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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