Monday 1 August 2016

4aD: Caves of the Kobold Slave-Masters (pt1)

My intrepid party move on to their next adventure. I was going to have another randomised Dungeon, but the temptation was too great to try one of Ganesha's published adventures. In this case "Caves of the Kobold Slave-Masters". This a 3 part adventure. The first part here is a programmed dungeon.

Firstly an confession. On adjusting the party sheet for level upgrades and shopping after the last outing, I have found that I had made a few mistakes (a) with my documentation and (b) noting some of the skills & traits of the characters. This means that the party sheet below seems to be suddenly bulging with extra spells and abilities, so it will be interesting to see how I use these in this game!

Secondly a DIRE WARNING (all good adventures should come with a dire warning, preferably from a strange, old, bearded man - which I manage to fulfill all criteria). As this first part is a scripted adventure, continuing past this point shall reveal  SPOILERS !!!!
Starting Party Sheet
3 quarters of the party have leveled up, and there have been a couple suits of heavy armour purchased.

Kobold Slave Masters have been raiding the land, capturing Goblins and other creatures. Recently Elvyn, an old adventurer who settled down and policed the area has gone missing. An goblin has escaped and divulged the whereabouts of Elvyn, also sketching out a map of the lair. The town council has offered to pay the party 100 gold pieces if they manage to deliver Elvyn back to safety before nightfall. It would also be great if an reason for the kobold's recent aggressiveness could be found.

The party head down the steps into the dungeon (1), Marcus and Geddi leading the way with Heinrich holding the lantern. The stench of the Kobold lair immediately hits them. "The foul air in here effects my eyes!", declares Tatheron, his eyes streaming. Heinrich casts a Blessing spell on the Elf, and his vision is clear again.

The party turn right into a cavern chamber. In the middle is a pool of what seems to be fresh water. None of the adventurers feel like tasting it however and they exit, crossing over the still empty corridor to another chamber (10). Inside, a goblin is chained to the wall, weakly calling for help. The rusty chains are no match for blow from Warrior's sword (Geddi refuses to help a goblin!). The goblin's name is Rikka. Although weak from imprisonment his is willing to help the party (for a small price). With no suitable equipment to give him he is given the lantern for the moment and put in the centre of the group. Geddi declares he will take up the rear of the group though, as he doesn't like the idea of a goblin following him. Heinrich takes his place up front with Marcus.

The group exit the chamber and start to progress up the tunnel, but 4 starving rats jump out of the gloom to attack them. The initial bites from the vermin miss and Geddi cleaves the front two with a single axe movement. This gives Tatharon the space to raise his bow from the two rats behind, which he skewers with a single arrow.

Moving up the corridor, they they find two doors in the wall sides. They move into the easterly room (5), which turns out to be a Library, empty but for it's dusty tomes and scrolls. The room is given a quick search, but nothing of use is found.

The party enter the door opposite (8). In the room, amongst the clutter, is a knocked over chest with some gold coins spilling out. As they move into the room Heinrich suddenly feels something try to tighten round his neck. Twisting and ducking the sensation disappears. Warily Marcus moves over to the old chest and retrieves 50 Gold coins. The coins are distributed evenly among the 5.

Continuing further into the dungeon, they ignore a door to their left and opt to go through a door on their right slightly further down (13). Moving into the room they are confronted by a troll, sitting amongst a variety of weapons and avidly polishing a particular sword. Tatheron immediately tries to use his wand of Sleep, but the spell has no effect. Marcus, Heinrich and Geddi all rush in to attack, but only the dwarf scores a hit. The Troll roars and attacks both Geddi and Marcus (with the gash from Geddi's axe starting to heal closed already), but with no hits either. The threesome attack again, Geddi scores a single blow, Marcus thrusts forward to deliver a severe injury and Heinrich delivers the blow to topple the creature. The body quivers for a moment as if to pull itself back, but as Tatheron unsheathes his sword the movements cease and the Troll slumps completely to the floor. Tatheron levels up. An examination of the weapon pile reveals only a small number of weapons in a serviceable condition.  Rikka picks out a small sword and fashions a slingshot out of the Troll's loin cloth, much to everyone else's disgust. Marcus finds a mace to use as a crushing alternative to his sword. Heinrich refuses a sword for a slashing option, declaring that his mace was given to him by his holy Bishop.

There is a door exiting this room and the party move in through it to another room (2). The racks of weapons here signal that this room is an armoury. The half dozen kobold guards do the same. The adventurers attack. By the time Marcus, Heinrich and Geddi get to the guards, their number is 3 less courtesy of Tatharon's elven bow skills (Rikka's sling shot attack hits the roof). Marcus swept in clearing out 2 more guards and by the time Geddi had reached the affray Heinrich had already finished off the last kobold. There are plenty of weapons on the racks, but none are any better than those already in the party's possession and they leave.

