Defenders of Khelb

Floating brains?
How fast can a dwarf fall from a hundred feet.

(Sorry, next to no editting)

After the battle, the party found a safe place to rest for 6 hours. It was a bit warm because they hadn’t fully left the area of the lava flows. Rastaputka meditated to regain her strength, being an elf, she didn’t need to sleep. As she meditated and her friend rested, she saw strange undulations in the lava flow at the other side of the cavern that they were resting in. The undulations moved about the various lava flows in the cavern.

Rastaputka decided not to act, and just sat and watched the undulations. After the rest, Rastaputka woke her comrades and pointed out the undulation. Having just fought some fiery creatures, the adventurers were not in the mood to do so again. Curia recognized the creature as a Flame Shard. She commented that they are rare creatures and are a truly evil creature born in the plane of chaos.

They decided to try to distract the creature so they could make a break for it. Rastaputka used her bow to create a diversion at the far end of the cavern in the opposite direction of where they want to go by shooting arrow at the far rock wall of the cavern. The arrows bouncing off of the wall seemed to draw the attention of the creature. When it seemed the creature was as far away as it would get, they bolted.

Ki-amar athletics – pass Xiel acrobatics – miss. Rastaputka stealth – pass Tyro – Endurance – pass Curia – Arcana (as a helper) – pass Xiel – Acrobats – pass.

The party just escaped the cavern as the monster exploded from the lava and landed on a rock shelf. It started crawling toward them, but at such a slow rate that they were able to escape.

It was time for them to continue their journey toward Pedistal.

Xiel – stealth – pass

They started seeing less and less lava, and ventured further and further into the underdark. The passage opened up into a cavern with two levels. The party was on the upper level. There was dim light reflecting off of minerals in the walls, but it was enough light to see creatures on the lower level of the cavern. The most noticeable creature was a Grell. It looked like a floating brain with a beak, and tentacles hanging from it. Curia commented to Xiel that they usually didn’t travel alone. Curia recognized other creatures. A Grue, a Berserker, and 2 Manglers. The monsters didn’t notice the party. There were 3 other exits from the cavern, one on each side of the terrace with the monsters, and then another at the far end of the cavern on a smaller, even lower level.

“Which way do we need to go?” Rastaputka asked Royzop who was sitting on her shoulders. He pointed to the exit on the far side of the cavern which was actually on a shelf lower than the main floor of the cavern.

The party decided that they would attack. They felt the Grell would be the toughest creature, so they waited until it floated close enough for everyone’s range weapons, then they attacked.

Xiel attacked first. He threw his dagger and it sank into the brain. 20.

Rastaputka, using her longbow, missed with both of her arrows. The brain was bobbing as it floated, making it difficult to hit.

Ki-amar threw his javelin. Hit for 10. Tyro threw his javelin. Missed. The grell floated up toward xiel and tried to grab him. Xiel was able to avoid the tentacles. Xiel shifted backwards, and threw his dagger again and hit the Grell as part of a Walking Wounded maneuver. His blow knocked the Grell prone causing it to fall to the ground 40 feet below the party.

The berserker charged up the ramp that led to the upper level toward Rastaputka was standing nearest to it, as he swung at her, she stepped back. Rastaputka dropped her bow, shifted forward again, she hit with the Vicious rapier, then crit’d with Mirthuvial. 48 dmg. Bloodied it. The Grue muttered something and moved toward the ramp leading up to the players.

Ki-amar moved next to Rastaputka at the edge of the ledge and stabbed at the Berserker with his javelin. The berserker dodged the blow. Tyro squeezed next to rastapuka and performed a tide of iron. The Berserker was struck by tyro’s axe. Tyro pushed him toward the edge and shifted into the spot he vacated. Curia cast a phantom bolt at the Berserker, and hit him. Curia entered his mind and slides the berserker over the edge. The berserker was screaming at curia’s psychic damage and failed to catch himself as he fell 40 feet to the bottom of the cliff.

The Grell rose off the floor , then moved up to the top of the cliff. He then succumbed to Xiel’s previous walking wounded damage, and fell to the ground. Xiel hit the berserker with a dagger and killed the berserker.

Rastaputka attempted to darkfire the Grell but missed. She marked it as her quarry, then shifted back and picked up her bow. One of the manglers threw two daggers at Ki-amar, both hit Ki-amar but broke when the struck the genasi’s armor. The grue mentally attacked tyro and slowed him.

Ki-amar moved up next to a mangler, hit it and knocked it off the ramp, though it was only ten feet to the ground from there. Tyro, though slowed, stepped forward to attack the mangler, but missed with his axe. The mangler was shifty and dodged the blow. A mangler had been holding his action, and now that Tyro was close, the mangler climbed up the slope behind tyro flanking him.

Curia missed a mangler with a phantom bolt. Xiel flanked the mangler flanking Tyro, but missed. Rastaputka shot 2 arrows at the Grell, but missed with both. The prone mangler stood and slashed at Tyro with his 4 daggers. It was a dagger dance. But not a good dance. Tyro was able to deflect all the attacks with his shield. The Grue attacked Tyro’s mind, the dwarf started hearing voices. He was psychically damaged.

Ki-amar dropped his javelin, then slammed the ground with an earth shock. The two manglers avoided the shock. He then pulled out his greatsword and struck the mangler that was behind tyro. The attack pushed the mangler off the cliff, then ki-amar allowed rastaputka to shift 20 feet which brought her into the fray.

Tyro pushed the other mangler off the cliff and the creature fell ten feet. Curia cast Incindiary detonation at the grue and the two manglers that were all bunched together right now. She hit all of them with the flaming cloud. Xiel hurled a dagger at the prone mangler. Rastaputka jumped into in between all of the prone creature. She harnessed the power of Mirthuvial to do a Lightning matrix. The attack missed all 4 of them, but anyone starting next to her takes 5 damage. She used an action point to claws of the griffon the grue. She crit’d with Mirthuvial, but missed with her rapier.

One of the manglers stood and fled. As he ran, rastaputka hit him in the back. The grue teleported behind the grell. Ki-amar moved next to the mangler next to rastapuka and struck him with an earth shock. Tyro moved down next to rastaputka, and tried a sweeping blow against the grell and the mangler, missing both. The mangler still in the fray crawled away from the fracas. Curia moved down around the melee, then cast Fire Shroud. The Grell and one of the manglers were hit by the shroud.

The grell grabbed tyro with its tentacles, and crit’d him. The grell pulled him into his square and bit him. The grell then started floating upward from the battle, pulling Tyro with him. Xiel tried jumping down 20 feet from his spot on the ramp, but was distracted and hurt himself on the landing and fell prone. He stood up, then charged the mangler near him. Rastaputka stepped up between the mangler and the Grue. She did a Sudden Strike on the Grue and savaged him. The mangler, while prone, took radiant damage from the ongoing Lightning matrix. As it went to attack Rastaputka, she interrupted the attack and killed him.

The grue, took ongoing damage from the lightning matrix, and died. Ki-amar turned into wind form, and flew up to the grell floating above the battle, and hit the grell. He floated down. He was able to heal tyro slightly, so Tyro was no longer bloodied. The remaining mangler, stood up, still on fire from the flame shroud, and fled behind a stalagmite.

The Grell bit Tyro again, and floated higher, 30 feet up. Xiel missed the Grell with a dagger. Rastaputka raced over to the remaining mangler and twin struck him with both swords. Ki-amar also raced over to themangler and hit him with his Greatsword, and cut his head off. Curia shot a phantom bolt at the Grell, psychically damaged it, and slid the grell higher. The Grell floated higher and bit Tyro again. Tyro was stunned. Xiel threw a dagger at the Grell that was 55 feet in the air, still holding the dwarf. Xiel’s dagger hit the Grell.

Rastaputka ran across the cavern and sheathed her swords and picked up her longsword. Ki-amar used his elven boots to help him get to where he had dropped his javelin, and picked it up. Curia moved over to the ramp. She took aim and cast a sleep spell at the grell (who still held tyro). Grell bit Tyro yet again. Xiel moved directly under the Grell, and pulled out his distance dagger, and threw it at the grell, but missed.

Because of the height of the grell, Rastaputka missed with two arrows. Ki-amar missed with his javelin. Tyro woke up, and he started flailing in the tentacles. Curia cast Phantasmal Assailant at the Grell. Hit for 12 psychic with ongoing 5 damage. The grell bit Tyro again, and stunned Tyro.

Xiel threw another dagger, and hit the Grell and damaged him for 11. Rastaputka shot two more arrows at the Grell but missed both. The grell is nearly 95 feet in the air. Ki-amar tried climbing the wall, but fell back to the ground, then tried again. Tyro woke up again.

Curia pulled out a sunrod, cracked it, and then used mage hand to lift the light. The grell dropped Tyro. It was 95 feet to the ground. Curia cast feather fall, and caught Tyro. Xiel missed with a dagger. Rastaputka shot two arrows. One of the arrows sank into the floating brain. Ki-amar missed with his javelin. Tyro used his second wind and then threw his javelin at the grell, but missed.

Curia moved under the grell holding the sun rod in the air with the mage hand. The grell started floating toward the far end of the cavern, staying close to the ceiling. Xiel threw a dagger, and hit the Grell for 9, and the brain fell to the ground.

View
Hi ho, hi ho, into the Underdark we go
Take a walk on the dark side.

The Defenders of Khelb took an extended rest in Seven Pillars and stocked up on supplies. This time, they really bought some rope. There were fewer shops than there used to be because of recent events (the loss of Gendar and the Duergar).

Curia checked in with the Mages of Sarun (her employers). They were still happy (and busy) with the discovery of the bronze minotaurs that the party found. Curia asked for a sabbatical, but offered to act as an emissary of Sarun and the town of Seven Pillars. The mages weren’t familiar with Pedistal, but were open to anything that Curia could arrange, or find along her way.

To travel to Pedistal, the party had to do skill challenges.

Xiel assisted Rastaputka with perception. The majesty of the caverns… is wonderful.

Royzop realized that the party cannot take routes that he is used to because of their size.

Rastaputka perceived. Royzop told the party to look for a special stalagmite with some writing on it. Rastaputka spoted it.

Curia and Royzop worked together with their Dungeoneering, and led the group safer and deeper into the Underdark.

Royzop wanted the party to climb a steep cavern wall. With Tyro’s endurance, they climbed the hillside safely.

The party rested after about 24 hours of hiking. They found a safe place and rested peacefully.

Ki-amar checked athletics just fine.

Xiel and Rastaputka perceived well.

Curia and Royzop dungeoneering, no problem.

Royzop kept looking sideways at Tyro (from the shoulders of Rastaputka, since the elf offered to carry the little fellow). The gnome felt that the dwarf was slowing them down. Royzop said that they were close to the passage to the middle Underdark.

They looked for a place to sleep, and found one, resting after another 24 hours of hiking.

Now that they were in the Middle Underdark, things got a little tougher.

Rastaputka perceived that is was darker. There was next to no ambient light.

Royzop realized that they headed the wrong way with Curia trying to lead. They had to back track for six hours.

Ki-amar, being athletic, helped the group along.

Tyro, endurance check, tried to find a shortcut, but found lava. Schmuck. The party members each lost 1 healing surge because of the heat. The lava was bubbling. Something came out of one of the bubbles. It was a humanoid shape, but made of flames, holding a flaming Axe. Five Fire Bats appear out of the lava as well. They swooped between the party, Xiel was burned by a bat passing by him. Another bat flew past Royzop and Rastaputka, Royzop ducked, and Rastputka tucked and rolled to avoid being burned. Tyro was buzzed by a bat, and his Black Iron Scale absorbed some of the fire from the bat, but he was still was singed a bit.

