Episode 21: Into the Fortress.

As the gnoll demonic scourge fled through one of the magical portals, Grim arrived (The Physician fixed a True Portal to the location of the Ritual Energy Stones he gave you to seal the conduit). But the team soon left Grim behind as they ventured through the frosted portals. It took several puzzling journeys and the expertise of Felix to finally figure out the magical maze. Fortunately there were no gnolls about to spoil the fun.

Having joined Grim they seemed to have at last found a way in. Vintera sneaked down some stairs to overhear a raging argument between gnolls. Gronek checked another door and faced three Ruintouched Gnolls mounted on large Slaughterfang Hyenas. The Beastcaller summoned carrion birds to savage and blind all except Mordan. Gronek seemed to prefer fighting blind. The Bloodwalkers anger focussed on those that bloodied them and Grim and Felix took a bit of a battering. Vintera also felt the edge of those wicked sickles. Fortunately the water flow had little effect as sturdy dwarfs aren’t easily pushed and others stayed clear of the channels. (By the way – the room was originally a training area for Githzerai Warriors in the distant past.)

Mordan took down the Beastcaller and eventually even Vintera and Gronek batted away the last few magically conjured birds and joined in finishing the enemies. It was a fierce battle and everyone felt the need of a long rest.

Some way down the mountain our heroes found a cosy cave to make camp, only to be assaulted by the Mercenary Bountyhunter Thorn whose falcons and hounds sprang to attack the depleted group. Fortunately Felix had some powers in reserve and managed to get out into the open and use Bigby’s Icy Grasp. That meant that when the others fought free of the hounds and falcons they could flank Thorn and prevent his easy getaway. Taken up with Felix banter and Grim’s powerful marking, Thorn left his escape too late and was not the first to be brought down by the savagery of Mordan’s rapier.

Killing blows… (a possibly inaccurate list) Gronek: Ruintouched Bloodwalker Gnoll Vintera: Hound Felix: ½ Ruintouched Bloodwalker Gnoll, ½ Slaughterfang Hyena Mordan: Ruintouched Beastcaller Gnoll, Slaughterfang Hyena, Hound, Thorn Grim: ½ Ruintouched Bloodwalker Gnoll, 1½ Slaughterfang Hyenas



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