|Mikmek of the Sootscale|
The sun starts to set at your backs as you crest one hill. Across a dusty scrub and rock filled valley, you see a fairly large outcropping of boulders on the grass-less weathered face of a hillock... about 200 yards away. The rocky face is pockmarked with dozens of what could be caves. Mikmek says "We are here"
"Someone has seen us by now. I will call out to them."
He yells out into the valley.
"Mikmek has returned. I come with Old Sharptooth and I come with allies who I ask be given trust."
Mikmek nods at the group and continues toward the rocky hillock.
feel free to roll perceptions or w/e if you care to
As you descend the hill, into the valley, Mikmek dismounts and removes his cloak. You see a narrow gap in the wall of rock which appears to be the main entrance. Two kobolds come out, armed with spears. They look panicked at first, but the sight of Mikmek unharmed reassures them.
The entire valley looks eroded, as if worn by many battles at their front door. As you approach (still 30 feet or so away) a kobold closer to Mimek's size walks out of the opening. He is wearing a fur vest, several bone piercings, and carries a wicked jagged spear with flared guard like a lance which is trimmed out with black scales.
Mikmek nods to him.
The fur-vested kobold gazes over the group then speaks.
"Mikmek, you leave with a warband and return with outsiders?"
Then speaks more loudly in Common.
"Your horses and ...sick?" Mikmek says "You mean injured, Nabkim?" to which this Nabkim glares at Mikmek.
"No horses. No sick. No injured. Bad luck you stay. Others come. No hold weapon. Hold weapon... big mistake."
Norton follows the two talk, not sure to understand, then he realizes.
"This should be the shaman. Let's see if we can put him on the edge from the start."
"My name is Ambrosi, and these are my companions. The two there" he points the unconscious prisoners "are not sick, they are bad behaved slaves, we had to punish them with a powerful spell, can't you tell it by yourself? And who are you, that gives orders to those who bring Olg Sharptooth back?"
Oh, this is not starting well, we don't want a confrontation already..
"Yes, Mikmek has fulfilled the task set upon him; as such he has the right to see the chief and report his success."
The Green Man places a large hand on Mikmeks shoulder in a show of support and then stares at the kobold.
The stare is not hostile, but it is unwavering in its intensity.
"I have no problems with leaving the horses and the injured here. But know that they are under our protection. You touch them, you pay. And about the "no hold weapon" part... know this: giving us reason to hold weapons... Now THAT would be the BIG mistake you are talking about, kobold. You don't want to get on our bad side... believe me. Now, if that's out of the way, commit my words to mind and lead the way!"
Intimidate check:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Nabkim recoils... the guards know enough to look away as he turns his gaze from the group submissively. "Your horses your injured will not be touched. Raaukk Tlaul Nabkim will guard them." He then motions toward an iron cage just inside the entrance.
Mikmek adds "This is not a deep cave. You will never be far from your mounts."
Yes, a little show of force was probably needed there, he knows how to talk does Ser Valertis. Let's just hope he doesn't push TOO hard.
...Nah, why worry, everything will work out in the end.
The Green Man will follow Mikmek inside the cave.
I'm holding the statue, might as well be in the forefront.
|Mikmek of the Sootscale|
Mikmek walks his mount to the iron cage. A long bar runs along the side of it which apparently is used as a hitching fence. As Mikmek lashes the horse to it, he speaks quietly "You have impressed Chief Sootscale's son. This is good. He is a good kobold."
He looks up at a small group of kobolds who have just assembled further inside. The kobolds are laying roughly hewed lashed together planks as short bridges over the first two of the three pits in the main tunnel.
After the second pit there is a side passage on the right which is about the same 8' by 8' size as the main tunnel. This appears to be the direction which you are being ushered.
The Green Man leans down and whispers to Mikmek.
"They are leading us to the chief right? It is him we want to see, nobody else.
We did not come all this way for anything less."
Until he gets a confirmation from Mikmek, The Green Man stops and refuses to budge.
It's not that I don't trust Mikmek...but I just realized that he may not be safe either. So if they are leading us all into a trap...
I should have realized just how much advantage we were losing, but I got impatient.
Sense motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
|Mikmek of the Sootscale|
Mikmek turns to the nearest kobold, and speaks in his native tongue.
If it is a trap, these kobolds aren't in on it. They show no sign of deception, or the type of behavior in line with setting a trap. Mikmek shows no sign of concern either.