Tyro swung his axe at the Fire Bat next to him (4), but missed as the bat flew just out of reach. He stepped back away from the Bat. Xiel escaped the bat next to him (2), and moved into a flank of Bat (3) with Ki-amar. Xiel swatted at the bat with his dagger and struck the fire bat.

The Fire monster emerged from the lava and moved at Tyro who was standing next to Rastaputka. The monster did an immolating strike at Tyro, but Tyro blocked the blow with his shield. Royzop was singed by the heat from the monster. Royzop hopped off of Rastaputka’s shoulders and took a step back next to Ki-amar.

Rastaputka stepped into a Sudden Strike. She missed with her off hand, shifted toward its backside, and hit with Mirthuvial, which weakend the fire monster.

Ki-amar struck like a viper. Hit. Bloodied bat (3).

Curia moved from the back of the pack, up nearer the front. “Use a fireball,” Ki-amar called. Curia nearly stopped dead in her tracks having to think about the absurdity of using a fireball against fire bats. She cast a Phantasmal Assailant at the Fire monster hitting it. She was in his psyche and destroying his mind.

A Bat (1) flew at Royzop and swooped and the gnome and Ki-amar standing next to him. Bat (2) swooped at Ki-amar and Royzop as well. As bat (3) flew away, Xiel was able to strike Bat as it left its spot next to him. That bat swooped Ki-amar and Royzop as well.

Bat (4) swooped Tyro and singed him a little. Bat (5) swooped Rastaputka and singed her.

Tyro attempted to Crack the Shell of the Fire monster, and succeed in sinking his axe into the fire monster. Tryo’s attack was vicious, but the monster wasn’t bloodied yet.

Xiel Blade Vaulted toward the Fire Monster and hit it with his dagger. The smooth move yielded only 19 damage, but bloodied him. The FireMonster took psychic damage from curia’s previous attack. It then shifted back away from Xiel (but still adjacent to Tyro and Rastaputka). Rastaputka interrupted his attack with an interrupting attack with Mirthuvial (30 dmg).

Royzop managed to roll on the ground to put out the flames on his clothing.

Rastaputka attacked, Claws of the Griffon Style, and savaged the fire monster with Mirthuvial. She missed with her rapier.

Ki-amar earthshocked the Fire monster to death, then Inspired the gnome to full health.

Curia pulled out her Wand of Ray of Frost and shot a bolt of frost at Bat (3) and hit it. The ice shards dissolved pretty quickly, but the Fire Bat appeared to be slowed. The Fire Bats swooped the whole party. Royzop was singed. Curia was crit’d, but her Tiefling racial resistance to fire protected her from the flames.

As bat slowly swooped at Royzop, and very fast moving axe struck it and split the bat in half. Xiel took aim and threw his dagger at Bat (1). Xiel burned an action point to attack, but failed miserably.

Rastaputka sheathed her swords and pulled out her bow. She fired two arrows off at a bat and missed. She took a breath (burned an action point) and attacked again. This time both arrows hit, the second was a critical.

Ki-amar threw his javelin at a bat and hit it, then is magica javelin returned to his hand.

Curia hit a bat with a lightning bolt, then the bolt branched targeting two other bats. The bolt arced and hit both of the other bats.

The fire bats swooped again. The first missed Ki-amar. Rastaputka was buzzed by one and her cloak caught fire. Tyro threw his javelin but missed horribly.

Xiel threw his dagger in a Walking Wounded style and hit. The Bat was knocked prone, so it fell to the ground, but was able to slow it’s descent.

Rastaputka shot 2 arrows at the nearest Bat to her. She managed to clip the bat twice, but didn’t too much damage.

Ki-amar surprised the bat next to him with his greatsword, and splattered it into small bits of fire. The attack allowed Xiel a surprise attack. Xiel hurled his dagger at Rastaputka’s bat, and hit it, but like the elf, he only winged it.

Ki-amar spoke up and inspired Rastaputka to heal.

The Walking Wounded Bat swooped Ki-amar. The other bats swooped the other party members. Tyro and Xiel ducked, Royzop rolled, Curia dogded, and Ki-amar was singed for 1.

Tyro threw his javelin and bloodied the bat that was Wounded Walking.

Xiel moved around to a bat that ended its swoop next to Ki-amar. The bat missed with its opportunity attack. Xiel slashed at the fire bat with his dagger and bloodied it.

Royzop wasn’t threatened.

Rastapuka’s armor continued to burn. She missed with her first arrow, but Crit’d with her second.

Ki-amar shouted out a Warlord’s Favor at the Bat that was prone on the ground next to Xiel. He blasted the bat giving Xiel an advantage for his next attack against it.

Curia attempted to help Rastaputka put out her flames, but she wasn’t much help. Sensing her difficulting in helping the elf, she turned an cast a phantom Bolt and destroyed one of the 3 remaining bats and destroyed it. The last two bat swooped the group but missed everyone.

Tyro threw his Javelin and wounded one of the bats. Xiel finished it off with a thrown dagger.

Rastaputka, still on fire, fired two arrows at the last bat, and hit it twice. It was wounded but not bloodied. Ki-amar shifted into wind-walker form and walked into the air to attack the remaining bat, but missed with his attack and then floated back to the ground.

Curia again attempted to help Rastaputka put out her flames, and the two females succeeded in putting out the flames. The bat swooped Xiel, Curia, and Rastaputka, but only hit Xiel.

Tyro missed with his javelin. Xiel’s armor was burning, but he ignored it, and moved over to where the bat was hovering near the floor and attacked. He bloodied the bat.

Rastaputka hit it with Mirthuvial, but missed with her rapier. Ki-amar finished the bat off.

Curia realized that it wasn’t normal lava. It was an entry to the plane of Chaos. The fire monster was an Emberguard Archon which is a guardian for a portal. Curia noted the location to report later to the mages.

Its time to rest.

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There's always room for Jel... Uh.. Slime
Tiefling on a string..

After the fight with the Orcs, the party returned to rooms where they had left the gnome. They rested for six hours while the Elf meditated and kept guard. After the rest, everyone felt nice and rejuvenated. The gnome regained consciousness. During the rest, he didn’t have time to recuperate fully, but it was able to stand and walk about. His name, which the party had previously never bothered to ask, was Royzop. He said, “Thank you for saving me… although they tortured me because of you.”

Ki-amar pointed out “Perhaps you shouldn’t have talked so much when you returned to seven pillars.” Surprisingly, that shut the gnome up.

“Do you know why you were tied up?” Xiel asked

Royzop spoke, “I was tortured for information about you guys. I made up a bunch of stuff.. .but some might have been true. But I didn’t mean to. I was saying anything to try to get them to stop hurting me.” He almost started to cry from the memories.

“Don’t worry.. you’re safe now.” Rastaputka sympathized.

“Do you know what the hole is for?” Xiel asked Royzop as the group walked back into the large sacrificial chamber.

Rastaputka mumbled under her breath “That’s what she said,” and chuckled to herself.

“Nope.. sorry. I did see them throwing their trash in there.”

Tthe party tried to figure out what to do next. They made their way down to the hole. The opening was about 30×30 Curia cast light, and looked down the hole. It was a natural crevice, and tapered into a slightly more narrow hole as it went deeper. There was garbage and stuff stuck to side. It appeared to open up near the bottom, but the details were lost in the gloom, because Curia’s magic light couldn’t completely reach the bottom. It was almost an unspoken agreement that they would be playing with the containment circle around the statue of the frog. This was why the hole was a bit of a concern. No one wanted to fall in hole during a battle.

“Can we cover the hole,” Curia asked?

“Perhaps the table from the drinking hall?” Rastaputka suggested. She and Tyro went to the drinking hall and grabbed the 10×20 table and maneuvered it out of the room and into the chamber. They set it down next to the hole.

“Hmmm…” Rastaputka said. “Doesn’t look like its big enough to cover the hole. We could still drop it in the hole and see if it’ll get stuck half way down. It would at least provide a landing platform so that if someone falls in, they might not fall the whole way.”

Ignoring the Elf’s comments, Curia said “What if we used rope to make a net.”

“I bought an adventurer’s kit. It should have rope in it.” Ki-amar piped in. “Where is it? It’s not here. I know I bought one. Maybe I left it in my other backpack.”

“How much rope do we have?” Rastaputka asked.

“I’m supposed to have a rope.” Ki-amar continued. “Where’s my adventurers kit.”

“I’ve got rope.” Xiel said proudly. “It’s right here.” The smug Human pulled out his coil of rope. “Its silk!” He added happily as he rubbed the silk rope against his cheek.

“Where’s my rope?” Ki-amar asked, slightly frustrated with himself and fate. “There’s no way I would have left Gendar’s shop without Rope. Can we assume that I bought rope?”

“Sure, I’d like to see you climb down this hole with your Rope of Assumption +4, don’t let the rocks on the bottom break your ass on the way down,” she said dryly to Ki-amar. “Someone help me, I want to throw this table in the hole.”

Tyro continued not to say anything. He just sat there as if lobotomized. “Let’s make a net or something out of the rope.” Curia repeated herself.

“Yeah, like there is enough rope to make a net. The rope is barely long enough to go across the hole once” Rastaputka replied a little tartly. “Someone grab the other side of the table. I really want to throw this in the hole.”

“My adventurer’s kit should have a climbing kit to.” The normally very adept and intelligent genasi said absentmindely.

Tyro, grab the other end of the table!” Rastaputka ordered the blank-stared dwarf. Tyro stood without acknowledging and grabbed the other side of the table. They moved the table next to the hole, then lifted and flipped it over so it fell into the hole upside down. With a cacophony of noise, the large, heavy, wood table fell into the hole. It banged against one side, then the other, and loudly settled into place at an angle a little more than half way down the hole. “I told you I wanted the table in the hole.” She said with a smile. To the perception of Xiel and Rastaputka, the echo of the table falling down the hall reverberated more than it would have if the hole had just been a pit.

“I think there is a larger cavern down there or something,” Xiel commented.

“All right.. I think we all had rope.” Ki-amar supplied.

“We certainly wouldn’t have left a shop without the necessities,” Curia said starting to side with Ki-amar. “I have rope,” she said while pulling a rope out of her purse, umm.. backpack.

Finally the group seemed to come to agreement that they had all bought rope and adventurers kits. Royzop, who had been hanging close to Curia, tugged on her robes. When she looked down, he pointed to the center or the chamber. The adventurer kits were sitting there, looking like they had just been pulled out of the shop. Looking inside, it turned out that they, now, did have 5 lengths of rope.

Curia settled down about trying to make a net out of the rope, and the group secured rope to the manacles that had previously held the gnome. Having been secured to the stone floor, they would provide a good hold for the rope when it was lowered into the hole.

Content now that if someone fell into the hole, they would have a good chance of either grabbing a rope, or landing on the table, the party switched focus. They looked up at the frog statue, and thought, time for business.

The Frog statue that overlooked the room was sitting on a ledge fifteen feet about the main floor of the room. It was accessible by two different walkways, one from the north side of the room and one from the south. Each of the two walk ways ended in stairs that brought them down to the floor at the west end of the room. The statue was centered along the west wall. A white substance that looked like salt encircled the statue. “That’s a containment circle” Curia provided.

