The prisoners released were Thorak Bindlewindle taken from the area of Nimon Gap. Next the endearing Brandon Fairlion, curate of Pelor from Brindol and finally the proud man calling himself Duke of Dennovar. They were given food and gnoll weapons and escorted to the safe(ish) cave down the mountain by Vintera and Gronek whilst the others stayed alert in the entrance room preparing to venture further next time. The party decided to have a long rest and were not waylaid by gnolls – the fortress was mysteriously quiet.
Approaching a door with “Danger – Haunted – Keep Out!” scrawled on it and spiked shut there was no chance of respecting that notice. Red rag to the Flying Circus, in went Gronek and Grim. Githzerai psionic echoes and Mindscramblers appeared quickly and loosed shockingly powerful psychic attacks on Grim who – unthinkably – went down! Gronek called the retreat but in his dazed state was unable to help his fellow dwarf. Vintera stepped in and dragged the fighter clear, sealing the door with a magic nail.
Regrouping, the team decided to take the corridor from the Marshalling Point – surely it couldn’t get any tougher? Entering the massive circular ritual chamber the team faced 8 Abyssal Wretches, 2 sabre toothed horrific Crocottas, 2 disciples of Yeenoghu and Fangren himself. During the ensuing battle only Vintera avoided becoming bloodied and Mordan, Felix, Grim and Gronek all went down at some point. Gronek waded in and had to draw on every drop of healing power whilst wiping away zombie puke. Grim was once again targeted by vicious psychic, fire and necrotic area attacks as well as being pinned back by a persistent Crocotta. Not even Felix was safe as the Disciples area bursts engulfed her. Mordan found dancing through the enemies difficult, perhaps Vintera was wise to stay in the doorway – she might be the only one to live to tell the sad tale.
Felix Winter’s Wrath, Flaming Sphere and Bigby’s Icy Grasp could not finish the gnolls. Mordan and Gronek charged Fangren only to be flung back. Felix taunted the gnoll chief and was nearly caught by the Claw of Yeenoghu emerging from the shimmering conduit. Then she was blasted back out of the action. But now Grim, Mordan and Gronek were in close combat. Mordan escaped the grasp of Yeenoghu’s claw as Vintera peppered Fangren with arrows. Eventually Gronek called Mordan to land the killing blow. Victory from the fangs of defeat!
Killing blows… (a completely inaccurate list) Gronek: Fangren Vintera: Crocotta Felix: Disciple of Yeenoghu Mordan: Fangren – by Gronek’s Commander’s Strike, Disciple of Yeenoghu Grim: Crocotta
Having plundered the altar a secret passageway was discovered. Vintera led the way down and Mordan braved the scummy, brackish waterlogged corridors. Having travelled some distance, Mordan fell into a watery pit, easily swimming to safety, but narrowly avoiding contracting disease from the putrid waters. Gronek and Felix felt they had had enough and the team withdrew.
It took five days travel to return to the small village of Elsir Cross where you rested up at the Pig’s Arms Tavern where Old Peter the barman and Halfling Tom looked after you. Training and study filled the next few days. It is now Waterday 5th Growfest as spring turns to summer.
The prisoners you set free were full of thanks but short on reward. That was until yesterday when you received a letter from Lady Mersha Valwater, father of the proud man calling himself Duke of Dennovar. She gushes with gratitude and has invited you to the family estate, just south of Dennovar, to receive a reward for your services to her son Delshan.
The journey from Elsir Cross to Dennovar is uneventful. You receive curious glances as you request directions to the Valwater estate but the townsfolk seem tight lipped. As you make the half day journey south in the bright spring sunshine, the terrain becomes increasingly swampy…