The next day the party talks to Lord Padraig about the job, which is quite simple: find and eliminate the source of the kobolds that have been pestering the roads leading to Winterhaven. He offers them 100 gold pieces as a reward. Also, they can keep whatever loot they may find in the kobold lair, which Padraig suspects is the source of all their problems. He points it out on their map.
First stop: the dragon burial site. After a couple of hours walking through the hilly landscape around Winterhaven the party arrives at a large excavation site. A very large pit about ten feet deep sits in the middle of a grassy clearing in the surrounding trees. At the center of the pit lies the skeleton of a dragon surrounded by ancient runes and skulls. Near the point where the adventurers arrive stand two guard drakes, that regard the group curiously. Inside the pit are a few poor looking humans and a gnome. At the far side, on top of the ledge surrounding the pit, a halfling armed with a sling is standing.
The gnome calls out to the group, and identifies himself as Agrid. He invites the party to come down to have a better look. Some party members have the feeling something is not right, even though Agrid sounds friendly enough. Having had bad experiences with the guard drakes in the Kobold Hall they decide to waste no time and attack the creatures.
Agrid shouts in rage, barks some quick orders, and starts attacking the party with his crossbow. The guard drakes throw themselves into the fray with tooth and claw. The drakes and the humans are dealt with fairly quickly, but Agrid proves to be a bit more elusive. When he is hit by an attack he vanishes from sight, only to reappear on a completely different spot on the battlefield. When Rodja moves forward into the pit the halfling unleashes a rain of stones, that severly injure Rodja. Eventually the party manages to take down the halfling and capture the annoying gnome.
When Agrid is interrogated he reveals that he works for an individual named Kalarel, who needs some magic items for some kind of dark ritual that are supposed to be buried here with the dragon. With the aid of Douven Staul, who lies hidden under a blanket in the pit, they just found a valuable looking mirror. They search the gnome and find an Amulet of Health on him. Inside of the amulet is a portrait of Mrs. Staul.
Surprised that Douven is still alive, Rhogar moves over to the pile of blankets and finds Douven bound and gagged on the ground. He expresses his gratitude for saving him, and says that they can keep the amulet as a reward, but that he would like to keep the portrait inside. Douven has no more business here, and states that he will go back to Fallcrest after taking a short rest in Winterhaven.
Agrid realizes he has outlived his usefulness, and looks at Tommy the drow with pure dread in his eyes. Tommy grins evilly, steps forward and cuts Agrid’s throat from ear to ear with one smooth move. Ignoring Agrid’s gurgling death throes, the party discusses what do to next. They decide to immediately press on to the kobold lair.
After a short hike the party approaches a waterfall, which is visible through some trees to the south. On both sides of the waterfall are entrances to caves. They see a lot of kobolds moving about, not doing anything in particular. One kobold is standing inside some sort of magic circle, and Paelias, thanks to his arcane schooling, knows that this particular circle gives any creature that is standing inside it additional strength in combat.
They engage the kobolds immediately. Even though the kobold numbers are overwhelming, the members of the party cut through the horde as though it was soft butter. The only thing that tires them is the sheer amount of enemies they have to defeat, and the battle lasts for a while. When they finally emerge victoriously, they take a short rest to recuperate and enter the caves, which turn out to be the kobold lair.
Inside another small army of kobolds is ready to engage the motley assortment of adventurers. While cutting through the horde, a harsh, bleating horn sounds, and a tough looking kobold wyrmpriest appears, flanked by two kobold dragonshields. It also heralds the appearance of a burly, battlescarred goblin. A great tattoo depicting a skeletal ram’s head marks the goblin’s face. He wears a wolf fur cloak and a chain shirt, and he wields a battleaxe in both hands.
Thinking the wyrmpriest as the most lethal threat, Pealias and Tommy display some remarkable teamwork, and take out their foe in a few fell strikes. He doesn’t even get the chance to react. However, the large goblin, better known as Irontooth, proves to be much tougher. The dragonborn fighter engages him in melee, and with the help of his friends he manages to deal some serious damage to Irontooth.
The goblin goes into a rage, and he seems to have lost any shard of intelligence he might have possessed before. The dragonborn fighter takes a brutal beating from Irontooth’s axe, and the brave but unfortunate fighter falls to the onslaught. The other party members, suddenly alarmed, unleash their full arsenal on Irontooth. Even though he is tough, Irontooth doesn’t last forever and is eventually killed.