The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 44: The Badassery Reversed
Updated: Jul 20
Annnnd we're back. As you'll recall the group had just successfully scared an ancient red dragon off like a school bully. Feeling quite pleased with themselves, they turned to explore this now not so lost city. Which was where I made my first mistake. I told the group it was dark. So Golbat cast Daylight on the Kobold. I'm really not sure what their fascination with a glowing Kobold is but that's not the point; The point is that the addition of this little detail ended up completely derailing my evil plans down the line.
Me and my big mouth. Anyway, the group had 3 options. There was a path to the north bending east, a path to the south bending same, and a series of stairs cut into the wall in front of them. Pent thought the stairs led to the throne room. Knowing the group needed to get under Guantlgrym they elected not that way. All except the Kobold who had apparently decided to channel Tanic.
By complete random chance the group decide on the southern path. First they ran into a haunt of my own making. As they entered its range a four deep wave of spectral goblins charged from behind, and through them (dealing 2D6 damage a piece) before getting cut down by equally spectral dwarf defenders blocking a branch of their path leading further south. Rinse and repeat.
The group managed to get behind the defenders only to be stopped by an invisible wall of force (based on the spell). They managed to do enough damage to the wall to neutralize the haunt, but the wall remained. So they began asking questions. The haunt simply demanded over and over (in goblin) that they 'break it', 'burn it', and 'make it not ugly'.
Flummoxed, the group continued down the corridor until reaching an archway. As they approached they heard the sounds of a great battle. So great in fact that they decided that the best scout available was the Kobold. That would be the Kobold that still had a daylight spell cast on his armor.
What he saw was a massive battle between twenty or more Driders, and 4 high level Drow Nobles commanding an army of commoners. Needless to say, all parties saw the glowing Kobold beacon. All he was lacking was a slow spin to act as a lighthouse. Apparently flame for the moths was enough though. As they started towards him, Zornesk quickly retreated back the way he'd come.
He'd barely made it back when two Driders used the Shadowdancer shadow walk ability to dimension door into the hallway and attack. (Just for fun I ran them all the way up the Dimensional Agility feat train) Prepare for the fight scene!
Unfortunately that ability does not work in normal or greater light. And so, addressed was I with a quandary. A quandary that took nearly an hour to clear up as I'd misread Deeper Darkness thinking it was a ranged AOE spell instead of touch. Once this was pointed out there was a small issue of exactly what the rules meant by stating they cancelled each other out. In the end I found a paizo blog post that cleared it up.
So I ended up shadow stepping just outside of the light granted by the group's various effects. I'd built the character as a Brawler/Fighter/Shadow Dancer, using whips. Unfortunately he only got one attack off before being killed by the group. But in that one round he nearly took Pent with him. After he was dead, the other Drider shadow stepped out of there.
Quagrim then attempted to check on the battle (a far better peg to stick in that particular hole if you ask me). As it turned out, the battle was over; the drow had won. Not by much mind you; there was only one Drow Noble (lvl 20) with a few minions left. And wouldn't you know it, he was looking like he was about to explore the tunnel they were in. Probably salivating over the thought of a quick Kobold snack. Deciding that discretion was the better part of survival, the group advanced to the rear all the way back to the gates.
At this point, Pent decided that he couldn't risk losing the information of where Guantlgrym was, and announced he was leaving. He decided to take the stairs in the main cavern, which were fabled to lead to the surface. The group decided to escort him up. Of course they ran into the normal blockages and cave ins one would expect from a tunnel dug thousands of years before. So Quagrim summoned Earth elementals and had them use their shape stone ability to clear the way. They exited on the slopes of Mount Hotenow (No I didn't name it) overlooking Neverwinter.