The Defenders of Khelb had tracked the Duergar party that fled the Horned Hall through the caves and caverns of the Underdark. After fearing the loss of the trail several times, the stalwart adventurers felt a slight stir in the air as they ventured forward. As the gentle breeze felt more noticeable, the quiet echoes of their movement noises started sounding different, as if the echo softened. Moments later, they found themselves overlooking a vast cavern from a ledge high up on one side.
The cavern was enormous, and in the faint light, they felt as if they were in a large hollow volcano. Seventy feet below them on a wide ledge were the Duergar they had been chasing. The Duergar on the ledge were lighting torches and appeared to be signaling to someone down the next precipice in the gloom, The party of dark dwarves consisted of 2 Duergar’s dressed as miners, 5 guards, and a surface dwarf prisoner. They were spread out on the wide ledge, with one of the guard dwarfs operators a crank that appeared to be raising an elevator platform from the darkness below. In the gloom of the darkness below, the sharp eyes of the Genasi and the elf could see the faint traces of a Duergar city below. From their vantage point, the party could see a cave mouth on the ledge near the Duergar. They guessed that the tunnel they were in would wind down to that cave mouth.
“We have to jump them before they get away,” Rastaputka said. Without putting forth any other alternatives, and throwing caution to the wind, the Defenders of Khelb ran down the tunnel. As the tunnel came around its final bend, the cave mouth opened up 30 yards ahead of them. Xiel, near the front of the group, could see the Duergar milling about near the edge of the large shelf.
A shrill whistle sounded when the party was a dozen paces from emerging onto the ledge. Ki-amar winced at the realization that their decision to just charge forward may not have been the best tactical decision.
At the sound of the whistle, the Duergar nearest the cave entrance turned toward the cave mouth and could see two lights bobbing closer from the cave. Rastaputka with her long-legged elven stride and her Ranger training was the first to emerge from the tunnel. As she ran forward, out of the corner of her eye she perceived a dark dwarven shape hiding in the shadows to the right side of the cave mouth. She yelled out to her comrades, “Duergar on the right”, and continued her charge at the dwarf that had turned to watch their approach. With a lunge, she plunges her vicious rapier into the Duergar’s leg spilling blood.
The Duergar scout that had been hiding near the entrance charged Rastaputka from behind. Before he could strike, she immediately shifted out of reach. The attacker dropped his crossbow and fired a bolt at Rastaputka, missing wide, and then vanished from sight.
Ki-amar was the next to make it into the forming melee. He charged the spot where he saw the Deurgar scout vanished, and swung his great sword at thin air, and struck nothing but thin air. The next of the adventurers to join the fray was Xiel. Xiel ran up next to Ki-amar, following his example, swung at nothing, but his short sword made contact with something in the vacant space where the Duergar had disappeared. There was a grunt from the blow, and blood appeared out of thin air and fell to the floor.
The seductive tiefling wizard, Curia, stopped at the cave mouth and muttered arcane words; glowing power surrounds her then flies across the ledge as she unleashes a spell of sleep toward the clustered duergar that hadn’t joined the fracas yet. However, traumatic memories of her imprisonment prior to joining the defenders of Khelb flutter through her thoughts and her spell only hits one, slowing the Duergar down. Determined to contribute more, Curia burns a stored action, and with a burst of power, unleashes a fireball at the back end of the group of dwarves. The five in the back of group are hit by the blast, two of them the miners. The miners, when hit by the fireball, vanished into etherealness exposing them as minions. The smell of burnt flesh permeated the battle on the ledge.
The dark dwarf that felt the effect of Curia’s sleep spell, yells out in a comically slow voice, “Spread out! They have fireballs!”.
The leader of the dwarven party thinks to himself, That boy’s mother should have smothered him as a whelp. Everyone in whole cavern could have seen the fireball that exploded on the ledge. The leader watched the slow (in more ways than one) subservient of his try to scatter away from the others, but the spell from the Tiefling magi was having a slowing affect on him.
