It was getting late in the day as the group was on their second day of travel. While they weren’t far from the kobold lair, Eldon knew that they should find a place to camp for the evening so that they wouldn’t be heading into a conflict while tired. Eldon searched in front of him for Orla so he could call her back to his and Orren’s location and discuss the plans for finding such a sight.
As he was searching for Orla, she suddenly but silently appeared in front of the other two and held a hand up as a command for them to stop in place. When they did so, she whispered to them, “Just ahead there are two kobold scouts. I was able to find and disable two traps they had laid out for travelers, but I wanted to come back to let you know so that we …”
Before she could finish her thought, Orren charged ahead and gave off a battle cry. The abruptness of the sound caused Eldon a moment of confusion before he realized that his son had just run off ahead to get into a fight. As Orren continued to run Orla began to follow behind him, moving briskly but not at the speed Orren was moving. Eldon, however, simply walked forward waiting for the ensuing battle.
Orren was moving through the brush looking for the kobolds his sister had mentioned, and just as he realized he didn’t actually know where they were, one stepped out in fron of him and hit him in the chest with the club. At the same moment, unseen by Orren a second kobold had moved behind Orren and applied a similar hit to the back or Orren’s legs. The results, as Orla and Eldon saw, was a nearly comical view of a gnome that had his footing completely dislodged and then proceeded to fall flat on his back.
In the confusion, it was likely only muscle memory that had allowed Orren to keep his shortsword in front of him as he fell. Luckily he had done so, because the kobold in front of him had already begun to swing his club a second time. As he saw the club coming in, he was able to parry the blow with his left sword, and swing with at the kobold’s leg with his right. As the club hit the steel of his blade, the force of the blow caused Orren to lose the grip on his sword. However, he was able to blunt the force enough that the club caused minimal damage on impact. At this same moment, his other sword had just made contact with the kobold. If the blow had been to an armored part of the body, it likely would have had very little effect. However, the sword has met an unprotected ankle and had sliced open the kobold’s tendon causing it to lose its balance and fall over on the affected leg.
Since Orren could not see the kobold behind him, he was acutely aware that he should be feeling unseen blow from this kobold at any moment. He knew he was unlikely to avoid the blow, so he rolled toward the kobold that he had just knocked to the ground. However, the blow from behind never came.
After the kobold behind Orren had seen the gnome go to the ground, he also had begun to make another attack. He knew he was uniquely positioned to be able to deliver a devastating blow on the gnome, since there was no way he would see it coming until the last moment. In the midst of his excitement at the prospect of being able to kill such a horrid creature as a gnome, he failed to even remotely pay attention to his surroundings. In this confusion, Orla took full advantage of the opportunity. Just being a slight distance behind Orren, she was able to close the distance and slam her dagger into the kobold’s neck. The result was a nearly instantaneous death of the kobold and its body and weapon slumped to the ground.
Unaware of his fortune, Orren focused on what he could do and moved to skewer the other kobold in front of him with his shortsword. As he plunged the sword forward the kobold batted the sword to the side and the sword ended up driven into the ground. In the maneuver, Orren had in fact rolled on top of the kobold making the further use of club or sword extremely impractical. The kobold then attempted to claw at Orren’s face. His hand was well struck, but the helmet Orren was wearing negated most of the effect. Orren then struck back at the kobolds face. He also found his target and hit the kobold’s face. However, as his gauntleted hand met the kobold’s unarmored face, the result was much more drastic as bone was crushed and flesh was ripped.
In spite of the wound the kobold was able to push back against Orren and force him on his side. The roll had caused the two of them to become side by side, resulting in a much improved position for the kobold. Again, however, he had made the same mistake his pack mate had. He had forgotten to be aware of what else was going on, and because his back was now exposed, Orla was finally able to attack without having to go through Orren to get to the kobold. She quickly delivered a blow to the side of the kobold, her dagger moved between its ribs and punctured the kobold’s lungs.
The kobold was staggered by the blow and sudden loss of breath, but still attempted to fight on. Orren was them able to deliver the final blow with his fist to the kobold’s face. At this, movement stopped and the battle had ceased.
“ha ha ha ha,” Orren and Orla looked back at Eldon as they heard his chuckling behind them. He had tried to look serious, but he had been laughing at them the entire time the battle had ensued.
“What’s so funny? Neither of you was much help in that fight. You were laying down on the job,” Orla said as she pointed to Orren, “but at least you were a distraction. You, on the other hand,” Orla now pointed at her father “were completely useless as you just stood and watched.”
Orren was still on the ground face flustered. His blood was still up from the battle, and now his father’s mocking tone was infuriating him. Finally, Eldon was able to pull together a somber face. He looked at his son and simply stated, “You’ve been spending too much time with that half-orc barbarian friend of yours.” At this Orla began to laugh, finally seeing the joke. “Next time around, would you mind acting like a fighter and taking at least a moment to assess the situation before running in? We could have completely avoided this fight, or at least spend some time coming up with a strategy.”
At this point Orren’s anger turned to embarrassment. He slowly stood up, but all he could manage to say was, “I don’t see what you’re complaining about, I was the only one to get hit, were you going to do anything?”
“You two are more than capable of handling two kobolds, which is why you’re here to begin with. My job is to locate and return the book, so drink one of your mother’s potions we packed and get back to the task at hand.” Eldon had, in fact, been very close to intervening. Despite how comical he found the situation, he was concerned for his children’s welfare. However, he knew that both of his children needed the experience, and had let them handle this problem on their own. So he stood back and watched as they, despite the initial blundering, worked very well together.
“It’s late, so we really should find shelter. Other kobolds may have heard the commotion, so we should move some distance away, but I’d like to be able to rest before we make it to their lair tomorrow. Orla, have you seen any place that would meet our needs?”
At the sound of her name, Orla looked up from the corpse she had been looking over for loot. She didn’t stop her search, but she stated, “These kobolds,” she pointed at the one she was looting, “have a few dugouts in the area. In fact, they came out of one to surprise Orren. I wouldn’t suggest that one, but we could find one close. It will provide shelter, and it only has one way in, so it will make it easier to stand watch.”
At this Eldon said, “It would also mean that we’d have no other way out, but it is likely the best we’ll find in the area. When you finish there, could you show us the way?” In this last question Eldon provided enough sarcasm that Orla knew it was a command to stop and move along. While there wasn’t much, Orla had been able to add another dagger to her collection. It wasn’t particularly nice, but it may be useful.
Orren had just finished drinking his potion, so Orla began to search for another dugout in the area. Eldon and Orren followed closely behind. Without any more excitement, Orla found the location and the trio set up camp for the night. He took the first watch and looked on as his children fell asleep. He really hoped they would make it through the night without incident, but he didn’t feel comfortable enough to sleep. The thought of a nearby pack of kobolds that may come searching for them did not ease his mind.
The rest of the story is available at Woschren Family Story.