The Seven Dwarves (D&D 4e)
Adventure #1 WOTC DCC54 Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)
The Gates of Iron and Flesh are to be found in area 1-4 on the map (see below).
Berend is again sent a little way ahead of the group- he’s edging his way along a ten foot wide pathway, to his left high rock walls, to his right an almost vertical drop, a ravine at the bottom of which is a fast flowing river- and lots of rocks. Anyone falling in to the ravine would be… destroyed, it’s certainly over seventy feet down, and then there’s the fast flowing river and the rocks to contend with. This is why Berend is pressed up against the cliff wall, as far as he can get from the edge of the pathway. The Dwarf Ranger sneaks on.
And spots a pair of scruffy-looking Dwarves ahead, armoured and armed- even now the pair are readying crossbows- the Bolters scream and call to something, or else someone, behind them. The noise of the river- and a little further ahead a huge waterfall makes hearing things difficult for the Ranger. Berend is about to parley, the Dwarf Bolters however have other ideas…
Berend looks a little confused as both bolts whiz past him.
And smash in to Morgran who’s following up behind him, ostensibly sneaking- badly as it turns out. The first bolt pierces Morgran’s shoulder and shoots on through- smashing bone en route, the second thuds into his leg. Morgran thumps hard against the wall; he’s lost a lot of blood already and is left staggering, bloodied. The Dwarf Barbarian screams- a lot. Morgran is down to 7 hit points; the first attack was a critical hit. The Barbarian sucks up the pain and gets his Second Wind, then runs screaming at the Bolters- he has quite a way to go… but revenge is a great motivator.
The other adventurers follow suit, shouting and cursing they trundle forward rushing towards their missile firing enemies, Adrik mutters a prayer and Morgran is back to full health again.
The Dwarven Bolters were only aware of Morgran up until this point; all of the other adventurers were sneaking successfully. The Bolters therefore head back the way they came- at pace, and shouting all the way. Around a corner and through a massive pair of ancient looking copper doors- clearly this is the entrance to the supposedly abandoned clan hold.
The adventurers have them on the run- they continue to charge forward in the hope that they can catch up with the Bolters and teach them some manners.
An Ogre suddenly lurches around the corner, and stomps forward along the narrow pathway- heading straight for our intrepid adventurers, the players suddenly stop gabbling as I place the mini on the board, an impressive mini, almost unworthy of the name- ‘mini’, particularly in comparison to the players ’mini’s’.
The adventurers curtail their charge.
The great beast smashes what looks to be half a tree trunk in to Morgran, the Dwarf Barbarian staggers, he’s bloodied again.
Morgarn however is made of sterner stuff; he swings his greatsword but misses by a mile. Not content he tries again (Action Point) with a Desperate Fury- smashing his blade in to the monster (a Crit for 27 damage), the Ogre staggers back circling its arms trying to maintain its balance, it teeters on the edge of the pathway for a brief moment, but then regains its balance. Morgran Rampages and cuts at the thing again.
Berend closes in on the beast and delivers a Twin Strike- both of his longswords cutting into the Ogre, it’s bloodied. The Dwarf Ranger swings again (Action Point) his Jaws of the Wolf attack, a partial success, the Ogre is spiked some more, and once again staggers and sways but somehow remains on the narrow ledge.
Note the Ogre has to make a DC 18 Acrobatics checks every time it is hit for 10 or more points of damage in a single attack. This rule applies to all creatures fighting on the ledge, although the DC is only 15 for medium size creatures. Note the Ogre has plus 4 on its Acrobatic skill, and has made four checks so far- that’s four rolls of ‘14’+, not bad.
Travok barges his way in to the action, hits with his Divine Pursuit and sends the great beast staggering back to the very edge of the… well, ledge. It teeters for a moment and then falls…
Forward, flat on its face- and still on the ledge.
I actually rolled twice for the Ogre here, once for the forced movement from the Divine Pursuit and the second roll because the attack also did more than 10 points of damage to the creature- it saved both times, although I knocked it Prone because, well- I’m a good guy and I’ve DMed this scenario before, and it’s tough.
Travok is not done- he steps up to the Ogre- who looks up at the crunchy dwarf towering over him (an odd change of perspective). Travok winks and slices at the creature’s hands with his Valiant Strike (Action Point).
The Ogre loses its grip and goes over the edge- and smashes into the rocks below.
Travok is still not done, the Paladin of Kord wanders over to Morgran, slaps the Barbarian on the shoulder, Laying on Hands, and states-
“Ogres are pansies.”
