Minstrels of No Great Renown

Session 2
Unfinished Business

The minstrels stood at the threshold of doom. A pair of doors leading to the high seat of the skull-kicker clan. They gathered there courage and approached.

“Wait a second” Loch

The group paused and reassessed their situation. The kobolds may be behind them as well as in front; they directed their attention to an unexplored exit from the skull-skull stadium. To ensure they wouldn’t be facing reinforcements the party sent their stealthy rogue, Loche to scout the area.

Sure enough the stairs revealed more kobolds standing guard. They stand idle in an ancient tomb under the gaze of an evil shrine. The party decided to remove the threats. They formulated a plan of attack, sneaked up on the little creatures, and quickly watched their strategy fall to ruin. The room featured an array of traps which quickly incapacitated the more martial minstrels.

Though the kobolds were defeated several still managed to escape. A green tinted lizard of an unknown tribe was the first to flee up the stairs on the far end of the room. Loch gave chase and executed the creature, returning to the fray in the tomb. Tallulah and Pavlyn pursued another retreating kobold who managed to narrowly escape through the double doors to the cheif’s throne.

As the kobold escaped Regdar and Loch were still in the tomb, attempting to keep the teifling rogue mobile despite a full paralysis of his lower body. When his legs were restored to their typical nimble form he resumed sneaking through the remainder of the dungeon. Following the path of the green kobold he exposed what Pavlyn calculated as the last section of the manor which had not been explored.

The room was nondescript and quite dark but Loch’s eyes could still make out a pit near the center and a portcullis fixed overhead a kobold slinger. The body of his last victim had been removed. He sprung on a nearby lever and nearly crushed the creature under this iron gate. The shifty beasts narrowly dodged the mechanism and was locked out of reach of the party.

The minstrels took advantage of this separation and barricaded themselves into the tomb. The irony was not lost on them. As their rest ended Pavlyn and Regdar made a closer inspection of the shrine which the kobolds had been making offerings to. They deduced it was a shrine to Tiamat the dark dragon god of envy and greed. But subtler markings revealed that this was not its original purpose. Through careful use of cantrips and liberal applications of violence the pair managed to restore the shrine to its original patron Kord. Newly consecrated with residuum the altar emitted a uproarious thunder. It was clear now that the former gladiator held Kord’s blessing.

As loche and Tallulah ended their short rest Regdar was at work removing the makeshift barricade of sarcophagi he had placed just minutes earlier. Once again the party assaulted the skull-skull room. The remaining kobolds within the hall had retaken strategic positioning and forced the fighters to give their all.

Several spells, stabs, and decapitations later another barricade was established to keep the chief from making any offensive maneuvers. A short breather turned into a short nap as Tallulah’s song of rest seemed to lul even herself to sleep.

Pavlyn was roused from his meditation to see Skrilk returning to the party. She requested the kobolds of her tribe be released from their bounds and the party obliged. She stressed the urgency of the situation in herdraconic tongue and pressed the party forward.

Loche was once again scouting and surveyed the chieftans room. Rigged with an enormous boulder trap and several more reinforcements than expected he fell back to the party to formulate a plan. As Regdar and Skrilk discussed the implications of the boulder on their approach, Pavlyn was considering an unorthodox solution. He gathered a measure of residuum from his pouch and began the incantations necessary to speak draconic convincingly. Pavlyn then snuck just past the double doors to convince the trap master to set the boulder off prematurely.

The skull-kickers elite guard has been alerted. The wyrmpriest of the skull-kickers makes his final stand against the aggressions of foolhardy minstrels…

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Session 1
Regdar skips the stealth check

The minstrels enter the Nentir vale from the west. Their theatrical talents have been requested by Xerex the proprietor of the Oakhall Theatre in the Dwarven city of Hammerfast. He had contacted his former studen the bard Tallulah and offered several hundred gold pieces for her her parties assistance in the upcommind Dragon Day festival. Passing along the king’s road they are stopped at the toll bridge in Fallcrest, a letter is waiting for them.

