The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Encounter #37 H1: The Portcullis.
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Orc Berserker (Brute 4) x5
Encounter Level 4- 875 XP
Moonday, 24th of Fireseek, 2000.
And so the next day, and surprisingly easily, the guys who are still being lead by Charrak contrive (at last) to find the right path- the skill challenge is briefly resurrected, the DCs at this point are down to something like 15- four successes come without any bother.
As always Winstanley is sent forward a way to check out the lay of the land- moving along a path next to a massive crevasse which falls away into darkness, the entrance to the fortress ahead is fortunately lit- or at least a light shines out from the doorway. The young Halfling Rogue creeps forward and finds some cover- then forward again into more cover, and… you get the idea.
Eventually he’s pressed up against the stone wall of the fortress itself- lights and noise, and voices from within. A simple, but padlocked, portcullis blocks the entrance. Winstanley watches and waits for a while- counts at least four different voices- all the guttural grunts of Orcs.
After five minutes watching and waiting he heads back to tell his friends.
Fifteen minutes later the other guys are hidden around a bend in the passage, awaiting the signal- Winstanley is back in position. He combines a Stealth 31 check with a Thievery 32 check and silently, and unseen, the lock on portcullis is picked.
On his first signal, and according to the plan, the guys shuffle closer, as quietly as they can- Dirty makes it all the way to the entrance to the chamber, the Orcs within however are making a poor show of guarding the way- the adventurers are ready and in position.
Winstanley motions a second time and all hell breaks lose…
Dirty dodges in and in one smooth motion yanks up the portcullis and- click- locks it in place.
The Halfling ducks into the guard chamber and hits with his Bait & Switch attack, the first Orc Berserker screams, the creature is also jerked backward and into plain sight- for all Winstanley’s colleagues to get at. At the same time the Rogue dodges past the Orc and all the way over to the far exit of the chamber- the Orcs are going nowhere.
Dirty Charges and smashes into the newly revealed Orc- it’s bloodied. Kaspard’s Daunting Light bathes it in radiance- it burns, almost spent. Grey’s Scorching Burst ends the Orc leaving the way open- Phrenic Charges in and slashes at the next Orc in the pack- the attack is going entirely to plan.
Winstanley’s Positioning Strike bleeds yet another Orc, and forces it to give ground, the way in is clear for the other adventurers to get in to the chamber. Dirty Charges again and smashes an Orc with his maul. Kaspard follows the Dwarf through the entrance and into the guard chamber proper, her Hands of Radiance tag two of the four remaining Orcs. Grey follows after- and his Scorching Burst comes again, two of the Orcs are left bloodied (one with a crit).
Of the five Orc Berserkers that guarded the entrance- one is dead, and two are bloodied, and the humanoids have yet to react to the the adventurer’s attack.
Orc Berserker- Panicked and over-matched.
That ends now- the two bloodied Orcs suck up the pain with their Warrior Surge’s, the pair strike at Dirty, alas only one of them connects. The other two Orcs likewise grunt and get into the action, Kaspard is stabbed by a longspear, Winstanley the last Orc’s target, is much too quick for the hefty Berserker.
The Halfling however is on target, his Sly Flourish strikes back, while Dirty’s Crushing Blow leaves one of the Orcs facing him bloodied- Kaspard’s Divine Glow finishes it off, and bathes yet another in radiant light. Grey’s Ray of Frost freezes and slows the Orc attempting to get past Winstanley and to the exit, while Phrenic’s Steel Monsoon bloodies another.
The three remaining Orc Berserkers stab and skewer with their longspears, or at least they attempt to, Phrenic suffers but his colleagues defend stoutly.
Winstanely spins out another Sly Flourish (a crit), and a third Orc drops dead. Dirty smashes another with his Spinning Strike, the creature is hit and knocked to the floor. Kaspard’s Sacred Flame burns the last Orc standing, while Greys Fire Shroud burns both enemies and leaves them on fire- Phrenic slices and the last Orc standing almost collapses.
The two Orcs are panicked, the pair scream and shout- the one before Dirty scrambles to his feet and attempts to flee- out of the entrance through which the adventurers came, it doesn’t get far – Dirty smashes it with his maul, it is however still very much alive. The other Orc, still on fire (and now on 1 HP), attempts to get past Winstanley and to the other door, it has also to get past Phrenic first- it fails, and is cut dead.
Winstanley’s Sly Flourish comes again and the last Orc is bloodied, seconds later Dirty’s Reaping Strike leaves it staggering and forlorn. Kaspard and Grey conspire to finish it off, the Priestesses Sacred Flame is followed by Grey’s Magic Missile- the last Orc Berserker drops.
The attack went like a dream, the Orcs were doing a fair bit of shouting and screaming but no one comes to see what all the fuss is about- the guys stand around for a few minutes just in case, weapons and spells at the ready- poised.
The area and the Orcs are searched, a few coppers here and there but nothing else of any value.
Five minutes later Winstanley opens the door a crack, and then slips into the fortress proper- the guys, watch him go.