The battle of the Gate Chamber

Switch runs past me handing over the key, with the dragon in pursuit, and continues over to the other orb in order to pick the lock ahead of me unlocking it.

Tol tries to draw the dragon’s attention away from me with a splintering shot Archer has I disarm the second gate and flee its wrath.

As I disarm the gate I can feel arcane cogs wheeling slowly into action as the gate to the plane of fire start to close. I can also feel that this action may enable me to recover some of spells as a by product of the activity. Good news! It appears that Volvagia can also feel the arcane powers starting to close the gate. His roar is one mixed with anger and pain.Gate chamber

Memnnon and Kathra are batting away at the annoying sparks of flame. Memnnon does notice however that when he wipes one out that Volvagia appears to strengthen and heal from the dismissal of this spark.

Kathra tires of batting the flames and with a very feminine leap crosses the gap from the orb island and rushes down to engage the dragon, which has turned around and struck Memnnon with its claw, removing his fire resistance. Kathra arrives just in time to be the recipient of its fiery breath attack along with Memnnon.

Then with the heavy beating of wings Volvagia takes to the air in pursuit of Switch again. It is during this flight that I notice that Volvagia is not a strong flier, for he lands again after a short hop.

Meanwhile Tol has taken advantage of the departure of the dragon to leg it across the bridge towards the fourth orb. As he does so he is pursued by the flaming sparks all the way up to the fourth orb-gate. Memnnon recovers from the shock of having his fireproofing stripped away from and goes off to assist Tol with the last gate.

Switch is quickly and calmly working on the lock of the third portal, as the dragon eyes him and me up. I shout at it that the mighty warrior wizard Tol is going to shut down the gate in an effort to distract Volvagia. I also fire a pitiful ray of frost at the beast both of which have no effect whatsoever. Volvagia actual

Switch’s lock picking is getting more frantic as Volvagia lands on the island next to him. I shout to Switch to hang on as I’m on my way, at the same time Switch anticipates Volvagia’s lunge and ducks behind the orb as the dragon’s head snakes past a hair’s breadth away.

Kathra and I are in pursuit and trying to distract the scaly beast with our arcane and martial powers as Switch finally picks the lock and then desperately tries to shut the gate himself. Unfortunately there is a surge of arcane fire from the orb as punishment for dabbling in things he doesn’t understand. There is also an increased flow of lava around the chamber and more of the fiery spark creatures fly out through the gate. They have now started to attack the party.

The dragon again tries to take a lump out of switch and another hammer whirls over its head. This time it grabs Switch in its jaws and it is only through Switch’s dextrous wriggling he escapes in one piece.

Across the chamber Tol wipes the sweat from his forehead as he concentrates on the orb and focuses his foresters mind around tings he doesn’t understand. His reward is a burst of raging fire from the orb and another perceptible rise in the level of the lava. Tol steps aside from the orb to allow Memnnon the opportunity.

As Kathra and I close on Volvagia, I concentrate my mind and connect with the mighty beast, I mentally convince Volvagia that he is beset by a swarm of icy stinging wintery bees. This is big enough of a distraction that Switch is able to leap off the island and to safety. He is bleeding from a number of puncture wounds and I can see the relief on his face that he is out of the range of those crunching jaws. However he has done his job in unlocking the orb so I can now get to the island and close the gate.

I now face the rather daunting prospect of closing the gate right under the very jaws that have been scissoring on Switch….. eeek! I’m not sure I can do that. At that very moment Volvagia turns around and backs onto the island a bit more as Kathra comes to attack him. She receives a nasty bite in return for her daring. Horaay for Kathra, as she has distracted Volvagia in such a way that I may be able to jump across onto the island and unlock the gate…hmmm, still under the nose of the beast.

Then there is a simultaneous roar of triumph from our infernal colleague and one of pain and frustration from Volvagia. He whips his head around to glare across the chamber at Memnnon who is giving him the bird. Only one part of the gate remains. Volvgia suddenly rears up and disappears into the lava.

With a bit more time to concentrate, I manage to trip over my robes as I try to valiantly leap across the lava to the final orb. I give a terrified scream as I pitch into the lava.

I drag myself out of the lava onto the island, the red shirt having saved me from all fire damage. Lava ain’t that hot I mutter as I move over to concentrate on the orb.

Kathra starts cleaving the sparky lights into little shreds.

Suddenly…Surprise, surprise..! Volvagia bursts out of the lava and flys up to the ceiling, causing the floor to open large cracks behind Kathra with lava bubbling up, making the ground uncrossable. In addition The burst of lava has splashed Kathra and I and solidified so rapidly we are unable to move. However this is the least of my worries at the moment, as I concentrate on the orb.

Tol and Memnnon are moving back to the bridge. Tol nocks an arrow as he moves across the bridge, hitting with his first shot, the other bounces off the dragon’s scales.

I ignore everything around me and concentrate my powers on the orb, shutting the gate down – Ozzie yeeeeahh, freeing myself from the lava and moving my Bigby’s hand to grasp the dragon if it comes closer. We now have a chance.

There is a bubbling sound and an eruption of lava, as I successfully close the last of the locks holding the gate. A shimmering sphere appears on the high island in the middle of the lake of lava. Ohhh no – more swimming in lava for me I suspect.

The eruption of lava broke the bridge and where it once was, there is now a large whirlpool.

Volvagia looks different since coming out of the lava. He is no longer damaged and doesn’t appear to have a permanent aura of poisonous gas around him. His tactics have also changed. He is now bashing himself up against the roof of the chamber, knocking down large chunks of rock which are falling on top of us and making terrain difficult to cross.

I recall what the Gareb dhur said about the locking mechanism. This final orb is a safety valve, and must also be turned off to completely shut the gate. I notice that the level of the lava has started to drop. I could wait until it drops enough to walk over to the island, but I don’t think we’ve got that much time. Where is Grushenka? Where is the pitfiend leader? Both must realise something is up and be coming to get us? No time to lose then.

So hitching up my still smouldering skirts I again make a brave running jump across the lava….and again I stumble and plunge into the lava. Woe is me, why can’t the dextrous athletic lot do this and I’ll concentrate on my books and spells?

