The Unlikely Heroes of Nentir Vale

Session 15: Assault on the Horned Hold
In which the Heroes find out some information and search for slaves

The action resumes after the battle in the Grimmerzhul Trading Post . The heroes tie up an unconscious Kedhira, and Merrick whistles in her ear to try and wake her up. Zakhar is more successful with shaking her gently. When she wakes up, Kedhira curses at them, not realizing that Merrick spoke deep speech. She initially refuses to talk. Merrick, however, is convinced that a dagger under her fingernails is a good start (!), and she howls in pain and submits. (Were the Lawful Good Zakhar and Niall MacFarlane looking away? Hmm….).

Kedhira ultimately reveals the location of the Horned Hold. The group elects to send Malkyr to fetch Brugg. After some investigating, he finds Brugg in Rothar’s Taproom, where there are orcs, goblins, gnolls and duergar, as well as humans and dwarves. Brugg is in the middle of an arm-wrestling contest where he toys with a gnoll before breaking his arm, to much cheering and drinking (as the gnoll goes yipping away). Malkyr informs Brugg that they have a “problem,” and Brugg decides to investigate, dragging Malkyr with him. When he gets to the Trading Post, he sees that the situation is FUBAR. The heroes give him a copy of the slave trade contract between Murkelmor Grimmerzhul and Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers. Brugg is not very smart, but is fairly savvy, or so he thinks. He pretends to read the contract of sale (which is upside down). None of the heroes say a word and play along, since they do not want to be pounded into salt. Brugg tells them to stay put and leaves to fetch someone.

After a few minutes, while some of the party plays cards, Brugg reappears with Orantor, one of the Mages of Saruun. He questions them and finds them to be believable, and has Brugg bring Kedhira to his chambers. He tells the heroes that he will be watching them; that they need to be mindful of the law, or else face the wrath of the Mages; and that they needed to board up this place. Orantor then cast a spell that causes the dead duergar to rise up as zombies and follow him.

The party obediently boards up the Trading Post, and then goes to the Halfmoon Inn to rest. Rendill tells them that he just heard a rumor about the Murkelmor clan. The party is hesitant to disclose much, but does reveal that they destroyed the Bloodreavers, and while they didn’t find the slaves, the Bloodreavers may, in fact, have been working with the duergar. They rest for the night and head out the next morning.

With Malkyr scouting ahead, they come upon the Horned Hold. They are able to successfully sneak ahead, close to the iron gate, when they execute their plan.:
With the element of surprise, Malkyr uses Shadow Step to get into the room and cast a globe of darkness over both him and one of the orcs. They all yell out in surprise, and combat ensues.

Round 1: During the confusion, Merrick picks the lock on the gate. Malkyr uses Executioner’s Noose to drag another orc into the darkness with him (he can see fine, but they can’t). The orcs attack him, wounding him with 2 hits. With the gate opened, Niall storms into the room, hitting an Orc solidly with his hammer (Power Strike). Theron finds another one, and strikes him with his longsword, using Warlord’s Favor. Zakhar also barrels into the room, taking on two Orcs and getting decent hits on both. Aramil wisely stays out of melee range, and casts Grasping Shadows; three Orcs fall victim to the spell, take minor damage and are slowed.

Round 2: Merrick runs up to Niall, runs up over him, and does a front flip over the orc, then attacks him from behind (Bloodbath_), bloodying the Orc. Malkyr then stabs the wounded orc, who ultimately succumbs to the wounds given by Merrick (_ongoing damage). As one of the Orcs launches a deadly blow at Malkyr, Niall shoves him out of the way and takes the shot, absorbing most of it with his shield. He then returns the favor, bloodying another Orc and knocking him prone. Theron attacks but misses an Orc with Warlord’s Strike, while Zakhar slices at another Orc with Healing Strike, helping himself out. Spending an action point, Zakhar attacks again, using Righteous Brand_. Aramil follows up by casting a spell that conjures molten metal out of the sky to fall on a number of the Orcs, badly wounding and burning them (_Argent Rain).

Round 3: Merrick inflicts a Torturous Strike against one Orc , twisting the rapier into him, and then using a Low Slash, hits him again, allowing him to use Takedown Strike and knock him prone, bloodying him in the process. Malkyr, who had been placing assassin’s shrouds on one of his target, activates all 3 and uses Shadow Storm, killing the Orc. Two Orcs swing and miss Niall. One hits Theron, though, and bloodies him. Niall smashes one, and then with an action point, kills the orc with a massive uppercut to the groin. Theron uses his Inspiring Word to heal himself, and then attacks the Orc on him twice, using an action point as well. Zakhar shifts and helps Theron with a Righteous Brand, killing the Orc. Aramil continues to bring the heat, casting a Fire Shroud on all three Orcs.

Round 4: Merrick attacks with Twin Strike, then, using an action point, hits (critically!) with a Piercing Strike, wounding the Orc, who is now near death. Malkyr sprints by that Orc, and with a Running Slash, kills him. The remaining 2 Orcs try to flee, but the first (after hitting Zakhar) gets killed by blows from Zakhar and Theron. The last tries to bull rush the Malkyr, only to have his head knocked off his shoulders by Niall.

With that, combat ended, as did the game, as the players retired to watch the amazingly bad but still fun Cyborg with Jean Claude Van Damme.

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Session 14: The Discovery of the Duergar
In which the Heroes confront the Duergar at their Trading Post, and a fight breaks out.

The Heroes, having just defeated Krand, the Bloodreaver Chieftain, as well as two duergar, continue exploring the Chamber of Eyes. They come upon a group of goblins, hobgoblins and human bandits dicing in what appears to have been a refectory in years past. Due to the party’s sneakiness, the heroes get a jump on the Bloodreavers.

Combat

Surprise Round: Malkyr sprints in and drops a globe of darkness on the dice table. The party quickly maneuvers, and Niall readies his Battle Guardian stance before charging in.

Round 1. Both sharpshooters shoot at Zakhar, and both miss. Bandit 1 grabs his mace, misses Malkyr. Bandit 2 charges but misses Zakhar with Dazing Strike. Theron attacks Hobgoblin 1 with his Warlord Strike, but misses. Malkyr switches out his glue pot for a long knife and uses Army of the Night at Hobgoblin 2, but misses. He then Shadow Steps and flanks Hobgoblin Soldier 1. That soldier misses Theron, while a third soldier attacks Aramil with his flail, and would have hit him but for his Staff of Defense! The soldier that Malkyr attacked misses Merrrick. Meanwhile, Aramil Fey Steps and then uses his Fire Shroud on many enemies, hitting all 3 hobgoblins and one bandit. Merrick uses a Tortorous Strike against his Hobgoblin, but misses. He then hits with Low Strike and uses his Takedown Strike to knock him prone, kicking his leg out. Niall activates Hammer Hands and charges the third soldier, hitting him and badly wounding (bloodying) him. Zakhar uses Words Are not Enough, hitting one of the bandits and the hobgoblin that Niall is battling almost killing him).