Curia positioned herself in the middle of the room down on the floor. Ki-amar stood near the middle of the room as well, but up on the northern walkway. Xiel was closer on the same walkway, waiting near the northeast corner. Tyro stood next to the salt circle on the north side, and Rastaputka stood opposite on the south side.

Rastaputka used a long piece of debris to disrupt the containment circle of salt about 8 feet from her. She didn’t really want to disrupt it directly in front of her incase it exploded or something. Nothing happened. Nothing continued to happen. Suddenly a wall sconce behind Tyro and Xiel winked out, darkening that corner of the room. In the gloom by the statue, something moved. A mix of slime and shadow started undulating. Curia recognized it as a Shadow Slime. She called out some of its abilities to everyone. She said, “It was a large natural slime. It can drain life to heal itself, it can drain natural light. Dim light makes it near invisible. No known resistances or vulnerabilities.”

Curia acted first, a Scorching Burst flew from her outstretched hand toward the slime and hit it. Rastaputka was next, wielding Mirthuvial and her other magic rapier, with a slash and a stab, she scored two massive hits, one with each weapon, and performed a sneak attack which she had been trained in, her magic braces glowed and added even more power to the attack. She did 58 damage (how did anyone know that? They just had a feeling that was right). The slime was not bloodied, though they were unsure if slime actually bled. Xiel threw a dagger at the slime and it sunk into the gelatinous mass. It was bloodied, though the blood was more of a clear-ish liquid that flood from the would with a lot less consistency than the rest of the creature.

Curia’s mage light went out, as did the everburning torch tied to Rastaputka’s leg, the room grew darker. The slime lashed out at Tryo. The small man was slimed. Tyro could feel some of his life force leaving him and transferring to the slime. With the attack/heal, the slime was no longer bloodied. All the rest of the lights on the side of the room near the slime went out. The slime disappeared sight in the low light.

The little gnome squealed…. “Don’t let it get me” and moved behind Curia who was down on the main floor on the far side of the room. Curia took a couple steps forward and cast light again. The slime re-appeared in the same spot. She sent out a phantom bolt at it, hitting and blooding it again. Ki-amar, from the ledge on the north side of the room, threw his javelin at the slime and the javelin stuck in the slime. Slime poured out of the wound. The magic javelin reappeared in his hand. Standing next to the large slime, Tyro missed, but marked it with his fighter prowess.

Rastaputka attempted to light the slime with the Fariefire from Mirthuvial, but the effect failed. She hit with both swords, but did little damage. Xiel pulled out a sun-rod, and cracked it open. He threw a dagger, hitting the slime, and then starting running to the far end of the room with his light source.

The slime extinguished Xiel’s light and Curia’s light orb. The slime disappeared from sight again. Tyro, with his fighter senses, felt an disturbance on the air in front of him. He sensed his mark was about to attack someone Rastaputka. Though it was invisible, Tyro swung his axe and carved off a piece of invisible slime. Then the slime hit Rastaputka for 20, and drained that life, healing itself.

Curia cast another light orb to illuminate the room. She then shot a phantom bolt, but missed the slime. The gnome’s fear distracted her. Ki-amar floated on air to get to the far side of the slime. It was a total Genasi thing to do. As he approached, the slime hit Ki-amar. He tried to strike the slime, but had trouble stabilizing his balance when he landed and missed the slime.

Tyro took a big swing with his axe and hit for 11. Rastaputka focused better with her next attack and hit with both of her swords, and the life force that held the slime together released and gravity spread the slime all over the floor.

The lights came back on, with the exception of the party’s dark everburning torches. Curia walked up the steps to the ledge around the room and examined the idol. The mouth appeared to be hollow, and a slimy residue in the hole indicated it was likely the home of the slime. The hole moved down and back into the natural wall that the Chamber of the Eye was built into. Xiel examined the statue, but found nothing of interest.

“We could ask Royzop to crawl in there, he might fit”, Rastaputka suggested. “We could tie a rope, since clearly we have some, to his feet.” Royzop wilted visibly, but the other’s felt that wasn’t a good thing to do. The party walked down to the main floor of the chamber, having decided not to do anything with the statue. They asked Royzop about Pedistal again. He said he could get them there from Seven Pillars. He rambled on about a gnome town that had been taken over by Drow. The party decided not to do anything about it, at least for the time being.

Rastaputka untied her dead everburning torch (because it wasn’t burning) from her leg. The group re-secured their rope to the shackles that anchored in the stone, and tossed the rope in the hole. The party climbed down into the hole. The bottom of the hole was a steep slope that moved down and away. The group waited at the base of the pit they just came down. A rope was tied around Rastaputka’s waist, and she took Tyro’s active sunrod and walked her way down the slope. At the bottom of the slope, she found another hole. As she neared the hole, the air got colder. It was really a draft, just a damp coldness. She held the light over the hole and looked in.

The hole opened up into a big cavern, the floor was about a fifty foot drop away. She could see various pieces of trash, and possibly some pieces of gold. Rastaputka signaled back to the others that they should join her. They carefully made their way down the slope to the hole next to her. “I could try to Detect Magic down there, but I think I’d need to be lower, but maybe not all the way.” Curia offered, however not wanting to go all the way in case there were monsters lurking on the floor.

“Let’s tie a rope around your waist and lower you down a bit,” Xiel suggested.

They tied a rope around Curia’s waist and lowered her into the cavern so that she was hanging about 20 feet from the cavern bottom. With her lack of balance and athletics, she started swinging. It made detecting magic more difficult, but she was able to detect something. After casting her spell, she detected the presence of a magic wand. She also saw a monster (slime, like a few minutes ago) and it was getting closer. She started casting lights, and every time she cast light, the light would disappear. She wanted to make sure that there was nothing climbing on the walls toward the opening in the ceiling. In a blink of an eye after her magic light would appear, it would wink out. She knew this to be an ability of the slime.

The slime moved under her, and waited for her to fall or something. She cast scorching blast directly below her and hit the slime. She continued swinging very ungracefully and throwing out more scorching blasts. Not all found their mark, but it didn’t matter so much. Since she was hanging above the floor, the slime couldn’t attack. After a few minutes of strobe lighting and scorching blasts, the slime finally retreated into the darkness at the edge of the cavern. As she was hanging (though literally swaying and spinning slowly) there, the party tried to figure out how to get her to floor safely so that she could get the wand. “I use mage hand to deal with stuff, this manual stuff is minotaur shit.”

“Use a mage hand to get the wand.” Rastaputka called down.

“Right on… Rastaputka”, came the response from the Tiefling yo-yo. The swinging and spinning finally caught up with Curia. As she was casting her light spell which continued winking out almost instantly, she started vomiting. The strobe effect of the light, made the vomit spewing from the teifling almost appear in slow motion as it spiraled out away from her. After her stomach was empty, Curia was able to nab the wand with a Mage Hand. “Pull me up” she hollered.

“Get my great sword of extreme coolness first!” Ki-amar called down to her. “It’s in the edge of the cavern somewhere.” Chuckles from the others at the top of the hole filtered down to Curia.

“There’s nothing magic left. Pull me up!” Curia called back.

The party pulled her up and then they climbed out of the hole and back into the original chamber where they fought the first slime. The wand turned out to be a Wand of Frost. Curia was happy about the find. Feeling that they had exhausted the “safe” loot potential of the Chamber of the Eye, they decided they were done.

The Defender’s of Khelb (with Royzob in tow) headed back to 7 Pillars. It was an uneventful journey.

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Reunions are nice.....
That feels good in my hand.... (Thats what she said)

With the immediate threat taken care of, Rastaputka ran back to where the battle with the Devil’s and Duergar had started. She feared some unseen and obscene twist of fate might take Mirthuvial out of their reach again. She came back upon the scene of the encounter with the devil and there on the ground, still in the hand of Kedara was Mirthuvial. She reverently picked up the sword, and returned to her comrades in the sacrificial chamber.

The prisoner Duergar was an older fellow covered completely by the greasy spikes. He remained quiet with his hands out to the side while everyone caught their breath. Rastaputka returned to the chamber. The gnome was unconscious and had been badly beaten. Xiel and Rastaputka didn’t detect any traps on the manacles holding the gnome. Curia examined him and didn’t detect any magic effects on him. Xiel picked the locks holding the gnome and freed him.

Rastaputka gagged the prisoner Duergar and the party went up to the rooms near where the battle had started. The first room was a slightly lavish bedroom. The second room resembled a meeting room. The group decided to take a 5 minute rest. During the rest, Curia examined Mirthuvial. She discerned that it was an Artifact sword, Eye-stalker, +2 weapon, with a Dark Fire encounter power, a Daylight Matrix daily, and a detect object daily. In addition, it aids in understanding the Underdark, and gives a bonus to dungeoneering. The sword had a desire, which is to be reunited with the Coulevar, the crown of Khelb. The sword emitted emotions, and in addition to the desire, it sought a wielder. Curia realized that the sword could change shapes take the form of a military weapon that the wielder desired.

With such a powerful and useful weapon now at their disposal, the party talked over who should wield the sword. In the end, Rastapatuka’s relation to Khelb, her ongoing quest to get the crown, and her martial skills, won through and the party collectively agreed that it would probably be best in her hands for the time being. It should be pointed out, that Ki-amar, spent most of the conversation staring off into space, and a little spittle of drool dripped down the side of his mouth. He had been considered a possible wielder of the weapon, but aside from his current lethargy, he was pretty buff as it was, and the great sword sheathed to his back was nothing to complain about.

When it was decided, Rastaputka took the sword back from Curia. She held it reverently with bothe hands and said a prayer to Correlon. “I solemnly swear and declare that I will find Coulevar, and reunite you, Mythruvial, with the crown and staff of Khelb.” The sword emanated the feeling of not caring about the staff, but it was happy about the crown. The sword shifted shapes from the bastard sword it was at the end of the battle, to a sleek sharp longsword that felt perfectly balanced in the martial elf’s grip. Rastaputka visible relaxed and a smile appeared on her face. She felt calmed by the feeling of the sword in her hand, and a renewed sense of purpose as she thought about retrieving Coulevar.

The party inspected the rooms. Xiel found a chest, and discovered a lock for a key they found on the body of Kedara. Inside the chest, he found a bronze crown, a potion, a garnet, another potion, a gold bracelet, 150 gp, a Sapphire, and a third potion. The group found 2 matching stones, that are polished. One was on Kedara’s person and the other was on another Duergar. Curia discovered that the 3 potions and the stones were magical. After another 5 minutes of inspection, Curia was able to sort out the items. One was a potion of healing, a potion of storm shield, and a potion of regeneration. The stones were a communication device, allowing people to send verbal messages to each other over great distances.

The party put the gnome in the bed, and covered up to be hidden from quick glances. He was so beaten up that the party didn’t have the healing powers necessary to revive him without spending six hours there. At the moment, they didn’t have time wait since they knew that there were still enemies in area.

It was time now to deal with those enemies. Their Duergar prisoner had cooperated fully so far, though he didn’t seem to appreciate having the gag in his mouth. “Are you going to cooperate?” Tyro asked in Dwarven. The Duergar nodded and they ungagged him. “What are you doing here?”

“We got thrown out of Seven Pillars. This is a temporary location while we figure out where to set up our operations next,” he responded.

The party huddled up and tried to figure out what to do.

Rastaputka asked, “Do you know Aluntree?” Tyro translated it to dwarven.

The Duergar shook his head. “Nope. Never heard of him or her”.

Tyro followed with a question, “What is your role?”