Recovering from the fireball, one of the Deurgar from the back reached into his stank oily beard and pulled out what looked to the adventurers like a big hairy spike. He hurled it at Rastaputka who deftly batted it aside with her off hand sword. After throwing the stinky spike, he advanced along the cliff edge toward the battle.
The dwarven prisoner, who had looked like a surface dwarf, became covered in a light shimmering haze, and the facade of surface dwarf disappeared. When the glamour faded, the adventurers recognized the Hat of Disguise that had belonged to their fallen comrade Aramila sitting on the head of a Dark Dwarf. From the Duergar’s mouth came arcane words, and a green mist materialized in the melee. Two of the Deurgar in the fight, Rastaputka and Xiel gag as they inhale the mist. Rastaputka and Xiel found that their vision had been taken from them. Ki-amar who was standing next to them, managed to get his mouth covered by his shirt in time to avoid the fumes. He saw that the two dwarves in the mist still appeared to have their vision.
Xiel, blinded, heard the plink of a crossbow trigger release, and then the wind rushing past as a bolt fired from somewhere to his left, though he wasn’t sure exactly where since he was blind.
Over by the elevator, the Deurgar that had been dwarving (he wouldn’t be manning it since he’s a dwarf) extinguished the flames (from the fireball ) on the elevator winch, and stepped away from the ledge but tried to keep a distance from his comrades.
Tyro’s stubby dwarf legs finally brought him to the mouth of the cave. Not ready to engage in hand to hand fighting with his dark cousins, he pulled out his crossbow and shot a bolt in the air, not getting close to hitting anything.
The Duergar that was in the middle of Curia’s conflagration, advanced on Rastaputka, and pulled out two war hammers. His confidence and determination marked him as the leader of the group. He swung the hammer in his right hand at the elf maiden who deftly jumped over swing, but the leader’s left hand hammer hit Rastaputka on her shoulder, and her leather armor did little to protect her from damage. He spewed dwarvish comments at her, which she didn’t understand because of her lack of comprehension of the dwarf’s language. Tyro, clear over at the cave mouth, caught wind of “Dirty elf woman….”. The first Duergar that Rastaputka had hit, shifted to her left side, and swung his war hammer which grazed her. Having felt the direction of the blow, but inhibited by her temporary blindness, Rastaputka swung both of her swords where she thought her assailant was, but missed.
From the deep shadows to the right of those exiting the cave, another Duergar scout stepped out, and aimed his crossbow at Xiel, and shot a bolt. The bolt sank into Xiel’s thigh.
Ki-amar stepped up next to Rastaputka, adjacent to both the dwarf she had hit, and the dual hammer wielding leader. Harnessing his warlord power, Ki-amar performed an earth shock, knocking both of the Duergar prone. He then performed a White Raven Onslaught making the leader bleed, and allowed Rastaputka to shift away from being flanked.
Even though Xiel was blind, he remembered where the dwarf that Rastaputka had wounded was standing. He blindly stepped forward and swung his magic short sword. The blade met armor, then flesh. The Duergar was bloodied.
From the cave mouth, and relative safety, Curia vocalized an arcane chant then pointed at the Duergar that Xiel had just bled, and released a lightning bolt. Again, her traumatic memories of her prior captivity distracted her enough that the lightning bolt missed its mark.
The dark dwarf that had been affected by Curia’s sleep spell, managed to shake off its effects. Enraged, it’s beard and head lit up as it became covered by small magical flames. With a cry of racial hatred, the Duergar charged Rastaputka. She was unable to dodge the bull-rushing dwarf and was forced to retreat a yard, which put her into a flank with the mad-dwarf and it’s leader. Rastaputka was then surrounded by 3 of the stinking little people.
