In this episode, our heroes are back in Talis'Val to re-strategise on their Velderbann mission and decide to recruit Cassandra for help. Returning back to Velderbann, however, they stumble upon a peculiar tribe of kobolds.
Bickering over BreakfastEdit
After retreating back to the Champion's Hold in Talis'Val, with the help of Alfred's teleportation spell, from the ever increasingly disadvantageous encounter with the Broken Sky in Velderbann, the adventurers and Reynard update Korak the Champion on what has transpired in the hill dwarven town before resting for the night in separate rooms within their suite.
Dawn breaks and the group are eating their breakfast that had been served to them, though there was a brief bickering between Cam and Reynard regarding breakfast that irk both Elora and Jiǔtóu. Following after, the group discuss on their next step, which is to do the necessary preparations for their return to Velderbann to complete the mission that was tasked by both Korak the Champion and the Council of Guilds. Knowing that Alfred's teleportation spell can teleport up to six people, the group is discussing on bringing one more person on board their mission. Several names are suggested, including Barris, a City Watch lieutenant, Cassandra, paladin of Bahamut, Durmont, the Head of Security and Korak himself. The group eventually decide on Cassandra and split off to find her.
Looking for CassandraEdit
Jiǔtóu, with Reynard tailing her, decide to look for Korak's secretary for directions on where they could find Cassandra. Along the way, while walking through Champion's Hold, they hear negative rumours of the capital losing another trade route and food shortages, as well as positive rumours of a new trade route that opened to the north of the Dawn Republic, likely to be the town of Hallow in the Troubled Lands.
Upon finding Korak's secretary by the Champion's office, the secretary, whom they later learn is Ms Thornwail, gave them directions to the Temple of Bahamut, which Ms Thornwail says that it is one of the places Cassandra might be at. The other possibility is that she could be working with Durmont somewhere within the Champion's Hold. The duo then head towards the Temple but not before Ms Thornwail voicing her displeasure to Reynard for his antics the day before.
Elora checks on Alfred before heading off to find Cassandra. Knowing where Alfred's hidden room is, she knocks on the door and Alfred lets her in. Elora asks Alfred if he is well and still capable in casting teleportation spells, to which Alfred insists he is, despite coughing and showing some physical weakness. Alfred explains that him that the new teleportation spells he recently discovered have some drawbacks, which causes him to become sick. Nonetheless, he assures Elora that he had made preparations with his advanced students on continuing the research should anything happens to him.
Regarding the mission, Alfred says that he has prepared some spells to protect himself upon teleporting to the farmhouse in Velderbann, explaining that he will be there should the adventurers need a quick escape. Elora turns down his idea though, preferring him to return back to Talis'Val as soon as possible once he is done doing his job of teleporting them there. Alfred explains that he wants to return the favour back to Talis'Val, since the Government helped him when the Lightfall happened, but understands Elora's concern so he will return back whenever possible. Also, Alfred wishes that both Cam and Reynard could get along, a sentiment that Elora agrees on, so he tells her that he will prepare a potion and give it to her later that can help to encourage that friendship. Elora thanks him, then heads off to find Cassandra.
Cam, too, heads off to find Cassandra, believing that she might be in some "clerical training area". Stopping a female servant who is carrying a stack of bed sheets, Cam asks her if she knows any "clerical training area". She asks Cam if he is referring to a monastery, then a fight arena, Cam answers no to both. Feeling frustrated, Cam yells out on where Cassandra might be at the servant, who is now looking terrified. After telling him that she might be in a barrack, Cam thanks her as the lady hurries off and recounting the incident to another servant.
Elora, Jiǔtóu and Reynard later bump into each other outside the Temple of Bahamut and enter the compound. Once inside, they immediately notice that a sermon is taking place, with four priests leading the sermon. One of the lower priests recognises both Elora and Jiǔtóu, so he goes over to assist the group. Requesting to see Cassandra, the lower priest brings the group through a side door into a central garden of the cathedral, where he asks them to wait as he go fetch Cassandra. Reynard, instead, heads back inside the main hall and listens to the sermon, which he is amazed by as it is his first religious experience. He then sits beside an old half-orc lady and asks her about the sermon. The lady picks up a prayer book from the pew and starts explaining about Bahamut.
