1503

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Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Session #15.03

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Encounter #57 W10: The Inner Sanctum.
Click on the Links to see the Monster Stat cards.
Demon Evistro (Brute 6) x3
Bonecrusher Skeleton (Soldier 7)
Demon Barlgura (Brute 8)
Gnoll Warlock- Maldrick Scarmaker (Elite Artillery 8)
Encounter Level 9- 2100 XP

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Sunday, 2nd of Readying, 2000.

Eventually the great doors to the Inner Sanctum rumble open and the guys, at least at first, creep in- but then swiftly abandon all attempts at being sneaky, they rush into action. The chamber ahead contains a smoking cauldron (actually there are four of these), a leering idol of a minotaur, and on a packed raised dais a bunch of bad guys all engaged in some manner of foul ritual.

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The last two humans, ex-citizens of Winterhaven, are up on the raised section of the chamber- the pair are enclosed by some sort of magical barrier within a glowing circle of runes- also present, leading the ritual, is a Gnoll with great bat wings and horns- a demonic looking creature- Maldrick Scarmaker. The Gnoll is busy with a rod in one hand and what the guys suppose to be a ritual scroll in the other- the adventurers are going to have to go through a lot of defenders to get to the Gnoll Warlock however. Also on the raised section are a quartet of Demons and a eight foot tall Skeleton armed with a club- busy, busy…

Grey starts the rot- an Arcane Whirlwind suddenly takes shape amidst the enemies, in seconds the vortex is at full force, the Bonecrusher Skeleton is bashed while several of the Demons are caught in the fury and thunder- the later escape significant harm as their innate resistance automatically kicks in. Dirty rushes forward and leaps up and onto the dais- the Dwarf Charges into the Bonecrusher Skeleton and smashes it with his maul, seconds later the foul undead is left bloodied as one of Kaspard’s Radiant hands makes contact, one of the Evistro’s also suffers although only slight radiant burns.

The rest of the adventurers close the distance.

Grey tries again with a Scorching Burst, alas with particularly unimpressive results, one of the Evistro’s is a little singed- what the hell, the Wizard unleashes his Fireball- he flings the fiery sphere into the midst of his enemies, it explodes and wreaks havoc. The Boneshard Skeleton is left stumbling and scorched, while two Evistro and the Barlgura are each badly burnt. The last Evistro is picked up by Grey’s Arcane Whirlwind and flung hard at one of the cauldrons- the creature ricochet’s of it and is left sprawled on the floor.

Winstanley makes the stairs at a rush, and then unleashes a Cloud of Steel- Maldrick is stuck in the center of the storm and struck repeatedly, as is one of the Evistro (with a crit), the later is left bloodied. Dirty catches the Bonecrusher Skeleton with a Reaping Strike, only a glancing blow- the undead survives, and then screams his battlecry- the Dwarf is Unstoppable.

Maldrick meanwhile stutters and scrabbles for his place on the page, he Curses the adventurers, and in particular the Dwarf that is closing on his position, his Infernal Moon Curse hoists Dirty high into the air- kicking and screaming. The Dwarf however is Unbreakable, although left immobilised and suspended ten feet above the stone floor of the chamber.

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Skeleton Bonecrusher- Died of crushed bones.

Kaspard fights back- the Bonecrusher Skeleton is decimated by her Daunting Light, the Priestess of Bahamut follows up with her Searing Light- Maldrick resists almost all of the of prayer’s radiant power, but is left blinded by the attack.

Phrenic move up onto the dais to Lead the Attack on Scarmaker, somehow the Warlord contrives to miss the blind Gnoll (‘1’). The Demons suddenly leap into action the Barlgura Slams Winstanley repeatedly, the Halfling (after a Second Chance) somehow manages to avoid injury. Two of the Evistro Claw and tear at Phrenic- the Tiefling is hurt, while the third Evistro gets to its feet and then Charges and fails to Claw Winstanley.