There is a door on the opposite side of the corridor (16) which is locked but the sound of running water just ahead lures them away. The path opens up into a large cavern, with a fast-flowing subterranean river blocking the way. Across the middle is a run-down bridge, which upon inspection, is covered in mysterious writings. "These might be that magical,",supposes Geddi, "anyhow I'm not sure how that'll handle our armour". "There seems to be a fording place here", calls out Marcus. The party starts to carefully wade across the water, but it soon becomes obvious that they have misjudged the strength of the flow. Marcus loses his footing briefly and is washed away from the group, crashing against rocks with the torrent.. It takes a couple of desperate attempts to regain control and he finally crawls out of the water, bashed and bruised. The rest of the party manage across without incident.

On this side of the river are two doors. The party pick the left hand one (9). This is the lair of a Zombie Dragon! Quickly the party try to take the advantage. Tatharon fire off and arrow which hits it's mark as the entire teams rush in. Only Geddi and Rikka land additional blows. The dragon reacts by filling the room with a cloud of foul gas, leaving the goblin, Rikka convulsing on the floor, whilst the rest manage to avoid the worst of the effects. Marcus swings his glowing sword and in an shout of glory takes the Undead Dragon's head clean off. [Huzzah! for the exploding sixes rule!] Marcus deservedly levels up. The Zombie Dragon's treasure amounts to 120 gold and a healing potion. Alas Rikka did not survive. Geddi made sure his gold was collected. He left the goblins sling where it was! Tatharon pick up lantern.

Coming out of the lair, the party re-assemble and enter the neighbouring room (12). Elvyn is there, chained to the wall. 8 kobold slave masters are tormenting him with whips. They turn to "greet" the party and offer the old adventurers release for 200 gold pieces.

When Kobolds attack!
When the offer is declined in no uncertain ways the Kobold's cease the initiative and attack with their whips, 2 Kobolds to each party member. Marcus's heavy armour manages to deflect the first 2 attacks, but Heinrich fairs the other way, suffering not only 2 wounds but losing grip of his mace in the process. Tatharon is hit once and has his sword pulled from his hand by a whip, whilst Geddi suffers the same fate, although he probably felt more pain from seeing his 2-handed axe ripped from his grasp.

The party now react. Marcus, the only armed member of the group attacks and kills his two assailants. The other three are left to attack unarmed, or risk exposed free strikes trying to pick up their weapons. Tatharon manages to take out of action one kobold, but both Heinrich and Geddi miss.

The Kobold Slavers attack again. One of the slavers switches focus and goes for Marcus, but the Warrior evades. Only having one attacker now Heinrich manages to dodge a whip lash. Tatharon can't avoid getting hit once, but Geddi in his heavy armour manages attacks without injury.

Marcus attacks again, killing both his and Heinrich's attackers. Heinrich manages to pick up his mace without incident. Tatharon miss can't mange to land a blow. Geddi, feeling naked without his axe makes a lunge for it, but the weapon is pushed away and he receives another wound for his efforts.

The remaining kobolds attack. Tatharon takes a hit, but Geddi and Marcus are OK

The party look to finish things off. The armed Marcus and Heinrich attack and kill an enemy each and Geddi gets the final kobold in a chest lock, squeezing his foe until he drops to the floor, motionless as Geddi finally picks up his axe.

Looting the bodies the party find a healing potion and Fireball staff. With only wizards able to use it they will have to sell it when they get back to town. Heinrich levels up.

There was still the small matter of Elvyn's chains. The search of the kobolds did not reveal any keys so they would have to be broken, risking attracting the attentions of any wandering monsters. Fortunately  Marcus smashed them with his mace on the first attempt. Heinrich also takes the opportunity to heal Tatharon and Geddi back to full strength.

The party head back to the entrance, with a weak Elvyn carrying the lantern in Rikka's place. Everyone manages to get across river OK this time, still not wanting to risk the marked bridge. Halfway down the corridor though the back two (Geddi and Tatharon) are attacked by a couple of rats, one managing to sink its yellowed teeth onto the elf's leg. In a tangle, the two adventurers both miss the vermin, but midst the stamping on feet the rodents don't manage a bite before Geddi cleaves the two.

The five then continue back to the town to recover from their adventure (and collect their 100 gold pieces!). With 2 fire spells, the wand is sold for 200 gold.

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