After successfully keeping the portal to Shadowfell closed in the Keep, the party heads back to Winterhaven. They talk with many folks in town, all of whom are impressed and thankful. Bairwin, Wildarson, the proprietor of The Grande Shoppe in town, convinces the party to head off to The Seven Pillared Hall in Thunderspire Mountain to run an errand for him. The party accepts his Quest to bring a special item to Gendar. In return, Gendar will give the party some sort of special stones. If the party can bring those back to Bairwin, he will reward them handsomely.
The party head out on the Trade Road…a Dwarven forged road that connects the human settlement of Fallcrest with the Dwarven stronghold of Hammerfast.
They make their way to the ominous looking Thunderspire Mountain and find the Road of Lanterns that leads them into the mountainside…and the Labyrinth that awaits within.
As they make their way towards the Seven Pillared Hall they overhear what sounds like a halfling being harassed by some bad dudes. The party has heard of a group of Hobgoblins called The Blood Reavers who might be running a slave trade in the area and they think these bad dudes mean to capture this halfling and enslave him. They decide to fight and, as it turns out, this is a small party of Blood Reavers. The party is able to win the fight and they save the life of Rendil Halfmoon.
Rendil turns out to be a wry and interesting little fellow and he offers the party lodgings in his family’s Halfmoon Inn. Erra Halfmoon is his aunt and main proprietor of the Inn.
He guides them the rest of the way to the Seven Pillared Hall and the party does a lot of exploring around…using the Halfmoon Inn as its base of operations. They meet a variety of characters along the way and they are presented with some quests in the process.
Cast of Characters in the Seven Pillared Hall
The Adventures have met a lot of folks in the Seven Pillared Hall. Here is a brief recap of many of them…
Rendil and Erra Halfmoon
Part of the Halfmoon family that run the Halfmoon Inn. This is the party’s “headquarters” and Rendil has taken to them. Brugg (see below) like to cause problems there. He is not keen on Halflings.
One of the Mages of Saruun; aka the founders/leaders/peace keepers of the Seven Pillared Hall (this place used to be the ancient market square for the undermountain city of Saruun Kell). He tells the party of some of the history of the place and of a missing mage, Paldemar. He is not sure where Paldemar is, nor why he might have left, but he thinks it is far too coincidental that the rise of slave rings and other nefarious things should happen just as Paldemar goes missing.
Brugg, an ogre, leads the enforcers that work for the Mages
of Saruun. In addition to keeping the peace, collecting protection money, and acting as muscle for the mages, Brugg
keeps an eye out for new arrivals who might upset the delicate balance of affairs in the Hall. He can usually be found
at the Customhouse, relaxing at Rothar’s Taproom, causing
trouble at the Halfmoon Inn, or patrolling the Hall
He is a runt of a Kobold who oft gets ignored by the residents of the area. He has gathered info and has “sold” some of that info to the party. He has proven to be a fairly adept negotiator and his info does not come cheap. Generally, his intel seems to be valid.
Bennik the Wanderer
A Halfling minstrel that the party ran into in the Halfmoon Inn. He sang one song that actually seemed to be depicting the adventures of the party during their time in the Keep on the Shadowfell and beyond. He likes the party overall.
Surina (aka Diamanda)
Well…you know. The party ran into her a couple of times, in passing, before she made in-roads and joined their cause…or is it they who are joining her cause? She is a follower of Erathis and is completely dedicated to pushing out the encroaching tide of chaos and evil…and that passion has lead her here. She is somewhat of a fanatic and very eager to fight whenever possible. She is not very diplomatic.
A middle-aged human who has great knowledge of the Labyrinth, he was employed by the party to help guide them to The Horned Hold. He is a bit nervous and there are rumors surrounding him – most seeming to say that of the many parties he has lead into the Labyrinth, he is often the only one to return. He pleads innocence of any knowledge of what happens to these parties – basically saying they went off on their own. That seems suspicious but the party questioned him at length and decided to have him lead them on that part of their quest. He got them there and left almost immediately. He did not want to hang out at all or go any further – citing danger lying ahead.
A drow with an eyepatch and a predatory, almost perpetual grin. He trades in treasures of all sorts. He seems intelligent and smug and greedy.
A “provisioner” in town, he is human and imports a lot of “the basics” from Fallcrest. He mostly deals in foodstuffs and other more mundane provisions.
A half-orc who owns and runs Rothar’s Taproom…a run-down and crude alehouse in the Seven Pillared Hall. Brugg can often be found there.
An old dwarf cleric is the owner of The Deepgem Company…and they deal in gems and precious metals and the like. How typically Dwarven, right? He despises the Duergar and avoids them at all costs. He has many employees that he sends out on mining expeditions and on trade runs; chiefly to the Silvershield Hold.
He is a sly, young Tiefling who helps run House Azaer, another trading company in town. He seems to know something about everyone in town and is very happy with their stock of fine wine, ale, leatherwork, and woodwork. Most is of the non-magical sort.
