The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Freeday, 28th of Fireseek, 2000.
The guys settle down for the night with their three guides- Mr. and Mrs. Charrak, and Vadriar the Sage, the plan is to get Vadriar to lead them to the Well of Demons in the morning, while Charrak and his Mrs will be encouraged to head back to the Seven Pillared Hall.
But first however an extended Q&A- the answers garnered from Vadriar can be best expressed by the following statement- ‘I don’t know’, which is pretty much all the Sage (?) has to say. The guys go through much of what they have learned so far, and to all of it the Sage simply shakes his head- and smiles, often like a loon. Vadriar can’t even remember what the ghostly figure looked like that he met in the Labyrinth- he’s addled, or else… well, something’s not quite right.
Grey fears that Vadriar has been charmed, or else cursed, or else turned into a blithering fool by whowever, or whatever, the ghosty devil he met in the Labyrinth was.
There’s a fair amount of speculation as to who, or what, this creature could be- there’s even a few good suggestions in the selection- some of which may even prove to be correct, they include the following-
1) It was the ghost of someone evil and dead.
2) It was the spectral version of someone evil and alive- like Kalarel’s Spectral Apparition (from KOTS).
3) It was a Tiefling, a dead ghost or else a living spectral apparition (as above).
Clever lad is James (Phrenic), the Warlord figures that a humanoid with horns could be a devil, or else more likely- a Tiefling. This last suggestion gives the guys something new to chew on- the Tieflings are hot favourites, at present, for being behind all of this- whatever this is.
Still, it seems the guys have nothing new to learn from Vadriar, or as Grey puts it- “he’s an idiot, we’ve got to fix him if we want him to tell us what he knows.”
Which seems to me to be pretty much spot on.
Starday, 1st of Readying, 2000.
And so the next day- with Vadriar on a new, and much longer, leash, and with the Kobolds sent home; the guys make their way back through the Labyrinth. The Sage however sets quite a pace, although Vadriar insists that the Well of Demons isn’t actually that far from where they are, less than half-a-days travel.
We play the next section out as a Skill Challenge (with no XP given- as per usual), all I want to do is get the guys to spend a few healing surges, just to put them on the back foot and make them think twice about just diving into fights in the next section. It doesn’t work of course, I improvise a few checks- mostly environmental hazards; chasms that need to be leapt, scree’s scrambled down, a frayed rope bridge across an underground river, and a few more similar hazards. And all the while Vadriar is flinging himself forward and over every hazard that stands in their way- inelegant but effective, the Sage surmounts every obstacle seemingly unscathed. So I set the DCs high for the PCs checks, not ridiculous, just high- 22 to 25, something like that. The guys however race up, over, down and through everything I throw at them, and without a moments hesitation.
And so by the time an out of breath Vadriar points to the passage ahead, still grinning like a chimp, and declares it to be- “The Well of Demons”, the PCs have only spent 2-3 healing surge between all of them, they’re not even out of breath. It’s at this point that the next part of the adventurer’s plan is swiftly put into action- Vadriar is wrestled to the ground, gagged and silenced, and then shoved some place safe-ish and well out of sight. The guys have discussed this option at length, the consensus being there’s no way they’re going to allow the loony Sage to accompany them into action.
That done, they head on in… into the Well of Demons.