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Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Session #8.10

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Encounter #29 C4: Torog’s Shrine.
Click on the Links to see the Monster Stat cards.
Hobgoblin Archer (Artillery 3) x3
Hobgoblin Warcaster (Controller 3)
Duergar Guard (Soldier 4) x2
Dire Wolf (Skirmisher 5)
Hobgoblin Chief- Krand (Soldier 5)
Encounter Level 6- 1350 XP

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Waterday, 19th of Fireseek, 2000.

A growl, Winstanley meets the gaze of a wolf, no ordinary wolf however, the creature is four or maybe five times his size- a Dire Wolf, the creature snarls again and leaps at the Halfling.

On an upper balcony section of the temple a trio of Hobgoblin Archers grab for their bows- Winstanley is caught out.

Note Winstanley’s last Stealth check was a… ‘1’.

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Hobgoblin Archer- FIRE!

Further note- only the Dire Wolf and the Hobgoblin Archers are present… atm.

The Dire Wolf launches itself at Winstanley- snaps and Bites at the Halfling drawing blood, the little guy screams and the door behind him is kicked open. Grey reacts first- a Magic Missile slams into the Dire Wolf, followed by Kaspard’s Daunting Light.

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Dire Wolf- Nice doggy!

Dirty charges in and is struck by an arrow from the Hobgoblin artillery- two of three Archers scream and open fire, the third rushes out a door up on the balcony and begins calling for his allies.

Winstanley hears a name- ‘Krand’, and relays the news to his compatriots, the consensus is- ‘oh shit!’

Phrenic moves in- all is chaos, although only momentarily- Winstanley manoeuvres and then slashes the Dire Wolf along its flank, a horrendous wound, the Wolf is bloodied in an instant- made worse when Grey fires another Magic Missile into it. Dirty’s Reaping Strike leaves the massive vulpine yowling and yelping- its not long for this world, the Dwarf gets his Second wind as arrows whiz by.

Phrenic’s Viper’s Strike cuts (with a crit) the Wolf down, the Tiefling yells and points to the Hobgoblins up on the balcony.

Winstanley, remarkably, is the first to obey- the Halfling rushes up the stairs and onto the upper storey, spins a dagger out at the Hobgoblin Archer ahead, who ducks just in time. Grey is content to locate a pillar to hide behind- en route the mage slams another of his Magic Missiles into the closest Hobgoblin Archers. Kaspard follows Grey’s lead, finds cover and then sends out her Hands of Radiance, the same Hobgoblin Archer is burnt, if only slightly.

Dirty heads for the opposite set of stairs- there’s another Archer up there, he’s at full speed, the Dwarf Charges into the second Hobgoblin and smashes it with his maul.

At which point screaming into the chamber comes yet another Hobgoblin, a much bigger Hobgoblin- clearly a soldier, the spear-wielding Chief Krand screams for his troops to get busy and then lances his weapon at Winstanley, the Halfling gulps and dodges- not necessarily in that order.

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Hobgoblin Bloodreaver Chief- Krand- Giving orders!

Kaspard peaks from behind a pillar and is caught by an arrow, the Hobgoblin Archer drops its bow and draws its longsword in an attempt to keep Dirty at bay; the remaining Archer is still out rounding up more bad guys to bring to the party.

Phrenic rushes toward the center of the balcony, leaps up and catches hold of it and hauls himself up- not done the Tiefling edges forward to the Chief and Leads the Attack, alas Krand is too wily for the Warlord- he easily keeps Phrenic at bay. The Tiefling however has a few Inspiring Words for Winstanley, the Rogue’s wounds are entirely forgotten.

Behind the Chief yet another Hobgoblin arrives…

“Warcaster!” Phrenic screams, and suddenly looks a whole lot less confident.

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Hobgoblin Warcaster- Bad ju-ju!

Winstanley dashes in and stabs Krand with a Sly Flourish- he and Phrenic are flanking the Chief. Meanwhile Grey and Kaspard open up with the artillery both aiming for the Archer facing off against Dirty- Grey’s Magic Missile (a crit) and Kaspard’s Sacred Flame combine to end the creature. Dirty tips the fellow over the balcony and then rushes all the way around and slams his maul into the second Archer, its bloodied. The goblinoid spills his bow, draws his longsword and catches Dirty with a glancing blow.

