2019-11-08

DF Whiterock Session 71: Annoying the Duergar

Date:

2019-11-01


Weather:

Cold, sunny


Player Characters:

Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 439 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 436 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 427 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 443 points


Significant NPCs:

Hugin, Human Mercenary
Chauntessa, Innkeeper and Historian
Vulgaris, Minyad Druid
Alrux, Dwarf Armorer
About 10 duergar warriors
Duergar wizard


The group returned to Cillamar after their unexpectedly long trip to the Far Garden.  Elias got dragged straight to church for questioning.  The others met Hugin at the Inn of the Slumbering Drake.  Hugin had watched the portal for them for about 3 months, before Vulgaris made him take some time off and delegate to the stone giants.  The goblin that they had sent back with a note had come through a few weeks ago, and died in a fight with a giant.  They settled with $20000 as a reasonable price for Hugin's time watching the portal for a good chunk of the past year, and supervising the stone giants.  Hugin took his cash and headed right for Alrux to get a new greatsword made.

Chauntessa had put their valuables in a storage closet, and was ready to have them unpacked and their rooms in the Inn made ready.  She was curious about whether the group had found any interesting books on the other side of the gate, but, sadly, they had not.  The king had visited Cillamar while they were gone, but had not come to the Inn or met Chauntessa.  Zaber asked her if Lord Flitwick had been around, but Chauntessa said he had not, and his house had been seized by the city and was for sale.

Garreth went to see Alrux and order a new sword.  Hugin was already there, trying to commission a huge greatsword, and Alrux was trying to talk him down to a slightly shorter model that would fit him better.  Garreth expressed an interest in having a balanced silvered greatsword made using the orichalcum they'd found.  He ordered his sword, placed a deposit, and began waiting for Alrux to get the tools he needed to work the very hard metal.

Zaber went looking into Flitwick's seized town house in the Noble Quarter, and found that it was for sale for $20000, including all contents, with no proof of nobility required.   Seépravir then tried to get a better deal on the house, and got quoted the same price, but with a free cleaning and a year's property tax waiver.  Neither of them bought the house.

Seépravir wrote up the story of their trip to the Far Garden, and rolled a 3 on Writing for a critical success, generating a smash hit that sold dozens of copies and earned her $2000.  She found that Remy, a local mapmaker, was already selling copies of her book without giving her a cut, but decided not to inflict magical revenge.

Tiring of town, she cast Flight and Invisibility on everyone, and Warmth on herself (November is cold in Cillamar) and the group flew back to Castle Whiterock.  On the way, she also tested the Boots of Levitation to see if they would be useful.  Once they reached the castle, the group went down to the Immense Cavern, where Polly wanted to check the drow stalactite to see if any had returned.  It was spookily empty, apparently undiscovered by others.  Garreth opined that it might make a nice place to live in the dungeon.

The group flew back down, and then continued south and west, toward the trapped room leading to the duergar area.  Zaber spotted a trap trigger on the door, exactly where one had been before.  He disabled it.  But Garreth pointed out that there had also been a proximity trap in the middle of the room, which would be difficult to disable from outside.  After some discussion, they decided to tunnel around the room, rather than go through it.  Garreth pulled a pickaxe out of the Bag of Holding, and he and Polly took turns digging.  After a couple of minutes, Seépravir remembered to cast Silence so the noise wouldn't summon too many monsters.

After many, many hours of digging, Polly broke through, to the north-south tunnel on the other side of the trapped room.  North was a big steel door, presumably back to the trapped room.  South was a pitch black passage leading to stairs down.  After some Dark Vision spells, Zaber scouted ahead.

Peeking down the stairs, he spotted a duergar standing guard, talking to someone he couldn't see in Undercommon.  (Garreth, a bit farther back, who understands Undercommon, also heard the conversation, which was about how real dwarves use minced shitake mushrooms in their gruel, and anyone who doesn't like them is part elf.)  Zaber flew a bit further down the stairs, and saw that the room contained a bunch more duergar guards (at least nine total), and a couple of double doors.  And he heard some growling behind one of the doors.

Zaber flew back to talk to the others.  Seépravir made a Concussion missile, just in case.  Polly flew down the stairs to see what was going on, and then one of the duergar appeared to spot her, despite Invisibility.  He dove away out of her line of sight, and then two of the other duergar started growing, using their Enlarge power.  She flew away up the stairs, and then north toward the others.

The group stopped by the end of their tunnel, and waited for pursuers.  None came.  Garreth decided to entice some, by loudly singing in Undercommon about how dwarves are dumb and have short legs.  He rolled well enough on his default Songwriting skill to make some reasonably coherent insults, and pretty soon 3 huge duergar approached.

When they got within range, Seépravir threw her Concussion.  She rolled a critical failure, but used Luck to reroll and got it close enough to the middle duergar to catch all three in the Concussion's stun radius.  Duergar are pretty tough, though, and only one was stunned.  Polly then started shooting bodkin arrows with Continual Light on them.  The duergar in front blocked the first and dodged the other two.  Zaber readied his crossbow.

As the duergar charged at the now-visible Polly and Seépravir, Polly launched another volley of arrows.  This time, she rolled a critical hit and got maximum damage to the lead duergar's vitals, which did enough for a death check, which he rolled a 16 on.  Her next arrow hit the stunned duergar in the vitals, knocking him unconscious.  The survivor yelled something about the elf archer while backing away.  Seépravir cast Great Haste on Polly.

At that point, we had a one-on-one battle.  The duergar backed away while holding his shield up, All-Out Defending, and yelling warnings to his companions, while Polly advanced quickly and fired lots of arrows.  He blocked or dodged the first seven, but number eight drilled him in the vitals and stunned him.  Once he was stunned, his defenses got worst, and he eventually took a couple more arrows and fell down dead.  The other guards didn't come running out of the room.

Garreth dragged the dead dwarves back for looting, then decided to try his taunting song again.  The odds of it working were not good, since the three that had charged into battle before had died for it, and the remaining duergar were the smarter more level-headed ones that had resisted the taunting song before.  But, oops, an 18 on the resistance roll meant there was one more buffoon after all.  He made a heroic solo charge to stop the insults to his clan, and he died to a hail of arrows.

At that point we had an impasse: the remaining duergar guards were too smart to come running out, and the PCs didn't feel like charging in without Elias and without a Bless on Polly.  So, they looted the four dead duergar and went back to Cillamar.

GM's Comments:

We had more town time than usual, after the extended trip away.  The actual dungeon foray was pretty brief: taunt a few duergar guards away from their post and kill them with Concussion and arrows.

I was surprised to see manual digging rather than Shape Earth.  Maybe nobody thought of it; maybe they assumed the walls were enchanted against it.  Regardless, the digging worked; it was just slow and tiring.

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DF Whiterock Session 72: Invading the Duergar

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