The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Encounter #51 W4: Shrine to Baphomet- Random Encounter- Gnoll Marauders.
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Goblin Blackblade (Lurker 1)
Gnoll Huntmaster (Artillery 5) x3
Gnoll Marauder (Brute 6) x2
Tiefling Darkblade (Lurker 7)
Gnoll Demonic Scourge (Brute 8)
Demon Barlgura (Brute 8)
Encounter Level 9- 2200 XP
Starday, 1st of Readying, 2000.
Just to warn you ahead of time- this session contains some of the crapiest moments of our adventures, and also, alas, several of the dullest moments, it starts however with neither of the above.
A gentle warm up for the PCs to begin with- yeah right, a Level 9 Encounter to start the session.
The PCs hole up for the night, ostensibly to level up, it doesn’t happen, at least not just yet- the Tiefling that got away has found some new friends, a Gnoll Patrol, to play with. There are actually no more creatures in this section of the Well of Demons left, but I didn’t want their rise to Level 7 to go too smoothly. I therefore chose to drag in the final Wandering Monsters encounter, the only ones I hadn’t used- the Gnoll Marauders.
Phrenic can’t help but spot the invaders, as he’s on lookout, and only thirty feet away when the Barlgura smashes through the doors- Grey’s Eye of Alarm sounds, but not soon enough to prevent the bad guys getting up close and personal, only Dirty (and Phrenic of course) are awake and ready for action- Dave rolled a ‘20’ on his Perception check so I had him awake in an instant.
Goblin Blackblade- The hell! This guy’s in the deep end.
Oh and the Dire Boar- Mr. Grumpy is left to sleep, Dirty (Dave) is not having the creature outshine him again- although he may change his mind when the bad guys keep coming.
Phrenic screams like a banshee to wake the others, and then fills the corridor ahead with his Cloud of Daggers- the Gnoll Marauders and the Barlgura are momentarily inconvenienced, regardless they push on through aiming to get at the adventurers. The Barlgura Charges at Phrenic, who is screaming still, the Tiefling somehow manages to keep the Demon at bay. Dirty is up and awake in seconds, he rushes to Phrenic’s side only to meet the Charge of both of the Gnoll Marauders, he fends off one but is Speared by the other.
Gnoll Huntmaster- The Artillery.
Winstanley is the next to react, the Halfling scurries forward and with a Clever Strike (and a crit) stabs the nearest Marauder- but that’s not enough, the Rogue grabs out a clutch of daggers and lets loose with his Blinding Barrage- all three of the enemies suffer terrible wounds. The Barlgura is blinded by the blood from his forehead- in which Winstanley’s magical dagger is embedded, the two Marauders are likewise savaged (both crits)- one is left bloodied, both are likewise blinded.
And yes, you read that correctly- Winstanley makes four attack rolls and conjures a ‘20’ with three of them. That’s pretty terrible for me- three of my bad guys are blinded and granting combat advantage, and they’re the brutes in the front-line.
Phrenic slices and slashes- his Leaf on the Wind attack followed by his Crushing Blow (from his Armour of Exploits), the Barlgura is cut twice more, and roars and flails in confusion.
Gnoll Marauders- Brutes in the front line.
Suddenly arrows whiz down the corridor- it seems the Gnoll Huntsmen have got their aim- although only Winstanley takes a hit, to the shoulder. Behind the morass of blinded brutes more enemies come on- Phrenic screams some more.
Kaspard is suddenly in the action- her three Radiant Hands fly out and tag, and burn, all three of the blinded brutes. The Priestess however isn’t done, she takes a stride forward and unleashes her Divine Glow- and again all three of the brutes are burnt even more- as is the Gnoll Demonic Scourge which has just moved up to join the fun. The Barlgura roars its Savage Howl, its bloodied, and then lashes out furiously at Phrenic who ducks and dodges the blind beast and stands his ground.
Grey arrives on the scene and spreads a carpet of fire before him with his Burning Hands- one of the Marauders is incinerated, the other is left bloodied by the flames, the Barlgura is burnt- or else only singed, it seems to be partially resistant to the inferno. The Demonic Scourge and the two closest Gnoll Huntsmen are however not so lucky- all three are burnt also.
Tiefling Darkblade- The instigator of the attack.
