Some say it takes a Kobold to track a Kobold. We’re shifty little buggers so it’s tough. Good thing I’m a Kobold!
I followed the the elderly blue scaled Kobold through the hordes of munthreks that infested Absalom like fleas on a hairy badger. We moved quickly through the Ascendant Court to the Foreign Quarter. My blue cousin did his best to go unnoticed by shrouding himself in his dirty gray cloak and by weaving his way around as silent as a church mouse. Most passers-by probably just assumed he was a destitute halfling or a child slave. Usually munthreks don’t give a second look to those they perceive as derelicts or slaves. This is not a trait shared by Kobolds, as hatchlings we are taught to notice everything for fear of danger. I remember giving names to every snake and bat that entered my warrens before I was knee high. I knew his methods of concealment and used it to my advantage. I had to catch him before he went to ground or he would be lost forever.
I saw my opportunity to pounce in a dark alley near a storm sewer runoff in the middle of the Foreign Quarter. He was caught off guard but still did the right thing and cried out a warning down the sewer before turning to meet my gaze. He was a rare Kobold indeed! He kept his wits after being surprised which meant he was experienced or knew I was coming. Rare indeed, for leaving the warrens alone which happens seldom and only in extenuating circumstances. Were the Sewer Dragons in trouble? Was it connected to the religious symbols? I had so many questions I felt all my blood surge to my head.
Shaman was his name and he was a Sewer Dragon yapper, a very distinguished position within a tribe, legends has it a skilled yapper can rouse a dragon. I told him I needed to speak with his Chief on behalf of Azzul Eshlabar (Ezgar alias) and flashed him my Nightstone of Sorrow. His eyes lit up like oil lanterns and he nodded his head. In a grave voice he said, “Following me is akin to suicide, the Trapmaster has sealed the way and the God Hater is near. But cousin, I will take you if you so wish”.
Before following him into the sewer, I sent magic bird feather tokens to the rest my crew. I couldn’t pass off the chance to brag about the fact that I was the first to find the Sewer Dragons! They were going to be jealous for sure.
It was painfully slow going. I wager I could’ve dug a hole into the sewers faster than our pace through the entrance tunnel. We slow danced through trip wires, constructed bridges over stone slabs, tiptoed along pits, squeezed through metal bars, fed oozes, and blindly searched for secret levers. The Trapmaster was obviously a paranoid genius to devise such intricately layered death contraptions. The sheer amount of killing technology in the tunnel was mind boggling. A flea on a rat couldn’t make it through alive without an experienced guide. I decided it would be wise to leave instructions for my crew. I carved several clues with my Azlanti knife at certain junctures. Perhaps it would raise their odds of survival from zero to the low single digits. I’m a thoughtful Captain afterall!
My mind wanders when I move slow. You would think the pressure of genius level booby traps would be enough to prevent my mind from wandering. Nope. So even though I was in the middle of maneuvering through invisible tripwires that could kill me instantly if touched, my mind wandered. I thought about my breakfast of parboiled fish innards, whether I had cleaned my musket, and new ways to impress Tiny. Finally my mind wandered to thoughts of my crew. I wondered what they were up to. Probably having more fun than me.
While Shaman and I slowly assembled a wooden bridge over a charred stone patch, I thought of Vestin. No doubt, the money hound would get to the bottom of Dartakithquent’s writ, which is likely connected to the Emerald Arrow and its Chellish escort. Since he has advanced testicular maturity, he would be unafraid to parley with the powerful Captain of the Chellish escort ship. What will Lorenz agree too?
While Shaman was oiling a rusty lever in seventy different places and a living swinging ax chopped at our heads, I thought of Goethe. I wondered if he remembered that he faked his own death. Knowing him probably not. I could see him making a big display of himself down at the Coins by crassly interrogating an old acquaintance. Later, I bet he would wind up staking out Chellish ships for secretive reasons. It would be funny if he ran into Lorenz! Will Goethe do something foolish?
While Shaman and I tiptoed along a half inch eave around an open spiked pit, I thought of Mr. Finn. He is an experienced tracker so I bet he could find the Sewer Dragons’ entrance on his own, but that first trap was a doozy. He would probably drag his nearly dead body back to the Grand Lodge and meet with his superiors like nothing happened. Will Mr. Finn spill his guts there?
While Shaman and I outran a rolling boulder that dropped from the ceiling on us, I thought of Myrrh. Absalom is full of chances. I imagined Myrrh might find some of his family like his sisters at a Black Mass costume shop. Will he be tempted to leave with his lost family?
I imagined my crew trying to follow my clues through the over-engineered hell tunnel. They would have to work together in order to have a fighting chance. I knew they could do it, but that last boulder trap was a dirty trick. I could easily see Goethe getting smashed in between the metal bars by that enormous boulder since his athleticism is lacking. Would Mr. Finn’s trip over his unstable fin legs and fall to his doom? There were so many ways for them to find death it made my heart race. I patiently waited for screams, but none came. I must stay the faith. They’re no ordinary bunch, their testicles are meaty along with their perseverance.
Before I knew it, Shaman and I made it through to the end of the death tunnel. Shaman looked astonished that I had followed him without getting a single blemish on my scales. Furthermore, he was rattled that I whistled a peppy tune during the most dangerous parts. I tried to impress him by saying, “I cut off long ago everything that makes me hesitant”. I couldn’t tell him the truth that I was distracted the whole time and probably would’ve misfired if I thought about the unparalleled peril. What kind of Kobold do you think I am?
Suddenly, we were greeted by an uneasy presence. I saw another blue Kobold emerge from the shadows, he was decked out from head to toe in impressive trap-making tools, and his utter expression of animosity was undeniable. Shaman the old coot, responded with equal unleashed hostility.
“What brings you here Trapmaster Tok?”, hissed Shaman.
“Nothing Chief Kibizax, nothing at all”, growled Tok. I sensed tribe politics at play!
Some say it takes a Kobold to solve Kobold problems. Good thing I’m a Kobold.