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Stairs are climbed. Store rooms searched. A grapple check initiated.


Picking up where the previous episode left off, Azu, Hamid and Zolf are clutching onto the pontoon in a dark cove on Shoin's island. Cel is the only one left standing on the pontoon. Hamid climbs onto the pontoon while Zolf activates his boots of levitation. Zolf goes over to Azu to help her get back on the pontoon. Zolfs asks Cel for help, and they turn into a dolphin and splash into the water to help Azu. Hamid casts fly on himself and rises like a vampire from the pontoon. Azu manages to get back on the pontoon.

A digital drawing of Zolf, a white dwarven male with white hair and a white beard. His is wearing a gold and blue chest plate with a long blue coat. He is wearing maroon pants with golden mechanical legs showing at the knees. He is also wearing knee high white heeled boots. He's holding a glaive in his left hand that has flames around the blade. There's a speech bubble from his that reads: Gogo Boots, go! The background is orange.

Zolf activates his boots of levitation. Art by @skraak on tumblr. Used with permission.

Hamid offers to cast fly on anyone who wants it, and Azu takes advantage of this and they fly hand-in-hand towards where the pontoon meets the cave wall. The cave wall contains a ladder leading up to a stone corridor. The party make it up into the corridor, where there is a metal door with a green light indicating it is unlocked. Zolf opens the door and looks inside, noticing another corridor, a stairwell, and an elevator. The party discuss whether to go up or down. Hamid suggests that downstairs probably leads to the emergency exit tunnel, but Zolf thinks that upstairs are probably offices and downstairs are evil labs. Azu thinks it's better to go to the offices if they want information. They decide to stealthily go upstairs.

The stairs leads to the ground floor of the keep on top of the island. The stairs eventually lead into a storage room with mundane-looking crates up against the wall, and a blast door on one of the walls. The stairs and elevator lead beyond this floor, but the party decide to search the room. Hamid and Cel cannot see in the dark, and hunker down to let Azu and Zolf look through the crates.


Azu opens some of the crates, some of them have onions, bottles, wines and spirits, shiny rocks, weird liquids, and bolts in them. Zolf investigates some of the liquids and decides to keep one which smells horrible. Azu takes some of the rocks and puts them in her bag of holding. At the back of the room they find an undersized spear leaned against some of the boxes. The spear has been modified to have some kind of liquid injection mechanism at the top. Hamid Detects Magic, but does not notice any magic items in the room. Hamid casts Dancing Lights so he and Cel can see and help identify some of the items that have been found. Cel identifies the spear as an unloaded syringe spear which could inject a creature with some kind of poison or liquid. Cel looks through the crate of liquids, and identifies most as standard alchemic ingredients.

Cel discovers that Hamid and Azu have bags of holding. As both of them have two, Hamid offers a bag of holding to Cel, and Azu gives one to Zolf. As Hamid transfers his items, Cel notices the extremely large amount of adamantine ore Hamid possesses and inquires where they have been, and realizes that Hamid and Azu must have had some interesting adventures, which Hamid agrees with. None of the rocks they have found in the crate look especially interesting to Cel. As everyone is busy transferring items to their bags of holding, they hear small approaching footsteps in the corridor.

Hamid turns off the Dancing Lights, and the party prepares to attack whoever is approaching, with Zolf and Azu flanking the door while Hamid and Cel hide. Azu immediately battle-hugs the small creature that enters the room, grappling them. Zolf puts his hand over the mouth of the creature before they can make a sound. It turns out to be a kobold. Zolf asks whether it speaks English, and the kobold shakes his head. Zolf closes the door and Hamid recasts Dancing Lights.

The party begins interrogating the kobold. Hamid casts Detect Thoughts and is able to understand the kobold's surface thoughts because they are in draconic. Cel casts Focused Scrutiny. Hamid immediately understands that the kobold's thoughts are wrong, as normally kobolds have the intelligence of an average person, but this one does not. The kobold's thoughts are mostly: Fetch. Big people. Bad. Fetch people. Hmm. Bad. Trouble. The party tries to see whether the kobold has any blue veins that could explain the kobold's thoughts, but it does not. They do notice puncture marks at the back of the kobold's neck that would suggest it has had something done to it. Cel examines the marks and can tell the kobold has been injected with something multiple times, and currently has some kind of drug in their system that makes them quite compliant.

