Wherein the adventurers are surprised by bug worshipping Kobolds.
Ember rushed around between the buildings, heading towards the flickering life spark glimmering beyond the buildings. Beyond the buildings is an open square with wooden tower in the center. A creaky wooden ladder leans against the side of the tower of thatched logs. Hanging off the tower in a dizzying array of knotted ropes is a living man still moaning in agony. Bodies of dead men and kobolds lie strewn across the yard. Buildings line the square to the south, east and north, with a large stack of hewn logs finishing the square to the west.
Ember yells out, “Follow me!” and pauses at the edge of the square, warily looking about the square for other signs of life. Some strange haze is to his left, seemingly coming from the building where they found the Kobolds. The hazy life form does have some characteristics of beasts, but is rather indistinct.
Examining the scene, Ember looks at the man. The man is hanging from ropes draped all around him. It doesn’t look like he ended up in that position naturally. He is probably bait. Ember yells out, “Meander!” Red starts to come into view between the buildings.
Ember says to the group that is supposedly approaching, “There is something weird in that building behind us still. I’m keeping an eye on it. I’ll cover your back if someone wants to cut him down. Once he is down, I can heal him.”
Broken and Stone Man approach Ember between the buildings. Meander decides to run around the western side of the building, between the building and the logs, instead of being stuck behind Stone Man. Pay Day and the regulators follow along behind Meander. Tough Bark trails behind them.
Red comes up to Ember from between the buildings, but doesn’t seem interested in cutting down the man.
Ember says, “It looks like a trap.”
Red answers, “I can’t sense anything with all this buzzing around here.”
“Watch to the north.” Ember turns to face the hazy life form in the building.
Broken tells Stone Man to be on the defensive as he pushes past Red and Ember to stand next to the building.
Ember glances over at Broken and says, “There is something odd, just beyond the wall where you are standing. There is something not right in that room.”
Meander rounds the corner at a run and begins to jog around the tower. He yells out, “I’ll save him.”
The group hears the familiar language of the Kobolds to the west. Someone yells something out from the vicinity of the logs. The gigantic pile of felled timbers is anchored by heavy ropes fastened to steel spikes in the ground. The logs suddenly break apart and come crashing down towards them. There was a Kobold on top of the pile, covered in strange bug fetishes, who had severed the straps holding the logs and shouting victoriously. The logs crash into the building, crushing several of the regulators in between. Some of the logs pivot against the building, while others crash into the tower. Pay Day dances over the logs as they roll past managing to keep on his feet. Meander jumps out of the way, grabbing onto the roof of the building next to him and pulling up even with the roof. The tower crashes down towards Ember. Ember attempts to dodge the logs, but crumples under the collapsing weight of the falling tower. Red braces and covers himself in rock armor just as the logs and tower smash into him, stunning him from the impact. Broken dives over between the buildings. Stone Man picks up Broken and turns, using his body to protect Broken.
The victorious Kobold drew back one of his throwing axes and launched it at Pay Day. The axe left a bloody gash across Pay Day’s chest. He shrugs off the axe and rushes at the Kobold, dancing through the logs and narrowly missing the Kobold with a huge underhand punch.
Tough Bark, back to the side of the building and clear of the log trap, looses an arrow striking the Kobold in the vitals, knocking him to the ground.
Meander is watching the logs settle below him when he is grabbed from above. He is hoisted by his shoulders up above the roof and looks up to see a rotten, decayed Kobold face jeering inches from him. It leans forward with a roar and takes a bite out of Meander’s face. Meander suddenly feels energy pouring into him from the Zombie Kobold. The Zombie recoils in surprise, but doesn’t break Meander’s grip. The flesh of the zombie visibly decays before his eyes and the bite wound on Meander’s face begins to knit closed.
Broken looks about at the logs scattered across the courtyard and the broken remains of the tower. Of the people in the courtyard, everyone is accounted for except for Ember. He starts to search for Ember and finds him bleeding and unconscious, pinned underneath a log. He strains to lift the log, but it doesn’t even budge. He sends a mental command for Stone Man to help.
Pay Day does a twirl off the remaining logs and free runs up the side of the building, climbing to the roof in a bound. The Zombie gets pushed from behind, and Meander and the Zombie come to a crash on the ground. Meander manages to twist around and roll as he hits the ground, avoiding damage from the impact. Meander glances up quickly, but can see no sign of the thing that pushed the Zombie down.
Meander continues to grapple with the Zombie on the ground. Energy continues to flow into Meander from the Zombie, and the Zombie pales further. The wound on Meander’s face heals more.
The Stone Man turns to the monster that appeared in the group. The golem’s sword cuts deeply into the Zombie Kobold Myrmidon’s thigh.
Broken continues to struggle with the log crushing Ember. He strains again to no avail.
One of the Regulators approaches the Myrmidon, striking out and hitting it with dual slashes across the shoulders.
Red shakes off the shock of the impact and approaches the Myrmidon.
Meander yells out, “Red! There is someone on the roof!”
Red looks back quizzically, “It’s Pay Day.”
Red swings down with a mighty blow of his war hammer, smashing it’s left hand.
The Myrmidon grabs Meander back and attempts to squeeze him. Meander shrugs off the embrace.
Pay Day jumps down and grabs the Myrmidon from behind, putting him in a head lock. He tries to pull the Myrmidon off of Meander.
A thick unnatural mist rises out of the ground obscuring the area around the Zombie. Meander, unable to see, continues to pull energy from the Zombie. Broken dives down between the logs, hiding near Ember.