Fortunately the lava is very shallow here and I am able to get up and wade onto the island.

To be continued….

A video of Volvagia……


Guardians at the Gate
opps I fell off.... again

Scythe bladesStanding at the entrance to the large room as the scythe blades go back and forwards. I drop a storm pillar in to cause the blades damage. Tol’s twin strike bounces off the closest set of mixer blades which immediately change direction and cut through the storm pillar to a massive explosion of sparks as it the lightning flashes collide with the spinning blades.

Kathra fronts up and takes the first hit from the blades. We can hear the other one moving towards us. Kathra’s first blow glances off the blades, before she shifts aside for Switch to strike a mighty blow with his sword which causes it to start clinking and clunking.
Memnnon asks for Halav to shine a divine glow on the battle. The searing light causes more clunking from the blades. My Ray of Frost connects and slows the creature as it moves into the space available. The now frosty blades then take a direct hit from Kathra causing bits to fly in all directions as it flies apart, with a large burst, most of the party are hit by a piece of the spinning shrapnel.

Switch engages the other scythe blade with his bow and sinks an arrow into the heart of the contraption. Memnnon’s daunting light also strikes again. I drop a second storm pillar at the same time the blades stop whirling.

After a short rest we all try to climb up the ledge where the guardians are located. Our ace climber, Switch, falls off the first, which doesn’t do my confidence any good and I fall off near the top and land on the floor in a heap at the bottom.

When the guys get to the top, there is a general movement by the guardians toe to secure the door. This sudden movement causes Switch to fall off the wall again. Despite my best intentions Switch refuses my offers of assistance before executing a dazzling leap and swing to the top of the ledge. I take a more mundane route up the rope Kathra has let down for me.

As i climb the rope I instruct the others, who are keen to try their keys out, to pay close attention to the mechanisms when they stick the keys in and see how they work, for it will be important if we are to disarm the last one. Tol moves, presents the key and puts it into the guardian, which has moved its arm aside to display a keyhole. Warforged construct Tol, for once listens to my advice and notes very closely how the key works. Memnnon moves up to his guardian and unlocks his, which when unlocked it moves to the side, opening the way to the door behind it.

Switch unlocks his, noting that we can take the keys out of the guardians with no adverse affect as to whether they are on or off. We agree that we should take the keys as it would be horrendous to return and find that the guardians have been re activiated!

This leaves one guardian to disarm. We agree that switch will sneak to open the door, Ozzie will then twist of space the creature, if it tries to attack him. However it all goes wrong as switch moves past the creature, it smites him with a large hammer Tol fires a disruptive strike which hits the creature, but my twist of space fails. Switch continues past and opens the door to see a short corridor opening into a large room. The guardian doesn’t try to continue the attack so I opt for plan B.

Plan B: I drop a winged horde onto the creature which prevents it from attacking us to get past as it flails against the imaginary foe I have created for it. We all charge past the guardian and into the room.

Enter the Dragon
"I'm not finished with you...' WHUMP!

The ceiling arches 60-70 feet above, it is very hot. There are little flames dancing around in the air. In the centre are fountains of lava swirling up. We are on a ledge about 10 feet above the rest of. The fountains are vortexes to the elemental plane of fire. The spheres are each in shiny metal stand and must be the key to the gates\ vortexes. Switch notices that one side is more likely to be affected by the rising lava.

The cavern

Kathra and Tol put ropes in case we need to make a quick escape. We all move along, except before Kathra moves all of the will of the wisps start moving toward the party, and they just flit around Kathra, who follows on. I do a quick revision of portals and opening rituals from the book of the gate as Switch and Tol jump off the side off the side of the cliff. The wispy things keep coming out of the vortex. Switch realises that these creatures a lighting them up for a ranged enemy. Kathra goes down the rope. Suddenly the dragon Volvagia erupts out of the lava next to Switch and breathes fire at me, Tol and Switch. As this occurs I shield the blast and note details about how the monster looks. The creature appears to be of rock and lava and is surrounded by an aura of poisonous gas. Eeeeek!

Memnnon casually saunters into the fray and casts a gleaming shield of divine faith against it. Switch shifts out and fires a back stab sight down the throat of the dragon, as he does this I also I shift away from the dragon, and join Tol running away.
I’m heading off to the orb calling to Memnnon to come along with the key. When I get to the orb I can sees that the orb has a key hole. Meanwhile Kathra moves past Switch and heads off to the island with the orb matching her key. She does a mighty run to jump across onto the island, where she deftly inserts the key unlocks it, concentrates very hard on what little magic training she has picked up from me and her own innate natural ability and to her own surprise closes this part of the gate. Unfortunately her joy at doing this means she misses her footing and falls into the lava.

Memnnon locks eyes with the dragon, which enrages it enough for it to move out of the lava and swipe at Memnnon with a claw. This mighty swipe misses – mainly due to a timely shot from Tol. Memnnon then issues a divine challenge against Volvagia, smiting the dragon with his mace and calling down the daunting light of his god.
Switch sprints past Memnnon collecting the key on the way past and heads off towards me. As I wait for the key I study the orb and see that I can’t do a tying until it has been unlocked, without a key it I suspect that Switch could probably unlock it, but to secure the gate needs my powers of arcane – or Kathra’s (perhaps I should take her under my wing and teach her some cantrips – she might find Mage Hand useful?).

I look up to see where Switch is and all I can see is Volvagia taking to the skies after Switch. I am so shocked that all my giant frosty hand can do is wave the dragon through as it dives to bite Switch, who squeals in terror as he bravely dodges the beast’s claws. Behind him I can hear Memnnon shouting “I’m not finished with you yet” as he charges after it and striking at its tail.

In which Tol tries a Bulrush

We race through the chambers pushed rapidly by the Galeb dhur. We are pulled up short, as there is an unexpected large gap in the hole up ahead. The iron plating is buckled and broken. Tol checks out the ground underneath to make sure it is safe. Tol notices that there are a large number of gaps. Several of the iron plats have been eaten, most likely a rust monster.

