Year of the Shield

Session Four: "The Hobgoblin Chieftain"

We picked this session up right where we left off, with the party resting after an extended battle against the kobold queen Yusdrayl.

  • Unfortunately our heroes didn't get to rest very long, as they were soon interrupted by a small group of kobold spelunkers. The dust-covered kobolds emerged from a nearby door and stumbled right into the middle of the party's campsite!
  • The kobolds froze in their tracks, surprised by the adventurers and shocked by the piles of dead kobolds scattered about the throne room. In an attempt to avoid more bloodshed Glasha called upon her bardic abilities. Using a skillful combination of mimicry, persuasion, and a touch of magic she assumed the form of Yusdrayl. Her group mates were all quite impressed by the remarkable disguise, and Shadamehr raised an eyebrow at the possibilities.
  • Stepping forward, Glasha commanded the kobold spelunkers to leave the throne room at once, and to forget what they saw there. And oh how it nearly worked! Two of the kobolds doffed their caps immediately and turned right around. The third kobold, however, squinted at the fake Yusdrayl and took a step forward, asking her something in Draconic and sniffing the air.
  • Realizing that her ruse was about to fail, Glasha sprang into action and attacked the nosey kobold. The rest of her party joined in, and shortly thereafter three more kobold corpses were added to the pile. Glasha sighed.
  • The party broke camp and headed off to explore the rest of the citadel. Red, Manner, Khelgar, and Erky investigated the door that the kobold spelunkers came through, while Shadamehr and Glasha checked out another door leading out from the throne room.
  • Red’s team found what appeared to be a staging area for subterranean expeditions. The room was loaded with with survival gear and camping supplies, as well as trophies from previous excursions— colorful fungus stalks, giant insect carapaces, and the skinned carcasses of various oversized cave vermin.
  • A separate doorway led from this staging area into an adjacent chamber, where a portion of the wall had collapsed revealing a natural, unworked tunnel disappearing into darkness. Using his innate Dwarven abilities Khelgar investigated the tunnel a bit, tapping on the walls and floor and sniffing the air. Based on the type of stone, as well as the odors wafting up, Khelgar determined that the tunnel connected to a larger cavern system below, one that delved deep into the earth— perhaps even connecting with the fabled Underdark itself!  Not wanting to get sidetracked the party decided to leave the imposing tunnel alone… for now.
  • Elsewhere in the citadel Shadamehr and Glasha found themselves in a short hallway with a stone door at the opposite end,. Convinced that they were on the right track Shadamehr stepped forward— right into a hidden pit trap! The barbarian fell through the floor and landed with a thump. Luckily for him the pit was only ten feet deep!
  • With his ego bruised more than anything else, the tough barbarian climbed out of the pit. He tried the stone door but found it locked, and after a few unsuccessful attempts to force it open gave up and returned with Glasha to the throne room.
  • Reunited, the party explored a few more empty rooms, one of which was inexplicably trapped with a bucket of turd water, before discovering a vast chamber that housed the bulk of the kobold tribe. Two or three dozen kobolds went about their daily business in the smoke-filled chamber— cooking kobold food, caring for kobold babies, and playing simple kobold games.
  • Sensing an opportunity, Manner reached into his bag of holding and pulled out Yusdrayl’s head. Lifting it high into the air so all the kobolds could see it, the gnome proclaimed himself their new leader by right of conquest. There was a moment of stunned silence as every kobold turned and stared at the gruesome trophy. Then absolute panic took over.
  • A stampede of scrambling kobolds poured past the party, screaming and howling in sheer terror. Shadamehr grabbed at the hilt of his greatsword and hopped in circles, tempted to his limits by so many easy targets. Somehow the blood-hungry barbarian held back his blade, even when an old greybeard kobold hobbled by within striking distance.
  • After the kobolds cleared out the party moved deeper into the citadel. They soon discovered a makeshift prison that held three scrawny goblin prisoners chained to the floor with shackles around their necks. After a bit of negotiating Glasha convinced the goblins to take them to their leader.
  • Holding onto their chains as if they were a pack of straining bloodhounds, the party followed the goblins back through the dungeon, past the room where they had found Calcryx and into another vast, smoke-filled chamber that housed the bulk of the goblin tribe.
  • Dozens of snotty, sweaty goblins surrounded the players, poking and sniffing at them as they made their way through the chamber to a door on the opposite side.
  • Beyond the door they found a large circular room that looked like the interior of a tower. A wide pit dominated the center of the room. Vines and bioluminescent fungus grew around the edge of the pit, shedding sickly, purple light throughout.
  • On the other side of the pit, reclining in a fur-covered throne, was the unmistakable chieftain of the goblin tribe— a bulging hobgoblin in splint mail wearing an outrageous horned helm. Flanking the chieftain were a trio of beefy hobgoblin bodyguards as well as a wizened goblin shaman who regarded the party with bright, soulful eyes.
  • The three goblin prisoners scrambled forward and threw themselves at the chieftain’s feet, groveling and whining in Goblin and occasionally pointing back at the adventurers. The chieftain raised his hand and the goblins fell silent.
  • Sensing another opportunity, and quietly hoping that his gambit might work this time, Manner once again removed Yusdrayl’s head from his bag of holding and lobbed it at the chieftain. The hobgoblin bodyguards tensed as the head arced across the pit and landed with a wet plop at the chieftain’s feet.
  • The burly hobgoblin stared down at the gruesome offering for a few seconds and then burst into guttural laughter, joined quickly by his bodyguards and the sniveling goblins. The chieftain clapped his hands together and stood up from his throne, walking around the pit to greet the bold adventurers.
  • He introduced himself as Durnn and thanked the party for killing his most hated rival, Yusdrayl. Raising a finger to the sky Durnn proclaimed that the adventurers shall forever be friends of his tribe and shall receive whatever aid they might need in their current quest. But first a handshake to seal the alliance.
  • As Durnn extended his hand Shadamehr noticed a glimmer on one of the hobgoblin’s meaty fingers. It was a gold signet ring that the barbarian recognized immediately, for it belonged to his missing friend— Talgen Hucrele!
  • In a cold, monotonous voice Shadamehr asked Durnn where the previous owner of that ring was. The hobgoblin grinned and clapped him on the back. “I will show you, my good friend! This way.”
  • Durnn led the barbarian over to a hearth where a low fire crackled, above which hung a large, iron pot. The chieftain removed the lid of the pot, revealing a bubbling stew of fungus, onions, carrots, and other root vegetables. And bobbing gruesomely on the stew's surface was the parboiled head of Talgen!
  • “Hungry?” asked the hobgoblin chieftain.
Click below to find out what happened next!

http://yearoftheshield.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/session-four-into-the-pit

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