The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Encounter #58 A2-2: Vecna’s Challenge.
Click on the Link to see the Skill Challenge Stat card.
The Tower of Secrets Skill Challenge (Level 6 Complexity 5)
Encounter Level 6- 1250 XP
Godsday, 4th of Readying, 2000.
Suddenly the adventurers are plunged into black, the light returns moments later- little by little, as floating specks of fluorescence. The adventurers are in a great throne room- deep underground, the walls and floors carved with fluted pillars and columns- center stage ahead is a massive stone throne, the regal seat is encrusted with precious stones and metals.
Sitting on the throne however is a Minotaur of immense proportions, the creature must be at least twenty feet tall, should it deign to stand. The Minotaur Lord is clad in armour of polished bronze, with a full-face helm, and standing by its side, in easy reach, a greataxe almost as tall as the beast- it looks just like a massive Bronze Warrior, only its not- it’s a Minotaur.
The Minotaur Lord slowly turns its head to stare down at the adventurers, it speaks-
“The secrets of the tower come at a price. You must each pay the price to enter this place. What can you offer to the Lord of the Labyrinth, the keeper of secrets. I seek lore, power, or else your souls!”
And so we move into another Skill Challenge, this one requiring 12 successes before 6 failures (yep, six failures again). The guys however are extremely cautious, in summary they immediately want to know who this guy is- and what faction he represents- I’m saying nothing however.
Eventually Winstanley breaks the silence, he offers the Minotaur Lord news of the adventurers action within the Labyrinth- the defeat of the Bloodreavers and the Duergar; the Halfling- wait for it, is Diplomatic (a day of shocks)- and remarkably is successful in his endeavours, the Minotaur Lord nods, and then stares pointedly at Grey (Diplomacy check- success; 1:0).
The mage fumbles for a moment and then uses his Arcana skills to impress the great beast, with further tales of the adventurers time in the Keep on the Shadowfell- and in particular their defeat of Kalarel and his shadow portal. Phrenic adds scope and depth, continuing to detail the shadow magic the Scion of Orcus employed, and again the Minotaur nods- seemingly interested in all the adventurers have to say. (Arcana check (x2)- success (x2); 3:0).
And so it continues for quite a few more rounds, and again while the Skill Challenge starts off interesting we wander a while as the players soon run out of things to say about their adventures to date.
At some point the guys, with Winstanley taking the lead, start to Bluff their way- making up news and events from the Hall, and from Winterhaven, or else Fallcrest- threats of war and the appearance of demons; and miraculously the Minotaur Lord buys their tall tales. That is until Winstanley and Phrenic start to sift through other famous tales from History, to bend and shape to their present demands. It’s at this point that the Minotaur Lord sees through their charade, rises to his full height and grabs up his massive greataxe.
The Skill Challenge stands at 10 successes and 2 failures at this point.
The panic is short lived however- Grey, Phrenic and Kaspard save the day; the later with a rousing speech about the tenets of Bahamut compared to the foul and poisonous teachings of Baphomet. Very provocative but at this point the guys have finally run out of steam, and figured they were either going to succeed, or else have to fight the massive beast- Dirty, in particular, favours the second option.
And yet against the odds the Minotaur Lord nods, returns to his throne and after a last warning slowly fades from sight.
The warning is this-
“The Labyrinth is but a mortal maze,
The Maze of the Dead however is your destiny.
Remember well- when the three become one,
You are at the beginning of the end.”
The great chamber is gone, replaced by a stone alcove containing a magic circle- within which the adventurers stand. The walls of the place are carved into leering human faces- each visage is either gagged or blindfolded. The adventurers have entered the Tower of Secrets.
Seconds later an alarm sounds and the lights in the chamber flicker- off and on to the bass rhythms of the ululating call to arms.