Too many cooks wreck the monsters

Koganusân beckons. The lost caves didn’t have a good raiding in nearly a century! Paytah, the nomad, and Rolf, the bear, intended to change that. Together they blew 10 gold on drinks in the Storyhome inn for everyone who wanted to strike out into the world. And they were not disappointed. 7 People were anxious to join the party right away. Rolf recruited Kamca, a hardened mercenary, Lorbam, a dwarf from an allied clan, and Liyìÿi, a charming and sly city elf, while Paytah took in Sana, a private investigator down on her luck and Mirding, who was thrown out of wizard’s college for standing up to her bullies. There was also an 11 year old boy who fell in love with Paytah’s old shepherd hound and John, Rolf’s acquintance and torch bearer. A nameless deserter was sent away and he left town shortly after.

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The party made for Koganusân. Rolf and Lorbam actually knew the dwarven translation of the name, “Boatmurdered”, but since the troops were in such high spirits they didn’t want to discourage anyone and didn’t mention it.

After they arrived at the fortress’ entrance, the party opted to head south first to investigate a smaller entrance. The hall’s walkways were filled with dwarven weapon traps! Paytah got lucky and evaded the first two Macuahuitl that struck out. Doing the reasonable thing, the party didn’t continue on this obviously trapped way.

The first encounter with the inhabitants of Koganusân was at the first bridge over the moat, dozens of bats descended from the ceiling to harrass us and Paytah threw a torch to distract them. The torch landed right at the feet of 4 hulking baboons who moved in to attack the party. After two were slain, the rest retreated. The alcoves in the ceiling were actually fortifications and Dog Boy climbed in to liberate them of treasure. A masterful dwarven crossbow and gold coins were recovered from among the long dead marksdwarves.

Ignoring the dried up moat the party continued on the main Hallway. They were about to knock on the skull adorned door to the north when a human voice called out to them, trying to dissuade them from foolery. It belonged to a squatter who urged the party into a hideout before the Kobolds would send out a raiding party. 13 squatters faced the party suddendly intruding into their lair. We weren’t sure they’re squatters because they seemed to be affluent enough to afford uniform green clothing for everyone. We quickly parted ways while they ceaselessly warned us not to confront the Kobolds and the party continued further into the mountain. Around the next bend Oscar, the Wizard, and his retinue consisting of his two cousins showed up. He impressed the others with magic tricks. Liyìÿi and Mirding were not impressed while Paytah praised the “Grand Wizard” and urged him to lead them to even more treasure.

Further north the party tried to tamper with 4 gem encrusted Statues that were protected by a magical barrier but it proved fruitless. Liyìÿi discovered the Death and Trap runes in there and the party quickly left and moved even further north.

Crossing a section of the dried up moat they came to a tunnel leading from a tributary waterfall at the underground river to the outside. What were those dwarves thinking when they dug this? An Aquaeduct maybe? The party used the opportunity for a Short rest.

Having only found unobtainable treasure the party came back the the main hallway. Profuse knocking on a stuck door only alerted the beetles behind it to our tasty presence. Mirding ended the fight quickly with a sleep spell. Among the ruined room, the party found a dwarf skeleton still clutching a wood bound book from the time of dwarven colonization. Who knows what secrets the text holds. Rolf has taken upon him to discypher the text. It was also the moment Oscar found the accursed breastplate that wouldn’t fit neither him nor his cousins. More beatles were slain, another chest liberated. The site of a battle between beetles and squatters moved Rolf so that he decided to return the corpses of the fallen to them.

On the way back 4 giant ferrets happened upon the party. The frontlines held, Lorbam was badly hit but survived and the beasts were driven back. Right on the squatters’ doorstep the party was almost ambushed by a kobold raiding party coming from the north door. luckily it was only six of them and thankfully only two of them brought bows to the battle. Lorbam took the brunt of the assault, again, and was almost maimed. Dog Boy was knocked out but could be stabilized by his “dad”, Paytah.

The squatters were not amused to see us again, especially seeing us provoking the Kobolds by resisting their rampage. They appreciated Rolf bringing back the 4 corpses of the fallen even though they were dubbed “traitors”. They did not appreciate Oscar flipping them off when they refused demands of payment. Squatters gonna squat, I guess.

Almost out of the dungeon, the party encountered the ghostly Tax Collector. He confronted Rolf about evading taxes and demanded immediate payment, lest he would arrest Rolf. Rolf tried to reason with the insane soul which did not go well. Rolf was almost overtaken by the ghosts curse, but at the last moment, the magic of undeath faded away from his soul.

Spooked, we made the journey back to Passionhelm

At the Explorer’s guild, Rolf traded the dwarven crossbow for 40 coins of cold hard precious metal while Oscar was less fortunate while trying to sell his accursed breastplate. He finally got rid of it by giving it to the town guard Ral in exchange for a favour in the future and two months of the guard’s drinking money.