“I’m an elder of Grimswold. I was here to talk with Kedara. She was the head of the Horned hall. She was working with Murklemor.”

Curia said, in dwarven, “Go back. Go back to Grimswold. Leave here. We burned you out of the horned hall,we burned you out of here. Will you leave here, leave the labyrinth area around Seven Pillars? We’ll spare the lives of your brethren here if you agree, but know this, you only get this offer once, and if we find you here again, it’ll be on like Corellon”. Rastaputka couldn’t help but smile inwardly at the use of her Diety as a threat to the Duergar.

He stared at the Teifling female for a minute then nodded slowly. “Yes. I agree. There are orcs here too, so you know. I can make the Duergar leave, but the orcs will be your problem.”

Xiel nodded, “No problem.” Like lightning, he pulled a dagger, then licked its blade in anticipation.

“Where are they?” Curia asked.

“They’re drinking in the hall, the orc and my brethren.” He said.

“Here’s the deal” Curia said. “Tyro will disguise himself as Kidara, using the Hat of Disguise. The Duergar will see through it, however, the Orcs shouldn’t. We’ll bind your hands behind you, as a precaution for us. You and Tyro go in the room and you get the Duergar to leave, and then we’ll finish the Orcs”.

“Ok.” He said.

Tyro and the Duergar entered the main Hall which was just to the south of the large sacrificial chamber where their last battle had finished. Inside the Hall Orcs and Duergar were drinking and dicing. There was no whoring going on due to the lack of ladies, though one funny looking Orc was eyeing one of the Duergar in a funny way. The entrance of the two dwarves into the room only illicited a big “hey” from the Orcs. The Orcs saw Kidara and the Duergar, but the Duergar that looked up saw Tyro. It was only a mean stare from their leader that kept the Duergar from responding.

The Duergar leader walked to the nearest Duergar in the hall and whispered into his ear. The Duergar wandered over to an associated while the leader indicated to Tyro that they could go back in the hallway. Over the next few minutes, Duergar slowly started leaving the drinking hall, and entering the hallway. They were surprised to see the Defenders of Khelb standing there. Their leader kept them quiet though. The Duergar cleared out slowly enough that the orcs didn’t know that anything was amiss.

The party escorted the Duergar to the front door, let them out and then bolted the door behind them. Time for business. Curia took the Hat of the Disguise, and transformed into the look of an Orc, the one that they killed a short while ago.

The drinking hall where the orcs were having a good time had two entrances. One entrance, at the ground level was where the Duergar had exited the hall. The second was higher up and led in from the sacrificial chamber. The door was opposite the door where the party entered the chamber when they had been chasing the Duergar leader. The party got ready to barge in to attack the orcs. Rastaputka and Ki-amar went to the bottom door, and the other three went to the upper door. While at the top of the stairs, Curia saw a magic containment circle around the statue that presided over the sacrificial hall. “We’ll deal with that later,” she said.

They got ready to ambush the orcs. Curia, using the hat and looking like the orc leader the party had killed with Kidara, entered the Drinking Hall. She stood on small balcony, the room laid out before her. Stairs going down to the main floor of the room went down to her right along the wall. All five of the orcs looked up, saw their “leader”, and went back to their drinking. From her vantage point above the room, she cast “orb master’s incendiary detonation” at the unsuspecting Orcs. The spell exploded in the middle of the circle of orcs, and orcs went flying. Only one managed to withstand the blast and stay on his feet. Three died as they crashed in the walls of the room, blood stained the walls where their heads and smashed bodies hit the wall. The strongest and biggest of the five laid prone from the blast.

Tyro charged into the room and attacked the orc that was still standing. Tyro swung his mighty axe and cut the orc in half. As the upper half of the orc fell, it couldn’t comprehend what had happened as it hit the ground. It died a few seconds later, its entrails being pulled out of the wound by gravity. Rastaputka charged in toward the one remaining live orc that was laying on the ground. She slashed with Mirthuvial and cut open his arm as he rolled away. With quickness that was unexpected, he stood and turned on Rastaputka. She quickly tried to disrupt his pending attack but was too surprised by his quickness to hit. He swung his great axe at her and cut her leg as she was unable to completely parry the blow.

Curia took aim and Flames (Fire Shroud) burst out of Curia and flew across the room. The flames landed on the orc and shrouded him in Flames. The smell of burnt hair and flesh burst into the room. Tyro moved around behind the orc, flanking him with Rastaputka, and sank his axe into the Orc’s back. The blade cut through the armor and cut him. The orc quickly turned and retaliated with his axe and sliced a wound on Tyro’s clavicle. Rastaputka danced into a Claws of the Griffon attack. She slashed with Mirthuvial and stabbed with her vicious rapier, and her bracers glowed magically adding to the damage.. and she spilled blood.

Ki-amar jumped on the table next to the Orc and struck him with a Warlord’s favor. The favor went to Rastaputka, and Ki-amar slashed the orc with his greatsword. Xiel swung around behind tyro to flank the orc with Ki-amar. Dancing into a Blade Vault, Xiel backstabbed the Orc for 30, finally bloodying him. The Orc tried to shift out of the flank away from Tyro and Xiel, but Tyro’s mark granted him a Fighter’s combat challenge. Tyro attacked him as he shifted away, and cut him in the leg. The orc, now free of the flank, turned on the only adjacent enemy, Rastaputka. He struck her with his great axe. Mirthuvial deflected the blow, but it still bit into her leather armor. He swung at her again and missed, then swung again, but still missed as she adeptly maneuvered out of harm’s way.

Curia cast Phantom bolt which stuck the Orc, and pulled him back to his original position in a 4 person flank. Tyro took aim at the sliding Orc, and Crit’d the orc for 32. Rastaputka again struck with both of her swords. The orc missed with a reaction attack. Ki-amar Earthshocked, and the Orc fell dead, his brain shattered into mush by the Genasi’s Earth Power.

Level Up.

View
That's my bike punk... I mean sword...
Its baaaaaaaack.

Having captured Gendar alive, the Defenders of Khelb decided to interrogate him. They revived him from his unconscious state. When he came to, Ki-amar was the first to speak to him. “Why were following us?” Ki-amar asked.

Groggily Gendar replied, “I was ordered by my kin. The arch-mage of Merymedra sent us to kill you for foiling our plot to use the Golems as reinforcements.”

“Do you know where paldomar is now? “ Rastaputka inquired.

“No. We just know that you disrupted our plot. As I said, we’re merely here to kill you.”

“What did you need as proof?” Asked the Genasi.

Gender was an intelligent Drow, and had an inkling of hope that he might not be killed. “My word would be enough, if the other assassins were dead.” Rastaputka walked over to the unconscious Drow that had been caught up in Xiel’s trap and killed him. She turned back to Gendar and winked at him.

“What is your life worth to you,” the elf maiden asked.

“As much as yours is to you,” Gendar replied.

The party huddled together and discussed briefly a few ideas. When they made up their mind, the told Gendar, who nodded acceptingly that he would cooperate. The party bound Gendar’s wrists behind his back, and put a cloak on him to hide the bindings. Rastaputka puts her Hat of Disguise on Gendar’s head. He shifted his appearance to look like a human. The party walked back to 7 Pillars. Rastaputka travelled next to Gendar in order to pull off the hat if he decided to shift into a different, more troublesome appearance.

They made it back to 7 Pillars safely, and took up a room in their favorite (and the only) Inn. After six hours, the whole party was fully rested, with the exception of their prisoner who was tied up in an uncomfortable position during that time. After the party got their gear together to leave, Rastaputka asked “Which exit from town do you want to leave by?”

“The south.” Gendar replied. The adventurers headed out of the in and to the south exit of the town. When they arrived, Gender said “As thanks for my life, here is some information you may find useful.”

Gendar continued, “There is a mad dwarf, named Thaincardenas, that is wandering the labyrinth (the underground area around Seven Pillars). He’s got a rag tag band of miners with him. The dwarves of the silver-shield hall are after him because he killed one of them and stole a crown. There is a 500 gold reward for the crown and more if you return him alive. The rumor is that he’s starting his own Dwarven clan. There are also a bunch of krithik running around. It is said that in the palace of Zaandul, there is a statue of Bahamut that would be of archaeological significance to the mages. As you’ve seen from my store, I deal with relics. Nearby there is a blue dragon statue with Obsidian eyes. The hall has been looted, but the statue remains. Lastly, there are rumors that from time to time, there is an assassin that comes into town. He’s a shade, but he requires a human child as payment. Belendithas is the creature’s name.”

After receiving all the information that Gendar had to offer, Rastaputka took the Hat of Disguise. Gendar’s illusion of a human faded. She unbound his hands. “Well…. See you never” the Elf Maiden said. Gendar headed off into the darkness.

The party went back to the north tunnel to head to the Chamber of the Eye. The lichen in the tunnel started glowing dimly again. Rastputka determined that there was a pattern to the lichen’s glowing and dimming. There would be about 4-5 hours of light until things go dark again.

After 2.5 hours of hiking, the party made it to a door that was known to be the entrance to the Chamber of the Eye. This place was a ruined shrine. Along a long hallway, they group found an opening and walked inside. The group looked around for signs of the Duergar. They found tracks of dwarves and humans and orcs.

The room was about 30 feet wide by 60 deep. It appeared to be an antechamber. There were two statues next to a stairway on the right. At the top of the stairs was a door. There were heaps of rubble in the room. A balcony looked over the far side of the room from a height of 15 feet. The room appeared to have been used as an open shrine. The tracks led in and out through the door. They investigated the door. There is a symbol on the door. It had an eye carved into it which was a sign of Bahamut. It was also associated with Gonahaduar, the god of slime. Xiel looked for traps. He noticed that there was no lock/latch on this side of the door. Curia tried to detect magic but found nothing. Rastaputka heard muttering behind the door , but it sounded like it was not close to the door.

The party decided to climb up the balcony. Ki-amar tried to scramble up the balcony but fell off as his hand grabbed a loose stone. Rastaputka, who usually was quite adept at such activities, also slipped as she climbed, but adeptly rolled when she hit the ground, only scratching herself. Xiel made the climb to the balcony and dropped a rope. Curia ungracefully went up the rope, but got a little banged up as she ascended. She made some grunts and exclamations as she climbed the rope, but the noise didn’t appear to raise an alarm. As Tyro climbed the rop, Xiel heard something behind the small door to the right side of the balcony. Tyro scrambled onto the balcony, and Rastaputka was up the rope right behind him. Ki-amar moved next to the door in anticipation of something emerging.

The door opened and a Hobgoblin with a bow appeared. Curia had been waiting for the door to open, and she unleashed a Phantom bolt that blasted a critical in the hobgoblin’s chest. The psychic force of blow pulled the monster out of the doorway and onto the balcony.

Ki-amar performed a vicious quick Viper’s Strike at the Hobgoblin and sliced its arm open. The Hobgoblin yelled “intruders” and dropped his bow. It tried to shift back into the doorway. Ki-amar ’s attack allowed Rastaputka to take a quick attack, with which she bloodied the Hobgoblin. Rastaputka stepped in front of the doorway following the backpeddling Hobgoblin, envisioned the hobgoblin as her quarry, and swung with both of her swords and cut the Hobgoblin’s head off.

Xiel stepped past Rastaputka through the doorway, and saw down a staircase going down to the right. Off to his left, the passageway went deeper into the building. At the bottom of the stairs, Xiel saw a 25×25 room with 2 Duergar and a Hobgoblin with a bow.