With his singed flesh, the Duergar that had been manning the winch saw an opening between his comrades, on the other side, the athletic, auburn-haired elf maiden. He reached in his beard and pulled out a grotesque hairy spike and threw it at her. The poisonous spike clipped her leg where her armor left her leg bare. She was able to resist the poison that the spike carried. With nothing but malice intended, the angry little person charged into the gap, swung his war hammer and caught Rastaputka unaware, the metal instrument bludgeoning her shoulder bloodying her.
The Duergar that had moved along the cliff edge saw the opening he was waiting for and stepped in to smite the intruding Genasi. Ki-amar was hit in back and though his armor absorbed some of the damage, he was still hurt by the assault.
Few things run as deep as racial hatred, and to the dwarf magi, nothing would feel better than to destroy something as ugly (in his warped view) as a surface elf. Focusing his arcane power, and with the direction of his stubby fingers, the dark dwarf wizard unleashed a firebolt at Rastaputka. With the distraction of the other dwarves attacking her, she was hit by the spell and found herself close to stumbling from the onslaught of the dirty cave dwellers.
Still blinded, Xiel heard the eerie sound of a crossbow being fired, but fortunately for him, wasn’t hit by the bolt. Nearby Ki-amar is approached by one of the singed dwarves but its attacks were harmlessly deflected by the warlord’s armor.
With the Duergar’s attention so focused on the Elf and the Genasi, Tyro dropped his crossbow and charged into the back of one of the Duergar that was assaulting his elven friend. With his honed skills and sharp battle axe, Tyro cut a nasty gash down the back of one the Duergar.
Nearly simultaneously, the leader struck Rastaputka with one of his two hammers, and then with her attention on him, the bleeding dwarf behind her, whom she had wounded earlier, struck her from behind. The blow from the dwarf knocked the elf unconscious.
Ki-amar watched his ally fall, but refused to accept that sort of behavior. He harnessed his warlord power and healed her. Consciousness returned to her eyes as she lay on the bloody floor. After his blessing, Ki-amar shifted behind the Duergar leader putting him in a flank with Rastaputka. As he shifted, one of the dark dwarves shifted with him taking the space he was occupying. There were then four Duergar surrounding the Elf maiden. Ki-amar performed a Steel Monsoon, his great sword cutting the leader’s flesh. This provided Rastaputka the opportunity she needed to shift away from be surrounded. The enraged Duergar that had bull-rushed the elf a moment ago shifted into the location she had just left. Tyro, who had been behind that Duergar, shifted into the newly vacated spot. This move kept the Duergar in range of Tyro’s bloody axe.
Xiel’s vision returned. He say Rastaputka’s bloody state and the Duergar that had been wounded by her at the beginning of the battle. Seeing that the dwarf appeared close to death, Xiel focused his attack on that dwarf. With a slight feint that shifted his enemy’s attention, Xiel slipped his blade into the rib cage of the dark dwarf. With a twist to open the wound, Xiel pulled out the blade, which was then followed by a fountain of dark viscous blood. The dwarf winced, opened its mouth and let out a syllable of pain, then fell to the ground, its life force spilled from its body.
The arcane-trained Teifling, Curia, saw the trouble that Ki-amar and Rastaputka were in. After deciding that she needed to try to even out the balance of the combat, Curia delved into the repertoire of her memorized spells, and cast an Icy Step near the edge of the melee. The rock face of the shelf frosted over, the few lights present glistened off of the icy ground. The ground became so slick that the two Duergar at the edge of the battle fell prone, the frost burned their flesh that came in contact with the ground.
One of the Duergar that had been adjacent to Rastaputka prior to her shift, moved around behind her, flanking her with his leader. She saw him coming and was able to jump over the hammer swing of the little man. On the other side of the battle, one of the Duergar that had fallen on the icy rock, rolled off of the icy patch, stand and moved next to Ki-amar. Ki-amr had dismissed the fallen dwarf which turned out to have been a mistake. He realized that as the dwarf’s war hammer struck his back.
