Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Troll is a Troll...or not?

Concerning the River Troll.

I bought this mini back when Citadel/Games Workshop were still making these in some form of metal.  The 'new' version of this is a recast in the plastic that they are now releasing all of their minis in.  The interesting thing is that the plastic ones are nearly three times the cost that these were upon release.

Technical info: Miniature: Citadel River Troll, old pewter version. Painted by Troy Nies with Vallejo Game Color paints. Custom base: GaleForce 9 Basing Grit: Rocky GF9 92023. Base water: Vallejo Water Effects: Pacific Blue 26203. Folliage: Heroscape Game. Miniature purchased long ago at Meredith's, all other materials purchased at CROSSROAD HOBBIES.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Fallcrest Five!

We left off last time with our stalwart band just finishing the cleansing of the ruined manor which included:
1.  leaping over (well, attempting to) kobolds with pointy sticks
2.  dodging (ok, almost) gigantic boulders
3.  sidestepping a makeshift sludge-drenched stone suspended from the ceiling (tether-ball style)
4.  and ultimately the vanquishing of a young white dragon, known as Szartharrax.
Upon returning to Fallcrest, the party returned the severed ear of each felled kobold (hey! they were worth 10 gp each!), the bone-mask worn by the kobold leader and the dragon head to the Lord Warden of Fallcrest.  Also, too, was the reveal of the letter found with Szartharrax mentioning a goblin leader known as "IronTooth" and his attempt at creating alliances with local evil forces.  The Lord Warden had not heard of "Iron Tooth" - they seemed worried, but after paying us, simply went on with their business.  While we moped about town cursing the fool-hardy lack of defense on the town of Fallcrest, we refurbished our supplies.
Word of our victory spread across town.  Whispers and tales of our recent victory in the local taverns and shops spread quickly.  Eventually, Sham and Syrus heard our group being referred to as "the five" and eventually, "Fallcrest's Five".  We've decided to wrap arms about each others' shoulders with heads leaned in, 'huddle style' before battle.  The pre-battle chant of 'Fallcrest Five!' will be punctuated with a unified pumping of our fists into the air... o.k. maybe not.  But the name stuck with us and word has spread that the 'Fallcrest Five' are protecting the citizens or some such nonsense.
Meanwhile, Egon, our paladin mumbled something about needing a respite and headed off to his temple.  Much to our surprise, he returned in new garb (more or less a large, shabby looking sheet) and an extremely macabre and eerily expressionless white mime mask.
The party stared at length and wasn't sure that this apparition before them was actually Egon at all.  After some frantic gesturing at his gear and some vaguely erotic charades, it was determined that this was, indeed, Egon.
Now, all of this could have been simply deduced with him stating the fact, but there was a catch.  He had taken a vow of silence and was now 'mute'.  He scratched into the dirt a shorthand version of this current predicament and that he would not speak for an undisclosed amount of time.  There was much head-scratching all around and even Xystus swore a little.  Sham mocked him profusely and starting dancing and posing like the various 'mime' actors seen in the larger villages and hamlets across the land.  After Egon, now known as "Mordred" (yes, apparently he changed his name too) stepped threateningly in Sham's direction, Sham decided to find sport elsewhere and found himself busy with a priestess that was watching all of this quizically.
The young priestess, Marla, had heard of 'Fallcrest Five's' recent success and was interested in hiring the adventurers to investigate the possibility of 'occult activity'.  Apparently, Marla was studying cults and required more information to complete her priesthood certification or some such religious paperwork.  She informed that she would pay the party 250 gold pieces to travel to Winterhaven and eliminate any such 'death cult'.  Of course, we were to bring back proof of our success as well.

Winterhaven was a day's journey down King's Road.

"The wind is cool and comfortable. The road beneath your feet is level. An occasional ancient cobblestone peeks through the dirt road, indicating decades of neglect. You notice footprints leading up and down the road, many of which were made by small, clawed feet.
Small creatures hiding behind the rocks spring into view and begin to move toward you. With a shriek, the small humanoids attack. Scaled and rust-colored, they have reptilian heads and tails."

Marching Order on King's Road

Prior to arriving in Winterhaven, we were behest by a shabby Kobold ambush.