Round 2: The goblins each attempt to hit Malkyr, but only one hits. The burned bandit attacks and “critfails” against Zakhar, while the other bandig misses Aramil. Theron goes after the first Hobgoblin with Warlord’s Favor, and hits. Malkyr does his Shadow Storm thing and attacks the flanked soldier, killing him. The third hobgoblin dies, but the remaining one stands up and smacks Merrick, slowing him. Aramil’s Beguiling Strands unfortunately do nothing, and he shifts away. Merrick attacks the Hobgoblin with Piercing Strike, hitting and killing him. Niall missed his bandit, but Zakhar hit his with Righteous Brand.

Round 3: The Goblins both shoot and hit Malkyr. The Bandits miss Niall, but hit Zakhar. Theron attacks a bandit, and kills him with a spinning strike into his neck, but also using -Inspiring Word on Malkyr, who rushes the goblins and uses Shadow Storm, but misses. He activates Shade Form as a minor action. Aramil hits both the remaining bandit and one of the goblins with Arc Lightning. Merrick flanks the Bandit and tries to take him for behind, “raping” him with his rapier, and kills him. Niall charges one of the goblins, and hits massive bloodying damage. Zakhar charges the other goblin and hurts him badly. The goblins surrender.

The goblins do not have a lot of information, but they do advise that they were trading slaves with the Duergar. The heroes ultimately free them before returning to the Seven-Pillared Hall. Once there, they inquire around and realize that a local trading post (the Grimmerzhul Trading Post (Interior)) is actually run by Clan Grimmerzhul. After they rested, they approached the post and spoke with two duergar. They confronted the duergar with the Contract of Sale signed by Murkelmor Grimmerzhul, and that starts a fight.

Grimmerzhul Trading Post

Round 1. Zakhar goes around the counter and hits one of the guards with Righteous Brand. Malkyr attacks the same one with Torturous Strike, bloodying him. He then hits with a Low Slash, and then knocks him down with a Takedown Strike. Malkyr Shadow Steps behind Guard 2, and then uses Shadow Storm against that one, striking hard. Two more guards appear, and one of the newcomers uses Infernal Anger and hits, but Niall swaps with him, and takes the damage instead. Malkyr gets hit twice by two of the guards, while Merrick dodges a blow from the remaining one. Aramil casts Arc Lightning and hits two of the guards. Niall tries to destroy one of the duergar, but misses twice, even with his Action Point. Theron jumps on the counter, and attacks one of the guards with Intuitive Strike, then kills him with an overhand strike.

Round 2. Zakhar hits Guard 2 with his Righteous Brand, and bloodies him. Merrick goes with a Piercing Strike and hits. Malkyr Shadow Steps behind a guard and attacks with Army of the Night, hitting, and making him think that his Duergar allies are his enemies. He also goes insubstantial with Shade Form. A newcomer arrives—Kedhira—who , yells at the Drow in Deep Speech, and throws a Firebolt at Malkyr, but misses. Aramil casts Argent Rain, which doesn’t do much—these duergar are quite fire resistant. Niall smashes that guy though. Theron attacks and Hits with the aid of his Heroic Effort.

Round 2. Zakhar hits the guard he is dueling with by using a Healing Strike, and almost kills him. Merrick goes to hit another guard, and kills him with a Piercing Strike. He then spends an AP and goes after the guard that Zakhar is battling, and kills him, too. Malkyr attacks Kedhira with Targeted for Death, and hits for serious damage. Kedhira casts a poison cloud, hurting and blinding Zakhar, Theron and Merrick. The remaining guard attacks and bloodies Niall. Aramil, meanwhile, gets Kedhira with Grasping Shadows, and the shadows writhe there until her next turn (and slowed). Niall smashes the guy and pushes him back into the room. Theron commands Malkyr to move, heals Zakhar, and is done.

Round 3. Zakhar goes into the room (barely, since he is blind) and uses his Second Wind. Merrick also moves closer. Malkyr drops 2 shrouds on Kedhira and uses Nightmare Shades against her, but misses; he then APs with Executioner’s Noose, and hits and pulls her towards him. She hits Merrick with a Wave of Despair and calls for a guard, who hits Merrick. Aramil goes to his old reliable—Arc Lightning—against both duergar, and he knocks out Kedhira, and hurts the guard. Niall then goes and smashes the guard’s head into his chest. Combat over.

Next date: November 23, 2013

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Session 13: The Chamber of Eyes
An assault upon the Bloodreavers and Chief Krand

The Heroes, returning from Gendar’s shop, sought out Rendill in the Halfmoon Inn. Once there, they enjoyed drinks on the house from Rendill, and talked to him about the location of the Bloodreaver hideout. Rendill explained the way through the Dragon Door and along the trail of Dwarven runes left by miners. On the way, Zakhar and Niall argued about which way to go a time or two—good thing the party followed Zakhar’s directions, since it turns out he was right. They were outside the Chamber of Eyes. Indeed, They arrived at a large antechamber—a narthex. Two fearsome-looking statues of winged demons squat on either side of a stairway leading up to double doors. Inscribed upon the doors is an image of a great eye with multiple eye stalks, as well as a symbol of a circle with a crossbar rising out of it. Heaps of rubble are scattered across the floor, and to the north a balcony overlooks the room. From behind the double doors, they could hear high, rasping voices and the footsteps of several creatures beyond. The Heroes could not understand what was being said, and assumed that it was in Goblin.

The party did not attempt to go through the double doors. Instead, Aramil used his Fey Step to get up to the balcony, and helped everyone else up. Malkyr listened to a door at the top of the stairs, and hearing nothing, slowly opened it after picking the lock. When he opened it, he saw two Goblins cleaning their weapons and a dozing Bugbear. Malkyr motioned back to Merrick, and the two descended the stairs stealthily to eliminate these Bloodreavers.

Combat

Surprise Round: Malkyr and Merrick try to surprise attack one of the Goblin sentries, but only Malkyr gets in a decent hit, while Merrick misses his opportunity (critical failure—roll of 1). The Sentry yells out an alarm and the Bugbear wakes up.