The other Duergar that had fallen on the ice, rolled off of the icy patch, but away from the melee. This afforded him the opportunity to stand and get his bearings. This turned out to be a good move for him he discovered a moment later as a small crack of thunder split air. His magic wielding ally had called forth Fire and Brimstone that fell on the melee.
Flaming rock and fire fell among the combatants, not discriminating between those it hit. Tyro was burned by falling fire, his beard singed. Xiel, with is rouge reflexes, was able to dodge the falling danger. The magic user’s leader and one of his peon soldiers were struck by small pieces of brimstone but were not injured by the flames. Rastaputka and Ki-amar were not so fire-resistant, and were burned by the hazard. All but Xiel were also knock prone by the debris raining down from the spell.
One of the crossbow wielding scouts moved into a better firing position and let loose a bolt at Xiel. With his reflexes heightened by the excitement of dodging fire and brimstone, Xiel was able to avoid the missile aimed at ending his life.
With Ki-amar laying on the ground, a Duergar next to him who had been outside the damage area of the mage’s spell, took the opportunity to attack. However, this wasn’t Ki-amar’s first dance. He knew he was vulnerable when down and was prepared for the attack. The Duergar hammer struck only rock ground because Ki-amar was able to roll out of the way of the blow.
The leader of the dark dwarves, prone next to Ki-amar, was nearly given a concussion by Tyro as he Cracked the Shell of the leader, while he lay on the floor. Though Tryo’s shell cracking attack had wounded him further, the dark dwarf stood. However, before he could attack his racial enemy the Elf, Tyro attacked again. Tyro struck the leader with battle axe enough to soften the leader’s attack on Rastaputka. It was enough to prevent the dark dwarf leader’s blow from knocking Rastaputka unconscious again. She fell into a elven heap.
Ki-amar knew the advantages of having as valuable of an ally as Rastaputka on her feet, healed her again. Consciousness returned to her eyes. After aiding his friend, Ki-amar shifted her further from the battle, then turned and stabbed at the dark leader with his sword. The dark dwarf was able to deflect the point of the sword away from his chest, but only as far as his leg. The sword dug into dwarf’s thigh, the leader now bloodied.
Xiel saw the bloodied state of the leader, and decided to press his attack there. Harnessing all of his skills as a rouge, Xiel stealthy snuck behind the leader, flanking him with Ki-amar, and sank his sword into the kidney of the leader from behind. Fortunately for the dwarf, he had another kidney. Blood flowed freely from the heinous wound, but the Duergar stayed on his feet.
Outside the main melee, one of the dwarf scouts recognized the threat that the intruder magic user presented, and advanced on Curia. While side stepping an attack, Curia is grazed and finally joined the ranks of the lightly wounded. Knowing the danger of trying magic when threatened, Curia shifted away from her threat, and attempted to fire off some Icy Rays. Curia cracked under the pressure, and the rays found nothing to strike but air.
The Duergar, prone, next to Rastaputka, finally found his focus after the fire and brimstone, and stood. Though the elf appeared to have been finished, he saw the consciousness in her eyes where she lay, and tried to finish her off. His blow landed, but because he was still a little disoriented, he wounded her, but not enough to end her existence.
One of the Duergar from the melee, saw the human intruder Xiel stabs his boss in the back. The Duergar moved to save his leader. He moved around behind Xiel and swung his hammer. The blow from the peck’s hammer grazed Xiel , hurting him, but not seriously.
The Duergar mage recognized the fact that these intruders were a serious threat now. They had to be the cause of the trouble at the Horned Hall. With the loss of their previous leader, Murkelmor, and all of bodies that they had left behind, these intruders were definitely a force to be reckoned with. He didn’t want to be responsible for explaining a loss of even more troops, let alone being killed himself. In an act of self-preservation, he unleashed another rain of Fire and Brimstone. Again, carnage rains from the emptiness above. The spell was targeted at the same spot as last time. This time around, no one avoided the Fire and Brimstone. Everyone hit fell to the ground, burned.