Tyro ran past Rastaputka and Xiel, then down the stairs and charged the nearest Duergar, but the dark dwarf dodged Tyro’s swing. The hobgoblin shot Tyro with is bow, the arrow sank into his thigh. Curia moved from the balcony through the doorway to the top of the stairs behind Xiel. From her vantage point, she cast Incendiary Detonation, and blasted the room with a shockwave of force. All three of the monsters in room were wounded and knocked prone. Flames lingered.

Ki-amar moved down the stairway next to the Duergar deeper in the room and the Hobgoblin. With a mighty earthshock, Ki-amar blasted the two Duergar, the action granted Ki-amar temporary health. The Duergar next to Tyro was not wounded by the lingering flames. He stood, and unleashed his Infernal Wrath and swung his hammer at Tyro he blocked the blow with his shield. The other Duergar stood, raged, and swung his war hammer and hit Ki-amar on his shoulder.

Rastaputka moved down the stairs and attacked the Duergar standing next to Tyro. She stabbed the Duergar with her vicious rapier in her right hand, but missed with the Duelist Rapier in her left hand.

Xiel, from the top of the stairs, threw his dagger at the Duergar next to Tyro and Rastaputka. The dagger bloodied the Duergar. Xiel started moving down the stairs. Tyro shifted to his right and attempted a tide of Iron, but missed.

The hobgoblin was wounded by the lingering flames, then stood up, shifted back, and prepared his knocked his bow preparing to fire.

Ki-amar , shifted out of a flank and next to the Duergar, but the Infernal Rage allowed the Duergar to shift out of the new flank immediately. The dark dwarf was still attacked by Ki-amar though who nearly knocked the Duergar down. His attack gave the party a chance to shift into better positions.

The Duergar, started to attack Ki-amar , but this allowed Tyro to attack, and Tyro brought the Duergar down, gore pouring from the fatal wound. The remaining Duergar pulled out his poisonous spike, and threw it at Ki-amar , but the Genasi shrugged off the poison.

Battle continued.. but not for long.

After the battle….

The party rested for 5 minutes, and explored the room. The hobgoblin was carrying a key, which the party claimed and 17 gp, went into the handy Haversack. They could hear noise in the distance from the direction opposite of where they had come from. They decided not to investigate those noises yet.

The adventurers went back up the stairs that they and just come down, and went down the hallway that was the only unexplored direction on the second floor. It was only wide enough to walk single file. At the end of the hall was a door. Rastaputka listened at the door and heard a language that she didn’t recognize. She thought there were at least 3 different voices. She whispered the information back to the group, and Curia moved forward to listen because she knew more languages. Curia recognized it as Supernal. The voices were discussing their favorite ways to torture someone. She relayed this to group, quietly, then moved back to the end of the line. Rastaputka moved to the front again, Tyro behind her, followed by Ki-amar , Xiel, then Curia. The elf gently opened the door to peer inside. She saw two devilish creatures and a hobgoblin shaman.

Surprising the monsters, Rastaputka pounced… she shifted into the room, cut the shaman with her vicious rapier, then shifted between all 3 monsters and devastated the hobgoblin shaman with her duelist’s rapier, and bloodied the Shaman with a major score from shoulder to waist. Ki-amar charged in and further damaged the shaman who was so surprised by the adventures attack that he couldn’t react. Curia cast Phantom Bolt over the heads of her allies and struck the devil that she could see. The devil exploded.

Tyro advanced into the room, and from his spot, he could see down a hallway in the back of the room. In the hallway was a big bad orc with a yellow bandana. Tyro stopped at the entrance of the hallway and waited. Xiel moved into the room, and flanked the shaman with Rastaputka.

Tryo charged, screaming, down the hallway toward the Orc. The Orc with the yellow bandana dodged the blow. The Orc pulled out his great axe and swung at Tyro. Tyro ducked under the blow. Xiel attempted a Piercing attack on the shaman, and his dagger pierced the chest cavity of the Shaman and plunged into the shaman’s heart. Rastaputka turned on the remaining devil and swiped at it with her Duelist’s sword. When her blade struck the devil, it exploded into cinders. She then moved to the back of the room so she could see down the hallway.

Curia moved in front of Rastaputka and shot a Phantom Bolt down the hall, but it flew wildly high. Tyro did a tide of Iron, wounding the Orc with the Yellow Bandana and pushed him backward. As the orc moved back, it swung wildly but missed Tyro. Tyro fled backward to the room where his allies had just finished off the Shaman. The Orc charged down the hallway, when it came within range of Tyro, Tyro hit it and stopped its charge. The orc then shifted forward next to Curia. Tyro took another attack as the orc shifted and spilled more of the orc’s blood.

The orc took his great axe and slashed a massive wound down Curia’s chest. The wound forced a cry of pain and surprise from the Tiefling woman. Ki-amar knocked the Orc with the yellow bandana to the ground with an earth shock. With a warlord’s favor, Ki-amar hit the Orc on the ground, slashed open a bloody gash and granted Rastaputka a bonus on her next attack. Ki-amar took lightning damage from a quick reaction of the Orc.

Xiel shifted forward using a deft Blade Vault Maneuver, and bloodied the orc laying prone. Down the hallway, a Duergar appeared from a side room, and muttered an arcane phrase. A Quill Storm burst into the middle of the party. Everyone was hit by Fire-poison quills.

Rastaputka stepped forward and hit the prone Orc with both of her swords. She savaged the wearer of the yellow Bandana. The success of her her attack invoked the magic of her bracers causing the Orc, her quarry, even more pain. Curia, nearly dead, used her amulet of false life to gain some health. Then she took a second wind. Her wound magically healed itself to the point of not leaking any more blood, but she was still far from being perfectly healthy.

In the hallway, a red-headed Duergar female appeared, and came toward the party. When she reached her prone comrade (the orc), she attacked both Tyro and Xiel, and hit Tyro. The sword she was wielding shifted as she came down the hall from a long sword to a bastard sword. The sword looked familiar. It was Coulevar, the prize that the adventurers had been seeking.

Tyro healed himself, then attacked with a comeback strike at the female Duergar, but missed. The Orc stood up, healed itself, though still bloodied, and started an attack. Rastaputka interrupted his attack and stabbed the Orc in the kidney. The distraction was enough to allow Xiel to avoid the Orc’s attack.

Ki-amar , helped Curia heal, then attempted a Turning Point, but missed. Xiel took damage from the poison-fire quill then performed a Riposte strike on the Orc with the Yellow Bandana. As Xiel hit him, the Orc immediately retaliated with lightning from his axe, and knocked Xiel back.

The Duergar mage moved forward and took a stance behind the female, and Cursed the entire party. The whole party was blasted for 20 fear and psychic damage. As Ki-amar was knocked from the blast, the Orc hit him with his Axe. As Rastaputka was knocked backed, the Orc missed the elf maiden, as she somersaulted to gracefully avoid being hurt by the forced movement. Tyro’s forced movement provoked attacks from both the Orc with the Yellow Bandana, and the Female Duergar, but they both missed the stalwart dwarf.

Rastaputka stepped up to the Orc, and stepped into a Hunt’s End maneuver to try to finish the bloodied Orc. The Orc was able to deflect some of the damage, but still took a little damage. Upset with the attack’s minimal effect, she burned an action point, and attacked with both swords and her faithful Twin Strike and killed the orc. Curia cast Incindiary Detonation and knocked the female Duergar prone.

The Duergar female marked Rastaputka with an Aegis. She used a lightning lure on Ki-amar , but he was able to resist it. Tyro stepped forward in front of the female Duergar, took a defensive stance, but attacked and hit the female. He then healed himself.

Ki-amar used his warlord power to partially heal the entire party. Then he backed into the first hallway to stay out of range of magical effects from the Duergar mage. Xiel then stepped forward and attacked the female around the corner in the hallway, but missed. He spent an action point and hit the female Duergar. The duergar mage threw a quill at Xiel, and hit him. Xiel felt fire and poison damage. He then pulled another quill and threw it at Xiel, and hit him again.

Rastaputka stepped forward and attacked the Female around the corner of the hallway, but the duergar female blocked the first rapier, but not the second. More blood spilled to the floor.

Curia cast Scorching Burst followed immediately by a lightning bolt. The female Duergar was sizzled by the lightning, but the duergar mage behind her is was able to dodge the bolt.

The female duergar invoked the power of the sword, and blasted a lightning matrix. The blast only hit Tyro as the others were able to evade the attack. Tyro, hit her with a Passing Attack, and opened her belly. Her intestine poured out of the wound, and she fell. The sword dropped from her hand, and dimmed.

Ki-amar healed Xiel, then stepped forward to attack the Duergar mage. As he was about to hit the Duergar, the mage muttered something, then moved back as a devil manifested in the recently vacated spot. Ki-amar shifted his attack to the devil, but missed.

Xiel suffered a little more damage from the poison quill. He threw his dagger at the devil and the dagger vanished. The Duergar mage turned, fled down the hall and disappeared around a corner. Rastaputka activated her Elven Boots, and went after the dwarf. Just after turning the corner at the end of the hall, she emerged into a large room. It was about 30 feet to the opposite wall from where she was, and the room was about sixty or seventy feet wide. The entrance where she was standing, stood about twenty feet higher than the floor of the room below, a small five foot walkway went left and right. On her right, the walkway ended in a staircase along the wall which led down to the floor of the chamber. On the opposite wall she could see a matching ledge and staircase. On the floor of the chamber to her left, in the closed end of the chamber, was a large pit. In the center of the room, a gnome was chained to the floor. The gnome looked familiar. Fleeing down the stairs to her right, was the dwarf mage. Rastaputka charged down the stairs and swung her rapier. The Duergar, having the advantage of being short and on the lower steps, ducked under the swing. Curia ran to catch the Elf and Duergar. She cast Grease at the bottom of the stairs. Tyro ran, following as did Ki-amar .

Xiel ran to catch up and jumped from the doorway to the room floor twenty feet below. He landed gracefully as only a trained rogue can. As the Duergar moved to flee, Rastaputka missed with an opportunity attack. The Duergar entered the grease, and slipped. The Duergar flailed wildly and didn’t get very far. Rastaputka moved carefully through the grease and hit the Duergar with her vicious rapier, cutting him, but missed with her other rapier as she slipped a little in the grease. A scorching burst emanated from Curia’s palms, and hit the Duergar, but the dark dwarf was uninjured because of a racial immunity to fire. Tyro moved forward to the stairs, and ungracefully jumped off the steps, twisted his ankle, then moved toward the front doors of the chamber avoiding the grease. Ki-amar stop at the top of the steps, and carefully let himself down the over the ledge. He pulled out his javelin, and threw his javelin at the Duergar. The javelin flew across the room, but missed. When it hit the wall, it disappeared and reappeared in Ki-amar ’s hand.

Xiel hit the Duergar with a walking wounded attack. The Duergar fell prone. He stood up, and tried to flee, and Rastaputka hit him with her rapier. He moved ten feet and then fell over. Rastaputka followed him and hit him again, and drew more blood. Tyro stepped into a flank with Rastaputka and swung his axe, but missed the slippery Duergar.

Ki-amar moved and charged the Duergar. The Duergar was bloodied by the attack. “I surrender”, the dwarf said frantically, and held up his empty hands. Xiel attempted to knock him out, but was unable to knock him unconscious. His subduing attack wounded the Duergar. Feeling that he might not be taken alive, the Duergar swung is hammer into Xiel’s arm. Not wanting to drag things out, Ki-amar intimidated him to surrender and Xiel apoligzied for being an a-hole (in the Duergar’s opinion) and attacking a surrendering enemy.

