Traveling the Old King’s Road the party is ambushed by kobolds before they can reach Winterhaven. Fortunately Stella and Patara noticed the hiding kobold and they were able to effect a defensive strategy to take the advantage away from their enemies.
On the Road: Kobold Brigands
While Zorak distracts the bulk of the kobold forces on the road Stella and Patara circle around through the forest to flank them. With enemies coming at them from both sides the kobold battle strategy disintegrated and they were run off.
DM’s Note: We decided that Kalashtar in the Nentir Vale setting all have blue skin and blue or green hair. All Kalashtar miniatures will be painted in that manner from now on.
DM’s Note: I love the poster maps provided with the adventure module. Great visual environment without any work and the maps can be used for other adventures too.
Continuing on the group finds the people of Winterhaven to be friendly if not a little wary of anyone traveling the roads during their troubled times. Salvana Wrafton, proprietor of the local inn, quickly takes a liking to the adventurers once they demonstrate they are more than willing to spend coin in her establishment. According to Salvana kobolds have been a problem around Winterhaven for as long as she could remember but a year ago the problem started getting worse.
Right about then a dwarf farmer named Eilian the Old cut into the conversation to add his two cents as a survivor of a kobold attack and a critic of Lord Padriag who had done nothing to quell the threat. Eilian was a bit on the drunk side but the party was able to learn a bit about the area including some information about a keep not too far from Winterhaven and that is where the kobolds might be holing up.
Stella notices an elf watching her from the shadows and she approaches her. The elf, a hunter who calls herself Ninaran, is not very pleasant and she says the old dwarf is a fool for thinking the kobolds would go anywhere near the keep. She tells Stella to leave her alone but when Stella inquires about any death cult activity she lights up. She says that she has been trying to get someone to listen to her about the things she has seen in the woods but thus far Lord Padraig and the others have ignored her (FALSE: She has never spoken a word of this to anyone). She tells Stella that if she wants to find the kobolds and the death cultists then she needs to go to a waterfall not too far away and she draws a map for the party to find it. Then she takes her leave.
Shortly after Lord Padraig comes into the tavern for his daily visit and quickly gets into an argument with Eilian who has been the victim of another kobold raid. However, when Lord Padraig suggest he is more than willing to go after the kobolds if only Eilian and the other farmers would take up arms with him. The dwarf declines and disappears into his beer.
The party introduces themselves and inform the commander of their intent to deal with the kobolds. Lord Padraig is more than enthusiastic for them to take on this quest and he offers to pay them 100g if they succeed. When asked about death cult activity he dismisses the likelihood that they will find anything in this area but suggests that might be something they should ask a sage named Valthroun the Prescient who lives in the town.
They restock their supplies and set out to find the kobolds but soon find it is the kobolds who have found them.
A1: Kobold Ambush
One of the kobolds which escaped from the previous encounter has returned with reinforcements and they attack the party as they are leaving Winterhaven.
Despite the support of a wily wyrmpriest the kobolds are quickly dispatched. On the body of the wyrmprist they find a necklace bearing the holy symbol of Orcus. While they suspected the kobolds might be connected to the death cults this is the first proof they have been able to find.
The party finds the creek on Ninaran’s map and follow it towards the waterfall.
A2: Kobold Lair, Outside
Hearing the kobolds playing in the creek the party decides to sneak up on them but with Zorak in the party this proves very difficult to do. The kobold dragonshield notices them working their way through the woods and calls his force to arms. The kobolds pile into the woods and try to surround the party. However, Patara begins putting his controller powers to good use and cuts down swaths of kobold minions left and right while Zorak handles the kobold slinger and Stella (and her bear companion) finish off the skirmisher.
Before the kobold dragonshield can flee they cut off his escape route. The kobold reveals there are caves behind the waterfall and his master can be found there. They let the dragonshield escape in exchange for the information.
A3: Kobold Lair, Inside
Sneaking through the waterfall and into the cave the party surprises the small horde of kobolds they find inside. Patara begins sweeping through the kobold minions while Stella and Zorak move towards the more dangerous foes.
For those who have played this module you know that Irontooth (Level 3 Elite Goblin Brute) is part of this encounter and he can be quite brutal. The NPC is tough. In the beginning he has the potential to deal up to 24 damage a round if he doesn’t have to move. Once he is bloodied that potential goes up to 44 points in a single round and he has an action point which was not used until after he was bloodied. Using his action point he can potentially deal 88 points of damage in a single round. Nasty!
Irontooth nearly wiped out the party but they managed to take him down. Zorak was knocked unconscious twice during the battle (and nearly died by sheer damage) but Stella worked diligently to keep him alive.
There were more enemies hidden around corners who were not placed on the map at the time when this photo was taken. Irontooth began bellowing orders in the beginning so I put him out there to show where the commands were coming from.
Searching the caves the party comes across the kobold stash which added up to a good number of coin, a message scroll and a magical set of +1 dwarven armor.
The note revealed that Ninaran was more than likely a spy for the enemy and they had been sent into a trap. Their real target was someone named Kalarel who was trying to open a rift for his master, Orcus. With new information in hand the party decided to head back to Winterhaven to lick their wounds and collect their reward from Lord Padraig. While they had a new lead on the death cultists they still needed to know more about the area.
End of Session Notes – +1 dwarven armor, a valuable necklace (if they can find a buyer) and some coin