We dispersed into our normal attack formation, with Egon, sorry! - with 'Dread' taking the lead and rushing into a Kobold swarm. Syrus and Sham hung back and picked off kobolds with arrow-death. Xystus let them have wizard-hellfire and Singbeard entered the fray, cheering is on the whole way, with Dread as well.
The skirmish was over quickly and we couldn't help but think there was some, larger, more evil threat waiting to crush us at any moment. However, it never came and we continued to finish off the mortally wounded kobold skirmishers - with Egon, damnit!, with Dread helping a cornered Sham.

Dread deals out 'Paladin-Mime' punishment.

The Five continued on their way, giddy with the success of yet another kobold cleansing. Speaking of 'cleansing', Xystus began complaining of the Syrus's 'gamey' smell and recommended an immediate need for personal hygiene upon entering the town. This would require the most ellaborate and expensive Inn rooms that Winterhaven had to offer. We chose to stay at Wrafton's Inn which, to Xystus's pleasure, offered private 'noble level' rooms.

The party descended upon the food offered at the Inn like pack of vultures - and speaking of birds, Xystus returned to the dining hall with one, extremely large and boisterous Raven. It perched precarilously on his shoulder and seemed to mock Dread continuously through the meal with it's raucous cackling and phrases of, 'Look at the Mime! Squak! Look at the Mime!' It was an exercise in awkwardness watching the vow-silent Paladin attempt to feed himself without removing the mask entirely. Sham tried to peek behind the mask, wondering if some strange disfigurement had occurred at the temple. Sham silently plotted to have the mask 'accidentally' removed during the heat of some future battle.

Each member of the party filtered into the local crowd, trying to gleen some tidbit of information that would drive them towards the investigation of the possible 'death cult' in the area. These attempts ranged from Singbeard trying to inebriate a local farmer to Syrus asking a silent and sullen looking female elven ranger type if she, "had heard of any death-cult activity". After giving him an icy-cold look, sticking her nose up at the brusque and un-elfen-like nature, left the table, walked up the stairs and presumably went to her room. When Xystus later asked what Syrus said to irritate her so, Syrus shrugged and said, "It must have been my unwashed-elfness."

Sam had better luck when Lord Padraig entered the tavern. After Lord Padraig greeted the locals and vice versa, Sham approach the man, cow-towing in excess. Apparently the Lord wasn't used to such excessive praise and promptly hired Sham and the Five to investigate a local keep that apparently was being used by the Kobolds as a base of operations. He added that he would pay us handsomely to cleanse the area of Kobolds, making the surrounding area of Winterhaven safe again.

The Five promptly left and headed north towards the area that Lord Padraig had indicated on a map. While on the road, Sham detected movement and spotted a group of kobolds that were apparently prepared for another ambush. He alerted the group and managed to stealthily move through the trees until he was nearly ten feet away from a Kobold Warlock and his minions. Sham threw a perfect shot of flash powder and blinded the spellcaster and group of kobolds while the party rushed in to attack.

Meanwhile, Sham retreated back into the forest and ran around to where Singbeard and Xystus were flanking. Dread engaged with the spellcaster and kobolds making fairly quick work of the minions.

Xystus, Syrus and Singbeard then were ambushed by yet another group laying in the trees and weeds. A furious exchange of arrows, spellfire and Singbeard's hammer lay the kobolds in pieces. Meanwhile, Sham ran back to the road and targeted the now visible spellcaster. He waited for a shot while Dread fought him hand to hand.

Sham fires bolt after bolt into the Kobold spellcaster while Dread finished him off.
Singbeard, Syrus and Xystus finished off the last of the Kobolds on the left flank while Sham then regrouped with the party. It was determined that the Kobold shaman's group were watchers for the outskirts of the keep that lay just beyond the woods. The party decided to rest and regroup or the next and most likely, deadlier encounter...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good guys...err...good guys AND bad guys wear black.

"Back! Back foul spawn of Satan!"