Tough Bark yells out, “I can’t see you guys. You are in some kind of mist.”
Through the mists, a giant stone sword sweeps down cutting the arm off Zombie. The Zombie goes limp in Meander’s and Pay Day’s grasp. Meander looks about in vain, the mists completely shrouding his vision. The mists momentarily glows brilliant white, followed almost immediately by an incredibly loud crash of thunder and ToughBark’s scream of pain. Meander decides to exit the fog through the building on his left side, but pauses to chant softly to himself, quickening his pulse.
Stone Man reports to Broken that his pneumatic pressure is dropping. Something is attacking him and he lost strength. That something is really close to where Broken is hiding. Broken begins to crawl along the logs away from the hidden combat.
Meander calls out, “What’s going on Red?”
“I don’t know. There is some buzzing that interferes with my senses and I can’t see anything.” Red grabs a rock and gets ready to throw at something.
Meander thinks about where ToughBark was before the mists rose, along the side of the building, south of the log pile. He turns to run alongside the building until reaching the door. He throws the door open and exits the mists upon entering the building. He runs through the building, startling the Kobold tied up in the office chair. He runs out the other side of the building.
Red yells, “I see him. He is to the north.”
Lightning lights up the sky, followed by another peel of thunder. Meander rounds the corner of the building. Several regulators lay crushed under the logs. ToughBark looks singed, smoking and convulsing slightly on the ground. Meander rushes up even with ToughBark and spots Red running north towards a pair of Kobolds at the edge of the building to the north of the ruined courtyard. There is a wall of fog rising above the roofline from the corner of the courtyard where the group recently standing.
In the mists, one of the regulators screams fall silent. Stone Man feels the creature through the vibrations in the earth. He turns to strike the creature, bringing his great stone sword down on the creature’s hard shell. The creature retaliates with a barrage of quick strikes. The sounds of two very big things striking each other, much like stone on stone, emanate from the mists to those outside the small circle.
Broken stands up and runs along the logs out of the mists. He emerges from the mists at the corner of the courtyard. He yells out to Stone Man, “Attack the thing due east in sector HV72.”
Meander rushes up to Red and the remaining Regulator, who are battling one of Kobold Bug Worshipers. As Meander runs by, Broken yells out, “Meander! Meander! Come over here!” Meander seems focused on the green Kobold spell caster in the back. Both Kobolds are covered with bug fetishes. He reaches around his buddy and touches Red. Red visibly weaken and groans, almost slumping to the ground. Red straightens but looks a sickly color of green, not the vibrant green of the Kobold.
The Kobold Bug Worshiper whips out dual hand axes, and trips Red as he straightens up, causing Red to fall prone.
Ember groans to awareness. Broken yells at him, “Ember get the hell out of there.” Broken scans around looking for fire. Then he spots the dark shadows between the building. Broken begins animating the shadows to attack the giant creature.
Ember struggles under the tree pinning him to the ground. He still in much pain, but doesn’t appear in any immediate danger. The thick mists roll around his vision. He rests while waiting for someone to come help.
Red stands up with his fists and his rod covered in rocks. He smashes in the Kobold Bug Worshiper chest, causing the Kobold to pass out.
Pay Day yells from across the field, “Uhhh… I think we are about to get company.” He jumps down off the building and strikes the Giant Scorpion in the back.
Stone Man immediately attacks the Giant Scorpion that has been attacking him. He slashes across the Scorpion’s chest, cracking open the carapace. The Scorpion slumps to the ground.
Meander skirts quickly around Red and the Regulator and approaches the Kobold Bugmaster from behind. He grabs and locks the Bugmaster into a tight rigid lock. Meander’s eyes roll back and he grits his teeth as he goes into a trance.
The remaining Regulator steps away from Meander. He seems uncertain what is going on and doesn’t really want a part of it.
The Bugmaster tries to break free from Meander. He struggles within Meander’s grasp, but doesn’t seem to be able to break free. He starts yelling something. Meander keeps ahold of the Bugmaster, slowly draining his active powers.
Broken finished his spell causing the shadows between the buildings to animate. According to Stone Man, there are no more enemies visible. The shadows send a dark chilling bolt of shadow energy at Broken, but it misses.
Ember looks around and sees nothing but mist. He is still in pain, but doesn’t here combat any longer. He can hear the mechanical parts of the Stone Man nearby. He tentatively says, “Guys? Broken?” He does think he can hear struggling from afar. Then he hears an ominous thunk against something nearby. He hears someone shuffling by coming to a stop nearby. Pay Day shuffled away from the building and turns to face the double doors.
Meander continues to hold the Bugmaster, draining more away. The Bugmaster struggles seemingly in vain.
Pay Day yells, “Have that moron statue of yours hold that door closed.”
Broken looks over at him, “What door? There happen to be eight doors nearby.”
Pay Day gives an exasperated swear and points at the double doors ahead of him.
Broken sends a mental command to Stone Man, “Walk due east and open the doors south of you when you can see with your eyes. Hold off whatever is inside.” Stone Man walks over and opens the door. Broken looks inside and directs the shadow to attack one of the creatures inside. A chill shadow bolt strikes one of the Zombie Kobolds.
Ember hears the Stone Man move away. He still is pinned underneath the log. With the sound of the door opening, he stays quiet and waits for the pain to subside.
Red says to Meander, “Do you need any help?” Meander doesn’t respond, he stays in his trance. When Meander doesn’t respond, Red digs the vial of cure poison from his bag and chugs it. He feels much better shortly.