Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thunderspire II: The Grimmerzhul Outpost

Zor, Barrakas 12, 998 YK (Day 26).

Lucan, Zil'dejin, Garmeth and Lythanis return to the Chamber of Eyes the next day, presumably morning, although time is difficult to discern in the Seven Pillared Hall. Here, the interrogation of Reb continues, though all he is able to reveal is that the Bloodreavers sold their slaves to the duergar a few days ago, and knows nothing further. They ask if a wizard was present, looking for clues on Paldemar, but Reb is uncertain. The Collective debates for some time on what to do with the terrified Reb, and Zil'dejin's frustration mounts over the attitude of his companions towards the captured goblin. Eventually, he is simply let go.

With their only lead being the selling of the slaves to the duergar, the party moves back to the Seven-Pillared Hall to question the Clan Grimmerzhul merchants who keep their trade outpost. This is still based on the assumption that Paldemar was indeed captured and made a slave, which, while the most likely scenario, has yet to be verified.

The duergar within are every bit as cold and unreceptive as they had been the last time the Eclipse Collective had visited the trading post. It is clear that they are willing to tolerate the group as long as they have money to offer. When questioned on the topic of the purchased slaves, the duergar act insulted and order the group to leave. They do, and outside they deliberate their next move.

They realize they have evidence, but that law is loose in the Seven Pillared Hall, and they will likely receive no direct support from the Mages of Saruun if they attack the duergar. Still, this is their only lead, and they conclude that they must follow up on it.

They reenter the post, and the duergar have now elevated to the level of hostilities, going so far as to draw their weapons and threaten the Collective. The group sees this reaction and reflexively draws weapons themselves, and a fight ensues.

The duergar at the front of the post are rapidly joined by more of their kin from somewhere in the recesses behind the storefront, and the battle goes on for some time, looking grim briefly. After a while, however, all the duergar are defeated, and the party looks around in the trading post for any further clues, having obtained nothing from the duergar themselves. Searching the back rooms, they discover little other than some bedrooms, but discover in one of them a dresser containing a rudimentary map marked in dwarven glyphs, and another letter - also written in dwarvish - apparently addressed to the owner of the room.

After the long day - most of which was spent moving back and forth through the labyrinth - the party investigates some minor leads in the Seven Pillared Hall, and go to rest in their respective rooms at the Halfmoon Inn, prepared to contemplate their next move the following day.

Thunderspire I: The Chamber of Eyes

Wir, Barrakas 11, 998 YK (Day 25).

With only slight difficulty, the Collective follows Rendil Halfmoon's map through the Labyrinth to the so-called Chamber of Eyes, the current hideout of the Bloodreavers. On entry, they find themselves in a large, mostly-empty chamber littered with rubble, overlooked by a balcony at the opposite end. Other than the door through which they entered, there is only one other exit to the room, located on a wall to the party's right.

They test the door and find it locked. Garmeth volunteers to pick the lock, and after an initially unsuccessful attempt is able to get the door open. The hall beyond that door opens up into what appears to be a guard outpost, containing a bugbear and a few goblins. They raise an alarm of sorts and charge the party, who fend them off in short time and consider their options. They are in a hallway, which acts as an intersection between four passages. Behind them is the way they came. To their left, the guard chamber, containing some rudimentary beds and other furniture, and stairs leading upwards. To their right, a hallway leading to a closed door, and in front of them another hallway, leading to a set of large double doors, embossed with the image of an eye.

They decide to head through the guard post and up the stairs. The hall here splits into two; one way leads to the balcony overlooking the room the entered into, and the other leads to yet another closed door. They head this way, and open it. It is not locked. Inside, two duergar are resting in front of a fire. As the Collective enters, they spring to their feet and draw their weapons. Shortly into the battle, the commotion draws hobgoblins from adjacent quarter rooms, including the apparent warchief of the Bloodreavers, who is identified as Krand.

A rather vicious battle ensues, throughout which Lythanis appears somewhat distant and remote, acting unusually. He is of little help to the battle, but ultimately the Collective emerges on top, and the entire group is defeated. They search the area for clues towards Paldemar's whereabouts. In the quarters of Warchief Krand, they find an enchanted set of armor, some money, and most importantly, a contract written in Common detailing an agreement between Krand and an unknown name (written in dwarven glyphs) for a purchase of slaves worth 1,000 gold pieces.

The Collective then leaves this area, headed for the double doors. Inside, they find a large, mostly-empty chamber, containing a few hobgoblins and a massive black wolf lying on the floor. Chains, apparently manacles, are anchored to the ground and the walls, but do not hold any prisoners. As the party enters, the inhabitants of the room attack.

The party fights back with great success, flowing smoothly in the battle and defeating their opponents with ease. Even the Dire Wolf they face is little match to them, and Zil'dejin finishes it with such a potent strike that the battered form of the beast is thereafter unrecognizable. After this is done, they search the room and discover a secret passage in the far corner of the room. After some deliberation, they choose to follow this dark passage.

On the other side, they find themselves in a store room of some kind, containing numerous boxes and barrels. They see light and hear sounds of revelry from a room beyond, and they attempt to sneak through, but are detected by this room's occupants. Here, there are more goblins and hobgoblins, as well as a few shifty-looking humans. The Collective fights these enemies, and captures one of the goblins.

After some slight questioning, they discover his name is Reb, and for the time being he is too frightened to give much more. The party decides to leave for the sake of resting, keeping the captured Reb under the watchful eyes of the sleepless constructs Stahlstrauss and Eshunu.

The others - Zil'dejin, Lythanis, Lucan and Garmeth - return to the Seven-Pillared Hall and stay the night at the Halfmoon Inn, intending to return to the Chamber of Eyes the following morning.