The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Encounter #42a H8: Murkelmor’s Chamber.
Click on the Links to see the Monster Stat cards.
Duergar Theurge (Controller 5)
Tiefling Heretic (Artillery 6)
Duergar Shock Trooper (Brute 6) x2
Duergar Paladin of Asmodeus- Murkelmor (Elite Soldier 7)
Encounter Level 7- 1550 XP
Godsday, 25th of Fireseek, 2000.
And for some reason the guys arrive early for this session, they’re all ready and waiting when I turn up- Session 12 begins and the PCs still sort of think that the Lord of the Duergar, is the big bad guy- and they’re convinced today is the day they are going to take him down. Although evidence is beginning to build up that this is not the case, all the same they’re pretty sure that they are about to burst in on the big bad Duergar- Murkelmor.
Just to recap I’m using the Tieflings as the go-betweens in this adventure, they’re employed generally as fixers for the various factions in the Labyrinth- it was the Tieflings that facilitated the contract for the supply of slaves between the Bloodreavers and the Duergar. The Tieflings however have their fingers in a number of other pies- as will become clear. The Tiefling Heretic in this encounter, along with the other creatures in Random Encounter #8 The Dark Cultists (check the module) arrived here to deliver a message to Murkelmor. Alas they’ve walked into a world of hurt, basically they’ve been co-opted into helping with the defence of Grimmerzhul fortress- it sucks to be them.
And so the guys head in, kick the doors open of the chamber that the Duergar Theurge- Framath was prevented from getting too earlier- within is a meeting room-cum-bedchamber for the Duergar Lord- Murkelmor!
Winstanley spins out a dagger with a Sly Flourish and the Duergar Theurge suffers, Kaspard’s Hands of Radiance grasp and slap and delivers radiant burns to Murkelmor, and the Theurge again. Grey winds up and drops the bomb- he’s a fire mage who has latterly discovered that the Duergar have an innate resistance to flame. His Grasp of the Grave fills much of the chamber with cold necrotic energy and clinging shadows- Murkelmore and the Tiefling Heretic take the full brunt of the attack, both are hurt and left dazed, the Duergar Theurge escapes with only minor pains- it is however already bloodied.
Unleash the dogs of war- Phrenic Charges in and cuts the Theurge, Dirty cranks it up to ‘11’ with a Cometfall Charge into Murkelmor- the Duergar leader is slammed. Winstanley skitters in and lets loose another dagger, and another Sly Flourish, Hell’s Teeth! Murkelmor is almost, but not quite, bloodied. Kaspard moves into the doorway and fires off her Daunting Light- the Duergar Theurge is seared and radiant scorched, it flops to the floor dead.
Duergar Theurge- A quick death.
Note Kaspard’s move in to the doorway- that’s part of a plan, I didn’t know it at the time but the buggers (the players) had a chat between games- they actually have a plan.
The dazed Tiefling Heretic spins out a dagger- and catches Winstanley, there’s really little else he can do, the only way out of Grey’s Grasp of the Grave is through Dirty, Phrenic or Winstanley. Grey moves into the doorway next to Kaspard- and the only exit to the chamber is blocked, the mage then thumps a Magic Missile into the Heretic. The Shock Troopers at last react, the first flails at Phrenic, the second Charges into Dirty- both are kept at bay.
Murkelmor is a different proposition however, the Duergar Paladin delivers a Fearsome Smite to Dirty- knocks the Dwarf back and then steps out of the necrotic zone, he’s a smart Duergar. The evil lord is not done yet (an Action Point), he slams Dirty again with a Fiery Smite, the Dwarf Fighter is left on his knees, and on fire. For good measure, and because I forgot Murkelmor was dazed, the Duergar Lord wreathes himself in flame with his Heal with Fire (regains 25 HP). Yes, I know- I’m a very bad man but I can’t have my number one bad guy getting dropped in just a couple of rounds.
Dirty is having none of it- the Dwarf leaps back to his feet, sucks in his breath, and gets his Second Wind and then slams Murkelmor with a Brute Strike, in the process the flames on the Dwarf Fighter are extinguished.
Dave (Dirty) swears an oath to see Murkelmor dead.
Winstanley wanders too close to the Duergar leader, the flames leap and scorch the Halfling, the Rogue fluffs his attack. Kaspard’s moves forward a little way into the chamber and then her Divine Glow suddenly bursts into light- the nearest Shock Trooper and Murkelmor are both caught in the radiant blaze- the later is left bloodied.
Tiefling Heretic- You will meet a tall dark stranger!
