It was early morning when the sheriff of Sandpoint, Balor Hemlock, put up bounties for a Kobold clan residing in the cave Hero’s Maw, known to be the cave where the previous Heroes of Sandpoint defeated Black Fang; another story entirely. Tempted at the adventure and the 1,500gp reward, many of the city’s citizens formed large groups at the tavern, all willing to split such a huge pool of gold. While everyone was bustling about, eager to join in, there was one silent corner in the tavern where 5 people and a wolf were looking at the huge commotion. Eventually sitting at a table together, they made small talk and all came to agreement that they will be the ones to claim this gold.
The group was made up of the Barbarian Dwarf Verkan, the Human Paladin Vepsenia, the Elven Druid Nidahl, the mysterious gunslinger Ace, and the Half-elf Ranger Quinray.
They arrived at the cave with determination. As Vipsenia examined a statue out-front and seeing a familiar symbol, the rest of the party examined the strange darkness at the mouth of the cave. Realizing it was actually a dark curtain, 3 Kobolds jumped out ready to defend their home. Despite a lot of misses and Quinray’s first Nat 1 threatening an early end to their adventure, the Kobolds did eventually fall to the group.
Pulling down the curtain, they advanced into what looked like a nesting room for Kobold eggs. Breaking open a chest in the corner of the room (and destroying the potion of resist cold), they found some loot and decided to destroy a cluster of eggs found in a nest near them. Continuing on, they found a door with a strange locking mechanism unlike any they’ve seen before. Upon closer examination, they realized that the key was actually the claw of the Kobolds. Commandeering the hand of a Kobold from earlier that obviously had no further use of it, they opened the door to find three more Kobolds eating chickens alive.
Going for a more sneaky approach, the party went for a surprise attack that quickly dispatched the feasting lizards. Taking some of the chickens for themselves, the party then continued through the door to the right, which led into an alchemy room of sorts, with dozens of black potions. As Ace goes to taste a potion, the black viscous liquid slowly making its way out of the bottle makes him reconsider his choice and he puts the bottle back down. Quinray on the other hand finds a couple of strongboxes on the desk, and upon trying to open the lightning bolt box, comes to the shocking conclusion that he done messed up. The other one held random ingredients, including a couple of gem fragments. Finding some legitimate potions around the room, including a vile of unknown volatile magic known as the dragonfire potion, the party continues.
The next room houses a bunch of shrubbery, determined by Nidahl to be called Normalius Shrubbius. Verkan using his dark vision decided to scope out the situation, only to get nipped by something on his ankle. Confused, he cut down the shrubbery next to him to find a tiny snake, pissed off at its intruder. The party then donned their whipper snippers and cut down the remaining shrubbery to find the rest of the snakes hiding in the bushes, and proceed to kill them. With Vipsenia lighting up the way for the non-darkvision folk, they continued on.
The party then came across a big body of water, with a small patch of land on the far side of the lake. Quin spotted a sleeping Kobold on the other side, and lined up a shot. Ace did the same. The Kobold, startled at the sudden presence of enemies, pulled out a Wand of Magic Missile and started returning fire. Verkan, Nidahl, and Vipsenia were left throwing several rocks, pebbles, and darts as Ace and Quinray let their actual weapons do the damage. It was one such instance when a poorly thrown rock put Verkan in the water. Eventually, the Kobold fell, his wand floating to the other side. Ace traveled to the small patch of land to find the Kobold’s stash, with a couple more potions joining the loot.
In the next room, several Kobolds were arguing about intruders. With Quinray scouting ahead, it revealed that the leader of the Kobolds was here, ordering the other Kobolds. While getting in position to ambush, a poorly attempted stealth for Vipsenia draw the Kobolds attention to them. With quick thinking, the Kobolds and Vipsenia started talking, both parties hoping to avoid a fight. However, the intentions of the Leader were not pure, as Vipsenia caught on to the leader’s attempt at an ambush.When requested to go get food, two of the Kobolds ran into the rest of the waiting party, and barely got the words ‘Boss, intruders!" out before being cut down and shot. The boss turned around to see his dead underlings, and lit his hands with brilliant energy as he zapped Vipsenia in her heavy armour. When the Dragonfire potion was brought out, the Boss’ mood quickly changed, his fear agreeing to a surrender and restraint rather than the effect of the potion being discovered. He revealed that he was the creator, and he had no idea what it would do. His aim with the potion was to make a dragon’s power greater, however this was one of the first experiments not to turn into black sludge and he had yet to run tests with it.
With the fate of the Kobolds now the point of concern, Vipsenia was outvoted, and Nidahl ruthlessly cut them down. Vipsenia picked up the leaders head to bring it back as proof of their endeavors. However, the party was curious what lay beyond a steep set of stairs to the north of the room. The Kobold said they were not allowed up their, as their master Vedjotliiv had forbidden it. Curiosity overwhelming, Quinray and Ace decided to recon what was above. They found a setting completely different to the cold caves below, as the walls made of polished stone reflected light coming from further down the hall. The walls were decorated with murals depicting Kobolds worshiping dragons, as well as four dragons breathing different energies.
Further in, a wall with what seems like a prophecy was on one of the walls. “The kings of four, who soon wage war, will envelop the land in strife. The one crowned as king, over the rest of his kin, will ascend as the lord of all life.” Curious as to what this could mean, the rest of the party catch up and explore. Vipsenia finds a skeleton, and a note next to it. The note is signed by Valeros, and describes what truly happened on the day of Black Fang. How Kyra initiated the betrayal, and was smited to the abyssal plane by Serenrae, how Isis slit his throat, causing him to be bleeding out and close to death, and how this gave him enough time to write this note. Vipsenia pocketed the note with the intention to reveal the scandal.
The next room was open-topped, and contained a large mountain of gold, which tempted the greed of many in the party. However, a closer look revealed something amiss with the gold. It was actually an illusion with a small amount if the gold actually being there. A quick check for traps revealed rigged tiles, and the “borrowing” of Valeros’ skull set of huge jets of acid the covered the pile of gold. Seconds later, a large resounding chime was heard, almost deafening half the party. Thee spell was identified as Greater Alarm, and to what it was alarming, people had no clue. In fact, many wanted to stay to see what was coming.
About a minute later, a huge roar echoed through the chamber, which prompted a retreat from most of the party. Vipsenia, however, stayed to see what beast was approaching. Her answer came in the form of a colossal black dragon. Vipsenia introduced herself while the party urged her to leave, and the dragon introduced himself as Vedjotliiv, or as the local towns call him, Blackfang. Rather than attacking, Blackfang actually requests help from the party, insisting that Vipsenia returns as he is impressed by her courage to stay and talk to someone as powerful as himself. He then flaps his wings and leaves, after placing another Greater Alarm to alert him of Vipsenia’s return.
The party then returns to Sandpoint, showing Balor the head of the Kobold as proof of their deeds. Vipsenia also hands over the note that revealed the truth about the heroes of Sandpoint. Balor is shocked, and immediately sets to righting the story, telling Mayor Kendra. Isis’ status has hero is denounced, and Valeros is rightly given the credit for using the sword Dragonbane to drive off the dragon.
The party is now in a bit of a crossroads. Will they chase after Isis for more about the heroes of Sandpoint? Will the return to Blackfang to learn more about the war in the land of Pinaak? Or will they continue to build on their reputation as the new Heroes of Sandpoint?