Our Heroes (9th level):
- Lt. Alex Gravis, Water Genasi Warlord (and Ivan, owlbear striker/defender/leader)
- Gartok, Dwarf Earth Warden
- No-Name, Elf Bow Ranger
- Torin Tsai, Half-Orc Slayer
- Xyla, Drow Vampire
Gathering up their gear the party leaves the guardroom and wanders through largely empty halls until they find a new door and kick it in. Some kind of ritual is happening here involving blood and chanting. A figure in robes turns to the door and takes hold of the ranger's mind. Not waiting for further developments, Gravis shouts "Torin stop him!" as the slayer charges in and destroys the robed hobgoblin standing in a circle who is cutting himself with a dagger while glaring at the rest of the party and chanting. The twelve cultists standing on the outer perimeter of the circle take issue with this and their leader, an obvious cleric of Tiamat orders them to attack.
From the door the ranger begins mowing down cultists as Gartok, Gravis, and Xyla charge in. The dragon worshipers stand little chance and are cut down unceremoniously along with their leader. Barely winded, our heroes move on.
Realizing they left a door unopened, the team doubles back, forces the door in question, and emerges into a grim scene - a torture chamber run by devils.
A Vizier Devil, her Pain Devil second, and a trio of Pain Devils seem almost happy to have something to fight as they move to defend their lair. The party charges in and are met with waves of pain as they close - apparently the devils radiate pain! The devil captain utters a word and his crew's scourges burst into greenish flame. The vizier devil stands safely behind her subordinates, throwing blasts of flame into the enemy ranks. One devil falls to the heroes' assault but Torin staggers and falls under the devils' defense and Xyla is battered and bloodied as well.
Safely beyond the range of the auras of pain, the ranger drops one of the foul devils. Hurting, the vampire rips the last pain devil apart and then teams up with Gartok to slay the lead pain devil as well. The slayer climbs back to his feet as Gravis shouts encouragement, lashes out, kills the vizier devil but he falls to blood loss at the same time.
Triumphant but having suffered serious wounds and running low on ways to heal them, the heroes make a hasty retreat to one of the empty guest rooms they discovered earlier. Holing up and resting up, their mission will have to wait for now.
DM Notes: This was another session with some exploration, a very short combat, then a better combat.
The first fight was over before it started with the robed Talon of Tiamat dominating the ranger and then not living long enough to command him later in that round! The rest of those enemies was unable to even slow down the group with the cleric croaking on round 2 and the last of the minions dying on round 3.
The original adventure has a group of clerics in this room - I stayed pretty close to that, just using some of 4E's new options to make a more mixed set of bad guys.
The second fight was much more even with overlapping pain auras dropping the slayer and hurting the vampire and the warden. Flaming melee weapons with reach are pretty nice too. Combined with the vizier's ranged abilities this was a much tougher group of opponents. They still pulled it out in 5 rounds but they were drained and feeling the pressure as they retreated for a long rest.
The original module has a single bone devil as the occupant of the torture chamber. I wasn't looking for a solo monster here and the pain devils seemed especially thematic.