Meanwhile, Cam arrives at the barrack and sees Durmont, who is tending to the soldiers in training. Asking if this place is a "clerical training ground", Durmont sarcastically requests one of his soldiers, Jimmy, to casts a spell. Instead, Jimmy successfully pulls a prank, which embarrasses Cam. Durmont eventually tells Cam that he is looking for a temple, which Cam now realises. Feeling peckish, Durmont brings Cam to the barrack's mess hall for a meal, as well as introducing him to the people working within the barracks since Cam is a likeable well-known figure amongst the soldiers.
Soon time later and back at the temple, Cassandra arrives at the central garden and greets both Elora and Jiǔtóu, who then return the greetings. Jiǔtóu starts off by telling Cassandra that they need her help in their Velderbann mission, then explains on what has happened. Once informing her of the Broken Sky's involvement, Cassandra exclaimed that she did warn Korak of that possibility after the regiment that they sent failed to return. Cassandra says that she would like to help but shares that she is bogged down by another incident regarding missing lightborn children that apparently has been ongoing for a few years now. It is only when both Elora and Jiǔtóu promise Cassandra that they will help her, as well as saying that Cam may also be interested to help since he is a lightborn too, that Cassandra then agrees to help the group out.
Just then, the side door to the small garden bursts open, startling Cassandra, Elora and Jiǔtóu as they anticipated hostiles. The trio only calm down upon seeing that it is Reynard, who then exclaims that he can be better as he shows the prayer book of Bahamut. Elora and Jiǔtóu introduce to Cassandra who Reynard is. Then, after knowing that Cassandra is a paladin of Bahamut during introductions, Reynard becomes inspired by her, to which Cassandra responds to say that it is good that Bahamut can inspire anyone. Both Elora and Jiǔtóu also find this promising, knowing that Reynard is willing to strive to become a better person. Reynard later heads back inside and later asks a head priest more about Bahamut. He even buys a Bahamut holy symbol worth 10 gold pieces by paying using a fur mask worth 250 gold pieces, resulting in the head priest to praise Reynard's generosity to help the Temple. However, the head priest is left scratching his head upon hearing Reynard saying that he could be a "son of Bahamut" as he leaves the Temple.
Meanwhile, Elora goes to look for Lady Amirilith, knowing that she will be somewhere inside the Temple since she is a cleric of Bahamut. After being led to a smaller chapel, she hears a conversation inside upon reaching the door. Recognising the voices, she overheard the conversation of Korak the Champion confiding in Amirilith regarding him ruling Dawn Republic, a decision that the Council is increasingly disagreeing on, despite being a warrior who could perform better in combat. Amirilith reassures Korak that he is doing the best he could. It takes a whole before the conversation ends. Korak then leaves the chapel, then the Temple, but not before becoming surprised to see Elora by the door.
Elora enters the chapel and lets Amirilith know about Alfred, who earlier requested for her assistance regarding his health. Amirilith is aware of his condition, which she explains that it is a terminal health condition caused by a magic resistant disease, and insists that Alfred should rest and not perform strenuous tasks like casting teleportation spells. Nonetheless, she says she will look for him later after finishing her work.
After a while, everyone gather back at the Champion's Hold. Both Elora and Jiǔtóu update Cam about Cassandra and the missing lightborn children situation. Cam then notices that Reynard seems happier, to which Jiǔtóu replies to say that he has found a god.
