“Did you know he could do that?” Valgarma asked as Adam transformed back to his usual self from the human-shaped swarm of bees he had been moments before. Adam just looked back at the others with a blank face from the other side of the portcullis and pulled the lever. The portcullis ratcheted back up.
“Well, we can get through now, but that one got away. If there are others, they’ll certainly know we’re here now. Wonder why they haven’t come to get us?” Aeogar mused.
Phelan skipped forward to peer down the dim hallway and watched the shadows flicker from the torches in their wall sconces. “I think maybe I’ll go on ahead; scout the area.” With that, she trotted down the hall, somehow blending into the dancing shadows.
Our first session behind us, we started the second by discussing the first. The players determined that they could have done a lot of things better and set about planning how best to approach situations in the future. The first major change that they made was deciding to let the stealthy character check things out before charging into a new area. Good plan.
Phelan described the room she had seen to the others: “It’s a long room with a bunch of stone coffins in it. There’s some suits of armor in these wall niches and an altar at the far end. Three kobolds with spears are at the end by the altar along with the one who ran off before, the one with the sling. And I think they’re waiting for us.”
“Well, let’s go get them then,” said Aeogar.
“Maybe we can get this over with soon?” asked Ivy. “It smells musty down here and it’s dark and I kind of want to go home.”
Phelan led the way down a short staircase to the tomb. The party could hear the kobolds chattering and hissing in their lizard-like voices. Aeogar crossed the threshold into the chamber and was met with a resounding splat! A glue pot, hurled by the kobold slinger, had struck immediately at his feet.
“Cursed geckos!” he shouted as he struggled to get his feet unstuck from the floor.
Unfortunately for my players, they didn’t read the blog post I made about kobolds closely enough. If they had, they might have been prepared for the numerous traps in this room. Poor Korwen couldn’t catch a break. First Aeogar got hit with a glue pot and was immobilized on his first turn, then he became the first to discover the dart traps and was immobilized on his second turn. At that point, the players decided to start looking for more traps and discovered them all easily enough. Once they knew what floor tiles to avoid, they made fairly short work of the kobolds in this room (though the kobolds did make it a little tricky by running around a lot).
And Darci had a lot of fun in this encounter, experimenting with “hiding in shadows”. She discovered that she can do an incredible amount of damage to foes that don’t know she’s there, or have somebody flanking them. I made it fairly easy for her, so she’d enjoy it, but I plan to up the difficulty on her in the future, to make it a little more challenging.
As the group regained their breath after the battle, Phelan and Valgarma decided to check out the raised platform in the northwest quadrant of the room, where the altar was placed. The altar was crudely built, with prayers written in Draconic scratched onto its surface and a crude drawing of a five-headed dragon.
“Hey, I think this is an altar to Tiamat,” said Valgarma, referencing the evil dragon god. “Do you suppose there’s a priest around somewhere?” she asked with a smirk.
“Look what I found!” Phelan pulled a few items out of a rough nook cut into the back of the stone altar. “There’s a ratty old pouch with, like, sixty gold coins in. And these weird little eyeglasses.”
Ivy came over to look at the spoils. “This must be some kind of offering to their fell god.”
“Let Ivy hold the loot and let’s move on,” said Aeogar. Phelan looked at him questioningly. “It’s safest with her,” he added, looking pointedly at Phe and Val. Phelan handed the goods to Ivy and stuck her tongue out at Aeogar, then scampered off down the hallway ahead to scout.
The next encounter was supposed to be really cool. There was this whole setup where the kobolds were playing a game with a rock on a rope tied to the ceiling and they would then hurl it at the PCs as they entered a certain area (if you’ve read the Dungeon Master’s Guide, you know what I’m talking about. But Phe killed the minion that was holding it on the very first round, so the rock just fell free and never got used against the players at all. It kind of bummed me out, but it showed that Darci has really figured out the whole “sneak attack” thing.
The players did an excellent job against a greater number of foes than they had faced preciously, too. I think they are just about ready for me to take off the training wheels. Which is good, because they are heading into the jaws of the true threat, and should make it as far as The Big Boss on the next session. Stay tuned…