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Kingmaker: Stolen Land, Session 5, Part 2

November 6, 2013

lolcatz-falldownLook out below!

The kobolds led the explorers north as a light rain began to fall. Well before sunset, the rain had picked up and turned into a heavy storm that forced the group to camp early. Iofur and Salar found a shallow cave that barely fit the large group, which at this point consisted of 6 human-ish types, a halfling, and 3 kobolds – not to mention their horses.

While Travaris is on watch that night, he spotted what looked like a lantern light moving out in the storm. It wavered and bobbed as if it was held aloft by a stumbling human, although the bearer could not be seen through the rain. The party was roused and they silently watched the light approach their position. After they made no move to investigate, the light faltered and fell to the ground, as if it were dropped, or as if its bearer had fallen. But still the group took no action.

Finally, Satampra lit his beacon lantern and pointed it towards the light, which then winked out. The area where it had been now appeared completely empty. Nakpik shivered. “A ghost light,” he told Mestinous. “They lure travellers to their doom.”* And indeed, come morning, they investigated the area and found a deep crevice between their cave and where the light was. Anyone who tried to reach the light would have fallen in.

* In theory, will-o’-wisps lead travelers to their doom. In actuality, PCs spot strange lights in the distance and run the other way. These monsters really need some kind of compulsion ability to force someone to follow them.

Stolen Land 5bSoon, the explorers spotted their destination, although it was still miles away: a 100-foot tall sycamore, standing a solitary watch atop a distant hill. The mites lived there, although the kobolds were not sure of the details. They led the party to within a few hundred feet, wished them luck, and then headed back to their home.

At the base of the tree, Salar discovered a hole that led to a small root-lined shaft. He easily climbed down the 10 feet of the shaft before dropping into a 5-foot diameter tunnel. He could hear voices and sounds of metal and wood coming from one direction, and nothing from the other direction. Aside from a dim bit of light from the outside, there was no light, and so he lit a torch. He thought about investigating the sounds, but realized that he could not be stealthy while carrying a light source, especially not when the mites could see in the dark. So, he tossed the torch down the tunnel in the direction of the voices, in order to get their attention. When he heard the voices approaching, he scrambled back up the shaft and told the others what he’d seen.

The adventurers readied their weapons. And waited. And waited some more. Soon it became clear that the mites had no intention of coming out. So they figured out an “insertion” order – Halas (highest HP, good AC), Iofur (highest AC, spells), Satampra, Mestinous, Salar, Travaris, and Eagle-Face Dan bringing up the rear – and commenced their invasion of the mite lair.

Halas the inquisitor climbed down the shaft, moved out of the way, and lit a torch. His 6’1″ frame made the 5-foot high tunnel an uncomfortable fit. Iofur came after, and moved to the other side of the tunnel from Halas. Satampra was still in the process of climbing down when the mites finally struck. Three mites assaulted Halas at one end of the tunnel, while three 7-foot long centipedes scurried towards Iofur at the other end. Halas weathered the darts and the curses of the mites while steadily dispatching them with his crossbow, while Iofur cast entangle to keep the centipedes from attacking him. Unfortunately, that blocked up that side of the tunnel, and soon there was a traffic jam of people trying to get into the fight.

Mestinous solved the bottleneck issue by basically falling down the shaft. He attempted to do some kewl acrobatic elf-move, but he badly botched his check, causing him to land on Satampra and knock them both prone. I split the falling damage between them, causing Satampra’s player to later remark that the only damage he took all night was caused by Mestinous. Mestinous also managed to shoot Halas in the back with his bow while he was trying to shoot a mite, which I believe gave him one of the higher damage totals for the session – almost all of it against his allies, unfortunately.

Stolen Land 5bDespite the cramped quarters, the group did manage to kill or drive off their attackers, and proceeded down the tunnel that the mites came from. The tunnel opened into a twisted workshop of sorts, which held two small catapults and caltrops scattered across the floor. They used the furniture to try and barricade the entrance that they came from, and moved on to the tunnel on the opposite end of the room. The tunnel sloped downwards until it became vertical, and they could hear a weak kobold voice from the other end, begging for release or rescue.

Satampra was the first to climb down, with his beacon lantern hanging from his belt. He landed at one end of a room, and pointed the lantern’s light at the far end… which revealed a crowd of angry mites brandishing daggers and darts at the rogue, and some tortured kobolds tied to a wall. Moving with astonishing speed, Satampra drew his rapier and prepared for battle.

As Satampra dueled with the closest mite, Mestinous decided to try his elf-jump trick again. He leaped down the tunnel into the room and… rolled a 1. He landed on his back, but still managed to get a sleep spell off, which took out 5 of the 10 mites. Next, Iofur tried to climb down, but ended up with a result of 0, and also fell into the room. Travaris and Eagle-Face Dan tried to jump down Mestinous-style and also botched their checks, causing a pile of prone adventurers to form at the bottom of the shaft. By this point, the mites had done literally nothing to the PCs, but many of the PCs were nearly unconscious from the falling (and being falled-on) damage.

Travaris invoked the power of Cayden Cailean, causing one of the mites to flee in fear, and three of the others were quickly dispatched by spell and bolt. In short order, only 1 foe remained, and he fled (avoiding 3 OAs in the process), handing an easy victory to the PCs. They dispatched the sleeping mites, healed up as best they could, and released the sole surviving kobold prisoner.

Mikmek the kobold was eternally grateful for the rescue, and begged his towering saviors to help him retrieve his tribe’s holy idol. Mestinous informed him that they already intended to do just that, and the kobold squealed in joy. Mikmek snatched up one of the mites’ daggers and pledged to kill every mite that he could get his little clawed hands on.

And that was the end of the session. The PCs have some wounds and are basically out of spells, so it will be interesting to see what happens next, with the two toughest encounters (the giant whiptail centipede, and Grabbles & his tick mount) directly in front of them. If they run, and I think they might have to, the mites will replenish their numbers and be better prepared for the next attack.

Next: once more into the breach!


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