For now the Heroes seem free from threat. The Umber Hulk and its Duergar retainers are dead, and the clash of combat does not yet seem to have attracted scouts. The Wall of Stone in the main passageway at least gives them security against interlopers from that direction.
Now the question is what to do. Jaques, Lester, Genive, the Dread Pirate Wobberts, and Faldorn each bring plausible ideas to the discussion.
Faldorn suggests that he could assume the form of an Umber Hulk, and use the Aberration’s impressive tunneling ability to shortcut between the adjacent Storage Room and a Workshop connected to the area beyond the sealed passageway.
Lester and Wobberts might like to descend into friendlier territory. The Halfling has a mind to find out how the Dwarves of Khör are progressing in the clearing the 4th Underground level below the Party. The Swashbuckler still interested in finding a source of healing.
Jaques is ready to head back to the Dwarves’ temporary headquarters and get some rest, forgetting for the moment that he has been awake perhaps four hours.
In the end it is Genive’s desire to scout ahead that collects popular support. It is a decision that will have unexpected consequences.
Leaving her torch behind, Genive doesn’t bother to go Invisible. In the pitch-black and with a Move Silently check well north of 30, she is well enough hidden to the ear. And what are the odds that the Duergar will have Darkvision? The Spymaster exits the plundered Store, turns right, and peeks down the long passageway at the next intersection.
Far down this hallway is light, and a lot of it. Something closer to Genive than this light source is blocking the passage. Part of this silhouetted obstruction is moving.
Genive hugs the wall and sneaks closer. The light is about two hundred feet away from where she first saw it. Drawing close, she stops about sixty feet short of a barricade manned by Duergar Fighters. There are nine Fighters, and two Clerics. They huddle on the dark side of a makeshift pile of furniture, crates, pallets, and barrels that serves as a defensive fort, peering over it.
Beyond this improvised palisade wall, Genive can make out an open no-man’s-land for about forty feet, and then another, similar barricade structure. Occasionally popping up above the level of these defenses, the Spymaster is surprised to see human faces peeking through. Behind them, the hallway is well lit with bright torches. From the human side comes shouts of insults and threats in an odd dialect of Common. The Duergar respond what is probably the same, in Undercommon.
Genive realizes an opportunity to help out the human soldiers. Dipping into a pocket, the Spymaster pulls out the Necklace of Fireballs. Only one Fireball, a medium-strength orb, has been used so far.
Genive strips ALL of the Fireball beads from the Necklace, and hurls the handful at the unprotected rear flank of the Duergar line. This is about 40d6 worth of Fireballs.
It’s quite an explosion.
The Spymaster shields her eyes only enough to lessen the flash to preserve her rudimentary Human night-vision…but not so much that she could not delight in the firestorm she has created. All eleven Duergar, caught completely off-guard, are obliterated by the hellish cluster-bomb death-blossoming around them. Their barricade also suffers massive damage and is reduced to splinters. In one fell swoop, Genive solved the human soldiers’ problem.
And created another one for herself and her allies.
Using her Hat of Disguise to shift her appearance to that of a Khör Dwarf, Genive steps out of the shadows and into the light from the humans’ territory. She bows and calls greeting to the soldiers of Moonwatch, saying she has broken the impasse and brings aid and succor to their side.
The human soldiers look at her, puzzled, for just a moment.
Genive suspects something isn’t right when the first javelins are hurled her way, and the humans begin earnest efforts to tear a passage through their defenses so as to charge and attack. Not considering how she might look like a Duergar to these humans so set on defending against Dwarf-sized enemies, Genive turns and runs for it.