Father Thomas, the Vicar, brandished his gleaming silver crucifix. Raising it triumphantly towards the hemoglobin-addicted man he took a step closer to the abomination before him. The dark figure pulled his cape close about his face, snarling and squinting at the religious symbol before him. A moment passed while Father Thomas waved the cross about, listening to the muffled hissing of the hunched figure hiding behind the velvet cape. He glanced about the room, looking for his missing companions. Where were the damned slayers?! He'd need the spike to complete the deed!
Slowly and confidently, the caped man stood straight, letting the cape slide aside. He proudly stood erect, sticking his chest out and raising his chin above the pitiful 'priest' before him. His eyes peered intently over the cross, directly into Father Thomas's thickly bespeckled and myopic eyes. Father Thomas wavered and his outthrust arm slowly drifted lower.
A smile crept across the pallid man's face and he whispered, "You have to believe in order for it to work Father Thomas." He let a cynical twist of tone curl his tongue around the word "Father". "Your friends have failed and I have tasted their life's essence! I wonder, how will yours taste? Rich and woody? Corpulent and unctuous?" The Master of the Night flung his arms to either side of his body, cape unfurled, revealing his terrible might. He laughed, a chill, ice shattering sound. His tone turned vapid, "Or just old and bitter?"
Father Thomas's arm dropped to his side, the cross sliding from his fingers making a 'ping' noise as it struck the floor. The caped man before him open his mouth inhumanly-wide, baring wickedly long and needle sharp incisors. A darkness emanated from him as he loomed over the trembling priest.
Spittle flecked Father Thomas's lips as he issued his last prayer, "Oh Lord..."

technical info: Father Thomas the Vicar (Chronoscope miniature. Sculpted by Tim Prow). Vampire (Reaper Dark Heaven Legends Line miniature. Sculpted by T. Mason). Painted by Troy Nies using Vallejo Game Color Paints. Floor Tiles: Dungeons and Dragons Dire Tombs and Arcane Corridors. All items purchased and available at CROSSROAD HOBBIES.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

GrrrWhooo!? WhoooGrrr!? Owlbears anyone?

One of the most fundamental mid to high level Dungeons and Dragons monsters includes encountering the bizarre and terrifying Owlbear.
According to Wiki,

The owlbear is among the earliest monsters in Dungeons & Dragons and like the bulette and the rust monster, was inspired by a Hong Kong-made plastic toy purchased by Gary Gygax for use as miniature in a Chainmail game.[1]

1. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "Ecology of the Rust Monster."Dragon #88 (TSR, 1984). Account was later re-printed in the Ecology of the Rust Monster article in issue #346.

I find the origins of many D&D concepts quite fascinating and this particular example further demonstrates the imaginative genius Gary Gygax infused into the RPG realm.

That said, as a DM and fan of the D&D world (almost 25 years now) I never employed the horrid Owlbear. When I recently realized this glaring oversight as a DM, I felt remorse and shame. I did not do my duty as a DM and expose my players to one of the most basic and horrifying encounters of the fantasy RPG world. The more I've read about the beast, I can't for the life of me figure out why I didn't scar their minds with the death of a comrade by this disgusting beast. For example:

"The owlbear attacks with its great claws (two inches long on large males), its snapping beak, and then grasps a victim and squeezes and bites it to death. If it scores a paw hit of 18 or better with either of its forelimbs, the owlbear has dragged the victim to itself; and the opponents will take an additional 2-16 hit points damage from the hug, that melee round and every melee round thereafter until the owlbear is killed."
-Gary Gygax, Monster Manual, 1977

So I ask myself, "Whyyyyyyy?!!!" Why didn't I employ this? Can you imagine the horror of the pcs:

The stalwart band had emerged from the ancient tomb victorious. Victorious, but spent. Regular camp assignments were carried out as they bedded down outside the now exorcised tomb.

Halgar, their dwarven guide, began carefully placing the explosive charges provided by the Miners' Guild alchemist. His fingers probed around the stone archway, seeking weak points in the structure. Careful placement of the explosives would ensure the tomb be sealed and not used by any other lunatic necromancer hell-bent on lichdom. Despite his fatigue, he took extra care to follow the rune-script instructions while placing the charges. Not being able to reach the upper support stone, he motioned for Jdelmdst, the tall and lithe tracker to assist him.

Brack and Frack, the Joolberry brothers, began picking stones and tinder to start a camp fire. Despite the weariness their little frames felt, their nimble bodies quickly scooped up what was required to get the camp fire going. For a fire meant food, and food was the first thing on their halfling minds.

