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OOC: We last left our adventurers camping in the jungle just outside a cave full of black kobolds. They had ventured in deep enough to know that there was a trapdoor leading to the lower level. Because they needed to rest up, they went back into the jungle and made camp.
Sure enough, the gnoll shows up this morning with a lumpy backpack of mangoes. I’m not entirely sure he realizes that he was gone for a full day, but honestly, I think his food gathering skills are the most useful part of him, so he might as well go do what he does best. He shares his bounty with us.
Name and Hakim are foraging for materials to make arrows. Meanwhile, Frank is standing, hands on hips, and preaching about a dream he had last night. Blah, blah, blah, Plane of Death, blah blah blah, Bubbles, blah blah blah… his father was a halfling… blah blah blah…what? no possessions? Oh great. Frank has reached a new level of uselessness. My sense of duty to him is fading quickly. The gods only help those who help themselves and it seems Frank is hellbent on being helpless. I sit and eat a mango and try to restrain myself from running him through with my rapier. I wouldn’t waste an arrow on such an idiot.
Finally everyone seems to have gotten their morning routines done. Frank has given the Daisy staff, complete with six or so rotting kobold heads, to the gnoll. As if the gnoll didn’t smell bad enough already, now he has a fetid flesh kabob strapped to his back. Superb.
We venture back into the black cave, only to find that someone else has been in and set up traps. Frank was bouncing down the hallway in the lead and took one straight to the chest. I have to admit, it was pretty hilarious. Hakim took lead after that, searching out the traps, and while I could disable them, it was more fun to think of Frank setting them off again and again. Stupid half-giant. We open the trapdoor, also trapped (this time by falling rocks, which Hakim manages to avoid), and head down the stairs into the darkness below.
At this point, I must take up the lead because halflings can only see 5 feet in front of their face in the dark. It’s a wonder they’ve survived so long as a species with this inherent defect. I disable the trap at the bottom of the stairs and we enter a large room with a wide open space in the middle and a hallway to either side. Four candles dimly illuminate the center.
“Right is right,” says Frank. We turn right (mostly because if I can avoid arguing with him, I hear less of his voice).
There is the sound of rattling bones around the corner (and not small bones, either). Three giant skeletons attack us. Frank’s “brilliant” solution? He summons a Celestial Bee. Yes, that’s right. A bee. Celestial or not, if I wasn’t so focused on these giant skeletons, I would be ripping off a piece of my shirt and tying it around Frank’s mouth so he stops this insanity. A bee. Really. How many times have you heard of a bee successfully defeating the undead? My point exactly.
The rest of us are doing useful things, like attacking the skeletons. I even pull out my morningstar, remembering that the undead from last night did not take much damage from my arrows. I don’t normally like to get in so close, but with Frank pretty much useless, I feel I must attempt something. We battle the skeletons, who moderately wound us. Frank’s bee is buzzing around and occasionally drawing the attention of one of the skeletons, who swats at it.
“Why doesn’t the bee attack?” someone asks.
“Because once it stings, it dies!” Frank says. Not only does he summon a garden insect, he has to summon one that’s only good for one attack before death. I’m seething with anger.
“I will turn the undead,” Frank shouts. His first attempt does absolutely nothing. My anger level is rising. We continue fighting until Frank attempts to turn the undead a second time, which finally results in the skeletons turning to dust. I’m beginning to wonder if this was Frank’s game all along – play useless until the critical moment and then save the day. Either way, the skeletons are dead. We face a similar group around the other corner and kill them much quicker.
A large double door of what appears to be heavy stone is at the end of the room. Hakim and Name lean in and hear the voices of kobolds chanting. Lots of them. We decide that it’s best to just push the door in and deal with whatever is on the other side. Name and the gnoll push open the door, which swings out a lot faster than they expected, causing them to stumble forward. My laughter was immediately choked back by what we saw in the next room.
At the head of the room standing in front of a stone altar is a kobold in a lavender robe holding a staff. Flanking him are two undead. In front of the altar are his congregation, about 20 – 25 more kobolds, who, until we barged in, were hanging on his every word. It was then that the battle began.
After our first few shots at the leader, he cast Darkness and seemed to disappear right in front of our eyes. Frank stomps and knocks down a few of the followers. Thank goodness that Drow have Faerie Fire, because who knows what we would have done otherwise. I surround the leader with a violet glow and reveal that he is holding his followers in front of him one by one as shields. We continue to shoot arrows at him and pluck them off one by one. (The paw count at the end? 42.) The leader summons a skinny gray demon to his side.
Then he shouts something in Draconic and I blink. Wait. We’re killing the wrong guy. We shouldn’t be killing Khyber kobolds because Khyber is good. Well, good as in powerful. Good as in the type of people we want on our side. He goes on to speak of the wonderful powers of darkness and it’s as though we are the only two people in the room. The people of Khyber have great power. I want great power. Great power lets me be in a position to make people do whatever I want them to do. Drow live in the darkness and shun the light, so it makes perfect sense that I should be following Khyber. Being an evil race, I should follow the ways of darkness to seek my power.
I suddenly feel like my mind has blinked off and on again. I close my eyes and shake my head rapidly. When I look around, all the kobolds are dead, including the leader. I look at my party, confused. “What happened?” I asked. “The war is over!” Frank says, followed by some gibberish about kissing nurses.
We are faced with the decision whether or not to enter the door to the next room. The door has a warning not to enter as well as a mysterious sigil that none of us recognize. Frank casts Augury and it is discovered that woe will come upon us if we open the door. We push the altar up against the door and make our way back out of the cave, covering our tracks as we go. Hakim sweeps up the area around the trapdoor, and when we exit the cave, the monkeys are waiting for us. Frank talks too much (as usual), the monkeys thank us, give us a necklace, and then head into their cave.
We make camp. As I lay here, I can’t help but think of Khyber… am I really on the right side of this battle?