After hearing of Surana’s plight, and with Ssearth’s firm encouragement, the party decided to set off in the morning, south. Ssearth offered to trade chores for rooms for the night.
The inn wasn’t too particularly interesting, it was what was in the inn that surprised any visitors. Upon entering, any furnishings or decorations were well-crafted and pleasing to the eye. From beautiful paintings on the walls, detailed metal statues along the fireplace to the stone tables and chairs sprinkled throughout the room which invoked a stability that transcended their structural integrity to the grand harpsichord on a dais in the far corner that looked so dainty that it appeared to be floating more than supporting itself.
Uncas went to the kitchen to cook, since he had some experience in the area, while Cyrus had the unexpected skill of playing the harpsichord. He used the monk to help him transcribe some ledgers and had Balin do some cleaning around the inn.
After waking, they went downstairs to see four prepared packs and a note wishing them luck from Ssearth. So they headed south and when they reached the branch in the road, they took it, up into a path that cuts through the mountains.
They spotted the gates of the castle after a quarter-day’s journey. As they approach they are assaulted from the gates via slings that the kobolds were wielding. In order to stop the bombardment, the party rushed the gates and Uncas and Cyrus, the stronger of the four, lifted to open it for the more agile Davaik to dive under while Balin returned cover fire. They weren’t expecting the hot tar the kobolds had prepared for them. The burns only fueled the party’s fire, though, and they went through with their plan.
Davaik rushed into one of the gate towers and the others entered the courtyard, splitting up to take both gate towers before the kobolds could raise an alarm. After scrambling up the spiraling stair of the tower, they found themselves fighting the small, red-scaled humanoids on a precarious ledge of the cliffs that line the path to the gates. After dispatching of the reptilian people, Uncas went to pull out one of his prized Ukataken Knives, which had lodged into the cliff face. After pulling vigoriously, the knife popped out and Uncas lost his balance, and would’ve fallen the twenty feet to the rocky path below if Cyrus hadn’t reached out to catch him.
With the sentries disposed, the group of would-be heroes warily approached the modest castle nestled in the mountains. Pushing it open, they surprised two kobolds who were sitting on opposite benches in the entry-room. They took up their spears and retreated into the next room, which was like-wise occupied by two kobolds. The first kobold from the entry-room turned to fight, now that the odds were more even, but the second continued on deeper into the castle, screeching “Nah!” as it went.
The party settled in to fight, still bleeding and burned from their previous encounter. They won, but now they were severely injured. Rummaging through their packs revealed potions that Ssearth had packed for them in the night. After they imbibing the potions and their wounds lessened, they continued into the main hall of the castle, a 20-foot wide stone path ending in a large doorway 60 feet down, with two smaller doors tucked into the side of the hall at the far corners.
Upon cautious exploration, they dispatched the occupants of the rooms off of the halls on the side doors, and approached the throne-room. Opening the door they are met with a wall of flame. With their previous burns bubbling anew and with some company, the party sees two kobolds in the room. One, off to the right of the throne dais, is obviously the kobold from earlier, confirmed by the “nah” it whimpered as they entered the room. The second, though, was clearly the source of flame that had greeted them upon entering the room, with smoke tendrals still rising from it’s mouth and nostrils. While still no-where near even dwarf height, this kobold was taller and much more stout than the others that the party had encountered.
The party wasted no time and rushed the two, Uncas, being faster than the others, reached the larger one and proceeded to introduce it to his flanged mace and falcata, with the heavily armored Cyrus following closely. Balin stayed in the doorway tried shooting, but hit friend more frequently than foe. Davaik noticed Nah, as the party had been referring to the skittish kobold, starting to head for a door that was off in a corner of the throne room. In an attempt to attack the kobold aerially, Davaik slipped and knocked himself unconscious on the hard, metal throne.
Nah scrambled through the door, and shut it behind him. After Uncas made short work of the fire-breathing kobold, they revived Davaik with the remaining potion, and followed after Nah. They walked into the small kitchen and the kobold had appeared to disappear. But Balin noticed some scratches that ended abruptly at one of the joinings of the cobblestone floor.
They managed to lift the trapdoor to reveal a hidden staircase, which spiraled down into darkness. Taking a couple of torches from their pack, they follow the staircase down until the reach the bottom, which opened up into a large, natural underground cavern. Upon exploration they find an underground lake and Uncas and Balin, the more nature-inclined, notice tracks leading off to the left. Where they then hear a pitiful “nah.” They approach and find Nah with one leg horribly mangled in a bear trap, that they assumed was one of the trap-happy kobolds’.
Upon discussion, with Cyrus voting to be rid of the pest, and Nah’s begging for mercy punctuated by his signature “nah”, the group decided to have Nah deliver a message to the tribe he’d mentioned in their interrogation. He was to tell the others that the castle was off-limits, and if there were any more problems, the group was coming for Nah, to finish him off.
Both frightened out of his wits and relieved to the core, the kobold agreed and limped off further into the underground darkness. Deciding that they’d completed their objective, and that they weren’t up for any more altercations, the group headed back to the castle to search for any treasure, which Surana said they could take as payment for the ridding her of the kobolds. But the kobolds had already removed anything of value.
A disgruntled and injured party returned to New Millie to deliver the news. Surana was excited and started preparing to set off in the morning with her entourage to reclaim the castle. After completing their agreed upon tasks, the weary group retired to their rooms to rest.