I ask the Gareb Dhur how they deal with the rust monsters and learn that they herd them with wooden sticks into cages. I also learn that it’s only 5 mins to the chasm and that wood is considered important to the Galeb dhur as it is rare for them.

We decide to go on and get a low down description of the final chamber. There was a large square room with a large stair case leading down. This is above where we met the zombies. There were rising rooms going to the middle room and then another going right down to the bottom.

On further questioning we learn that there will be two spinning blades, and that the chamber door should be unlocked. The chamber of traps links to all the floors. He goes on to tell us that in the large cavern the is a lake of fire, with four sets of gates, which are normally manipulated by some form of arcane magic.

We head off to the rift and see four beastman bodies on the ground. We all think they are likely to be zombies, so we cautiously walk towards the bodies.
Kathra notices that the the beastman has been gashed quite badly and has been predated by something form of fire creature. I warn all that there may be a predator around. And keep an eye out for the other corridors in case we are attacked from that direction. The corridors to the south turn towards each other.

We have a long discussion about the bodies when we get up to them and they haven’t animated, and then Tol pushes the bodies off the edge into the lava, and notices that we need to be careful on the edge.
Switch and tol put together a rope bridge, which they estimate they will need to go up 20 feet, across 60 feet and then down 20 feet. They set about “Macguivering” a set of swings and rope to get across. Whilst Memnnon and I keep them covered and watch out for bad guys.

“There is something coming up shouts” Memnnon, as three long fire worms,(Mag tails), crawl up and over the edge of the lava. Memnnon moves back shouting they are hot, beware of getting too close.Magtail

Kathra charges in and tries to tide of iron, but her flail misses.
Tol bravely bulrushes one of the Mag-tails to try and push it back over the edge. His charge is good enough to push it over and back into the lava. As he does so he slips and lands heavily on the edge section of floor, which slides him over the edge of the cliff. Kathra desperately tries to grab him as he slides off, but misses. Switch also leaps to the rescue, catches Tol and heroically lifts him back onto solid ground.
I move back getting out of the way before getting the eye of storms out and using orbmasters detonation to slow them down, changing the damage to lightning rather than fire which they are obviously immune to. My attack knocks one down, whilst the other scuttles over to Memnnon and shrieks at him before trying to bite him. The cry deafens Memnnon and the creatures bite dents his armour. The other one wriggles before getting up and scuttling towards Tol.
Memnnon calls down one of the most beautiful blasts of daunting light that Ozzie has seen in a long time, which strikes to the heart of other Mag-Tail.
Kathra piles in to Mag-Tail facing Memnnon and hits it hard. Tol crawls away from the edge, before shooting one with his bow. The arrow strikes true and the Mag-Tail folds itself into a ball and shifts towards its comrade, taking some more damage from the lightning frazzling on the floor.

I then teleport and slow the two creatures back towards the edge, with the aim of pushing them back over the edge into the Lava. The other then moves to attack Kathra again who is in range, hitting her and damaging her armour. The second one moves slowly over to attack Kathra.

Kathra shifts into between the two mag tails and swings wildly, missing both of them, but her back swing kills one of them and hits the other. Tol maintains his prone position and fires another twin strike at the mag tail, causing it to bleed profusely, before he crawls over to the edge to look down the level. He can see the other Mag-Tail starting to crawl back up. My ray of frost misses, whilst I maintain my concentration on maintaining one of the Mag-Tail’s slowed state.

The Mag-Tail bites Kathra again, as Memnnon moves over to clobber the fiery worm, hurting it and healing Kathra. Kathra smashes her hammer against its hard caprice, cracking it.
Tol gets up and fires a volley of arrows at the remaining Mag-Tail between Kathra and Memnnon, which kills it.

Switch heads over to the edge, leans over and fires arrows over at the remaining Mag-Tail which is still climbing up. His shot flies true causing the creature to peel off the wall and tumble back into the lava.Lava

We make some great tricks and get across the rift, before route marching for an hour and half down the corridor, ignoring any turnings as we head down.

We eventually arrive at a door, which we presume is the door to the rising room. Kathra opens the door and we are prepared for combat. There is a loud clunk, but the door doesn’t open. I can hear some rushing and crunching of something coming closer, we assume this is the rising room, a few clanks later the door opens.
There is a doorway opposite, no safety door. The floor isn’t solid, it is slightly moving in the shaft it is in. It appears to be slightly magnetic. As we close the door there are lots of clunking noises and we start descending. As we go down we start to pick up the whiff of sulphur, which gets stronger as we go down.

The room opens into a large multi levelled area. At the far end there are four rather odd looking statues. These must be the guardians. They are all up on the raised area. In front of them whizzing backwards and forwards are the two spinning blades, which obviously haven’t been disarmed yet.

As we watch we see jets of steam shoot up through the floor.

What to do? Suggest we discuss some of the ideas in the comments before the next game?

Ozzie’s thoughts are:

1. Ray of Frost the two spinning blades to allow Switch and Tol across to the otherside and up onto where the guardians are. then repeat for the rest of the party to get across.
2. Switch to examine the keys we have and see how we disarm the guardians we have keys for, before trying to pick the lock of the fourth guardian. Ozzie to assist if there is an arcane component.
3. Before opening the door to the chamber, all to don the red fire proof clothing.

Who Goes There
I'mmmmm back!

The battle continues, Kathra in her grabbed state smites the grasping construct but is unable to connect with any force.
The Beamos continue to track around the room. Memnnon takes his chances and charges through the room past the Beamos and the grasping construct which drops Kathra to bite Memnnon. This is a lucky break, allowing Kathra to force her way out, breaking the hinge of the construct and rendering it useless. Memnnon continues through to Tol’s rescue.

Switch is glancing around him in fear, shouting that he is surrounded by fire, we can see nothing…. The wraith must have cast a spell on him. He shifts out of his space and screams in agony and slaps himself saying put me out, put me out as he heads out and stabs the wraith before moving away and continues to put out his imaginary fire.

