Game of Chickens

A New Investigation

Let’s go see where Shrek lives!!

We begin at the Tinker’s house that the party has been squatting in. Froderick finds himself thirsty, with a deep body thirst that is seemingly unquenchable. He is afraid that his waterskin won’t be enough to satisfy him, so he elects to go to the stream by Shaghorn’s temple.

While he is gone, Rorek makes Turq pay him half of the earnings from the kobold adventure. Podmidor gives himself a headache trying to learn to cast Levitate while Cues drools over the spellbook. Turq expresses interest in trying to learn a few spells himself. The spellbook is like a new toy at a daycare center. Chickens, meanwhile, targets Rorek with a surge of magic. Rorek notes the sudden intense focus and suspiciously checks first his beard…then his axe…then down the front of his breeches…“Whew”, he mutters. To Chickens’ immense relief, there is no noticable effect.

When Froderick returns, wet and cold, but happy, the group discusses next steps. They decide to go ogre hunting, and everyone gets ready to go. Chickens goes through his belongings, and discovers that all of his items seem to have exchanged weight. His bedroll feels much heavier than before, so he dumps it and leaves it behind him. Meanwhile, his rope and Headsplasher seem to be extraordinarily light.

The group heads back toward the crater, figuring that they can try to find the ogre cave from there. Partway into the trip Chickens targets Froderick in a magical surge, but again nothing seems to happen. Afraid that he is going to ultimately destroy every member of the party, Chickens asks them to walk up ahead far enough to be out of sight and he will follow along behind. Turqeel elects to stay with him, as does Russellbob, who is riding along on Turqeel’s pack.

Once they have fallen further behind, Turqeel again requests that Chickens focus any surges he can control at him. Chickens is mystified by this, and the two discuss Turqeel’s worship of the powers of chaos and his beliefs as they walk while Russellbob listens on. The next surge does come, and Turqeel is the target. A foot long blade of fire appears in Turqeel’s hand, though it does not burn him. He waves it around making lightsaber sounds for a few moments before they continue on. The Flame Bladedisappears some minutes later.

Before the crater is visible, the party sees the carrion birds circling in the air above it. When the lead part of the group arrives at the crater, they find crows and turkey vultures gorging upon the dead kobolds, as well as a black bear that has come down to feed. Podmidor, Froderick, and Rorek descend the slope to the crater floor, leaving Cues behind at the rim. Chickens arrives with Turqeel and Russellbob shortly after. Podmidor notes a low buzzing sound as he nears the floor of the crater, and realizes that it is coming from thousands upon thousands of flies that are creating a swirling black cloud around the kobold bodies. Podmidor wishes to try to find the kobold chief one more time, so the group passes through center of crater, trying to avoid the bear.

Chickens and Turqeel continue to discuss Chickens’ curse, and how to either gain control of it or find Mandretch.

The bear becomes aggressive at the group’s proximity. Podmidor suggests that they try to look as big as possible. Really. Froderick might have an honest chance at this, but a halfling just suggested that he and a dwarf try to appear as big as possible. This is not lost on Rorek, who looks at Podmidor incredulously for a second, then raises up his hands and yells, “I’M AS BIG AS POSSIBLE!!!” Despite Rorek’s intimidating display, their ursine assailant charges. As it is closing the distance, carrion birds scattering and clouds of black flies swarming with every stride, Podmidor pretends to draw an imaginary bow. Murmuring a Melf’s Acid Arrow incantantion, Podmidor looses his insubstantial arrow as the bear is closing the last twenty feet. A green arrow streaks out of nowhere and flies true, piercing the pupil of the bear’s eye. The creature has a sudden change of heart as the acid commences to do its work and stops so quickly that its own momentum tumbles it into a somersault. Shrieking in agony, it rises to its feet to turn and flee. Frodrick jumps in, sickle blurring through the air toward the anguished creature’s neck. At the last second, the bear sees the movement with it’s good eye, and jerks its head back. The sickle’s curved blade removes exactly five hairs from its neck . It gains its feet and turns to flee. Froderick takes advantage of the opportunity, and brings the sickle in an arc that opens a wide swath of flesh parallel to the bear’s spine. Crying in pain, it flees in a stumbling run. After a few seconds, it slows down, pawing at it’s face. In another moment, it collapses.

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Party unity? Never heard of it!

Chickens and Shaghorn are out front sitting on the wet ground. Russellbob is moping about aimlessly out front by Chickens. Podmidor is staring into the ashes of the fireplace glumly, reflecting on how quickly Tomas was slaughtered. Turqeel comes in, walking quietly and slowly. When Podmidor sees him, he notices that Turqeel’s head is bleeding. “Your friend needs to know how to treat people,” Turqeel grumbles. Podmidor looks at him, puzzled. “O…k…” and then goes back to his glum staring at nothing.

Shaghorn and Chickens discuss future plans. Turqeel comes out and sits in the door way near to Russellbob. His head is healed.

