The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Encounter #55 W8: Hall of the Howling Pillars.
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Howling Pillar (Blaster 3) x6- Only 150 XP given.
Demon Evistro (Brute 6) x5
Demon Barlgura (Brute 8)
Encounter Level 8- 1750 XP
Sunday, 2nd of Readying, 2000.
And so to the final test for the adventurers, and perhaps a chance to redeem myself after some terrible play, although the guys are not helping- as soon as the door opens to this chamber Grey starts firing Magic Missiles into the pillars within, the mage doesn’t even bother to enter the room.
I put paid to this idea very swiftly, describing how the strange columns are regenerating as swiftly as Grey is doing damage, and still the guys are reluctant to enter the chamber. Winstanley makes matters worse, he has decided that he’s no longer in a ‘scouting’ mood- someone else can take point, and so we break for ten minutes of bickering.
Phrenic and Dirty, riding again on Mr. Grumpy- the dependable duo (or perhaps trio), eventually volunteer to take care of business- the group get a good way in, reporting back to the other adventurers that are now stationed just within the chamber- the door, of course, has sealed itself behind them.
Phrenic spots an altar in the farthest room- there’s something resting atop the edifice- the advance party head forward to investigate, which is when the pillars start screaming and babbling with a myriad strange voices…
Howling Pillar- An effective burglar alarm.
Dirty and Phrenic, and the furthest forward of the other group of adventurers- Winstanley, are affected by the Pillars garbled speech, they’re left confused and confounded, and clutching at their ears- trying desperately to block out the terrible sounds.
Things get worse very rapidly as five Carnage Demons step out of the pillars and like a pack of slavering hounds they rush to destroy their foes- Kaspard is Clawed, as is Mr. Grumpy. Dirty reacts instantly and screams for the Demons to Come & Get It- three of the Evistro are instantly drawn to the Dwarf, and then smashed with his maul. Dirty roars- as the Barlgura steps out of the altar and rushes to join the fun- Mr. Grumpy and Dirty are Slammed, the Dwarf however is Unbreakable.
Grey eventually reacts, his Repelling Sphere sends one of the two Evistro Demons attempting to savage him spinning and scuttling away, again the mage is having trouble getting the space he needs to work his magic. The Priestess, Kaspard, takes a step back, for the same purpose, and is Clawed by an Evistro- she struggles clear of her attacker and then unleashes her Radiant Hands- both of the attacking Demons are tagged and suffer radiant burnt, one receives the full force of her prayer (a crit). She’s not done, the closest Evistro is suddenly bathed in her Daunting Light, the creature screams and thrashes.
Phrenic meantime moves to Dirty’s side and lashes out at the nearest Evistro with his Leaf on the Wind attack- the Demon is cut again. At which point the sound of the babbling Pillars suddenly quietens- ominous, a second later, and from every pillar come jets of furiously sizzling clear liquid- acid.
All of the Demons are caught in the deluge, although all of them emerge unscathed as they seem somehow to be able to resist the potency of the fizzing liquid, for the home team- Phrenic, Dirty and Mr. Grumpy all suffer acid burns.
Winstanley contrives to keep both of the Evistro menacing the rear guard away, he’s protecting his softer colleagues- Kaspard and Grey, the artillery. The Rogue sends the nearest Demon skittering back, clutching at its side, with a Positioning Strike, and then grabs out another dagger and lets loose with a Cloud of Steel- both Demons are caught in his dagger storm, one is left bloodied- from an accumulation of wounds. Both fiends however come Charging back at the Halfling, miraculously he keeps both at bay- he’s doing a defenders job, Dirty would be proud of him.
Demon Evistro- Footsoldiers from the Abyss.
Meanwhile two of the other Evistro’s Claw at Dirty, the Dwarf smashes one back with his Crushing Blow, the Demon is bloodied, Dirty sucks up the hurt and gets his Second Wind. The Barlgura Slams again, Dirty ducks and Mr. Grumpy feels the full force of the Demon’s blow- the Dire Boar is bloodied.
Grey takes advantage of Winstanley’s protection- the mage launches a Scorching Burst into the two closest Evistros- both are caught within the flames, one of the Demons screeches and claws at the air in pain (a crit), both of the fiends are now bloodied. The mage takes a stride forward and carpets the floor before him with flame- his Burning Hands, and again both Demons are caught in the blaze- one staggers barely able to keep its feet, the second looks only slightly better. Kaspard follows up with her Blazing Starfall- the radiant bursts of light prove fatal for one of the Demon’s, and leaves the second fiend clutching at one of the Pillars.
Phrenic cuts with his Steel Monsoon attack and another Evistro is bloodied- suddenly the room appears hazy, it shakes and shimmers once and…
The burnt and broken Evistro facing Winstanley disappears, as does one of the Carnage Demon’s facing Dirty, the Barlgura disappears- and Phrenic; those taken reappear an instant later redistributed around the chamber.
