Might of the Inquisition

Thunderspire Labyrinth Part 2: The Horned Hold

Adventure 10

Recap

We rejoin our heroes as they still seek to unravel the enigmas beneath Thunderspire... After resting up at the Halfmoon Inn, the party is met by Terrlen Darkstalker, a local (and very feral-looking) guide. As a favor to his old friend Gairdan Facio, and because he hates those who traffic in slaves, he joins the group. The last lead at the Chamber of Eyes mentioned the Grimmerzhuls, so Terrlen leads them to the Grimmerzhul Trading Post, a shop set into the cave walls run by duergar. Reschard attempts to negotiate with the soot-skinned dwarfkin, but in the back, Darian Shadowheart has escaped from his bonds and is found by one of the duergar. The halfling cries out before attacking the duergar on his own, and the rest of the party take the opportunity to join the offensive. The battle commences, and Gurias thunderwaves the counter at the two guards, spraying gold all over the room and seriously damaging one of them. [[Image:Adventure10-1.jpg]] Other duergar in the shop move to protect their store as the party tries to pincer them in between the rooms. A Duergar Theurge joins the fight, spraying noxious fumes and explosive ash clouds over the party. The honed skills of the party, aided by the barbarian skills of Terrlen, crush the evil creatures. Further investigation reveals a back tunnel into a part of the labyrinth. The party welcomes Darian back to them at last, but realize their work is not done. Before going down the mysterious tunnel, the party stocks up around the Seven-Pillared Hall. A stop is made to the Deepgem Company, an operation run by Ulthand Deepgem. He eagerly buys the gems off the party for their full value, and then beseeches them to take up a quest for him: Recover Deepgem’s Dire Boar Kujo. ’’(This has been added to Quests.)’’ Supplies in hand, the expedition down the duergar tunnel commences. Darian steps back into his role of scout, and discovers a small series of chambers. He carefully opens the doors to each one, searching carefully. One of the sets of doors open to reveal Murklemor Grimmerzhul, head of the Grimmerzhul clan. He brandishes a huge maul, threatens the group with sale to mind flayers, and orders his guards to attack. [[Image:Adventure10-2.jpg]] As soon as he can react, Gurias lets loose his powerful sleep spell into the room, and manages to catch one of the duergar guards. Nohrik engages one of the guards, and soon discovers that they have the ability to grow to large sizes and inflict massive damage. Another duergar spellcaster launches many of the same spells as the previous one, seemingly uncaring if he affects his allies with their effects or not. Reschard concentrates on his teamwork, keeping Gurias away from the bad guys and aiding Nohrik in his fight. Glandrin steps the forefront and engages Murkelmor. Terrlen too charges into the fray with the boss duergar, as Darian keeps trying to move into optimal sneak attack position. The battle twists and turns, as Murkerlmor’s powerful swings enable him to send foes flying. The tide turns when Glandrin and Terrlen manage to take out the trapped spellcaster, who unleashes one more blast spell in the room as he is cut down. Gurias pounds on a sleeping duergar, who awakens just in time to use his growth ability and tries to smash the Eladrin. Teamwork carries the day, and the duergar are wiped out to the last. More treasure is found, including an Onyx Demon Idol that catches their eye. A recovered note indicates that some slaves were here, but were sold to the Blackfang clan of Gnolls. The party hears noises from the next room, and approaches cautiously. Throwing open the door and preparing for another fight, they instead see where the remaining slaves have been kept: including Splugh the merchant that betrayed them. A tense moment comes when both Darian and Terrlen initially want to end his life right away, but the fat merchant manages to negotiate saving his life in exchange for some information. He reveals the location of more hidden treasure in the room, and informs the party that the rest of the duergar have escaped into a secret passage that leads back to the duergar mines, where hundreds of the creatures toil in the belly of the Underdark. The decision is made to return to town instead of potentially face an army of devil-dwarves. Splugh is turned into the authorities for attempting to sell Darian into slavery, and the Mage of Saruun on duty takes the prisoner, indicating he will be dealt with properly. While taking a break at the Halfmoon Inn with a well-deserved meal, an albino kobold approaches Nohrik. The dragonborn treats the creature with contempt as it gives up a note that it was told to pass along. The note invites the party to a hidden location to help take down an evil organization from the inside. At first, it seems as though only Nohrik will go, but eventually the entire party decides to investigate. After coming to an abandoned cave, the ruse is revealed: it’s a trap! Tiefling warlocks spring out of hiding to attack, and command a summoned demon and a bronze minotaur golem to strike. The golem tramples Glandrin and pins him against the wall. [[Image:Adventure10-3.jpg]] Darian and Terrlen go after the Tieflings up on ledges, leaping on nearby boulders as necessary. The ledges and flying demon prove difficult to deal with, but a combination of reach weapons and ledge jumping allows them to take command of the situation… except for the Golem. The minotaur statue wreaks havoc through the mighty warriors, hefting its brutally sharp axe causing profuse bleeding on any whom it hits. Nohrik has enough, and calls upon the might of his god to deliver a brutal strike against the statue. Not to be outdone, Terrlen summons deep into his primal abilities and lets loose a strike with the fury of an avalanche dealing massive damage to the minotaur as well. Gurias gets the statue in his sights, concentrates, and he too delivers a critical strike of magic against the golem, channeling the creature’s own magic against it to finish it off. Within one of the Tiefling’s packs are revealed the source of the ambush: Paldemar, the rogue Mage of Saruun, is on to them. The ambush was supposed to kill the party and deliver their corpses to the Blackfang gnoll tribe. The Blackfangs reside in a deadly and mysterious area of the labyrinth known as the Well of Demons. Directions to the Well are also with the Tiefling, as the group sees where fate seems to be pointing them next…

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