24 Pharast, 4723
Thank Desna for my waterproof book bag. It truly is a necessity for the field researcher.
Picking up from my last entry, we continued into the low tunnel the kobolds had burrowed into the Witch Tower dungeons. The little creatures had set up a crude barricade in the tunnel, rigged with an ingenious trap of swinging stalactites. Despite Knives and Lennox's best efforts, we only discovered the trap when Tagnus bashed the barricade down. Now we are out of the druid's good berries.
The tunnel led to a cavern that had been subject to a deliberate cave in. Among the rubble, we found the late wizard Balthus Hunclay and two dead kobolds with sappers gear. The wizard also had two keys on him, one to his tower and another mysterious bronze key. Aldern and Knives disagreed over who should have the keys, so we gave them to Tagnus for safekeeping.
We followed a tunnel leading out of the cavern. When it reached a fork, we followed the passage that had the most recent tracks. We came upon three kobolds asleep in a small cull de sac. Tagnus killed one before I was able to convince the others to surrender.
Questioning the stupid, frightened creatures was like pulling teeth, but eventually we gleaned following details: the wizard Hunclay had aligned with the kobolds to undermine the Witch Tower so it would collapse. But the kobolds' chieftain had instructed them to arrange an "accident" for Hunclay while leaving the tower intact. The kobolds were hiding out here because they bungled the job and sent the tower toppling anyway. We got directions on how to reach the kobolds' clanhold, located in a separate cave complex in the old quarry. I told the two surviving kobolds to stay away from the village and the clanhold, and then we let them go.
Rather than notify the baroness of what we had found so far, we elected to press on to the kobold clanhold. I hoped to parlay with their chieftain to convince them to stay away from Belhaim and learn why they worked with and then betrayed the wizard Hunclay. However, as soon as we entered the quarry Knives and Lennox began stalking down towards the kobold guards outside the entrance to the clanhold. Tagnus and I tried to creep after them, without much success.
But it was Aldern who really got things started, firing a bolt of force energy (I think) over the guards' head. At that signal, Lennox put an arrow through one of the kobolds, while Knives slashed another. I tried to charge down to join them, but slipped on the crumbling quarry pathway and took a dip in the lake. It was chilly enough to have been refreshing in different circumstances. By the time I'd hauled myself out, the kobolds had panicked and fled into their caves.
Lennox went in after the bleeding straggler, and I followed while Knives insisted on waiting outside. I tried to convince the wounded kobold to surrender and negotiate, but perhaps I was still too sodden to be a compelling orator. The creature scampered off into the darkness. Tagnus ultimately chased the kobold down and bashed its head in. Aldern finally sauntered into the cavern with his glowing staff, giving Lennox and I a chance to see our surroundings.
There is another path leading off to the left that we are readying to explore as I write. It is my hope that we can negotiate with the next kobolds we meet. I'd meant to parlay with the guards outside, but got too swept up in the action. Still, we only killed two of them. I sure their chieftain will accept a weregild for the loss if we can come to friendly terms.
I must conclude. There is a strange rustling.