Round 1: Niall charges the Sentry and hits him, bloodying him. Zakhar holds up his holy symbol, bright light shining from it, and it hits the Sentry, hurting him a bit. Merrick attacks him again, trying to skewer him with a Piercing Strike and misses (rolls his second 1 in a row!). The Sentry tries to shift away to get better positioning, but he leaves his guard down, and Niall crushes his skull. The other Sentry drops his spear and shield, and shoots at Niall with his hand crossbow, but misses. Malkyr, meanwhile, does a Running Slash and wounds the Bugbear; he skitters away and out of reach, and then turns slightly insubstantial using Shade Form_. More Goblins appear, with hand crossbows but also sporting battleaxes on their back. One Skullcleaver Goblin runs in the room and shoots Malky. Two more arrive, and one shoots at Malkyr (misses) while the other shoots at Merrick. That crossbow bolt would have definitely injured Merrick if not for Niall, who pushed Merrick out of the way and blocked it with his shield (_Guardian’s Counter). Aramil moves into the room, and Theron throws a javelin at the Bugbear and misses. The Bugbear grabs a shovel in the brazier and flings flaming coals against Aramil and Malkyr, but they dodge them, uninjured.

Round 2: Niall charges the Bugbear and smites him with a mighty blow, then pushes him into the coals of the brazier. The Bugbear narrowly avoids getting burned. Zakhar then attacks both the Bugbear and one of the Skullcleavers with two mighty slashes, and hits both, bloodying the Bugbear. Merrick attacks the other Skullcleaver and hits with a Torturous Strike, bloodying him. The Goblin Sentry picks up his spear and tries to trip Zakhar, but misses. He tries to run away and get better position, but gets slashed by Zakhar as he goes. Meanwhile, Malkyr tries to strike the Bugbear, but misses. The bloodied Skullcleaver attacks and wounds Merrick, while the other two miss and flee the room. Aramil attacks the Bugbear and Skullcleaver with Arc Lightning, hitting the Skullcleaver, but not killing him. Theron starts to take control of the situation, and seeing an opening, shouts at Zakhar to attack the Bugbear, who does and wounds him. The Bugbear smashes his morningstar into Niall, but realizes he’s in a bad spot and tries to get away. He shifts, but that’s the only opening Niall needs—he crushes the Bugbear’s kneecap, and as the Bugbear falls prone and tries to recover, Niall delivers a killing uppercut blow to the Bugbear’s face.

Round 3: Niall’s fury and hatred of Goblins is unmatched, and it makes him a hyper-focused killing machine. He attacks the remaining Skullcleaver, and crushes his face with a sideswiping blow, making a terrible mess of brains and blood. Zakhar runs out of the room and strikes the remaining Goblin Sentry, bloodying him. Merrick moved out to help him, and struck one of the two remaining Skullcleavers, knocking him down. The Goblin Sentry trips Zakhar with his spear, and positions himself for an escape. Malkyr, however, seized the opportunity to prevent one of the Skullcleavers from fleeing, and attacked him viciously, bloodying him with a slashing attack and tearing into his psyche with Nightmare Shades (Action Point). Aramil moved into position and cast Beguiling Strands against the Sentry, injuring him. Finally, Theron charged in with a Warlord’s Strike, bloodying him, and shouted words of encouragement to Merrick, bringing up his morale and giving him the will to go on.

Round 4: Niall roared into the hallway and struck the Skullcleaver twice on the head (Action Point), ultimately driving his head into his torso, a bloody mess. Zakhar missed his two attacks (Action Point) against the Sentry. The Sentry hit Niall and pushed him back, and tried to leave through a door to the south. Malkyr attempted to slip a shadowy noose around him to prevent him from fleeing, but failed. The Skullcleaver, frenzied, attacked Theron but missed. Aramil, however, conjured up more of his Arc Lightning, critically hitting both (two natural 20s!) Goblins and frying their brains). Combat over.

The party took a brief, five minute rest as they searched the room. [Niall used 2 surges to go to full hp; Merrick spent 1 surge plus the one he spent earlier (2 total), and is back at full hp. Zakhar also uses 2 surges, while Malkyr uses 1 surge.

The Heroes, using a key found from one of the Goblins, opens the double doors leading to the east. Malkyr opens it but a crack, and when he peeks in, he sees inside the Chamber of Eyes—carvings of eyes cover the walls, floor, and ceiling of this chamber. An idol of a horrible toadlike creature, which the Heroes identify as Torog, the King that Crawls, an evil lord of the Underdark; this shrine presents him in his manifestation of the Patient One, a horrible creature of eyes and mouths that waits in the darkness. In the center of the floor, chains are affixed to the flagstones, though no prisoners are chained there. A huge black Dire Wolf lies on the floor nearby, and a Hobgoblin is busy oiling the chains. The Hobgoblin Archer looks up at the open door and shouts something in Goblin, at which point Malkyr swears and kicks open the door, hand crossbow blazing.

Combat

Surprise Round: Malkyr bursts open the door and delivers a critical hit (20!) with his hand crossbow against the Hobgoblin Archer on the ground level.

Round 1: The Dire Wolf runs up and bites Malkyr, but Merrick temporarily blinds him with a shot to his eyes. Zakhar brings down a column of light amongst his allies and the Dire Wolf, which slightly wounds the wolf and heals Malkyr. Niall smashes the Dire Wolf, driving him back, and Aramil blasts him with Arc Lightning, and the Dire Wolf loudly howls in pain. There are actually three Hobgoblin Archers in the room, two on the balcony. The one on the ground floor strikes Malkyr, another missed Niall, and the third fled out a door to the north. Theron Leads the Attack against the Dire Wolf, badly wounding and bloodying him. Malkyr, feeling bold, tried to leap over the Dire Wolf, only to stumble and fall prone, but manages to badly wound the wolf (20! crit!) anyway.

Round 2: A large spear and shield-wielding Hobgoblin—Chief Krand—appears on the balcony. As the Dire Wolf tries to flee, Niall breaks his spine; Zakhar has a tear rolling down his face, but sucks the tear back into his eye as he tries to be tough. Merrck throws two daggers at the Hobgoblin Archer on the ground level, barely bloodying him. Zakhar then charges him, and delivers a mighty blow to his ribs, whereupon a burst of lightning from his sword finishes him off. Niall charges up the stairs to engage Krand, but Krand parries. Aramil zaps the remaining archer with his Arc Lightning. The Hobgoblin Archer who left the room reappears, and both remaining archers fire against Zakhar and hit him, bloodying him. Theron rallies Zakhar with some Inspiring Words, and barks a command at Niall, trying to Direct his Strike—“Hit him!” Niall tries to hit him, but misses him. Malkyr conjures an shadowy noose and tries to drag Krand off the ledge (he doesn’t, recovering and falling prone). A red-robed Hobgoblin Warcaster comes in and yells at the Archer, who cowers.