Realizing that no one has eaten since the day before, the group decides to sit for a meal. Chickens refrains from eating anything, instead sitting deep in depression.

Shaghorn heals Rorek and Podmidor, then tries to get the group to go investigate the ogres that the kobold spoke of. Shaghorn wishes Chickens to do it to protect his village, but the group wants to do it for pay. Shaghorn offers to provide some healing potions, but the group is undecided. Russellbob is willing to go whichever way the group goes, seeing how he’ll most likely ride along on someone’s backpack anyways. Shaghorn leaves to head back his temple. The group goes in to further question the kobold, but find it dead in the chair, slack against the ropes binding it.

As the group debates on next steps, Froderick and Turqeel toss verbal jabs at each other, and the argument becomes quite heated. Disgusted with the party infighting, Russellbob screams “I HATE WHEN MOMMY AND DADDY FIGHT!!!”, and stomps away in adorable irritation. Finally Froderick threatens to kill Turqeel the next time he speaks. Turqeel offers Rorek half his share of any treasure that is acquired if he will provide protection from Froderick. Froderick tries talking Rorek out of defending Turqeel, suggesting instead that they get rid of Turqeel, and all can divide his share. Rorek thinks it over for a moment, then gives Froderick a steely glare, and says,…“Ye know ye could kill the little man and there’s nothing he could do about it. Hardly seems fair to not let a man speak who’s not tryin to hurt ye.” Froderick gives up in frustration. Froderick gives Chickens the dagger that Turqeel tried to remove from Tomas’ body.

Meanwhile, Cues and Pod bicker over the helm and spellbook that Tomas had in his backpack. Podmidor wishes to inspect them, while Cues doesn’t trust him at all to give them back. Froderick has to intervene in the argument, and finally Cues lets Podmidor inspect Tomas’ Helm of Teleportation. Podmidor doesn’t think a novice such as Cues should hang onto such a powerful item, and elects to keep it. This starts more arguing. Finally, a deal is reached in which Podmidor gets to keep both the helm and Tomas’ spellbook, under the condition that Cues gets his gem back, and Podmidor legitimately helps Cues learn the spells in the book.

No headway is made on deciding on next steps.

A Party Divided

Well, mostly just one member, really.

Pod has questioned the weakened kobold, which is tied to a chair in the bedroom of a missing and presumed dead tinker gnome. The kobold is mostly healed except for a leg wound too nasty for a Cure Light Wounds spell to totally cure, and its fever from infection is not diminishing. The group stands in the living room/work room trying to figure out next steps while Turqeel and Froderick are off collecting their payment from Shaghorn for removing the kobold threat. It is at this point that Chickens’ curse again bursts forth.

When the magic releases, a mist coalesces in the room. When it clears it exposes beast inspired by the abstract nightmares of a nearsighted schizophrenic. While easily eight feet tall, it is forced to hunch over due to the low ceiling, which is only about six feet high. It’s body is blue skinned and hairless, and its bulk seems to fill the room. It’s cone shaped head has three eyes across its face, lined up vertically in a row. It’s pupils are vertical slits, and purplish colored warts polka dot it’s body. Green scales grow out of these warts. It crouches, frog-like on thighs as thick as tree trunks. Long toes grip the ground. It’s arms are very long, thin and wiry, and each of it’s six fingers is tipped with a two inch claw. Leathery, wart covered wings jut out of it’s back, and a long tail lashes back and forth, a large body protrusion at the end of it that looks as it were designed to crush skulls. Atop it’s long, snakelike neck, it’s head swivels back and forth, eyes blinking independently as it takes in the scene. With comes an oppressive odor reminiscent of a dung beetle sweating old cheese. It screams a deafening battle cry that sounds like a panther being flayed alive. The sound is like nothing from this world or any other the party has ever considered, and the sound turns their knees to jelly. Then, in an incredible rush of speed and power, it springs forward and launches itself directly at Tomas. The ceiling keeps it forced low, but even so its forward momentum is impressive. The first swipe to Tomas is a claw attack that is intent on tearing his face from his body. Instead, the beast catches the wall in the room. Its claws gets snagged within the wood and a claw rips from its hand, arresting its forward momentum. The beast howls in pain. Tomas staggers back from it as it recovers, distancing himself from the monstrosity, face pale.

Pod begins to cast, while Rorek and Chickens charge the beast. To Chickens’ surprise, Headspasher feels much lighter than usual, and he finds he is able to wield the warhammer one handed. Chickens and Rorek charge in, hammer and axe swinging. The creature is hunched over, and an easy target. But Rorek’s axe never gets through its hide. Headsplasher makes a mighty thump, but the beast never reacts. Its entire focus is upon Tomas, who is struggling to get a spell to come to mind. Pod finishes casting, and four blue-white balls of mystic energy streak across the enclosed space, and slam into the beast. As they sink into its hide, its skin ripples around them, like pebbles in a sludgy pond. It shrieks in rage and pain, and swivels its head towards Pod…who notices that all three eyes are a different color as it glares hatred at him.

