Chief Sootscale holds the statue in his hands with a fierce look of concentration, as if he were making a particularly difficult decision. Finally, he shrieks in triumph, holds the statue over his head, and then smashes it down onto the ground, shattering it. The other kobolds in the room freeze in shock while Sootscale, a frantic grin on his snout, thanks the PCs for “freeing us from this curse” and then encourages them to come with him to “kill the usurper.”
Switching to the Draconic language, Chief Sootscale repeats the command which you assume is “Kill the Usurper!” The remaining Kobolds look at each other and then after a brief hesitation Nakpik and Mikmek echo the Chief’s cry and lead a charge out of the southeast exit and turn south.
The party is caught by surprise and most of the kobolds are already out of the room before the PCs compose themselves to react. As the PCs follow the kobolds south towards Tartuk’s chambers, the passage turns east. As the heroes take in the room before them, they see the most terrifying image they have ever seen.
The walls of this cavern are decorated by a rickety wooden frame formed from clean-cut branches lashed together with gut and twine. Banners cut from two-foot-wide strips of old blankets and horsehides hang from floor to ceiling, covering much of the walls. The sloppily painted banners bear dozens of primitive icons and mystic symbols. A large cauldron filled with bubbling red liquid boils in the center of the room.
In the back of the room a translucent kobold hovers above the floor with a pale purple coloration that you immediately guess is the terrifying ghostly image of the evil Shaman, Tartuk holding a wand in one hand and a glowing sickle in the other. On the wooden frame above Tartuk you see a large Raven whom you assume is Tickbiter. At Tartuk’s feet you see a Shadow Drake. But before you can fully concentrate on Tartuk, you take in the fate of the Kobold rebellion. Nakpik lies dead on the floor with arrows in his chest. Mikmek is on the floor muttering that he is cursed. His once black scales are colored yellow and he looks like he has some disease or plague. A twisting pattern of subtle, shifting colors weaves through the air, and the remaining kobolds including the Chief appear to be staring at the swirling colors as if fascinated by their beauty.
Anod and Cornath, being accustomed to checking your six, glance north and feel the hair on the arms and neck rise. They see the statue of Old Sharptooth floating towards them slowly.
GM Note: Nevermind about action economy or Divination getting to act in a surprise round or whatever. This is what happened through accident or divine intervention. ;)
Drawing his sword and ignoring what for other men would be a terrifying visage, the Sword of the Black Cathedral advances towards Tartuk with a grim look. Angered at the shaman’s mockery of life and the slaughter of the kobolds Brixton offers a prayer to Erastil and asks him to help purge this insult to Erastil’s Glory and to enact vengeance for his new friends. Confident in the blessings of Erastil, the knight was certain that his blade would cut deep.
The wizard again recognized the value of allies and saw how effective Elly was recently. Advancing behind Brixton, and pulling out his wand, he began the incantations and gestures that would summon aid. It also placed Cornath directly in the path of Old Sharptooth but the capable Halfling had proven his worth dozens of times and the Diviner saw no reason this time would be different.
“Uh Anod? Can you cast dispel or something?” says Cornath as he shudders. Thinking he may need a little more humph to “prove his worth,” Cornath pulls his Halfling Sling Staff closer and touching the knotted strap whispers “Shillelagh na miña correa con n” in Halfling.
With both Anod and Tartuk weaving magic around him, Momo the Deft thought of his father’s favorite saying when confronted with sorcery, “A stout blade is a hearty incantation.” Striding with Brixton, Momo eyed the cauldron wondering if it had some effect or hold on the kobolds. “What might happen if it were tipped over” the Swordlord wondered.
Tartuk in a language no one recognizes begins waving his own wand, weaving patterns in the air as if a script of fell words directed at Momo. The sword smith hesitated a moment seeing the dreadful, terrible symbols for what they were.
Tartuk casts Cause Fear from his wand. Momo has a +1 Will save and as a 2nd level Fighter also has Bravery for an additional +1. The save DC is 15. Momo rolls a a 16 for a total of 18 and makes his Fear save.
Troubled by his doubts, Momo grips his sword tightly and plants his feet firmly underneath him but the sudden wave of adrenaline at avoiding whatever calamity Tartuk imagined for him leaves him shaken.
Momo is “Shaken” for one round. A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
The Shadow Drake
With the party still quite distant and fresh meat so tantalizing close, the Shadow Drake inflicts a coup de grace on a nearly Kobold and eyes Brixton with blood dripping from its fangs.
The statue, still hovering in mid air, moves no further towards Cornath, but waves from side to side and back and forth. Is it possible it’s casting a spell? Cornath isn’t sure what to make of these actions. “Where is Anod when you need him?” wonders the Ranger.
Pushing his way through the pacified kobolds, Brixton advances cautiously, ready for any attack.
