Serpent in Shadow

Session 5

Chapter XV. The Massacre at Tall Pines

Falling Grass sent his warriors to Mamset’s camp, but Mamset wisely refused to join the warparty and moved his camp further to the east. Falling Grass greatly overestimated the strength of his position at Tall Pines. The Damori encampment lay at a lower position inviting attacks at range and the savage chieftan expected to overtake Captain Maclay as easily as in his previous engagements with weakly defended mining camps. Captain Maclay’s service men, militia and mages rebuffed Falling Grass’ attack and pressed forward to the goblin camp.

The chieftan retreated, but Captain Maclay surrounded the camp before the evacuation was complete. The goblins refused to surrender and the camp was sieged. After a week, Mastersargeant led a final assualt on the weakened goblin camp. Man, woman and child were put to the sword.

An accord was reached with Mamset’s tribe to allow them limited access to the Devil’s District for trade. In addition, Mamset would be given a monthly allowance of provisions. Mamset argued the dams should be removed from his rivers, but agreed to non-interference. The chief also lent several of his scouts to Captain Maclay to pursue Falling Grass.

Falling Grass retreated to the north east with the remainder of his tribe. Mastersargeant Barnes led a force in pursuit with the assistance of a few of Mamset’s scouts.

Chapter XVI. Aftermath of Tall Pines. How the adventurers recovered

Week 4

The party felt a bit relaxed after working less stressful details within the city for the last 4 weeks. The original team members were able to get a position for Harbek after recounting tales of his heroism at the Armory. Each had drawn several weeks pay and healed their wounds.

Choco spent her time convincing Captain Maclay to urge the governor to divert some water to Mamset’s tribal lands. Captain Maclay finally suceeded on her behalf which greatly pleased Walking Hand.

Microft attended several lectures at the Mage’s Guild. Microft was enlisted by members of the guild to assist in the interogation and torture of a captured goblin. The goblin turned out to be a female from Mamset’s clan, named Sqwa’Pak. Microft tried to convince them she knew nothing, but the mages were unmoved. Microft asked to be left alone with the prisoner. The goblin entreated the swordmage to release her. When he told it it was not possible, she asked Microft to kill her, a request he complied with. When one of the guild master’s returned, he was greatly angered that Microft had tortured the goblin to death without learnign any new information. He gave Microft a vial of mysterious liquid and demanded that he put it in Mamset’s food when given the opportunity.

Harbek wandered the city looking for clues to his past. Hs memory still failed him though he had dim flashes that were somehow related to one of his ancestors. The cleric found the largest temple. The temple was dedicated to Melora. The architecture was tall with thin curved accents in the style of the Damori. Harbek approached the high priestess Helena and made a sizeble offering of coin. He told her some of his troubles. The high priestess informed him she knew of a dwarven settlement far to the east. She also commented on his accent which she believed has unique to the resident’s of Grimsdeep. As Harbek departed, the priestess offered the dwarf a brief prayer and a potion of healing.

Jack wandered the city sizing up various taverns, sometimes with Harbek in tow. He decided he wanted to open his own drinking establishment and put out word that he was looking for a place to rent or buy.

Chapter XVII. Kobolds, or a new menace emerges

Week 4, Day 5

Some of the captain’s guards saw the group wandering and sent them back to the Armory by Captain Maclay’s orders. The group returned to the Armory to learn that since Falling Grass had been driven north, a group of kobolds were stealing provisions from mining camps in the dead of night.

The party immediately rode out and investigated. Many things had started to go missing around the camp including picks, shovels, rations and refined residuum. Kobolds had been sighted in the area, sneaking around the edges of camp.

The party decided to lay a trap. They hid in the bushes at sundown and waited for the theives to appear. After several hours, a kobold appeared at the edge of the clearing. The kobold suddenly turned and ran, sensing danger. Choco rushed after the kobold and tracked it back to a ruined temple in the forest. The kobold ran into the temple, which sent the guards at the gate into a heightened state of alert. Choco hid in the bushes until her friends arrived.

