Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Windfall -- Day One

The heroes had just spent every last gold renting offices in Briarton for their business venture. The shingle outside their door was still blank as they hadn't been able to name themselves yet. Before the paint was dry sheriff Bounder arrived on their doorstep with a request.

Bounder was an old, gruff Halfling with unkempt hair and a wickedly scarred face. He was known as a fair and honest man. He and his deputies were responsible for maintaining order in Briarton and the surrounding countryside. He had a proposition for our heroes.

It seems that over the past few months a rash of thefts had hid Briarton quite hard. At first it was shovels, wheelbarrows and timber. But quickly the thefts became more esoteric and troublesome. Magical herbs, potion ingredients, rare arcane gems had been lifted in great quantities from the Arcane University. No one knew who was behind it until just last night a cautious shopkeeper caught a Kobold ransacking his store. He alerted the sheriff who then tracked the humanoids back to their den. One of the sheriff's deputies, Nayla Rye, scouted into the den but did not return.

The sheriff asked our heroes if they could go into the den and stop the thieves. Also, he wants them to figure out what they are up to. Kobolds lack initiative and are often the hirelings of someone smarter. Who is behind them?

A deputy also approached our heroes, his eyes brimming with tears. Deputy Cooper asked our heroes to find what happened to deputy Rye. They had been engaged and he was dreadful worried about her. He also offered ten gold for every left paw of a Kobold the heroes brought back.

Sheriff Bounder lead the heroes ten miles out of town, into the wilderness. Down a winding path through a deep briar patch was the collapsed Tower of Dana. The Dana in question was Dana Briar, founder of Briarton and legendary wizard. Her tower had collapsed some three hundred years ago just after she went missing. It had long been an oddity, but a rather safe one. Some of the heroes had been there as children and scampered upon the rocks.

At the base of the collapsed tower a shaft had been roughly dug and propped with timber. It lead for fifty feet deep into the earth. Torches flickered in wall-mounts down its length. Sheriff Bounder took his leave of the heroes, wished them luck.

The unnamed Rogue (aka Kate) crept silently down the shaft and found a guardroom with two bored Kobolds standing about on a filthy grass mat. She returned to the heroes and reported back what she had seen. Many plans were discussed as to how to deal with guards. Was poison gas available? Should the Rogue run into and out of the room so as to lure them topside? Could Abdul Alhazred (aka Colin) dress like a female Kobold to tempt them Bugs-Bunny-style away from their post? Taru the Warrior (aka Riley) decided that numbers were with them and recommended a quick charge.

The heroes charged into the room and made quick work of the two guards. Orzul (aka Emma) and the Rogue peppered them with arrows. Abdul and Amadis (aka Tom) scorched them with magical energies while Taru stabbed them mightily with her glaive. The Kobolds were dressed oddly for their kind in uniforms showing a silvered skull. They had no money or personal objects on their persons.

Exploring the room, our heroes found three doors leading away and a hidden pit under the filthy grass mat. Taru climbed into the pit and found three headless corpses, including the late deputy Rye. Taru also found a magical hammer and dagger.

A strange green light pulsed through the room accompanied by a low hum. One of the Kobold corpses lurched to his feet. He was now a zombie. He was quickly beheaded and dumped into the pit.

Through the Northernmost door our heroes found a forking hallway. Down the left fork was a disused hallway leading to a well. Peering down into the well our heroes saw something serpentine writhing, felt a breeze on their faces. Amadis suggested dumping one of the headless corpses into the well to see what would happen. No one took him up on the offer.

Down the right fork was a roughly-hung door. While trying to listen at it Orzul sneezed and alerted the occupants to their presence. On the other side of the door was an ersatz armory and smithy. Three tables stood heaped with freshly made spear tips and Kobold-sized helmets. In the corner of the room was a roughly mined hallway blocked by a magical seal. Two Kobold guards with in this room, along with a Kobold blacksmith and his pet fire beetle.

The heroes faced more of a challenge this time, especially with the beetle who repeatedly belched flame across everyone. The blacksmith proved deft with a sling and had a variety of trick canisters he lobbed at our heroes gluing Taru to the floor and setting Abdul on fire. Again our heroes peppered the tiny humanoids with arrows, stabbed them with a glaive and roasted them with arcane energies. Amadis also called forth his god's favor and healed a nearly-dead Rogue and Fighter.

When the battle was over left paws were collected, bodies were beheaded, and a magical bracelet was found on the smith.

After the battle the heroes put their heads together and elected the Cleric to lead. They also chose the name "Windfall" for their enterprise.

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