“Moonwatch” – Tenth Adventure night (Day 7, part 2 of 2).

Lester and Jaques disarm the Duergar corpses and collect goods, expressly for the purpose of upgrading of their Dwarf allies’ gear.  As they work at this task, the spellcasters and the others, except Arxius Cole, succeed in an INT check and realize that they have killed four Duergar Rogues.

Normally, they have fought five Rogues.

One has escaped.  Certainly to spread warning to his companions.  How this will complicate matters, the Heroes cannot pause to consider.  The sense of urgency grows stronger.

Jaques is moving ahead with a solution before Lester can even suggest it.  The Acid Wizard had memorized two Wall of Stone spells for today.  Eyeballing the passageway, Jaques calculates his needs and seals the 20-foot-wide by 10-foot-high hallways with a wall of stone that is four inches thick.  This seal is made across the main passageway, to the right of the corner Arxius had scouted on point.  This seamless rock wall effectively cuts off one quadrant of the 3rd Underground level from its adjacent.

This leaves the Heroes only one direction to go, which is fine by them.  As they advance down the passageway, they hear noises coming from a room ahead – which, by their maps, is a Store.

Arxius Cole advances to the corner of the passage, and holds his torch high to see into the darkness at the sounds.  What he sees is an Umber Hulk crashing out of the shadows, and the Umber Hulk sees him.  Arxius makes his Will save and is not Confused by the Umber Hulk’s innate spell ability as a gaze attack.  Behind the oversized insect-like creature, some Enlarged Duergar Fighters follow behind, girded for battle.

The Heroes move up to support Cole, cautious to avoid the Umber Hulk’s eyes.  Lester has a smart plan; he casts a Summon spell and moments later, two Hound Archons arrive.  These canine-looking Celestials cast Protection from Evil, which will suppress the effects of the Confusion suffered by any Heroes of the party should they fail their Save.  Also each Archon carries an enormous sword, which is useful in a different kind of way.

Unfortunately for Genive, she is outside of the Protection From Evil when, Invisible, she tries to rush down the corridor past the combat at the intersection and inadvertently meets the Umber Hulk’s gaze.  She fails the Will save and stops, Confused, unsure what she was about to do or why she’s here.

Arxius Cole lays into the Umber Hulk, dealing it harsh blows.  Enlarged Duergar block up the entranceway to the Store, attacking the Hound Archons, dropping one of them.  Jaques gets into a good position and places a Sudden Maximized Acid Storm in the likely middle of the Duergar ranks.  He is unable to see all of them but makes a best-guess and unleashes the spell.  Its effects are nothing short of devastating.

A Duergar Cleric, hidden in shadows, had been casting against the Heroes, draining Arxius Cole for 2 and then 3 more points of Strength damage.  These and the Strength lost in the previous fight are cumulative; with a new Strength score of 11, poor Arxius suffers the indignity of having a Strength comparable to a Beholder, a Dire Rat, or a normal Human.

After Jaques’s Acid Storm spell, this Cleric falls suspiciously quiet and does not cast further.

In her Confused state, Genive decides it is a great idea to attack the nearest target.  This, unfortunately, is a Hound Archon, and it takes unexpected and unwelcome damage from the addled Spymaster.

Lester hits the Umber Hulk with an Orb of Electricity as it Confuses Arxius Cole; with one Hound Archon remaining, Cole is protected from the effect of the Confusion.  The Umber Hulk itself is Entangled by the Halfling’s spell.  The insectoid menace is slain quickly thereafter, much to the Heroes’ relief.

The Duergar Fighters were badly hurt by Jaques’s Acid Storm.  They manage to kill the other Hound Archon but are easy prey for the Heroes, even after the Dread Pirate Wobberts and Kartug Igmutin have to withdraw from the fight.

On Genive’s next turn, she would have fled from the Umber Hulk (likely into another war party of Duergar somewhere down the passageway) but since it is now dead, she instead stands in place, still Invisible, and spouts gibberish.

As the last of the Duergar are killed, Arxius is now fully afflicted with Confusion, and he too stands in place and speaks nonsense, staring off into space.  Lester can see the Invisible Genive, and hurries to her and taps her with a Protection from Evil spell that suppresses her Confusion.

Her mind again her own, the Spymaster sees that Arxius has been affected.  She hurls the Iron Bands of Bilarro at him, binding the Fighter to complete immobility and holding him in place so that he causes no harm in the half-minute before the spell effect is gone.  Genive releases Arxius when his Confusion clears.

Enemies dead and looted of valuables, the Heroes take a look around the room they are in.  It is like a general store, selling useful merchandise to Moonwatch garrison forces and to visiting soldiers when they have occasion to make the fortress their temporary base.  Clothing, parchment and writing devices, small arms and trinkets, camping and travelling equipment, foodstuffs and candy, this store has an impressive offering.  The inventory is a mess, having been looted and scattered and kicked aside by Moonwatch’s invaders and their massive Umber Hulk companion.

The Heroes sweep the room for more enemies or items of interest, and find none.  They consult their maps about which rooms to check next.

The adventure ends here for the night.




About d20horizons

D&D player.
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