Dirty’s Crushing Blow leaves the last Marauder staggering and clutching at a wall to stay on its feet- his follow up Brute Strike leaves the Barlgura similarly disposed. The Dwarf grins and indicates to his colleagues, with a shrug, that he has things under control. Winstanley catches the vibe and spins out a dagger with a Sly Flourish, the second Marauder drops dead- the Rogue dashes forward and into the now dead Gnoll’s spot. Then with a Downward Spiral he pirouettes and saws and stabs at the kneecaps of all of the enemies that surround him- the Barlgura loses a leg in the operation and collapses, moments later- still screaming, the Demon expires. The Gnoll Demonic Scourge (with a crit) and one of the Huntmasters are left sprawled on the floor- for good measure the Halfling thumps his chest and his Bloodcut Armour makes him mostly immune to hurt.
This is a masterclass.
Phrenic steps in and slices the Demonic Scourge, he Leads the Attack on the second line of the enemies, now the first has fallen, the Gnoll is bloodied- the Tiefling calls his colleagues to concentrate fire on the Scourge.
Gnoll Demonic Scourge- Bring the pain.
The Gnoll Huntmaster floored by Winstanely scrambles to his feet and grabs out its hand axe, and then slams it into Dirty, in the same instant the Tiefling Darkblade- the source of all this woe steps in and stabs Phrenic with its Poisoned Short Sword, the Tiefling bleeds and winces as the toxin bites.
The Demonic Scourge is quickly to its feet, it smashes Dirty with its Flail (with a crit), and leaves the Dwarf bloodied- its Bloodthirst rising it calls its allies in to make Overwhelming Attacks- the Huntmaster and the Tiefling lash out at Dirty- but the stout Dwarf keeps both enemies at bay.
Suddenly Kaspard’s Spiritual Weapon blinks into existence and slams down on the Darkblade, the already injured Tiefling is bloodied, in the same instant the Priestess mutters Healing Words and Dirty’s wounds are all but forgotten. At which point Grey conjures his Flaming Sphere slap bang in the middle of his enemies- the Goblin Blackblade, somewhat out of place in this fracas, is bloodied in an instant; the mage is then suddenly swathed in flame- his Fire Shroud, his enemies are scourged. The Darkblade resists most of the fire but is still singed a little, the Goblin is not so fortunate- it’s incinerated in less than a second, the Demonic Scourge is likewise burnt again- it staggers and almost collapses. Those caught in the Wizard’s flame and left standing are also set on fire- Grey cackles as his enemies burn.
Dirty’s Flaming Maul smashes down on the nearest Huntmaster (a crit), the Gnoll is consumed in his magic weapons flame. Winstanley ducks and dodges, and comes up behind the Demonic Scourge-he plants a dagger in the Gnoll’s back- it totters, stays on its feet but by will alone. Phrenic meantime resists the poison’s sting, the Tiefling searches out his attacker, and slices the Darkblade with his Viper’s Strike- the creature is almost spent.
Demon Barlgura- Bad Monkey!
The enemies are giving ground- two of the Huntmasters are caught in aura of the Flaming Sphere- burnt they scuttle backwards, both fire again- and miss again. The Darkblade makes use again of its Cloak of Lurking- it disappears from sight (and teleports away), the Demonic Scourge is less fortunate- and with nowhere to run, it is entirely consumed in the flames.
Kaspard motions her Spiritual Weapon forward, smashes it into the closest retreating Huntmaster, Grey signals with his staff and his Flaming Sphere rumbles forward- the same Huntmaster is caught and burnt again- it’s bloodied, but not for long. Dirty turns the retreat into a route- his Cometfall Charge smashes into the Gnoll and hammers it dead.
Winstanley follows on after Dirty, spins out another dagger with a Sly Flourish, and the last of the Huntmasters is bloodied, but once again- not for long. Phrenic calls out his Commander’s Strike- Dirty obeys and slams his maul into the last Gnoll standing- it too is dead.
The corridor is quiet, save for the fires and the sounds of the dying, the Darkblade escapes again (Cloak of Lurking recharged), the adventurers press a little way forward but their pesky enemy is nowhere to be seen.
The fight is over.
Eventually, after the dead guys are searched- and a little money taken, and the bodies disposed of, the PCs reset their defences and attempt to get a good night’s sleep.
This wasn’t the bad bit- obviously, the encounter proved to be a cracking start to the session.