Grey suddenly takes a moment to figure out what’s going on here- he screams at his companions- “stop the ritual… kill Scarmaker!” The guys don’t need any encouragement- bad guys and rituals never end well. Just a note to say that Scarmaker needs to make three successful checks for the ritual to take place- at which point you, and the players, will find out what it does- maybe.

The mage moves forward, up the stairs and onto the dais, his Repelling Sphere suddenly surrounds him- two of the Evistro and the Barlgura are picked up and hurled back hard into the walls of the chamber, that cleared the way to the fiendish Gnoll. Winstanley moves quickly up into the newly cleared space, clambers up onto the altar and then flings his magical dagger with a Sly Flourish- Scarmaker, still blind, screams in agony. The Halfling grabs out a clutch more daggers and follows up with a Blinding Barrage- two of the Evistro are caught in the dagger swarm, as is Maldrick- all three creatures are blinded, for Scarmaker this is a regular occurrence. One of the Evistro’s is also almost broken, it staggers and sways on its feet unsure.

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Demon Evistro- Say ‘hi’.

Dirty screams and shouts from above, “get me ukking down from ’ere”, unable to join in the action.

Scarmaker retreats fumbling his way to the rear of the chamber, the words on his ritual scroll make no sense to him- he cannot see them and his memory fails him- the ritual goes unsaid. The Gnoll Warlock screams a Curse at the nearest enemy- he thinks, and then unleashes a blast of Dire Radiance- the power swathes Phrenic, the Tiefling burns and is left bloodied (this after I had to use Dark One’s Own Luck to hit the Warlord).

Seconds later Dirty drops suddenly to the floor, remarkably he lands safely (‘20’) and Charges straight into the Barlgura, he smashes the great Demon with his maul- he’s back in action.

Kaspard meanwhile moves closer to the melee, and then unleashes her Beacon of Hope- the Priestess and her colleagues are all instantly healed by the prayer, while two of the Evistro and the Barlgura are left weakened, what a success. Phrenic orders a Directed Attack- the Tiefling lashes out and slices one of the blind Evistro, in the same moment- under orders- Dirty Charges the Demon and leaves it bloodied.

The Demons however are slowly, but constantly, regenerating- their wounds healing over. The weakened and blind Barlgura flails and Slams Kaspard, although the Priestess rides much of the blow. The two blind (and also weakened) Evistro manage somehow to both Claw at Dirty, although both wounds are slight and not worth the Dwarf’s attention. The third Evistro is however is still at full power, it rips and Claws at Grey- the Wizard screams in agony.

The mage unleashes hell- Grey steps a little closer to the action, surrounds himself with his Fire Shroud- the flame bursts and burns, one Evistro is entirely consumed in an instant, a second is left on fire and almost broken (a crit), while the third Evistro is merely badly burnt- the Barlgura is left bloodied (another crit) and savagely burnt. The Demons left standing are all also still burning, the Barlgura is however left screaming- its Savage Howl, calling on its allies to slay the adventurers.

Winstanley wades in and with a Positioning Strike he stabs Maldrick and sends the Gnoll spinning backwards to thump hard into the cauldron, the liquid within the cooking pot splashes out and leaves the Warlock screaming in agony, and bloodied.

Actually Maldrick failed his save and should have ended up in the pot after Winstanley’s attack, but that would have meant him taking 5d10 damage- which would have probably left the blind (still) Scarmaker just about done for. I fudged it and just inflicted 1d10 damage for a splash.

Dirty meanwhile calls for the Demons to Come & Get It- one of the two Evistro left standing is bloodied by a swipe of his maul, the other staggers forlornly- not long for this world (on 3 hit points).

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Demon Barlgura- Say ‘bye’.

