“Moonwatch” – Twelfth Adventure night (Day 7, part 4 of 4).

Downstairs, paralyzed Lester had Teleported into the Storage Room headquarters of the Khör Dwarves.  As it happened, the Dwarves were packing up to move their base of operations up one level.  They hear and rush to Lester when he shouts out for attention.

Lester urges the most senior of the Dwarves, one of Ironhaul’s Lieutenants, to rush a team of Defenders to the Tavern one level up.  Much to his relief, the Halfling is told that Ironhaul and a strike force had already set out for there.  Lester asks for and gets the story:

When the Paladin dispatched to face the Umber Hulk on the 4th Underground level did not arrive as ordered, Captain Ironhaul grew angry and went up to investigate the holy warrior’s not-uncommon insubordination.  On scene, Ironhaul was informed that the Heroes had recruited the Paladin and seven Dwarven Defenders for some kind of assault on a position up on the 3rd Underground level.  Expecting there would be problems, Ironhaul gathered ten Dwarves and a much more Lawful Paladin, and hurried upstairs.

Back in the Tavern, in the aftermath of the fight, the Party finds itself in a situation.  Jaques cannot join his allies, as the two Blade Barriers are still intact and will be for a long time yet.  With a stone portcullis blocking his way to the right, and hordes of Barbarians and Duergar off to the left, Jaques decides his best plan is to take the stairs nearby, descend to the safer 4th Underground level, run over to another stairwell and come up in the footsteps of Ironhaul and his rescue team to the other Tavern entrance.

When he departs, this leaves only Genive awake.  The Dread Pirate Wobberts has bled down to -7 hit-points, but was boosted to a Stable and wakeful Staggered state of 0 hit points by Lester’s Lantern Archon when it cast an Aid spell upon him, granting him 7 temporary hit points.  When this spell elapsed after the end of the fight, the Swashbuckler again dropped to –7 hit points and continued to bleed out.  Genive was busy searching the corpse of the Duergar Commander, knowing time was of the essence before they retreated.  Fortunately, two Dwarven Defenders noticed Wobberts.  One succeeded in an untrained Heal check, and stabilized the Swashbuckler.

Genive looted the Commander, finding around his neck a chain with one of the Moonwatch master-keys on it.  This and the Commander’s gear, the Spymaster quickly took as treasure for the Party.  Upon the bar, she spotted two small wooden cases, stencilled with the Corinthian military insignias and the caduceus symbol.  Investigating this while the Dwarves helped Wobberts not-die, Genive discovered that these cases contain Healing potions, no doubt raided from the Medical Bay of the fortress.  One contains 20 Potions of Cure Light Wounds.  The other, 12 Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds.  Genive immediately downs two Cure Lights.

Ironhaul and his men have finished ensuring that all downed Duergar are in fact dead.  They load up their own dead, the Paladin and seven Dwarfs in all, grab some weapons as free hands permit, and urge an immediate retreat.  This position is by no means secure.  Wobberts and Kartug are awake and mobile, if only barely.  They, plus Jaques and Genive, are escorted by the Khör Dwarves out of this Tavern room and back down all the way to the Storage Room on the 5th Underground level where Lester waits, anxiously.

The Heroes reunite, slumping to the floor with exhaustion.  They are thankful to be alive.  Among many questions, first to Captain Ironhaul’s mind is why exactly the Heroes went charging off into the Tavern in the first place.  The Party explains that one of Ironhaul’s Scouts had informed them that the Khör Dwarves had intelligence that the Duergar command base was located in the Tavern, so they decided to attack it.

Ironhaul protests this.  Neither he nor his Lieutenants, nor the Paladins, had any idea where the Duergar command post was located.  And had any of his Scouts, Defenders, or Dungeon Delvers known, the information would have been relayed to him immediately, before it would have been shared with the Heroes.

The Party’s confusion creeps quickly into concern.  Genive has an excellent idea; having seen the Scout herself, she uses her Hat of Disguise and her own skill-set as a Spymaster to change her appearance to, she believes, perfectly match that of the informative Scout encountered by the Party.

Ironhaul looks at Genive’s disguise, and shakes his head.  If this is in fact an accurate image of the Scout, the Scout is not familiar to the Captain.  But it may just be that Genive’s effort is somewhat inaccurate.  Therefore, to calibrate her effort, Genive Disguises herself as Captain Ironhaul himself.  Her appearance is flawless, proving her recollection of the Scout to have been as perfect as possible.

Ironhaul stiffens.  This “Scout” encountered by the Party is definitely not one of his men.  This sends a chill through the Heroes, as it suggests there is someone or something else in this fortress, able to impersonate others and which has aims to misdirect the Party.

The adventure ends here for the night.




About d20horizons

D&D player.
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