You cross the planks and turn right, into the side passage. A dozen feet in, you see an alcove on your right. The ground slopes up from either side, several feet at its highest at the deepest of the alcove. In the center is a large cauldron over a fire casting a dull red glow through the passage (one of the few sources of light in here). Skulls, shrunken heads, pots, vials and other various things line the wall of the alcove... sitting on primitive shelves carved into the wall.
A hunched grim-looking robed kobold stops stirring the contents of the cauldron with a large bone, and casually hands it to a nearby timid underling.
The shaman grasps a nearby "walking stick type" staff, and walks a few steps toward the group as you start to pass by. He eyes each one of you.
A raven hops from one of the shelves and glides to perch on the shaman's shoulder as his gaze lingers on Furiel... .
His movement and body language suggests he intends to follow you to the chief, but he does not utter a word.
|Mikmek of the Sootscale|
"High Shaman Tartuk" Mikmek says and nods. The shaman glances at Mikmek but does not respond.
you are now escorted by three kobold grunts (the ones that laid down the planks... the other two at the entrance stayed with Nabkim) and the Shaman looks as though he will escort you as well. There is one more here at the alcove that looks like he is staying. (didn't want to mess with layers on the map unless necessary... ie battle)
Hnnh, I had hoped we would not encounter him at all. Mikmek is our best link to this clan, and the shaman does not like him.
We better hope we find the chief soon...
"Let's keep going..."
The Green Man looks down at Furiel and gives him a confident wink.
Pity I don't FEEL as confident...
As you continue, the tunnel bends and narrows... and appears to remain narrow for several feet. Just past the edge of the glow from the cauldron's flame, you see another dull flickering light from whatever lies beyond the tight passage.
You also start to smell smoked meat mixed with the kobold musk. Two of the kobolds armed with short spears lead the way through the narrow tunnel. The other kobold grunt and the shaman follow behind you.
(tunnel at this part forces medium creatures to squeeze through. Once you enter the narrow passage, you see that the tunnel widens into a room 15' ahead.)
The kobolds lead you through the passage on your left, and through a room covered with charcoal and bloodstains. In the firelight from the room beyond, you can make out pictures in the stained and scrawled walls... primitive depictions of battle, and a horned red devil which looks much like the Old Sharptooth statuette. In front of the painting of the devil, there are two stone tables. One of which is bloodstained, with a large decorated blade resting on top.
Just past this room is another much larger area filled with grimy fur bedrolls, and small smoldering fires are scattered about. Skins of several different animals are stretched on frames around a protruding part of the south wall. There are eight kobolds in this room when you enter. One of which is obviously trying to look more impressive than the others.
The impressive kobold is holding a bone club/scepter in one hand and a staff topped with a large reptilian skull. He is also wearing a headdress which is made from a similar but larger skull and feathers. His outfit is black leather scales and painted bone beads. He watches you enter... the others look back and forth between your group and who you assume is the chief.
Mikmek drops to one knee, and bows his head slightly without losing eye contact with his leader.
"So that's the chief... the headgear seems much scarier than the one wearing it...
Rogar impulsively decides to butt in:"So... I immagine you are the chief here, right? We brought you back your statue and vanquished the ones who stole it. In exchange we ask you consider an alliance with us against our enemies. What says thou?", finishes the young warrior with a drammatic tone.
Diplomacy check:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Hnnh, not the most diplomatic way to put it, but his tone is polite, and maybe being to the point is a good thing.
"My trusted comrade and friend speaks truly.
From the depths of mite hell we have retrieved old Sharptooth, with the guidance of Mikmek, a true warrior of the Sootscale clan indeed.
And as such, we offer you this as a token of our goodwill and our wish for the mentioned alliance."
The Green Man, unwilling to seem inferior does not kneel, but he does bow respectfully.
"Well, it seems the least diplomatic ones are opening the talks, let's see how this approach goes, it could be the right one."
Norton bows at the chief but do not speak, waiting to see if Rogar introduction is well received, if needed he might intervene later.
The chief starts to speak, but Shaman Tartuk steps forward. "You dare defile Old Sharptooth with your touch and ask for an alliance?! "
The chief speaks with little inflection for you to determine how he feels... "Shaman Tartuk. These outsiders look like powerful allies. Should we not hear them out?