Chapter XIII. How the party found the ruined temple and what happened beyond the gates

The party decided on a frontal assault on the ruined temple. The sentries sent up an alarm and several kobolds burst from the structure. The adventurers expertly pushed them back as they cut down their foes, one by one. As the party crossed the threshold of the ruins, a kobold trapmaster pulled a hidden lever. A huge rusty portcullis crashed to the ground sealing everyone in. The team redoubled their efforts dispatching another two kobolds. The last kobold dropped his weapon and begged for his life. Jack bound the prisoner and demanded to know how to raise the gates. After beating and reviving the foul creature severeal times, it finally relented and told them to go a certain pillar in the temple.

The adventurers crept further into the dark entrance with their captive in tow. Beyond the portal, there was a horde of kobolds holding a huge jar above their heads. The jar was filled with a murky dark solution. When they saw the group, they rushed down the hallway in the opposite direction. Dim blue light briefly flashed in the jar. Harbek saw something sloshing around in the jar before it disappeared around a corner.

Chapter XIX. Attacks on the mind, and how the adventurers prevailed

As the party entered the hallway the columns seemed to stretch out before them. They rounded the corner and saw another long hallway filled with tall columns. Suddenly, they heard a voice that seem to be speaking directly into their spines. “Turn back now.”

The columns began to burn with blue fire. A deep rumbling sound started and the ceiling began to sink to the floor. As the columns drew closer, Mycroft noticed they are actually compreised on small glowing cubes. The cubes drifted in tiny orbits. The cubes burned with blue fire and dripped a smoky acidic liquid. The cubes cracked and bled. Hot steam hissed from the gaps between the cubes.

Jack turned to demand answers from his prisoner but the kobold’s face was dripping from his skull like melting wax. The kobold jerked and made gurgling noises.

The angles of the room danced in and out of perspective causing everyone to feel sick to their stomach. The voice boomed again. “You can never hope to defeat me.” When the voice spoke again, it was in incoherent strings of verbs and nouns. Jack had an idea. He reached out for the wall and attempted to walk down the hallway to find an exit. IT seemed to be working until the party was halted by the appearance of an enormous beholder. The beast glared at them menacingly with its center eye. Jack kept walking forward and they eye disintegrated into a jumble of floating, cubes of blue fire. The cubes bounced out of the way allowing passage.

Chapter XX. Inner sanctum of the dragon’s brain and what they found there

The dizziness subsided and the party’s senses returned. The party entered a huge domed chamber with large stone shelves 20 feet off the ground. Dim moonlight filtered into the room from a crack in the ceiling. A huge star figure was carved into the floor. At every point stood a pillar topped with a large crystal shard. Dusty book shelves lined the walls. In the center of the room stood a rod and curtain concealing something. The low murmur of chanting could be heard.

Jack approached the curtain briskly and threw it back. Upon an ancient, stone altar lay a jar containing an enormous brain. The altar was surrounded by kobold guards. The chanting grew louder and the guards sprang into action with a cry. Suddenly, kobolds stood up from their hidden positions on the shelves above. A kobold beast master unleased a mass of rats from a trapdoor. The rat swarm rushed across the floor, up Harbek’s leg and began biting him all over his body in a feeding frenzy.

Microft released a blast of arcane energy, sending several obold guards to the floor. Just then, the chanting stopped. The brain jar flew twenty feet into the air and hovered. A blast of malignant energy shot from the jar and staggered Choco. The shifter’s face took on a twisted experession and she launched at Jack, tearing into him with her vicious claws.

The party continued fighting the kobolds and each other as the brain attempted to light each crystal in some sort of ritual. The last temple guard fell as the brain rushed to light the last crystal. Choco sprinted across the room, performed a flip off the bookcase and attempted to pounce on the brain from atop a bookshelf. She connected solidly sending herself and the jar to the floor twenty feet below. The jar smashed to the floor sending the brain sliding across the stone floor, twitching and bleeding.

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