Our Heroes (9th level):
- Lt. Alex Gravis, Water Genasi Warlord (and Ivan, owlbear denture-wearer)
- Gartok, Dwarf Earth Warden
- No-Name, Elf Bow Ranger
- Torin Tsai, Half-Orc Slayer
- Xyla, Drow Vampire
(They don't know it but it's uneventful because they have killed everything that lives in the upper level of the fane. Most of the things that live in the lower level tend to stay there, and right now, the things that don't are in the middle of a huge ceremony and won't be leaving for some time. So they picked a pretty safe time to camp without really realizing it.)
After regathering themselves the team heads down an unexplored flight of stairs and comes to a large open temple chamber with a huge statue of a five-headed dragon. As they enter and explore, they hear noises from the balconies, and five winged draconian forms swoop down on them - wyverns! One of each color!
Melees break out in several locations around the room. The bow ranger contributes to all of them from some distance back but the rest of the party is in the thick of it with no "safe" area at all. Somehow, the slayer manages to land the finishing blow on all five of the things. Pleased with himself, Torin collects the five heads and stacks them up to gather on the way back out.
Xyla, nosing around after the fight, discovers a secret door and opens it. The heroes file through and come out in a large natural cavern - and not an unoccupied one! Two of the now-familiar greenspawn razorfangs await, along with a pack of hell hounds. The keenly sensitive beasts are already charging as the party spreads out on the upper terrace.
The first razorfiend to reach the group is brutalized by the waiting fighters, Gartok in particular showing his skill. Then the hell hounds close in and unleash their fiery breath, demonstrating the downside of a close formation. After only a short time three of the hounds are down but the fourth proves to be a wily opponent, as does the final spawn. The hound finally falls to a shot from the ranger. Torin is once again forced to resort to the WORLD SERPENT GRASP to tie down the spawn, calling for Xyla and Gartok to aid him and they do, finishing off the razorfang together.
After resting briefly the team scouts ahead and finds a large passage of worked stone at the end of the cavern - they are not yet at the end of their quest, but judging from the chanting they are getting close.
DM Notes: Lots of combat in this one but they were being fairly cautious as they advanced - lots of old-school exploration and general testing/touching of things in the big temple. The 5 wyverns were not all that tough and the party killed 1/round. It was cool that the slayer landed the killing blow five times in a row. We're not obsessive about that kind of thing but it was a fun character note. And no, wyverns don;t have powers based on their color like dragons, I just thought it was a nice touch. The original adventure had 5 wyverns here and that fit perfectly as a single encounter in 4E's system.
In the other bigger-than-you'd-expect underground room the original adventure had greenspawn razorfangs but I didn't want an encounter solely with those - we've had that before. So I added the hell hounds that were pretty common with the hobgoblin raiders early on and we had a nice mix of ranged, close blast, and melee options. This fight lasted 7 rounds and was wildly swingy. Round 1 the wardne crit twice, the warlord once, and the slayer did as well. The bow ranger had 2 rounds where he missed completely, even after a reroll courtesy of elven accuracy on one of them. The vampire had a coupleof 2's in there too. Using the same creatures lets the party show off how far they've come - two of the spawn was a tough fight the first time, as were the hell hounds. Now a larger group with both is merely an even fight.
Next time: The big confrontation