After extricating ourselves from that fight, we remembered that one of the bastards had headed back, and was undoubtedly going to bring along a bunch of friends for the next part of the battle. That, or he was scraping up 40 pennies and a nice pair of dancing shoes. We were low on spells and ideas, and figured that this was the time to inform the bunch upstairs of what was happening, and to get some help ourselves. So we headed up the hill to report at the gate, and at the very least let them know. And we marked our way with chalk, with the intention of marking the final side passage with “We went this way”. Crude, but you never know what might happen.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to try it. As we went, I heard the sound of heavy boots behind us – RUNNING! I dived to the side and hide behind a rock, while Mel and Maul went ahead to take a stand, and Al got shoved behind another convenient boulder. I also took note of a pothole in the floor a little way up the tunnel, as I had a feeling it might be useful. Then Maul cast one of her mists and we waited for the rapidly approaching footsteps to congeal into things.
Which they did.
A bunch of seven dwarves came up to the edge of the mist. 4 armoured guys, two unarmoured and a boss dude. Boss dude cast a spell on an unarmoured dude, then everything went very very quiet. Then they snuck into mist, and I saw my chance. Using my sneaking sneak skills, I snuck out behind them and shot into the fog, just about where I’d seen the big dude go in. I assume it hit him, although I’ve no idea how badly.
But there was silence.
Then the dude I aimed at scurried out of the mist, and hurried into the shelter of a nearby rock, before I could peg him again. He left a trail of blood, though, so I must have hit him (yay for the new bow!)
It was still unnaturally quiet.
And if it seems like I have some supernatural knowledge of what was going down, it’s because I’m incorporating what the others told me later.
Suddenly a pile of dwarves stepped out of the mist in front of Maul and Mel, and commenced their assault. Mind you, they’d have done better to just start up a round of Riverdance, for all the good they did. Maul apparently was about to cast a soundburst on the beasties, when she realised the silence was not natural, and instead swung at one of the unarmoured dudes, causing a nasty cut with her massive axe. Mel leapt forwards with Roderick, and got a swipe into the other unarmoured guy. It was odd, there being a fight like that without Roderick’s barking echoing off the walls.
Al backed up the corridor until she could hear the sound of her own feet, then cast FBNS on one of the shielded guys, knowing that they’d have the hardest time avoiding it. Sure enough, a few moments later, despite the silence and the mist, I could tell from the smell of farting dog and crispy dwarf that something good was happening.
Then I heard the big dude casting a spell, so I rushed out and fired at him – and hit! But it looked like he’d healed himself, so it’s likely he wasn’t bleeding any more. Damn him. But hey, at least I kept him nice and busy.
Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.
Then one of the unarmoured guys hit Al with something nasty – he felt chilled, weakened, and as if some of his life force had drained out of him! Maul also copped a hard hit – and felt the same nasty effects. Only her Orcish blood kept her on her feet. The shield guys tried to surround the Big Girls, but failed to hit them. Maul called to the heavens to help her, channeled the positive energy and dashed past them into the mist. Luckily none of them hit her. Mel swung Roderick at the one that picked on Maul, and surely Nimbus had decided to bless her excessively as Roderick released the undead dwarf’s intestines. Mmm. Squishy.
But that meant that some of these dwarves were … ewww. Undead.
Al looked around her, and decided that discretion and disappearing was her best chance (thank goodness for that wand). The bastard on her got another hit in, but then she vanished in a puff of gnomish anger.
The big dude started up another spell – so I fired at him again . hit him slightly. The crossbow guys started after Maul, and found each other and the pointy ends of their comrade’s daggers. The shield-protected ones moved up to Mel, but missed. Unfortunately, the undead near Mel hit her, in the face with their ugly pick. The last one figured he knew where Al was, and swung the pick around in a menacing manner just above her head. Maul used the last of her positive waves of energy, which unfortunately healed one of the crossbow dudes, and was not enough to harm the undead dude, then she also retreated further into the mist.
Mel stomped on the undead dude’s foot, and as he looked down, she swung Roderick and took off his head. Oh how I love her when she does that. Al snuck past the undead critter, back towards the bunfight, and moved the FBNS to make sure it toasted the shield guys, who were also looking slightly better than they should have. (Maul’s spell had helped them as well.)
