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OOC: We last left our adventurers at the red kobold camp, where they were receiving a hero’s welcome. Mar’Kessa had plans to sleep well now that they were back in (relative) civilization.
So much for sleeping! I had such high hopes for some quality sleep, but alas, it was not to be that night. Our clearly inebriated gnoll disappeared into a tent with a couple of the female kobolds. Why they tolerated him when he stank like rotting flesh is beyond my understanding. Then again, he is furry and warm, and they are cold-blooded creatures. Ew. I’m not going to think about that.
We were called into the tent of the red kobold clan’s leader, a white-scaled kobold. The 40-foot high tent towered over the others that were less than half its height. He asked for proof of our conquests and we arranged our stash of paws in an arc before him. His eyes widened with each bag of paws added to the arc.
“Open the armory for them,” he said.
We traded our regular weapons for better ones. When Hakim held up the magical robe of the black kobold leader, the white kobold was very pleased. He traded it for an impressive looking chain vest for Hakim.
We left the tent and waded through the crowds of celebrants to our own tent. I was ready to sleep… but then we were dragged to the bonfire for a toast in our honor. Normally I wouldn’t care to go, but the more we play the part of heroes, the more they seem to want to give us. So we walk out to the center of the village towards the bonfire, just in time to see the white kobold drop to the ground, shot by a poison dart. His guards jump to cover him and we scan the area for the attacker.
Name and I spot it – a short, skinny creature of pointed metal perched on top of the big tent. Its red eyes glow. We shoot at it. A second metal creature appears in the small tent to the right. Name rushes over and guts it with her longsword. It howls in pain – a metal creature that feels pain? Hakim cries out as an arrow pierces his lower back and my focus returns to destroying these creatures. A third creature appears on the top of the big tent. One jumps to the ground and is grappled by the Naga cleric who we had seen in the white kobold’s tent earlier that evening.
Finally the metal creature that the Naga is grappling appears to die. The Naga drags the body into the tent and hurls it at the ceiling. The creature on the roof stumbles, but does not fall. It backs up, pulls out a vial, and applies something to its blade. I’m not about to get poisoned, so I carefully aim my bow and sink an arrow into its throat. It falls from the tent, dead.
Meanwhile, Name is fighting an invisible enemy by the smaller tent. She swings hard and the metal creature reappears just in time to be cleaved in two. I will certainly be keeping Name alive in the future, as she is constantly proving her usefulness.
As the Naga is healing Hakim, I walk over to the kobold leader, who is suffering the effects of the poison dart. I pull a vial of antitoxin from my bag and give it to his guards, who help him drink it. I only have five vials, but he appears to be an ally worthy of saving. He looks better almost immediately and sits up to thank me. His guards help him back into his tent, where I see Frank is ready to help tend to him. Perhaps this would be a good place for Frank to stay. The kobolds worship him, there are no undead nearby, and he can summon all the bees he wants.
We examine the metal creature, which the Naga describes as a construct, similar to one that appeared at the village a week or so ago accompanying a hairless humanoid. They are built of wood and metal. The wood is stiff now, but when we were fighting them, it moved and felt like living muscle tissue. We take their swords, 5 vials of poison, and 6 vials of a black potion.
The Gnoll stumbles out of the tent, blinking his eyes and wiping drool from his jowls. A female kobold grabs him and pulls him back inside. Ew.
The Naga identifies the black potion as a potion of repair and we decide to drag one of the constructs back to our tent and revive it so we can question it. We bind it with rope and pour the potion down its throat. The red eyes glow with life again. My party members try a variety of languages and are met with a blank stare. I mutter a few words in Draconic and its eyes fixate on me. Great. Just great. Now I have to be the translator. Again.
At first, it was reluctant to share anything other than it was under orders from the House Denieth. It begins to lie to us, saying that others will come looking for him in a day’s time. Hakim pulls in the top half of the construct that Name sliced in half. He begins to roll its head around. The construct appears fearful.
“Again,” we ask. “How long do we have before others come looking for you?”
This time the answer is a week. I ask about the Library, the place where the metal creatures from the previous day were from. He knows nothing about a Library, but something about a Foundry. Denieth wants the land of the kobolds. He arrived by airboat. Hakim begins to argue that boats travel by water – not by air – and the creature calls us savages.
It tries to wiggle free of its ropes and Hakim says, “Try that again and there will be less of you to tie up next time.” It’s really a brilliant thought and I translate it word for word. The creature looks terrified.
We continue with our interrogation. The creature had hoped the white kobold was dead. He said that one of his people – the warforged – had traveled to this village last week to ask for the land and the white kobold had killed it. It was time for them to kill the white kobold, but we had stopped that from happening.
At this point, it was the early hours of the morning and we were all exhausted. We secure the ties around the warforged, and as soon as we mention the thought of asking the kobolds to guard our prisoner, a young male kobold pops into the tent and offers his services. He’s a bit young, but eager. Some of the older male hunters join him and we leave to get some sleep.
The next morning we go to brief the leader. We find him in his bed, resting. He’s guarded heavily. Frank is asleep in the corner. I rifle through his personal belongings and find a small leather journal, which I tuck into my bag. Maybe I’ll find some insight into the madness.
We recommend that the tribe relocate to avoid attack by the House Denieth. He refuses. Three generations they have been there, he says. His father, his father’s father. He’s the only white kobold he’s ever seen except his own father. Blah blah blah.
The naga gives the leader some more healing and he is able to get out of bed and push the bed to the side, revealing a trapdoor. The kobold mutters a few words over the door and opens it, revealing a cache of golden Siberys shards, ranging from slivers to giant rocks.
“This is why they want this land,” he says. Indeed. I’m beginning to want this land myself. Maybe we should have let him die. The words of the Khyber kobold leader replay in my mind. “The shards work with their dragonmarks.” I’m not quite sure what that means.
He offers us a reward if we find the members of the House of Denieth and figure out how strong they really are. He hints that we would then have access to storerooms of more powerful weapons when we return.
We go back to our prisoner. We demand to know how to get to their rendezvous point. Hakim shoves a quill in its mouth and asks for a map. We end up untying one of its arms and regret that decision instantly when the creature disappears.
Name stares it down. “I can still see you,” she growls. With a pop, it reappears. “I don’t know where I am,” it claims. After more threats, it admits that the meeting point for the airship is by the river tonight, but there would not be enough time to get there.
We’re pretty tired of this creature, but curious to learn about its kind because we anticipate running into more of them soon. The warforged were made by artificer magic, he explains. There were many of his kind forged long ago, ranging from simpletons to highly intelligent. They are everywhere.
We hear a sound like the roaring of a forest fire approaching, but we don’t smell smoke. We look in the distance and see a ring of fire approaching, growing brighter and brighter. It is the warforged’s airship – a vessel riding a ring of fire through the air, heading towards the river.