Headhunters

the infamous colossus

No longer being able to stem their curiosity our heroes decided to try to find the colossus which supposedly had killed a very skilled battle cleric of Tempus. Initially they thought that the colossus was located in the cisterns, but after checking with Vadriar, the Horned Hold seemed like a much more promising place to look…. and there were only one place in which they hadn’t looked yet.

Using the bridges that spanned the chasm between the hold’s two main battlements they arrived in a narrow corridor flanked by four sarcophagi. The whole place reeked of foul magic. At the far end of the corridor the snarling skull of a minotaur was engraved into the wall. The skull had then been inlaid with red basalt. But as soon as the heroes touched the skull three minotaur guardians and one minotaur cleric emerged from the sarcophagi and attacked. When slain the cleric dropped a nose ring which fit right into the nose of the wall carving.

Fitting the ring turned the skull into a water-like membrane which Barrack immediately charged through, leaving his perplexed friends behind. Luckily for him, his friends didn’t dally too long before entering the fray. However, during the first round he was alone against the colossus.

The colossus proved to be a formidable foe, with fire attacks, savage axe sweeps, and giant stomps to the ground. What was worse, however, was that neither magical nor physical damage affected him, and any magic around simply dissolved. But it only took a round or two for our heroes to spot that he seemed to protect the back area of the room… and in particular the red basalt altar, and four pillars which were emitting elemental energy.

Hitting the pillars with water and cold magic seemed to work, and the altar could be damaged by any kind of damage. This seemed to affect the colossus, and after a while especially Germanicus was able to point out some weak spots in the colossus.

After a savage fight which killed Thom, Arszhnagog and Ekk, Barrack, helped by divine powers, was able to find a weak spot and land a killing blow on the colossus. Being in a bit of a hurry to help the wounded and collect the dead, Germanicus didn’t have much time to check for loot, but at least the clerics armor was secured.

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the Court of Bones

The Court was the only place in the vicinity of the cisterns that our heroes hadn’t explored yet. And the last time they had tried to approach it they had been forced to flee due to the party cleric having to leave urgently. Now they were back to complete their mission.

The entrance to the court was a locked door ornamented with bones. Glorfindel picked the lock, but when he opened the door, he set of a trap he hadn’t spotted. Well inside they were blasted by blazing skeletons and attacked by minotaur skeletons. This didn’t prove to be too difficult, and our heroes emerged victorious once again.

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Therrlen's Curse

Our heroes were informed by Phaledra that Therrlen was getting worse, and probably hadn’t much time left. Vadriar helped them to at least find an approximate direction to the location where the bronze gong, which had supposedly cursed Therrlen was located. However, on the way there they found a caravan that had been assaulted by a swarm of fire bats. It turned out that the caravan had belonged to the Deepgem company, and although they were saddened to hear about the loss of their workers they were glad to get to know of their destiny.

After having done that the heroes once again set out into the dungeon, and eventually, after having got lost a few times, managed to arrive at a location lit by burning cressets. When approaching the the gong the cressets started exploding in fiery burst, quickly filling the area with fire. This didn’t deter our heroes who actually spent longer time looting the area than killing the monsters. Luckily, for Therrlen, they didn’t forget to destroy the gong.

When they returned to the Seven Pillared Hall to check on Therrlen, they found him unconscious due to exhaustion, but he seemed much better.

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Payback

By now, Rendil was quite used to sneaking around in the labyrinth, so without too much trouble he arrived back in the hall to greet the other half of our party who’d returned to the hall. After some rest they were eager on bringing the hurt on the remaining troglodytes in the cisterns. Having the opportunity to get some more adventure, Rendil generously offered to help out once again.

However, what initially had looked like quite an easy fight turned out to be very tough indeed. Siezing the opportunity to catch multiple enemies (and unfortunately Germanicus as well) in a blast, Glorfindel unleashed his powers. Havning already taken quite a lot of damage from the troglodytes, and still being engaged in melee with them, Germanicus was severly injured, almost mortally so. Though, slowly gainin the upper hand in the fight, our heroes managed to defeat the troglodytes.

On the way back to the hall, they encountered a dwarf who was proclaiming that he was some kind of king. Combat ensued when the PCs didn’t want to be his desciples… and indeed they proved to be the stronger force here.

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Arzsnagog's expedition

Arzsnagog had stayed behind while the PCs ventured into the cisterns. He was approced by Phaledra, who were worried about Therrlen Darkseeker, since his lychantropic condition had steadily worsened. Now he was almost always raging in his cell in the small temple. However, in one of his lucid moments, he had told Phaledra about the bronze gong, and she belived that destroying the gong might be his only chance to survive.

