Pushing on the group enters the main hall where the statue of Zenith Splintershield stands looking grimly towards the entrance, beyond which lies the realm of the Underdark. Wrapped about the statue are chains with wicked barbed hooks. When Jurgen moves to take those chains and secure the doors he is surprised to find that they have a will of their own. A brief struggle later and the remaining unbroken lengths of chain are used to seal the front doors.
The look on Aldonus’ face…
Jurgen then kicks open the double doors leading deeper into the Malachite Hold and roars in Dwarven “Creatures beware, there be a Dwarf in the Malachite Halls once more!”
The proverbial shit hits the fan as no less than ten of the darkly armoured Elves come rushing from various rooms connected with the hall. Each wears blackened chainmail and carry weapon and shield.
The fight starts viciously with Jurgen giving ground slowly. Sascha lets loose, revealing the rage within her to the group for the first time and starts to hew into elven bodies with devastating effect. She Attacks recklessly even as Elrik invokes Freyja’s name with a roar and protects Sascha’s flank. Aldonus, taking cover by the doors they had come through looses arrow after arrow and the casters begin flinging spells of destruction.
The fight is evenly matched despite the Elven number advantage.
Even that is till Sigfrith’s magic escapes his control and a roaring ball of flame centered on himself engulfs five of the seven adventurers and three of the Elves. Elrik falls and his Warding Bond cast on Jurgen flickers and dies. Lucius is burned horribly and his lifeless body hits the ground smoking. Jurgen grunts as the flame washes over him and suddenly believes that the fight is lost. Sascha, her quiet, methodical rage forcing her to see nothing but blood and death and the doors of Valhalla before her, continues to relentlessly smash her axe into her enemies. Sigfrith stands in the charred blast mark of ground zero and coughs smoke.
Jurgen calls for an ordered retreat, his shield up and his head down he heads to the doors that they had come from. Sigfrith tries to escape two of the Elves that have him cornered and he manages to get by them despite taking wounds but a third cuts him down. Aldonus flees towards the secret door in the previous room and is followed by Eevi. Sascha is torn between her Rage and her desire to save Elrik, she prepares to drag the Vanir cleric to the doors and the safety of Jurgen’s shield. She knows that she will receive many wounds in the attempt. But before she can make that decision Eevi peeks her head around the corner and casts Healing word on the downed Cleric of Freyja. Elrik coughs weakly but is still unconscious.
Sascha grips her axe tight and slams it into an Elf, killing it. She will not run now and kicks Elrik to wake him.
The elves press forwards chasing Jurgen and Swarming Elrik and Sascha. Jurgen bottlenecks the doors to prevent any elves from getting through to the softer targets behind him. Aldonus prepares to escape through the secret door his mind made up to save himself but he can hear the steady rhythm of a Great Axe crushing into Armour, cleaving flesh and bone and realizes that Sascha isn’t running. Torn now he looks back and suddenly curses out loud.
Sascha is lost in the rhythm of her Axe, she manages to do devastating injuries and puts down another Elf. Suddenly arrows begin striking her wounded targets, killing them, and she gives a savage, blood spattered smile.
Jurgen sees the shift in the battle and breaks from his defensive stance to swing his hammer with crushing power into the Elves in front of him. His feet are set and with grim determination he refuses to give ground even as the elves try to shove him back into the room so that they can surround him properly.
Elrik flashes a word of healing at Sascha and smashes an elf. Eevi cures Sigfrith’s wounds and Viciously Mocks those still standing. One elf breaks and flees for the double doors at the end of the hall escaping through and barring them closed from the other side.
The battle is over. Lucius lies on the floor, his body bathed in Elf Blood. Sascha, with the help of Eevi and Sigfrith wrap his body and place him at the foot of Zenith’s statue. Aldonus spikes the doors the two Elves were originally guarding. A silent look flits between the northerners. Sascha nods “Valhalla Awaits.”