To the side, Cues quietly casts Shield in front of himself.

The creature’s gaze lingers on Pod,but it seems to be drawn back to Tomas. Still hunched over, back against the ceiling, it again rushes him with a savagery of hateful violence. Its left arm slashes forward, and two inch claws slash through Tomas’ chest, ripping most of his robe from his upper body, and exposing ribs. Before Tomas can fall back from the blow, its other arm rips across right behind it, and opens Tomas’ left arm from shoulder to elbow. The blueish robe sleeve is instantly torn apart, and soaked with blood and pieces of muscle. As its hands find the ground again, its snake neck strikes forward nearly faster than the eye can follow, gripping firmly upon Tomas’ head, and savagely shaking him side to side. Tomas flails about like a rag doll hanging from its nightmarish mouth.

Russellbob, still outside the house, hears the commotion and rushes back to the front door to see what’s going on. Looking in, down the hall way he can see the monstrosity’s back and tail. Rorek and Chickens are to the right side of it, attacking with axe and warhammer. Russellbob notes that Chickens is now able to wield Headsplasher one-handed.

Again, Rorek, spittle flying into his beard, roars a challenge at the beast and swings his axe. Again, the axe strikes its body, but glances off of its hide.

Pod again casts Magic Missile. The lighted projectiles slam once more into the beast, sending its skin rippling like thick sludge. It leaves red burn marks where they enter. It drops Tomas, who falls to the floor bonelessly, and shrieks in rage. The sound is deafening, and its head swivels to Podmidor. Its gaze is heavy with the promise of pain and murder to come.

Cues, whose balls grew three sizes that day, steps in front of Pod to try to help cover him behind the Shield spell. The beast is glaring at Pod…and then Cues as well with its three discolored eyes…and yet it seems to be pulled against its will back to Tomas, who is lying on the ground before it. Again the merciless savagery commences.

It falls over Tomas like a dervish of seething hatred, as if it’s in a hurry to get to something else. Tomas’ left arm, ravaged only seconds ago, is ripped from his body with a tear and a SNAP and flies to the side, bouncing off of Cues’ Shield spell. The beast then seizes Tomas’ right leg in its mouth, and the sound of Rice Krispies being walked on fills the room as its jaw crush the bones of his leg. Its other arm digs its claws into his face. With a quick burst of power, Tomas’ head is ripped from his body as the leg and head are pulled in opposite directions. Blood floods across the creature and the floor. Tomas’ head is stuck on its claws and remains there, forgotten.

Russellbob, from the front door, draws upon himself to use his innate ability to cast Confusion upon the beast. For a second, its limbs start to go limp, then it shakes itself off, and there is no other noticable effect. Taking advantage of the situation, Chickens swings Headsplasher at its head as hard as he can manage. The motion is caught from the periphery of its vision, and it snaps its head to the side. Headsplasher scrapes by its head, and sends splinters from the floor flying in all directions with a mighty CRUNCH. Chickens focuses all his rage at it, and brings the hammer from the side in another attempt. The beast’s pulls its neck back with the speed of a snake in the desert, and Headsplasher again goes by harmlessly.

It twists away from Chickens, and ignores Rorek, choosing to rush him right over to get to Pod, who is casting. The beast launches itself forward in a blur of fury, promising death…but it never reaches him There is again a sudden collapse of mist with a horrible foul odor of rot, and then only Rorek, who stumbles back into Cues’ Shield. The mist billows right past Cues, Rorek and Podmidor, carried on by the creature’s momentum. Tomas’ head rolls harmlessly past them and bumps into the wall. It comes to rest lying on its side with its punctured ruin of a face aimed toward the center of the room. Pods missles streak into the air where the creature had been and harmlessly dissipate.

Annnd then the inter-party drama begins. Cues absconds Tomas’ pack. Chickens walks out the front door past Russellbob and sits in the front yard, unmoving. Froderick, Shaghorn and Turqeel come down the yardroad, and see Chickens sitting morosely. It doesn’t take long to get the gist of what happened, and Froderick, Shaghorn and Turqeel rush inside. Froderick gathers up Tomas’ severed head and arm, and the group carries Tomas body outside. Pod sits down to rest and reflect on the incident. Froderick takes Turqeel’s shovel and starts to dig a grave while Cues searches for an appropriate grave marker. Turqeel sees that Tomas is to be buried with a dagger still on his hip, and bends down to remove it. Froderick notices, and BEATS TURQEEL IN THE HEAD WITH THE SHOVEL. Froderick takes the dagger and runs Turqeel off, who goes into the house with his head dripping blood. Shaghorn goes back outside to try to talk to Chickens as Froderick continues to dig a grave for Tomas. Rorek leans against the back of the house, watching.

Ooohhhhhhh....Interrogate THEN Massacre...

Apparently even stupid little monsters have motivations.

