Hiza takes her leave and returns to the Township of Iberal. Torgrim’s assignments are ended until the dwarf hierarchy can think of another mission. He joins the party.
Location: Abandoned dwarven fort in the mountains.
(This is a canned adventure which is why I stopped taking notes really. It fit in easily with my story and I found it interesting so I used it – with a few alterations. The orcs were converted to goblins and ogres. The main villains – the ogre Ulfe and the goblin Adept Burdug – were retained. Although, converted and fortified. The description only has a few of the highlights rather than the entire expedition in detail.)
The Forge of Fury
Trying to route the goblin raiders the party follows Skiritai (tracking the goblins) to the local base of operations. This base is an underground compound in the mountains between Deepwell and Stonewall.
The party reconnoiters the entrance to the complex. There is a long open path up to a cleft in the mountain wall. Visible within the cleft are some goblin sentries with bows. How many goblins are in the cleft is unknown. Having a few alter self potions and party members that speak goblin the party decides to disguise themselves as goblins and approach the complex. The plan is not well discussed though and Gunter uses the ruse just long enough to get within striking distance of the first sentry. Their cover blown when Gunter slays the first guard with his sword, the other party members are stunned by the sudden change in plan – as well as by the barrage of arrows shot from the arrow holes in the walls. The party charges up the cleft in the mountain receiving arrow volleys all the way up. The end of the path is somewhat disappointing when the party discovers a locked door at the end of the otherwise dead end passage. The party does manage to kill a few of the goblin archers, and protect the rest of the party, while Torgrim works on opening the door.
The room beyond the door is also made to slow any attackers down. A single rope bridge spans a chasm, while 3 rock pillars provide cover for attackers on the other side. Unfortunately for the goblins, several members of the party either walk on walls or fly. The goblin guards on the far side are engaged quickly which allows remaining party members to cross the chasm without molestation. The remaining goblins in the entryway try to retreat. One may have even made it away.
The party continues on into the fort. As they walk through the rooms they find that it seems deserted. As expected, they eventually meet the inhabitants. All in one room; Using crates as cover. The melee engages and the monsters find themselves on the side that is losing, but they have no significant escape route. Torgrim invisible sneaks up to the crates so that he may climb over and attack the creatures from behind. He discovers Burdug hiding in one of the crates casting spells secretly from cover. He attacks Burdug, but misses (even at this range). Burdug takes Torgrim down with a sleep spell then makes her getaway from the battle invisibly. There is no question about the winners in this fight and Burdug decides to retreat to safety.
While searching the remaining rooms for more goblins and ogres the party finds a staircase that leads down.
The stairway leads down into some caverns that are only partially worked. In the cavern area they find another entrance to the surface, the sarcophagi of the last dwarfs to inhabit the fort, a large sinkhole disappearing into the depths, and a small iron door. They encounter stirges, troglodytes, a dire bear (which they lead to the surface), gricks, and a large lizard (which they run away from). The party resolves to continue on because they hear the echo of hammers on anvils coming up from the sinkhole. They choose not to try to scale the walls of the sinkhole and hope that another path exists beyond the iron door.
The lower levels of the fort are definitely more dangerous than the upper levels. The party meets and treats with some duergar that are working in the forges. They meet and destroy a gray ooze, a wight and its skeletons, an animated table, and an allip. They free a (unknown to them) succubus and lead her to the exit. She kisses Torgrim (I believe) as a ‘thank you’ on the way out. The level loss is only temporary. The party is none the wiser.
There are two major combats in the deepest areas of the complex.
The worst battle occurs when Gunter investigates a small ledge in the caverns that is on the other side of an underground stream. The ledge is the home of a roper which immediately attacks. The party soon learns that the roper’s tentacles can reach across the stream so it can attack members that were hanging back. The fighter types get involved in hand to hand combat with the creature. Its strength sapping tentacles prove nearly deadly as it weakens Dorin, Gunter, and Skiritai. The missiles launched by Twylla and Torgrim, and the relentless pounding of the shield guardian finally win the battle. The roper crumbles into rubble.
A scary, but not so close, battle occurs when the party delves down into the bottom caverns and discovers the lair of a small black dragon. The wily dragon uses its knowledge of its home and the darkness to its advantage. It separates the party down to the individual, almost. The dragons darkness spells hamper even the dwarves. Skiritai’s light spells cause bright areas throughout the caverns. The dragon drops the heavily armored Dorin into its lake. Dorin’s exceptional ability to hold his breath allows him to walk to the shore before he drowns. In the end, the dragon is forced to retreat when Nicas polymorphs into a sahuagin and uses his shield guardian to pursue the dragon into the lake. The wounds it received from various party members forced it to back down from further fighting.
The party, content that they have cleared the old fort, finally exits and returns to Deepwell.