We open the door and discover 4 skeletons lying on the floor. Na-Dulak volunteers to go first and check the room out; this may have been a mistake on his part as unusually for skeletons 3 of them start to move and a worrying red glow appears deep in their eye sockets. Combat ensues as the three animate skeletons stand up and begin to attack. One of them manages to move past Na-Dulak and out of the chamber.
Ashendarius attempts to turn these undead, unfortunately his god, Olidammara, is not listening to him and he fails utterly. A brave try though. Ibn-Solaar launches his attack using his Sapphire Nightmare Blade ability and strikes a meaty blow against one of the skeletons. Unfortunately he discovers that an edged weapon is not so effective against skeletons and his bastard sword appears to do less damage than expected. Balthus launches his eldritch blast at the one skeleton that has left the room and it strikes home to good effect. Finally Na-Dulak gets to edge out of the secret chamber and he also launches an attack against the "free" skeleton. Finally it crumples to the floor; properly dead. Ibn-Solaar attacks a 2nd skeleton using a combination of his Burning and Shadow Blade techniques; most unusually they work and he causes great damage. Balthus' eldritch blast is again effective; against the 3rd of the walking dead. Na-Dulak obliterates one of the skeletons with an impressive attack, leaving just one left standing. Balthus destroys the last of the undead with yet another eldritch blast.
Ashendarius searches the room and the skeletons, it becomes apparent that 4th skeleton belonged to a cleric who was killed by the 3 undead. Balthus detects magic on the crossbow bolts, glass phial, holy symbol and scroll case. The haul amounts to :
- 3 masterwork crossbow bolts – magic (faint, transmutation)
- holy symbol
- 1 potion in a glass phial – magic (faint, aura unknown)
- 1 scroll case with a rune – magic (faint, aura unknown)
Ashendarius checks the scroll case for magical traps; not detecting any he carefully opens the case to reveal a vellum scroll. Balthus(2) and Ashendarius(1) split the crossbow bolts between them. Na-Dulak takes the potion and Ashendarius takes the scroll. Ibn-Solaar takes the cash.
We move to one of the normal doors, carefully choosing the one which does not have the sound of voices coming from behind it. The door is not trapped but it is locked – no obstacle to one such as Ashendarius who rapidly picks the ageing lock. He then moves away leaving the way clear for Na-Dulak to open the door revealing a 20' wide hall with a stone doorway on the western wall. The door has a rearing dragon engraved on it with a lock visible in the dragon's open mouth.
We move to the 2nd door and Na-Dulak is able to hear Kobolds speaking draconic on the other side. We decide, probably rashly, that the best thing would be to get through them quickly, before they have the chance to prepare. Na-Dulak hurls the door open, revealing a 10' wide corridor with doors on the north, west and south walls. More importantly it also reveals Kobolds – 5 of them to be precise; 2 armed with spears and 3 with crossbows.
Na-Dulak is unfortunately injured in the first round of combat. Ibn-Solaar steps forward to the attack, trips over his own aura and almost drops his sword. Reverting to his normal standards then! Na-Dulak goes into a rage and hurls himself at the Kobolds, missing completely. Oh well!
Ashendarius then heals Na-Dulak and Balthus summons a swarm of spiders that kill of the Kobolds immediately and lurk, waiting to eat the remainder. The remaining Kobolds attack but prove as ineffective as the party and no damage is done. Ibn-Solaar leaps to the attack with his shadow blade technique, striking home to deadly effect. Na-Dulak then kills another, sadly leaving us as the nearest living creatures to the deadly swarm. The remaining Kobolds having flown Na-Dulak moves to the end of the corridor and opens the door. He is still hoping that the swarm do not follow him.
Unfortunately Ibn-Solaar is caught by the swarm and takes 4 HP in their final act.
After healing Ibn-Solaar we move check out the room we have discovered. The walls are covered by glyphs and writings in orange and green, there is a pit in the centre of the room, a large, breached cage on the south wall and bench sat in front of that. The cage is empty. A bedroll lies on the floor in front of the bench and there is a whimpering sound coming from the bedroll.
This turns out to be a lone Kobold who has been abandoned. It turns out that he is called MePo and he agrees to "take us to his leader", Yusdrayl, as Na-Dulak phrased his request. He leads off wearing a rope around his neck as a leash. He wasn't happy with this arrangement but Na-Dulak was really quite insistent. He leads us through the door in the North West corner of the room which leads into a 20' x 20' room containing 3 more Kobolds. They enquire as to why we need to see Yusdrayl. When Nar-Dulak explains that we have come to "free the dragon" they want to know why we have come to free Calcryx. This is the Kobolds clan dragon which was "stolen" by goblins. Having been granted permission to lead to Yusdrayl, Mepo sets out down the corridor in the west wall.
We follow it to its end and enter a large, pillared, chamber. In here there are also 6 Kobolds plus Mepo plus Yusdrayl – who is a girlie – plus what appear to be 2 larger Kobolds (see below)
This turns out to be a throne room. All the pillars are carved with dragons. The throne is constructed from bits of fallen masonry stacked against an old altar. On this altar is a carving of a rearing dragon with a metal key held in its mouth. Yusdral claims that only she knows what the key is for. I'm betting its for the stone door with the dragon carved on it.
Ashendarius attempts to explain that we are searching for the "magic apple tree", yup it sounds bloody stupid, which was also stolen by the goblins. Our offer is to get back Calcryx, which turns out to be a white dragon wormling, in return for the guidance of the Kobolds in finding the apple tree.
The deal is done and the Kobolds will guide us to the goblin nest. The goblins are supplied with magic apples by Belak, a human, which is a bit odd.
Mepo leads us off , back through the cage room, out through the north east doorway, and into a long corridor that takes us back almost to the point we started at. We pass through another small room, heading north, then through another which contains a fountain in the shape of a diving dragon in the north east corner. Judging by the tracks on the floor we are following the same route as the lost adventurers did, before they added the "lost" to "adventurer" part of their job descriptions.
We find ourselves standing in front of a door through which Meepo can smell goblins. He won't lead the way through it but Na-Dulak opens it, triggering the tolling of a bell – but for whom? This leads into a 10' x 20' corridor which is barricaded at the end by a 3' high crenellated wall. The floor of the corridor is entirely covered in caltrops.
We are not surprised to find that there are goblins manning the barricade. Ibn-Solaar, ignoring the danger from the caltrops, leaps into action and heads for the barricade. His plan, to get to the wall and then jump it. This plan turns out to be flawed. It's the "ignoring the caltrops" bit that was the flaw. He is only able to make it to the wall where he is forced to attack the goblin over the top of the wall.
Balthus is more wary and enters the corridor carefully before firing off and Eldritch blast. Which turns out as to be as much use as a chocolate fireguard against a red dragon! Two goblins attack Ibn-Solaar one causing 3 hp of damage with a javelin. Ibn-Solaar bravely hurdles the wall to take on the 3 goblins that we can see. His first blow destroys one of the goblins. Na-Dulak follows him over the wall but does not have time to strike at the goblins. Balthus' eldritch blast takes care of another goblin leaving just one remaining. A sneak attack from Ashendarius and the last goblin falls.