The group wakes, and leaves the mansion, returning to the home that they are squatting in. The morning proves to still be cloudy and wet, but the driving rain from the day before had stopped sometime during the night. Chickens is awake and mostly recovered…physically… from his life and death and life and death and life and death ordeal from the day before.

Russellbob goes outside to find a pebble, and using an innate ability, reverse Continual Light to cast Continual Darkness on it, then puts it in his bag. The sliver of wood bestowed with Continual Light and the pebble bestowed with Continual Darkness immediately go to war and negate each other.

Froderick goes outside and lies on the ground, which is still wet from the previous day’s rain. With an “ahhhh” of contentment, he lies back and lets the wetness seep into his grass laden exterior.

Podmidor and the rest of the group go to question the kobold. They find it to be semi-lucid and burning with fever. On closer inspection, the creature’s burns and broken leg appear to be quite infected. Podmidor casts Comprehend Languages, and the kobold begs for water. Slowly, giving sips of water when necessary Podmidor is able to get some information out of the kobold. It’s name is Grakyap, and his clan lived in some caves somewhere over near the crater where the tribe was found. Four ogres moved into their caves, and killed some, enslaved others, and the group was forced to flee. They hoped to take over the houses in Tinkerhaven. Grakyap is tied to a chair, and Turqeel casts Heal Light Wounds on him. The wounds on his body mostly heal, but the fever does not dissipate. When Pod decides that Grakyap has outlived his usefulness, Grakyap begs for his life and offers to lead the party to the ogres. Rorek stays nearby, hoping to kill Grakyap.

Turqeel wants to go see Shaghorn to get paid, and Froderick accompanies him. During the discussion, Turqeel accuses Shaghorn of withholding their payment to give them more assignments. Shaghorn becomes quite offended, and Froderick grabs Turq and throws him out of the temple. Though Shaghorn wants the group out of the village, Froderick asks for permission to stay in the home that they are squatting in, as it’s fairly remote to the rest of the village. Shaghorn grants permission, stating that no one can find Nilburt, the home’s owner, and he’s assumed dead. He then points out the empty streets to him, stating that the villagers are nervous of Chickens’ presence, and a bit offended that he wants payment to protect his own home village.

Froderick leaves the temple to confront Turqeel, who is waiting outside. He grabs Turq by the throat, and threatens to kill him if he gives Shaghorn anymore attitude. Turq is cowed, and apologizes (reluctantly) to Shaghorn when he joins them outside. The trio then leave to walk back to Nilburt’s house where the party is lodging so that Shaghorn can help heal the group, and they can plan to investigate the ogres.

Back in the Village

Well, well, well…Look who was finally able to complete their stupid little side quest.

The group stumbles their way back to Tinkerhaven through the pouring rain, some members wounded and on the verge of exhaustion.

They get back to the southernmost home, the one the kobolds had inhabited. Podmidor and Froderick can go no further, so the group elects to stop into the house to rest. Turqeel leaves them at the house, and walks through the village to report their objective completion to Shaghorn. He finds Shaghorn rather unwelcoming and extremely busy trying to save the life of a couple of gnomes who are the victims of an invention gone horribly wrong.

Upon entering the home, the group is surprised to find a warm fire blazing cheerily, and Russellbob and Tomas tending it. The party is reunited. Yay.

Rorek dumps Chickens on the floor, and the group gathers…or collapses…around the fire. Tomas does his best to pry the story out of them. Froderick, with grass having replaced his hair, refuses to come as close to the fire as the rest of the party.

The group decides to try to communicate with the burnt, broken, half dead kobold trapped in the bedroom to figure out why they had left their caves to live in the crater. Rorek protests that his axe is thirsty but reluctantly goes along with it. Tomas tries to communicate to the creature in Goblin, but it doesn’t understand. All it does is bare it’s teeth at Tomas and growl weakly. Tomas lets it drink, trying to earn its trust. It vomits back up nearly everything it drank. The group decides to try again tomorrow, when Podmidor has his spells back.

Shaghorn follows Turq back to the home, where he questions the group as to what they had found. He’s genuinely surprised that they were able to complete their given task. He says he’ll send some gnomes out to investigate the next day. Due to the issue with the gnomish inventors, Shaghorn is nearly out of spells. He has two Cure Light Wounds spells left, which the group asks him to use on Chickens.

The first one he casts on Chickens seems to do nearly nothing. Shaghorn thinks about it for a second, then waits until life returns to Chickens torn body, and then casts it. The healing is partially successful, and Chickens falls into an exhausted sleep.

Tomas casts Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion, and the weary group retires to a welcome rest.

BOO, bitches!!!

Apparently halflings can actually be scary. Huh, who’da thought?

