Retracing the patrol’s route, the Mudveins discover the ruin in a small clearing in the Cloak Wood. The manor house is approximately 60’ wide along the East-West axis by 100’ long from North to South, a size fit for a noble of some means were it not fallen into disrepair. Much of the first floor is still intact, whereas a large portion of the second story is collapsed and burnt out. A few rooms toward the rear of the manor on the second floor appear still intact. Scouting the manor from a distance reveals the double door main entrance on the north side of the house is partly collapsed with one large reinforced door hanging askew in its casement. The northwest corner of the manor has two collapsed wall openings and the East and West walls each have rubble strewn wall breaches. In addition, a small hole has opened in the rear (South) wall allowing for a tight squeeze. The group decides to send Belkin to investigate the southern opening in the early morning hours.
Using cloaks and weapons from the defeated patrol, Belkin disguises himself as a Kobold returning from a constitutional in the woods. Not knowing Draconic, Quinn and Akmenos teach him some simple phrases such as, “Hail Tiamat!” and “Out of my way! I have to $#!T.”
He sneaks to the rear wall of the manor undetected. The opening in the wall would be a squeeze for most full sized humanoids, but, as a halfling, Belkin can manage a the opening with little trouble. Quietly scrambling up the chunks of fallen rock and debris, Belkin peers into the darkness of the manse.
The room, currently empty, appears to be the sleeping chamber for a few of the creatures. A larger opening to the rest of the manor house is across from the wall breach about 20 to 30 feet away. The room connects to the hallway into which the breach in the West wall opens.
Left to his own devices, Belkin decides to enter the manor to investigate further without first checking with the party. Scrambling through the tight opening, Belkin quietly moves through the bedchamber, emerging into a larger foyer connecting the north hallway with the stairway to the second floor.
As he looks toward the stairs, Belkin hears a guttural bark of challenge. Two Kobolds perch near the top of the stairway on a balcony overlooking the stairwell. Belkin grunts back in broken Draconic, “Out of my way! I have to $#!T.” The Kobolds repeat the challenge louder, more strident bark… Hesitating only long enough to realize the jig is up, Belkin dashes toward the breach in the adjoining hallway and out the West wall. His escape is accompanied by the near misses of javelins and sling bullets. The Kobolds begin pursuit when a command issued from the darkness holds them back. The party believes it to be unusual for the Kobolds to cease their pursuit when so close on the tail of their quarry, but someone or something has kept the small posse from running out into unknown circumstances.
Observing the manor from a distance, the party realizes the Kobolds are organizing a search patrol — a much more organized and militaristic behavior than would be expected from such impulsive and simple minded creatures.