Always being the hero, Arzsnagog decided to help out. Luckily, also Rendil Halfmoon was eager to join the expedition. Although they didn’t quite find the bronze gong, the corridors of the labyrinth proved to be an exciting place and the party had a couple of encounters with its denizens (nothing they couldn’t handle though).

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The Cisterns Part II

Disenchanting the circle proved to be quite a difficult task, but teamwork and the usage of many different skills saw the PCs through this challenge as well. Now, the cisterns being quite a large area, the PCs suspected that the trogoldytes guarding the circle werent’t the only inhabitants here, so they decided to continue exploring.

After a while they found a set of double doors, ornamented with bones and other skeletal parts, but they didn’t have time to “admire” the door before they were attacked by another group of troglodytes, who were, apparently, guarding the doors. In the beginning of the encounter the two opposed parties were pretty evenly matched, but suddenly our Bahamut worshippers forgot that they were engaged in combat and started to think about other things. From then, things started to go south, and without healing, the PCs had to make a tactical retreat, promising to return soon and exact their vengeance!

Having her beast killed again, Brienn tired of wandering around in dungeons instead of the outside world, she abandoned the party. Instead she got another ranger to participate, a halv-orc with a shared love of boars.

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Helping Vadriar

The PCs brought the fight to the second level of the witch’s tower, and although the gargoyles had arrived and were prepared for battle all hostiles were dispatched of without too much trouble. The witch, realising that the situation was hopeless tried to escape through a hole in the wall, but didn’t survive the fall to ledge some 10 feet below. Upon arriving back at the Seven Pillared hall, Wynn Longsaddle was delighted hearing that the route to and fro Thunderspire Mountain had become slightly more safe.

Feeling satisfied with their achievements the party travelled back to Winterhaven to inform Lord Padraig, and Valthrun the Prescient about the progress they had made in investigating the Bloodreavers, and the Labyrinth. Our heroes were given the promised rewards, and inevitably, news quickly spread in the small city that the heroes of Winterhaven had returned, and a grand party was thrown in the local tavern to honor them.

Then they travelled back to the labyrinth to find more adventure…. Our heroes decided to investigate the cisterns, and see if they could lift the curse that kept Vadriar the Sage fearing for his life. And not unexpectedly they discovered some troglodytes and their leader performing a horrible ritual. The troglodytes were dispatched of without too much trouble, but the question remains… what to do about the magic circle…

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the Tower of Silence

One of the notes was addressed to Maldrick Scarmaker, supposedly some chieftain of the Gnolls. After asking around in the Seven Pillared Hall, the PCs were unable to unearth more valuable information, except that if there were gnolls in the labyrinth, they were probably dangerous.

Now our heroes didn’t really know what to do, so they decided to help out Wynn Longsaddle with her gargoyle problem, and thus set of towards the Tower of Thunder. After a climb up to the tower and upon entering the main chamber of the tower the party quickly found themselves engaged by an old witch and her minions.

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Oh noes - the slaves are dead

A new character: “Glorfindel” joins the party. He is a sorcerer and has on the way to the Seven Pillared hall helped Wynn Longsaddle escape a pair of gargoyles. Attacks by gargoyles seem to be the flavor of the month, and the proprietor of the inn,Erra Halfmoon, is worried.

Glorfindel joins the party and they return to the Horned Hold – to the room where the late Chemash heard some strange voices speaking in an unknown language. Sadly, all the slaved had been slain, and the corpses had attracted a horrible shadowy monster which was hungry for some human meat.

After the monster was defeated, only one survivor was found. He was returned to the Seven-Pillared hall. Back in the inn, Barrack was handed a note, including a map. The note told the party to meet up with an unknown “friend” in a closeby room. Of course it was a trap.

In the room the party was attacked by two tieflings and a big animated bronze statue (which proved to be quite tough). After the fight two notes and a strange looking amulet was found on one of the tieflings.

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Disaster

After having forced Mulkermor to flee the field the party started looting to the extent that they forgot to keep an eye out on their surroundings. When they least suspected it, they were surprised by a roaming patrol consisting of a par of troglodytes, a pair of tuergar scouts, some riff-raff miners and, unfortunately, a theurge on steroids.

Taking advantage of the surprise the melee characters quickly rushed into the unsuspecting party and started to heavily damage the “softer” PC. Meanwhile the theurge effectively kept leaders and defenders neutralized due to her massive area blasts.

The party was quickly separated, and lacking coordination, they faced a very grave situation.. which turned to worse as they were burning surges like crazy trying to keep up with the damage from the theurge and the scouts (all of whom really had a very lucky day).

At the end, the only man standing was Barrack (who else), having chased the last of the scouts off the battlefield. Heroically he managed to bring the remains of his now late friends back to the Seven Pillared Hall and had them resurrected. Phaledra felt sorry for his loss and gave a discount on the resurrect scrolls.

The question remains… what will they do now?

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