When we left off last time, our group of dubious heroes was becoming overrun by kobolds.   The rain continues to pour.  Froderick has been knocked to his hands and knees amid a mob of enemies, Rorek and Pod have taken heavy hits, and are also at a distinct numbers disadvantage.  Chickens lies dead…no wait, alive, in a pile…no, dead…amid a mound of….no, he’s alive…among the bodies…oh, now he’s dead again!!  Let’s just say he’s suffering horribly while entangled in the press of corpses of his enemies.   The story of their foolishness continues…
Rorek draws his axe back over head and launches an attack at a kobold that is snarling in his face, brandishing a crude spear. As the axe is coming down, bringing certain death to the creature before him, the wound in his chest and shoulder flares, causing one hand to spasm.  Rorek loses his grip on the axe, and it goes sailing right through the press of kobolds in front of him without so much as touching a one.  A few stop to eye it as it flies by.  Directly in front of him, the kobold’s eyes widen a second at the suddenly disappearing weapon, and he takes advantage of his good luck, pressing forward with the point of his spear. The attack is ill prepared, and Rorek gives ground, retreating from the advance.
The kobolds attempt to mob Froderick and bear him down as he’s trying to rise, piling on his back.  Shaking, he manages to push himself up out of the mass, with one attached to his shoulders, and another hanging off of his waist.  Podmidor is pressed by two more, as more press in behind them.  Tiredly, Pod dodges back under the swing of a piece of hardened tree branch, but a spear thrust underneath it digs a furrow into his scalp.  A fresh line of blood wells and runs down the side of his head.  Weaponless, Rorek is at the mercy of the press trying to surround him.  From the wall of snarling enemies, spears and short swords thrust out of the mass.  Rorek slaps them away, giving ground all the while, trying not to become surrounded.
Pod, fighting dizziness and pain, backs away from the press.  He recalls to mind one of the quickest spells he has left, and begins to cast. The hairs on his arms and back of his neck raise as the spell builds.  Upon the Scare spell’s release, in a fifteen foot circle around him, kobolds fall to ground, trembling and cowering in fear as if creatures exist around them that they’ve never before contemplated.  Weapons fall from suddenly nerveless fingers, and a shrill whine goes up from every single kobold throat.  The kobolds clinging to Froderick’s back fall to the ground, crying out, "Yipeyipeangstyipe!!  In that one moment, at that one instant, the only beings standing in the crater are Froderick, Rorek, and Podmidor, all breathing heavily with pain and exertion.  Cues still runs toward the group, but is too far away yet to make any difference, and out of the area of effect of Pod’s spell.
Rorek retrieves his Axe, while Podmidor retreats from the area of quaking kobolds on the ground.  Cues, seeing the enemies down, slows the pace down of his approach.  Rorek takes up his axe, and sets about slaughtering the quivering mass of fear enveloped kobolds.  They bare their teeth at him, a few attempt to fight back, a few attempt to flee, but in their condition they are no match for the angry dwarf.  Podmidor casts Flaming Sphere, creating a six foot diameter ball of seething flame. The Sphere gives of gouts of hissing steam as the rain and mud and wet earth fight to extinguish it.  Pod guides this hissing, popping ball of steaming death toward the mass of kobolds.  They try to scatter back from its heat, but wind up blistering, peeling, and bursting into flame as it comes into contact with them.  Even the ones that are just nearby cry out as they are cooked where they lie.  The whines and yelps of fear turn into a cacophony of shrieks of pain.  One kobold manages to shake the spells effect off enough to get up and run for the far end of the crater, yelping all the while. 
Slumping, Froderick gasps, “I could really use one of Tomas’ mansions right about now…”  Cues arrives to the scene, but is too late to be of any assistance.  Pod eyes the fleeing kobold and begins to turn away, then shrugs his shoulders and reaches for his sling and loads a stone.  Letting the Sphere remain stationary, Pod eyes the distance and sets the sling to whirling and releases.  The kobold frantically runs, slipping in the mud, terror driving its steps.  It turns to look back towards the horror behind it just in time to take Podmidor’s sling stone directly to the forehead.  It splashes to the mud in a heap. 
The Wall Of Fog has vanished, the spell ended.  Kobold bodies lie scattered around the area and in bloody piles.  Rorek looks for the chief, but is unable to locate him. He was rising into the air when the Bolt struck him and blasted him back, but is not lying on the slope of the crater, where his trajectory should have taken him.   However, a charred pile of kobold children lie at the base of the slope out of the back of the crater, behind where the chief had been located, and at the site of Podmidor’s first Lightning Bolt strike.  Unsure of whether or not the kobold chief actually was killed, the group gives up searching for him, and goes to retrieve Chickens.
Chickens is pulled from the pile of bodies, and his belongings distributed throughout the party to accommodate his weight.  He is then carried out of the crater by a struggling Rorek.  They find Turqeel at the rim of the crater waiting for them.  He is quite angry that the kobold female escaped him.  Staggering and weak from blood loss, shivering from rain, the group begins their long trek back to Tinkerhaven.  Froderick leans on Cues through some of the rougher terrain.  The trip for Chickens is intermittent jostling agony, as at times he is conscious of the dwarf grunting and swearing beneath him.  Rorek is either unaware of Chickens frequent returns to life and anguish, or just plain unsympathetic.  Turqeel follows along behind, keeping a watchful eye, and helping no one.