Monsters – a brief list of creatures the party has run into and/or fought in the Labyrinth.
These gray and evil dwarves have proven to be a pain. The party has noticed that they resist fire and poison. They are also immune to illusion – which has certainly cause some issues along the way. Some can become invisible. Some have attacks where they launch quills from their beards. They also seem to be able to get very angry and cause fire damage.
Really good fighters with some nice little skills to help them beat down their enemies.
Decent fighter who tended to get stronger and more dangerous when bloodied. They have skills that allow them to shift away from danger. They fought ranged and up close as well.
A wolf you don’t want to mess with, Jon Snow.
Tougher, and somewhat less wily, than Goblins, the party has faced a lot of orcs in The Horned Hold. They can make a healing surge type of attack when bloodied and they can fight well up close or at range.
Undead and uncool. They are faster than one would think and they have only one attack…the Claw Attack. That does minimal damage but causes the hit player to lose a surge and allows the wight to shift (at least one…could it be more than one…the party is not sure).
These are humaniod Constructs and they seemingly guard a particular area. They have tough double shot ranged attacks.
Chamber of Eyes (Jon was the DM for part of this adventure)
The party agrees to take on a quest to help stop The Bloodreavers, a local “gang” of goblinoids and humanoids who are party of the circle of slave trade that the party has been helping to illuminate. Their headquarters seems to be located in The Chamber of Eyes.
A reluctant, but somehow enthusiastic, Rendil lead the party to the Chamber. It was not very hard to get there. The party made its way through and they basically destroyed every enemy that they could find there as they searched for any captured slaves.
They beat the big bad…Krand (Hobgoblin Chief) and they had some adventures in the kitchen/dining area that involved Lo-Kag pretending to be a trained bear who was being lead to the dining hall for the entertainment of the troups. The group played it off very well overall and most of the gang there were convinced…allowing the party to get the surprise drop on them.
They did find and free the slaves and questioned them about the captives of Riverdown..who the party is also looking for.
The slaves were being held in a shrine to the old Minotaur God…Torog. It has long since been abandoned and the Bloodreavers had converted it to holding cells.
After clearing out the Chamber, then party headed back to The Seven Plllared Hall and took some time gathering more intel there. They had a lot of run-ins in town and they met more residents and shop keepers and the like. They unsuccessfully tried to sneak into the Grimmerzhul Trading Post because they believed it was part of the slave ring. It is Duegar run and even its sign post seems suspicious…a Hammer and Manacles. Hmmm…But, they gleaned no real info while there during the day and they failed in their attempt to break in at night.
They accepted a quest from Dwarf merchant Ulthand Deepgem to help find his missing pet Dire Boar. It supposedly ran off when a group of his workers/miners were attacked (Ulthand think Gnolls did the attacking) and he thinks it is lost somewhere in the Labyrinth.
They also accepted a quest from Gendar, the Drow trader, to locate an ancient skull scepter. Gendar told the party that the Duergar in The Horned Hold had the scepter after they stole it from the compatriots Gendar had out looking for it in the first place.
The Horned Hold
The party, lead by Terrlen Darkseer, made their way towards the only known entrance to The Horned Hold. Terrlen left the party before getting all the way there. The party made it the rest of the way, surveyed the scene, and tried their attack on the portculis/entrance. They fought 5 orcs and it was a prolonged fight…but the party prevailed.
They continued on, fighting, resting, seaching as required. They found the “skull scepter” that they were questing for for Gendar the Drow.
They encountered a “mini-boss” in the form of Rundarr, a Duegar. The party, though, had a great plan. Cinder made Sy invisible so that Sy could sneak up on Rundarr and kill him quickly and silently. There was one flaw, through…Rundarr is immune to illusion spells and “saw right through” the ploy. A large battle ensued. An innocent thrall was killed in the process, but the party eventually won the day. Some Duegar got away, though…NOT good. The thralls that survived agreed to hide out in the kitchen. In fact, they were terrified to leave.
This particular battle sort of set the scene for the next few encounters, where at each turn at least one enemy got away. One time the party was chasing the lone surviving Duergar out onto a long, narrow bridge. The Duergar had reached the far end of the bridge and was attempting to get through a locked door. Doro lined him up and fired away…psyched to kill him off before he got away…only to crit fail and end up blasting a hole in the door and allowing the enemy to escape. Oops.
Sy also started a few fights a bit prematurely and one, in particular, actually cost him his life as he got over zealous in attacking a new enemy…which turned out to be an Arbalester. He fought when he could have run…and he paid the price. Fortunately, Surina rolled a natural 20 when attempting to bind his wounds and save his life…and thus Sy lived on. Craziness.
The party continued exploring, Surina became Diamanda, and Wights were encountered for the first time. In fact, this was the first time any undead had been encountered since the Keep.
The party moves onward and they are currently locked in battle in a room that used to contain 3 cisterns but now those have seemingly been repurposed as slave pens. In addition to the Duergar in the room, there are 2 odd and scary flying creatures that are part of the fight. They seem tough and they can fly or hover or walk.