The Duergar scout near Curia charged her. Curia was hit by his hammer, then the scout winked out of sight. Meanwhile, the Duergar flanking Ki-amar, opposite of his leader, hit Ki-amar with his hammer. The Duergar leader saw this while he lay prone, and so he didn’t see Tyro attacking from behind him. Tyro’s axe bit into the shoulder of the leader and then Tyro continued his Sweeping Blow at the adjacent Duergar. Tyro’s axe tasted blood again and staggered the dark dwarf, it was now bloodied.
The prone dwarf leader shook off the Fire and Brimstone attack and stood up. Having felt the blow from Tyro’s axe, he turned to face that threat. First one hammer and then the second struck Tyro, the forceful blows denting his armor and damaging his person. The dwarf leader tried again to hit Tyro, but Tyro was able to dodge the blows.
Rastaputka, rose up from the ground for the second time. She was truly pissed now. She stepped toward the dark dwarf leader, carefully aimed her attacks and struck a critical blow against him. She continued her Two-Wolf Pounce by shifting back and stabbing another Duergar with her off-hand rapier.
One of Duegar who still had their disgusting poisoned beard spike, pulled it out and threw it at Curia, but the spike flew past her and landed deep in the cave. Ki-amar realized the Duegar flanking him, opposite of the leader was between him and the cliff edge. Ki-amar had a nice mental picture of the Duergar learning to fly. He charged the dark dwarf and tried to throw push him backward over the edge. The dark dwarf yielded ground and slipped off the edge. As the dwarf fell, it grabbed the ledge, as if knowing he couldn’t fly.
Xiel tried to relieve some of the pressure on Rastaputka, and attacked a threatening Duergar. His short sword’s magical glow shone dimly through the new blood coat.
With the scout near him having disappeared, Curia went into full defensive mode in case the scout reappeared.
In the melee, one of the prone Duergar stands, and swung his hammer at Rastaputka. She was not able to fully block the blow and was hit. One of the standing dark dwarves, after seeing Ki-amar push his comrade over the edge of the cliff, attempted to return the favor. Ki-amar’s mighty stature proved too much for the little man, and remained unmoved.
The last prone Duegar finally stood up and attempted unsuccessfully to hit Tyro. It was only a slight lean that Tyro had to perform to avoid the blow.
As happened earlier in the battle, a few words from the Duergar mage made the battlefield start to be filled with noxious vapors. Ki-amar, Xiel, and one of the Duergar were able to cover their mouths in time, but Rastaputka, Tyro, and 2 of the other Duergar breathed in the fumes. The Duergar appeared to be unaffected by them, but Tyro and the elf choked on the fumes.
One of the Duergar Scouts aimed his crossbow at Rastaputka and fired. The shot was off and sailed wide. His colleague that was hanging by his fingers off the ledge, finally pulled himself back up onto the ledge where the battle was taking place. Angry with the Genasi for the attempt to make him fly, the dwarf unleashed his anger in a hammer blow that struck Ki-amar. Ki-amar, now bloodied, started to feel the effects of the battle.
Tyro, disgusted by his dark dwarf cousins, swung his axe at one, the blade sank into the flesh of a neck, and nearly severed its head off. He turned, saw Curia being threatened, and moved to aid the sexy spell caster.
Rastaputka, coughing from the effects of the violent fumes, failed to strike Duergar standing next to her. The scout with the crossbow that had been firing at Xiel, took aim at Rastaputka. He loosed a bolt that sailed through the melee, and dropped Rastaputka yet again. Ki-amar was having his own troubles now and was unable to immediately help the Elf. He turned on the Duergar that had climbed up from the ledge and bull-rushed him. This time, Ki-amar sent the dark dwarf flying over the cliff edge, the screams from the dwarf faded as he fell into the darkness below.