Scarmaker is suddenly able to see again, the Warlock screams out the words of the ritual- one of the ex-citizens of Winterhaven within the runic circle collapses- chokes for a moment and then expires, a great shadowy blackness settles over the whole chamber- a chorus of whispers start up, a sussurrus of malevolent voices. The Gnoll Lord looks suitably impressed- the ritual is working, Scarmaker Curses Winstanley and then fires another beam of Dire Radiance at the Halfling Rogue. Only Kaspard’s Armour of Bahamut prevents Winstanley from suffering much greater pain (she prevents the crit), the Rogue however is left staggering and bloodied.

The guys were mightily unimpressed when the first prisoner was killed.

Not for long- Kaspard’s Healing Words cause the Halfling to forget his wounds, the Priestess moves back a way and then unleashes her Blazing Starfall- the closest Evistro is burnt to death by the radiant power, a second is singed and hurt.

Phrenic moves in for the kill, and is smashed in the face by Maldrick’s Spined Tail- the Tiefling Warlord although left bloodied ignores the hurt and cuts Maldrick with his Sunder Armour attack (a crit), the Gnoll staggers.

The Barlgura, now able to see again, although still on fire, lurches forward and Slams Dirty- twice (both crits), the Dwarf staggers, and then falls (both hits were for 32 damage= 64 damage in total, Dirty is well into the negatives, although still a dozen or so hit points away from his negative bloodied value). The last Evistro left standing Claws and then uses its Destructive Bite on Grey, the Wizard is left bloodied and screaming for help.

It’s going to go to the wire.

Winstanley moves in and with a Perfect Feint outwits the Barlgura, a moment later the great ape Demon staggers back sporting the Rogue’s magical dagger. Winstanley’s Bait & Switch draws the Demon forward and then sends it crashing off the raised ledge- the creature is dead before it hits the ground (another crit).

Maldrick retreats to the very limit of the chamber, the Gnoll Warlock continues to chant- and the second ex-citizen of Winterhaven is entirely consumed by the ritual- the guys go slightly mental at this point, they’ve just fought through god knows how many bad guys and for what… Suddenly the chamber gets darker, the shadows thicken- the whispered voices rise to a crescendo, almost deafening. Maldrick, now grinning wildly, fires an Eldritch Blast into Phrenic, the Warlord staggers and has to grab onto a wall to stay on his feet.

Kaspard however is immediately to the rescue, the Priestess approaches again and with a touch, and a Cure Light Wounds, Phrenic is back into the action; on the floor of the chamber Dirty suddenly opens his eyes as the Priestess intones more of her Healing Words. Phrenic offers a few Inspiring Words- Grey smiles and motions his thanks.

The last Demon left standing, an Evistro, launches itself at the still supine Dirty- it Claws and then rips with its Destructive Bite- the Dwarf is bloodied and almost broken (back down to 10 hit points).

Grey moves to get a better look at Scarmaker, and then fires a Magic Missile into its gut. Winstanley meantime leaps at the Evistro menacing Dirty, with a Sly Flourish the Halfling Rogue cuts the Demon dead- just Scarmaker now to end.

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Gnoll Warlock- Maldrick Scarmaker- Available for children’s parties.

Dirty lurches to his feet and Charges the Gnoll Warlock, the Dwarf is smashed en route by the Scarmaker’s Spined Tail (I roll minimum damage = 9, Dirty is on 1 hit point), still the Fighter lands his attack and the fiend staggers back into the wall almost broken (5 hit points).

Scarmaker is still grinning however, the Gnoll keeps his place on the page, in the ritual- he chants and the darkness finally settles, the entire Well of Demons lurches one place to the right, only half of the adventurers manage to stay on their feet, and then… then… nothing happens.

Even Scarmaker looks distraught.

“Master?” The Gnoll whispers, at first- the whisper however soon turns into an elongated howl, a forlorn scream. The terrible cacophony is finally brought to an end by Dirty, actually by Phrenic who orders a Commander’s Strike- Dirty obliges and Maldrick is smashed dead (with another bloody crit).

The Gnoll explodes in flame as Dirty’s Flaming maul strikes home.

The bloody, and bloodied, adventurers sag- breathing hard, entirely unsure of what has transpired.

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1503

The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e) goonalan