Elgarian flopped to the ground near the edge of camp. He could have swore the weight of his spellbook bag increased tenfold in the last several hours. He lay on his back, breathing the fresh air of the forest around him. Sun glimmered through the leaves above, reflecting off in patterns of gold and green. Life was good. They had just vanquished one of the most notorious necromancers in all of the land without a single casualty and, 'Elgar' managed to retrieve his master's amulet, which he now wore around his neck. This particular amulet was a bit gaudy, with barbed spikes around its sea-shell like appearance. Where it lacked in form, it made up for in function. Elgar's master would be proud indeed, for he could return to the ocean and continue his oceanic underwater studies. For this particular amulet imbued the wearer to breathe underwater, allowing him to study marine life for hours on end. Elgar's master was robbed of the amulet by a recent and nearly-caught thief who must have tried his luck escaping the local authorities tracking him by dodging into the tomb. His haste cost him his life and Elgar thanked the gods for his fortune when they found the body with amulet intact several corridors deep.
He fiddled with the amulet around his neck while laying on the ground staring up at the myriad pattern of light in the tree canopy above. Realizing that they had been in the tomb since early morning, he calculated they had spent nearly 9 hours below. Suddenly, he felt the call of nature and rose, reluctantly and with a moan, and walked a short distance into the woods to relieve himself.

Sir Luhjan ritualistically and methodically began removing his plate armor. He intoned the prayers of thanks to his god, his voice low and droning. While doing so, he stripped down to his breeches and undershirt and then began to clean and polish his sword, shield, helm and armor. When finished, he sat cross legged on the ground and continued his meditation and prayer.

Trillian, their healer, began unpacking medical supplies. Her now aged hands, withered and stiff, attempted to mix poultices and prepare wraps to treat the minor wounds. Later, she removed a now-damaged case and carefully inspected the contents. Three of the ten healing elixirs remained after their encounter with 'she who shall not be named'. Despite her vanquishing of the necromancer, Trillian aged 50 years in the process due to the necromancer's evil magics. Anticipating such a costly victory, she had brought an elixir that should return her vitality. She removed a beaker containing an azure liquid from the small chest. Pausing, she looked at the wrinkled hands trembling while they held the cure. She suddenly and painfully felt the ache in her bones, bones that at age 28 should not feel. Removing her helm, she caught sight of the distorted hag-like appearance looking back at her in the reflection of the metal. She was shocked at first, the reflection a cruel memory of her mother just prior to death.
She looked around at her companions and thought they were kind, indeed, for not commenting on the affects of the encounter. She looked back to the elixir and knew that she should save it for dire need - but they had finished their journey. Surely they could manage the trek back to town? Prior to their arrival they had only encountered several small goblin raiding parties, who were easily dispatched. She pulled the cork out of the vial and brought it to her lips...

Just then, a shrill cry issued from the direction Elgar had gone to relieve himself. Suddenly, the sound of a monstrous growling mixed with a deep, resonant hooting noise, not unlike a 1500 pound owl mixed with the crashing of branches and undergrowth.
Elgar frantically made it to the edge of the clearing near camp, bursting out of the foliage while a large form trailed dangerously close behind him. He turned at the most fatal moment as the beast loomed over him. It swatted him like a fly, knocking him stunned, and to the ground.

The group of adventurers scrambled to Elgar's aid. The hulking black-brown, fur and feather mass descended upon Elgar and scooped him up in it's large, bear-like arms. Claws raked his back while a large, hideous obsidian razor-sharp beak descended again and again upon the soft and yielding facial flesh. Elgar's legs kicked pitifully as the huge arms squeezed the life out of him.

Finally arming themselves, the party rushed the beast. As they were about to engage, the beast's head swiveled at an unnatural angle and looked directly at them. For a split moment they froze in their tracks while it transfixed them with it's gaze. It eyes were as large as dinner plates, red rimmed and exceedingly terrible to behold.

Elgar felt incredible and merciless pain for what seemed an eternity - spots of red, white and black filled his vision and then nothingness. He felt like he was in an unending inky blackness, unable to move. Also unable to breathe, he began to panic and then realized there was no need for panic. He had the amulet! Breathe he told himself. Breathe. The landscape around him began to clear, myriad streams of gold, green and blue shone through the waters all
around him. He moved his arms about him, they felt weightless and free as he swam as the fish did. Gliding through the water, he gazed at the wonders the underworld sea had to offer him...

Elgar's bones cracked and crunched while it squeezed the life out of him. He ultimately let out a pitiful rattled squeal punctuated with a final rupture-gout of blood from his mouth. After several long seconds of horrifying screams and then silence from Elgar, his once flailing legs went limp.

