Title: Flowers for the Church
Date: Early Dalan, 1333 Avard
Synopsis: Three people from the Monastery of Lul had gone missing while looking for mystal flowers in some ancient ruins out on the plains. The party is sent to find them, and finds kobolds digging up the ruins – and attacking anyone who comes near.
Evening of Dalan the 8th, 1332 Avard.
Hershel, the Ducal Mage, was in a hurry to get to a mandatory feudal meeting. His brother William - who was off with Balasyr doing he knew not what – had made an urgent request for Meridian Explorations.
The Church of Lul used mystal flowers in its services, and the only known source in the region was an ancient set of ruins out on the plains. There was no water source anywhere near the ruins, and it lay atop a low rise with vines covering the imported stone. That one source of mystal flowers was visited perhaps once a month during the growing season, and then gathered altogether in the fall harvest. Sorsha let them know that the ruins were over six millennia old, and belonged to men that worshipped Infierne, the God of Weaponsmithing. The city was named Dulmathriel - the Hammer of God - and supposedly fell fighting the ancient dwarves in the region at that time.
When the first monk sent for the mystal flowers did not return, a second was sent to retrieve him; and when the second monk did not return, a paladin was sent to retrieve them both; and so there were three members of the church, all missing.
Though Hershel bid them make best speed to the ruins as he left for his meeting, the company decided to investigate what they could of the missing, first. The Stamp of Peace monastery from which the monks had gone missing, was able to tell them that the first monk was named Caul and the second Vaude, and give general descriptions. The Order Tavern and Inn was able to tell them that the paladin's name was Rebecca Fand, and gave a general description of her, as well.
With Balasyr otherwise occupied, Sorsha brought along another dragonborn, named Nadar. Nadar was an old friend of Sorsha's trainer in the artificing arts, and the dragonborn was an accomplished warrior and burgeoning smith.
Nadar's mount was a small minotaur lizard named Rex – small in that it was still growing, and only fifteen feet long. Murdoch's warhorse Lethargo, and Greff's riding horse Buck, were also brought out of stables. Sorsha used one of the artificer Roswyn's statue-mounts that, when not being used, fit into her pocket.
Together the four of them rode off towards the northeast, across the plains, towards the ruins of Dulmathriel.
By noon, they were close enough to clandestinely observe the ruins across the intervening miles. The wide open plains, gently rolling hills and waist-high grass, were almost unbroken save for the ruins that drew the eye. The company used stealth to approach within a mile and observe the situation. The ruins were crawling with kobolds, scores of them, who were digging holes in seemingly random positions. There were small tents here and there, but the entire force of kobolds seemed to be moving hurriedly, looking intently for something.
Knowing that there was a duchy of kobolds, and having met kobolds before in friendly circumstances and even as courriers, the company approached the ruins on their mounts and hailed the child-sized reptiles with a call.
The kobolds instantly paused in what they were doing – and arrayed for attack. Battle was enjoined, and the company wasted no time in allowing the kobolds to complete their attack formations. They charged, with only Sorsha holding back as a reserve and aid.
Greff was a formidable opponent. His mount was trained for speed and distance, and not for combat, and so Greff leapt off of his horse and was down amongst the swarms of kobolds in an instant. Feet and fists were everywhere, and kobolds died with every movement he made. Murdoch hurled his sword into the midst of one group of kobolds, and it ignited into green flame, bursting through a pile of kobolds and leaving corpses behind. Moments later, the sword was back in his hand, rematerializing from its green arcane dispersement. Nadar simply charged, his lizard tossing kobolds and his battle axe flashing in the sunlight.
Moments later, they had one prisoner that Sorsha could interrogate – but more kobolds were coming from elsewhere in the ruins. The prisoner indicated that the kobolds didn't even know what they were looking for, that their 'big chief' just wanted them to dig and find something.
Something moved through the grass unseen. Three of the somethings swayed the grass aside with their movement, as a brave kobold approached, his whip out, and his armor seeming to move. And then he attacked. The 'somethings' in the grass were hundreds of rats, arrayed and trained to attack. The rat master attacked mounts and men alike, before the company managed to surprise him and take him down.
The 'big chief' and more kobolds arrived, the chief girdled in srik armor, and armed with a large battle axe – large for a kobold. Despite the axe's somewhat dimunutive size, the sheer number of kobolds coming out of the ruins made the party mount up, and withdraw. The prisoner was taken with them, despite several in the company wanting to kill the kobold.
The company made best speed out and around the ruins, and away into the plains. From a safe distance, out of sight, well away from the kobolds, they holed up in the event they were followed. Sunset was approaching, and its glinting rays reflected off of something along a nearby ridgeline.
On the ridgeline, they found the corpse of a human, several weeks eaten by the environment. Nearby, nearly untouched by animals, was a protected tome – a belt with an unpolished ruby wrapped in braided dwarf beard bound to the belt.
The tome was writted in dwarven by Orven Lightforger of the Rakanus Clan. Orven's tome was half finished, and indicated that an unnamed clan had stolen the Rakanus Clan's 'bloodstone'. The bloodstone was important to the clan, and Orven had set out to retrieve it. His later entries indicated he was on Mount Breakhammer, making best speed for the human village of Rustos, when he found something he called the dragon's bones. His final entry indicates Orven was being followed.
The next day, after careful, observant shifts, the company rode for the ruins, ready to see what battle they could make. The ruins were empty. Holes filled the ground everywhere, but the kobolds had left. A light rain was already obscuring their tracks, and so the group decided to return to Chasadan and let the Stamp of Peace know what had happened to their people.
Evening of Dalan the 10th, 1332 Avard.
David's wife Jamie was sick that evening, so he had to stay back and take care of the lil ones. We had an easy substitution with Caileb handy, and so I didn't have to adjust for the missing party member. Not that I ever really adjust for a missing party member. :) I hope Jamie gets to feeling better.
Though only 11, Caileb plays well and brings a level of excitement and energy to the table that is invigorating, despite his lack of control or focus. There were moments when he would be half-listening to the role-playing, and digging through the Monster Manual asking, “Could we fight that?!” But it was still rather entertaining!
The group was gritting their teeth at facing the rat master, due to the 'aura' effect of the rats. They hateses the auras. They hateses them, indeed. :>
Sorsha: 8133 (6th-level)
Murdoch: 8133 (6th-level)
Nadar: 8133 (6th-level)
Greff: 8133 (6th-level)
S-ok. I think I have a fix for the evil auras…. Mwuah ha ha ha ha!!!