Krand meanwhile tries desperately to keep both of his attackers at bay, things are looking desperate for the Chief- the players around the table are grinning, although they are as of yet unaware that two Duergar Guards are about to make their appearance.

Phrenic cuts Krand again with his Viper’s Strike, and is slammed in the gut by the Warcaster’s Shock Staff, the Tiefling staggers back dazed and hurting bad.

Winstanley needs to end this swiftly, the Halfling stabs again with another Sly Flourish and suddenly Krand is bloodied, the Rogue stabs again with a Trick Strike, he cuts Krand again, and this time badly. The Hobgoblin Chief falls hard against the railing of the balcony, spirals his arms forlornly for a second and then continues his momentum and plummets over the rail.

CRUNCH!

Krand falls ten feet to the cold stone floor of the temple, neck broken he expires.

Note- in game that was just beautiful to watch, but my cue to…

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Duergar Guard- Hammer time, perhaps followed by a game of darts.

The double doors to the temple, through which the adventurers initially arrived, are kicked back open again, striding into the chamber come the Duergar Guards- clad in chainmail and wielding black warhammers. Grey bathes the pair in flame- his Scorching Blast, the two evil Dwarves grin, at which point Grey works out that the pair are immune to fire- which doesn’t leave the ‘fire’ mage with many options.

The Wizard thinks fast, while backing away quickly- he and Kaspard are directly in the Duergar’s path; got it- he fires a Ray of Frost and leaves one of the pair coated in ice and slowed. Kaspard follows suit- backing away, she hits the same Duergar with her Sacred Flame, and then unleashes her Blazing Starfall- the second Duergar is only slightly burnt.

Dirty smashes the Hobgoblin Archer before him with a Reaping Strike, the creature sinks to its knees and then slumps forward- deceased. The Dwarf puts one hand on the balcony rail and then leaps over, lands a little awkwardly after the fall, and then Charges forward into the nearest Duergar, putting himself between the grey Dwarves and Grey and Kaspard, or as he knows them the artillery.

An arrow suddenly flies out- it misses Phrenic by inches, the third Hobgoblin Archer it seems is in the corridor behind the Warcaster.

“Hey guys…” Phrenic shouts, suddenly aware that things are getting very busy.

The guys really don’t like Hobgoblin Warcasters- bad juju.

The first Duergar’s warhammer suddenly ignites in flame, the portly Guard slams it into Dirty (a crit), the Fighter staggers- and then is hit by a six inch needle like dart, the second Duergar’s Beard Quill. Dirty is poisoned, he staggers straight into the second Duergar’s path, who although slowed makes it to the party. Dirty is rocked and left bloodied and battered as the Guard’s warhammer connects.

At which point the Warcaster unleashes its Force Pulse, shattered clumps of the stone balcony explode into the chamber, Phrenic and Winstanley are caught in the explosion but miraculously both manage to keep their feet and dodge a majority of the hurt. The Tiefling is alas bloodied but manages however to clear his head- he’s no longer dazed.

Winstanley grits his teeth and dodges into the Warcaster, stabs hard with a Sly Flourish and makes the Hobgoblin bastard pay, the terror bleeds.

Grey’s Magic Missile comes again and slams into the closest Duergar, the Guard is bloodied, the mage falls back further- to the far wall, there’s nowhere else he can go. Kaspard however strides forward, she delivers a Healing Word to Dirty and then in the same breath grabs the staggering Dwarf by his shoulder- Dirty seems to glow for a second as Kaspard Cures Light Wounds.

Dirty grins. He’s all the way back to full hit points. His Spinning Strike slams into the already bloodied Duergar, the Guard is left sprawling on the floor- almost spent, and yet still it rises and scrambles to its feet. The Duergar swings hard and hearty and smashes its warhammer into Dirty, whose armour suddenly pulses- thanks to Kaspard’s Armour of Bahamut power, the critical hit is all but deflected, now nothing more than a glancing blow. The second Duergar, no longer slowed, menaces Dirty but the Dwarf keeps it at bay.

Another arrow flies into the chamber and pins Grey, momentarily, to a pillar- the Hobgoblin Archer it seems is still in the hunt.

