Marpenoth 28th, 1372 DR The Year of Wild Magic
The Horned Hold: Northern Fortress
Having gained access to the first bastion in the Horned Hold the party secures the immediate area and has a little look around; mindful of the fact that only a room away awaits an ambush. You determine that apart from the double doors leading south to what seems to be a forge and a single door leading south from what appears to be the bastions water supply room that there are no other obvious ways to proceed. The party decides on a plan of action and firstly spikes up the door leading from the water room to delay any flanking moves by the occupants and leaving Happy to keep an eye on the door.
In the meantime Sneezy prepares an unseen servant ritual that will carry a dead orc, made to look alive while Cymbalta opens one of the double doors and uses sensing eye as Sneezy moves the orc inside. The ruse doesn’t seem to work as the orc is instantly riddled with bolts from several locations. The plan had been for some of the defenders to follow the orc back out into your own ambush, still it was better the orc than you to be a pin cushion. Cymbaltas sensing eye showed the defenders to be well prepared and mostly under cover making them hard to see. A few of the orc beserkers sprang out and moved to block further access into the room while the duergar scouts took pot shots at anyone they could see.
Their initial assault was easily pushed back and the party easily held the doorway while managing to inflict considerable damage to a few orcs. Over the next few moments a lot happened. Urwol moved into position and released some vile fumes on a closely packed party, blinding Cymbalta & Sneezy. Doc moved up and released Howling Tempest on Urwol & friends, Snow used cutting words to drag Urwol closer, Bashful landed a heavy blow on a nearby orc, and Cymbalta did a blind cast of Stalkers Mist for payback, and an orc burst the door to the water room and charged Happy opening a new front. Happy being light on his feet shifted back and closed the other door in the orcs face.
From here things didn’t go so well, it almost seemed as if the parties luck had simply ran out as most didn’t seem to be able to hit the side of a barn except Bashful, to be fair the defenders had similar luck. Urwol landed an Iron Storm on the party dazing Cymbalta, and bloodied Sneezy, and then tried to move back to cover but Bashful went into a frenzy with a critical opportunity attack on Urwol, which Bashful then followed up with a rampage strike again on Urwol leaving him bloodied as he moved away, Bashful seeing things where going a little awry used inspiring fortitude to bolster everyone’s efforts. Another orc charged and slammed into the door Happy had closed just before but failed to smash it open, then remembered he could just open it and did! The other orc moved through and beat down on Happy.
Things took another turn for the worse when a retreating Urwol found a clear path through the water room to land a Brimstone Hail amongst his own orcs and the party just beyond in the hallway, knocking both orcs, Happy & Cymbalta prone and blooding Cym as well; worse, it removed most if not all of Bashful’s inspiring fortitude effects. Poor Cymbalta was now prone, dazed and bloodied with a large orc about to take a swipe at him. Some quick healing using Snows Skalds Aura, and Happy letting loose with some inspiring words despite taking a beating from an orc, helped the party push through. Some orcs had finally fallen and without Cymbaltas Mist Bashful would have had a hard time holding the southern front more or less single handed.
Finally the party seemed to be getting the upper hand, and with Urwol temporarily out of the picture licking his wounds the party made more progress. Bashful, Happy and Cymbalta moved off in pursuit of Urwol while the squishies take a breather in a now clear hallway. Urwol was again lying in wait and launches an Iron Storm on Bashful & Happy as soon as they came into sight, luckily neither of them was dazed, but who knew iron filings could hurt so much! The party splits up, one group taking on the eastern most Duergar scouts, the other heading towards Urwol. The eastern scout’s, one badly wounded exchange quick words in their dark tongue and one prepares to retreat.
Meanwhile the other group closes in on Urwol and the remaining scout. Happy charges into a room and takes a bolt from the hidden scout almost downing him but lands a telling blow on Urwol – not enough to take him down, having no more options and knowing Urwol will act before he can he shifts back and prays. Bashful moves up and controlling his shade moves it between Urwol & the remaining scout and commands it to explode. Necrotic damage erupts taking down the scout, but not Urwol, his life now hangs by a thread. Snow moves up and fittingly lets Urwol have it with some cutting words and he finally falls. To the east one scout runs south and opens a set of double doors while the other delays Sneezy & Doc until he falls. Despite their best efforts including a fireball, the scout manages to get away.
Gratz all, job well done. You have successfully cleared the Northern Fortress of the Horned Hold. The only misfortune was letting one Duergar scout escape who will now warn the remainder of the defenders.
Happy : Level 6 Uncommon
Sneezy : Level 8 Uncommon
Adventures of the Seven Dorks
Horned Hold Northern Fortress
The one that got away
Marpenoth 28th, 1372 DR The Year of Wild Magic