The group did not meet last Sunday because of the 4th of July holiday but we were back to our old tricks this night. Scott and Dave were back after having missed our previous session, but it was Rich's turn to miss (scouting!) so we were not quite back to full strength yet.
We had ended our last session with a bit of a cliffhanger – the party had busted into a room from two different directions where they confronted a pair of Duergar Guards, although a Hobgoblin Warcaster (a/k/a Hobgoblin Sportscaster) quickly appeared and nailed Krstic with some serious lightning damage. This evenings activities started off with getting Scott and Dave caught up from what they had missed, getting the characters properly placed on the map, and away we went.
The Duergar Guards were tough fellows but they fell pretty quickly to the party’s onslaught. The Warcaster held his own for awhile as well, but they were able to hold on long enough for reinforcements to arrive. From down the hallway another Warcaster had alerted two additional hobgoblins who immediately ran down the hallway to join the attack, while the Warcaster stayed behind to throw some lightning bolts from long distance.
The guards, the original Warcaster, and a Hobgoblin Warrior all seemed to fall at the same time, leaving the Hobgoblin Chief staring at the party all by himself. The remaining Warcaster threw a force spell that knocked several of the party prone, allowing the Chief and the Warcaster to make an exit out of the hallway down a passageway that led south. A door could be heard to open and a goblinic cry went out that intruders were in the building. In the distance there was also the wail of a hound or a wolf that the party could also hear from ahead.
Krstic and Bogar arose and charged down around the corner only to find a Hobgoblin Archer awaiting them, along with two other Archers arrayed from the other side of the room. A second Hobgoblin Warrior joined the Archer at the door and with a briefly rested Chief soon rejoining the fight managed to bottle up the party from that direction.
Oester thought that maybe the double doors in the other direction might lead into the same room, so he rushed back down the steps toward the guard room and threw open the double doors to the Shrine in the Chamber of Eyes.
Besides what Oester saw in the picture above there was also a large Dire Wolf standing maybe ten feet away from where he stood. Oester managed to cry wolf (scream? squeal?) for help and Miave and Akta quickly responded. Miave was able to position herself behind Oester and started throwing arrows, but she also found herself the target of one of the Archers who had moved down a side stairs to engage. When Akta joined the fray he quickly did some major damage with one of his blast spells, and along with some major damage from Oester and Miave the Wolf was rendered pretty useless.
Jenneth was able to throw some ranged spells, and Eldred was able to some healing affects for Bogar and Krstic, but both found themselves pretty much stuck in the hallway behind the big guys. Oester, Akta, and Miave were able to enter the room through the main doors below and past the dead wolf and started doing some ranged attacks from below, but the Warcaster, now also refreshed, was able to zap Akta with a ranged spell for some good damage. A third Hobgoblin Warrior took advantage of Akta’s Dazed state to essentially take a free swing. Miave used some carefully placed arrows to take down the remaining Warcaster and it looked like maybe the tide had turned.
Finally the impasse at the door on top was broken and the remaining party members started to pour into the room. The Chief attempted to make a break for the door but never made it down the steps. The two remaining Archers also abandoned their post and looked to run away as well, but died as they neared the door. The final Hobgoblin Warrior attempted to hide behind one of the statues, but was sniffed out by the party and taken out as well.
As the party looked around they saw:
2 Duergar Guards, each wearing chain mail and wielding a war hammer
3 Hobgoblin Warriors, each wearing scale armor and wielding a light shield and a long sword
3 Hobgoblin Archers, each wearing leather armor, and wielding a long sword and a long bow with 30 arrows
2 Hobgoblin Warcasters, each wearing robes and wielding a quarterstaff
1 Hobgoblin Chief, wearing scale armor and wielding a heavy shield and a spear
1 Dire Wolf
Time ran out at this point so the party will get their chance to investigate the rooms and the monsters next week. Each member of the party earned 270 XP for the encounter.
DM Notes: I usually admit the mistakes I made at this point, but I think I did a good job keeping my Hobgoblin bonuses straight, I got the two main characters a “Second Wind” to extend their usefulness, and pretty much had the party bottled up for most of the night.
As the DM I felt that this was the best encounter I had run to date. The 7/5 adjustments included a few minions but also including upgrading several monster/levels as well. Several of the characters were bloodied, and Krstic and Bogar were both bloodied repeatedly. A few better rolls on my part and I thought I might have been able to put one or both of them down. The Dire Wolf was a bit of a disappointment, but he took a lot of damage real quick and was never really a factor.
This could have possibly been two separate encounters but the way things evolved they got conjoined. Of course the previous encounter in the Guard Room could have also possibly been merged into this as well if a few things had gone differently. And yes, if those last few Hobgoblins had gotten out the door … well, who knows?
There were a few rules issues that popped up over the course of the evening that I will address in a separate post.
Scorecard: As stated previously the party will get its chance to inspect the Shrine and its rooms next week. The party earned 270 XP, 5085 total (415 additional required to reach Level 5).