Virgin DM Monologues: Frank & The (Zombie) Kobolds

Welcome to the recap of the 28th session of my Eberron campaign, which took place on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010. When we last saw the party, they had just defended the lightning rail and its passengers from a group of pirates. The next day, the party patrols the train, making sure any new passengers are not there with nefarious plans.

Everything on the train looked to be fine. Brick decided to take the clothes from one of the dead pirates to the guards up by the engine car to see if they recognized them as any particular band of pirates.  Jelly tags along, stopping quickly in the dining car to ask the staff there to please cut Brick off before he eats lemon pie to the point of illness (like he did with the lemon bars back in Sharn).

The guards say that the train usually gets some sort of pirate attack every few weeks, but there doesn’t seem to be any particular group of pirates doing it. Just marauding thieves. As Brick is leaving, he notices something one of the young kobolds is drawing. The colors are a bit off, but it looks strikingly similar to the teleporting voles that had wreaked havoc on his sacred grove in the mountains of Aundair.

He asks the kobold about it and he refers to the vole as a “skipper.” Their Common isn’t so good to explain it, but Frank is able to explain the story of the skippers and how they did a similar job on an area sacred to the red kobold in Xen’drik. Frank and the kobolds had been able to work together and perform a ritual that drove the kobolds out and created an invisible fence. He’s sure he wrote about it in his book notes, somewhere. Chapter 18? 19? 18? 19? Somewhere. He’ll dig around and let Brick know later.

There are some new people in the dining car, a party of four containing an eladrin, a female dwarf, a tiefling, and a minotaur. They say that they’re on the way to Korth and have plans to sit at that table and get as drunk as possible on the way. Although Beatdown is tempted to kill them (and mentions that he works for “the G.I.A.” – Globe Information Agency – in an attempt to intimidate them into admitting some sort of ulterior motives) he decides to let them live.

Lady Tyasha admits that she’s stir crazy being cooped up in her room and requests to be escorted to the dining car so she can entertain the masses with some drinking songs. (Hey, even opera singers can go commoner once in a while!) The more well-to-do folks in the car recognize her, but most of them just see her as a bard with a pretty voice. Jun serves as a Lady Tyasha decoy back in her bedroom, in case any pirates broke into her car while the rest of the party was with the real Lady Tyasha in the dining car.

After bringing the opera singer back to her car, Brick and Jelly decide to bring a batch of lemon pie desserts to Frank and talk to him more about the ritual that drove off the teleporting voles. Brick is walking through the regular people car (which I’d filled with meeples from Carcassonne) carrying a tray full of desserts when Frank rushes through the door, yelling for help, tears streaming down his face. He barrels straight into Brick, sending delicious sugary lemony treats flying everywhere.

Brick and Jelly follow Frank back into the storage car. Frank is talking a mile a minute but is barely getting the words out in a way that Brick and Jelly can understand. Something about an explosion, how he inhaled it and it tried to take him but he was able to fight it off, but the kobolds, they couldn’t. They’ve changed, something is wrong, but they can be cured. But oh dear, they’re attacking!

Brick climbs up to the roof of the train and runs back to the rest of the party, deftly jumping from car to car.  He alerts Beatdown and Fang, who come running to help. When they return to the car, they see all eight kobolds undergoing some sort of transformation. Their eyes are filling in with inky blackness and their scales are appearing to begin to rot. They attack the party and Frank.

Frank threw himself between the party and the kobolds, begging the party not to kill them. There was clearly something wrong with them, something in the explosion. A spell, a poison, something. They weren’t completely gone yet, maybe they could be cured! Jelly, too, was also reluctant to kill the kobolds. They were so sweet and adorable and it was clear that something was afflicting them and causing them to behave this way.

This worked as a sort of fight & skill challenge combined. While the kobolds were attacking, the party was trying to hold them off while simultaneously disabling them one by one and trying to cure them. Frank’s method of curing took several rounds. He grabbed the kobold in a hug and began to loudly chant some sort of religious text while the evil kobold writhed and hissed. Eventually though, the pleas to the divine worked and the kobold was healed.

Jelly, Brick, and Fang worked to grapple with individual kobolds and tie them up while Beatdown climbed up on the piles of boxes to chase after the older kobolds (one of which was a spell caster). He found the exploded box that started the kobolds’ transformation. He tosses it down to Jelly and Fang, who discover it is was some sort of spell contained in a glass sphere. When the arcane energy reached a certain level, the globe exploded, releasing the spell over the kobolds and Frank.

One of the kobolds up by Beatdown accidentally breaks through a box and falls into some liquid and begins to writhe and smoke. It’s a box adorned with holy symbols and containing a large container of holy water.  Beatdown steps on the kobold’s head, holding it down in the container of water. After a few seconds, there is a burst of light and the kobold’s eyes go back to normal. He even helps pick up the container of holy water and hands it to Beatdown, who chases down the remaining kobolds, grabs them by the throat and pours holy water down their throats.

When the final kobold is cured, Frank begins to cry again. With relief, at least. The party calls for Cyd and gets him to do the Hand of Fate ritual to see where the person who created the spell-bomb was, and it pointed to the southeast, meaning the person was no longer on the train. They’d apparently gotten off on a previous stop, leaving their box behind.

After monitoring the people on the train during the stop at Fairhaven, the PCs return to Lady Tyasha’s car.  Fang hears the sound of a large wooden trunk being scraped along the floor and sees an old man dragging his luggage toward one of the sleeper car rooms next door. He goes to offer his help, and the man looks him over skeptically before agreeing to let Fang help.

Beatdown can’t help but think he recognizes the man and he walks over to the next car to investigate. As he clanks through the door, the man stops for a moment before whirling around to face him.  His eyes widen and he throws open his arms.  “BEATDOWN!” he exclaims.

It is the artificer who created him, a man Beatdown has not seen since before the Last War.

…but that’s a story for next week….

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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