Xiel moved to the fallen shape of his attractive elf compatriot and stabilized her, preventing her health from dropping. Meanwhile, Curia took a moment to catch her second wind and revitalized her health.
The Duergar that had been punishing Rastaputka, tuned on Xiel and struck the Human with his dwaven hammer. The Duergar mage, with an arcane chant, fired off a firebolt at Ki-amar. The bolt of fire magic struck Ki-amar in the side of his gut. A crossbow bolt followed the magic attack, but missed Ki-amar. The second bolt from a different scout found its mark, and Ki-amar, the mighty warlord, fell.
Revitalized, Curia saw Ki-amar fall. She knew she’d be better off being the only magic weilder in the battled, cast a Cloud of Daggers at the other Mage. The blades wounded the dwarf, but didn’t kill him.
Xiel moved toward the Duergar mage, but was followed by one of the Duergar soldiers. The soldier struck Xiel with his hammer. Another of the remaining Duergar pulled out his stinky manky poison stake and threw it at Curia. Curia was struck by the spike and was poisoned. The Duergar followed the spike and rushed at her. She activated the power of her armor which pushed the Duergar away after he approached her. The magic of the armor was strong enough to keep the dark dwarf from being able to hit her with his hammer.
The mage shifted back away from Xiel that was pressing his attack. The mage cast more Fire and Brimstone over Xiel’s shoulder focusing on Tyro. Tyro is hit by the hazards, and was knocked prone. The Duergar scout next to Tyro deftly avoided the flames, the blinked out of view. He reappeared behind Xiel, but failed to make contact when he attacked with his hammer.
Tyro pulled himself together and stood. Attempting to aid his friend, he charged the Duergar behind Xiel. His battle axe let blood run freely from the Duergar’s back. The dark dwarf was bloodied.
One of the unengaged scouts, winked into sight and let loose a crossbow bolt at Xiel. The nimble Rogue was able to dodge the projectile. Xiel followed the back peddling mage, and missed with an attack. Curia pressed their attack on the mage and refocused his Cloud of Daggers on the mage again. The blades failed to harm the Duergar, but Curia used the distraction to sprint across the battle site to where Curia lay bleeding. The Duergar behind Xiel stepped forward and hit him in the back again with his hammer.
The Duergar scout closest to Tyro, moved into a flanking position on him and begins glowing with an Infernal Rage. His hammer hit his light skinned counterpart with a sickening crunch. The mage back peddled again, trying to keep space between himself and the human. He let loose a fire bolt at Xiel from mere feet away. Xiel staggered from the bolt which hit him square in the chest, but doesn’t fall.
The Scout that pounded Tyro saw the trouble his mage was having and disengaged from Tyro. He took a step back, pulled up his crossbow and let loose at Xiel. The bolt flew at Xiel, passed over his shoulder next to his head, and sailed into the distance.
Tyro charged the mage, and swung his battle axe. The mighty weapon sliced across the chest of the mage, opening up a wound. The mage was finally bloodied.
The scout that had recently fired at Xiel, turn on Ki-amar. Ki-amar, while everyone had been distracted, managed to heal himself and stand. The scout charged Ki-amar and attempted to bull-rush him off the ledge. Again, a little dwarf attempted to push Ki-amar of the ledge and failed. The dwarf swung his hammer and hit Ki-amar, felling him.
Xiel turned to the Duergar behind him and performed a Walking wounded. The Duergar is bloodied by the short-sword attack and falls prone. Over by Ki-amar, Curia moves to him and attempts to heal him, but failed. Realizing that she was close to the ledge, Curia stepped back away from the ledge.
The ‘walking wounded’ Duergar stood, and tried to run away from Tyro and Xiel. After moving a few feet, the dwarf fell down feeling dizzy and ‘wounded’. The Duergar mage emitted a Wave of Dispair. Tyro with his small stature was able to dive under the psychic wave, but Xiel’s mind was blasted. He found himself slowed and dazed. The Mage then tried to shift away but Tyro took a swing at him with his battle axe. The new wound prevented the mage from escaping.
