I'm putting together a little adventure, and was hoping to get ideas and feedback. I'm hoping to have a little fun with this, by throwing in a little moral ambiguity along with a reptillian theme.
The premise is that a noble will enlist the help of the party. It would seem that he has been consistently harassed by lizardfolk raiders interrupting supply caravans from his king. He has already been taking steps to put a stop to it, but so far his efforts have failed.
The most recent raid had his daughter kidnapped, much to his frustration (she wasn't supposed to return home yet), so he is looking for a group that can track down the creatures and return his daughter, for a large reward.
The first Encounter involves the party tracing their way to the raider's lair, a cave network accessed through a nearby marsh. They will come across a sentinel, a Lizardfolk Ranger. This Lizardfolk uses Hit-and-Run Archery against the party, most notably submerging and resurfacing at various points in the marsh to prevent their entry. They may be able to stop him, but the intended goal is to bargain with him.
Dundee (the Lizardfolk's name) wants nothing to do with any of this, but was more or less bullied by a Kobold Wizard into letting his group hide away in Dundee's marsh, in exchange for minor rewards. He may willing to let the group pass, provided he can stop the Kobold and the outside world leaves him in peace. If the group agrees, he makes them aware of the type of foes they will be facing.
Once they enter the caverns, they will encounter Troglodyte Barbarians, in various numbers (the noble was not quite accurate with the nature of his foes). Standard Hack & Slash, with a few penalties due to Fear & Sickness should make this more interesting, and the creatures are unusually loyal to their leaders. They should not be able to gain any additional information.
As they go deeper, they will find a number of Traps within the caves. There are ways to bypass these Traps, and the Troglodytes can avoid them if they were to fall back or flee to warn the leaders. Particularly far in, they should encounter the Damsel in Distress, under guard in a small cavern (though not bound or mistreated).
If they attempt to leave with her, she insists they stay to stop the raiders, even taking up a sword and charging alone into the caves if needed. If they travel with her, she seems to trigger every trap they come across (though managing to stay out of harms way herself), and wander into Troglodyte-filled rooms (which only try to possess her, never harming her).
Eventually, the party will come across the Leader, a Kobold Transmuter, and the Daughter reveals that she has not only been working with them, but is in fact in love with it, craving the power and wealth it can provide beyond her father's rule. He more or less attempts to weaken and negate the parties powers, then Polmorphing himself and his Familiar into Hydras to beat on the party. The Daughter herself will fight alongside him, though she is merely a low-level Aristocrat.
If things get particularly grim, the Kobold will take Gaseous Form and flee, promising to come back for her (and possibly become a recurring villain for the PCs).
That's the plan, anyways. The problem then becomes what to do with the "Damsel in Distress", and what should be done about Dundee (he was basically caught in the middle of this, and if the party leaves him to the Kobold's mercy will not be quite particularly happy).
That's the initial thought process, anyways. I'm wondering what sorts of things can be done that would fit the theme and premise, letting this stay a relatively short adventure, but add more depth and conflict without just bogging it down with combat, particularly if it means more roleplaying elements.