Brixton gains the benefits of Total defense which adds +4 to AC.
Summoning the Earth Elemental near the Drake, Anod pushes farther into Tartuk’s lair to get a shot off at the evil . . . ghost? Kobold? Something else?
Attack Roll 3
An earth elemental rises up out of the dirt near the Drake and moves towards Tartuk. He attacks the Sorceror.
Attack Roll 11
Rushing past Anod, Cornath says, “Anod there’s something behind you. You should check it out.” Cornath rushes into position to fire his sling stone at something tangible.
Cornath fires at the Shadow Drake.
The Shadow Drake takes 7 points of damage.
Hoping that the kettle has something to do with the hold on the Kobolds, Momo struggles through the crowd to tip it over. Impeded by the lifeless kobolds, Momo ends up with the Kettle only 5 feet away.
Taking out a second Wand, Tartuk fires three Magic Missiles at the Earth Elemental.
GM NOTE: I made a couple of mistakes here. First, when I read the entry for Tartuk. Under the section called “During Combat” it reads, “Tartuk uses his Wand and Cause Fear. . .” I read that mistakenly as “Tartuk uses his Wand of Cause Fear.” So that’s why Tartuk cast Cause Fear in Round 1 against Momo. He should have used his Magic Missile Wand. So this version of Tartuk happened to have a one charge Cause Fear wand lying around.
The second mistake is I rolled a to hit roll for the Magic Missiles (the 13 on the screen shot). Magic Missiles don’t need a roll. They auto hit. So ignore the 13. Tartuk just fired three Magic Missiles and did 9 points of damage to Elly.
The Shadow Drake
The Shadow Drake makes two attacks on Elly
A melee Bite and a Tail Slap. He strikes twice and hits for 4 points of damage. Alas poor Elly is no more.
Brixton of the Black Cathedral
Pushing his way through the Kobolds, Brixton manages to get next to Tartuk and bring down his sword with terrible fury.
Tartuk takes 14 points of damage.
Turning and staring directly at the wavering statue, Anod cannot fathom what exactly the object is or is doing.
Cornath, determined to let Anod deal with the flying statue, runs toward the room to face Tartuk. Both the statue and Tartuk appear ghostly, but at least with Tartuk, he won’t be alone!
Firing at the Shadow Drake, Cornath’s sling flies out . . .
The Halfling sniper misses!
GM Note: Sorry guys. I’ve lost this post twice now. I had a detailed write up with screen shots and a little exposition, but the site is eating my stuff. I usually do this on Word and then copy/paste it here just to prevent this sort of mistake but the one time I didn’t . . . .
So here is the skinny version.
You tipped over the cauldron with your STR roll, took 2 points of non lethal damage and 3 points of lethal damage. It is too early to tell if the cauldron is the source of the red mist swirling through the room, but your first guess, is that the mist is dissipating.
Takes a 5 foot step back and begins to cast.
Also takes a 5 foot step back and breathes a cold breath onto Momo and Brixton. Both make their Reflex save for half damage. They each take 4 points of cold damage.
The motions of the statue are becoming increasing more violent and it even appears as if the statue is beginning to come apart.
Coward! Knave! What sort of blackguard retreats from noble combat to cast spells? Tartuk has no honor. Satisfied that Tartuk will soon be dead, Brixton refocuses his fury on the Shadow Drake.
The Drake takes 13 points of damage and has now taken a total of 20 points of damage.
Just as a reminder. Here is the Initiative order. Anod is up next.
Anod turns towards the statue of Old Sharptooth and studies his foe intently. Still hovering above the ground and shaking violently, Anod grips his staff tightly and awaits whatever fell effect is about to be conjured by the mysterious statue.
Anod is in Total Defense.
Cornath shouts out, “Finish the dragon!”
Momo reorients towards Tartuk after spilling the pot. “Dragon” he wonders. “What dragon?
That thing isn’t even a big dog.”
Cornath shoots at the terrifyingly small “dragon.”
Cornath hits Brixton on the back of the head doing 1 hp of non lethal damage.
With alacrity fueled by years of drilling, Momo moves to the east of the large Knight and strikes at the Drake.
Momo hits and finishes the remaining few hit points the Drake had. The Shadow Drake is dead.
As Brixton and Momo turn their attention to Tartuk, the Kobolds writhing and transfixed begin to emerge from their stupor. The spell has been broken.
Momo shouts, “You will pay for what you have done to this tribe!”
Tartuk snears, “You think them victims do you? Victims? I see no victims. Look down there. Tell me, would you really feel any pity if one of those pathetic creatures stopped moving forever? I think not.”
Looking past the two warriors Tartuk studies the Halfling and the Diviner. “Perhaps, it would be a close fight . . . you appear confident. Skilled even. But I have no time for this. I will leave you to the Stag Lord. I have what I needed.”