Cel tries talking to the kobold in Japanese, trying to reassure them. When it doesn't respond, Hamid tries to speak draconic to the kobold, and although the kobold seems to understand, their thoughts are still fragmented. They decide to tie up the kobold and leave it in the storage room so it can't alert anyone else, as the kobold is not much use to them in its current state. Before the kobold is gagged, Hamid offers it a small piece of food, but it isn't interested. Cel keeps reassuring the kobold as they tie it up. Hamid makes a little pillow from bolts of cloth for the kobold so it has something comfortable to lie on.



Zolf: "Not that I can see, but I'll open it so that if I explode, it's my fault?"
Cel: "All right, that sounds good to me. I mean though, you seem quite competent so, I- I would be, just, I know that we're not-- we're not... it would be nice if you weren't exploded, I'm just saying... that."
Zolf: "Eh... thanks."
Cel: "And you also seem like, a nice guy! So you know, if you do explode it was nice to have met you."
Zolf: "Ok, yeah."
Cel: "Even briefly."
Zolf: "Yeah, okay."
Cel: "Just so you know."
Zolf: "All right, well good luck, and... goodbye."
Cel: "All right."
Zolf: "Probably not."
Cel: "Bye friend!"
―[add context]

Cel: "Hey buddy, just to say it, I'm really glad that our friendship goes to continue."
Zolf: "Yeah! I didn't explode, it was great!"
Cel: "That was, that was great, well done!"
Zolf: "Right, well, yeah! No, no, cool."
Cel: "Did you like when I was a dolphin?"
―[add context]

Zolf: "Wait... I'm a dwarf!"
Azu: "... So you like rocks?"
Zolf: "Yes."
―Azu finds some shiny rocks in the structure.

Hamid: "I wouldn't say I really know how to use a spear?"
Zolf: "Oh! Okay, so you - One end is the pointy bit, and you poke people with it, genuinely."
Hamid: "Is it- Is it honestly just that simple?"
Zolf: "Yeah."
Hamid: "Oh, so I can manage that!"
―Zolf hands a spear to Hamid.

Alex: "So, I'm going to have to do one thing that you're going to hate, but bear with me, it won't be as bad as you think."
Ben: "I already hate you."
Helen: "That could be anything terrible."
Ben: "Oh no! We're - no! We've initiated a grapple! Aah! Aah!"
Lydia: "Is it a combat maneuver check?!"
Alex: "The grappling starts!"
Ben, Lydia, and Helen: "Nooo!"
―Azu battle hugs the small kobold.

Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Initiative roll to climb the pontoon: 8 (Cel), 14 (Azu), 17 (Zolf), 21 (Hamid)
  • Azu Acrobatics check to get back on the pontoon: 1 (rolled: 6)
  • Azu Acrobatics check to get back on the pontoon with help from Zolf & Cel: 19
  • Zolf Perception check to check for traps on the metal door: Natural 20 (29)
  • Zolf Perception check on the corridor: 19
  • Zolf, Azu, Cel and Hamid Stealth Check to sneak upstairs: Unnatural 1 (Zolf), 15 (Hamid), Natural 20 (Azu), 23 (Cel)
  • Zolf Fortitude save to investigate the mysterious liquids: 12
  • Cel Engineering check to investigate the spear: 23
  • Cel Alchemy check on the mysterious liquids: 35
  • Zolf, Azu, Cel and Hamid Perception check in the room: 25 (Zolf), 28 (Hamid), 24 (Cel), 19 (Azu)
  • Azu and Zolf Combat Maneuver check: 24 (Azu), 12 (Zolf)
  • Cel Sense Motive on the kobold: 21

Plot Notes[]