Borderland of Adventure #5: There and Back Again

At the end of the last session, we left our heroes charging into a room stuffed full of around 20 – 30 kobolds in pursuit of the tribe’s fleeing sorcerer chieftain. At the sight of such a large group of enemies, sanity broke out and the group bravely retreated from the kobold’s lair.

BoA

 

In short order, the group retreated out of the citadel, eventually reaching the safety of Oakhurst later that same day.

Exhausted and suffering from various injuries, the heroes decided to rest a week to allow Adoven to recover from his near death experience. Luckily, this period of rest coincided with Richfest and so the party rested and caroused in equal measure.

On the first day of the new month, Reaping, the party (without Adoven who was still resting) set out for the Sunless Citadel – determined to have their revenge upon the kobolds that had forced their ignoble retreat. They reached the citadel without incident taking the abandoned, Old Road that ran close by to the Ashen Hills (a strange geological feature that no one seemed very keen to investigate).

The ruins were as they had left them and slowly and stealthily the party crept through the gloom in search of kobolds to kill. Without encountering resistance, they returned to the pillared hallway that had been the scene of their last epic battle.Still no kobolds appeared. Several doors stood partially open, but the party elected to listen at a door which remained closed. Hearing nothing they opened it and discovered a short hallway that ended in another door. The party suspected a trap and Krorz duly found a hidden pit trap, which he disarmed. Through the other door they found more corridor which ended in another door behind which Krorz heard muttered voices speaking Goblin.

Realising that they had probably discovered the territory of the kobolds’ rivals, the party abandoned their previous plan of defeating the kobolds and burst in. Three goblins leapt to defend the small guard room beyond the door while a fourth moved to another door and opened it. In short order, the party slew the three goblins defending the room, but couldn’t manage to kill the fourth before he summoned reinforcements.

Again, the centrepiece of the tribe’s lair seemed to be a columned hallway which the party reached quickly, led by Klara. Battle raged and the many pillars provided the combatants cover. The party’s initial success slowed as more and more goblins joined the battle. The arrival of a half-dozen hobgoblins, gave the party pause and a slow retreat began.

Moving back into the initial guardroom, Kemmo heroically held the doorway, allowing his fellows to retreat. Although the stalwart warrior kept the doorway free of goblins, several archers began peppering him with arrows. By now, everyone except Belivar was injured and a lucky arrow felled Klara. Now stripped of their healer, things got desperate; Krorz dragged Klara back beyond the pit trap. Belivar joined him and last of all came Kemmo. Swiftly, Krorz rearmed the pit trap and the party once again retreated.

Back at Oakhurst, the party pondered their next move and decided – once they had again rested – that they would absolutely, definitely this time deal with the kobolds.

In their next foray, they did just that and learned quickly that the kobolds had long since fled into the Underdark – perhaps the party had hurt the tribe more than they had thought. With this discovery, the party decided to avoid the goblins’ territory and instead explore to the north. This they did, discovering a succession of empty, abandoned rooms. In one area, they discovered a fountain  – the centrepiece of which was a rearing dragon head. A brown liquid oozed from the dragon’s mouth (which Belivar collected) after a nearby draconic inscription was read aloud.

Writhing carvings of stone dragons decorated another door. Deciphering another carving interwoven among the skeletons, Klara channelled her divine energy into the door, which immediately glowed a dim blue and soundlessly opened. Within, the party discovered a crypt – five upright sarcophagi along the walls. Each was carved to depict a man at rest – and with a start the party realised that the men were of Bakluni origin! Some treasures seemed to lie on a nearby altar and as the party moved eagerly forward to claim them, five skeletons emerged from the sarcophagi and attacked. They were no match for Klara’s divine powers, however, and they were quickly cut down. With the skeletons defeated and the treasure recovered, the party’s attentions turned to a door at the back of the chamber…

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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