I move away from the wraith threatening me from the wall and drop in a storm pillar, summon my Mage hand and get out the book of fire. The ghostly wraith moves away towards Switch.Storm pillar

The main wraith turns to face Memnnon, brings it hands together and smashes Memnnon with a burst of fire, which knocks him over, where he is attacked by the biting construct. Kathra charges to Memnnon’s rescue, moving so fast that the fire that is burning around her goes out.

Memnnon gets up and heals himself, moves past the construct to Tol’s side. Once there he quickly pours a healing potion down Tol’s throat which brings the feisty ranger around round. Tol lifts up the key triumphantly as Memnnon twirls his mace and returns nonchalantly to the battle, calling out that the wraith will be drawing strength from the characters on fire. At the same moment Switch finally stops patting himself, draws a deep breath and charges the wraith again.

I am now in a position to let loose the orb masters detonation, which takes out the small wraith and knocks over the big wraith, although it promptly gets up – but it’s not looking very happy. It demonstrates this by screaming out its rage and pain, causing both Kathra and Switch shake their heads in pain. At the end of its howl the wraith suddenly disappears and reappears a short distance away. It’s teleported! Hmmm didn’t know that. I wonder how often they can do that?

The remaining construct moves over and bites Switch, grabbing him. Switch screams and loses consciousness. Kathra moves over to the wraith and smites it with a reckless strike, which really hurts the wraith. I launch winged horde which misses the construct, but hits the wraith, causing it to explode in a final painful burst of fire which covers Kathra.

Construct  jawsAs Switch has gone all limp and dead-like, the construct drops switch and moves towards Memnnon, grabbing him in its metal jaws. Kathra is paralysed with a similar look of fear to Switch, most likely from the psychic burn of the wraith’s departure.

Tol gets up and shouts “I’m back,” before releasing a wildly ineffective twin strike on the construct and shouting a healing word for Switch. Switch comes around from Tol’s gleeful healing call, as Memnnon wriggles free of the jaws of the construct, scrambling away from it, before hitting it with a lance of faith.
Memnnon releases righteous anger3This remaining Scythe Jaw, is still able to do a lot of damage and can move quite swiftly. I can see that all my friends are bleeding profusely and are almost done from this battle. I need to slow the construct down and allow us to finish it off without taking any more damage. So I move up and fire a chilling ray of frost at the construct, which becomes covered in an icy white sheen, which also slows it down. It still moves up and tries to bite switch but misses. I yell at everyone to keep at least 20 feet away from the Scythe Jaws and they will be safe. Tol fires a two fanged strike at it before moving out of range of the construct. Memnnon, who is still on the floor crawls out of range of the creature, shouting I’m alright, I ’m alright!
I concentrate on sustaining the frosty slowing effect on the construct, as it moves toward Memnnon, who gets up and calls down daunting light on the creature. Arrows fly around and off the creature. I fire another ray of frost at it again which continues to slow it but not enough to prevent it getting to Memnnon, and again grabbing him. Kathra retaliates by throwing two hammers in rapid succession at it hitting in the joints and finally dismembering it.

The entire party sink to the floor in exhaustion.

It is agreed that we will rest here, as we are in no state to move on and take on another battle of any description. We search the room. I hand the eye of illumination back to Memnnon. Memnnon notes that the wraith had undergone massive trauma, burning, and had been horrendously tortured and so died insane.

Ozzie takes first watch. Nothing happens until Switch’s watch, when he hears a sound, of the opening of the door where we came in. Switch cries everyone to arms, Kathra wakes with a start and shouts friend or foe, and I illuminate the eye of storms. Who goes there?

It turns out that Gor liggs has sent down someone to see how we are getting on. The young Gareb dhur is shocked to hear about our battle, and understands out predicament, but reminds us that Gor liggs is less patient, but he does have something to help us get across the gap.

We tell the young Gareb Dhur we’ll rendezvous with Gor Liggs in the Crushing room in two hours. Which we duly do and are able to pick up a third key.

It is good to note that there is now about 12 Gareb Dhur.. Following Gor Liggs instruction they place a large piece of Galcite under some of the sleds. This he says will enable the sleds to be moved at great pace pushed by his Gareb Dhur. He also loans us two pairs of iron boots and tells us that in most places there are Galcite veins which being magnetic will hold our weight and enable us to walk along walls and the roof in these metal boots. We then take a swift passage to the chasm, pushed by the Gareb dhur.

The Overseer's Room
Radiant Eye Damage

Switch stabs the Gouger and causes it to start bleeding profusely. Tol gets up sheaths his bow, gets his axe and sword out and sinks both weapons deep into the side of the monster. The other Far Fang shoots at Kathra before fleeing down the corridor.

Beyond the noise of the battle I can hear a rumbling coming down the corridor and warn the others that there is something rumbling down the corridor. The Gouger turns and swipes at Tol taking another chunk out of him.

Switch strikes another telling blow of the Gauger, killing it before peering down the corridor to see two Gareb dhur rolling rapidly down the corridor. Gor Liggs and some other Gareb dhur roll in and finish off a beastman in the hammers. I head over to the corner to see if any survive where they had been held prisoner – none do

Lava river Gor liggs says the levels of lava are rising alarmingly and the gate needs to closed off to save the caverns. It is likely that the lava will overflow in the next day and a half. He says we should look for Gord Oro and Gord Runia who are the other two supervisors who hold the remaining keys. He goes onto remind us that each key will individually disarm one of the guardians.

We decide to carry on to the gate chamber via the overseers rooms and send Go Liggs to the Control Room to disarm the other traps ahead of us.

Before departing we search the bodies of the beastmen and find on one of the leaders 6 carved/ moulded platinum discs of portraits of great value, which we give back to Gor liggs.

Kathra also gives Gor liggs the rust potion to throw at the slicer that is patrolling the corridor outside the Control room. We then head off to the overseers room.

As we head off Tol offers to teach Switch some new tactics, primarily focused around staying away from the centre of the battle
As we head down the corridor Switch notices patches of fresh blood which very quickly heads off west at the first opportunity.

