Another fun night of DnD Encounters at The Gaming Goat, but first a quick word from Wizards. The April update for the DDI tools was released earlier this week (read more here). This release also includes information from this month's new game supplement book, Halls of Undermountain. I've started reading it and at least at first glance it is very well written and I look forward to seeing what else it has to offer.
This week's DnD Encounters session kicked of the third and final leg of The Elder Elemental Eye adventure arc. Initially we didn't have enough players to run two different tables, although with a few stragglers we ended up with six players (Nate, Bobby, Don, Zach, Andrew and myself) for the night. DM Jack was back after having missed a few weeks, so DM Clyde stepped aside to let Jack run the show.
The party was able to get an extended rest ofter last weeks session and were now invigorated, rested and ready for action. With an inviting passageway that led down from the temple area the party began their trudge down the long spiral staircase into the darkness. The sounds of maddening whispers filled the adventurers ears, giving the stairway an eerie feeling.
At the bottom of the steps the quiet suddenly resumed and in the gloomy darkness the party saw they could proceed in any of four directions. Each of the four hallways was built of black stone and each was framed by a large doorway. Further inspection revealed that each doorway contained a unique symbol of one of the four elements: air, earth, fire, and water. The symbols were twisted and perverted, leaving the party no doubt that whatever lay beyond was prescribed by the symbol on that particular doorway.
After some discussion it was decided that the party would follow the hallway beyond the "air" doorway. As the party moved on the hallway itself seemingly began to twist and bend. Each step became more and more treacherous and everyone struggled to maintain their balance. The party continued to move their way through the maze, completing a series of individual and group skill challenges, mostly successful, and only losing one healing surge for the effort.
The party finally stood before a large pair of double doors. Our hammer wielding mage eschewed all efforts at stealth and drove the doors open with a mighty blow. Since nothing attacked in return, the party moved into the room. The room featured a a tri-level architecture, with a set of stairs leading down ten feet to a second level and then down another ten feet to the lowest level. In the center of the lowest level stood a large black pyramid-shaped obelisk, rising up thirty feet and almost reaching the ceiling. A pair of sinister altars stood at each end of the room. Each altar stood between two doors, and four large burning fire pits gave the room a spooky glow.
The rest of the party moved into the room, the cleric inspected the altar at that end of the room while a few others inspected the doorway opposite the alter. The altar appeared to give off a magical aura, the kind of aura that might provide a benefit to a creature of an elemental origin. There were no symbols on either of the two doorways at this end of the room, leading the party members to speculate that no matter what their decision of which doorway to take they were likely to have ended up in this room regardless.
The party then fanned out around the room, finding a scaffold that spanned from the top level of the room to a point near the top of the obelisk. There were also a pile of supplies around the scaffolding, and further inspection revealed two Potions of Healing, a +1 war hammer, and 30 GP per party member. With his courage further infused by the feel of a magic hammer in his hands our mage strode confidently across the scaffold and smote the obelisk with his hammer. Four Plague Demons instantly appeared around the top level of the room and two Black Cyst Elementals stepped out from doorways that suddenly appeared in the obelisk itself, and the battle was on.
Our fighter, Andrew, this being the first game of DnD in his life, strode forward waving his mighty sword and of course immediately rolled a 20/critical hit on his very first attack. That certainly set the mood for the night as the party quickly whittled through the Plague Demons, including a fifth one that appeared shortly thereafter. With the fodder eliminated the party was able to quickly concentrate on the two Elementals and it wasn't long before they were vanquished as well. The only party member knocked unconscious was our oh-so-stealthy hammer wielding mage, but only because he was knocked off one of the ledges and he took enough damage from the fall to put him at -1.
The party then stared at the two doors that had opened in the obelisk ... but that's for next week.