This was the week of spring break for many of the local schools and The Gaming Goat was especially busy tonight. There was some sort of Yu-Gi-Oh contest underway for one thing, plus we were lucky enough to have have four additional Encounters players join us tonight. The new players wedged themselves in with the rest of the group, reviewed their pre-gen characters, and off we went. Our table featured myself, Tim, Zach, Tom was missing this week, and sitting in with us were Jacob, Joe and Zach #2. Clyde was DM'ing as always, and we were looking for a pleasant evening of wandering around the Sunset Shrine.
Last week we had finally got the door to the shrine open and had started down a long hallway lined with statues of aberrant creatures. As the party moved down the hall the smell of smoke filled the air and large fires could be seen flickering in the room ahead. As the party stepped into the room they could see the remains of several crumbled pillars and two large fires burning in the midst of the rubble. There were several closed sets of double doors around the room and a portcullis barred access to the area beyond the room.
Two gruff looking dwarves stood on either side of the portcullis. One wore a yellow cloak and stood on the party side of the portcullis, while the other in a purple cloak stood beyond the portcullis. In addition a pair of crossbow wielding dwarves were stationed on ten foot high platforms at the back of the room. With a wild and crazy laugh Yellow Cloak loudly taunted the party, stating that they knew we were coming. The six party members put together a quick strategy to try and pin down the two crossbowmen while the rest of the party concentrated on Yellow Cloak.
Yellow Cloak immediately cast a burst that bloodied four of the party members (uh-oh, not a good start). Then eight (!) minions poured through the side doors to pin the party down at the back of the room. One of the rangers was killed outright, and two other party members (including out healer) were soon unconscious (double uh-oh). The party finally got to respond and took out most of the minions and were able to get some of the wounded party members back on their feet, but another round of attacks halved the party's numbers yet again.
Yellow Cloak was finally bloodied, so he reacted by becoming a large elemental fire creature with a damage inducing aura. The remaining party members did their best, but a couple more crossbow bolts took down two more and then the fire elemental took down the last one standing hero. Coup de grace's for everyone!
We should have all been Level 2 characters by now, but weren't because we got TPK'd a few weeks ago. The new party members were Level 1 as well. It makes a difference - we were within one good blow of killing the fire elemental and if we had gotten past him we probably would have made it. Another handful of hit points would have kept several of us alive for at least another round or two also. Clyde told us all to bring in Level 2 characters for next week because the encounters aren't going to be getting any easier.