Round 3: Krand stands up, orders the archer out of the room, and demands that the warcaster come to him. He then hits Niall with his spear. Merrick charges an archer, and hurts him, knocking him prone. Zakhar shoots bright light at Krand from his holy symbol, making it harder for him to attack. Niall smashes Krand, bloodying him, and tries to push him off the ledge, but he recovers (although prone). Aramil runs up and wreathes both the warcaster and Krand in flames. The remaining archer stands up and draws his sword, but misses Merrick. Theron yells at Zakhar to move to the other stairs, and barks another command at Niall—“Hit him!” Niall doesn’t like taking orders from Theron, apparently—he misses him. Malkyr tries to scare the shit out of the Warcaster with Nightmare Shades, and does, bloodying him. The Warcaster swings his staff and with a Force Push, knocks Niall prone and bloodies him (but doesn’t push him off the ledge). Two Duergar appear from the door in the North, and seeing the scene, one stated to the other (in Deep Speech, which Merrick translated later), “Krand and his bunch of idiots are incompetent. Once we deal with these interlopers, we should enslave Krand and his bunch as well.” He ten shrouded his warhammer in flames by invoking Infernal Anger, and the other threw beard quills at Niall, but missed.

Round 4: Krand stands up and tries to kill Niall, but misses, Niall bringing up his shield just in time. Merrick, meanwhile, slashes the Hobgoblin Archer’s throat; he drops his sword, grabs his throat to unsuccessfully stop the bleeding from his jugular, and falls to his death. Merrick then runs up to a Duergar and attacks twice (Action Point), both with a Piercing Strike and a Low Slash, but misses both times. Zakhar goes to help him, and heals Niall in the meantime. Niall stands up and swings at Krand, but misses; he then stares down the Duergar that activated Infernal Anger_, giving him a ¬_Glowering Threat. Aramil casts Argent Rain on the Duergar (it barely hurts them, as they are heavily fire-resistant) and the Warcaster, who is now in bad shape. The Hobgoblin Archer (messenger boy) comes back, and appears behind Zakhar from a secret door, alarmed. He swings his sword at Zakhar, but misses. Theron says to Niall, “For third time already, hit him!” and then runs up the southern stairs. Niall pays heed, and kills Krand with a mighty blow, pushing him off the ledge. Malkyr, meanwhile, strangles the Warcaster with a noose made of shadow, and pulls him off the ledge dead. The Duergar with the flaming hammer charges Niall but misses. The other Duergar activates his Infernal Anger, and badly wounds Merrick.

Round 5: Merrick stabs the Duergar back, wounding him. Zakhar, meanwhile, wounds the newly-returned Archer. Niall smacks the Duergar with his hammer, but doesn’t knock him off. Meanwhile, Aramil shocks that one with his Arc Lightning. The Archer misses Zakhar, and Theron charges him, hitting him and bloodying him. Theron then gives some encouraging words to Merrick, renewing his vigor. Malkyr misses his target, and the Duergar attack. One misses Niall, and the other hits Merrick.

Round 6: Merrick stabs the Duergar back, wounding him again. Zakhar badly wounds the Archer, but Niall misses the Duergar fighting with him. Aramil goes with Arc Lightining again, and bloodies the Duergar on Niall. The Archer wounds Theron, and he hits him back, killing him. Malkyr drags a Duergar off the ledge with a shadowy noose, hurting him, but the Duergar strikes back. The other Duergar smacks Niall with his hammer.

Round 7: Merrick has a great opportunity to double-team the Duergar, but critically misses (performance anxiety). Zakhar jumps down from the ledge with crazed eyes, swinging his sword in a downward arc, and cleaves the Duergar’s head in two. Aramil is all business, flinging more lightning on the remaining Duergar, and then Merrick, following Theron’s orders, slashes the remaining Duergar in the spine, who falls to his death. Combat over.

The party explores northward, and finds a few rooms, a Sitting Room (area 6), which appears to have been a small study for the priests who tended the shrine; some Acolytes’ Rooms (area 7), which some Bloodreavers apparently used as personal quarters, one of which looks like it belonged to the Warcaster, the other unclear; and the High Priest’s Quarters (area 8), which Krand took over as his own. They found a large locked chest in the room, which they opened with a key found on Krand’s body. In the chest they found 5 sapphires worth 100gp each, 450 gold pieces, 500 silver pieces, and a magical suit of leather armor of elven make (Elven Leather Battle Armor +2), which Merrick took. They also found a contract of sale in Krand’s dresser, which was agreed upon and signed by Krand and Murkelmor Grimmerzhul, dated two days ago.

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Session 12: Entering Thunderspire
In which the Heroes find a small group of Bloodreavers, rescue Rendill Halfmoon, and meet Gendar

Having settled down at the Silver Unicorn Inn that night (operated by Wisara Osterman), Ortherion explained that he had heard of the Heroes’ good deeds, and asked them to investigate rumours of demon-worshipping activity in Thunderspire—possibly another cult devoted to Orcus (a rival of the Raven Queen), or worse. Since they were already headed to Thunderspire to investigate the Bloodreavers (as a favor to Lord Padraig), the Heroes agreed to help Ortherion and would report back to him with their findings.

The following day, after restocking for some supplies, the group took the Trade Road for the better part of a day until they reached the Vale Road, which turned north and cut into the mountain, leading to Thunderspire’s base. They passed some homes in the vale on their way to the mountain. The entrance to the mountain was the Minotaur Gate, a 50 foot stone archway hewn out of the mountainside, with a towering minotaur statute standing on each side of the entrance, glowering down on travelers.