The Tiefling Heretic is still stuck in the necrotic zone, and now bloodied, it gets out the area with alacrity and then conjures a Serpent’s Curse- Dirty is psychically assaulted, thank Moradin the Dwarf has little use for anything secured within his skull- still the Fighter is left feeling a bit funny. Grey slams yet another Magic Missile into the Heretic, while Phrenic cuts the other Shock Trooper with his Leaf on the Wind attack.
Both Shock Troopers however continue to swing heartily- and miss, although one of the guys (under orders) shuffles into the doorway- the exit from the room. Murkelmor slams Dirty again with his Fearsome Smite and pushes the Dwarf back further, the Duergar leader continues to shuffle forward- he too is heading for the exit. Winstanley steps in behind the Duergar leader and buries his dagger in Murkelmor’s back, the Halfling- for his efforts, is bathed in the Heretic’s Balefire- Winstanley burns.
Grey scurries back- out of the chamber and into the corridor, and there fires off a Ray of Frost at the escaping Shock Trooper- the Duergar brute is screaming blue murder, and soon after is slowed and partially encased in ice. Phrenic retreats to the doorway and cuts at the slowed Duergar’s back with his Viper’s Strike- the Shock Trooper however is not deterred, at least not immediately, it continues across the corridor in slo-mo- heading for a pair of doors opposite. That is until Phrenic cuts it again, and Grey slams another Magic Missile into its back- the Shock Trooper, like Rundarr the Duergar Champion, expands suddenly, and dramatically, almost filling the small anteroom. It turns, enraged, and slams its now massive warhammer down at Phrenic, at the last moment the Tiefling steps aside.
Duergar Shock Trooper- Big Dwarf! Big Bad Dwarf!
And the players go a little crazy at this point- they remember how hard Rundarr hit, they’ve seen this giant-Duergar thing before, they then figure out that there’s another Shock Trooper within the chamber- twice the fun.
The second Duergar flails at Dirty, and misses again, but remains at Murkelmor’s side, at least until the Duergar Paladin decides that enough is enough. The leader slams Dirty with another Fearsome Smite and then steps into the fireplace and thumps the haft of his weapon into the far wall- a stone panel slides open, the guys can see back into the slave pits they fought through earlier. Murkelmor screams for his Theurge- Framath, alas the evil Duergar has already been dispatched.
Winstanley, still on fire- and now bloodied, Tumbles between the escaping Murkelmor and his remaining Shock Trooper guard, the Halfling scurries and makes a Perfect Feint, and then buries his dagger in the back of the fleeing Murkelmor with a Positioning Strike. The Duergar leader is dragged back into the chamber.
The Halfling is rewarded by Kaspard with a few Healing Words, moments later the enlarged Duergar Shock Trooper is hit by the Priestesses Lance of Faith, Grey also hits the evil grey Dwarf with his Wand of Icy Rays- the Shock Trooper is left blasted and immobilised. Phrenic follows up with a Crushing Blow (from his Armour of Exploits), and the creature is not long for this world- the Tiefling Warlord however changes tack and offers Dirty a few Inspiring Words, the Dwarf Fighter soon forgets his pain.
The remaining Duergar Shock Trooper in the chamber slams its warhammer into Winstanley, while Dirty is smashed again by Murkelmor’s Fearsome Smite- the Dwarf Fighter is pushed back once more, the evil Duergar leader seizes his chance and scurries through the fireplace and into the Slave Pit chamber, en route Winstanley cuts him again with his dagger.
Duergar Paladin of Asmodeus- Murkelmor- Flaming Heck!
Dirty Charges after Murkelmor, and gets burnt a little rushing through the flames of the fire, at the last moment the Duergar Lord turns to meet his attacker, and manages to keep the Dwarf at bay.
Seconds later the Tiefling Heretic gets its aim in at last, Kaspard is bathed in its Balefire and left burning. Meanwhile the Duergar Shock Trooper in the corridor finally breaks free from the magic which holds it- it rushes for the door opposite- Phrenic cuts it again, but its not enough (the Shock Trooper is on 5 HP). The massive Duergar hammers on the door and screams loud enough to wake the dead- noises come from beyond the portals.
Meanwhile Dirty faces off against the Duergar leader, the latter slams the Dwarf Fighter, again, with another Fearsome Smite- Dirty however is Unbreakable, he soaks up the hurt, but… is sent spinning back, the Dwarf Fighter trips and falls into one of the open slave pits.
Murkelmor grins as back in the corridor, outside of his chamber, the door to the room opposite is slams open…