The Diary of Aaron C. Rescue

Cleaning Out the Kobolds Lair

Author: Neil

Twenty Three

We'd won. The kobolds were high tailing it away, ducking through the hedge, and using dogs to guard their escape. We took a few pot-shots with the bows as they retreated, but we weren't really capable of following them across their tree-top escape route. As the last of them disappeared into the greenery, we took stock of where we were, and spent a few moments patching up our wounds. Bob was showing off the shiny new axe he'd picked up from the enemy leader just after he'd killed him.
The next task we set out on was to search the place from top to bottom. We noted that the plants to one side of the clearing are all hemp, so it's clear where the ropes had come from. We went up to the big platform first to begin our search. The boss's room had a parchment nailed to the wall, the only real item of interest, and furs and blankets scattered on the floor. The parchment looked like it could be a scroll, so after carefully lifting it from the wall, we handed it to Ex to take a close look. She reported that she'd need to spend some time looking at it, but that it's probably got two spells.
We went through the stuff on the platform outside the boss's den, and picked up four short swords that the guards dropped. Then we moved into the platforms at the back of the complex. Here we found what appeared to be an armoury. There were some interesting bits and pieces here - a Large shield a huge sized suit of ring mail amour, some fire-sharpened stakes, and lots of small (and useless) wicker shields.
We made our way around the platforms, the west platform was next, and that turned out to be for storage, there was a large pile of stuff here, mostly junk. Then we were on the centre platform. Red spotted a section of the tree which looked slightly different to the surrounding bark. It needed further investigation, so we marked it and carried on searching this platform. This was a kitchen area, there were some blunt cooking knives and some clay jars. We also found a few bits of food in reasonable condition, dried dates, rock salt, cooking oil, raspberry juice, nothing that raised any eyebrows, though.
The next area on that centre platform has wicker shields, and was probably where the guards were normally stationed. The last bit of this platform, at the back, had a trap door that lead down into the tree but the way down seemed a bit too narrow for humans.
Overall our assessment of this platform complex was that the main tree has had work done on it, but not recently. We estimate that it's years since any changes were made, and the craftsmanship does not appear to be Kobold work.
At the back of the complex were two more separate platforms, and the retreating Kobolds had cut away any routes to them. We needed to use grapples to get up there. The climb turned out to be a waste of time, though. The first platform we climbed was the place where they'd kept the guard dogs. The second was a mess and smelled of weasels.
We'd completed our search of the platforms, so we went back to check out the panel we'd found earlier in the tree. Bernie spotted a trap, and carefully removed a poison dart mechanism before opening a storage area that the Kobolds hadn't discovered. Inside we found some fancy female garments and a small box. The clothes were all human-sized undergarments, and were perhaps a little large for Ex to use. It took some persuading to get her to model them for us.
Once more Bernie got his anti-traps toolkit out and checked the box over for more traps, but it came up clean. The lock mechanism on the box is an interesting one. It's not just a key that's required, but also there's a sliding puzzle arrangement that also has to be worked out. We all had a go, but we just couldn't figure it out. The box was probably made by human craftsmen.
Next we went to investigate the giant weasel hole. It's a three foot diameter hole in the ground, and the only one of our team that could squeeze into the gap was our elfish maiden, Ex (and we wouldn't let her go down with that fancy underwear on). Down there she found the corpse of a halfling. He'd died wearing studded leather armour and seemed to have been in there for some time. We pulled him out with a rope.
Now we could see the body properly, it has some nice equipment. There was a 'quality' shortsword and dagger, and there was a backpack, and a belt pouch which contained three gem stones and a thin gold ring. We stashed these items and looked a bit more closely at the other stuff we'd picked up.
Further examination of the raspberry juice we'd found earlier showed it to be some kind of healing potion. And the large shield that bob found earlier is dwarfish. Red slipped himself down the staircase carved into the big central tree to check it out. There nothing in there, he wasted his time sliding into such a difficult place.
Closer to where we'd come in through the thick fence was the hole that was lived in by the normal weasels, we checked that out, and it was down to Ex again as she's the only one slender enough to do it. In here we found some money and a piece of parchment. We took a good look at this, and it turned out to be the title deed to the manor house we appropriated in an earlier mission.
By this time evening was passing and the day was starting to close in. The safest place to stay in this region is probably these platforms, so we elect to sleep up on high - after cleaning out the rubbish and debris of the Kobolds, of course.
During the evening, as we prepared the platforms for our camp, Red spotted a bird nest in the branches above us, its position given away by scratches on the branches around there. From what we can see in the fading light, it's probably quite an old nest, so we decide to check out our in the morning.
In the broad light of day, it looked to us like the scratches in the wood could have been made by someone climbing up and down the tree to this nest. We suspect this might be someone's treasure store, but we're a bit big to go climbing up there. Instead we knock the nest out of the tree with sticks and stones. When it fell, three gold nuggets fell out of it.
Our treasure haul from here seems reasonably good, and as we have some nice valuables, we've really got to get this back to town. Before we leave we take one last trawl through the Kobold's rubbish pile, but we find nothing else of value.
Or journey back to the keep took us a day and a half. but thankfully it was an uneventful walk. As soon as we got back we set to work getting our haul appraised.
The most interesting item of magic is the scroll which we'd given to Ex. It contains a cause fear spell and cure trifling injury spell.

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