Once in the mountain, the heroes proceeded towards the Seven-Pillared Hall along the Road of Lanterns. Green light from copper lanterns dimly illuminated the large (30’ wide and 30’ high) brick-vaulted passage, which sloped steadily downward over several switchbacks. Along the way, the Heroes counted numerous (70+) demon statutes, each over ten feet tall, standing watch along the corridor. As the Heroes made their way down the passageway, they noticed light spilling out of a partially open door a short way down a side passage. Nearing the passage, the group heard coarse laughter and guttural voices. A rough voice, speaking Common, said, “You’re ours now, Halfling. We’ll easily get ten gold for you.” Another voice responded, “That’s a shame, ‘cause I’m worth twenty! I’ll buy myself if you let me go.” Suspecting that this might be some slavers, the party charged into the room, finding a small storeroom with five large hobgoblin soldiers threatening a halfling, along with another hobgoblin dressed in red robes and carrying a quarterstaff. Upon seeing the heroes, the leader ordered them to capture them—more slaves for the Bloodreavers. Combat ensued, and the Halfling promptly ducked under a table to hide during the fight. Merrick was the first in the room and attacked one of the soldiers before he could fully put up a defense. Niall rushed in with him, and when the soldier tried to kill Merrick, Niall wounded him and drew blood. Aramil unleashed a spell that injured several soldiers, and Zakhar charged and immediately put another one on the defensive, while Theron and Malkyr also went on the attack. The warcaster, although bold in his predictions, did not find the Heroes such easy prey, and the battle soon started to tip in the party’s favor. The first soldier, harried by both Niall and Merrick, could not defend against both; Merrick pierced him through the eye with his rapier. Niall bloodied the soldier who was battling Zakhar, while Aramil, Zakhar and Malkyr brought another to the brink of death. The warcaster’s spells were not as powerful or as effective as Aramil’s, and once Niall crushed the skull of a second soldier, the rout was on. Theron ran one soldier through while Zakhar decapitated another, and Merrick, flanking the last soldier with an ally, caught him unawares and stabbed him through the back of the throat, killing him. The warcaster never sought to bargain for his life, and paid dearly, as the rest of the Heroes ganged up on him. Although they thought about taking him alive, that was easier said than done, and he died from his injuries.

After the battled concluded, the halfling introduced himself as Rendil Halfmoon. He explained that he lived in the Seven-Pillared Hall and ran the Halfmoon Inn, which he explained was the best (and only) inn this side of the Labyrinth. Rendil explained that he was tailing the hobgoblins, who were hanging around the inn the day before, trying to figure out what they were up to, when he was caught. He knows that they were Bloodreavers, who, he explained hide out in the Chamber of Eyes. He explained that those “filthy muck-eaters” were thieves and slavers, although not necessarily in that order. Since he wanted to see someone teach them a lesson, and the Heroes seemed to have a score to settle with the Bloodreavers, he offered to tell them how to find the Chamber of Eyes, since it was easy to get lost in the Labyrinth. Rendill also explained that Bennik the Wanderer, a halfling minstrel that frequently played at the Inn, had gone missing, and he suspected the Bloodreavers.

Before leaving for the Seven-Pillared Hall, Rendil explained that if they were looking for work, they certainly could find it, but they had best stay on Brugg’s good side, seeing as how they wouldn’t want him or the Mages of Saruun (who Brugg worked for) to pay more attention to them.

When the group arrived at the Seven-Pillared Hall, they met Brugg right away—a tall, nasty ogre who was so big he looked like he could pulverize the heroes with one slam of his meaty fist. He warned them not to cause any trouble in the Hall, or they would have trouble with him—and they would not like that. The Heroes were properly deferential, and did not invoke Brugg’s wrath.

Exploring the Hall, they made their way to Gendar’s Curios and Relics, where they met Gendar, a drow merchant sporting an eyepatch who was awaiting a shipment from Bairwin Wildarson—a package that the heroes just happened to have. The group turned over the package, which turned out to be an ancient tiefling-made dagger, a rare collectible. In exchange, Gendar provided them with a set of drow fortune stones to return to Bairwin. Since they seemed to be a discreet bunch, he asked them if they were looking for any work, since he had some matters that needed attending. Gendar explained that he had acquired an ancient skull scepter from the Bone Chamber, near the cisterns in the Seven-Pillared Hall, but lost it when his agents were ambushed by the duergar. He believes that they are in the Horned Hold, and explained that he would pay them handsomely—300 gold for merely obtaining the scepter.

Gendar also happened to have some information for sale, the group discovered, and with some smooth talking, they learned that not only had Bennik gone missing, but Famhir, a worker at Rothar’s Taproom (a local alehouse in the Seven-Pillared Hall) had also not been seen in days.

XP: 900 (150 each)
Loot: None

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Session 11: A Bloodreaver Party on the Way to Fallcrest

After defeating Ninarin, the Heroes were welcomed to Winterhaven as true heroes. They rested for the night, and upon debriefing with Lord Padraig, he gave them their reward, and also bestowed upon them a house that they could forever use whenever they visited Winterhaven. They discussed the Bloodreavers, and Lord Padraig asked for the Heroes’ help once again, asking them to investigate this claim and to take up matters in Thunderspire, where the Bloodreavers were said to reside.

Before the Heroes set out for Thunderspire, they met with Bairwin Wildarson, proprietor of Bairwin’s Grande Shoppe, a general goods store. Upon learning that they were headed to Thunderspire, he asked them if they could handle a discreet job for them. “This needs to be handled quietly,” he explained. “I have competitors throughout the Vale who would love to know my source for some of my more…exotic…goods. Can I count on your help and your ability to keep a trade secret?” Once they agreed, he told them about the Seven-Pillared Hall. “It’s a rough-and-tumble place beneath Thunderspire Mountain, but I have good contacts there and you can handle yourselves in a fight. I’m sure you won’t run into any trouble you can’t handle. Introduce yourselves to Gendar, and tell him you represent me. He will give you my goods and you will give him this cask.” He then handed Merrick Feverfew a small, locked cask, about the size of a long dagger. “Remember,” Bairwin says, “give Gendar my name-—but don’t use it elsewhere.”

As the party headed towards Fallcrest, they came upon a wounded horse with a black arrow stuck in its rump. The party did some tracking, and was able to find where the horse came from. They headed up a rocky path that opened up to a small, ruined watchtower, currently populated by Orcs. They had a ferocious battle, but the party eventually ended up defeating the orcs (who had greater numbers) with skill and ingenuity. Upon searching the orcs, they discovered a scroll indicating that they were working for the Bloodreavers and were trying to capture slaves. Indeed, the Heroes found a captured human, who the orcs were going to take to the Bloodreavers. He thanked them for their help, and headed towards Winterhaven.

Upon reaching Fallcrest, the party met up with Parle Cranewing at a local tavern (the Blue Moon Alehouse, run by Par Winnower and brewer Kemara Brownbottle). He was very appreciative for the map, and paid Aramil as per their agreement (which the Heroes then split). After some drinks, the party decided to head to an inn, but they were stopped by a stranger first—a tall elf, wearing dark robes, and a symbol of the Raven Queen. He explained that the inn to which they were heading was not safe, and they needed to follow him. Before the party could ask any questions, a few ruffians appeared, intent on harming them. Their new companion warned the ruffians to back off, or face judgment in the eyes of the Raven Queen. When one charged, the elf unsheathed his falchion with blinding speed, and in a moment, the charging man was headless, and fell to the ground. The other two, seeing this, fled, and ran away. The elf introduced himself as Ortherion and explained to them that as an agent of the Raven Queen, he sought their aid to investigate certain matters in Thunderspire.