Aggressive Negotiations

Ever try to talk to a kobold? Us neither!!

Podmidor, Quinton the Shadow Monster troll, Rorek and Froderick have closed ranks around the fallen Chickens, whose body lies tangled in a mass of kobold corpses. Quinton, Rorek and Froderick finish off the remaining kobolds as a cry goes up from beyond the fog. The remaining kobolds in the fog pull back as the cry is picked up by more and more of them. In a short amount of time, only the party remains, breathing heavily and surrounded by the bodies of the fallen around them. All becomes quiet. Froderick covers Chickens’ body with kobold corpses, and passes Headsplasher to Rorek. The group then, led by Quinton and Podmidor start slowly making their way through the fog in the general direction of the center of the camp.

Turqeel, on the rim of the crater, hears the cry be taken up among the kobold numbers, and stops to watch them retreat from the fog, and form up into a loose semicircle around the back end of the crater. Their numbers take them around the end of the fog bank extending into their camp, semi-surrounding it. Turqeel notices Cues hidden behind a boulder, also watching the proceedings. The female kobold Turqeel was chasing reaches the rim of the crater, and flees right past where Cues is hiding and off into the woods, unnoticed.

At the end of the fog bank, Quinton stands with Pod close behind him. Rorek and Froderick flank Pod to either side. They stand about 30 yards across from the kobold chief, facing a semicircle of kobolds that extends well around them, and the fog bank. At first no one moves. Then Podmidor yells in his strongest voice, “Surrender or meet your doom!!!” Female kobolds stand with the males, and scaly hands adjust their grip on weapons as the chief responds back, “Yipyap heimlindiene grrrr yelphausen!!” The chief stands tensely with a half dozen kobolds around him in leather armor. A blackened, feather covered kobold stands nearby.

The kobolds number nearly a hundred. They stand silently, appraisingly taking in the party. The chief again yells out “Yipyap heimlindiene grrrr yelphausen!!” Kobold hands tense on weapons, and the party glances at each other. Froderick surveys the scene grimly, while Rorek casually inspects his wounds. The tension (except for Rorek) is palpable.

Podmidor sends Quinton five menacing steps toward the chief. Some of the kobolds eye the troll with fear, and others with doubt. Again, Podmidor yells at them to surrender, that this is their last chance. The kobold chief’s guards close up around him, and the chief steps forward, calling out, “sNarlbrauBARKinsnitch!!!!” and indicates the number surrounding the party. The kobolds…even their women… are tightening hands on weapons, and looking to the chief. Podmidor shouts one more time, “DROP YOUR WEAPONS!!”

The chief stands and stares at Podmidor, his hand/paw raised up, holding back the press who is by now clamoring to be let loose to overwhelm the party. The chief looks to a female and shakes his head…then HOWWWLSSS and brings his arm down….And the mass rises.. Like a wave breaking, they surge forward at the party. As they charge, the chief drinks a potion, and Pod begins to cast. The Lightning Bolt is deafening…a white flash of intense light blinding both defenders and attackers, leaving an impression on the backs of every eye of twisted bodies being flung away. The chief, who is rising from the crater floor on his flight upwards from his potion, is fully enveloped and thrown backwards and away. The bolt strikes the back of the crater, melting dirt and sand, and partially reflecting upwards. Spell duration expired, Quinton vanishes.

The kobolds immediately around the blast break and scatter all directions, but from the sides, they come on. The kobold wave crashes around the party, thrusting and clubbing with weapons, and in some cases, clawing. Rorek and Froderick fell them with every swing of sickle and axe, and yet the tide advances. Podmidor begins to furiously cast yet again, as Froderick faces immediate danger of being surrounded. Froderick is doing his best to keep the kobolds in front of him at bay, including a female kobold crying and attacking with just her claws, until a club SLAMS in between his shoulder blades. He is knocked to his hands and knees, and surrounded by a press of enemies that immediately try to swarm him. A spear thrust nearly separates Rorek’s shoulder from the muscles connecting it, and another seeks out his chest. Raising his weapon is agony. As Podmidor casts, as Froderick is engulfed by the tide, Rorek too quickly becomes overwhelmed by the press. Then the attackers reach Podmidor, who is lost in his casting. As the first spear enters his body, Pod’s lips keep moving…The second enters his stomach as the first leaves his chest…and his fingers keep tracing runes… The last spear pierces his neck, and he is just able to push it back enough to finish….the final….rune…. A second roar fills the crater as another Lightning Bolt blasts back a dozen kobolds to Podmidor’s left, passing to Froderick’s side. Bleeding and severely wounded, Podmidor somehow remains standing to see the work of his spell.

