The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Earthday, 27th of Fireseek, 2000.
Both shadowy Serpent Curse attacks miss their targets, after all that build up I rolled a ‘2’, screamed a while as the PCs laughed like drains, and then after another massive build-up rolled again and got, that’s right- a ‘1’. In the same instant the great Bronze Warder lurches forward swinging with its greataxe- yeah, it missed too.
Do you ever get the feeling as a DM that no matter what you do fickle fate has a way of laughing in your face.
Phrenic is immediately into action, the Tiefling ignores the Warder and scurries up the scree like slope, he spots one of the Tiefling Heretics on the ledge above- the Warlord points and screams and then rushes towards his target. The newly spotted enemy scurries back and away, and then fires off its Balefire- another miss, the enemy suddenly looks less certain.
A second Balefire blasts down from a ledge up by the entrance of the chamber, Grey is swathed in flames- the mage’s robes are on fire- Grey thought he had copyright on that move- he was wrong. Winstanley reacts in an instant and spins out a dagger, but the Heretic on the ledge is back and out of sight.
Grey stamps and pats out the flames, and then launches a Ray of Frost at the Bronze Warder, the great automaton is swathed in a sheen of ice, and left slowed. Dirty takes a step back and then launches himself at the beast with a Cometfell Charge, he connects but only with a glancing blow that doesn’t even dent the automaton.
Kaspard quickly moves up the scree- following Phrenic up the slope- her Radiant Hands fly out, alas only the Tiefling facing off against Phrenic is scorched. Down below the slowed Bronze Warder smashes its greataxe into Dirty- the Dwarf’s smile slips.
Back up on the ledge Phrenic continues to threaten the Heretic before him but is way off target with his attack, seconds later as the Tiefling retreats its Balefire comes again- Phrenic however- like the Heretics, is mostly resistant to flame (sometimes I’m just plain dumb). The second Tiefling pops up again from his hiding place, and once again swathes Grey in its Balefire- the mage is bloodied, and as mad as hell. Grey’s a fire mage, or else as he often calls himself- a flamecaster; ironically, if he takes another hit, he’s going to be on the floor and in danger of being burnt to death.
Tiefling Heretic- Who the hell are these guys?
Winstanley follows Kaspard up the scree and spins out another dagger with a Sly Flourish- the Tiefling facing Phrenic is hit. Grey, down below, fails this time to put out the flames- the mage is starting to look a little panicked, he conjures and his Flaming Sphere appears next to the Bronze Warder- it scorches the metallic creature, although only a little. Dirty follows up and smashes the thing with his Crushing Blow, and then tries again with a Brute Strike- both attacks leave great dents and rents in the Warders armoured outer-layer. The Dwarf Fighter is really getting into the swing of things.
Kaspard moves further up the scree and onto the ledge proper, seconds later her Daunting Light blasts the revealed Tiefling, and lights it up like Pelormass tree. The Priestess of Bahamut is not done however, a second later her Spiritual Weapon manifests above the Bronze Warder and clonks it on the head, happy with the results Kaspard intones a few Healing Words and Grey’s burning pain all but fades.
The Bronze Warder is heated further- its stood too close to Grey’s Flaming Sphere- with Inexorable Movement it strides away, walking over Dirty, the Dwarf swats and misses it with his maul. The Warder however is on the Rampage, it continues up the scree to rescue its master, it swings its greataxe into Phrenic, and then Kaspard- and sends the pair of them sprawling, and leaves them smarting from their wounds.
Phrenic lurches to his feet, ignores the Warder and delivers a Viper’s Strike to the Tiefling Heretic before him- bloodying the creature, the Tiefling reacts with its Cloak of Escape and blinks out of existence, it reappears less than a second later much further along the ledge. Phrenic changes his focus, he Directs Combat onto the Bronze Warder- ordering Dirty to Charge the metal monster, the Dwarf complies and smashes into the Bronze minotaur- the great automaton is bloodied. Phrenic mutters a few Inspiring Wounds and the Warlord’s wounds all but disappear.
Both of the Tieflings on the ledges above scurry and duck and dive for fresh cover, en route the pair (again) unleash their Balefire attacks- this time its Winstanley’s turn to suffer, the Halfling is burnt and left on fire. The Halfling is clearly not impressed, Winstanley runs and leaps up and onto a higher ledge, and then lets another dagger fly, a Sly Flourish, and the Tiefling left glowing by Kaspard’s Daunting Light stops the blade- with its throat. It gargles, and gasps, for a second or two more and then tumbles head-first off the ledge, it lands hard- and dead, on the cavern floor.
“Take Him Alive!” Kaspard and Phrenic scream and point at the last known location of the last known Tiefling, the pair are almost in unison with their call.
Grey, still on fire, skirts the Bronze Warder and climbs the scree where he’s hoping there are more enemies to see, the Wizard grabs out his Wand of Icy Rays and fires- the Bronze Warder, and the remaining Tiefling (with total concealment), both catch cold- the pair are left immobilised. The mage isn’t done, he motions and gestures towards his Flaming Sphere which trundles slowly up the scree slope and comes to rest nestled at the feet of the immobilised Bronze Warder.
