We are right in the middle of Chapter 2 of Keep on the Borderlands: A Season of Serpents. Last week ended with the party mopping up after a fight with a giant vicejaw crocodile and a kobold ooze whisperer and his 3 pet oozes. The whisperer was allowed to live (temporarily) just long enough to point the party towards some treasure. He moved the rock he was sitting on to reveal a shallow hollow with two healing potions. (This was to make up for the fact that there was no healer in the party for this encounter.) The knight Quinn and rogue Merrick each took one of the potions, while the dwarf Eldeth managed to fish a fancy suit of dwarf-sized Defenders Scale +1 from the stream. So doing, they climbed the inner waterfall and stealthily approached the doorway into another chamber.
Through the doorway, the natural stonework of the cavern gave way to worked chambers. They could see the glow of fire and hear the slithery whispers of more kobolds beyond, so they decided to charge forward, gaining a surprise round. Quinn was first to go and he leap through the doorway to charge the nearest kobold, a shortsword and shield wielding quickblade. Two more quickblades stood beyond the open doors that separated the front half of the chamber from the back. Out in the central chamber were 12 more kobolds, wearing rags and carrying pointy sticks. They did not last long. After Quinn, a new character Thia the elf thief (from Redbox gameday) sighted in a kobold and took him down with an arrow through the heart.
The wizard Berrian went next and calling upon arc lightning, he managed an amazing attack that left 4 kobold minions smoking slag heaps (rolling two natural 20s in a row.) Each branch of lightning forked to strike an extra kobold. Then Faverel used his magic missile to slay a kobold hiding behind the cover of the pillars. Eldeth moved into the room and prepared to charge, while Merrick slipped up next to Quinn and threw a dagger at the quickblade. That was the surprise round.
They could hear a whispering from the back half of the room, beyond the open doors the other 2 quickblades guarded, and in the center of the room a large red rune began to glow, and traceries of fire danced about it. Quinn kept up his assault on the first quickblade, while Merrick assisted. This tried to run across the room but the fire rune lashed out with a fire-lash that luckily missed the elf thief. She crouched in the shadow of another pillar and fired at a door guard quickblade. Eldeth followed up in a great curving charge that took him all the way across the room and ended with his ax embedded deep in a kobold. Faverel and Berrian each took out what few minions remained, and by the end of the first round 11 of 12 minions were dead. They had, however, pushed through to the back half of the room and had to contend with the Kobold Wyrmpriest. He held a spear with an icy blade on its end and he cast a spell where a showball appeared on the end of the spear, then he launched it at Quinn. It grew larger and larger as it flew towards him (the snowball affect) and hit him square on the chest, bursting into hundreds of shards of glass-sharp icicles.
Twice Quinn was struck by snowballs, while he beat his quickblade. The second hit knocked him unconscious, but luckily Merrick was still next to him and fed him one of the healing potions. Not content with 10 hp, Quinn drained the second one as well. By that point, half the party was gathered around the wyrmpriest, who opened his jaws in a keening wail. His jaws expanded larger and larger until they seemed to unhinge and release a blast of icy blizzard in a great burst that took Quinn and Berrian in full force, and even Merrick around the corner suffered from the sudden absolute zero that washed over him.
From behind Eldeth and Thia were working their way around, and they had the surviving kobolds – two quickblades and the wyrmpriest, surrounded. It was soon over. They had time to look around, and while they didn’t see any treasure, they found a set of spiral stairs that led upwards, as well as a large metal box, suspended from chains and with a hand crank inside, it could carry up to 6 people upwards, but was very loud. As they pondered which route to take, they suddenly hear a loud, reptilian roar from above.