D&D Encounters Quest, Scourge of the Sword Coast, part 14

Yay, I’m behind on posting my weekly adventure in the D&D Encounters program. In my defense, Easter with family in addition to my cold from hell threw me off my game. The good news is that I’m feeling 90% better, and the cough is finally subsiding, though I still go through several Ricola lozenges per day. Honey-Herb is still the best flavor ever.

So this post is actually for the game played two weeks ago (Wednesday, April 16, 2014). The big damn heroes for that particular week were:

  • Szenden , a Half-Elf Fighter
  • Gavan, an Elven Mage of the High Elf variety
  • Valantis, an Elven Monk, of the Wood Elf variety
  • Tassidar, a Half-Orc Fighter
  • Mave, a Human Rogue, and the only female in the party
  • Rook Trillcook, a Halfling Rogue
  • Dovahkiin, a Dragonborn Ranger
  • Selwyn, an Elven Ranger and newcomer to the party

We’re still crawling through Firehammer Hold; in fact, when last we left the group, we were in the middle of a battle with Duergar, dark dwarves with a chip on their shoulder. Literally, not figuratively. Anyways, we start out the session in battle with twelve of them. Hurray for battle. Actually, I recall us taking a short rest (one hour game time) after this battle, so it certainly wasn’t a cakewalk, though we were victorious.

Other encounters of interest include:

  • A room of worship with a crystal statue of a dwarf. Some of us recognize this dwarf to be Dumathoin, a dwarven god of buried treasure, exploration and guardian of the dead. Written in dwarven at the base of the statue is an inscription. Thankfully, several of us happen to be knowledgeable in the dwarven language, and it reads “Friendship is more than a word. Weight it carefully.” The first sentence of that phrase happens to be what was written on the dwarven bloke we had retrieved for the Duke of Daggerford.
    • While this is off-topic, why is the Duke of Daggerford a greedy, self-involved, lying cheat? Is it too much to ask for just one of our political figures to be on the up-and up? Just one is all I ask. ONE!
  • In an adjoining room to this statue, we find a crazy puzzle room, forty feet across and thirty feet deep. The floor is made up of dwarven shields that depress whenever someone steps on one. On the other side of a room is a door, and various dwarf statues stand at the right and left ends of the rooms in alcoves. Written on each shield are dwarven runes, old dwarven names. We find that we can cross the room with no incident, but the door on the other side remains locked. However, we eventually find that the first rune of each name is never repeated in a row. In fact, if we spell out friendship (in dwarven), on the way to the other side, the door is unlocked. Weight it carefully, indeed.
  • Opening the door, we find another statue, but where the face  is, it looks like a stone tablet would fit. Like a dwarven bloke we used to have in our possession. D’OH! There is an inscription: “Greetings friends and allies of the Watchers…” This particular statue, we recognize to be another dwarven deity, Gorm, the watcher.
  • We had earlier found a map from one of the Duergar, with one area marked as ‘home.’ We had avoided the area as long as possible, but finally worked up the courage to explore it. It’s essentially a cavernous area roughly 40″x40″, but with slabs of marble lining the walls, a mausoleum. Symbols are drawn on the floor and above, written in blood and not in dwarvish. None of us are able to decipher the language, other than we not it is related to abyssal, the language of demons, but it is not in abyssal.
    • Traveling deeper into this ‘home’ area is is short cave, with walls covered with primitive murals depicting dwarves fighting what looks like a giant purple worm. We eventually find a giant hole, presumably where such a creature could emerge, but thankfully nothing does. Despite our investigation, we don’t really discover anything special about this hole.
  • Another area where we find a prisoner tied up, presumably the female we were trying to save. There are nine duergar in this area, four standing guard and five of them asleep. Naturally, violence ensues, and during the chaos, a duergar wizard joins the fray. Emerging victorious, we free the prisoner and find a set of studded dragon leather armor and a silver greataxe, equipment we recognize to belong to Jek. In an adjoining room, shackled in a Northeast corner, happens to be Jek himself, alive though rather delirious, thinking us to be some illusions of some sort.
  • To top that all off, there is a summoning circle here, written in blood…why is everything written in blood? Ink would be a less expensive alternative, wouldn’t it? We fail to determine where it goes, and none of us are keen on splitting the party to try and activate the thing. Gavan does make a copy of the circle on some parchment, and is able to eventually determine that the symbols written on it are in infernal.
  • We show Jek the room with the statue of Gorm. He appears rather confident that we must somehow recover the bloke from the duke. It’s a dwarven artifact! It belongs in a museum…at Firehammer hold!

Speaking of which, that brings us to the end of Firehammer Hold. Having rescued the pregnant female NPC whose name I’ve clearly forgotten, and Jek himself, we make our way back to Daggerford. Gavan is rather overjoyed, having acquired another the duergar wizard’s spellbook, so now he can augment his own spellbook with newly acquired spells. To top that all off, we’ve all leveled up to level 4. Awesomesauce!

Since I’m behind, I’m going to work hard to get part 15 up Wednesday morning, since tomorrow evening I’m playing through what will eventually be part 16. Because as the time between when the event occurred and the here-and-now grows larger, and I’m relying more-and-more on my feeble memory. playing catch-up is almost always never fun.

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