Adrik meantime whizzes past the three warriors.
He urges. Dumphart holding his robes in his hand- revealing wire thin incredibly hairy legs also rushes by.
Dwarf Bolter- Dwarves gone bad!
The pair get to the great copper doors- the two crossbow toting Dwarf Bolter varmints are in the process of shutting the great portals.
Dumphart’s Blazing Starfall hits both of them.
Both continue however to swing the doors shut, one of them even has the nous to fire its crossbow- the bolt misses Adrik by inches.
The doors close.
Morgran rushes past Adrik and Dumphart and charges into the doors- pushing them back open- slightly.
We move to opposing Strength Checks, a skill challenge (if you like), the guys need to get four opposed successes before three failures.
Berend arrives on the scene and slams into the portal, Travok follows suit- as it turns out too close to Berend, the Paladin only succeeds in pushing his fellow adventurer over, although the Ranger is quickly to his feet, after using his body briefly as a wedge come doorstop to prevent the portal from shutting further.
Adrik clangs in to the portal and… the doors suddenly fly open.
There are a set of stairs beyond- which means everybody gets to make an Acrobatics check or else fall down them, luckily there are only six or so steps, so no damage accrues, only the prospect of being left prone- and red-faced.
One of the Bolters ends up on the floor in a heap with Adrik, the other Bolter and the remaining adventurers (save Dumphart who’s not in the push and shove) manage to keep on their feet.
The adventurers are standing, or lying, in a smooth wide passage, they barely have time to look around, if they did this is what they’d see- to their left is a huge iron grate (high up on the wall), to their right the corridor continues off into the darkness. Opposite is another set of steps leading up into a short passage- there are lights up there.
The guys are in area 1-6, the grate is at 1-6A, and the lights up the stairs are in area 1-8.
The first Dwarven Bolter shuffles back a little, towards the stairs opposite and the light- screaming all the while-
The Dwarf’s crossbow sings and buries six inches of steel into Travok’s right leg, the Bolter backs up some more, spilling the crossbow and unleashing its warhammer.
The second Bolter staggers to its feet, crossbow already abandoned and warhammer in hand- it smashes the weapon in to Travok, again- the Paladin sags, and staggers back a little, bloodied- almost unconscious.
Morgran is swiftly into the battle- his Pressing Strike slashes at the closest Dwarf cutting the creature badly (another critical hit), he swings again on the Rampage, but the Bolter somehow brings its warhammer up just in time to parry Morgran’s blade.
Berend charges into the same Dwarf, a Marauder’s Rush, but again the attack is thwarted.
Ogre Savage- Already dead.
Travok calls out to the Bolter retreating to the stairs opposite, he issues a Divine Challenge and then with his warhammer shimmering with radiant light rushes over and smashes the squat humanoid with his Holy Smite, his enemy staggers- bloodied. Travok sucks in air, grimaces and gets his Second Wind.
The Paladin however is still suffering, but not for long; Adrik the cleric is quick to his feet- muttering Healing Words, Travok’s wounds all but disappear.
Dumphart moves forward and motions, and then points with his staff- great Tearing Dragon Claws suddenly shape and form in the air, rip at the nearest Dwarf Bolter shredding its armour and attempting to scour its flesh, the effect however soon fades and the enemy, alas, is left with nothing more than scratches.
The Bolters come again- still screaming behind them, back up the stair, still trying to retreat and edge back when they can. The first hammers at Travok but the Paladin easily defends, the second slams its warhammer in to Dumphart, the Sorcerer grimaces.
Morgran tries again with his Pressing Attack- manoeuvring deftly around his opponent to get an advantage, clearly not enough of an advantage- the Barbarian’s aim is off.
Berend slices with his Twin Strike longswords, and now both enemies are at last bloodied also.
Travok delivers a Valiant Strike, the Bolter’s head rocks back as the Paladin’s warhammer connects, it slumps to the floor- dead.
Adrik manoeuvres behind the remaining Dwarf and smashes the creature while muttering prayers to Kord- his Healing Strike, his enemy staggers- almost falls but somehow manages just to stay on its feet. At the same moment many of Morgran’s wounds instantly heal over.
Dumphart chokes out dark phrases and a Burning Spray ignites all before him- although there’s only one Dwarf Bolter left standing, the squat humanoid becomes a living torch, although not for long, the smoking remains of the Dwarf flop to the floor.
The adventurers take a very brief moment to grin at each other.
In unison they turn to see…