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Session 10: The Dead Rising, and a Defense of Winterhaven
In which the Heroes return to Winterhaven and defeat Ninarin, the Elven Spy

Short post: The Heroes returned to Winterhaven with their faithful donkey, Tug. When they get to the gates, they find that the town is under attack as Ninarin, an elven spy for Kalarel, has raised dead from the graveyard. The Heroes, although weary from travel, go there and defeat the undead, and capture Ninarin.

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Session 9: Closing the Rift
In which the Heroes defeat Kalarel and seal the rift.

The Heroes climbed down the blood-soaked chains into the chamber below, and descended into a nightmare. Crimson streams spilled from above and form a shallow pool of blood in the center of the chamber.

A yawning, black portal dominated the northern wall of the chamber, and something strained against the darkness within, as if it were a thin film keeping back a vicious clawed beast. A circle of blazing runes had been inscribed on the floor before the portal.

Opposite the portal, a massive statue of Orcus stood, pointing toward the darkness with a skull-capped wand. To the east, steps rose to a platform where a pit was flanked by two smaller statues of Orcus. To the west, another set of steps ascended to a 10-foot-high ledge supporting an altar of bone and several wide pillars. A human wearing a horned helm and carrying a skull-capped rod stood behind the altar. His eyes were closed, and a book rested open before him. He chanted a low, droning prayer. It was Kalarel.

As soon as Kalarel noticed the heroes, he told them that they were too late, and several skeletons as well as a wight descended on the party. They had some difficulty with Kalarel at first, and the wight and skeletons wounded both Merrick and Zakhar. Aramil, however, teamed up with Malkyr, and both wounded the wight, as did Niall, who bloodied it as Theron and the rest dealt with the skeletons. Eventually, Aramil destroyed the wight, and the heroes attacks began wearing down Kalarel. It was then, though, that he teleported next to the portal, which was slowly drawing the Heroes closer in attempt to drag them into the Shadowfell. Although the party was not then able to stop the ritual, eventually Theron slew Kalarel, wielding Aegis-Fang. As Kalarel lay dying, his body was consumed by the portal, and he was dragged screaming into the Shadowfell as an ram-skull image slowly appeared and then dissipated into the portal. With a bit more time, now that Kalarel was slain, the Heroes ended the ritual and sealed the rift.

The parties also found a note from Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers to Kalarel.

XP: 1,354 (Kalarel 700, Thing in the Portal 175, Wight 175, Skeletons 304) — 226xp each.
Treasure: +2 Elven Cloak, Horned Helm (worth 1,800 gp), +2 Magic Dagger, 981 gp.

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Session 8: Traps, Ghouls, and Fanatics, Oh My!

Undaunted, the heroes pushed on…

The Chamber of Statutes

The heroes entered a 30-foot-high room that looked vaguely like a memorial. To the west, a 20-foot-tall statue of a warrior in plate armor stood atop a raised dais and held an outstretched sword. In the corners of the eastern wall sat two statues of crouching dragons. Looking to the south, the heroes saw an entryway that led to a set of double doors, and in the entryway there were more statues: four small, cherubic figures that were holding vases above their heads. A number of the heroes noticed that the dust around the statues seemed slightly disturbed. Aramil noticed that there were arcane writings on the dragon statutes, and was even able to determine that they would allow the dragon statues to breathe blasts of force. With that information, most of the party crept along the western wall. One of the heroes got too close to the dragons, however, and got blown close to the warrior statute—and then it started to move and attack anyone within fifteen feet! They noticed an access panel on the dais, however, and a few of the heroes went for it. Ultimately, they were able to deactivate the warrior statue before anyone was too seriously injured. Meanwhile, Zakhar advanced toward the cherub statues, and as he did, an invisible wall of force popped up, filling the now-enclosed space with water. Luckily, the heroes had taken out a statue or two before Zakhar was trapped, and it was not difficult for him to smash the other two statues, disabling the trap.

Ghoul Warren

As the heroes proceeded through the double doors, a disgusting smell of rotting meat poured out from this chamber. Gnawed, partially eaten humanoid corpses were strewn everywhere. Before the heroes could make heads or tails of it, they were quickly attacked—this time by zombies! Theron, Niall and Zakhar quickly disposed some of the weaker zombie rotters—there were twelve total, though!—and when Malkyr entered the room, he saw something more fearsome: a flesh-eating ghoul, with the power of paralysis. He chose that target first, and attacked the ghoul, wounding it. The healthier-looking zombies advanced and tried to grab on to the heroes, but they deftly avoided their attacks, and the zombie rotters were unable to strike the heroes either. Aramil conjured up a fiery rain that killed two rotters and injured the other two zombies, while the ghoul advanced and attacked (but missed). Merrick ran up to one of the healthy zombies and found his opportunity to stab it right in the brain, instantly killing it, while Theron dispatched another rotter. Meanwhile, a small homonculous made its presence known, attacking the party, but luck was with the heroes once again—its attack missed! Niall, Zakhar and Malkyr all attacked the ghoul with fervor, wounding it badly. The zombies and remaining rotters once again tried to grab the heroes, who fought them off. Aramil conjured up a spell that destroyed four more of the weaker zombies plus the remaining strong one. The ghoul, attacking and wounding Zakhar, left his flank open, and Niall, seeing his opportunity, crushed the ghoul’s skull, ending its life. Merrick then finished off the remaining zombies, while Theron and Niall, through their combined might, killed the fleeing homonculous. With the battle won, the group searched the room, they discovered, behind a partially eaten corpse, a small tunnel in the lower western wall. Malkyr climbed through, and found that the narrow tunnel opened into a brick-lined chamber splayed with the half-eaten remains of goblins, hobgoblins, humans, elves, and forest creatures. The victims’ belongings were strewn in disarray amid the gore, and among those was a peculiar sack with gold inside, which weighed far less than it should have. Aramil quickly identified it as a magical bag of holding, and the heroes quickly unburdened themselves with all non-essential gear, throwing it into the sack. There was only one way to go…down the stairs to the east through a set of double doors.

