998 YK Wir, 14th of Therendor (Wednesday, March 14)
Not even the crickets are awake when we left Mr. Gregor’s farm. It’s two in the morning and even the monsters in the forest and the little noises of the night have fallen asleep. Which means we are alone, the four of us, as we take the 9 mile trek through the farmland to reach the abandoned mine. The hours pass quickly enough, Drakar’s stomach only chirping in once in a while. I have no idea what it is, but apparently feeding it doesn’t help.
When we finally got close, we heard celebrations. Beyond the treeline there were quick movements, like dancing, and an old wind chime going
faster than the wind. I got a glimpse of a campfire and kobolds before they screamed, “To Arms” in Common. Ni’Tarra just grinned and screamed back, “To Arms” before she charged through the treeline.
The first thing she is greeted to on the other side of those trees were, well, kobolds. Over half a dozen grabbing weapons. This includes one with a long kobold-skull headdress and another with a literal skull cap! Most of them head straight for Ni’Tarra, but a few head past her and away from us. Just as Ni’Tarra is hit with what looks like an arcane snowball
that left an impact like an iceball, I noticed him. A man, just a few yards away from Ni’Tarra in scalemail came running to intercept the kobolds.
Just as the small horde circled Ni’Tarra, Drakar dropped a pillar which sparked in anticipation of any of those kobolds getting close, and giving Ni’Tarra some breathing room. One, two, three went down as the new guy and Kildrak swung at the smaller kobolds. Before we could chase down the cowardly shaman, who had ran further into the mine, the skullcap approached. When he swung with his sword,
and he had a real sword not the metal shard or pointed stick you knew it was meant for Ni’Tarra because he kept watching her movements. It was intense. But within a few moments, Kildrak and the new guy helped her take him down.
I quickly introduced ourselves to the stranger and he did the same. The imposing man who fought with a bastard sword and already looked battle-worn told us his name is Rife Gallionson. It is very important for you to understand this was just a matter of moments, but I could already tell you a lot about him. Importantly, he was Brelish and enjoyed fighting. He was already looking into the cave as we were introduced, and the accent.
OH, the accent. It’s unmistakenable and just so..yum! Kildrak offered him a portion of the money earned if he helped us clear out the kobolds. He nodded and agreed since it meant more fighting.
And it didn’t take very long. Less than 30 yards away we could see the shaman run into an alcove. He was moving so fast, though, that he was well ahead of us. Ni’Tarra, of course, came up with a great idea. She turned to Kildrak and told him to throw her in the room. He asked her, “Are you sure?” She gave him a toothy grin and asked why not. While Rife ran down the hall with Kildrak and Ni’Tarra, Drakar was getting a doozy of a spell ready. Kildrak hefted Ni’Tarra up by the scruff of her armor and hauled her a good 40 ft! She landed so casually off the wall and yelled “To Arms” to the kobolds in the room.
The shaman, however, wasn’t alone. There were five, very groggy kobolds with him. One of them didn’t have the “pointed stick” like the others. Instead, he had a small sling. In the quick confusion that is fighting in confine spaces, it get even more confusing. Amongst our colleagues was a large warrior, easily 6 ft tall, wreathed in flames. Drakar smiled to himself in satisfaction as he told his warrior who to take down first. A few of the kobolds cried out as they fell to the blades and axes. The one with the sling fought the hardest. When he was backed against a corner and a warrior of flames, he picked up one of his glass bullets and smashed it into the warrior, leaving little embers to fall around them. Between Kildrak and the Warrior they were able to finish off the slinger. At the same time Ni’Tarra and Rife were able to stop the cowardly shaman from throwing anymore arcane orbs.
We took a few minutes to rest in the make-shift bunkroom.
It seems now everyone understands what Kildrak meant when he explained I kept him out of trouble. So many people think that the arcane elements have no interest in the healing arts. Pssh. Afterwards Drakar and I took a moment to look for anything of interest, or usefulness while the others collected heads for Mr. Gregor. It was a big surprise when we discovered that the armor the skullcap was wearing was actually First Circle Mellorating Scalemail. Even more so when we identified one of the “blankets” to be a robe, also of the First Circle. And there were some gold coins in there. Who knew they were richer than us? That sounded desperate, sorry.
Just as Rife put on his new armor, with Kildrak’s assistance, and Drakar put on the new robe, we heard more voices. And..then there was creepy, chittering noise of large bugs. We barely were readied in the hall before we met the next oncoming wave. Five kobolds lead with their “spears”, followed by what could have been fire beetles once. However, these beetles looked like frosted glass. We could see passed the frost and ice to the gallbladder, the source of its fire. And behind the pair of fire beetles were their handlers, and another one of those smelly pot-slingers.
Before they could charge us, Drakar ran in front of them and threw a cacophony of arcane energy, both destroying the first wave of kobolds AND turning their remains into a wall. Unfortunately, this did not seem to hinder the beetles in anyway as they climbed over the fallen kobolds, opened their oversized mandibles at us, and spit fire and ice at us! Everyone was drenched in flames and shivering at the same time, a sick feeling if one ever has the chance to feel those extremes at the same time. The slinger launched it’s smelly, rotten egg lunch at Drakar, and unfortunately hit. As his eyes began watering, the two handlers followed their pets towards us.
It became chaos at that point. When the opportunity arose, Ni’Tarra helped Rife flank one of the pets as Kildrak dealt with the second and it’s handler. Drakar directed even more power towards the other handler as I kept up the distractions on the slinger. At one point Rife had wrangled the beetle and had actually put the thing in a headlock! Before it could spit at Ni’Tarra again, however, Rife and Ni’Tarra struck at its exposed body. Its shell cracked, then shattered before its innards oozed down Rife’s side.
And no, it did not look like melted snow.
With the slinger defeated by his own distraction, we had only the last of both pet and handler. The handler looked up as Rife and Ni’Tarra come up to it, Kildrak behind them. And just as they were about to swing the last blows, the handler put its hand on the pets back. It looked like it was comforting its pet in those last few moments. That is, until it put its entire weight into the gesture, forcing the fire and ice cocktail to be spit out. Again the burns and frostbite covered us. This time, however, we knew how to resist the extreme elements and retaliated. The handler left quietly, however the beetle made that horrible clicking noise as it shattered, then melted away, leaving only the gallbladder and the shell remaining.