One of the Duergar scouts, threw his stanky spike at Xeil. Xeil, because he was dazed, was unable to avoid the thrown spike. The spike downs Xeil. Inspired, the Duergar charged Tyro, but Tyro heard him coming and blocked the blow.
On the other side of the carnage, a Duergar charged Curia, but her armor pushed him back. The other Duergar there, a scout, tried to bull-rush Curia, but Curia stepped aside. While this occurred, Tyro shifted into a position adjacent to both the mage and the Duergar that dropped Xiel. With a passing attack, Tyro sliced the mage, throat to groin, then turned on the soldier. The Duergar soldier was able to block the attack. On the floor next to Curia, Ki-amar continued bleed. Somehow, the adventurer’s felt that Ki-amar was 2/3 the way to death, as was Rastaputka.
Xiel’s body, fighting the poison that fell him, is imbued with consciousness. Xiel had a feeling that he rolled a hard 20 to save his own life. He stood. Curia, standing over Ki-amar, heals the warlord.
A Duegar attempted to bull-rush Tyro but failed. A Duergar scout took aim with his crossbow and sank a bolt into Tyro’s belly. Tyro staggered, close to blacking out. His wounds made it easy for the Duergar next to him to dodge his battle axe. Another bolt flew through the dim light of the cavern. Tyro dropped to his knees, then fell on his face.
Ki-amar, ready for battle again, charged the Duergar scout, and nearly severed the dwarf’s arm from its body. Xiel reached in his boot, withdrew a dagger, and sent it flying at the mage. The dagger found a new home in the mage’s thigh.
Curia, remembered the healing potions that the group found after their last battle. She went shoulder-deep into the Handy Haversack, and withdrew one of the potions. She poured the sweet concoction down Rastaputka’s throat. The elf’s eyes opened again. A Duergar moved into a flank on Xiel, but missed the nimble rogue.
The scout that had been harassing Curia, disappeared, then reappeared a short distance away with his crossbow in hand. He loosed a bolt. The bolt sent Ki-amar to the ground, with only the bolt’s feathering showing in his shoulder.
Rastaputka, who felt a bit better after having quaffed the potion, charged the scout. Her vicious rapier tasted blood again. A twang and a rush of air told her that a bolt aimed at her missed its mark. Ki-amar, though unconscious, didn’t get worse just yet.
Xiel shifted out of the flank and attempted a Riposte Strike at the Duergar soldier, but the soldier batted the short-sword aside with his hammer. After pulling the other (and only remaining) healing potion from the sack, Curia moved over to the fallen warlord, Ki-amar, and pours the potion into his gullet. His still body is once again imbued with life. The Duergar behind Xiel swung his hammer at Xiel, and the human fell again. If he survived the battle, Xiel would certainly have some bruises.
Enraged by the continual objection to dying by the Elf, the Duergar soldier is enraged and charged Rastaputka. On the top of her game, though wounded, she danced aside the little being’s hammer swing. His scout comrade, disappears, only to reappear with the crossbow, the same old song and dance. Rastaputka was getting used to this routine and avoided the bolt. She stabbed with her Duelist Rapier, missing the soldier, but used the attack to cover her movement away from him and adjacent to the scout that kept blinking away.
The unimaginative scout, disappeared again, and Rastaputka was ready when he showed up a short distance away. Once again, she avoided the missile from his weapon. Ki-amar, also tired of picking himself up off the ground, bull-rushed the scout. The Duergar avoided the onslaught. Xiel, the lucky bastard (we’re pretty sure his parents weren’t married, unless you call 5gp and no names a marriage) that he was, was blessed again with life unknown and stirred.
Curia saw the Duergar soldier that Ki-amar had rushed standing near the ledge. She summoned a Cloud of Daggers. In his attempt to avoid the daggers, the Duergar lost his balance and fell backwards, ungracefully, and over the ledge. Dwarven curses faded in the oppressive darkness of the huge cavern.