It is at this point, waaay back on the rim of the crater where he’s been hiding watching the proceedings, that Cues realizes that it will take every single bit of unexpected surprise to break the kobold’s attack and scatter them. It is at this point, when all looks it’s worst, and confusion and death reign, that Cues charges down the slope swinging his staff around over his head and screaming in defiance at the top of his lungs. He is so far away….will he arrive in time to make any difference, or just become another overwhelmed fatality?

Forgotten for the time being, under the tangled press of seeping kobold corpses, Chickens’ chest hitches once…twice… his eyes crack open in anguish…and then glaze over as death transfixes them yet again. and the cycle continues.

This Title Sucks

What? You expected the title to suck and yet have a good tagline? Piss off!

The rain continues to pour steadily across the land. Russellbob and Tomas easily follow the drag marks from the burnt kobold’s trail through the woods. It leads back in the general direction of the destroyed gnomeflinger net and the site of the brief forest fire. Not too far from the house, Russellbob finds an area where the pine needles are cleared away, as if someone were writhing on the ground. They also find a piece of branch with the bark worn away on one end, and dirt and pine needles caked on the other. They determine that the kobold had used it as a crutch. They then lose the trail. They go back to the house and build up the fire to wait hopefully for the return of their party. Soaked and shivering, Tomas strips down and hangs up his robe to dry, displaying his old man drippy nekkid goodness for any who care to see.

Turqeel realizes that he has been seen by some of the kobolds deeper into the camp. He runs back into the fog, but feels driven to kill the female kobold and her young whelp. He rushes back up the slope, scrabbling over loose stones and roots and up over the rim. The female is climbing up the slope, at an angle away from the fog and the maddened shovel wielding cleric, but is slowed down by the weight of her child.

Chickens lies on the pile of kobolds, as dead as every wretched beast haphazardly tangled beneath him. He finds himself descending into darkness, which again, like last time, takes on an ill-tinged amber color. Again he finds himself surrounded by the souls of those who have fallen to his curse. The Calenthian soldiers from Midway Lake stand with their arms upraised pointing at him, burnt skin blackened and hanging off of their bodies. Vancras stands among them, broken body bent, twisted and burned. All sympathy is gone from the kindly gaze that Chickens had known. Now he shares the accusatory expression of all those surrounding him. And Ketanja…Ketanja stands at the forefront, and is by far the worst. For even as she stands, finger pointed at him, Chickens’ very being is repulsed by her. She bears no physical wounds, but something key and natural is horribly vacant. The very notion of life is an antithesis of what evident before his eyes. Chickens heart begins beating again, drawing him back away from the horrible accusers surrounding him, and back into a world of chaos and pain. What blood is left in his body is pumped fresh atop the dead kobolds beneath him. Again his chest seizes, and death takes him, and the cycle of living and dying over and over begins again.

More kobolds come from the mists of white into view of the party, which has begun to close ranks over the fallen Chickens. Seeing the dozens of bodies piling around the Shadow Monster troll and Rorek’s blood covered axe, more kobolds are starting to retreat than attack. At this point, there are nearly as many kobolds fleeing the fog as those running into it. There are still a few of the foolhardy that chose to press forward, but most are dispatched rather quickly. Quinton, the Shadow Monster troll rips one believing kobold to pieces, jumps up and down on him, and chews him as bubble gum. Pieces of the beast fall through the shadow stuff that he is made of, but no other kobolds notice this. Podmidor maintains his place close to Quinton. Rorek and Froderick are close to being overwhelmed and are taking heavy hits. Froderick executes a particularly brilliant maneuver with his sickle, then on the very next attack horribly misjudges, his sickle slipping in his hand and ending up lodged in Chickens’ prone back. Chickens’ heart was just beginning to futilely beat again, drawing him fully up into the awareness of Froderick’s misplaced bloodletting…annnnd then spiraling back down into a sickly yellow tinged death.

As the bodies pile higher, the oncoming numbers begin to thin….Could they actually pull this off?

Kobolds, Kobolds, Kobolds

A guest tracks mud in the house, and the tide takes an ugly turn.

Russellbob and Tomas are still waiting for the rest of the group to return in the tinker’s house that the kobolds had inhabited. The rain is still coming down in buckets, and the only thing holding back the overcast dreariness of the day is Russellbob’s sliver of wood that has had Continual Light cast upon it. As they sit, passing the time, they hear a scratching at the front door. Tomas hides the Sliver of Light, while Russellbob tries unsuccessfully to quietly hurry down the front hall into the pantry/kitchen to look out the front window. The front door bursts open, and a kobold falls into the entryway. Leaving a trail of water and mud, it drags itself down the front hall without noticing Russellbob. It lies still once it reaches the main work room. It has a horribly burned and broken leg, and part of it’s back is burned as well. It appears to be unconscious, and Tomas and Russellbob debate on whether to kill it, and who is going to do it. Finally, Tomas casts Slow on it and pins it down while Russellbob searches it. The kobold weakly tries to resist. They then elect to close it in the bedroom, and go to try to find where it came from.