The letter revealed that their job has been canceled thanks to Xerex’s poorly thought reenactment of the troll-spear wars.

“So, we’re screwed?” – Tallulah

So the party, having travelled months to wind up empty handed needed to improvise. They planned to preform at the Nentir Inn that night and look for odd jobs around town. The Inn’s proprietor Erandil Zemoar offered them free lodging so long as he recieved a portion of the tips from the preformance and he stayed true to his word.

The party promoted their show with an impromptu preformance at the market square. A succesful feat combining the arcane, musical, athletic, and acrobatic. The arcane cacophany did bring the misguided wrath of the town’s resident wizard Nimozorman the Green.

The party then split up, with Loch and Regdar seeking equipment at the local smith’s and Pavlyn and Tallulah visiting the elderly mage in his tower.

At this point an oppurtunity presented itself. Both the local Smith Teldorathan and the wizard Nimozorman brought up the recent kobold raids to the west of the town. Nimozorman suspected some exterior force pushing the fearful humanoids into aggression, Teldorthan only wished to retrieve his precious cargo of Dragonhide from the raiders. Teldorthan is offering a cash reward to anyone who can return the item, and Nimozorman is prepared to wave the rather steep fee for entrance into his guild for any arcane hero willing to risk their life for the safety of Fallcrest.

“I would be honored to join the ranks of your organization” – Pavlyn
“It would be nice to have a student with, potential” – Nimozorman, ignoring his inept pupils feelings

With their business in town closing the minstrels reformed at the Nentir inn for a final preformance. Their presence in town was known by the local sovereign Lord Malekhay who further enticed the party to assist by offering a bounty on Kobold heads ten gold pieces for each skull they bring back with them.

Their preformance paid well enough for the party to rest and have a good meal before setting out toward Kobold Hall in the morning.

“Regdar doesn’t make sneak” – Regdar

“Ouch” – Regdar, moments later

The party stormed the kobold’s lair finding their hidden entrance and fighting their way into the makeshift fortress below the ruined manor. They slaughtered the guard drakes above, and defeated the front line of pikers and clever minions. With a bit of negotiation the parties sacrificed a single skull for their bounty by allowing a kobold guard to live and reveal the information the party was seeking.

The Hall was once home to several kobold tribes each with their own symbols, skin colors, and leaders. Not long ago the young white dragon Szarathax entered and decided to exalt the skull kicker clan to unify the kobolds. This was accomplished by eating all other leaders.

As the party delved further they were nearly defeated by an unusually powerful kobold with mastery over vermin and rats. Before the party struck the tiny creature down for good she surrendered. This kobold revealed herself as Skrilk; the wife of the quarter tooth chieftan eaten by the young dragon. She resented the skullkicker chieftan who in her opinion is much weaker than her late mate, a once notorious slybade.

The party proved themselves to be shrewd negotiators cautious of the kobold’s assitance and the extent of her loyalty. They gained her assistance, she revealed the location of the secret passage which led to the Dragon, disarmed the traps in the hall leading out of her cave, granted the Loch a powerful dagger belonging to her late husband, and deceiving the other reptiles long enough for the party to rest.

The party in return has spared Skrilk’s life and those of her tribe, they are distinguished by their reddish-brown scales.

“Wait, but will she keep robbing merchants?” – Tallulah realizing her natural diplomatic gifts still allow for oversights in negotiation

The party proceeded on their way towards Szarthax’s secret chamber, steeled in their resolve to end the young dragon’s influence on the vale.

Exiting the trap laden hall they witnessed the source of the Skull-kickers namesake a rather gruesome sport involving skulls coffins and a rope. The players stormed the game catching the kobolds off guard, however the insidious cowards retaliated with a surprise of their own, converting their expertise in this sport into a dangerous weapon against the party. The battle was trying with the kobolds and their pet drakes having every advantage of terrain and numbers against the heroes. However the party learned how to use the terrain to their advantage, using the skull and rope device to increase their mobility and forcing the creatures to suffer the perils of their own disgusting pit.

The party emerged victorious, but their greatest challenges lie ahead…

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