They find a barracks, and a forge where three Goblins have been left behind to guard a dwarf and two halflings. One immediately plays dead while the other two flee in terror and are cut down quickly.
They have found Sondor Ironfold, wife of Lorthan Ironfold, Jeneer Everdawn a male halfling half mad with fear, Maple, a female halfling who seems to have kept her wits about her and Brutus Decimus Maximus, a human male. Sondor informs the group that there are more prisoners further in the complex. That the leader of the slavers is named Kazmojen and that he has a vicious six legged feline pet. These four are moved to where Lucius’ body now lies and given the directive to wait until they feel they cannot wait anymore. If the group does not return by then, they are to brave their way to the surface. Brutus volunteers to help fight the leader.
A Dining hall, Pantry, Larder, cooks quarters and a kitchen are discovered. In the Kitchen another Cauldron resident is found, Gryffon Malek. Brutus tells him he wants his supper on time. Gryffon seems slack jawed and suddenly realizes that those with Brutus are not his regular captors and instead begs to be let out. He is directed to where the other three are waiting. There is one more door and it is guessed that it is a side door that leads to Kazmojen’s bazaar.
Brutus volunteers to cause a distraction and moves back to the spike double doors, grabbing a heavy hammer from the forge area. He then begins to pound at those doors as though trying to break them down.
Jurgen bursts through the door and they find what they were looking for. Three of the Orphanage children are shackled to an Iron post, the fourth is held in chains by Kazmojen, his final words in Draconic “That’s my final offer, take it or don’t I have to deal with the fools who have raided …”to a human dressed in simple robes trailing off as his heavily armoured form turns towards the new disturbance.
By the front doors stands the Elf that had escaped earlier and against the west wall stands a monstrosity that no one can identify.
A large predatory feline reclines behind Kazmojen, it has six legs and tentacles sprouting from its shoulders. Jurgen Charges Kazmojen, Elrik quickly backs him up. Sascha catches the eyes of the elf who had escaped earlier and with a smile calmly walks towards him.
Aldonus and the casters launch arrows and spells from the door, targeting The Armoured Kazmojen. The Great Cat prowls along the back of the room before pouncing onto Sigfrith and viciously mauling him. The Robed figure backs off and the Monster envelopes him in its large clawed arms. His words cut through the sound of battle “Put your house in Order Kazmojen”
Sascha switches targets and engages the Cat, Elrik, Aldonus and Jurgen continue to trade blows with the Big Armoured Brute. The battle quickly ends as Kaz falls to a final crushing hammer blow from the dwarf. Followed by Sascha grappling the cat to the ground, she has it pinned by the back of the neck as Aldonus moves forward and runs his rapier through its eye and out the back of it’s skull.
The Monstrous creature has moved and has placed it’s claws around two of the children, waiting for orders to kill them.
A quick negotiation occurs, Money is returned and the pair disappear from view. Eevi quickly realizes that an invisibility spell has been used. But no one pushes the matter. The group is beat to shit.
Moving on they encounter two automatons that Jurgen quickly commands to deactivate in dwarven after Eevi yells for them to stop in Dwarf. They use them to push big blocks of stone out of the halls and find empty cells. They then find a torture chamber with two more elves and a Pretty human female strapped to an iron chair. The elves surrender and shift towards the window. The human identifies herself as Coryston Pyke even as the elves bail out the window, falling 30 ft to the waters below. The next complex of cells holds more captives. Krylscar Endercott, Deven, Irruth and Jasper who are quickly freed and sent to wait in safety.
They find an empty guard barracks, Kazmojen’s quarters and his secret vault. Deciding to take a few choice items, they head back to collect those that have been liberated and bring them back to the surface …
/End Shackled City Chapter 1.
- Things looked Grim when the Wild Mage roasted half the group and killed the Wizard.
- The party managed to split the last part into two hard fights rather than one Deadly Fight.
- A lot of Nat 20’s were hitting the table.