Hostage at Owlbear Ridge, is an encounter for 2 level 4 adventurers who have been dispatched on a critical mission to negotiate the release of a hostage held by kobolds and their owl bear ally. The situation is complicated by the presence of a Kobold shaman, who has used his skills to create an illusionary terrain around the camp, adding a layer of complexity to the encounter.
As you make your way through the dense forest, the sounds of the wilderness fade, giving way to the distant chatter of kobolds. The forest clearing ahead reveals the kobold camp, a haphazard collection of tents and totems, with the unmistakable form of an owl bear looming protectively nearby. Its nest, a large, disheveled structure of branches and leaves, sits close to the center of the camp. Tied to a pole near the nest, you see Elara Thornfield, the young scholar, her auburn hair cascading over her shoulders. She looks up with a mix of hope and apprehension as you approach, the key to her freedom in your hands.
- Setting: A forest ridge with a kobold camp, enhanced with illusionary magic.
- Creatures: A group of kobolds and their owl bear ally.
- Mood: Tense and uncertain, requiring careful diplomacy and problem-solving.
- Encourage players to explore non-violent solutions and use their skills in persuasion.
- Players should be cautious in their approach, as aggressive actions might prompt an immediate and fierce response from the protective owl bear.
NPC: Rizzik the Kobold Shaman
The Kobold Shaman, known as Rizzik, stands as the de facto leader of the Kobold group. Small even by kobold standards, Rizzik compensates with a sharp intellect and a mastery of illusion magic. His deep understanding of forest magic has allowed him to effectively manipulate the terrain around the camp, creating an almost impregnable fortress.
Rizzik is not inherently malicious but fiercely protective of his tribe. He sees the alliance with the owl bear as a turning point for his people, elevating them from mere scavengers to formidable guardians of their domain. Despite his cautious nature, Rizzik is open to dialogue, especially if it benefits the safety and prosperity of his tribe. His leadership is respected among the kobolds, not through fear, but through the hope and security he has brought to them.
Rizzik’s Spell List (5 Mana)
- Entangle (1st Level): To control the battlefield and hinder adversaries.
- Silent Image (1st Level): To create deceptive visuals, aiding in camp defense.
- Rope Trick (2nd Level): For strategic retreats or ambushes.
- Web (2nd Level): To trap or slow down intruders, complementing his control over the terrain.
- Hallucinatory Terrain (4th Level): Creating illusionary landscapes to conceal the camp.
- The owl bear, displaying an unusual sense of protectiveness, positions itself near the kobolds, ready to intervene at the slightest hint of aggression towards them.
- The kobolds, obnoxiously emboldened by the presence of the owl bear, act more provocatively and confidently than typical of their kind. They may attempt to taunt or mock the players, relying on their guardian to back them up in a conflict.
- The Kobold shaman uses hallucinatory terrain to disorient the adventurers, making their approach to the camp challenging.
- The shaman may also use Rope Trick to create traps or hide key items or individuals, including himself if threatened.
- The owl bear remains protective of the kobolds, especially the shaman, reacting swiftly to any perceived threats.
- The Kobolds will agree to release Elara if the players can solve their tainted water problem. Players can leverage “purify food and drink” to address this issue.
- The alliance between the kobolds and the owl bear may lead to future cooperative efforts or uncover a deeper environmental problem affecting the region.
- Elara could be used in multiple ways, she may have overheard about a treasure, an attack, etc etc.
- A token of appreciation from Elara, possibly a magical item of scholarly or historical value.
- An artifact from the kobold camp, imbued with traces of forest magic.
- Successfully negotiating Elara’s release: 250 XP.
- Resolving the kobolds’ water crisis: 200 XP.
- Employing creative and empathetic tactics: 100 XP.
Total XP: 550 XP, to be divided among the players.
Looking for additional encounters and adventures? Visit the Adventures page for a complete list.