Cathedral of Shadow

When the heroes opened the double doors, they first noticed crimson streams that trailed across the floor and flowed through a grate surrounding a hole in the floor of the shadowy cathedral. Large chains ran down into the hole, providing access to a room below. The blood looked to be supplied from a dais along the eastern wall, where they saw a human in dark robes standing before a wall carving that depicted a ram-headed demon. The robed figure held up a knife and sang the praises of the demon lord Orcus! As he turned toward the party, they could see that a tattoo of a ram’s skull covered his face. The grate in the center of the room was surrounded by four crystal columns, from which Blue-green light emanated (although one column had fallen). Standing next to two of these columns were powerful humans clad in dark leather armor and carrying axes, their spit-flecked lips moving in unending prayers. Some of the heroes sensed that there might be more enemies lurking in the shadows to the north, and as they advanced, the underpriest became aware of their presence. “Infidels in the temple!” he screamed, quickly followed by: “Attack!”
Niall was quicker, however, and he charged straight at one of the axe-wielding berserkers, wounding him a bit. Malkyr attacked the other, likewise dealing him a blow before he could react, and Theron also took a mighty swing at the berserker, who would have surely died had he been an ordinary fighter; instead, the berserker absorbed the blow, and attacked Theron, who deftly parried the attack. Meanwhile, the berserker engaged with Niall tried to run him through, but Niall was too skilled, and sidestepped the strike. Merrick saw an opportunity, and quickly ran behind the berserker engaged with Theron to stab at him, and the berserker was now bleeding from quite a few wounds, and enraged, he lashed out at Merrick, landing a blow of his own, and wounding Merrick badly. Aramil moved closer to the center of the room, and saw what awaited him to the north: several vampire spawn fleshrippers, searching for new victims. Without hesitating, he called forth arcing lightning from his fingertips, killing one of the fleshrippers, and shocking the berserker fighting Niall. Two of the fleshrippers charged Niall, one wounding him, and the other missing, but Niall saw an opportunity to attack one of them, and killed it. Zakhar moved closer to the underpriest and attacked, but the deranged cultist managed to parry with his mace, and then tried to use it to take out Zakhar at the knees, but the goliath likewise parried the priest’s attack. Skulking along the walls to the north was a Dark Creeper, and he sprang out of the shadows to attack Aramil, who just barely dodged a killing blow, and only ended up with a minor cut (but now had a fight on his hands).

Meanwhile, Niall struck again, hitting the berserker fighting him, but still not able to bring him down, even though the dwarf confidently thought that it was only a matter of time before he landed the killing blow. Malkyr, staying out of the main fray, again attacked the berserker engaged with Theron and Merrick, and his attack was almost deadly. Theron attacked the crazed fighter, while offering encouraging words to Merrick, bolstering his nerves. The berserker, sorely wounded, attacked Merrick again, once again barely getting past his defenses, but in doing so, he opened himself up to Merrick’s killing strike, and just like that, one of the warriors was slain. Aramil, knowing that he was in trouble, teleported out of the reach of any weapons, confounding his attackers before he unleashed his magic on them, killing two of the fleshrippers and wounding the Dark Creeper, the berserker engaged with Niall, and, accidentally, Niall! While Aramil apologized, the dwarf grunted in pain and carried on—he was made of tougher stuff than most. The remaining fleshripper charged Aramil and clawed at him, drawing some blood while Aramil tried to keep him at bay with his staff. Zakhar and the priest both traded blows, and Zakhar seemed to be getting the better of their battle, the priest bleeding from a cut on his forehead. The Dark Creeper again tried to attack Aramil but missed.

Niall continued to battle the remaining warrior and was wearing him out; he could tell that the berserker was on his last legs. Malkyr then ran to the aid of Zakhar, and with a quick attack, mortally wounded the underpriest. Before he died, however, he called out to Orcus, and with a final surge, tried to kill Zakhar (and would have, if Zakhar had not been able to twist his body at the last second and turn a killing strike into a less serious one). With the priest killed, the remaining enemies looked confused, and the heroes pounced. Theron killed the remaining fleshripper that was attacking Aramil, while Merrick ran his rapier through the back of the neck of Niall’s opponent. Freed from the warrior, Niall charged the Dark Creeper, who was quickly surrounded by Theron and Merrick, and all of them pounded the small, evil thing. Aramil’s magic brought it close to death, and when it tried to flee, Niall smote it with his hammer, ending its life.

Total loot claimed:
Money/Valuables: 176 gp
Weapons/Apparel: Bag of Holding

XP Earned: Total = 2,656, or 442 xp each
650 (Traps)
1,031 (1 Ghoul, 12 Zombie Rotters, 2 Zombies, 1 Homonculous)
975 (1 Orcus Underpriest, 2 Orcus Berserkers, 1 Dark Creeper, 5 Vampire Spawn Fleshrippers)

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Session 7: Discovery of the Hobgoblin Threat
In which the Heroes defeat a small hobgoblin platoon

After having defeated the hobgoblin guards, the party ventured east. Going down a hallway, they saw a dimly lit room to the south, with a huge table dominating the room.

The Warchief’s Council Room

As the party headed south, the more perceptive members of the group, especially Aramil and Malkyr, noticed a loose flagstone on the way to the room. Malkyr supposed that it might be a trap of some kind, but was unable to determine what type of trap exactly. The party examined the table, and found some crumpled notes, bearing crude plans of an invasion of Winterhaven. As Malkyr looked at a door to the east, he noticed a peephole in the door. Before he could further investigate, however, double doors to the south opened, and five hobgoblins spilled out, four of them lightly armored, but one that was particularly nasty—a particularly large hobgoblin with a steel eyepatch bolted to his skull over his left eye. He clutched a bloodstained spear with many notches carved into the haft, and his heavy shield was sheathed in flayed skin. The leader, Bax-Todarg, called to the others in Common, saying, “Don’t kill ’em. We can sell ’em to the Bloodreavers as slaves.” As he spoke, the door to the east opened, and three flail-wielding hobgoblin soldiers poured into the room, heading for Malkyr.