Shaman Tartuk spits out a reply "Allies?! Do you not understand?! They wish us to fight their battles and die for their glory! Return the artifact! Give me Old Sharptooth now so I may begin the ritual to purify it, and we will see what words Old Sharptooth speaks to me." He holds out his hand to take the statuette.
Damn, this is NOT good, the shaman is unreasonable! There is only one chance left here...
The Green Man retrieves Old Sharptooth from his pack, but instead of handing it to the shaman he takes one long step towards the throne and holds it out to the chief.
"Yes, you should hear us out, we come in friendship and we do not look for conflict here."
The Green Man then turns to glare daggers at Tartuk.
"And this one is not the ONLY shaman of power here, no spirit have infected Sharptooth in MY care."
Norton waits for the right moment to speak to the chief.
"We are not here to fight nor to have you fight for us, quite the opposite. Is my understanding you already had to fight, here for this cave, as well as for your previous home, which you lost. We are here hoping to put an end to this."
"If you want to take your old home back you are welcome." Norton hopes this is what the kobolds will do, so that the quarry would be free. "Or you can stay here, either way we hope in your friendship." Norton doesn't use the word allies, but the word friends that should be more appealing.
Rogar flexes his arms and takes a couple of steps towards the shaman, then he speaks in a soft, dangerous tone:"Listen and listen well: I couldn't care less for your trinket there. What I care for is you raiding our land and fighting us. My natural reaction would be to kill you all and be done with you like we did with the mites... aside from making a pair of boots from your leathery hides perhaps. Fortunately for you my friends there want to talk with you first and see if we can "peacefully coexist" before taking a more direct route to solve the problem. So here's a tiny bit of wisdom: change you attitude and behave, othervise things will go very, very badly for you... shaman"
Intimidation check:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
The chief nods slightly to Green's words, and takes a step forward. He then lisens to Norton and once again starts to speak before the Shaman interrupts him with an exaggerated growl.
Shaman Tartuk starts to move toward Green, but Rogar stops him in his tracks. He stands stunned staring blankly at Rogar then the chief. Then stammers.. "How c-can you just s-stand there and listen-"
"ENOUGH!" Chief Sootscale cuts off Shaman Tartuk, then takes the statuette from Green. He glares at Shaman Tartuk again. "I have listened to you enough. My clan has been nearly wiped out from fighing the battles you say this this piece of clay says we should fight... no more!! Chief Sootscale takes Old Sharptooth and smashes it against the cave wall.
Chief Sootscale returns to glaring at the shaman, and continues to do so until he finally leaves the room... shouldering past the other kobolds by the south exit.
I wonder if the shaman is about to do something stupid...
Once the Shaman has left the cage, The Green Man turns back to the chief.
"I believe you have made the right call for your tribe, a wise choice...but I fear that maybe the shaman will not go quietly.
He does not seem one to submit with grace..."
Rogar siles widely at the Kobold:"Well done chief kobold! I'm sure now that one is out of the way we can have a civil discussion. And by the way I always thought that statuette was really ugly, you'll do better with other decorations"
"This went rather well if I must say it myself..."
After Green's observation, Chief Sootscale glances in the direction Shaman Tartuk went. He addresses a kobold near the south exit of the room. "Angrot. Keep an eye on Tartuk."
The kobold turns and goes... A few seconds later he returns. "Honorable Chief. Shaman Tartuk is gone!"
perception checks please
Chief Sootscale seems to shrug off Tartuk's sudden departure, and barks an order at at the grunt just north of Rogar. "Bring his pupil to me."
The chief then looks intently at each of you, puffing his chest and speaking slowly. "I am Chief Sootscale blood of Ivfenrue. I will listen to Mikmek. It will be his words that I will decide how we speak to each other, but I will know your names first."
You hear an angry voice echoing through the cave. You soon recognize it as Shaman Tartuk, and it sounds like he is riled up... it is not immediately obvious what direction his voice is coming from.
"Your leader seeks an alliance with those who will steal our lands... and has turned his ear to a traitor who walks with gnomes. He is fit to serve... no more! Old Sharptooth is angry! I have his wrath in me!!!"
Tartuk suddenly appears behind Chief Sootscale... firing a wand at the fire in the pit, which explodes in a bright blinding flash of colors from the flame.
become blinded for 1d4+1 rounds (Will negates). Spell resistance can prevent blindness.
You can have a single action of prep. The time from when it is obvious hostile actions are coming, to when combat starts with the wand casting.
edit: and initiatives please.