Now out of their shock, the party screamed in horror and outrage as they began to hack at the beast with ax, sword and daggers. The bear-like creature's thick fur and feathers prevented all but the most serious blow to wound it. The owlbear, oblivious to the wounds being inflicted upon it, continued to feast on the remains of the corpse's head.

After much effort, the party eventually slew the horrid creature.

While panting and cursing, Halgar, Jdelmdst and Sir Luhjan attempted to roll the owlbear carcass off of their companion. Unable to move it themselves, they called to Brack and Frack. Both halflings were on their knees weeping as they knew Elgar was slain. With a harsh command, Halgar managed to snap them out of their mourning. The effort required their combined strength as this particular grown male weighed an approximated 1300 to 1500 pounds. Once rolled over, they gasped in horror at the sight of their companion's remains.

Brack and Frack began their weeping again.

In it's death throe, the owlbear clenched Elgar's remains even tighter. After much cursing and frustration, Halgar, in a fit of rage, hacked off the owlbear's arms to retrieve their friend's corpse.

Jillian, in shock, remained at her gear during the entire, bloody encounter. During Halgar's temper tantrum, she snapped out of her delirium. She glanced at her reflected visage in th
e helm. Her skin was smooth and young again. Her hand still clenched the empty and now shattered vial in her hand, blood dripping onto the case and remaining two vials...

technical info: Owlbear Miniature: Dungeon Crawl Classics, Raging Owlbear. Sculpted by Jason Wiebe. Painted by Troy Nies using Vallejo Paints. Custom terrain by Troy Nies. Folliage: Heroscape Game. All materials purchased and available at CROSSROAD HOBBIES.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Concerning Wyrrrmmmsss and failing your perception check

Wyrms. Say it: wyrmsss... Again: wyrrrmmmzzz. It the kind of word that one cannot resist saying without throwing a slurred errrrrrmmmz in there - most often making one sound like a close relative of Grima Wormtongue. Griiiimahhh Wyrrrrrmmmtongha. Ok, I'll stop it now.

A wyrm, according to most fantasy references, in it's simplest form, is a wingless dragon. Whilst digging through my pile of antiquated minis waiting to be painted, I crossed another vintage 1985 Grenadier 'Wyrm'. I recall looking at the name on the package when I bought it - back at Meredith's Hobbies in Gateway Mall, Bismarck (circa 1985). 'Wyrm', I said it outloud, "Wyrrrrm." I liked the way it sounded so much I purchased it on that attribute alone.
But while looking at the unpainted mini recently, I thought back to my many years of being
a DM. I vaguely recall either a Dragon Magazine article or module or something that referred to Wyrms. Recently, after rediscovering this relic in my stash, I decided to research it a bit further. Not being able to recall that particular article or module plagued my brain for many days. On a hunch, I pulled out Gary Gygax's first Monster Manual. No luck. I then went to the Fiend Folio. No joy. I then went to the AD&D Monster Manual II. Victory was not mine. This Wyrm proved to be elusive indeed. Did I perhaps dream it, during one of my ma
ny mental trips while in High School? Nay, it surely existed! It was right there on the Grenadier miniature box!

I dug around on the internet and discovered this link:

So it appears that I wasn't imagining things. Wyrms did exist. The strange thing is the publication reference listed as Draconomicon 3rd Edition. The 2nd edition was released in 1990 - but my mini was from 1985! Did some vortex of time suck the sculptors of Grenadier into the future and then pull them back into the past with knowledge of the Wyrm?! I know as Glabrezu is my witness, that I did spy such knowledge prior to the Draconomicon. Also, I don't believe i've ever laid hands on a copy of such a tome.
Apparently, knowledge of the Wyrm is indeed guarded. Perhaps it is because they are such an incredibly rare and surely sought after creature.

Working only with the magical tome known as Wiki, I replicated what I perceive as a: Tundra Landwyrm. According to Wiki, it is a neutral landwyrm found in cold plains. It normally lies under the snow in semi-hibernation. It drinks the blood of warm-blooded animals.

This particular specimen has migrated further north, and is seen breaking through the ice to feast upon unidentified prey.

Technical Data: Mini: 1985 Grenadier 'Wyrm'. Ice chunks: insulating foam, Water, Snow and Ice: Vallejo 'Water Effects' Pacific Blue (26203), Foam & Snow (26231). All paint Vallejo Game Color Series. All Materials save for mini purchased at CROSSROAD HOBBIES, Dickinson, N.D.