View
Fun with Vendettas
Kharma is a 5 letter word.

After dropping their Duergar prisoner in their room upstairs, the adventurers went to the common room to eat. Curia showed up while the group was eating, and she had news for them.

Curia said that the mages stormed Peldomar’s place. They were able to establish a link between Peldomar and Gendar involving a plot with Merimedra. The mages pursued Peldomar, but he disappeared. They did find his laboratory. He had been creating amulets of control for the bronze golems that adventurers had found. The mages believed they scared him out of the area, but they remained on high alert. One of the mage leaders had recently disappeared. They found the body of the missing mage, and recovered the amulet of control from him. They also found a tribe of gnolls in a place which was consecrated for bahamut. They were trying to convert the temple to Vekna. The gnolls were in league with Peldomar. Gendar’s store was seized. The Duergar were banished for slaving with the Orcs.

The party updated Curia as to what happened in the bar and about how they captured their prisoner.

The party woke up the duergar prisoner. They act together to try to intimidate him with Ki-amar leading (and Tyro translates). The Duergar said he knows nothing about the disappearance of the Gnome. Word was that the duergar were kicked out because of an elven bitch, and he stared at Rastaputka with loathing. Rastaputka slapped him when the translation comes across from the Duergar’s dwarven to the common she understood. He said that his boss would know and Chamber of the Eye is where his boss is. Tyro asked about the magic weapon that Aramila dropped. He recalled seeing a sword that was brought back from the Horned Hall. He said “Kedira” received the longsword and would be at the Chamber of the Eye.

When the group was done interrogating their prisoner, Curia signaled her mage buddies to come and take the prisoner into custody. The adventurers decided to head to the Chamber of the Eye. They gathered their stuff, paid their bill, and headed into the town center. As they head to leave 7 pillars through one of the northern tunnels, Rastaputka noticed out of the corner of her eye a shadow moving, she felt that someone was following them. After they progressed down the tunnel a bit, Xiel and Rastaputka slip into rocky alcoves on the side of the tunnel, while the other three move forward with the light source, leaving them in the darkness. The 3 with the light got about 300 feet away while Xiel and Rastaputka waited. They tired of waiting, and stepped out of the edges with their lights unshuttered. With their lights now exposed, Ki-amar, Curia and Tyro come back to meet their stealthy allies. Together they searched the area and found some footpritnts that went right by Xiel’s hiding spot, but the prints returned back the way they came toward 7 pillars.

Xeil decided to set a noise trap in the corridor (skill challenge). Tyro and Ki-amar hung back to distract any possible pursuer while Rastaputka, Xiel, and Curia work to set a trap in a mushroom patch a little further down the tunnel. With the trap set, Rastaputka used her Hat of Disguise to give herself the appearance of a bladeling. Xiel and Rastaputka once again hid in crevases in the tunnel walls. The other 3 moved away down the tunnel pretending to be the whole party.

Xiel and Rastaputka heard a noise in the trap. Xiel showed his light and charged out. He saw a Drow prone in the trap. Xiel moved next to the Drow ,“What are you following us for?” he asked in Common. The Drow said nothing but stood up and started to flee.

Rastaputka changed her appearance from a Bladeling into a Drow and yelled, “We won’t hurt you, we can help you.” She moved about half the distance to him. The other three members started running back. Xiel dashed after the Drow and caught him. With his dagger, Xiel cut him. The Drow tried to flee againg. as he attempted to flee, Xiel struck (opportunity) and sliced him. Rastaputka sprinted a full sprint, then charged, and bloodied the Drow. Curia started to run back. Xiel sprinted next to Rastaputka and the Drow, and dove at the drow trying to tackle him. Xiel’s rugby league dive missed the Drow. The Drow tried to flee again, but Xiel, prone, attacked him and sliced his leg from behind. Rastaputka took the opportunity to knock the Drow out.

Just after knocking out the Drow, Rastapukta heard footsteps coming from the darkness in the direction of Seven Pillars. She covered her light and stepped into the shadows along the tunnel wall. She was a little surprised as Gendar appeared out of the darkness, and went straight toward Rastaputka. He covered her with darkfire, then struck her with his sword. She could feel an Aura of Dispair emanating from him. Curia and Tyro were still running back from their vanguard position.

Another Drow appeared and shot Rastaputka with a hand crossbow poisoning her and slowed her. Xiel stood up and threw a dagger at the new drow and hit him. Rastaputka tried to hit with Claws of the Griffon, but misses because of the poison. She shook off the poison. Gendar stepped next to Rastaputka and attacked her, she tried to do an immediate attack and missed with a 30 v AC. The despair wears offs, as did the darkfire as Gendar stepped back 10 feet.

Curia finally was within range and cast sleep. The sleep spell hit the Drow but not Gendar. Both of the Dark elves are slowed. The non-Gendar drow shot a crossbow at Curia. As the bolt was about to hit her, and she cast shield and deflected the bolt. The Drow failed the save against the sleep but only because of additional magic (orb of impenetrable escape) from Curia. The Drow fell unconscious.

Xiel moved toward the recently unconscious Drow, then threw daggers at him, severely wounding him. Rastaputka took a breath and did a second wind, after taking damage from Gendar’s previous attack. Gendar stepped forward to attack her, but she Weaved Through the Gray and stepped back. Gendar’s flail is huge though, and he hits her from distance and bloodied her.

Curia cast chain lighting, targeting the first unconscious drow, to try to bounce a chain lightning off of him but missed. The other Drow was still asleep/unconscious.

Ki-amar stepped up to the unconscious Drow and coup-de-grace’d him.

Rastaputka shifted next to Gendar and missed. Gendar shifted against the wall into a corner next to Rastaputka so that he couldn’t be flanked. Then he hit Rastaputka with his flail.

Curia stepped closer and cast cloud of daggers, in an attempt to flush gendar out of the corner. Gendar was hit, and stood in the cloud. Tyro charged Gendar next to Rastaputka and missed.

Xiel missed Gendar with a thrown dagger.

Ki-amar healed Rastaputka, then missed Gendar with a javelin.

Rastaputka missed with her swords, and tried to shift, but Gendar pulled her back and dazed her.

Gendar got hurt by the cloud of daggers, but still hit Rastaputka.

Curia cast another cloud of daggers (crit).

Tyro dropped his shield and grab Gendar. With his mighty strength he tried to pull Gendar out of the corner, but Gendar resisted the pull but not the grab.

Ki-amar moved next to Gendar (fully trapped by the three players) and attempted a White Raven Onslaught, and included Rastaputka so that if she hit Gendar, she could shift an ally.

Rastaputka tried to hit with a two-wolf pounce, missed, but she successfully shifted two squares away.

Gendar tried to shake of Tyro but failed, then swung his flail and hit the dwarf.

Curia tried to dispel Gendar’s Aura of Despair but failed.

Tryo dug deep and pulled Gendar back 10 feet out of the corner. Gendar was then next to Tyro and Rastaputka. Ki-amar stepped into a flank with Tyro, but missed with a warlord’s favor. He performed an earth shock, but failed.

Xiel stepped next Ki-amar, into a flank with Rastaputka, but missed.

Rastaputka hit Gendar with her main weapon and got a bonus from Ki-amar, but missed with her off hand.

Gendar shook off Tyro, then hit the dwarf with his flail.

Curia cast Icy Rays, but missed. Tyro took ongoing damage from the previous attack. He swung and missed with a 30.

Ki-amar knocked Gendar prone and bloodied him (Earth shock). Ki-amar then missed with a viper strike.

Rastaputka damaged Gendar with a miss with hunt’s end.( ½ damage )

Gendar hit Tyro with his flail.

Curia cast cloud of daggers, missed, but the cloud still appeared.

Tyro missed a crack the shell. Used unstoppable for more HP.

Ki-amar missed with a viper strike.

Rastaputka missed.

Gendar took 3 damage from the cloud of daggers. Tyro and Ki-amar both missed attacks of opportunity. Gendar attacked Tyro and hit.

Curia misses with a cloud of daggers.

Tyro, second wind. Sure strike, miss.

Ki-amar shifted to stop Gendar from being able to get into the corner again.

Xiel knocked Gendar unconscious from behind.

View
Learing how to NOT decapitate the enemy...
Trying to find the gnome.

Rastaputka disguised herself as a drow priestess and went into the bar. It was a loud tavern. Near the door were some Orcs and goblins. On the right, the serving bar ran most of the length of the wall. On the left side of the room were a bunch of tables and chairs. Some empty, some full. There was a performance platform near the back on the left, where normally arm wrestling and brawling took place. It was a seedy bar. In order to not draw attention to herself, she attempted to intimidate everyone. As she stepped further into the bar Rastaputka could here a few comments like “Drow Bitch”, but she entered otherwise unmolested. She moved near the end of the serving bar close to the stairs up to the second level, and the door to the kitchen.

Tyro and Xiel stood outside a near a window as Ki-amar entered a few minutes after Rastaputka. Ki-amar went in with his water-based form, but didn’t look very intimidating. A huge orc, sitting at a table with four friends, stood up and spit in front of Ki-amar, “Here’s my water bitch.” He snarled. Ki-amar punched the orc in the face. The orc fell to the floor, and his friends laughed at him and returned to their beers. The orc tried to rise but his friends held him back. Ki-amar just walked away and the orcs all started drinking again.

Xiel watched from the window and waited. Ki-amar and Rastaputka looked around the room, but nothing of note stood out, other than the flight of stairs up to the balcony about 15 feet above the main room. A few minutes after Ki-amar’s entrance, Tyro walked into the bar, also attempting to look intimidating. Some goblins made goblin based dwarf jokes about Tyro’s lineage. The goblins found the jokes to be the funniest things they’d ever heard, though no one else in the bar seemed to get them. Xiel followed in Tyro’s wake and inconspicuously hid in the corner by the door. One of the goblins stepped up and put its chest against Tyro’s. Tyro tried to strike the goblin, but missed. The goblins all reached for their weapons.

Xiel grabbed the goblin to the side of Tyro. He said in the goblin’s ear “Bad Idea”. The Goblin was really surprised having not seen Xiel standing there. The goblin in front of Tyro stepped back.

The innkeeper yelled “These are my customers. Leave them alone” at the goblins. They sat back down. Tyro and Xiel then headed to the bar. They got a couple of beers and walk over to an empty table in the middle of the bar. As Xiel finished his drink, he called the serving wench over, and inquired about a gnome.

“Yeah, I heard about a gnome. He didn’t come here, but he was spending money elsewhere. He had a story about being abducted by Duergar. It’s too bad he didn’t spend money here.” She glanced at the Duergar. Xiel slid her 10 gold. She made the money disappear. “I’ll see what I can find out.”

A male drow came down the stairs, next to Rastaputka and appeared confused. He blinked, and then Rastaputka noticed him using drow sign language, but she didn’t react in time. The drow pulled out a hand crossbow and shot Rastaputka in the gut. She felt the bite of the bolt and the sting of a poison.

Rastaputka attempted to retaliate, but the poison was giving her a little vertigo. She missed with both of her attacks, the drow easily deflecting them. The clamor in the bar was loud enough to mask the noises of the brewing conflict between the elves.