The hobgoblin grunts went straight for Theron, who was closest, while the first soldier tried to stab Malkyr. However, when he did, Malkyr threw a smoke bomb and disappeared to the south. The other two soldiers charged Niall, but did little damage. Once the Heroes had recovered from their surprise, they quickly showed their might. Zakhar pulled out his holy symbol and blasted the grunts to death with the holy light of Kord. Malkyr attacked one of the soldiers and became shadowy, but Bax-Tordag quickly charged him and stabbed at him with his spear. The soldiers rained blows on Niall and Merrick, but nothing overly serious. Niall dealt a serious blow to one of the soldiers, staggering him and sending him flying backward a few feet. Aramil, meanwhile, blasted the other two soldiers with his beguiling strands. Theron attacked Bax-Tordag, and Malkyr quickly followed up with a critical strike (Targeted for Death), bloodying the chief. Bax-Tordag struck back at Theron, and was not overly concerned, but his overconfidence soon became his undoing. Niall continued to battle the soldiers, while Aramil damaged all of the hobgoblins with his fiery shroud, killing one of the soldiers. Merrick delivered a brutal strike on the Chief, tripping him on to the floor. Zakhar then jumped up onto the table and rained a terrible blow on the Chief, but twisted his blade at the last second, knocking out Bax-Tordag instead of cleaving his skull. Malkyr attacked one of the two remaining soldiers, almost killing him, before Niall crushed his skull as he tried to flee. The remaining hobgoblin soldier, much less fanatical than the rest, quickly dropped his flail, and surrendered.

The party searched the room, and in Bax-Tordag’s chest, found a note from Kalarel, detailing a plan that his spy would carry out, attacking Winterhaven on the evening of the fourth day of the month—tonight! The group also found a sack of gold, and a magical rapier, which Merrick delightfully took. The Heroes woke up Bax-Tordag, and questioned him, but he, like other hobgoblins, was a fanatic. He professed the death of all in Winterhaven, and the coming of Lord Orcus. He did not know the identity of the spy in Winterhaven—only Kalarel knew who it was. Bax-Tordag tried to escape, and shouted for help down the hallway leading to the North, whereupon the party quickly knocked him out again. As the Heroes looked north, they saw a hobgoblin peek his head around the corner, who shouted, “We’re under attack!” and fled.

The Hobgoblin Assault

Preparing for the worst, the party propped the large table up against the hallway, with mighty Zakhar supporting it, and Aramil looking through one of the knotholes. A large contingent of hobgoblins made their way down the hallway, although bottlenecked to some degree. They carefully stepped over the flagstones, but Aramil, using his mage hand, depressed the flagstone, hoping for some type of nastiness. Instead, a portcullis descended, trapping the party in the room, with the other hobgoblins outside. Two of them bent the bars enough to let themselves through, and the battle was on, Zakhar having moved the table enough for Aramil to get a full view. The battle was tough, as both groups were quickly bottlenecked in the passage (although Merrick quickly dispatched three of the grunts with a rapier stab and two thrown daggers). However, the hobgoblin warcaster unleashed a mighty wave of force, knocking everyone except for Theron backward and to their knees. Still, Aramil conjured up a cloud that rained fire, Zakhar brought out his holy light, and the rest of the party stabbed, slashed, and otherwise fought their way to victory, killing the group (with Theron decapitating the Warcaster, and Zakhar similarly executing the Archer).

The group debated about what to do, and searched the barracks area, coming up with some meager coin and some bone dice (not worth anything, but still good for gaming). They headed south, coming upon a HUGE chamber with various statues throughout.

Total loot claimed:
Money/Valuables: 400 gp, 34 sp
Weapons/Apparel: Vicious Rapier +1
Miscellaneous: Bone Dice (no monetary value), Note from Kalarel, Attack Plans

XP Earned: Total = 1592, or 265 xp each
790 (Hobgoblin Barracks – 5 Hobgoblin Grunts, 3 Hobgoblin Soldiers, 1 Hobgoblin Archer, 1 Hobgoblin Warcaster)
802 (The Warchief’s Council Room – 4 Hobgoblin Grunts, 3 Hobgoblin Soldiers, 1 Warchief)

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Session 6: Delving Deeper
In which the Heroes encounter some flesh-seeking zombies and a bunch of nasty hobgoblins

Awakening: The Heroes slept in the torture chamber, waking up with the Hobgoblin Torturer and Balgron the Fat locked up in their cells. They have been in the keep for but a day, and it is now the fourth day of the month (October-equivalent). After a brief parlay with both prisoners, which didn’t provide much additional information, the adventurers decided to head to the stairs leading further down in the keep. As they were doing so, a slight crack in the wall caught the eye of two of the Heroes, and searching revealed a secret door.

The Hidden Armory: Opening it up, the party advanced through what appeared to be an illusory wall, and came upon a very small armory. Unfortunately, there were also four hungry zombies in that armory, and they attacked. The party made short work of them, though, with everyone beating down on them. Aramil killed the first one, Zakhar cleaved the second, Malkyr stabbed the third, and Niall crushed the remaining one. When inspecting the room, a spirit bound within one of the plaques posed a riddle in a deep, booming voice:

A wondrous treasure,
Valued by all, sought by many.
Found in both victory and defeat,
Yet never at the bottom of a treasure chest.
It marches before you like a herald,
And lives long after you are gone.
Of what do I speak?

Although the Heroes’ first guess was close, but incorrect, their second guess was indeed correct: Reputation. What once appeared to be rusty armor gleamed with light, turning out to be Black Iron Scale Armor +1 (which Zakhar donned).

Hobgoblin Guard Room: As the party headed down the stairs, they noticed the previously locked door was now ajar. Heading in, the party entered into a large, torch-lit chamber. Two human-sized creatures stood near the entrance. Big, pointed ears stuck out from under their helmets, and sharp teeth glittered in their mouths—they were hobgoblins. One of the guards yelled out a challenge phrase: “Shadow seeks shadow!” The party replied “And life fails in the dark," which apparently was the correct password. The guard looked surprised, and asked “What business do you have with Kalarel that you know the password?” Although the Heroes were fairly quick on their feet, the guards did not believe them, and sounded an alarm to attack. A few of them, far away, were trying to free a huge, monstrous spider from a cage.

The battle was surprisingly not that difficult for the Heroes. Malkyr and Merrick positioned themselves well, but were unable to put much of a dent into the guards. Zakhar charged in and gave a good shot to one of the soldiers, and Aramil blasted the spider from a distance (he just hurt it and made it angry, though). Eventually everyone got in on the act, and while there was a deep pit (well) in the room that the hobgoblins seemed to want to throw the party into, the tables were quickly turned. As the party brutalized the hobgoblins, many of them fell into the pit to their deaths, Niall and Merrick taking out two apiece, Aramil killing four, Malkyr killing one, and Theron delivering the death blow to the spider.

Total loot claimed:
Money/Valuables: None
Weapons/Apparel: Black Iron Scale Armor +1
Miscellaneous: None

XP Earned: Total = 1465, or 244 xp each
500 (Hidden Armory – 4 Zombies)
965 (Hobgoblin Guard Room – 4 Hobgoblin Soldiers, 5 Hobgoblin Grunts, 1 Deathjump Spider)

Next session: August 4, 2012

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