A few hours later, Amirilith and Cassandra join the group. Jiǔtóu informs Reynard that Amirilith is a priestess of Bahamut, leading him to bow and vows to be there for her. Amirilith, who initially thought that he was proposing to her, appreciates his gesture. In the meantime, Cam have a private chat with Cassandra about the missing lightborn children. Apart from what was mentioned to both Elora and Jiǔtóu earlier, Cassandra adds that the missing children are all orphans. In addition, she tells Cam that she recently found out that a prominent Broken Sky figure, Victoria, is very interested in lightborn, leading her to believe that the Broken Sky may be involved with the missing children.
It is time for them to meet Alfred, so the group heads over to his chamber. Once there, however, some of them realise that they have yet to gather supplies for the mission, as well as on what to do upon reaching there. To this, Cassandra queries the rest on the situation in Velderbann, especially with regards to the Broken Sky. After recounting the details like the creatures involved and the number of agents they had slayed, the group guess that the Broken Sky numbers have been halved. Combat wise, they figured that they can free the captured able-bodied dwarves in the mines to help them defeat the Broken Sky. The group also gather some capes and head gears as disguise to avoid being easily identified.
As discussed earlier, Alfred gives a potion to Elora.
The group of 6 is now ready to resume their mission. With a magic word, the group teleport to Velderbann.
Back in VelderbannEdit
In a quick flash, the group are back in the cellar of the abandoned farmhouse. Cam and Cassandra vomit upon arrival. Alfred, on the other hand, will rest before teleporting back to his chamber in Talis'Val, as requested by the rest. Before that, Alfred casts a spell to see if the immediate surrounding is safe. With no Broken Sky agents in sight within 200 feet, Alfred lets the rest know about this.
After clearing the stacks of manure blocking the door, Elora takes a peek out to scan the area. She sees nothing but a damaged house. Cam, Cassandra, Elora and Jiǔtóu then step out of the cellar, though Cassandra is trying to be careful not to create too much sound with her heavy metal armour. Reynard stays behind for a while to ask Alfred about the scimitar he had. After magically investigating it, Alfred informs him of the magic word to activate the scimitar. Reynard thanks him and rejoins with the rest.
Cam, Cassandra and Elora alert the rest of a giant eagle about a mile away that is circling around town. The group then strategize their next step, eventually deciding to head directly to the mines. As the group make their way to the mines, which is about 1½ miles away, they actively duck and hide within the hedgerows scattered around the open hills, avoiding detection from a gryphon that is briefly patrolling the area.
The group reach a hill near the mines. Looking over a ridge, they see a series of mine entrances about 200 feet away. It is being barricaded by wooden planks. In front of it are crates arranged in a semi-circle acting covers. There are also 6 agents patrolling the area. Some armed with swords. Others armed with crossbows.
Something then catches the eyes of both Elora and Reynard. About 400 feet away from the mine entrances, a lizard-like creature with a ragged, wooden spear is seen crawling out of a small rock hole. It sneaks its way to one of the crates near the mines, which appears to have a hole. The kobold then carefully grabs a rock-like object and hurries back into the rock hole.
Thinking of a way to create a distraction, Reynard spots loose rocks above the mine entrance, believing that it may cause a small rockslide. He later asks the rest for ideas to create a distraction. Jiǔtóu is thinking of turning invisible, then creating a fire. Elora thinks that they should head into the rock hole instead. With this, Reynard proposes a plan where Jiǔtóu first turn invisible and fly up to the loose rocks to create a rockslide, then everyone run to the rock hole. Jiǔtóu, however, voices out that she can either casts Fly or Invisibility with her Doss Lute, not both. Also, she adds that she may not be strong enough to push the rocks. Cam then offers to create the distraction, so he turns into a raven with his Cloak.
After flying towards the rock face, Cam turns back into his self, while hiding behind the boulders to avoid detection. First getting a good grip, Cam then begins to push two boulders with his legs. It takes a while but he manages to do it, pushing the boulders to tumble down the mountain. One of the agents quickly alerts two more within the path to dodge out of the way. The two agents get out of the way as the boulders smash into some crates, causing ores to pour out of them. While this is happening, Cam quickly runs down the mountain and goes around wide with Cloak of Shadows and Blessing of the Trickster activated, just as several agents start climbing up the mountain.
