With the Staff still giving off light, you take a moment to examine the room you are in. Rows of wooden pegs line the earthen walls, some hung with tiny, filthy cloaks. In the center of the room stands a rickety table held together with twine, covered with a filthy red-checked tablecloth and heaped with mounds of dirt and twigs and gravel, apparently arranged to form some sort of map. Sitting at the edge of the map, weighing down a scrap of paper, is a bloodstained ivory statuette of what looks like a crouching reptilian devil. A bulging burlap sack sits under the table.
This room serves both as a war room and the den of the mite leader Grabbles. He’s created a relatively accurate map of the hexes that contain their lair and the Sootscale tribe—the sycamore tree is represented by a tangle of branches, the Sootscale cave by a pile of bloodstained rocks. Cornath quickly recognizes the map for what it represents, at which point the character can easily find the entrance to the Sootscale caves (L6. And you won’t need to explore to find it. You can get there in a little over 4 hours.).
The ivory statuette depicts a crouching horned devil. This is the statue that was stolen from the Sootscale kobolds—to the kobolds, the statue is a sacred relic and the focal point of their worship (they worship the statue as a mighty, winged kobold named Old Sharptooth). The statue is nonmagical, but worth 250 gp for its craftsmanship.
The paper weighed down by the statuette is an accounting of the status of the war, as defined by key pieces of stolen treasure. Written in charcoal in Undercommon, the paper consists of two columns, one labeled “Us” and one labeled “Them.” The “Us” column lists only two things: “kobold statue” and “lots of spears and coins.” The “Them” column lists “magic dust,” “lots of coins” and “shiny human ring.”
The burlap sack contains the mites’ treasure, much of which has been looted from slain kobolds. Within are 12 Small spears, 193 cp, 120 sp, and 32 gp.
The room labeled R6 is a damp room haphazardly cluttered with broken beds, chairs, wagon wheels, and an assortment of worn, tattered, dingy, and broken objects pilfered or salvaged from big folk. A row of bookcases stands crookedly propped against the far wall, the shelves filled with bits of bone, feathers, and dried centipede legs. Old window frames, cracked
and splintered, hang upon the wall like works of fine art.
The room labeled R2 has a wet-looking floor of this large cavern which is crisscrossed by several shallow trenches, each containing trickles of putrid- looking fluid. Six foul mounds of compost and dung lie heaped about the room, each studded with small spherical eggs. The eggs are centipede eggs and three centipedes remain in this room guarding their eggs. They are easily dispatched.
All the Mites have fled.
Mikmek at the site of the statue again falls to his knees and in a broken Common thanks, everyone in the party and promises “many treasures” if he may take the statue and return it to the Sootscales.
Anod takes stock of the situation and says, “Gentlemen, we have a problem. Our two warriors are severely wounded and need rest. My ankles are sprained at a minimum and my mobility is reduced (20 feet movement). We are at least 16 hours away from Olegs and that is with all of us at full health. While we have explored much of this area, encountering a wandering monster in our current state might prove deadly.”
Mikmek says in Draconic, “Tartuk powerful sorcerer. Can heal you. Make you feel better.”
Momo asks aloud, “Can we trust Tartuk?”
Brixton answers, “The more important question is, can we fight Tartuk if we have to.”
Cornath cheerily adds, “My sling still works.”