The day before the Attack on the Blue Moon, Varda came to Fallcrest to check on her old friend in the city’s mage guild, the Septarchs. She went to the Septarch’s Tower but was much dismayed to find that there was only one middle-aged human named Nimozaran and his ridiculous halfling apprentice where once there has been a mighty organization of wizards. Nimozaran explained that the wizards had been wiped out during the Red Hand War and only he, an apprentice at the time, had survived. Nimozaran had proclaimed himself High Septarch of Fallcrest and he was now in charge of the guild. Unfortunately, he had only attracted one student so far: his somewhat incompetent halfling apprentice Bobolar Quickfoot.
Nimozaran was doing some business with Dana at the time, who was selling him a meager amount of magical dust. Seeing an opportunity, Nimozaran asked the women if they would be interested in doing some contract work for him. A group of nearby kobolds had been making organized raids on the town, and Nimozaran suspected that there must be something more powerful than kobolds behind the attacks. He hired Varda and Dana to check out Kobold Hall for signs of this kobold puppetmaster.
Nimozaran provided the two adventurers with some healing potions and a scroll which would teleport them back to his tower. He then used the tower’s teleportation circle to send them out into the Cloak Wood.
Upon arriving, Dana immediately detected kobold tracks on the old dirt track leading up to the old manor house. Dana and Varda followed the tracks up to the house, but the only evidence of kobolds they could find inside was some graffiti of dragons on the walls, done in blood and feces. Since the house was abandoned, the two did a more thorough search of the grounds, where they picked up the kobold tracks again leading into the cellar. They snuck down into the cellar, attempting to take advantage of their low-light vision to catch the kobolds by surprise.
It didn’t work. The guard in the cellar barked for help and was quickly joined by two more of the little blue dragonmen. The spear-wielding guards did some damage, managing to corner Varda near the cellar stairs, but she was able to Fey Step away from them, seeming to vanish from the corner and appear on the other side of the room. After handily dispatching what turned out to be five kobolds, our heroes took a break and contemplated the cellar. Varda examined the kobold armor and saw that they all had marking on them which seemed to indicate ther allegiance to Tiamat. She speculated that these kobolds might belong to a cult of the evil dragon god. Unfortunately, they still didn’t know who was in charge, so the adventureres would have to push on for more information. There was a passageway leading out of the cellar, but it was protected by a portcullis.
The passageway was closed off by a portcullis through which the kobolds had squeezed during the fight. That area seemed to be of different construction from the cellar. A lever which seemed to operate the portcullis was some twenty-five feet down the passage, on the opposite side of the barrier. Varda waved her hand and the lever moved. The portcullis groaned and squealed as if it had not been used in years, but it rose halfway up and Dana led the way down the passage, down some stairs, and into a crypt chamber.
In the crypt were three kobolds offering sacrifices of gold to a ramshackle idol of Tiamat. There were also four sarcophagi and two suits of plate armor. The kobolds were too wrapped up in laying out their sacrifices to notice the adventurers. Dana studied the suits of armor and noticed what appeared to be a trap mechanism which would shoot something out of the helmet visors. Staying safely behind the area seemingly covered by these traps, she shot at the kobold which seemed to be leading the religious ceremony, and the kobolds scattered to take cover. The kobolds did not fight back, but kept creeping into areas where they were more and more difficult to hit. Varda hid behind a sarcophagus and launched a few ineffective spells.
Finally, the kobolds’ cover enticed Dana to brave the trapped area of the room for a better shooting angle. She immediately stepped on a pressure plate and was shot with a poisoned dart which disabled her legs. Varda used her Prestidigitation spell to hastily create a barrier to protect Dana from more darts while she regained the feeling in her legs. A friendly-seeming tiger then joined the fight by transforming into a wiry little dwarf and then casting a spell which ignited the altar the kobolds were hiding behind. Two of them died swiftly while the last one ran out of the room, presumably to warn his comrades that their base was under attack.
The dwarf introduced himself as Poyin Dekstor while the adventurers divvied up the gold pieces of the kobolds’ offerings. They then moved on to the next room, where a jeering crowd of kobolds awaited them. The kobolds had a heavy rock tied to the ceiling which they seemed to be using for some sort of game. The kobold who had gotten away seemed like he wanted to swing this heavy rock to attack our heroes, but Varda used her Mage Hand once again and untied the rope from its mounting in the ceiling. With that threat gone, the heroes made short work of the remaining kobolds, except for the one who had run before; he got away again.
The party took a short break and then climbed up onto a ledge where the kobolds had been perched. While scooping up treasure and discussing their next move, they were taken by surprise by a pair of drakes charging up the stairs on the back side of the ledge. The two beasts made quick work of the dwarf, taking him down in two bites. Dana shot at them and then dove off the ledge back into the room below. Varda quickly forced a healing potion down the dwarf’s throat and then teleported away. Poyin rose to his feet, transformed into a tiger again, and executed a complicated maneuver that saw him ripping his claws into a drake, leaping off its head, and launching himself back down to the room with his companions. The drakes followed. One of them charged Varda, bit her, and nearly brought her down. The other slipped as it tried to leap down from the ledge, landing awkwardly, and interrupting its charge toward Dana and Poyin. Varda used another healing potion and then cleverly froze part of a pool of sludgy water in order to run across it and escape from the drake bearing down on her. It got in one last bite as she ran off, but then Dana decided it was time to end this fight as she fired a killing arrow into both drakes within a moment of each other.
Badly beat up by the drake fight, the group rested and healed. It was pretty clear at this point that they could only make it through about one more fight. They listened at the door leading ahead and heard some chanting in Draconic. Varda interpreted it as a religious ritual intended to summon the assistance of a god to help aid the kobolds against their attackers. The group decided they needed to act fast in order to stop the ritual and tried to smash the doors open, but failed. On the second try, though, they managed to get them open and they moved down the hall that they found behind them.
Upon turning a corner, they saw that the hallway opened up into a large cavern. Near the hallway, a kobold wyrmpriest was in the midst of his ritual, while the kobold who had escaped twice before huddled in a corner and whimpered. The party unleashed all their ranged attacks on the priest, but it was not enough to bring him down. He cackled, taunted the party by telling them “Too late!” and ran off into the cavern, out of sight. Dana put two final arrows into the whimpering kobold, killing him, as Poyin took a deeper look into the cavern.
What he saw there made him run full-speed back the way they had come. With barely a word, the other two followed. A deep, thundering voice bellowed after them: “Leave!” Only after they were safely away did Poyin describe the terror that had gripped him as he saw a thirty-foot wide cloud of pure darkness and shadow. Varda explained that black dragons are closely tied to the Shadowfell and can summon its dark energies to cloak themselves in darkness. Black dragons also favor swampy terrain, and with the Witchlight Fens not too far south of the Cloak Wood, the group decided that the kobolds must be under the influence or control of a black dragon.
Varda cast the ritual that would return them to the Septarch’s Tower, and the group informed Nimozaran of all they had found out. He rewarded them with 500 gold pieces and allowed them to keep their remaining healing potions. He also suggested that if they were looking for more work in this town, they should meet with Councilman Eoffram Troyas the following night at the Blue Moon Alehouse.