Meanwhile, after witnessing the rockslide, Cassandra, Elora, Jiǔtóu and Reynard run towards the rock hole. Once there, they notice droppings around the entrance. Yet, they start crawling into the tunnel, with Elora entering first, followed by Reynard, then Jiǔtóu. Cassandra waits for Cam, who then arrives and crawls in next. Cassandra just manages to squeeze into the tunnel last.
Immediately, the group notice that the tunnel is not natural but crudely cut. After winding through the first few twists and turns, the tunnel eventually becomes pitch black. This triggers Reynard's fear of the dark, causing him to panic and attempting to crawl back out. However, with Jiǔtóu blocking the way, he instead rams forward and rushes Elora to move fast. It is at this point that Cam casts Light on his bandanna, which lights the tunnel a bit and eases Reynard.
They have been crawling for 20-odd minutes. This is when Elora notices that the light seems to hit something. Mumbling can also be heard. As they move closer, strips of hessian fabric are hang overlapping each other. The mumbling becomes clearer, with yelps of voices seemingly chatting with one another about getting more treasure. A voice gets closer and then, popping out of the hessian strips is a kobold.
Elora instinctively grabs the kobold's snout and gesturing to him to keep quiet. However, the kobold struggle and manages to wiggle out of Elora's grip, running back into the chambers, while screaming intruders. Elora rushes out of the tunnel and chases after the kobold into the next chamber, only to find 30 more kobolds in the next bigger room. Some wielding weapons, while others beginning to grab them off the racks.
At the front of the chamber is a rock painted in gold. Standing by it is a kobold, with a posture of a leader, wearing a crown made of metal spoons. He commands his kind to defend the Egg, referring to the gold-painted rock, from the intruders. Not wanting to cause further misunderstanding, Elora puts down her weapons and raises her hands in surrender. Several kobolds come forward to attempt arrest. Elora makes their job easier by going on her knees, to which the kobolds think that they have properly arrested her.
Cam, Cassandra, Jiǔtóu and Reynard eventually crawl out of the tunnel. Fearing Elora may be in danger, Jiǔtóu pulls back her hood and rushes forward into the large chamber with flaming eyes via Thaumaturgy. This frightens the kobolds arresting Elora and they back off in fear. Elora then takes her chance to call out to the kobolds that she does not want the Egg but only want safe passage. It is only when Elora says that she is a princess, after the leader tells her that he is King Yik-Nik, that the king announces to his tribe to be still and welcome the honoured guests.
Elora stands up as she informs the kobolds of more allies with her. The King invites them in also, so Elora calls out her companions to come out. Cam, Cassandra and Reynard all step into the room but the kobolds are immediately fixated on Cassandra. It is her shining armour and the symbol of Bahamut on it that captured their attention, calling her a Servant of the Egg. Reynard takes this opportunity to show his Bahamut holy symbol, which results in the kobolds recognising him as another Servant of the Egg.
The base of the "Egg" is strewn with random objects. Some are toys and small objects, while others are rocks and ores. The King delightedly speaks to his tribe, saying that he knew such a day would come, for it is the egg that spoke to him about it. Both Elora and Jiǔtóu can observe that the kobolds genuinely believe the "Egg". Meanwhile, Cam is trying to hold back his laughter.
King Yik-Nik invites Elora and her companions into his chamber. From there, he lets them know of the enemy of the kobolds known as the Guardians, which are essentially humans like Cam. Elora says that they are here to kill the Guardians, which the King appreciates since they had killed their kind in great numbers. He also lets them know of another unfriendly bunch called Stinky Beards, referring to the hill dwarves, for their tendency of beating the kobolds. Elora tries to convince the King that she needs to have the dwarves fighting with them by proposing to inform the dwarves not to attack the kobolds anymore. The King is delighted at the proposal.