Ki-amar and Xiel saw the Drow engaging with their friend, but Tyro was looking at the wench’s voluptuous breats. For a dwarf, liking human breasts was a perversion, but that didn’t bother him. Xiel figured that something is wrong. He vaulted up out of his chair and scanned the room quickly. No one else seemed to notice anything yet, so Xiel moved toward Rastaputka trying not to attract notice. Ki-amar waited to see if anyone else was going to act. Tyro moved to the center of the bar, pulled out his javelin, and threw it at the Drow. Clearly, the art of subtlety wasn’t something that he had learned. However, accuracy was in Tyro’s repitoire. The javelin missed Rastaputka by a hair, but sank into the drow’s shoulder (crit). The javelin disappeared and reappeared back in Tyro’s hand.

The drow grabbed his rapier with the hand that wasn’t holding the hand crossbow and slashed Rastaputka. Again she felt the sting of poison, but it doesn’t stop the warrior maiden. Rastaputka hits with both of her magical rapiers, her quarry felt the damage from her attack magnified by the magical bracers on her forearms. Xiel moved next to Rastaputka then shifted around behind the drow into a flank, drews his dagger, and backstabbed the drow. The drow was bloodied.

The patrons finally realized something was going down. The golbins fighting on the stage (for entertainment) stopped and turned. A few dwarves moved to leave. Some humans in the back stood up and moved closer, though it was hard to tell if they were leaving or about to get involved. Ki-amar saw another drow up on the balcony above that looked down on the area below. The drow was taking aim toward Rastaputka with a crossbow. Ki-amar pulled out his magic javelin and hurled it javelin at the drow. He hit the drow in the leg between two railing supports. Ki-amar then tried to pretend he hadn’t done anything, but was noticed when his magic javelin reappeared in his hand.

A hobgoblin sitting at a table near Tyro, stepped behind him, and swung a flail and missed as Tyro duck. He had seen the movement of the Hobgoblin out of the corner of his eye. The goblins by the front door were still oblivious. Tyro switched to his axe and hit the hobgoblin with a massive swing and bloodied it.

The drow on the balcony changed targets and shot his crossbow at Ki-amar but missed. The goblins on stage sat down on the edge of the stage to watch the fight. More patrons moved to leave. The drunk orcs near the front door started singing.

The flanked drow (between Rastaputka and Xiel) shifted away and moved toward the back of the bar. Rastaputka was about to let him flee. She followed and with a savage Claws of the Griffon attack from behind and damaged the drow so much that his head fell from his body and still continued to take damage. The humans that had stood up earlier looked at the Elf ranger that just got drenched in blood by the decapitated corpse of the drow, and decided not to get involved in the fight. They moved to head toward the front of the bar. One of the two Duergar’s that were in the bar turned away from the goblins that were no longer fighting on the stage and saw Rastaputka. The first pulled a quill from his beard and threw it at Rastaputka. The bloodlusting elf dodged the quill, but wasn’t able to dodge the crossbow bolt that followed it. The Duergar scout disappeared.

A second hobglin near Tyro stood and attacked the dwarf, but he dodge the blow

The Orcs kept singing.

A goblin that had been watching the goblin fight on the stage, walked up to the former combatants that had stopped and sat down, and struck one of them with his fist. The three goblins started their own little skirmish on the stage.

The other Duergar in the bar, a Guard, moved behind Rastaputka. He threw a quill which hit her in the arm. She could feel that it was poisoned, but the magic of her armor drew out the poison

Ki-amar flowed through the tables and chairs in his water form, then coalesced next to the two Hobgoblins that had attacked Tyro. He Earth-shocked both hobgoblins. They both fall prone. The first died from the concussion of the attack. The second rolled away a bit, stood, and tried to get help from his other buddies. They weren’t having it. They pushed him next to Ki-amar as a sacrafice, and they fled. The goblins that had been sitting near the door that Tyro scuffled with, turned and moved closer to Tyro.

The humans that Rastaputka had intimidated ran toward the front exit. A serving wench came out of the kitchen saw what was going on, and screamed.

Tyro shifted forward next to Ki-amar and attacked the Hobgoblin that survived Ki-amar’s earth shock. Tyro knocked him unconscious instead of killing him. The Orcs continued to sing.

Rastaputka turned and attacked the Duergar guard. She hit with her vicious rapier but missed with the duelist rapier in her other hand. Xiel squeezed by the wench and attacked the Duergar guard from behind. The duergar was bloodied by the attack. Xiel’s provided a sneak attack bonus to the next person to attack the Duergar guard while having combat advantage.

The Duergar Scout reappeared, shot his crossbow at Rastaputka. Not seeing it coming, she was hit in the back. She was bloodied by the attack. The Duergar Guard enacted his “eternal flame” and started to glow. He shifted out of the flank with Xiel and hit the elf with his hammer. Rastaputka was close to death.

The goblins were fighting on stage. The Orcs singing got louder and it became apparent that they wanted more beer. Humans and dwarves near the front door continued to flee.

Ki-amar jumped over a table, moved toward the back of the bar. He healed Rastaputka, but missed with an attack at the Duergar Guard. Tyro moved a little further toward the back of the bar but then waited, watching for the Duergar Scout to reappear. The goblins on stage stopped fighting having seen Tyro, and start running toward him. Racial hatred runs deep.

The orcs are continued singing.

Rastaputka knocks out the Duergar Guard (instead of killing him). The party was still looking for information, and a Duergar prisoner might help.

Xiel went upstairs to find the other drow but didn’t see him. Open windows and a lack of patrons suggested to Xiel that many fled out the windows. The drow upstairs was gone.

Ki-amar put his sword to the throat of the unconscious Duergar and said “We don’t want to kill anyone, show yourself” hoping to draw out the invisible Duergar scout. Nothing happened.

Tyro looked and saw that the back door was open. The goblins from the front of the bar all change their mind about attacking and decided to flee. The troglodytes in the bar grabed their beer and fled. The goblins from the stage reengage each other.

Xiel came back downstairs and said that there was nothing up there. Rastaputka grabbed the unconscious guard and fled out the back door. Tyro, Xiel, and Ki-amar follow. The party fled into the city as the local constabulary approached the front of the bar. The adventurers worked their way back to the Halfling Inn. They got a room and managed to sneak the unconscious Duegar into the room without anyone in the common room being the wiser.

View
One for all, all for Gnome

After the battle, the party was able to take a short rest. The only thing of note during their rest was that the elevator gears started grinding, and the elevator starting to descend deeper into the gloom. Glowing mosses clinging to the cliff face provide a very small amount of illumination. In the distant haze, the dim glow of Duergar city continues to shine appearing almost as if it were floating in the darkness of the cavern.

A small thud echoed up from the bottom of the cliff. The elevator had reached the bottom. Rastaputka grabbed a shield from the pile of battle debris, and jammed it into the gears of the elevator’s mechanism. There was a winch at the bottom of the cliff that also operated the lift, but she felt confident that this could buy them some time to figure out what to do.

“So…”, She said. “We can send a note down there that says ‘give us the magic item you retrieved off of one of the invaders, and we’ll send down Murklemor’s Body’, since the body is clearly important to them. They did drag it here all the way from the Horned Hall. If they don’t, accept.. we can pee on the body and throw it off the ledge, destroy the lift’s mechanism, and then flee. I’m really not in favor of going down the elevator.”

Having recently joined the party, Curia wasn’t quite sure what the ‘magic item’ that Rastaputka mentioned was, “What magic item are you looking for?”.

“It is this special sword that used to talk. We think that it can direct us to the Crown and scepter that we’re looking for”.

“They took it?” Curia asked.

“Aramilia was carrying it when she died in the Horned Hall. We know that it’s not here, and there aren’t enough bodies here to account for the number of dwarves that we believed to be living at the Horned Hall. So it stands to reason that the sword is down there.” Rastaputka said as she pointed down the cliff.

“What about the Duergar outpost in Seven Pillars?” asked Curia

There was a collective silence from the rest of the group. Clearly they had not known that there was a Duergar outpost there. This new information meant that there was a chance that the sword didn’t come to the city, it may have gone to the outpost.

Ki-amar chimed in “You know.. I really don’t think we’re in any shape to fight anyone”

The party looked around at each other… they had been able to heal up fairly well during their short rest, but they group really needed a long rest. “All in favor of taking off?” asked Rastaputka.

It was ‘aye’ all around. Tyro walked up to the jammed lift mechanism, and with a hefty swing of his axe, he destroyed the mechanism. The weight of the ropes going down the cliff pulled on the crank mechanism which Tyro had just released from its mounting. The crank and ropes fell down the cliff and disappeared.

They collectively decided that the best way back would be to head back to the horned hall, while also looking for a place to rest for a few hours. They hiked back up tunnel that they had come down before the battle. After an hour of hiking back toward the Horned Hall, the group spots a defensible alcove large enough for them to all rest in. With Rastaputka sitting by the entrance watching, while doing her meditative recovery. A few hours into the rest, she notices that the underdark around them has grown darker. The mosses lining the caves have dimmed their phosphorous luminance to nothing, creating a pitch black womb for creatures of the Underdark.

Rastaputka sat in the darkness, her everburning torch strapped to her leg, covered. After about six hours had passed, she roused her companions, everyone feeling totally refreshed. They gathered up their gear, and departed the alcove.

During the trek back to the hall, the cavern they were heading down opened up in front of them a bit. At the edge of their torch light, they could see a mound of something in the center of the cavern. The party halted. “I’m going to take a look,” Xiel said. He quietly stalked forward a dozen feet. The mound was a carcass, and appeared to be a Rothe. Intermittent clicking sounds came from the corpse.

Xiel, back up!” Rastaputka whispered as loud as she dared. She didn’t want to disturb the creatures feasting on the carcass. He slowly acquiesced to the request, and returned to the party.

Curia chimed in her thoughts, “We could just head around the left edge of the cavern to get around this.”

Xiel said, “I don’t like the way this feels.” He reached into his pack and pulled out a sun rod. He cracked it, activating the magic within. Light flooded the cavern. The additional light revealed a pair of Hyena like creatures, on each side of the cavern, lurking.

“Let’s try to get through this without engaging the creatures. We’ve got better things to do,” Rastaputka suggested. The party stealthly moved around the carcass, not disturbing the stirge that were making the clicking noises as they ate the Rothe carcass. Then, through intimidation and illusion, the group were able to make progess through the cavern. Several more Hyena creatures showed up, but Curia was able to Mage-Hand pieces of the Rothe carcass toward the creatures at the edge of the cavern. This distracted the creatures enough that the party could escape.

The rest of the trip to the Horned Hall was uneventful, as was the short trek from there to Seven Pillars. Upon reaching the trading outpost of Seven Pillars, the party split up. “I have to go report to my superiors,” Curia informed them.

“We’ll meet you at the halfing’s inn” Ki-amar said to Curia. With an acceptance nod, she left.

“Time to upgrade,” Rastaputka said with a smile, and the group headed to Peldomar’s shop.

Having forgotten that the last time they were here, they were pretending to be slaves, the party just walked into the shop and acted as if they were old friends with Peldomar. As a drow, and thinking little of the other races, on top of the fact that he thought the adventurers were slaves, he was a bit confused.

“Where is your mistress?” He asked.

“She died, killed by Duegar.” Rastaputka responded.

“The Duergar? They just got forced out of here by the mages. They were exposed as slavers.” He said

“Yeah, that was us. We have some stuff to sell…” She replied.

“Errr.. What about the payment?” the shopkeeper asked, referring to the mysterious deal they had discussed the first time the group visited.

“Yeah.. don’t have that. Do you want some blacksmith gear?”