We cut to the the rest of the party currently engaged in the ongoing battle with the entire local kobold population. Kobold bodies are beginning to pile up, and the mud is becoming red with the blood from both the attackers and defenders. The fog and rain are so thick that no one can see beyond six feet around them. Party members lose sight of each other, and time slows down to a mass of confusion and chaos as kobolds appear from the white haze and launch themselves at the nearest intruder to their camp. As more kobolds come into the fog bank, they start coming at the party not just from directly ahead, but also in from the sides.

Turqeel heals himself yet again, as the female/toddler combo he’s been chasing escapes from sight in the fog. He can no longer see the rest of the party. Rushing after her, intent on the kill, he suddenly is out in the open. Behind him, and extending for dozens of yards to his left, the fog bank extends toward the center of the crater and kobold camp. The fog cuts many from view, but dozens of kobolds are still visible. To his right, Turqeel spots the female kobold carrying her toddler and struggling to climb the slope and out of the crater.

The rest of the group fights whoever shows up out of the mist. Kobolds are fleeing from Quinton the shadow troll, though several still fall beneath his quasi-real claws. A kobold rushes out of the white blanket at Pod, who caves its chest in with four Magic Missiles. Rorek and Froderick hold their own, but Chickens….

Chickens raises headsplasher and brings it down square on the skull of a kobold in front of him. Its head splashes, true to the weapon’s name, and the head of the hammer is driven down into the kobold’s chest. When he pulls it back to attack the kobold to his left, the kobold he just attacked is still attached to it. Headsplasher is stuck in its chest. The extra weight nearly pulls headsplasher from his hands, and another opposing kobold takes this opportunity to attack. The kobold lunges forward with a rusty short sword, and chickens snaps his head back. If he still had a nose, it wouldn’ve been lost to the sword thrust. Chickens is still desperately trying to dislodge the mighty Headsplasher from the chest of the kobold when another kobold’s nasty, rusted short sword pierces deeply into his torso. Chickens eyes open wide in shock, and he staggers back off of the sword. The warhammer’s head drops to the pile of kobolds in front of Chickens, dislodging the corpse attached to it. Gathering himself, and yelling in rage and pain, Chickens launches forward with the hammer again, but the kobold falls back, and headsplasher sends rain, mud, and blood splashing up over both himself and the kobolds. More kobolds are birthed by the fog, and they go into a frenzy upon sight of a gnome in their camp. Chickens is surrounded. Rorek and Froderick are fighting their way clear of the kobolds attacking them, and Froderick actually makes it close enough to engage one of the kobolds surrounding Chickens…but it’s not enough. Chickens is stabbed in the back and spine by the three spears from behind. His spine is severed, his lung is punctured, and intestines perforated. Chickens eyes widen…headsplasher falls from limp fingers….and he falls into the pile of kobold bodies at his feet, the rain mixing his blood into that of the kobolds in the mud below.

To be continued…

Tune in next time to hear Rorek say, “If that durned gnome is gonna keep getting so many holes, the least he can do is get one I can work with!”

Kobolds In The Mist, pt 2

What? A WHOLE game night devoted to nothing but constant hack and slash? Is our DM feeling ok?

We begin the night with the party still enveloped in thick white fog, battling with the kobolds that keep charging in. More and more come in as the alarm spreads through the camp. Our heroes can only see a few feet around them between the thick fog and the pouring rain. Time turns into a frantic blur of babbling kobolds, weapons rising and falling, bodies piling on the ground, and blood and rain mixing underfoot to make a red, frothy mud.

Turqeel heals himself from a dire wound, then almost immediately after takes another wound to the chest that is just as bad. A female kobold carrying a little one stumbles out of the mist into the party, and falls down to her rear in terror. In absolute fury, Turqeel attacks her with his shovel, but is unable to get in a good chop due to his chest wound (and the worst die rolls I’ve ever seen. The dice hated Turqeel this night. Seriously, they were that bad. I mean, really, she is sitting on the ground with a crying toddler in her lap, unarmored, and numb with fear. And yet, he can’t get even close to her with the shovel. If anything, he was teaching the kobold toddler how NOT to kill his mother. But ya….we’ll blame the chest wound). The female gains her feet and stumbles away with her toddler screaming in fear, and Turq staggers after her in a fit of rage, weakly swinging his shovel.

Podmidor casts Shadow Monsters and creates a troll that he lovingly names Quinten. To his surprise, not as many kobolds flee from Quinten as he would suspect. Due to its larger size than the rest of the party, the troll is what many of the kobolds see first through the shroud of fog. This draws many to the troll first. Though Quinten begins to kill many outright, only a few flee, and a few others see through the ruse.

Quentin, Rorek (who is also deeply wounded), and Chickens make up the front line as group after group of kobolds come rushing in through the fog, and Froderick backs up whoever needs it. Podmidor stays behind them, casting spells as needed. Turq, behind everyone else, is focusing all his rage on painfully chasing down the terrified toddler-toting kobold mother, and killing her with his acquired shovel.

And still they come…


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