5 minutes later we arrive at a door to the Overseers room. Tol listens at the door and Switch checks for a trap; he doesn’t think there is one.
Opening the door we see that the room is dimly lit and quite large in front of us are two contraptions with red glowing eyes. Laser eye defence Strewn around the floor in front of the edifices are several bodies, which look like beastmen. In the walls are abstracts and paintings of various Galeb dhur.
We spend some time studying the defences…In 30 seconds the defences do a full turn, Ozzie studies the defence and works out it s guardian trap which may have a control panel which could slow down the defence. There is at least one dead Galeb dhur lying on the ground. We decide to test the traps by moving Mage Hand through the room on its own, then with a beastman head, nothing happens with the Mage Hand, but with the head the eye tracks the head and then fires a beam of radiant light.
Kathra volunteers to take a hit from the eyes as Tol runs through. Switch reckons they will target anything in a blast area. I will also use the Hag head as a distraction for the other eye.
I put the hags head into the beam which starts lasering the hags head, as Kathra moves through with the key and is not attacked by the defences. Tol runs through the defences and into the sleeping area to find several bodies of badly burned Galeb dhur, he looks for the keys and other stuff, but doesn’t find anything else.

Suddenly the eye swings around and strikes Kathra with a nasty blast.

Tol finally identifies one of the bodies as an overseer, but rising out of it is a ghostly spirit, it opens it mouth, screams mournfully and punches Tol with its ghostly fist, knocking Tol backwards and onto the floor.Gareb dhur wraith There is another noise as some metal doors slide open and out of the curtains come a set of construct teeth, one of which tries to bite Tol but he manages to hit it first putting it off its chomp. The other construct heads out towards us.

Kathra swipes at the machine before fleeing back to the door. Tol looks more closely at the ghost of the overseer which has the key, He also sees a broken knotted cord near the overseers body and shouts that he may have found a key, before getting up and hitting the construct attacking him with his sword.

Memnnon hands the Eye of Illumination to me as I ready my orb masters detonation.

The wraith moves up and pummels Tol again and pushes him away again, Tol yields ground as the Construct moves after him, causing its jaws clang shut on empty space as Tol moves away. The other set of jaws get damaged by a lance of faith, move in to bite me and hold me in a grab. Construct  jawsThis forces me to change my plan from using orb masters detonation to remove the large number of wraiths that are rising out of various bodies and moving towards us. I struggle to escape both with physical means and by an arcane teleport, but I fail and the Jaws close tighter. At least I can activate the aura of the eye of illumination, which the wraiths don’t like. Kathra then cleaves the construct, hitting it hard, marking it as her hammer goes through it, her back swing dispatching a wraith with a single blow – it disappears in a cloud of necrotic fire.

Tol meanwhile is gamely getting back up to hit the chompy construct with ackeris and then runs over to where he thinks the key is. Switch leaps through the defences to assist Tol as I am squeezed tighter by the construct, which tries to drag me into the range of the eye defences. As Switch dashes to Tol’s aid the other construct finally catches Tol. Switch shouts at the wraith to distract it – which succeeds as it gestures at Switch causing him to burst into a necrotic fire and slide back towards the range of the eye defences.

Memnnon takes a hit from one of the wraiths and snarls his infernal wrath at which causes it to explode and disappear.
Kathra notes that the eyes haven’t tracked onto her, implying that that the first 5 feet inside the door is safe from the eye beams. As she shouts this information she smacks the construct causing a spurt of oil to spray me. This is enough to enable me to wriggle out of the jaws as Kathra again lands a blow from her hammer on the jaws. These now turn their full attention to her and slipping through her defences grab her in their metal grasp.

We hear a strangled scream from Tol before he passes out from the pain of the jaws chewing on him. AS his body goes limp the Jaws release him to the floor with a thud before turning and going after Switch who has slid around the side of the Wraith and landed a mighty backstab. Switch however suddenly feels like he is in the middle of a furnace and it isn’t safe to go outside of the area he is in…as the Jaws go after him.
Memnnon leans over and touches my arm saying a quiet calming prayer to Halav and heals most of my wounds from the Construct’s nasty teeth, he then smites another Wraith, sending it back to where it belongs.

Gosh. Tol is down, Kathra is in the grip of the Construct, Switch is stuck in the furnace and Memnnon and I are pinned down by the radiant eye defences. Must remember that when we are in rooms with bodies, they will generally get up as either zombies, wraiths or some other form of undead! Always count the number of adversaries we are going to have before entering and area of bodies!!!!

The pounding of hammers
crunch, crunch, crunch

Switch deftly manoeuvres around his adversary and strikes him in the back as he moves further into the room, pursued by the blood caller, who screams loudly, shifts and screams again – a horrible call which affects the minds of Switch and Memnnon, pulling Switch closer to the archers so they can get a better shot at him.

Out of the corner of my eye I see a jaunty pink feather enter the room followed by the double quick twang of a bow string as Tol’stwin strike connects with the damaged demon caller taking it out of the game.
Archer h
One of the Far Fangs moves out of the cloud and shoots a huge wodge of arrows at Kathra, striking her and splintering. The other one moves out of the cloud and fires at Tol and Switch, they both move to dodge the fusillade, although some still hits Tol.
I again reposition the stinking cloud over the archers to prevent them firing, before launching a ray of frost against one of the blood callers.

Kathra’s opponent nips her lightly in the neck, whilst another steps up to bite Bal Goro and rips out a large piece of flesh causing a lot of damage to the rock man.
Kathra cleaves with her hammer hitting both of her opponents, before back swinging and again striking her adversary again. A couple of mighty blows.

Bal Goro sets off on his now trademark skittles roll and knocks a beastman over, thumps his fists down on another and throws it towards the stinking clouds. It quickly recovers and targets Kathra with a gesture, but before it can cause any damage its concentration is disrupted by Tol’s arrows striking it in the chest. The demon eye still manages to emit a loud hyena like laugh which dazes Kathra and calls all his allies closer into the battle. Another of the bloodied beastmen tries to take a lump out of Kathra, before shifting away pulling Kathra towards the roiling green cloud. She resists before entering the cloud. Stinking cloud

Tol twin strikes the big bad beastman with his first shot, but it only takes a light blow in the shoulder, so he turns and tends to Switch’s wound before reloading and again shooting the big beastman, killing it. As it collapses a faint black cloud of essence escapes it and flows into one of the others. A strange thing to happen, it appears to imbue the essence of the leader into this new beastmen.