“What? Oh.. uhh.. no”, he responded. “Look, I’m going to have to close up shop soon.” With a bit of a hurry, Peldomar finished transactions with the party, then basically shoo’d them out of the shop. He locked up and disappeared into the darkness in Seven Pillars. The party headed over to the Halfling Inn to wait for Curia.

The Halfling Inn wasn’t the worst Inn they had been to, but it wasn’t the best either. Rastaputka smiled at the Inn Keeper and inquired about the gnome that the party had freed from the Horned Hall. “He’s staying here, rented one of nicest rooms. He likes to talk. He was talking about the Duergar slavers the moment he showed up. That is how the Mages found out, and why they made the Duergar leave.”

“Have you seen him recently?” she asked.

“Not for a few hours.” The Inn-keeper’s wife said. Rastaputka nodded a thanks and returned to her friends and told them about her conversation. She, Xiel, and Tyro decided to take a walk around town to see if they could learn more. Ki-amar decided to wait for Curia and relax.

The trio left the halfing-inn. Rastaputka remembered the little Kolbolds that provided them with information their first time through, so she led them down to the teleportation ring in the center of town. At the base of the natural rock pedestal that served as the teleportation circle, a little shanty kobold village existed in the natural cracks in the rock. At the approach of Rastaputka and her friends, a small group of Kobolds came forward.

It took a little bribery, but the Kobolds said that they had seen the gnome, and that he was the cause of the duergar’s being forced out. They said they didn’t know where he was, so Rastaputka gave them a bit more money to let her know if they could discover more. The little reptilian leader also warned the elf and her friends that they were in danger.

Xiel, Tyro, and Rastaputka returned to the Halfling-inn to wait with Ki-amar for Curia’s return. Finally, the tiefling wizard showed up. Curia shared some information with the group. Essentially, the mages controlling Seven Pillars were burying the issue of the Rogue wizard in bureaucracy. Curia believed the danger was more immediate. The party discussed it and told Curia that they would put their greater goal on hold and help her with her rogue mage problem if Curia would enchant a number of items that the group had recently purchased from Peldomar. Rastaputka also remembered (finally), to tell Curia about the Drow plot to steal the secret of the brass golems.

Curia collected the various items that needed enchanting and returned to the mystery home of the mages to perform the various rituals needed. Just after she left, motion at one of the windows to the inn caught Rastaputka’s eye. A little kobold was jumping up into view. Rastaputka stood and went outside to meet the little creature. The kobold said that they discovered what had happened to the gnome. The Duergar had hired some thugs to apparently kill the gnome. However, instead of just killing him and dumping the body in the street, the gnome disappeared. The kobolds said that the responsible party could be found at the shady tavern in the southwest corner of Seven Pillars.

Rastaputka thanked the kobold (with gold), and went back into the Inn to tell the others what she had just learned. As much as they wanted to just dive into a fight, Rastaputka only had one sword, Ki-amar and Tyro were barefoot, and Xiel only had a few weapons. The group rationalized that since the gnome had been missing for so long, he was either dead, or bait. If he was dead, then there was nothing to do, but if he was bait, then he would likely be kept alive long enough for Curia to return. So the party waited.

Curia finally returned bearing the items for the party. The group thanked her greatly, and updated her about the situation with the gnome. The party prepared to go discover the fate of the gnome. Unfortunately, the tiefling said she’d have to go back to and speak to the mages again. Duty before fun.

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Getting the Jump....
The party catches the fleeing Duergar

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.

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Catching up with the Duergar

In the Minotaur Hall, the adventurers found notes about each minotaur statue annotated by Peldomar. The notes were marked by us to match up with the minotaur the note was in front of. The group decided to head back to the Horned Hold to clear out the Duergar.

After the walk from the Minotaur Hall to the Horned Hall, Rastaputka listened at the trap door, and hearing nothing, signaled the group to enter the room. As the party climbed up the ladder and into the room, shapes formed in the darkness. 2 Minotaur skeletons, and a wight creeped out of the gloom. A dagger thrown by Xiel passes through the wight and the wight disappears. Tyro charged the closest skeleton, hitting it and it shattered, spending splinters of bone everywhere. He noticed that the larger pieces of bone had been scarred by his axe before. Rastaputka ran around behind the 2nd skeleton that had advanced on Ki-amar. Flanking, Rastaputka swung her sword with a sneak attack and demolished the 2nd skeleton.

The group started discussing how easy the creatures were to kill, and what to do next. While in the huddle, a wight floated out of the darkness. Tyro attacked and missed.. Kialmar, aiding his buddy, attacked and missed as well. Xiel stepped up to the side of the wight and missed with a dagger strike. A second wight came out of the darkness and attempted to claw at Rastaputka, but she deftly steped aside. She struck back and as her blade struck the wight… it disappeared. The first wight, though surrounded, attempted a strike and missed. Curia cast a cloud of daggers at the wight and making it disappear.

The party was bored and decided to head back through the secret passages to the pit room where the prisoners were originally found. All of the dead prisoners including Aramila were piled near the large double doors, their gear missing. Murklemor’s body was gone, but his guards’ bodies still lay there. The party advanced to the guard room, seeking Duergar to kill, but found it empty. The back door lazily hung open. Rastaputka went to the back door and pulled it shut, dropping the locking bar in place. More exploration revealed that the initial tower has been cleared out. Anything of value was missing.

The party found the double doors to the SE tower swinging open as well. They gathered around the door and discussed what to do. Exploration of the other two towers revealed abandonment. Odds and ends valued at 25gp were found.

Rastaputka suggested the group try to catch the Dwarves to retrieve the sword Mirthuvial. Curia led the party down what he believed to be a shortcut ( using his dungeoneering skills ) and got the group lost. Trying to recover, Tyro tried to push the group with his endurance, and managed to get the group even more lost. The little guy wasn’t paying much attention (finding it hard enough just to breath while running, silly dwarf), and he charged the group into a cavern inhabited by Stirge. The first stirge dove at Tyro and was deflected by his shield. The stirge looked like a cross between bat and a mosquito, about the size of a cat. Rastaputka marking it as her quarry, ran around behind the stirge and swung each of her swords hitting it twice and bloodying it. Ki-amar advanced to the side of the stirge and cut the Stirge in two.

Buzzing sounds continued and Xiel heared a serpert skin rattling on stone. Xiel, advancing into the cavern saw two creatures, one a larger version of the other. They were large wormlike creatures with octopus-like beaks, foul Gricks. Xiel, harnessing his Chi, scored a critical hit against against the smaller Grick with a thrown dagger. A tentatcle fell off of the grick. The small grick wormed its way behind Xiel. The larger Grick charged Xiel and latched on with his tentacles. Xiel anticipated that the tentacle would continue to hurt.

From the back of the group, Curia cast an Icy Rays Spell at the two gricks. The first attack missed the larger grick, sailing wide, but the second Icy Ray hit the smaller grick, immobilizing it. A third small grick, clinging to the wall, squiggled past xiel and attacked Rastaputka. She was struck by the monster’s tentacle attack. Tyro charged the larger grick, but while running past the smaller Grick that attack Rastapuka, he was struck by another tentacle making his arm bleed. He barrelled into the larger grick causing it pain and sending purplish grick blood splattering across the wall. He knocked the Grick back five feet, and Xiel stuck in the Alpha grick’s tentacles, is shifted back with the with the monster.

A stirge flew past the the large grick toward Tyro. Xiel, seeing it flying by, swung at the strige making it bleed as his dagger sliced flesh. The stirge flies into tryo, but causes no damage. Rastaputka stabbed at the grick on the wall next to her, her blade sinking in causing purple gore to drip out. Her off-hand sword hit as well, but didn’t pierce the thick hide of the creature.

Ki-mar advanced on the small grick that was behind xiel, and blasted it with an earth shock. The strength of the attack empowered Ki-amar with extra health. Xiel wiggled his way out of the large Grick’s tentacle and then backed away. Xiel empowered an ally to sneak attack the large Grick on their next attack. The immobilized small grick turns on Ki-amar and snapped its beak at him slicing his leg.

From the back row, Curia threw a magic lightning bolt at the large Grick. Purple gore sizzled as Curia’s bolt, enforced by Xiel’s sneak attack bonus, scorched its flesh. The lighting bolt arced and zapped both of the smaller gricks as well, causing the air to fill with the foul stench of more burning Grick flesh.

The small grick clinging to the wall turned away from Rastaputka and attacked Tyro from behind, flanking him. Its flailing tentacles missed Tyro. Tryo, ignoring the small grick focused his attack on the large grick that was grabbing him. His wounds from the grasping tentacles hurt him further as they don’t relent. Tyro, performed a healing surge, and then tried to break free of the tentacle. He managed to get free and to shift backwards away from large grick. He backed up, burned an action point and swung at the small grick on the wall, but missed. The stirge dove at Tyro again and missed.

Rastaputka swung her main sword at the grick on the wall, causing more purlpish blood to spray out. Her other sword failed to draw blood. Ki-amar dealt a surprise attack on grick next to him, and his power enabled Rastaputka to surprise attack the grick hanging from the wall. Her vicious sword slashed across the grick’s flesh, causing it to be bloodied.

Swinging around beside Ki-amar, Xiel attacked the grick on the floor, making the creature scream out in pain. The large grick reached out toward Tyro for a reached attack, but missed the little hairy peck.

From the nose-bleed seats, Curia launched a fireball toward the melee. He crit’d the fireball, and scorched the Large grick, the small grick on the floor, and the stirge. The stirge was fried and falls to the ground. The grick clinging to the wall still flanking Tyro, bit him on the shoulder with its beak. Tyro bashed the grick on the wall pushing it higher on the wall out of a flanking position.

With a Dire Wolverine Strike, Rastaputka savaged to the two smaller gricks bringing them even closer to death. The small grick on the ground was struck again by the Warlord Ki-amar. An inspiring word from Ki-amar healed Tyro to his max health. Xiel then moved into a flanking position on the grick on the floor, and plunged his dagger into the brain stem of the small grick finally killing it.

The large Alpha-grick reached out at Xiel for a tentacle attack, and missed him. It crawled forward next to xiel. Curia flunng a cloud of daggers at the small grick on the wall attempting to dice the smaller worm-like beast, another squeal of pain is heard. Blood drips down the wall. As the small grick shifted down the wall to get into an attacking position, Tyro slaughtered the beast and it squished to the floor, dead.

Tyro was wounded by the ongoing grasp of the large grick, but still managed to step forward and swing at the alpha-grick, slicing it. Rastaputka stepped into range of the large grick an attempted a Hunt’s End. Her vicious blade sliced through the large Grick’s hide as more purple blood poured to the floor. Ki-amar stepped forward as well, damaging the mighty beast. Xeil attempted to daze the grick but failed. The remaining alpha-grick, a lone creature fighting the band of heroes shifted back to get away from the adventurers’ blades. As the creature shifted away, Tyro swung his mighty mighty axe severing the beasts tentacles finally killing the monster.

After the battle, the adventurers found the corpse of a human. The corpse had a torn robe (non magical) and 2 potions of healing. As much fun as the diversion was, the party attempted to catch the duergar again. Rastaputka got the group back on track with a perception check. With an athletics check, Ki-amar helped Tyro lead the party onward with his Dwarven endurance check. Xiel aided with a dungeoneering check that Curia succeeded with. Then Rastaputka succeeded with her perception to bring the party closer. Working together, the team, with their dungeoneering teamwork confirm they are on track. With their mad skills, the group managed to find the duergar that fled the fortress.

Within site of the deurgar city, the Adventurers catch up to the duergar.

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