2230, Far, 20 Aufgasta, 3E998
Confident that no reinforcements were coming, the Heroes 4 Hire took a short rest in the entry courtyard of the ruined-temple-turned-slaver-operating-base, healing some wounds and getting a bite to eat. They then investigated the double doors at the south end of the courtyard, opposite the portcullises of the gatehouse. Illyia listened and peeked under with his mirror, and decided all was safe, pushed open the massive 15’ tall oak-and-iron doors. A long, darkened hallway proceeded them, all the way out of sight, lined on both sides with great statues of orcs and gargoyles every ten feet, alternating orc-gargoyle, orc-gargoyle.
The team formed up in combat ranks and crept down the hallway. About halfway to the far end, which ended in another set of large, tall, ornate double doors of oak banded in iron, Illyia and Diplo stepped onto an unseen glyph on the floor, and they scrambled to get off it as blue bolts of arcane energy percolated up from the stone. They managed to get well out of the way by running forward, and the glowing glyph shots bolts of lightning out from the floor and into two of the nearby gargoyle statues, obliterating their legs and sending the torso-and-up sections falling into the second rank where Greves and Dajjal were diving for cover. Chunks of stone bounced off them, but they dusted themselves off and the team proceeded up the hallway, again convinced that there would be no sneaking up on anyone.
They approached the next set of double doors and Illyia again checked, and observed a few feet shuffling frantically around on the other side of the door. The team burst through into a large temple room, with a raised dais against the far wall, an altar upon it and behind it a giant statue of the orc god of destruction, Gruumsh, posed in a heroic combat stance. There they engaged a female human cleric and her three half-orc henchmen, armed with halberds and at the ready. The team focused on the cleric, giving her no chance to bring her spells to bear on them, and then they teed off on her bruisers. Once they had defeated them, they moved to search the room.
Illyia stuck his nose in the poor box to see if anything was in there, and nearly had his face taken off by a troll… miniaturized by a magic Stone of Diminution, who then sprang out of the box and to full size. The party engaged the troll, but an assassin who had managed to remain hidden behind the altar and the statue since the team entered the room surprised the group with a vicious backstab into Beeblebrox… dropping him like a hot rock. Half the team switched to the assassin, and both he and the troll were finished. A quick heal brought Beeblebrox back to consciousness, and the party resumed their search.
Behind the altar they found an ornamental ‘trap’ door in the floor, just in front of the toes of the Gruumsh statue. They discovered the door was rigged before they opened it, so Illya threw a rope through the pull-ring, everyone got out of the way, and he pulled open the door while standing atop the altar. A click was heard as the door swung open, and the sword arm of the giant statue swung down in a great arc over top of the door and altar, sending Illyia diving for safety. The trap now safe, they found below a long vertical shaft with a ladder going down to what must be the city sewer system. A little less than arm’s length below the floor, they also found a niche in the shaft wall that had three sacks of coins and gemstones, as well as documents of the slaver’s operations and schedules, including a map of the slave caravans’ route to the next station.
They took a short rest to heal up and prepare for the next phase of the assault. They moved out of the temple wing, back through the entry courtyard, and into a door that led to hallways going in and around the harpies’ cloistered garden. One hallway was destroyed by a collapsed floor, open to the sewers below, and the team circumvented it by going through the garden again. Once beyond that obstacle, they came to a room full of twenty apparent slaves chained to the wall, being tormented and terrorized by three orcs using a light trick with a bullseye lantern to bluff an ogre with a whip. The team attacked the orcs, and the slaves broke open their manacles and drew shortswords hidden beneath their raggity clothing to attack the party. As the Heroes 4 Hire performed a Fighting Withdrawal from the room, the fake slaves and slavers pursued them in to the hallway. They continued their withdrawal into the next room, an empty room, where they set up a proverbial ‘killbox’ just inside the door, eliminating the vastly uneven odds.
The closest pursuers hot on the team’s tail were quickly crushed in the killbox. A leaderly voice in the hallway stopped the rest of the slavers from entering the doorway into the kill zone, and set up a killbox of their own on their side of the very same door. Insults and taunts became the weapon of choice as each side tried to goad the other into their trap.
0100, Sar, 21 Aufgasta, 3E998
Which side will cave in and rush the other, braving the enemy kill zone? What other tricks and traps lurk in the Slave Pits of the Undercity? What fate awaits the Heroes 4 Hire?
Tune in next week, on “TGC: Heroes 4 Hire!!”