The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Moonday, 17th of Fireseek, 2000.
Thirty minutes later the group are stopped and interrogated at the entrance to the underground trade center, the Seven Pillared Hall, by a bunch of creepy looking Human Guards who go out their way to be offensive. In the background a nasty-looking Ogre, watches the adventurers like a hawk- this is Brugg, bully of the Hall, Randal explains.
Brugg the bully.
The adventurers tell the Guards that they have come to the Hall to trade- which is not far from the truth, they do have Nimozaran’s package to deliver, although they don’t tell the Guards this. It helps a little that Phrenic spreads a little love, a few gold coins here and there, Dirty looks like he wants to take them all on- here and now. Common sense (phew) prevails and after a short sojourn- a wash and brush up at the Halfmoon Inn, the adventurers are out and about their business. They have also been promised a ‘meeting’ later with a few locals who may be able to help with information regarding the current situation here in the Labyrinth, Randal is keen for them to attend.
But for now a little bit of shopping and a chance to meet the natives-
Dwarf Merchant Ulthand Deepgem misses Mr. Grumpy…
Soon after Dirty is approached, and eventually dragged aside by a prickly, and drunk, Dwarf who introduces himself as Ulthand Deepgem, of the Deepgem Mining Company. The Dwarf Fighter thinks he’s going to get the low-down on the situation in the Hall, alas he departs a short while later with only a damp shoulder to show for his attempt at socialising. Ulthand it transpires is missing his pet Dire Boar, Mr. Grumpy, the poor Dwarf is distraught- he sobs as he describes Mr Grumpy’s great mutton chops and furred features- he wants him back… please, more jagged sobs and then… Dirty finally escapes. Dirty reports back to the group, he’s disgusted- Dwarves don’t cry, nor do they require transport, a Boar indeed, you wouldn’t catch him etc. The other adventurers are left grinning as Dirty twitters on complaining that socialising is not his thing.
Human Priestess of Pelor- Phaledra of the Hidden Light.
Kaspard, meantime, makes a friend in the Temple of the Hidden Light, a small shrine dedicated to Erathis- Phaledra, the Human Priestess, expresses her concern, guardedly- things are not as they should be in the Hall, the Bloodreavers for instance… She will say more at the meeting at the Inn, after last orders, tonight. It seems word has got around, and somehow the guys have got themselves involved with another conspiracy, or else… well, they’ll find out later.
Grey shows considerable interest in the huge, sixty foot tall, statue of a Minotaur in the center of the Hall, clearly this place has changed masters… he examines the base of the statue, and finally locates a secret panel, alas this is not the time or the place to investigate- Grey stores this information for later use.
Just to note Grey has never played this scenario before, he didn’t know that there would be a secret panel to find, he just took a chance- he’s like that.
Eventually, after asking directions, the adventurers make their ways to Gendar’s, they have a package to deliver remember, and Gendar is a… Oh, a Drow.
Gendar the Drow- ain’t they supposed to be the bad guys?
Phrenic is not happy, he delivers a potted history of the Drow (OOC), remember some of the players have little or no knowledge of the monstrous compendium of good guys, bad guys and downright evil treacherous two-faced sons-of-bitches that make their way in the D&D/Fantasy universe. Phrenic explains that the Drow definitely fall into the latter category.
The other players are somewhat at a loss, negotiations are protracted, Gendar is civil but insistent, particularly when he learns the adventurers have a package for him. A good deal of role-playing ensues, I even get to roll-out the ‘if you prick us do we not bleed?’ speech from Shylock in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, or at least a version of it. Eventually the guys are persuaded, they’ll try trusting Gendar- which turns out to be a positive move, he has information to share.
After exchanging packages- no ceremony, Gendar is keen to tell the adventurers that there are guides for hire hereabouts, for traveling in the Labyrinth- the sprawling maze of tunnels that lead from the Seven Pillared Hall. Gendar states that the guys should never leave home without one- a guide that is, he recommends Charrak, a Kobold, who can be found usually in the Halfmoon Inn.
The adventurers are somewhat put out to discover that Kobolds are also allowed into the Seven Pillared Hall.
Gendar then has a word with Dirty, he tells the Fighter about a very odd Dwarf who stalks the Labyrinth, Thain Cardanas. The mad Dwarf- and his mad followers, subsist on what they kill but mostly on the hallucinogenic lichens and mosses that are found in the Underdark. The crazy Cardanas believes himself to be the High Lord of all of the Dwarves, and the King of the Labyrinth. Gendar goes on to say that the crazy Dwarf even wears a Dwarf Crown as a symbol of his office. Dirty goes from angry (the Drow is talking to him- why is the Drow talking to him?) to interested… The tale is unbelievable, and yet- a Dwarf Crown, that’d be a treasure worth having.
A while later the adventurers head to Dreskin the Provisioner’s, to stock up for their adventures, alas they have to pay through-the-nose for the things that they need, the guys are not short of money but it becomes painfully obvious very quickly that Dreskin is certainly not charging them ‘friend’ prices.
Next stop is Rothar’s Taproom, the Halfmoon’s competition in the Hall; Rothar’s is a dive, a flophouse, a spit-and-sawdust alehouse- and home to nearly a dozen Hobgoblins. These terrors are dressed identically to those the guys fought earlier when rescuing Randal, and much earlier still- way back in KOTS- they’re Bloodreavers. The adventurers get a few funny looks, and soon after are ushered out by the sensible one- Kaspard, before it gets heated.
Then on to the Grimmerzhul Trading Post, and another explanation- the grey Dwarves, Phrenic is front and center again, explaining (OOC) that the Duergar are the Dwarven equivalent of the Drow. As with the meeting with Gendar the guys are cordial and polite but very cautious. They leave the Trading Post quickly, feigning business elsewhere, answering the grey Dwarves probing questions with lies, half-lies and the parts of truth that make no difference.
Just a note to add that during their time visiting with the inhabitants of the Hall the guys asked more or less anyone and everyone they met for the whereabouts of Vadriar the Sage- Valthrun the Prescient recommended they search this guy out. Alas all of their inquiries are for nothing, although a number of the residents claim to have seen the sage recently, none can however confirm his exact location. This however is nothing to worry about- Vadriar is a wild looking human who is fond of heading off on his own to wander the Labyrinth, clearly he is either fearless, mad or else fearsome. The adventurers are given a general description of the human and decide to look out for him, both during their wanderings in the Labyrinth, and also during their time in the Hall- a number of folk agree to point Vadriar towards them should they encounter the strange sage.
Eventually the adventurers retire to the Halfmoon Inn; rest up, drink and chat for a while- killing time until the secret meeting after hours.