...we last left our heroes as the mists of the swamp they were trekking through parted, and they found themselves in amongst the kobolds they were tracking! The fiend with the skull mask, standing on a raised platform, sliced the throat of one of his companions. The now lifeless kobold tumbled into the swamp as his leader seemed to suck a purplish energy from his corpse. He channelled this energy into some kind of huge, bloated troll corpse which sniffed it in eagerly, erupting to life and roaring with sudden vigour!
The skull masked leader cried in anger at our heroes and the small swarm of kobolds in front of his all snapped their fanged faced faces their way. Things were about to get ugly(er). The giant corpse charged, picking up a kobold and flinging it at Ell, landing (appropriately for a kobold) short. Dragon, ever the gentledragonborn, raced up to protect her. He would need to. Throughout the battlefield were islands of semi-firm ground surrounded by a sea of fetid swamp water, which made moving difficult. The kobolds didn’t seem to share this problem, however, as they dived into the water and snaked their way though it effortlessly.
They weren’t the only things in the water, either. Ell and Keridwen quickly saw that the ‘earth’ beneath the water wasn’t that at all, but the corpses of hundreds of kobolds. With each step, their feet came to rest on the hand, face leg or body of one of these creature’s fallen kin! [[Oranna] saw this as well, and her response wasn’t quite as ‘staid’ as the others. There was no time for timidity, however, as the kobolds fell upon their adversaries. Thoradin did his best to put his hard won military knowledge into practice, and a cleverly placed cloud of mists by Calitris helped protect Dragon, who was standing toe-to-toe with the frontline of kobolds and the giant hulk of undead flesh. The dragonborn’s fiery breath was put to good use against this onslaught.
Meanwhile, Calitris captured the hulk in a swirling vortex of buffeting winds which tore haggard pieces of muscle and sinew from it. It was Ell who stuck a decisive blow against the huge zombie, however. She deftly manoeuvred around the spear-points of the kobolds before leaping onto its rotting flesh. Her well-maintained, acid-tipped blades easily pierced the creature’s bone as she dragged them down its chest cavity. The creature paused for a moment, stumbled, and then its ribs opened up letting forth a torrent of fetid pus and blood. Ell was covered, and the necrotic energies inherent in the mess weakened her, but the creature fell with a splash into the water. Still, the battle was far from over. The kobold necromancer had begun raising the corpses beneath the water while, at the first opportunity, he slit the throat of another ally and brought his monstrous creation back to life!
Calitris’ obscuring mists were now protecting Ell, and so the beast moved against the nearest enemy it could see – the glowing deva, Kerridwen. She was intent on bringing down the kobold leader, however, and as the giant zombie reached down to grasp her, her divine radiance blasted the thing, sending it stumbling backward. She would not be put off her task. The necromancer was getting his first glimpses of defeat and decided retreat was a good option. Dragon and Ell were not happy with this, however. The mighty dragonborn lifted his tiefling companion and threw her at their damned enemy. Ell deftly tumbled upon landing, sped forward and jammed her blades into the leader. She was still weakened and covered in the bile in the zombie, but she certainly left her mark. Unfortunately, she was also alone among enemies, and stood no chance surrounded. She fell soon after. Luckily, Keridwne had found the shot she needed. Calling on the favour of the Triple Goddess, Keridwen brought down a searing gout of flame from the sky. Against such an awesome showing of power, the kobold leader could not stand. His charred body fell, adding yet another corpse to the total. The standing undead fell as a result and the kobold followers ran for the trees. As the leader lost his staff, it collided with an outcropping tree root, and suddenly the area was filled with wandering spirits – those that were trapped within the staff’s orbs! They didn’t seem to notice our heroes, and many looked severly weakened and gaunt.
Ell soon recovered, and Calitris examined the orbed staff the kobold necromancer carried. The wood, twisted by its exposure to necromantic magic, was nothing; the orbs that hung from it were something else entirely. Oranna correctly deduced that there were ‘batteries’; something some necromancers used to store souls which would in turn be used to power very dangerous spells or summons. This kobold had a lot of them. Much more power than that which was used in the battle. Meanwhile, Dragon found a large bone of the kobold leader’s body. It looked to Calitris like a large tooth taken from the skull of a chromatic dragon.
At this point, Nic appeared again. He thanked his savious, but bid them on one more mission, ”...take my remains to a colleague of mine in Stoors Landing. He will be able to release my soul and set me on a path to the afterlife.” How this would fit in with their quest to find the Hand of Agaman, something the kobolds were supposed to know something of, we will find out next week!