Switch deftly dodges a barrage or arrows but Memnnon is not so lucky. I reposition the stinking cloud back over the archers and then let loose my orb masters detonation on the remaining beastmen knocking most of them over with the blast, as one of the archers staggers out of the cloud and swipes wildly at Tol missing. The cloud is starting to cause them a lot of pain and agony, but isn’t killing them fast enough as they keep coming back!!

One of the beastmen gets up and charges Ozzie to bite him. Eeek! Another gets up and nips Switch. Kathra is still wandering aimlessly around the battlefield, but manages to get into the zone of consecration and marks the big guy as she clears her head and reinforces her challenge. Bal Goro rolls through the enemy and then knocks over the beastman challenging me and punching it hard. The leader again laughs its hyenas laugh which summons the pack to it before shifting away and throwing a cloud of darkness at Switch, which misses but dazes Switch, who stumbles over to the bad guy and trys to backstab it, but in his stupor fumbles badly, his luck is not with him today..
Tol fast draws Ackeris and then tries a hit and run on his opponent, but misses with the sword blow and is only able to shift a short distance. Across the room a Far Fang fires wildly on his first shot before hitting Kathra with another damaging barrage. The other Far Fang moves back to get a better shot at Tol, connecting on its second shot.
Memnnon intones a prayer and floods the area with a divine light, which weakens the enemy and strengthens the party, he then heals himself.
I move past the prone beastman, as well as moving the cloud back over the archers before launching winged horde which affects two more of them, and I shout at the beastman against Tol, which distracts it enough for Tol to move out of range. But one of the huntmaster beastmen draws its bow and shoots Tol. He is not looking well, there are several arrows and broken hafts protruding from everywhere.
The Gouger stands up and bites savagely, which leaves Bal Goro very badly wounded. Kathra heals herself and makes a passing attack at the one behind her before shifting and hitting another one next to her. Bal Goro flails weakly at his assailant before moving over to next Memnnon.

The leader cackles again, before shifting away from switch, and instructing its troops to get the weak ones. His howl weakens a number of the party and the gouger flails wildly at Bal Goro. Switch shakes off his dazedness and then moves swiftly around the leaders back and stabs deep into it causing blood to spurt out profusely. A beastman bites at me, but I duck out of the way. Tol puts Ackeris away with amazing speed, loads and fires at the leader, his arrow sinking deep into its side.
Another arrow comes whizzing from the far side of the room, which I fend off with my arcane shield, a second arrow is also foiled by the shield. Memnnon lays a hand on Bal Goro, miraculously healing him, before charging the leader, cracking its skull, killing it. Memnnon then dramatically turns and sweeps the room with his mace, searching for a new target for Halav’s wrath.

I am bravely holding my ground, concentrating on keeping my flying cloud of poison going and launching a shroud of flames in a large area around to try and burn away the last of our enemies, as well as trying to fend off the attention of a slavering beastman in front of me…urrgh.

One of the badly injured archers shoots Tol and retreats down the corridor. The arrow takes Tol in the throat and he goes down unconscious.

Bal Goro rolls across the battle field knocking two of the enemy over and then smacking the beastman next to me. Switch takes advantage of this by dashing in and stabbing the prone beastman. The beastman next to me screams its rage as it shifts away and pulls me toward the cloud, I manage to resist before being pulled into the cloud.

Another cloud of arrows flies in, striking Switch, as another Beastman under the cover of the fusillade sneaks in and hits Switch. I flee over behind Bal Goro before moving the cloud over the bad guys. Bal Goro takes out a Huntmaster, breaking its back. Switch ambushes the Gouger which is intent on killing Tol, who is still unconscious, but misses. A sickly beastman charges out of the cloud, with evil intent and scores a telling blow across the side of my head and all around me goes black…….

I open my eyes to find a bloodied and dying beastman slumped across me and a roaring Memnnon standing triumphantly over us both. There is the deadly swish of large arrows in flight, followed by a the sickening thud as they strike deep into our brave ally, Bal Goro , I watch in horror as he gurgles his last breath and goes down for the last time.
Is this the last stand of the heroes of Winterhaven I wonder? I’m badly hurt Bal Goro is dead, Memnnon is still standing, but is bloodied, Switch is looking pretty bashed up as does Kathra, Tol is unconscious…. oh, no he is not. Tol has come around and is reaching for his sword with a determined look on his face. Kathra is charging an archer, swinging wildly – more in the hope to distract it than to connect, Switch sinks his little sword into the Gouger again. Perhaps all is not lost I think dazedly, there appear to be more furry toothy bodies on the ground than when I last looked.

Over behind us the hammers start pounding, causing a deafening sound. Tol swipes at the creatures from the ground. The Far Fang tries to escape Kathra but she connects with her hammer. The other Far Fangs are retreating out the door. Memnnon moves over to the Gouger and smites with a righteous wrath. I drag my sorry carcass off the floor and concentrate on stopping the Far Fang’s escaping to fight another day by sending an angry ray of frost across the floor at the retreating Far Fangs, hitting one and slowing it down enough for Kathra to bull rush it and give it another taste of her hammer, which kills it.

Two left, the hammers are pounding, who started them up? Are there any Galeb Dhur left in the room? Is this fight nearly over?

Enter the Fray
The Crushing Room battle

Memnnon releases righteous anger3
27th Sviftmont
We all awake early and ready ourselves quickly to head off to the Crushing room. It was a unanimous decision to go and clear out the beastmen and the fiend before going to the control room.
However getting to the crushing room isn’t easy. The most direct way is down a long corridor which provides a clear line for shooting arrows and enabling the enemy to barricade us into the corridor, that we are all reluctant to do so.