Phrenic delivers a Steel Monsoon attack on the Warcaster, the Hobgoblin is bloodied, almost spent. The Tiefling whispers Inspiring Words to himself, his wounds are mostly forgotten. The Warcaster lashes out with its staff (nothing has recharged) but is massively off target, which is all Winstanley needs- the Halfling dodges in and buries his magical dagger in its back- the Warcaster is shoved off the balcony to join Krand sprawled on the floor.

Grey’s Magic Missile slams into the badly wounded Duergar, it staggers, but doesn’t go down (on 1 hit point), the Duergar Guard’s fight on- taking it in turns to smash Dirty with their warhammers, and again the Dwarf is bloodied and battered.

Above, on the balcony, Phrenic winks at Winstanley and rushes off and into the corridor- the last seen location of the remaining Hobgoblin Archer. An arrow flies just wide but the Tiefling races on and Charges into the creature, cutting it and causing it to spill its bow.

Winstanley thinks about accompanying the Tiefling but has a better idea, the Halfling moves to the edge of the balcony and looks down at the Duergar facing off against the severely bruised and bloody Dirty, seconds later his dagger spins out and with a Deft Strike buries itself in the top of the nearest Duergar’s head- a fatal blow. One down.

The second Duergar is hit by Grey’s Magic Missile, it’s his turn to take a beating, Grey meantime sees his opening and sprints out of the bottleneck and to the stairs and safety. Kaspard draws her mace and slams the remaining Duergar (for 3 damage), and then shares a few more Healing Words with Dirty- the Dwarf grins and then delivers a Reaping Strike, the last remaining Duergar is bloodied.

The evil Dwarf isn’t stupid however, it swings hard- a miss, and then tries to retreat- Dirty smashes it again with his maul- scratch that ’isn’t stupid’, it’s an idiot. Dirty grins some more at the now forlorn looking creature.

Winstanley however is out to spoil the fun, the Halfling tries the same trick again- spins out a dagger and…

THUNK!

Straight into the Duergar’s skull (a crit), the last grey Dwarf drops.

Less than ten seconds later, being menaced on all sides, the last enemy left standing, the Hobgoblin Archer, finally surrenders.

The encounter is over, the guys stand around grinning, and breathing hard after their exertions.

The Hobgoblin Archer is outmatched, and he knows it, it’s quick to tell all that it knows-

1) The Bloodreavers are slavers, although without slaves at the moment, their supply has dried up.

2) They sell the slaves to the Duergar, the Archer doesn’t know why the Duergar want slaves.

3) The Duergar live in a fortress called Grimmerzhul located in the Labyrinth, the Hobgoblin alas has no idea where the place is.

That done, Dirty ends the Hobgoblin Archer- and gets a bollocking from Kaspard and Phrenic for doing so- a short but sometimes heated argument erupts which can be best summarised thusly-
Kaspard & Phrenic- “Don’t do that its bad!”
Dirty “Stick it up yer arse!”

The thought that there maybe treasure to be found, Winstanley just mentions it, brings the argument to a close (temporarily- no doubt). The chambers located off the balcony are searched, and money, gems (valuable gems at that), a Potion of Healing and a magical wand are found (more of the latter later). The guys also find a contract signed by Murkelmor Grimmerzhul for the purchase of 50 slaves from the Bloodreavers for a payment of 1000gp.

Decisions are made- next stop the Seven Pillared Hall, time to pay a visit to the Duergar Trading Post again. Then after that- Grimmerzhul here we come.

In the meantime Grey is delighted with his new +2 Wand of Icy Rays, if he’s going to be fighting Duergar he needs something more than his usual fire repertoire.

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Grey’s new wand- Ice Ice Baby!

The guys loved the fact that they are again following a trail of breadcrumbs, they’ve crossed the Bloodreavers (they think) off their list- next stop the Duergar, they can’t wait to find the fortress ‘Grimmerzhul’, that’s where they’re heading for the finale- so they tell me.

One last point worth keeping in mind, the PCs are an encounter away from advancing to 5th Level, they can’t wait to get there, Level 5 and above seems to be, in their words… ‘experienced’, or else, ‘proper’, certainly no longer a beginner.

And thus ends the first, admittedly very long (about 7.5 hours of play with breaks for chats and booze) session of Thunderspire.

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810

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