Bronze Warder- Metal Mayhem.
Kaspard manages at last to staunch the bleed from the Bronze Warder’s axe, her Dwarven Armour pulses and her wounds are all but forgotten, she dexterously manipulates her Spiritual Weapon and clonks the Warder on its metal head again, and then shuffles off to find a safer, concealed, spot.
The metal Warder is scorched and blackened by the flame, although it’s still immobilised by the ice- it’s not having a good day. Unable to move it swings once, and then twice at Dirty- connects both times. The Dwarf miraculously still stands- (I rolled minimum damage for my first hit, and nothing special for my second) Dirty’s grin returns. Phrenic scurries back down the scree and Leads the Attack on the Bronze Warder, the Tiefling cuts a great gash in the constructs metal back. Winstanley, who’s still on fire, spins another dagger out and punches a hole in the armoured beast, the Warder sways a little. The Halfling Rogue then scurries off, like Kaspard, in search of somewhere safe to hide.
Dirty smashes the construct with a Reaping Strike, and then puffing and panting gets his Second Wind- the Dwarf is going nowhere however, he’s having way too much fun. Kaspard prays and her Beacon of Hope pulses, the Warder sags- it’s weakened, while all of the adventurers benefit from the healing pulse.
The Bronze Warder still burns, still totters, and still swings hard with its greataxe at Dirty, it catches the Dwarf with the lightest of blows (minimum damage again, and then halved- its weakened). The remaining Tiefling, still immobilised, launches its Balefire again and this time swathes Dirty in its flame- the Dwarf burns although only a little as his Black Iron Scale absorbs much of the heat.
Winstanley manages at last to beat out the flames on his cloak, the Halfling spins a dagger out at long range, and on the second attempt sinks the blade into the last remaining Tiefling. Grey however is still on fire, and showing no signs of ever managing to put the flames out- the mage thuds his Flaming Sphere once more into the Bronze Warder, the construct is beginning to melt and blister at the rear. Kaspard sustains her Spiritual Weapon, which swats ineffectively at the Warder, her follow up Divine Glow however catches the construct in its burning radiant light- the Bronze Warder totters once more, but still does not fall, perhaps Dirty can take it down.
The Dwarf Fighter and the Warder continue to face off- the pair exchange blows- Dirty’s effort is easily deflected while the Warders greataxe sings a different tune (a crit), the Dwarf is smashed and bloodied in an instant.
The Tiefling Heretic gets free of the immobilised effect, it scurries to find cover and en route sends down yet another Balefire, Winstanley’s armour pulses as Kaspard quickly utters her Armour of Bahamut prayer, the critical hit is turned into a shimmering fiery burst- the Halfling is on fire (again), and now also bloodied. Winstanley flings out another dagger, again at long range, at the Tiefling almost entirely hidden from sight (with total concealment)- fortune favours the Rogue it seems, although the hit is but a scratch, regardless the Heretic is at last bloodied.
Grey meanwhile manipulates and moves his Flaming Sphere, and once again rams it into the Bronze Warder’s legs, and Avandra be praised, the great metal Minotaur crumples and then falls forward, it thuds unmoving into the cavern floor. At the same moment the last Tiefling Heretic is up and running, it leaps down from its ledge, and then clearly winded rushes for the exit- although the exit is blocked by the great boulder.
“Get him!” Phrenic shouts, and then immediately regrets his use of words, less than five seconds later a screaming Dirty Charges the last enemy and smashes the unfortunate fellow dead. At which point the argument begins.
We have a rule in game that a player must state that they are delivering an attack to subdue rather than doing ‘real’ damage, they can of course state that all of their attacks are to subdue- whatever they declare there’s no going back until the players states the change- there are no do-overs, therefore Dirty’s Charge and critical hit can’t be put back in the box.
The second, and last, Tiefling is dead- and that wasn’t supposed to happen, I had a bit more story to reveal, and the guys wanted oh so dearly to hear it.
The bickering continues for a good while between the players, interrupted only by the end of the session- the guys promise, no… PROMISE, hand on heart to take a prisoner alive next time, and to try to stop themselves from scaring off NPCs that may be about to deliver a little bit more exposition.
Kobold Scout- Mrs. Charrak- Nice titfer.
The Tieflings are searched, they have a few coins but nothing of any great reward or indeed any clues to the ‘big mystery’, Mrs Charrak is recovered- bound and wedged into a crevice on a much higher ledge. Then, with a little help from the two Kobolds- the pair dig beneath the great boulder which blocks the exit, the guys improvise a lever, they manages to edge the rock a foot or so, enough for them to slip by- they’re free again. Next stop- the Seven Pillared Hall, but that’s for the next session, rest assured however the guys still don’t know what’s going on here.
Which let’s face it- is about par for the course.