Band of Battlehammers

Bhal-Hamatugn (Part IV): Finding Zenith

Exhausted, the brothers must press on.

The less resilient members of the band insist on retreating to the surface to rest and regroup, but the more battle hardened deny they request, not allowing any remaining kuo toan to regroup themselves.

They do some patchwork healing, exhausting most of their supply, and continue deeper into the ruins, starting with the high priest’s quarters behind the statue.

Inside, they find some goods, a small hoard, and a duergar slave cowering in the corner. Mogar locks Drogar & Xogar out of the room for a lauhg, but the joke is on him – the locking door triggers a channel that begins flooding the room! Outside, Drogar & Xogar see only a pool of water leaking from teh bottom of the door… until they see a still enlarged Mogar smashing through, a wave of water and the remaining memebrs wiht him. They make quick work of their mortal dwarven enemy, the duergar. Having no useful information, he is summarily executed.

Making their way through some out of sight double doors opposite the massive statue, they ignore all other corridors and head for some stairs on teh right, in a room with puddles of water on the floor. The puddles turn out to be deeper than expected, and they’re ambushed by kuo toan rogues underwater. Any attempt to enter the water is thwarted by swarms of dragon-like tadpoles. Xogar throws up a Windwall to prevent the incoming javelins, and the party dashes up the stairs. The kuo toans suspiciously do not give chase. . .

At the top of the steps, Torgar finds a set of locked doors. Fiddling with the lock, he triggers a lightning bolt as wide as the ahllway, blasting everybody! With his party grumbling at his back, he disarms the trap, picks the lock, and they move into the room beyond.

Once inside, the all step on a large floor plate, triggering spears launched from hidden grooves in the wall! Those who are struck manage to resist the poisonous substance smeared on the spear points.

Assuming the worst is now over, they open the door in front of them. unfortunately, before them stands a massive black dragon, old and angry. It lashes out without hesitation, blasting them with it’s acidic breath. Mogar & Torgar stand toe to toe with the creature, swinging and slashing as violently with their weapons as the dragon does wiht his claws. Xogar proveds some healing, then freaks.

“We must retreat!” Xogar cries, overwhelmed by the terrors of the Underdark. “We’re going to die here!”

Mogar has no patience for fear. “Shut it you elf snatch, and heal me!” he roars, swinging his mighty dwarven waraxe as dragon acid burns away chunks of his flesh bigger than the dragons claws cleave.

Torgar laughs as Xogar regains his sense and does as commanded. Finally turning the tide of battle, the old dragon sees his end and begins his escape. Charging over the dwarves in front of it, the massive dragon smashes through the wall and flies down the corridor, leaving the dwarves to his hoard.

The celebration is short lived as they realize the room is a dead end. That leaves one possible route: the highest, least accessible balcony in the statue room.

With surprising ease for a dwarf, they make the jump, and once again their dwarven intuition kicks in and they head strait for Zenith’s chambers. In the antechamber they spot a dastardly kuo toan assassin monk, who reacts by casting a magical darkness ont he room. Mogar & Torgar ignore it, charging through and heading for the door beyind, intent to get to Zenith. Xogar goes to work attempting futilely to reomve the spell, before finally giving up and covering his own ass with a protection from evil ward. And not a moment too soon, because the kuo toan appeared from teh darkness, slashing at the dwarves throat.

Shocked by his weapons failure to even hurt the dwarf, the kuo toan panics and scrambles up the nearest wall, onto the ceiling, and out of the room. Xogar joins his brothers in the room beyond.

To his surprise, they are already embroiled in battle with Zenith. Not a prisoner, instead he occupies a throne, and calls himself King of the Underdark. Between slashes, he takes a moment to taunt and mock his enemies with prophecy. Pointing at Xogar as he enters the room, Zenith cries “You! You shall destroy the city you love!” He ducks around a column and prophesies Torgar’s doom; “You will die by the hand of a man in blue!”. Continuing to trade blows with the brothers, ignoring Mogar’s spikes as he impales himslef on them, Zenith speaks to him: “Your heart harbors two ships… Joy and Betrayal!”. Not taking to kindly to Zenith’s accusation, Mogar lands a felling blow.

Xogar steps forward, mumbling some preacher speak and casting ‘stabilize’ on Zenith. Binding him up, the now quiet and timid “king” remains silent as the party regroups, and teleports out fo the Underdark, arriving jsut outside the West Gate of Cauldron.

They all breath a sigh of relief, having escaped the Underdark.

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