Kamanar Fardigger was a dwarf on a mission from Moradin. He had been tasked with traveling into the world to protect and promote the interests of his stoic god, and he wasn’t going to let his patron deity down. To accomplish his task, he formed a group known as the Iron Wardens. The group started like many dwarven friendships do: in a tavern brawl. There had been a fight in the taproom of the Nentir Inn (far less common than brawls in the Lucky Gnome Taphouse, where a quiet night usually brings the militia running in a panic to see what’s wrong). When the fight was over, the intractable dwarf was the only person standing save for one: a loudmouthed, exuberant shifter named Emer Arkkan. Kam hired her on the spot.
The team was rounded out by Zev Marek, who slouched over to respond to an ad for a master of the arcane. Kam’s concern that the unkempt young man didn’t seem academic enough was quickly dispelled when Zev melted a tree, and the Iron Wardens were officially ready for their first mission together.
Kam lucked out when it came to finding work for the group. He scored not only a mission to find a cured dragon hide, but also some fine dwarven pipe-weed to replace the sad human-grown stuff he had been smoking. Both the mission and the quest came from a dwarf merchant who told the group about a suspicious abandoned manor that was the suspected home base of some kobolds.
The Iron Wardens reached the abandoned hall without incident. The ruined manor was quiet, but there were signs of activity. The group soon came across a trap door, which Zev opened with little effort. Emer gleefully led the way, with Kam following resolutely while Zev shuffled along in the rear.
The first room they found had a suspicious pit of glowing green ooze, and, more interestingly, a kobold. It screamed “Aiee! Intruders!” as Emer launched a headlong charge. As more kobolds appeared through a hastily-raised portcullis, Kam followed Emer into the room, firing divine light and swinging his mighty hammer. Zev came last, hurling bolts of chaos energy at any kobold in range. Emer was temporarily stuck to the ground by a glue shot, which only made her fury mount, much to the terror of the kobolds once the shifter came unstuck.
When the room was cleared, the group continued onward. The group came across a room filled with stone coffins, with two kobolds praying to Tiamat in a corner. When the kobolds heard the group approaching, they ducked behind some coffins. The Iron Wardens moved to engage, setting off a series of traps in the process. Darts whizzed at them from the alcoves of the room, but Kam’s well-forged chainmail and Emer’s trusty scale armor stopped most of the shots. They stepped carefully and finished off the kobolds, then noticed that the darts seemed to be coming from two statues in the room. Zev fired acid orbs at the statues until they were nothing but bubbling piles of goo. With the danger removed, the group happily looted the altar to Tiamat. When they grabbed a bag of gold, the torches flickered but nothing else seemed to happen.
Driven by curiosity, Kam smashed open one stone coffin to find human remains inside, but not much else. Deciding against more grave robbing, the group continued down a staircase.
Skulls piled on coffins surrounded another bubbling green pit of ooze. Kobolds stood on raised scaffolding at the far end of the chamber, happily chanting “Skull-skull!” while swinging a goo-encrusted stone on a rope at the skulls on the coffins. The group charged, but soon found that the Skull-skull rock packed a mean whallop. Emer was undaunted as she clambered up a scaffolding and was soon mobbed by kobolds.
Kam and Zev rushed to help, but were hindered by the swinging rock. Fortunately, Kam’s stout build helped him advance on the kobolds so that he could destroy them with Moradin’s holy light while granting divine assistance to both Zev and Emer. Kam made it to the other scaffolding and climbed, fighting the remaining kobolds.
Zev, who decided that he did not like Skull-skull much. Not the athletic sort, he preferred to pick the lock on the gate before continuing on. Emer finished off the remaining kobolds with the help of her friends, though she was saddened when she had to kill a guard drake. She had taken an immediate liking to the creature, even though it soon sank its teeth into her calf.
With the fight completed, the group continued onward. They heard a loud grinding in the next chamber and a boulder rolled down at them. Emer charged onward, leaping effortlessly over the huge boulder and engaging some kobolds on the other side of the room. Unfortunately, a kobold wyrmpriest started to blast her with spells, so Kamanar rushed to her aid. To everyone’s surprise, the stout and heavily-armored dwarf somehow managed to clear the boulder, though an unfortunate kobold did not. Kam aided Emer in her fight against the wyrmpriest and his goons while Zev found out the hard way what the underside of the boulder looked like. He made the unlucky kobold’s day worse by stabbing him and singing him with acid, finally finishing the hapless reptile off with some pure chaos.
With the group reunited, the kobolds stood little chance. Emer even survived the dragon’s icy cold breath unscathed, then proved that the sharp end of a battle axe were more reliable (not to mention totally badass) than any magic.
The Iron Wardens gathered the kobolds’ weapons and equipment, including a magical staff. Zev prodded the dust in a suspicious corridor until he found a secret door, before the group found a note on the wyrmpriest’s body pointing to the same door.
What lay behind the mysterious secret door? The Iron Wardens would soon find out…