Gilgar's charge leaves one kobold reeling while the elves each drop a kobold with an arrow. Perrin does a terrible job of sneaking up on the speaker, but manages to look very menacing, regardless.
The speaker screeches in fear and runs to stand behind the two unharmed kobolds, who ready their spears, but look very much like they would rather be somewhere else right now, eyes darting back and forth.
The speaker raises his hands in surrender and, speaking very quickly, "Not us, not us! We not take children, it cursed king - he be death of us all!" He says something else to his remaining warriors.
"We cannot fight them, but we can help them fight the king. This is our chance! Put down your spears!"
The staggered kobold before Gilgar, who never had a chance to pick up his spear, kicks it away before stepping away from it and the dwarf and raises his hands. The two remaining warriors look at each other uncertainly, but they also drop theirs and raise their hands, still looking like they could run at any time.
Laucian strolls forward, looking very nonchalant and at-ease, and looks at Nox and Gilgar, a question in his eyes. More kobold fodder?
With both hands held before him in a feeble shield against the druid's missile and eyes on the ground, the blue-scaled kobold answers, anger in his voice, "What would you have us do? Five young warriors and a priest's assistant against the best warriors the tribe has? The king would not even need to bloody his blade. All we could do was speak in secret - as we were doing here - and watch for an opportunity. And here you are. Take the children, we do not wish to have them - they will only bring strife on our tribe. Kill the king and his lackeys, but leave those that do not fight - we will build our tribe anew without that treacherous cur and his gold-hungry wife on the throne."
With an arrow nocked, Graymoon moves up next to Nox and whispers.
"You heard what he said when he told the others to drop their weapons, right? 'We cannot fight them, but we can help them fight the king. This is our chance! Put down your spears!' I think he's telling the truth."
Laucian comes into the room further, waving the children and others forward now that the combat appears to be stopped. "Our healing is limited. You will have to take care of your own."
The bluescale nods, but does not move. He looks at Nox, "Allies for now? May I tend to them?" He gestures to the two kobolds that are bleeding out on the floor.
Nox lowers his arrow so the head points towards the ground in front of the kobolds.
If your word is good, you and and the others who do not fight against us will not be harmed by our steel. I am Nox La'Athvanna, Druid of these woods, and all those will live peaceably within them are welcome to do so. What can you tell us of the king and the children?
He moves to each of his fallen allies, find them breathing - barely in once case - and casts a simple spell that stops their bleeding. The remaining injured kobold gets his wounds bound.
"These three will be unable to assist us. Maybe they will be safe here long enough for us to heal them later." He whispers in Draconic to the wounded one, who nods and - carefully - takes up his spear and moves to the back of the room. The unhurt kobolds each take up an unconscious ally and move them to the back of the room. While they do this, the spokeskobold turns his attention back to the druid's question.
"The king is a murderer and a bully. He is incompetent and careless. But he is strong and ruthless, and so he survives. He killed all of his hatchmates - eighteen good kobolds - some in direct combat, most through less obvious means - until only he remained when their father died and left him throne. Maybe he killed his father, too. His grandfather was a good leader. Times were good for the Truescales then. His issue was less interested in leading a tribe than in giving orders. And their last descendant has only eyes for power, paid for with the blood of his own people." The little reptilian's voice quivers with rage as he speaks.
"After he took the throne, he wasted many of the tribe on looking for stupid yellow metal. Still, he made them look more as more died. When the very shadows of the mines began to attack and dry up his warriors like old leaves, we came up to where the dwarves used to be."
"We are not safe here, we must move farther from the creeping shadows and things that are not-dead. So many Truescales have died here... The old mad shaman stood at the feast and declared, 'When the Doomed King sits the Throne, our great tribe merk-merks its last! To save our people, wash our troubles from the crown with the blood of pink-skin-spawn!' And Merlokrep our king sent his warriors into the woods to find pink-skin children. Uh, human children."
"The king is that way, but his warriors guard the cauldron. You must take care. He is insane, but his warriors still follow him faithfully." His gesture indicates the north doors to the room.
Looking at the dwarf, he adds, "They are my brothers, but you will kill many kobolds if they do not kill you first. They will not surrender because they believe in their king. I surrendered because I do not."
The halfling speaks up at this point. "Yes, but we need to go into the smoky room to rescue one of the children. We came through the cauldron shaft, but panicked and went the wrong way when we heard our pursuers. Something grabbed one of the boys, but we fled to try and get help."
The kobolds exchange worried glances at the news. "A not-dead lives in the smoke. The tribe, even the warriors, stay away. You will have to go to the cauldron first - the smoky room lies to the side of it."
The kobold shrugs, "We had no idea their wer pink... er, humans down here. Maybe they heard when you attacked. There should be no more than this." He holds up six clawed digits, "But watch out for the Claw. He will be greater warrior. I can try to put them at ease if you want to surprise them. If you think they are expecting you."