Switch scouts forward to see if there is anything he can do but retreats back when he sees a beastman in the room. Bal Goro says there is another way in which goes past the control room and would take about 30 minutes to get to.

A long discussion ensues as to who should go where and how. About 40 minutes later we agree to send Tol and Switch past the control room to the other entrance to sneak in and cause havoc while everyone else charges up the corridor….. Or that’s what I thought we agreed.

We get to the top of the stairs leading to the control room and Switch and Tol sneak off. Half way down the corridor Tol kicks something causing a noise. This is responded to by a sound coming from the other end of the corridor – oh no we’ve been rumbled. I try to conjure a mouse to scuttle down the other way, as the other two sneak as fast as they can around the corner.

As they do so a large metallic creature hove’s around the other corner. Bal Goro says its a Leveller, one of the tunnelling machines. It continues to move towards us. I suddenly realise that it is now a defensive measure and must have been triggered by the sound, as Bal Goro is wondering aloud what it is doing up here and then commenting that it is also used as a last ditch defensive measure to protect the control room.

I am desperately pulling and hissing at my companions to come away from the path of the Leveller and get away from it as they all patiently listen to Bal Goro’s musings!!!

We manage to avoid triggering an attack from the creature as we head back to the crushing room. In the distance the hammers are working again. As we go I wonder about who has triggered the defence and how we go about untriggering it. Have some Gareb Dhur locked themselves in the control room and triggered the defences? Or is there some other more nefarious forces at work. Something to think about for later!

As we come down the corridor we discuss what the plan is, unfortunately it changes so many times that none of us can remember who was supposed to go first! Another great tactical plan out the window then!

However we hear a commotion in the control room, which means Switch and Tol have engaged, Tally ho. Memnnon charges down the corridor with the rest of the party trailing behind. I drop a storm pillar in the front of us to prevent the bad guys from blocking the corridor, as Kathra and Bal Goro surge past and into the room.

Memnnon grunts as one of the large arrows glances off his shoulder, the shooter however catches fire from Memnnon’s infernal wrath, which puts it off its second shot at Switch. A second one leaps down and fires at Kathra hitting her and Bal Goro with a second shot.

Memnnon angrily charges one of the creatures, striking with his mace. I move further down the corridor and drop stinking cloud on the archers at the end of the crushing machine.

The beastly archers are currently firing arrows wildly around the room, obviously providing covering fire as bursting out of the cloud is a taller beastman. Kathra now moves in against the blood caller, the one battling Memnnon. Bal Goro goes rolling across the floor knocking over two of the beastmen like skittles, before moving over to the other blood caller, punching it hard in the mouth, which causes it to fly across the room and land prone. Way to go!

Get an eyeful of this!
What the Demon Eye saw

Whilst the more martial of my colleagues clean their weapons, I prepare myself to delve into the secrets of the Demon Eye Beastman and do an object reading. I prepare myself mentally and sprinkle some residuum over the beastman’s head before grabbing it by the ears and peering into its lifeless eyes.Demon eye head

There is a moment of disjointed vision and then I find myself looking back out of the creature’s eyes across a desolate upland valley high in the mountains, not unlike the black mountains we are now in. So this is where the Beastman have come from. Did they ever leave Traldaria? Or did they just cross the border and settle there?

As I ponder on this, the scene becomes all misty and for a while there is nothing, before the scene changes to a dark smoky night. The scene is filled with Beastmen of all shapes and sizes, sitting around several bonfires of varying sizes. The closest one is the largest and in front of it is a very large beastman with a cloak on. It is holding a conversation with a hag – more than likely Grishenka. They are bargaining or discussing some form of arrangement or partnership. The body language is interesting; the big beastman believes that he is superior to Grishenka, whereas Grishenka knows she is superior to the beastman. There must be over 200 beastmen camping or living here. Interestingly Grishenka appears to be on her own – a good indication of her level of confidence.

Beastmen3The scene changes again to a room somewhere on this level. I can tell because of the metallic walls. It is a large chamber with a couple of shelves and alcoves leading to rooms off it. in the centre of the room are two very large hammers. This must be the crushing room! The scene shows a large beastman – the one negotiating with Grishenka – throwing a Gareb Dhur down onto the ground under the hammers to be crushed. The image is awful. Another thing catches my attention, the cloak the large beastman is wearing isn’t a cloak at all but, …no they can’t be! The cloak is actually large batlike wings. I look closer, the beastman leader is actually a fiend of some kind. What sort I can’t be sure, but a fiend nonetheless. It would appear that there are also around a dozen beastmen in this room.

Again the scene changes to another view of the room, this time to a smaller room where the Demon Eye is pulling a terrified Galeb Dhur out of a holding room. It is difficult to see how many Galeb dhur are in the room, but there is at least one other in there.

I let go of the Demon Eye’s head as the ritual finishes and shake my head to clear it of the foul thoughts and images.

Memnnon and I discuss what sort of fiend might be leading the Beastmen, but don’t come up with much more, other than that some fiends are nasty and can be negotiated with and other fiends are really nasty and can’t be negotiated with.

I take first watch after dinner and all is quiet until the third watch which is Switch’s, when there is an almighty boom boom, boom. The beastmen have started the crusher up again. It is fairly certain that they are crushing Galeb Dhur, which angers all of us; however common sense prevails in charging in there with the state of powers being very low after 4 battles today. the sounds stop 10 minutes later and we go back to sleep.

Tomorrow revenge.

The battle of the impassioned cleric

We search the bodies and find a range of coins, gold, silver electrum, which all amounts to 400 gp. The coins are quite old, I check out the coins for their historical significance and note that some of them are over 200 years old, which is slightly unusual. I’d expect to find a few but not the amount we have found here.

Tol and I discuss the antiquity of the coins as we also recall the beastmen’s language being mainly of demonic origin, but that they had some phrases of traldarian. Their origin is a bit of a mystery. Memnnon says this is the first sighting of beastmen for over 2’000 years. He is shaken and very concerned as to where they have come from also. Memnnon also recalls that the beastmen departed Traldar lands, but not how! The hyenas are more than likely from the desert lands of ylarum to the north.

