Veil of Whispers 3: Caves & Kobolds

Posted on Feb 4, 2024 in Tales from the Table. Last updated on Apr 15, 2024.
Part of a series called Veil of Whispers.

The gang crawls their first dungeon. Montgomery feels the need for speed.

Date: February 3, 2024

Characters present:

Character level: 2

The previous session, the group finally got on the airship that would take them to Duskridge where they were going to search for the kidnapped princess. The engine wasn’t in great shape, but Montgomery insisted it be trimmed to the maximum. Once they’d taken off we leveled and wrapped up, which brings us to session 3.

How to Not Fly an Airship

The party took turns resting and piloting the ship, which went pretty well except when it was Rosa’s turn to steer. She set the group off course, which Monty was able to correct with his experience in flying between the cities. During the night, a strange raven showed up with some kind of grim portent1, saying things like “shadows loom, death draws near,” which rather unsettled the party. It showed up two nights in a row and no one knew what to make of it.

On the second night, the scrappy engine began making an unusual noise. The party brought the airship down to the treeline to investigate. None of them knew anything about engines, but Nessie had identified the sewing needle she found earlier, which turned out to be a needle of mending. She waved it at the engine, which seemed to make things a bit better. Monty suggested percussive maintenance, i.e. hitting it with a hammer, but was interrupted by a loud crash as the ship suddenly came to a complete stop in the air. Outside, a giant tree had grabbed hold of the keel and was now suplexing the ship into the ground. Monty jumped through a window and the others tried to hold on as best they could. Crawling out of the rubble that used to be a ship, they attacked the living tree, eventually turning it into a regular tree. Montgomery wondered why they didn’t just walk away, seeing as trees can’t exactly give chase.

The sun was rising and the group decided to continue on foot through the forest. They were hoping to make a quick stop at a certain kobold mine on the way to Duskridge. Nadia, the half-orc who worked for the evil Shadow Syndicate against her will, had mentioned that her brother, Sasan the baker, was forced to work there. The party hadn’t exactly been hurrying to save the princess and they certainly weren’t going to start now. Rosa couldn’t figure out whether it was a mine run by kobolds, or a mine where they mine cobalt. Or kobolds. The others figured it was the former. As they walked, the bird showed up again. The DM told us we could stop writing down his prophecies. The group tried communicating with the bird in several languages. Rosa even tried speaking in rhyme, but the bird spoke only doomy gloomy omens and was not interested in answering questions.

Moving on, the gang encountered a colleague of Monty; a tiny half-cat half-owl named Owliver Twist. He was delivering mail to the underdark and his route just so happened to go through a kobold mine. He also just so happened to have a broken wing, which is why he was walking instead of flying. The party set off for the mine, arriving after Owliver because of yet another silly discussion. In the mine there was a room full of sleeping kobolds, minecart tracks leading down into the mine, prison cells, and a blue drake2 which is the tiny, lame, wingless version of a dragon. He only spoke draconic and wasn’t willing to negotiate so he died, as did the kobold servants he summoned. One of the prison cells did indeed contain Sasan the half-orc baker. He was imprisoned because his shoulder was hurt and he couldn’t perform any slave labor at the moment. After freeing him, the party took a little nap outside, spending the time identifying a cool-looking crossbow they’d found in the mine along with some dynamite that the DM will probably end up regret giving us. The crossbow was a +2 weapon, which was given to Monty.

The DM is using a reach extender to manipulate the battlefield.
The DM using his brand new grabby hands.

After the nap, the gang decided to head down the mine and look for more slave laborers to rescue. They hopped into a minecart and Monty disabled the brakes. “No brakes no brains,” he said. I added the personality trait “speed demon” to his character sheet. The group barreled down the tracks at an incredible speed, eventually spotting two slave workers pushing a cart up the rail, with two kobolds in tow. Monty unfurled his wings and took to the air, suddenly realizing that the rest of the group couldn’t fly and were actually pretty screwed. The miners jumped aside as the carts slammed together, now racing down the track together like a tiny train. Monty flipped upside down and shot a kobold dead with his bow. Findus was ejected from the cart, landing on the tracks in front of them. Then he was hit by the cart in the front, sending him into the air. Monty grabbed him with his claws and set him down in the rear cart with the others. Then Monty landed on the cart in the front, surfing on top of it. Findus had been knocked unconscious and Rosa fed him a flower from the wreath on her head, which woke him right up. They all bailed from the cart. Monty stayed on until the carts were just about to hit a wall, after which he jumped off and turned around because cool guys don’t look at explosions or minecart crashes.

Montgomery surfing on a rail cart
No brakes, no brains. I couldn't quite bother with the coloring but you get the idea.

Then they freed all the slaves except one, whom Rosa accidentally killed when she tried to throw a javelin at an escaping kobold. The end.

  1. Apparently the DM got the idea of a doomsday conspiracist bird from a friend who got it from a meme from an anime dating simulator. Due to this newfound knowledge I am going to shoot the thing the next time it appears. Annoyed by bird, nevermore. ↩︎

  2. I later learned that his name was Fluffykins. ↩︎