The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Earthday, 20th of Fireseek, 2000.
… a bunch of homicidal Human Berserkers- the quartet look out of it, spaced, or else drugged. And positioned high on a ledge a crazy looking Dwarf, wearing a crown made of stone.
Thain Cardanas, for it is he, up on the rock shelf, insists- nay demands, that the guys kneel before him and offer tribute- he is Thain of all Dwarves, and the King of the Labyrinth.
He’s also off his face and gurning and drooling like a moron.
A fine specimen of Dwarfness.
Dirty (Dave) is far from happy- he’s so easy to wind up, he goes from 0 to affronted in a matter of seconds. Dirty wants the crown, and more importantly (just, by a tiny margin) Cardanas dead.
The guys and the mad Dwarf chat for a little while- none of the PCs make a Diplomacy check it should be noted. The players also note that the Dwarf has the only speaking part for the bad guys- the Human Berserkers are mouth breathers.
You know what happens next, it’s what always happens next.
Remarkably it’s Grey that starts the war- dropping a Scorching Burst on two of the Berserkers, Winstanley Sly Flourishes and takes another of the lunks by surprise.
Human Berserker- Drooling violent sociopaths.
Thain Cardanas screams for his men to destroy the adventurers, actually what he screams for is the Berserkers to destroy the ‘traitor’, the Thain points at Dirty.
Three of the Berserkers attempt to mash Dirty- the Dwarf takes two hits, one of them a glancing blow the other a doozy. The other Human smashes Winstanley (Second Chance = crit), fortunately, at the last moment, the Halfling’s armour pulses courtesy of Kaspard’s Armour of Bahamut, and deflects almost all of the force from the blow.
Cardanas, up on his ledge, shoots Dirty- I roll minimum damage. Damn! Regardless the Thain does a little jig and swears at Dirty (or else the I do- payback sucker).
Phrenic offers a few Inspiring Words to Dirty and the Dwarf’s wounds are all but forgotten. Kaspard lets loose her Divine Glow, the closest Berserker cowers (a crit) and burns- its left bloodied- the Human reacts in an instant with its Battle Fury, and smashes Dirty again- a monster hit, the Fighter is almost bloodied again. The formerly uninjured Berserker is also burnt, but only a little. Kaspard continues and invokes her Healing Words- Dirty is well again.
The Dwarf Fighter isn’t happy (what’s new), he delivers a roundhouse Crushing Blow (a crit) and caves in the skull of the nearest Berserker- dead.
Dirty (Dave) grins like a chimp, and gives me the bird- friendly soul isn’t he. Note the other players are giggling like buffoons, particularly as Dirty (Dave) is so riled- he’s a gift for any DM. In character he’s an easily provoked violent maniac, out of character he’s… let’s not go there.
Grey’s Scorching Burst comes again- two of the three Berserkers left standing are burnt, the mage however isn’t done- he follows up with his Burning Hands unleashing a tide of flame. Again two of the three Berserkers are caught in the fire, this time however the fire is intense, one is bloodied- it turns slightly and wails on Dirty with its Battle Fury (again- this time with a crit), the furious Dwarf is bloodied once again (from full HP).
Thain Cardanas capers some more and reminds Dave, I mean Dirty, about how crap he is on the Xbox, er… I mean, he insults his Dwarfhood.
Winstanley Tumbles behind one of the Berserkers and cuts hard with a Sly Flourish, bloodying the moron- the Berserker spins on his heel and smashes the Halfling with his greataxe, and now Winstanley is bloodied too. For good measure he strikes again, while the Halfling is still trying to catch his breath- Winstanley is almost down, it’s as well that Thain Cardanas’ crossbow bolt pings just inches wide of the Rogue.
Phrenic’s Steel Monsoon bloodies the third Berserker, the Warlord easily dodges the moron’s retaliatory strike. The Tiefling shouts Inspiring Words and Winstanley suddenly feels much healthier. Three ghostly appendages fly out- Kaspard’s Hands of Radiance- two of the three Berserkers left standing are clawed badly (both crits), the third is only scratched. Kaspard intones more Healing Words and again Dirty’s wounds are forgotten.
All party healing is spent.
Dirty Cleaves and smashes another of the Berserkers down, his swing continues on and thumps into yet another- there are two Human Berserkers left standing. Not for long, Grey moves closer and ignites his Fire Shroud- both are badly burnt, both are left on fire. Winstanley delivers a Sly Flourish and the third Human drops, the other is entirely consumed by the flames- they’re all down.
Thain Cardanas stops dancing, and then sinks a crossbow bolt into Winstanley, the Rogue is bloodied once again. The Thain cuts and runs- the guys quickly spot a series of ledges that will lead them up to the Dwarf Bolter- Phrenic, Kaspard and Dirty head off at pace, and in three different directions.
Note the room has a bunch of ledges that need to be traversed in order to get up to the naughty Thain. Grey waits at the bottom, alas Cardanas is at the moment out of sight- the mage prepares a Magic Missile and bides his time. Winstanley moves off and gets better situated, he can just make out the fleeing Dwarf Bolter- he flings his dagger at extreme range and scores a hit, although only a scratch.
Dwarf Bolter- Thain Cardanas says it’s fun to play with crossbows.
Thain Cardanas is a much better shot is seems, he sinks another bolt into the Rogue, Winstanley is fast fading (on 5 HP). Phrenic and Kaspard continue their attempt to get up to the bad guy, leaping from ledge to ledge. Dirty however is athletically superior, the angry Dwarf gets all the way to the top- he chose the right route and made some great rolls. Dirty Charges into Cardanas, and smashes the frightful Dwarf, the Thain is bloodied.
Down on the floor of the chamber Grey still can’t see the action, Winstanley however clambers into a much better position, spins out a dagger with a Deft Strike and leaves the Thain staggering. The King of the Labyrinth however is not a quitter- the Dwarf flings away his crossbow, grabs out his warhammer and slams it into Dirty- it’s no contest, Dirty slams back with his maul and Cardanas goes spinning off the ledge.
The mad Dwarf is dead on impact, for good measure however Grey fires a Magic Missile into the corpse and shouts up, in a friendly way- “got ’im.”
The guys descend back down to the lower level, Dirty, without comment, takes Thain Cardanas’ stone crown and tucks it away for safe keeping. After a brief search of the bad guys- a few coins are found, Charrak leads them back into the Labyrinth, remember they’re on the clock here.
It has to be said that this was a cracking encounter, at times the guys (the players that is) were incapacitated- crying with laughter, Dave (Dirty) is just ridiculously easy to wind up.