Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The Wyrmling Hive (a Level One adventure)

There has been an outbreak of thefts in town since winter ended. Victims report only gold coins and other gilt objects stolen.

Ohannes Quent, local scholar of magical creatures, or any player character knowledgeable in such matters, will suspect this to be the work of kobolds.


The kobold life cycle is an odd one. A single female dragon makes a lair in a cave, and lays a thousand eggs without the need for a mate. These do not hatch into dragons, but rather wyrmlings, the larval stage of the kobold. Only one egg will produce an heiress, and that solid gold egg will be lain only when the dragon has eaten her weight in gold.

Kobolds - all male, except for the stronger, winged females - are sterile worker drones. They are weak and cowardly but incredibly cunning, and are tasked with bringing gold back to the lair for their queen to consume. They also nibble the odd coin themselves and vomit up an ambergris that feeds the wyrmling young.

The Caves

The lair is in a hillside cavern beyond the town border. Hexagonal cave rooms have been hewn out and are maintained by the kobolds. In the depths, the fat dragon queen slowly makes her way through a pile of treasure.

There is an armoury of scavenged weapons, a few sleeping chambers, a mess hall littered with the bones of livestock, and a small stash of non-golden spoils. Deeper still is a nursery with hexagonal nooks carved all up the walls, each containing a single pale, larval wyrmling. They will wail if disturbed and can be placated only with kobold vomit.

The dragon's lair is a natural cave strewn with golden coins and trinkets. The dragon lays eggs and eats. One month from now she will have eaten enough gold to lay her dragon egg, and she and the winged kobolds will fly out in search of a lair to place it in. She nurses the baby dragon with royal jelly that she excretes when brooding. Kobolds bottle it up for when baby gets hungry - it also functions as a healing potion.

More Adventure Hooks (1d6):

1: The kobolds took a holy relic from the town temple, the priests want it back.
2: The kobolds stole a baby, her fathers want her back.
3: The dragon just left her egg in a nearby cave, get in there and steal it while she’s away.
4: One of the kobolds stole a cursed helmet possessed by a lich’s spirit, he will incite uprising.
5: The town is small and defenceless; the kobolds feel no need to be sneaky. A siege!
6: The players play kobolds for this session.

Variant Kobolds:

The males each have a stinger – they can use it once but then they die. They’re really scared about that part, so they probably won’t do it unless the queen is in danger. 2d6 poison damage and a minute of crazed hallucinations.

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