While Stormbolt and the others were administering the kingdom in Stormhaven, K’rek returned to the Sootscale village. There, he alterted the chief of Stormbolt’s treaty with the lizardfolk. This alarmed the chief, who immediately raised a force to attack the lizardfolk and address their god-king’s folly.
Then K’rek returned to Stormhaven and advised exploring the region to the east of the capitol to allow the kobold army time to execute their attack.
Thinking about Expansion
K’rek advised that, if the goal was to absorb the region around the Sootscale village, they should explore the region to the east of it so as to be aware of the terrain and better able to plan against possible attacks from the plains to the east.
Stormbolt was convinced, especially as that decreased the time until they could annex the region around his new gold mine home.
To the Hills
They travelled to the banks of the Goodrun River, though the usual following of kobolds did not accompany them. They explored the hills along the north side of the river. They discovered a ford. The night passed uneventfully, and they explored the south side of the river. They continued northward into the hills and explored for the next few days.
In the late afternoon of the third day, they noted a large crack in the side of one of the hills. It made Lucee uncomfortable. There were no signs of tracks, though it seemed like an obvious lair for some woodland beast. No magic or evil was detected.
Oostend and Lucee entered the mouth of the opening, and a huge warm of bats streamed from the fissure. Stormbolt recognized them as a large colony of otherwise normal bats that were indigenous to the area. The others joined them leaving Lucee’s kobold follower and Froing’s kobold retainer to with the horses.
Entering further, the fissure expanded into an octagonal chamber whose floor was covered in bat guano and whose walls were decorated with images of simple human village life. A cobweb-strewn tunnel led deeper into the hills. The chamber and its contents looked ancient.
Beyond the tunnel was a crossroads with faces on each of the four walls, where a humanoid skeleton lay in the center. Oostend detected some magic. As K’rek approached the skeleton, the four faces appeared to inhale and them breathed out black tendrils of mist. When the mist struck them, the party was immediately fatigued or exhausted.
Suddenly, a swarm of skeletons appeared from each of the side tunnels, while a skeleton in chainmail with a glowing sword appeared from the passage ahead of them.
The hoard closed on the party before they could act, but only injured Froing. Oostend attempted to revitalize himself, but failed. Stormbolt shot his breath weapon at the champion. Lucee channeled energy and injured most of them. Froing channeled as well, and all but one skeleton and the champion were destroyed. K’rek hid behind Froing.
The skeleton attacked Froing, but missed. The champion hit Froing hard. Oostend attacked but missed. Stormbolt only hit with his gore attack. Lucee channeled again and destroyed the last skeleton. Froing channeled again to little effect and retreated. K’rek cowered.
The champion advanced on Froing and hit him again and drained energy from him. Oostend restored himself. Stormbolt clawed the champion and it finally went down. Lucee laid hands on Froing to heal him.
Froing cast Detect Undead, but found no more. Oostend cast Detect Magic and identified the magical trap. The champion had a magic ring and a magic longsword. The ring was a Ring of Sustenance. The sword was Feybane longsword.
The party left the caves and camped a short distance away to rest and slept off the effects of the mist.