03
Sep
12

D&D: Elderyn – Act 3: Session 14

ACT 3: SESSION 14
PREVIOUS: ACT 3: SESSION 13
NEXT: ACT 3: SESSION 15

This week, Nedda was not able to join us. We had her charcter sheet, so Scourage ran her character during combat encounters.

With the dwarf warrior, Leaf Ironguard, disappearing into the tunnels behind them with his ancestor, the party again turned their attention to their destination. Zandak Swordsteel was somewhere in the tunnels before them with more than a days head start. Ignoring their growing fatigue, the party pressed forward into the subterranean tunnels.

The tunnels ran deeper into the earth, branching off in several points. Inspecting the ground at these intersections, Scourage was able to determine which tunnels showed signs of recent travel and guided the party down them. Though it was difficult to determine time this far underground, the party eventually made camp in the rocky tunnel when they believed the end of the day had come. Rising early, they set out once more.

Several hours in, the party came upon a wide open cavern. A large lava flow emerged from one side of the chamber and continued out the other. Pockets of rock poked out of the lava surface, creating a dangerous but passable series of stepping stones across the molten rock. Unfortunately, a small army of skeletons wandered the area on both sides of the lava flow. On the far side, they could make out two Kor’Kron guards standing watch.

I was a big fan of this combat encounter map. It was fairly large as our encounters go, with lots of ranged attackers that forced the party to move around. Playing around the lava was lots of fun too. It was laid out so that there was a “safe” route through, I ruled that they could easily cross a single square of lava without a difficulty check, but it was very round about and would force them to take extra time to reach the enemies on the rocks. Alternately, they could make a difficulty check to jump across a specified distance to quickly cross larger gaps for a more direct route.

Knowing they couldn’t cross the open ground without being spotted, Scourage formed them up into a defensive line. Clotor and Scourage stood at the front, their shields creating a wall to protect the party from the skeletal archers that wandered the rocks of the lava flow. Nedda, with her crossbow, and Harold stood behind the two armored defenders and the four marched out into the open, quickly making for the lava flow.

Almost immediately, the dwarves on the far side let out a startled cry and the skeletons nearby began moving forward. Scourage smashed his shield into the first that reached them, knocking it to the side and continuing past. As she passed by, Nedda swung her crossbow around and scooped the off balance skeleton’s feet out from under it, sending it clattering to the ground.

Clotor’s weapon bit nearly through a skeleton’s arm as she charged forward, driving it back towards the lava pool. As they reached the river’s edge, the skeletons on their side were converging inward. At the warlord’s command, the two warriors broke to the sides, clustering the skeletons around them on their side of the river and leaving a clear spot on the lava’s edge for Nedda and Harold.

Nedda, continuing forward, leaped nimbly from rock to rock, quickly crossing the stream of magma to the first skeletal archer. Harold let loose a spell, a bolt of acid which arced over the halfling’s head and smashed into another skeleton’s rib cage. Not far away from the mage, Clotor let out a roar followed by a massive belch of acid which burned through the skeletons facing her. On the other side, Scourage danced and weaved through the rusted swords and maces of the skeletal forces.

Cutting through the skeleton’s bow string, Nedda followed up with a kick to the back of the archer’s legs and shoved the skeleton off the rock landing and into the burning lava. An arrow clattered off the stones next to her and once again the halfling was off, making her way across the lave river towards another archer. With most of the skeletons focusing on Nedda, Harold turned his attention towards the guards across the river, who were arcing crossbow bolts across the room at him. Conjuring up a ball of fire in his hands, Harold sent the mass of flame back across in response, catching both dwarves and a pair of skeletons in the fiery blast.

With most of the skeletons on their side of the river handily defeated, Scourage left Clotor to mop up the rest. The tiefling bounded across the rocks, taking running leaps across the lava to cross it in record time. Under cover of Harold’s spells, Scourage passed the halfling as she dumped another skeleton to the ground and leaped to the far bank, closing quickly with the injured dwarven guards, Nedda followed close behind.

Before long, the battle was done. Scourage and Nedda cleaned their blades, standing over the fallen dwarves, as they waited for Harold and Clotor to pick their way across the lava flow. “We must be on the right track.” Clotor observed, poking at one of the bodies with her foot.

The party headed out again, finishing up their travel for another day. They made camp once again in the tunnels, taking the time to clean their wounds and prepare their weapons for, what they hoped, would be their final battle the next day. Rising early again after another fitful, uncomfortable sleep on the rocks, the party headed out.

It didn’t take long for the party to reach the end of their journey. The tunnel rounded a bend and, at the far end, a black, marble wall with a massive iron gate capped the tunnel. Marble pillars lined the corridor leading up to the entrance and magical braziers cast a pale blue glow over the tunnel. Standing outside the gates, almost a dozen Kor’Kron guards stood by.

As the party came to a stop, the captain of the guard stepped forward, “Halt! Turn back now and Lord Swordsteel will forget your transgressions. There is nothing you can do, the ritual has already begun. Soon the Kor’Krons will gain the power necessary to return the dwarves to their former glory!”

“Zandak Swordsteel and his entourage are in there? Then you better get out of my way.” Clotor growled, then charged forward. The dwarves barely got a chance to move forward to meet the charge when the dragonborn smashed into them. Harold’s fireball arced past the paladin’s shoulder, crashing into the dwarven archers at the rear of the group. Scourage and Nedda scrambled after her, moving to prevent the warrior from being surrounded.

The battle was lightning quick and equally brutal. In her rage, Clotor tore through rank after rank of the dwarven guard. In the midst of the ferocious battle, Scourage called out orders, expertly guiding the flow of combat despite the chaos. He and Nedda slipped through the dwarven ranks, pulling them out of their defensive positions leaving them vulnerable to a lightning quick stab of Nedda’s daggers or to be run through by Scourage’s swords.

Though the battle went worse for the dwarves, the sheer ferocity of the battle ensured the party took their wounds as well. As the final guard fell before their swords, Harold was barely able to delay Clotor long enough for them to catch their breath and to bandage their most pressing wounds. As soon as they were taken care of, the dragonborn pressed forward, pushing the iron doors inwards with the other three at her back.

We ended a bit early so that Nedda could be there. Next time, on D&D: Elderyn, the thrilling conclusion!

PREVIOUS: ACT 3: SESSION 13
NEXT: ACT 3: SESSION 15
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