Things get Murky…
So, the party continued its fight in the old Cistern room. It was a fairly epic fight but the party was able to overcome the weird, spiny flying creatures (what are those guys?) and the Duergar that were in the area acting as guards to the manacled slaves in the cisterns.
A few highlights…both Cassie and Diamanda used Daily Powers to great effect and to the shock of the enemy. Cassie also used “Cut and Run” adeptly.
Sy made a very cool little move allowing himself to shift into one of the old cisterns while grabbing the iron ladder and sliding down safely to the bottom.
Doro got a hit on an enemy while he was blinded. He also nearly convinced a Duergar to just lie down and play dead right in front of Lo-Kag (who was in Beast Form – Bear).
Cinder plugged away with Magic Missile when he had nothing else to do and it actually made a nice difference. He even got a kill that way.
Overall, once they enemy realized it was outnumbered, 1 Duergar and 1 flying spiny thing (again…what are those guys, anyway) tried to book it.
The one that was flying was knocked to the ground as it flew through the doorway. Cinder, wielding a dagger for the first time in months, got an attack of opportunity on it, made a crit hit, and brought its dreams of escape – as well as its body – crashing down in the hallway just past the door. It has been SO close to escaping, but the party made sure that never happened.
The escaping Duergar never even made it that far. Alas, poor Loric.
With things wrapped up the party took the time to free the prisoners (via locking picking by Sy and key finding by others) and fish through the pool of water where one Duergar had perished. They found out that 10 of the 12 captives from Riverdown were here. Nice one…they had been looking for those unlucky soles. They also found 3 random humans who had been captured at different points and different times in the Labyrinth.
Finally, they found 1 Goblin manacled there. Cassie showed him great kindness, and a bit of her ample bosom, and found out that his name is Gru and that his fellow Bloodreavers had captured him. Upon further questioning throughout the day, they found out that the reason he was captured was for gambling debts…and his lifelong ambition to be a Bard. He seems to think it was the Bard part that really did him in. Cassie gave him some Journey Bread and a dagger and he guarded the way part of the time.
After a short rest the party moved on to the next room…which was empty. After much listening at the 2 doors within, and some discussion about taking an extended rest or not…the party decided to advance North through the double-doors.
What ensued was a battle for the ages and the greatest overall test that the party had faced to date. Why? Largely because they had come across Murklemor Grimmerzhul and he was sick of their meddling ways. He had 3 comrades with him and they were all made of tougher stuff than the prior Duergar that the party had faced. The Theurge, in particular was able to gain the high ground and wreak havoc on the party by casting annoying spells that either blinded the party, caused ongoing damage, and/or knocked people prone.
The party was able to make pretty quick work of one of the Duerger guards, but things took some ugly turns and the battle moved around and back to the Cistern room. Diamanda died (saved by Lo-Kag). Cassie died (saved by Lo-Kag). Everyone was bloodied at least one time and everyone used a second wind and/or a potion during the fight. In the end, the party sort of split up and decided to book it, but Cassie was knocked prone and people had to come back. Murklemor pushed folks into pits but the theurge was in a really bad way, and Murklemor himself was almost bloodied, so they booked it instead.
The party noticed a few things during the battle. One was that some of these crazy Duerger Enlarge when they are bloodied. They take up 4 spaces, are Large creatures, gain Reach 2, and deal extra damage on melee hits. Ouch. Despite that, the party was able to kill off 2 of them.
They noticed that Murklemor could heal himself, or an adjacent ally, from time to time. He seemed to heal quite a bit of damage but he could not do it all of the time.
Diamanda found a secret passage in one of the fireplaces…she was basically pinned in a large fireplace by the dastardly Murklemor but she rolled a crit and was able to find a way out through the back. Thanks to an awesome ability on her armor, she was able to turn ongoing damage into ongoing HP regen and she was able to recover some.
After all was said and done, the party discussed things once more and decided to bring the captives back to the Seven Pillared Hall and proceed from there. Some of the party was not too pleased about that and they really wanted to exact revenge on Murklemor.
What happened in the Seven Pillared Hall? More to follow soon…