Failing your perception check.

"Uh. Doc."
"Yes, yes. What it is now Mr. McGlenn?" Doctor Vincent Lee did little to hide his impatience with the mobster.
Michael McGlenn paused, swallowed hard as he adjusted his tie. "Did you hear somethin?" he whispered.
Doctor Lee sighed and raised his lantern a little higher, peering into the darkness. He thought he saw movement, just ahead, but dismissed the thought knowing they were the only living things here. He took a few cautious steps closer and realized what he mistook for movement was the reflection from his lamp on an ornate and extremely large sarcophagus.
"I told you before, it's just your imagination. Professor Armitage told us this section of the tomb has been untouched. We are the first to enter for thousands of years. We are surely the only souls here."
A deep, profoundly mournful moan suddenly droned from behind them.
Both Doctor and gangster froze, the hair on the back of their necks rising.
"Mr. McGlenn."
"Is your tommy gun loaded?"

Techincal Info: Reaper Miniatures, featuring Chronoscope line. Miniatures painted with Vallejo Game Colors Paints. GaleForce 9 Basing Grit: Rocky GF9:92023 used on mummies. Dungeons and Dragons "Dire Tombs" tiles are pictured. All items purchased at CROSSROAD HOBBIES, painted and photographed by Troy Nies.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who put that there? Don't go in there! Halt! Who goes there?! (and dwarven nudity)

Consider yourself warned: The OOD will now reveal some recent additions to the miniature workshop in the M.O.N. (middle of nowhere).

Who put that there?!
Using some bits and scraps, I pieced together a 'trophy' mini that could be used
for a treasure marker in your D&D 4e adventure or any other mini-based game. The sword is from a Reaper Weapons pack purchased from Crossroad Hobbies. The pedestal is from an ancient (1984?) Grenadier pack. The gold and gems are a special concoction that I may detail in a future post. Pull the sword I dare you. Intelligent swords anyone?


As you can see, this Dwarven troll-slayer has just emerged from some stinkin' troll hole. He must have had a bit of fun judging by the look of his flail. Of course, bathing in the blood of his fallen is said to attract the dwarven women-folk. It's also known to work quite well as a stout elf-repellent.
Of course, showing your crack to the elves is quite effective as well.

You're lucky if they give you this verbal warning, but most likely command will order a barrage of serrated steel and fletching at anything that moves. This unit of Stirland Archers are ready for combat. My Warhammer Fantasy Battle Empire Army continues to grow. The army will be largely represented by Stirland forces. They look forward to serving the Emperor in battle! The unit is lead by two heroes.

The custom base was built using materials from Crossroad Hobbies: Galeforce Nine static grass and basing grit. The longer wheat/weed-like material was created from doll hair. The fence was custom-built using scrap balsa wood. All miniatures pictured were painted with Vallejo paints. Please visit Crossroad Hobbies in Dickinson, N.D. for all of your hobby needs.

Friday, July 31, 2009

"Sham"-tastic. D&D4e fumblings and bumblings or "Hit it with the SHARP end!"

So "Sham" (Titus) the rogue has lofty aspirations. His self image proves that. (See picture). However, during the latest excursion through the kobold lair near Fal
crest, he had several, shall we say, setbacks?

So we have been charged with seeking out the reason Fallcrest has been plagued with Kobold attacks on its caravans. Our band of intrepid explorers consists of:

Singbeard, our dwarven, party cheer-leader or 'Warlord'.

Xystus the Orb of Deception-wielding Illusionist

Syrus our elven crack-shot ranger

"Sham" (Titus) the 'risk-taker' rogue.

And last and certainly the least important, Sir "Knight Not Appearing in this Film" or rather, Egon the Questionable Paladin, sorry! Egon the Intimate Paladin, sorry!!! Egon the Paladin.

Upon discovering the Kobold lair, our stalwart group of adventurers managed to beat through several groups of crossbow and slinger-wielding kobolds. At one point we met their lizard-like hounds or 'spiretop drakes'. Sham mistakenly called them 'crotch drakes' due to their height. This comment, in turn, distracted Singbeard during melee causing him to take a large amount of damage from said foe. Thanks to our fearless paladin, Singbeard lived to see another battle.

