On Monday, June 23rd, Year 4, though the Kobolds have calmed greatly since the death of their leader, a couple of adventures set out to investigate an attack on Wraecliff’s castle (whose goal seemed to be retrieving bodies from the mass grave), and then scout their hill garrison. With the garrison about 10 hours away and the days long, they take 3 days of food. The adventures are:
- Randall (HuS): Level 2 Human Druid
- Oliver: Fox Animal Companion
- Osiris (CoB): Level 3 Elf Magic-user
At Wraecliff’s Castle, they interrogate Wraecliff, a laborer, a guard, and a tree and become fairly sure that the group of lizardfolk that attacked to access the grave took with them the body of the winged lizardfolk Verdis killed in the battle.
That learned, they proceed toward the hill garrison where Randall, Aronis, and Conan previously confirmed the kobolds had established another garrison. By evening, they approach the clearing around the fortified hill, seeing a kobold patrol return to the hill through the clearing ahead of them. They wait until near dawn (each catching a few hours of sleep) before sending Randall in for a scouting run.
In his new falcon form, Randall drops into the canyon without drawing attention on his second try. Still in falcon form, he hops past a few guards down the tunnel on the left of the gate. Out of sight, he returns to human form to explore. Having studied the rough map Verdis has in Citadel House, he soon finds his way to the sleeping area for the prior garrison where Kobolds occupy the old straw beds again. With the help of his Virginia Creeper he gets a good count, but assumes at least a couple are out of sight in the tunnel beyond.
He doubles back to check the kitchen and again uses the creeper to count a couple Kobolds there. They spot the creeper and he severs the vine from the potted root and hides until they lose interest. Not wanting to go out in the open yet, he returns toward the bunk area to access the cave that previously held the dragon.
On the way, he sees a couple Kobolds returning from the watch room to the back. He waits for them to pass and arrives at the sleeping cave to hear them awakening the next shift, along with a number of the rest of the garrison. He attempts to cross to the narrow passage anyway and is seen. Rushing into the passage, he begins the transformation to falcon form and completes it before the Kobolds arrive in the passage. He flies out through the dragon cave, seeing several Kobolds and drakes there, as well as a curtained area and some empty beds. Out of the caves, he ascends quickly into the dawn, landing a ways East of where he left Osiris. He rejoins Osiris and Oliver and they head back toward Citadel with Randall’s estimate of the Kobold numbers. They arrive in the afternoon, tired, and report 35 or so Kobolds.
On Wednesday, the 25th, Randall, Osiris, Aronis (WaB, Level 3 Human Magic-User), and Bart (TrS, Level 1 Halfling Musician) rest and prepare to attack the fort the next day. On Thursday, they leave early and again arrive near the fort by twilight. They watch until roughly 2 AM (each sleeping about 6 hours), when the Moon is near setting before approaching. Osiris and Aronis pour their spell points into powerful explosive charges on 3 rocks each (intended to wipe out the garrison while they sleep). In a volley of projectiles, they bring down the two guards outside the front gate. While Randall calls animals to join the attack, the others head in. The lookout at the center of the plateau sees them enter and while the party exchanges arrows with him, he sounds an alert. An armored lizardfolk and two kobolds arrive from the passage on the left and Osiris hurls one of his rocks at them, the powerful explosion of death consumes them all, also severely draining the life from Aronis, Osiris, and Bart. Bart goes down.
While Aronis trades slung stones for kobold arrows from above, Osiris catches them all in a burst of healing with most of his remaining spell points. With Bart back up, they soon neutralize the two archers above and settle in to await Randall’s reinforcements.
They are not allowed to wait. An arrow rupturing Osiris’ kidney draws them all into a fight in what was previously the dragon cave where they use three more of their rocks to kill three of the drakes there, along with a number of kobolds (their riders and then some). This time, they do a better job not being caught up in their own explosions, Bart at one point cartwheeling out the cave (18 on 3d6 on his third dodge roll) before running for the exit. Osiris, falling prone in the course of his attempts to escape explosions, takes a bite from a drake, but eludes an attack of opportunity as he rises and gets clear as well. Aronis, the last one out after casting a stone into the pack of drakes from beside the gate, hears the main body of the garrison awakening and flees. As he runs, several archers take up position on the plateau behind him, taking shots in the darkness that are accurate enough to leave him with only a shred of life as he rejoins Randall in the midst of a gather of woodland animals.
Though Randall had planned to come in with a pack of wolves (several of which did arrive) with no toe hold inside the fort, it seems a suicidal and ineffectual mission to send the wolves on. Instead, he commands a pair of mighty eagles to carry the two remaining rocks and drop them on the clifftop where the archers had been shooting at Aronis. The explosions light up the night sky and they retreat under a torrential rain that Randall did not sense coming.
Their intent is to make camp a reasonable distance away and recover from the fatigue of battle and wounds before continuing on by daylight, but under a mile from the plateau they come abruptly to the edge of the rain, they recognize it as a magical rain and continue to Citadel (bolstered by Bart’s songs celebrating their victory), arriving in the early afternoon of Friday to report the success of the raid in destroying some drakes and a significant portion of the enemy force. They begin planning a return for Monday the 30th.
Aronis and Bart level up.