“Moonwatch” – Eleventh Adventure night (Day 7, part 3 of 3).

The fight has gone on long enough that the toll is taken in lives.  The Duergar Rogues were quickly slaughtered by the superior human force.  Some Barbarians have fallen; others remain ensnared or severely slowed by the Evard’s Black Tentacles spell, perhaps having forgotten that they possess an ability that should have let them escape.

The Minotaur, in a moment of hilarity sure to infuriate the great beast, rolls a 1 for the Grapple check against the Tentacles and is held for a single round.  This despite having a Strength score twice that of a Black Pudding, Choker, or Large shark.  It will not be very happy when it gets loose.

One Duergar Cleric remains, and continues to cast spells.  Lester, finding himself in possession of both prodigious skill with thrown items and the Iron Bands of Bilarro, throws that iron ball at the Cleric.  It hits him, and immediately binds the Cleric immobile.  A Duergar Fighter, free of Evard’s Black Tentacles, will come to aid him, an effort that is in vain.

Jaques recognizes the danger of the reinforcement Barbarians ready to spill into the room.  And he notices that one of the local Barbarians, untangled by the Tentacles, has escaped into the hallway to aid his fellows.  The wizard casts his second memorized Wall of Stone, completely blocking off that hallway.  For now it is a problem solved.

The Party falls back towards the door from which it had entered this charnel house.  Three Barbarians have escaped the range of the Tentacles, and hurl javelins at the Heroes.  Jaques raises a Wall of Fire between the Party and the enemies on the other side of the room.

The Minotaur, rather angry, is undeterred.  It lowers its head and bullishly charges through the fire and flames toward the cluster of Jaques, Dread Pirate Wobberts, and Lester.  The Minotaur is aiming specifically for the Halfling who had harmed it with spells quite recently in this battle.  The charge is unsuccessful, and the worst damage suffered is chunks of stone gored out of the Training Room’s stone wall.  Lester moves out from below the Minotaur, and suffers an Attack of Opportunity.

Jaques believes the Minotaur does not have Combat Reflexes, and so casts a spell point-blank.  Jaques’ assumption is not correct.  Although coated with an Acid Sheath spell, the wizard still takes considerable damage.  The Minotaur ceases to be a threat in the next round when the fine, diminutive Lester takes a shot at the colossal Minotaur and drops the beast on the spot.

The Druid Faldorn has taken a bruising in this fight.  He abandons Giant Scorpion form for a more comfortable Will-‘O-Wisp shape.  Deciding to get in-close-and-personal to attack one of the remaining Barbarians suffering heat damage from the Wall of Fire, Faldorn flies through the ten-foot gap between the twenty-foot-high flames and the ceiling of the Training Room.

Losing 9 hit-points as reasonable half-damage for what would normally have been 2d4+11 damage for the excursion, somehow this becomes much more an issue than it seems it should.  There is spirited protest; a review of the details of the thermodynamically implausible spell effects; some mathematics and geometry and radiating effects of combustion hashed over.  To more than compromise, it turns out that Faldorn in fact took no damage passing over the flame wall nor took any while passing through a heat zone which would pulse damage only on Jaques’ turn and at no other time.

As Wobberts and Genive peg them with arrows and Faldorn zaps the Barbarians with electrical discharge, Lester makes a clever move.  He casts Stone Body on himself, followed by Transmute Mud to Rock to instantly restore all of his lost Hit Points.  Now wanting to retrieve the Iron Bands of Bilarro and to kill a Duergar Cleric in the process, Lester sprints toward the Wall of Fire at a glacial 10-foot movement speed.

Genive falls back to the exit to the passageway, and checks up the hallway toward the Barbarian forces.  They continue to build their new defensive post, stopping occasionally to stare at her light source and wonder at who she might be.  Evard’s Black Tentacles end as Lester reaches their perimeter.  The floor is slick with blood and death.  Those Barbarians or Duergar that remain are a round away from their own fatal ends, as the Heroes mop up what remains.  Lester retrieves the Bands, leaving the Duergar gear untouched.

Anxiety rises in the Heroes.  There have come no sounds of attack or sunder against the stone wall raised by Jaques.  The Party suspects, correctly, that this barrier is more beneficial to the Barbarians in the other room than it is a hindrance.  Loosened from their obligation to defend the position, they may well be hurrying around to flank the Heroes in the same way as the other Barbarians had surprised the Duergar in here.

There is no time to collect weapons and armor, or to inspect the Barbarian corpses closer.  The Dread Pirate Wobberts grabs a Dwarven War-Axe or two, Faldorn eyes the late Minotaur’s oversized Large Great-Axe, and the Heroes dash out of this slaughterhouse and back to the Store.

Even here they are not confident in their safety.  The Heroes rush to take the open stairwell in this room, down to the 4th Underground level.  This brings them into a Storage Room across the hall from the Cistern Room access door.

Outside this Storage Room, the Heroes encounter a forward party of Khör Dwarves.  These Dwarf allies had just finished a fight against a Duergar squad, ending one of the three battles raging on this level.  Other fights continue, but the Dwarves hold half this Floor and their reach is extending with each victory.

The Party is spooked, off-balance, jumpy, and uncertain as to what they may have unleashed on the 3rd Underground floor above.

The adventure ends here for the night.




About d20horizons

D&D player.
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