We cut a Demon Eye’s head off, salt it and put it in the bag of holding, an object reading when we stop for the night is in order

We decide to check out the corridors to see if there is anything down there. Bal Goro says if we go east we’ll find a couple of larders for food, the corridor goes down to some spare rooms for resting in. To the west the corridor continues for about 30 mins before joining near the overseers room, the crushing floor and a route to the control room.

It is agreed to go to the larders, Ozzie picks up the blast patch from up the corridor. Tol takes point and heads off down the corridor. The corridor is dimly lit.

The first door doesn’t have a keyhole in it, Tol notices that there is some blood, an unpleasant odour and rock crystals on the floor. Tol sneaks onto the next door. There is more smashed up food on the floor as he goes down the corridor, and beastman footprints and. A bloody beastman handprint in the south door, Tol goes and listens at the corner. We can see Tol fiddling with the red fireproof coat and then peaking around the corner before coming back to the party and reporting.

Following his summary we go down to the first door and get Bal Goro to open the door, Memnnon and I cover the corridor. The door opens onto a storage room, with a liberal coating of Galeb dhur food. There is a large barrel leaking stuff and some smelly sacks and a troglodyte spiked onto the wall. The room is pleasantly cool which is unusual, there is an arcane power keeping the room cool.

Ozzie looks in the sacks and finds a range of animals, which would be found in the mountains from higher up and a haunch of beastman, which is strange. This implies some form of planning from the beastmen for their travelling, as well as a level of cannibalism. The barrel is some kind of sour alcohol, although I can also detect that unfortunately a very fine whiskey had been added to this gunk. I resist trying it though. Hyenas

We head down to the next room; Memnnon goes to the corner to cover. I cover the corridor we’ve come down.
There is a wail of horror from Bal Goro as we discover a gouged out body of a Galeb dhur and various beastman food here.
We collect some Galeb dhur food, although much has been deliberately destroyed.
Memnnon, who has been covering the corner, notices movement in the dim light and some low hyena noises. There are several things moving around.
The corridor is too long to try anything to distract them so we resolve to sneak down the corridor as far as we can and then charge them.

We sneak, not so quietly down the corridor, but there is no response except for a low growl.
I have my stinking cloud ready at the first sign of trouble…. then the first archer appears. He is quickly engulfed in a green roiling think noxious cloud and begins choking, and I am delighted to hear that there is at least one other creature taking damage in the cloud. Kathra moves down the corridor and sees two hyenas as Tol’s arrows fly past her, one of which hits Kathra’s hammer, the second arrow taking catching the hyena in the throat, killing it instantly.

The remaining hyena leaps at Kathra, but a third arrow from Tol takes it out mid leap. Memnnon has been itching to get into the battle and now he does, charging into the room and finding two more beastmen, with large blood encrusted talons and dried blood around their mouths – Blood Caller Beastmen. Switch moves down to support. Bal Goro rolls in and attacks one of the Blood caller’s with a mighty punch which puts it on the floor prone. It gets up snarling and howling in anger. The second one bounces over to Memnnon opening welts down the side of his neck, Memnnon reacts angrily and the creature is burnt by his infernal wrath. I move up and move the cloud over the blood talon beastman. An archer appears over on the north side, with a smaller lighter bow and fires at Switch, who is lucky as the shot flies over his head. Kathra flinches as the bowman from the cloud appears at the end of the corridor. Tol moves up and lets looses at it after Kathra charges it and lands a crushing blow. She is then bitten hard on the ankles by a hyena as another comes down the other corridor.

Memnnon marks the enemy, but misses with his flaming mace. Switch moves around to flank the one facing Memnnon striking deep into its back, causing it to howl in agony. A howl cut short as Bal Goro rolls and shuts it up with a deadly punch, which kills it.

The other Blood caller staggers out of the cloud, snarling to mark Bal Goro and Memnnon, the evilness emanating causes them pain, it then clenches its fist and shifts three squares before forcing Bal Goro to do the same.

I cast a storm pillar to stop the hyena, sustaining the cloud as I move it over the Blood caller. This also prevents the archer from having line of sight for his next shot – Riadorn would be pleased.

Kathra is being nipped at by the hyena and the beastman archer. Tol moves up the corridor and fires at the hyena and archer coming down the opposite corridor to Kathra, missing the hyena with his first shot which hits the archer, his second shot also misses. Meanwhile Kathra cleaves a mighty blow through both her enemies killing them.

Memnnon moves into the storm pillar and calls down the daunting light of Halav, which is a bit dim and doesn’t affect the remaining archer.

The Blood caller shifts out of the cloud and is smacked by Switch who was waiting for it and with two swift blows weakens it further. It snarls and spits at Switch and then gestures with its claws to drag Bal Goro back into the cloud. I move the cloud away from Bal Goro and back onto the Blood caller, before moving up to get a better view down the corridor. Tol dispatches the hyena and moves down the corridor with Memnnon racing past to cast his lance of faith, but stumbles as he casts the lance. Kathra lobs two hammers into the cloud disappearing, whilst Ozzie looks on in disbelief. Switch moves over to the archer and backstabs the remaining archer. A hiss of dying breath comes from the Blood caller in the cloud. The battle is over.

The party discusses what’s next as blades are cleaned and hammers wiped of pulped flesh. The party sets up a watch and defences and takes a well earned rest. There will still be time to get to the control room in time after a sleep. It is expected that the control room will be occupied by the enemy.

Before settling down for the night Ozzie cast an identify object on one of the Beastmen to determine where they have come from and what they have been doing to get here. (CHRIS DM?)

During his watch Ozzie reflects on the battle tactics, in particular his use of the stinking cloud. There is no doubt that its use controlled the battle field restricting the enemy archers from have a free field of fire, however the positioning of it on two occasions limited Kathra and Switch as to what their options might be. Something to think about.

He also reflects on the feeling that the Eye of Illumination and the Eye of Storms
created about wanting to be together. There has been no noticeable benefit in having them on the same person at the same time, other than in Ozzie’s case in particular it allows him to change the damage type of his powers. The radiant option being particularly useful against the undead.


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