by Blake Starsong
This entry begins with Shadow discovering the trapped chest in the Dragon Temple cave was empty – Blake’s sorrowful ‘I hate adventuring’ seems to waft through he caverns (or is it his screams as he receives an internal wound)?
The remnants of a great battle, complete with blood, trinkets, and the dreams of young men strewn around a cavern fail to hide two dragon eggs, promptly smashed and the occupants killed by Shadow. Obviously he doesn’t want to be the Queen of Dragons. When quizzed afterwards Jacque was heard to claim “Several knowledgable individuals in the party assured us they were evil, and so, by Torm, we crushed them dead.”
The fearless adventurers (and McGuffin) rest to recover their breath and then sneak up on a gang of Kobolds and their pet drake. McGuffin’s Hail of Thorns wreaks havoc, and soon the evil blighters are under control. One has their tongue cut out, and several party members think that might be a good idea for Blake. Let’s hope that internal wound is in his mouth.
A few dragon amulets and copper pieces later, McGuffin manages to advance his courtship with Jacque by dropping a roof on her. While flattened, but not flattered, Shadow and Smite inspect the weapons rack, which seems to have glorified leashes on it. I wonder what they could be for? Oh, that would be the young drakes in that nearby pit: attack! A sneaky kobold opens the gate for the drakes to feast, but Smite bravely tries to hold it shut. Whoops, not quite as strong as he thought. Jacque manages to catch a drake with aforementioned leash, but it breaks free. Another character whose mind is writing cheques their STR roll can’t cash.
Once the pet debacle is over, another eventuates, with Feather Duster flying off to scout ahead, never to be seen again. RIP our little companion. Of all the party members, you were the most loved by all (except perhaps by Shadow, who seemed to be already planning a replacement as your fluffy, fragile little body flew off into the dark). Is Shadow’s journey to the dark side complete?
Perhaps because the cavern had largely been vacated by the Hoard, the party could often hear a distant rumbling sound. More seasoned adventurers would have recognised it as the roll of a d6 for wandering monsters, but our hapless noobs cheerfully got attacked over and over again by small Kobold, flying Kobolds, mute Kobolds, warm Kobolds, cold Koblds, red Kobolds, … you get the idea. McGuffin goes down under the hail of Kobold pellets from above. All the while, a mysterious figure has been watching, waiting, “helping” in his own unique way: what was that cleric’s name?
Barricading themselves in the treasure room, which strangely they did’t think to carefully loot, a nice little nap and some healing took place. The distant rumbling grew louder at times, but the long rest passed successfully.
Reinvigorated, Jacque took revenge on McGuffin with a flurry of attacks, later claiming to be confused by some spikes she stepped on hidden in some paper mache rock. These Hoardists are marvellous craftspersons.
After avoiding the poisonous, metal-studded fly strips leading into the meat locker, the brave, and slightly more successful, party carry the terribly wounded Rundel, Blake and Hitum across the Sturge infested cave. Jacque and Smite both stumble under the heavy loads, and a flurry of action ensues. Barely holding on, their new friend’s lives in the balance as well as there own (in addition to Shadow’s bank balance courtesy of Guv) the flying fiends find foul death.
Out, out the encumbered party flees, but ambushed! Drakes with a plan. We crushed them like bugs, albeit having to drop Hitum: let’s hope that festering wound didn’t get too much cave grit in it. We made our weary, damaged way back to town. By Torm, that Hoard must pay for what they have done to the innocent and Feather Duster*.
‘*’ Perhaps FD wasn’t so innocent as he seemed to be influenced by Shadow, but let’s not speak ill of the dead.