Winstanley suddenly finds himself facing the Barlgura, the Halfling gulps, and then spins a dagger with a Sly Flourish into the great Demon’s gut- the fiend barely seems to notice. An Evistro lost to the teleport comes Charging back into the action- the fiend claws at Mr. Grumpy- the Dire Boar staggers, its almost down, another follows in and Mr. Grumpy is on his knees (down to 3 HP). Dirty smashes down with his maul, with a Reaping Strike, and ends another one of the Evistros.
An Evistro lashes out and Claws at Phrenic, while the Barlgura stomps forward and smashes its great fists into Winstanley and Grey simultaneously. The Halfling is staggered, while the mage blinks out of existence at the very last second, his Wizard’s Escape- Grey reappears further into the chamber, and well away from the Barlgura. The mage steadies himself and then fires a Magic Missile into the great Demon, and still the think looks unconcerned. Kaspard’s Spiritual Weapon suddenly materialises by the Barlgura’s head, and then catches the great beast with a glancing blow.
And suddenly the babbling comes again- all of the heads and faces on the Pillars begin to rant their twisted gibberish- three of the Demons, including the Barlgura, and also Phrenic and Mr. Grumpy are affected by the cacophony, left slightly addled and out of sorts.
Winstanley takes advantage of the moment and catches the Barlgura with another Sly Flourish- and yet still the Demon seems unphased, worse is to come as the missing Evistro (teleported to the far side of the chamber) finally arrives back on the scene, and Charges in to menace the Halfling also.
The last two Evistro settle their score with the forward party- Phrenic is Clawed and left bloodied, while for Mr. Grumpy its the end- the second Evistro opens the Dire Boar’s throat, the great beast attempts, and fails, to gore the fiend- its Death Strike, and then collapses to the floor and swiftly bleeds to death.
A disgruntled Dirty steps off his ride, and smashes and burns the skull of the offending Evistro with his Steel Serpent Strike (a crit).
Meanwhile the Barlgura takes its frustrations out on Winstanley- the Halfling is Slammed not once, but twice (one a crit), and left bloodied and staggering, trying desperately to keep on his feet. Grey steps forward- moves a little closer to the action, en route Grey is wreathed in flame- his Fire Shroud. The Evistro and the Barlgura facing Winstanley are caught in the inferno- both are on fire, the Barlgura is at last bloodied- it roars its Savage Howl and the Demons increase the pace and accuracy of their destruction.
Demon Barlgura- Monkey business.
Phrenic backs up a way and then launches his Cloud of Daggers in an effort to save his comrades by the door, an Evistro is caught in the blade stor, the Barlgura also suffers (a crit). Kaspard hits the great Demon again with her Sacred Flame (another crit), and then whispers Healing Words while gesturing towards Winstanley- the Halfling breathes a sigh of relief.
A moment later the babbling stops and the closest Pillars suddenly bow and stretch, and with their flailing limbs reach out- the Barlgura and Phrenic are grabbed.
Winstanley dodges around and after a Perfect Feint leaves the Evistro before him bloodied with yet another Sly Flourish, the creature Claws but the Rogue dodges- the beast is also still on fire. As is the Barlgura, although it is not about to give up the fight- the great Demon Slams both fists down (again- and even after a Second Chance) and into Winstanley- the Rogue staggers back bloodied, and almost broken,.
Grey steps in and serves up another Scorching Burst- the Barlgura is caught within the flames, as is the Evistro fighting by its side. The great Demon staggers, sinks to its knees and then falls forward- dead.
At the same moment Phrenic breaks free of a Pillar’s grasp and Charges into one of the two remaining Evistro’s left standing- he cuts the fiend hard.
The other Evistro- facing off against Winstanley, is hit first of all by Kaspard’s Spiritual Weapon and then again moments later caught in her Sacred Flame, the fiend clutches at the walls and leaves bloody claw prints (on 1 HP).
The Pillars suddenly make gurgling sounds and then each emits from every one of its mouth’s a torrent of fizzing acid- Dirty and one of the Evistro’s are hit- although the later resists the effect entirely.
The staggering Evistro is however soon ended- Winstanley grins up at the thing as he buries his magical dagger in its gut, the fiend collapses in stages, and expires.
Dirty smashes the last Evistro standing with a Reaping Strike, Phrenic closes in on the Demon and hits it with his Sunder Armour attack- the creature is left bloodied and vulnerable, a moment later however the Pillars start to babble again and both adventurers are left confused, and a little confounded. The Demon Claws at Dirty- who delivers another Reaping Strike, the Evistro totters as Phrenic takes a step back and issues Dirty an order- a Commander’s Strike- the Dwarf brings down his maul and smushes the skull of the fiend- the last enemy falls.
Phrenic rushes over to the altar and grabs the bell- the handle of the implement shoots a spike of steel into and through the Tiefling’s palm, the shock is almost enough to to cause Phrenic to fall, and yet muttering Inspiring Words all the way he rushes back to his friends.
Through the door, and out of the chamber- the three tests have been bested.