He looks at the druid for a moment and then at his two able-bodied allies.
"Take the wounded to the dwarf-kitchen. Watch over them and - if we fail - tell them I was captured and magically forced to aid the invaders."
They look doubtful, but they each take up an unconscious ally and head down the hallway past the children and the former slaves. The wounded one slowly follows, pausing to rest often and carrying the spears for all five.
Seeing his followers safely leaving, the bluescale nods at the dwarf."I know - the children must be unharmed. Or more like you will come to destroy the Truescales. We must hurry."
He moves to the door leading toward the cauldron. "If they heard you, I will allay their suspicions. I will tell them that I was told that one of the children was seen going into the smoke. If they send someone to retrieve the child, you will have fewer to fight. If they do not..." He indicates the double doors, "I will raise both hands like this so you can launch your attack when you will." The motion he shows is a very human-like shrug.
I'll need initiative from Nox. Right now, I'm only planning on Nox, Gilgar, and Graymoon participating in the fight - if you have a desire to see someone else get involved, let me know. Otherwise, they will generally play a rearguard action.
The kobold, complete with glowing earring, checks to see that no one will be visible as he opens the door, then opens it and strides through with purpose. He leaves it standing open a few inches. Beyond, you can see a short hall (10' side, 15' long) that ends in a room (appears to be 20'x20' from this angle) with an odd contraption of chains and pulleys supporting a large cooking cauldron. A pair of kobolds stand on either side of the cauldron and visibly relax when they recognize the visitor.
As he enters, the kobold says something in their language.
"Have you seen Memkek?"
Two more kobolds cautiously peer out of the cauldron before climbing out. The large stewpot swings slightly as they climb out. Another voice hisses something angrily at them from out of sight left of the hall. All five of the visible kobolds turn and look, apparently at their commander.
"Idiots! You heard the two that fled! There are intruders - they could be right outside that door, following Kerrdremak! Positions!"
The two begin to scamper back into the pot while the other two stand rigid once again. The infiltrator kobold moves around to the other side of the cauldron, opposite the door, and turns to face the unseen figure in the corner.
"Intruders? Why would anyone come here? Ah - it's the children, isn't it? They'll be our doom!"
From the door to the near side of the 10' wide cauldron is 20'. The standing guards are on either side and actually have some cover from the corners where the hall meets the room. The kobolds climbing into the cauldron are most definitely not ready for an attack. If you wish for your attack to interrupt the proceedings earlier, say when. Otherwise, I assume you act as the kobold with the glowing earbone moves around the far side of the stewpot.
Looking to see if the others are ready, Graymoon sees the kobold caster draw the attention of the guards away from the door, draws his curved blade, and stealthily moves through the doors and up the hall.
Gilgar creeps forward, trying hard to be quiet about it, though his entire body is tensed in the anticipation of chaotic combat. Sweat has begun to bead on his bald head, and it runs down his upper body in a hundred tiny rivulets.
Stealth: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Knuckles whitening as his grip tightens around the axe handle, Gilgar grins maliciously as they creep closer to the opening.
Everyone's rate of movement is sufficient to reach the end of the hall, into the room, and threaten at least one foe. None of the kobolds you can see appear to have noticed any of you as you move. To finish up describing the surprise round:
As Graymoon moves silent as a ghost into the room, he points at his chest and toward the corner where the unseen speaker seems to be. As he steps around the corner, sword raised, there is a shout of surprise in Draconic, drawing the eyes of the standing guards away from the distraction caused by the caster.
Perrin's rate of movement is enough that he can reach any of the kobolds in the room; Nox can reach any of the visible kobolds or follow Graymoon; Gilgar can reach a point where he threatens any of the visible guards.
There is a guard on either side of the huge kettle and two that are literally halfway in - at the shout, they both freeze, then redouble their efforts to climb in where their weapons are. And at least one kobold out of sight around the corner. Let me know which target each of you heads for. For ease of identification, the four guards are 1 (left of kettle), 2, 3 (left and right, working on climbing into the kettle), and 4 (right of kettle). Choice #5 is follow Graymoon.
Surprise round, your attacks will have to wait because movement occupies your action unless they were intended as a charge, which would work for everyone except Graymoon. That would give a bonus to the attack, but penalty to AC. Of course, Nox could cast or shoot instead.
Kobolds #2 and #3 struggle to get upright in the kettle as it gently swings, and each takes a stab at their respective closest foe. Kobold #4 tries to stab the wolf from his prone position.
Kobold #2 successfully hits Gilgar for 5 points while Kobold #3 does not hit as solidly, only doing 1 point of damage to the wolf. Kobold #4 is completely ineffective from his spot squealing on the floor.