Descending a level, we discovered a defiled crypt which had a newly constructed shrine of Tiamat. Despite Sham's warnings about traps, Egon charged through the obvious trap tiles and headed towards the kobold worshipers. Sham tried to disengage the trap mechanism on the suits of armor, but managed to nearly kill Syrus in the process. The battle was quickly over with Egon destroying the temple and Xystus looting it (before Egon went into his holier-than-
though tyrade).

We then encountered a room where it appeared that a group of kobolds were enjoying a questionable game of tether-ball. The group of slingers were on a ledge using an unidentified sphere suspended from the ceiling. This sphere was being used to knock skulls off of nearly destroyed coffins. While dodging (some of us) and not dodging the sphere, we managed to fight through the large group of slingers and our party rested after the melee.

We continued down into the
kobold lair and eventually spent quite a bit of time in a large chamber. This chamber contained an evil and ingenious trap mechanism. Upon entering, a large boulder smashed down near Sham. It rumbled and rolled along a hidden mechanism in the floor, propelling it loudly around the chamber. We were assaulted by slinger kobolds in addition to several more stout 'dragonshield' types. The party split up (nearly a grave error) and combated the various groups of enemies. Finally, our true foe revealed himself - a bone-mask wearing Kobold Shaman. (We were asked to bring back the bone mask for proof of destroying the caravan/Fallcrest threat.)

Of course, Sham saw this as a moment to shine. He attempted to use his acrobatics and leap across the dragonshield kobolds. The result was less than graceful as he was sliced and diced in the process. Egon came to his aid and managed to heal him after bashing through the dragonshield foes. Unfortunately, the boulder ran over Sham, again putting him closer to death.

Egon managed to 'lay hands' on Sham. Upon awaking, Sham panicked and ran towards the Kobold Bone-Mask wearing-Shaman. He attempted to backstab him, but still rattled and mortified from his intimate experience with Egon, missed horribly. The Shaman clobbered him over the head and all went black for Sham.

Meanwhile, Xystus was busy fending off a pesty imp which apparently belonged to the Shaman. He had dodged into an alcove to avoid being flattened but soon felt an icy rake of claws across his back and cape. Xystus bolted out of the alcove, while the imp darted through the air behind him. He managed to reach the room in the center, climb up to the ledge. Here is where continued to blast the Shaman, his minions and the imp with his magic fizzles, sorry, missiles.

Meanwhile, Sham lay unconscious.

It should be noted, at this point, that Xystus was continuously screaming at Singbeard, "Hit it with the sharp end!!!" throughout the entire battle. Singbeard was, without preamble, completely ineffectual in this entire battle.*

Eventually the day was won, albeit with some party dissension in the ranks concerning what we should do with the Shaman. In the end, Egon butchered him and took his mask.

The party was nearly spent at this point and elected to rest in this gods-forsaken chamber. Xystus and Syrus were given first watch. The evening was interrupted with the yipping and yapping of a large group of kobold minions. Syrus pin-cushioned them while Xystus blew them to kobold goo with a well-placed spell.

How did Egon and Singbeard end up being Sham's nurses?

The party continued resting after the encounter. Xystus discovered a secret door in the alcove where he previously encountered the imp. The party entered, and descended a great distance. The temperature dropped and soon we were seeing our breath.

Eventually the passage opened into a large, icy chamber. In the center of the chamber lay a frozen pond of sorts. The ice was dark and what lay beneath was hard to discern. Sham scouted ahead, and much to his surprise, discovered the chamber was occupied by a young white dragon. Alerting the party, all hell broke loose. The dragon spewed an icy blast of death towards the party. Egon and Singbeard engaged while Sham and Syrus pelted it with arrows. Xystus attempted to negotiate (a wizard of the first order trying to intimidate a white dragon!!! Oh the gall!). Instead, the dragon became infuriated and became so beside itself, it forgot to breathe its' breath weapon for the majority of the battle. Egon essentially became the whipping post while the party blasted it from all directions. Syrus was reigning elven arrow-death upon the dragon - eventually finding the sweet spot in the scales. He dropped the dragon with the killing blow - a well placed arrow felled the beast and we were victorious.

We discovered a chest which Sham picked effortlessly. Inside was some loot for the party to divvy out. Also included was a letter from 'Iron Tooth' a goblin leader trying to align the powers of the area to attack Fallcrest. The dragon head, letter, bone-mask are all in our possession. Now to return to Fallcrest!

*note that this telling of said events come from the memory of a particular rogue who spent a good portion of the adventure on his back.