The Duergar next to Xiel, noticed the human stirring, and returned him to his unmoving state with a hammer blow to the side of the head.
Rastaputka, with a fancy Twin Strike maneuver, sliced at the Duergar next to her, cutting open is arm. He was able to avoid the stab from her off-hand rapier. In retaliation, the Duergar swung at her, but the nimble ranger avoided the blow. Tired of falling, Ki-amar takes a moment to catch a second wind and heal himself a bit. Xiel doesn’t get any closer to death, nor any closer to consciousness.
Thoroughly annoyed by the Duergar scout crossbows, directed a cloud of daggers at the last scout, the blades of the clouds nicking his flesh repeatedly. The ‘walking wounded’ Duergar had been pretty much avoided by everyone as he didn’t prove much of a threat. He reinforced this opinion by approaching Curia, only to be pushed away by the magical presence of her armor. (Somewhere the adventurer’s have a feeling they heard a dungeon master scream in forgetful frustration). Ki-amar side-stepped an attack from the Duergar still standing next to him. Rastaputka moved over to Tyro and stabilized the unconscious dwarf. Ki-amar tried to bull-rush the Duergar next to him off of the edge. The dark dwarf fought back against the rush, so in order to not leave himself in a vulnerable position, he shifted back away from the ledge.
Of the remaining Duergar only one was unbloodied, and Curia solved that problem with a Cloud of Daggers. The dark dwarf that suffered the ‘Walking Wounded’ attack from Xiel, finally found someone to attack, Curia was finally close enough for him. Given the slow nature of his approach, the teifling had no trouble dodge the attack. Unfortunately for her, the other Duergar next her had no trouble finding his mark. She took a blow from his hammer on her shoulder.
Rastaputka moved around behind the slowed Dueragar and delivered an quick but vicious left-right attack with her two rapiers. Ki-amar performs a Warlord’s Favor attack and destroys the slowed Duergar, leaving only one Duergar alive. Ki-amar and Rastaputka were still badly wounded, Tyro and Xiel both lay unconscious.
Curia stabilized Xiel’s fallen form then stepped in front of Rastaputka. The magic of her armor would help to prevent the last Duergar from getting close enough to the Elf to hurt her. The Duergar moved forward toward Curia, only to be pushed away (Again, the vague feeling of an accented dungeon master forgetting about magic armor and screaming passes over everyone).
Rastaputka, not wanting to be knocked out again, dropped her rapiers, reached to her back and grabbed her longbow. With ranger training, she quickly sent two arrows in quick succession at the last dark dwarf, the first entered the dwarf’s throat, then second punched through the Duergar’s chest armor. The only sound then was the clang of the dead dwarf’s armor hitting the rock floor of the ledge.
Despite the rashness of their charge into the foray, the Defenders of Khelb barely succeeded in slaughtering the Duergar forces that fled the Horned Hall. As they caught their breath after the fighting, the group realized there weren’t enough bodies to account for all the dwarves they knew to be at the hall. Some of them must have escaped.
As they quickly began to loot through the sled of goods dragged here from the Horned Hall by the Duergar, they discovered the sword they were seeking, to not be present. One of the Duergar that descended into the cavern earlier must have taken. To Rastaputka’s weary delight, she recovered the Hat of Disguise from dead mage. She put it on, and with a shimmer, to her friends she now had the appearance of a Drow.
Curia quickly gathered up the spell and ritual components while the others stripped the bodies of their armor and valuables. The vast majority of the goods were able to be put into the Handy Haversack for later retrieval. Xiel and Tyro were brought back to consciousness in the short rest immediately following the battle. As the party gathered together to start discussing what to do next… a creaking sound began. They turned to the sound of the noise. The crank for the elevator was turning. Someone or something at the bottom must be operating it. The elevator started to lower into the darkness.