Since Elora requested for safe passage, the King have two requests from her in return, as well as him providing them warriors to protect them in their quests. First, the King needs a sceptre with a stone of red that one of the Guardians wields as he believe that it can unleash the gold dragon from the "Egg". And secondly, Princess Elora is to marry his son, Prince Knick-Knack.
Elora is shocked to hear the second request. At this instance, Jiǔtóu, who claimed to be Elora's bodyguard, demands that they are to see the Prince and that he is to pass a series of test. As requested, the King orders his kind to fetch his son, who then appears into the King's chamber with a drum procession. Prince Knick-Knack is a kobold dragonshield, having a muscular appearance with more regal proper armour and spear. At this point, Cam and Reynard have excused themselves to see the "Egg".
After thinking carefully, Jiǔtóu announces the trial, which involves three stages. The first stage is of wit, second is of intellect and the last is of combat. For the wit stage, Jiǔtóu challenges the Prince to make Elora laugh. Before attempting, the Prince makes a requests to have three chances, to which Jiǔtóu agrees. Then, the Prince orders three servants to fetch him things. The first servant is to grab specified items from the kitchen. The second servant is to grab specified items from the royal chamber. When it is time to give orders to the third servant, however, the Prince suddenly gives him a backhand slap. This brings laughter into the room but Elora states that "violence to own people is no laughing matter." The Prince agrees, so he waits for his two servants to return.
Meanwhile in another part of the kobold lair, Cam asks Reynard if they should just kill all of these kobolds. Reynard remains hesitant but, after some coercion from Cam, eventually decides to go with Cam's plan. However, Cam tricks Reynard by saying that he himself have no thought to kill them all alone. As such, he takes this opportunity to put a fault on Reynard. Feeling flustered, Reynard picks up a nearby kobold and toss him towards one of Cam's dagger sheath which catches him by surprise. Fortunately, the impact is not great enough to cause any severe injuries but the kobold, in pain, accuses Reynard for betraying them. Cam kneels down to comfort the kobold, though Reynard claims that it is just a test that he passed. The kobold believes him.
The two servants have returned. First grabbing the items from the royal chamber, Prince Knick-Knack wears them as costumes for a comedic skit about two kobolds in love. The audiences love it but Cassandra, Elora and Jiǔtóu are not impressed. Moving on to his last attempt, the Prince asks his father, King Yik-Nik, to come over and look into the cup. As the King looks over, the Prince squeezes it, causing water to splash onto the King's face. Everyone, including Cassandra and Jiǔtóu, laugh. Elora too tries to hold back her laughter but eventually remains calm.
Now that the Prince have failed all three attempts, the King decrees that, for shaming the tribe and in line with kobold traditions, Prince Knick-Knack is to be exiled. The shocking announcement forces Elora to intercede, saying that such action is unnecessary. The King informs her that it is part of the tradition, while embracing his sad son for the last time. Elora then proposes that, should she and her companions complete the King's first request of obtaining the sceptre, then the Prince shall not be exiled. This announcement draws murmur from the crowds as such practice is out of the norm for the kobolds. Eventually, the King agrees but provided that his son proves his worth by accompanying them in order to regain his status. Elora agrees to the deal, which makes the Prince grateful for her.
Getting ready to travel into the mines, the kobolds lead Cassandra, Elora and Jiǔtóu to the way there. Along the way, they are brought to Cam and Reynard, who both claim that they are simply chatting when questioned on what they did. With all five back together, as well with their new companion Prince Knick-Knack, the group now head towards the mine.
- Jimmy, a City Watch guard
- Priests of Talis'Val Temple of Bahamut
- Yik-Nik Tribe
- Lightborn children
- Alfred Gluvis[spelling?]
- Cassandra Wyndale
- Durmont Vigil
- Helena Thornwail[spelling?]
- Korak the Champion
- Reynard Ferehorn
- Broken Sky agents
- City Watch guards
- Servants of Champion's Hold