realizing the heroes didn’t understand the brutish form of draconic, one of the kobolds chirps up from the entrance to Coppernight Hold, “Stay where you are! State your business!”
Odus “We’re just looking for one of our friends who’s gone missing.”
The kobold replies quickly, “Your friend is not here, now go away!”
Odus, thinking the best of their quarry returns quickly: “What happened to the dwarves who use to occupy this entrance?” but he immediately realized his error. His manner, however, gave even the naturally suspicious kobolds pause, and another kobold stepped forward to address the group: “They’re gone now! Gave the ownership over to us!”
Nodding in agreement, Odus spoke up again, “We come in peace, we just want to seek passage to go through the entrance. Is that alright?” The kobolds gather and confer together, and after a moment, they call out, “Leave your weaponry with us. Then you can go see your friend, but I’m telling you… your friend is not here…”
Garrick, again quietly said to Odus, “We’re not leaving them our weapons.” Looking at each other with an understanding, the heroes start forward, knowing that getting past the make-shift fence would put them in range to attack the kobolds should it come to that. Seeing them begin their approach, Odus called out again, “I agree. May we approach?”
The kobold who barked the last request eyes widened as the four heroes grew closer. “Take off your weapons! Then you may come!”
“We’ll leave our arms as soon as we cross the fence.” Odus again bet on the kobolds’ low intelligence to allow such a risk.
“Leave here! Leave them here!” they called out again.
Kane, realizing the number of kobolds far exceeded what they could see from further away, whispered to the group as they approached, “There are too many. We should invite them out, not meet them there.”
As the heroes reach the edge of the fence, the kobold calls out again, “Stop! Drop weapons!”
“When will we get them back?” called down Odus to the kobolds below.
“When you come out!” one squaked in reply.
“Is it alright if we carry these weapons in with us?” Odus felt confident enough to try to ignore their repeated requests.
“No! Drop weapons now!” and with that, a handful of the kobolds loose their javelins from the slings on their backs. In the distance, two kobolds loaded slings with small bottles; certainly anticipating combat.
Isak, realizing the diminuitive nature of the kobolds might make them more susceptible to a show of his prowess, drew his huge glaive and let the fading sunlight gleam across it’s polished blade. Confident in their numbers, the kobolds attack!
One of the kobolds at the front of the entrance narrowed his gaze and heaved one of his javelins at the heroes; clearly aiming for Isak. Caught off-guard and unable to move his feet in time, the javelin struck Isak firmly in the thigh; pausing for a second and falling away as the warrior gritted his teeth in pain. Seeing the first attack land home, the kobolds all get really excited, cheering “Yap! yap! Yap!” in kobold. With surprising speed, another of the kobolds races forward and stabs his javelin into Isak‘s side; feeling it hit home into the warrior. A literal rain of javelins later, the heroes realized; the only way out would be through the little kobolds.
From across the survey area, one of the kobolds launches his sling and a burst of fire splashes around the heroes. Instinctively scattering, the heroes spring into action:
- Garrick, his instincts taking over, steps forward and calls on arcane might to blast a few of the kobolds with a sudden thunder, felling two of them. The kobolds’ cheers quickly turn back to the yipping call for battle, and Garrick shouted back, “Surrender now or the rest of you will not live to see your new home!” Focusing his attentions on one of the kobolds below, Garrick makes clear his intent; the kobold dies next.
- Frozen in place by one of the kobold attacks, Isak looses a handaxe and strikes hard one of the kobolds rushing into melee. With a mighty effort, he rips himself out of the make-shift glue and steels himself for the oncoming attacks.
- Odus, realizing that they were not yet out of the woods; fires an arrow at one of the kobolds, but calls out to his allies, encouraging them. Isak, hearing the inspiring words, breathes deep and yells aloud with new vigor.
Kane hisses, “Fine, I’ll do it my way.” Leaping into the pit, Kane bursts forward with inhuman speed, slamming the kobold and killing it; it’s body flying backwards. The other kobolds turn their attention to Kane, using their makeshift tools to immobilize and occupy him.
Garrick steps forward, gritting his teeth. With a wave of his sword, a magical explosion cascades into two of the kobolds, and they screech as they fall down… dead.
With an almost imperceptible grin, Isak sprints into action, his massive glaive reflecting the sunlight above. With a grand sweep of the huge weapon, he cleaves into the kobold, spraying blood into the air before the kobold could even screech in pain.
Watching his friends engage, Odus raises his arms and whispers words of magic; a Staggering Note slams into the same kobold, knocking it backwards; dead. “Enough! Let us pass!” Odus calls out… his words of magic mingling with words of caution. But the kobolds would not be calmed down; and their frenzied attack pressed the heroes on.
With the kobold party lying in ruin, the heroes discover a rope ladder leading down into the earth beneath the mining pit. Cautiously descending into the darkness, they are set upon by a band of dwarves lying in wait for the heroes.
Their weapons still dripping with the blood of the kobolds that assailed them, the heroes wade into the dwarven ambush. Kane, seeming to revel in combat, displayed an unnerving new ability to disappear into a swarm of bats, killing many of the dwarves with their flurried attacks. Garrick, his sword thundering throughout the smaller cavern, occupied the dwarves while Isak and Odus finished them off.
Their quarry felled… the heroes scan their surrounds, and notice that the tapestries adorning this area all share a commonality… snow. Kane and Odus notice that the tapestries look like they used to be tent-material, and it seems obvious that an adornment of a skull on the material has been crossed out, and appears in multiple places.
There is no doubt however, that the ‘winter wonderland’ depictions are the result of kobold ‘artistry’.