Boss dude started up another spell, so I hoicked an Alchemist’s Fire onto him – he managed to keep casting but he was roasting just a bit. I mean, they’re not for every occasion, but sometimes they are just beautiful. The one way up the tunnel near Al raced past her, for Mel, and looked like he was about to land a beauty, but Mel’s armour saved her from worse. Mind you, it was bad enough – there was life force being lost left right and centre here! Maul healed herself, and Al’s sphere slipped away and burned out. She cursed, and started casting up a swarm.
Poor Mel, though. As far as she knew, everyone around her had died! They’d all gone off and disappeared, and she was the last one left. Until she got a clue that maybe her favourite Halfling was still in the fight. You see, I hid back in the alcove, but then this mucking great hyena bit me! I yelped, stabbed him, ran and dropped into the pothole in the mist.
Mel engaged the guys with big shields, while Maul was attacked by the guys with crossbows who couldn’t find their own feet in a shoe shop. Mind you, Maul was having the same issue. Mel swung at the undead dude that had returned, just as Al’s swarm appeared, a pack of rats, who went for the dudes with the tower shields. She also decided that discretion was the best chance for staying alive, and stopped deadly still, still protected by her invisibility.
The hyena was snuffling around, and I could hear the boss dude coming near, so I stayed very very still and quiet. The other dwarves shuffled around in the mist, or next to Mel, and managed to avoid hitting any of my people. Then Maul swung her axe at the guys with crossbows, and whacked one fairly hard, enough that I could hear it from my hideyhole. Mel whacked at the undead dude, rather badly, but that’s ok – Al’s rats were all over him, eating his eyes out.
Yeah, we found the bits of them on the floor afterwards.
The hyena found me, but only slavered in my direction. Alas, this alerted the Big Dude, who had pulled out a nasty spiky chain and started swinging it at me. Ouchie. I ducked as low in the hole as I could, and the noise both the hyena and I were making started the other uglies towards me, which gave my amazing girls a chance to whack-a-wight. Maul only scratched them, but Mel finally took down the wight (for wight it was).
Al’s rats took another guy down, and moved to the next dude. Shame the rats couldn’t get at the hyena, but the hyena blinked out with a “woof”. The boss dude went at me again, but hit the side of the hole instead. I thought I swung at the dude, but it was the mist. Then one of the crossbow dudes came up to me too, although his aim was a bit off. And Mel, magnificent Mel, who could fight with a blindfold on, hit again and again.
Then the big dude hit at me, and hit, so I whacked an AF on his feet. Serves him right. Although that was no excuse for him to hit me again! Ouchie! So I hunkered down to the bottom of the hole, and didn’t try hitting anything else. In fact, all I did was to yell “HELP!” before ducking. Maul was feeling the agony of having lost some lifeforce, but Mel was still whacking away, and then ran towards where I was, drawing the rats onto the other guy trying to hit me, who went down.
Mind you, the Big Dude still tried at me with his mucking great chain, but missed. I stayed down, getting the wand of Cure Light Wounds out. I had a feeling it might be needed. And I could always try and use it on myself, even if it gave them a chance to hit me.0
Then Mel struck him down. HARD!
And Maul struck down her target! YAY!
And the fight was OVER! But we were sore hurt. Maul wisely applied the CLW wand to get us up a little, then we ransacked the bodies.
The goodies were basic weapons, although the boss guy’s Spiked Chain was masterwork, and not normal Dwarvish style.
“Weft hand or wight hand?”
“Don’t you mean weft hand or warp hand?”
He didn’t seem to have a holy symbol, but near where he was is a small empty vial, which had a slight trace of a conjuration effect.
So we took the head off the head cleric dude, (heh) and the hand of a wight, to help us prove our issue at the gate.
We headed up to gate, and the guard wouldn’t let us through. He called the Sergeant. The Sergeant called the assistant Abbott, who was horrified by the wight hand. He also identified the head as being that of a novice who had been at the Monastery. They called Master Abbott, and there were recriminations and the calling of a council and we were sent off to the Abbey for healing and repairs.
And at the Forge, the guy identified the chain as “not best Dwarvish work”, then offered to upgrade Roderick because Denerick is his niece’s daughter and they are thankful for our help.
“Not going to touch the spirit of the sword,” he said. “That would be wrong. But don’t be going telling anyone about this or they’ll all want it.”
Roderick’s reactions were as expected:
“Oh boy! The Forge! My favourite!”
“Oh boy! Hammering! My favourite!”
“Ooooh. Bath. Bummer.”
We were allowed to keep the amulet and the glowing dagger, as these were not local items, and we headed off for a good night’s rest.
1200 xp each!