After arriving back at Blackwall Keep, the party decided to continue working for the Cairn Hills Militia. The new members of the party accepted militia positions and were encouraged to patrol with their comrades. Another new recruit, Guy < insert last name here>, was assigned to their patrol as well.
Feredir went off on his own to do the sort of things elves do. Olaf Olafsson, having lost a hand in the short time he had been working for Tyrannyth Serpenthelm, decided to leave the henching business and accepted a job tending bar at the Golden Grain Inn. Tyrannyth hired a fighter named Killian to replace him.
The rest of the party decided to try again with the kobold caves. The veterans of the group saw the caves as unfinished business, and the newer members wanted to see these super-kobolds they’d been hearing about. The trip to the caves went quickly, interrupted only by a patrol of gnolls, which the party defeated (though Guy managed to gain a notable scar in the process).
As they arrived at the cave, the party realized something had changed. Mounted on spears to either side of the entrance were the heads of two hunting dogs, which Keyrock of the Cave People recognized as his former pets. Determining that nothing else would be different about the caves, the party walked right in, stopping directly in front of the pit trap they knew to be present. Unfortunately, the kobold trapmakers had added a net trap just before the pit for just such an occasion, and one of the dwarves and a dog were trapped and held by the net while the kobold guards attacked.
The battle was difficult, and the kobolds continued to use the pit trap to their advantage. Guy, Killian, and one of the dogs managed to fall into the pit trap. Even so, the party had gained much experience since their last attempt to clear the caves, and the kobolds were no match for them. Keyrock performed a clever casting of magic mouth, which turned the tide, and eventually the party managed to get past the pit and slaughter the kobolds.
A short detour led the party to a room with many giant rats who had survived the party’s last incursion, but the rats had difficulty getting through the heavily armored dwarves and dogs.
The party then found the kobold common chamber, where a dozen kobolds slept, ate, and kept watch over the whelps. The kobolds fought valiantly to protect their young, but the party was merciless. Even the patrol that happened upon the battle and attacked from the flank was unable to stop the party (though they did manage to help Tyrannyth lose another hand). As the battle neared its end, Keyrock released his hounds upon the whelps, ensuring there would be no survivors.
Rather than risk a trip back to the village with a critically-wounded Tyrannyth, the party decided to make camp in the kobold common room for a week. Keyrock cleared out the corpses, displaying them on spikes outside the cave entrance to deter potential houseguests. The bodies of the whelps also disappeared. While it’s unclear exactly what happened to them, the party did manage to make their rations last with the addition of some stew with very tender meat.
While the corpses of the kobolds may have deterred outside predators, they did not scare away the kobold chief and his elite warriors, who remained in the deeper recesses of the caves. Rather, they enraged him so that he hired the services of a local ogre to help avenge the fallen kobolds. They attacked at night.
The fight was against them from the start. Tyrannyth’s henchman Killian lost a hand and was taken out of the fight early by the ogre (what is it with this guy and losing hands?). Seeing themselves outmatched by the ogre and some tougher-than-average kobolds, the party offered the ogre more money to switch sides. Seeing the chance to fleece both sides, the ogre agreed to stop fighting the party and guard the door while they fought it out with the kobold chief. This placed the odds in the party’s favor, and they set to killing the rest of the kobolds. Guy managed to gain a gruesome scar to go with his earlier notable scar.
Just as the last kobold fell, as the party was about to find out whether the ogre would keep his word, Keyrock managed to cast a spell on the ogre, and before he could react, he fell asleep, forced to feign death for a moment. That moment was all Keyrock’s pets needed, as all three dogs and the lion cub rushed to feed on the ogre in a coup de grace.
As it turned out, the kobolds didn’t have enough money to pay the ogre for his services and had given him a bag with 600 copper pieces painted to look like gold. The party did find a small treasure in the kobold chieftain’s quarters, however, and the chief had a magic dagger.
Finally, the party returned back to Blackwall Keep. They nearly encountered a band of hobgoblins on the way, but they were close enough to the village that they managed to avoid a fight. For now.
44 gp per PC (don’t forget to pay your henchmen)
whatever mundane weapons you took off the gnolls
149 xp per PC,
74 xp per henchman