The Seven Dwarves (D&D 4e)
Adventure #1 WOTC DCC54 Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)
Encounter #8 Lost Sons of Tannheim (Area 1-14)
Click on the Link to see the Monster Stat card.
Ghoul Dwarf (Soldier 5) x3
Encounter Level 1- 600 XP
The Sons of Tannheim encounter takes place in area 1-14 on the map (see below).
It takes a little longer than the adventurers expected to get the door open- there’s really no other way at this juncture, and they must go on. In the end the guys are reduced to battering and smashing at the rotten portal with hammers and axes, the door is wedged into its frame, swollen with the damp- and when it’s open the reason for this becomes obvious.
Three steps descend in to the dark chamber ahead, the room stinks like rotten eggs, and is clogged with fallen timbers- and worse still its submerged, or at least in part. It seems the majority of the flagged floor of the chamber has fallen away leaving only islands of stone, in between foul water covered in a thick layer of black algae.
“Cock!” Ragnarr sums up events.
Tordek tosses a sunrod in to the chamber, it floats, illuminating more of the same, and several new and interesting features- the first is a chest, floating on what looks to be an island of algae; the second is a second set of stairs out of the chamber- only ten or so feet away, the exit.
The third is an unsettling darting shadow that…
“What was that?” Ragnarr asks.
“I didn’t see anything.” Fenchurch reassures the Rogue.
“Get to the exit.” Tordek states and gingerly lowers himself in to the foul water, Grimm follows- the water is two feet deep, up to their waist… and slightly warm.
“That’s odd…” Tordek exclaims as he wades forward.
Alas the rest of the sentence is cut off by Grimm’s scream, oh and the foul looking Dwarves that suddenly lurch up out of the water and begin ripping, tearing and biting at Grimm and Tordek.
Their enemies however are no ordinary Dwarves…
Dwarven Ghouls- the Sons of Tannheim, not pleasant.
“Undead!” Grimm shouts, and so it proves.
Grimm and Tordek are slashed and clawed- their blood freezes in their veins, they’re immobilised, each faces off against a Dwarven Ghoul- a third creature waits beneath the surface of the water, hidden for now.
Grimm slashes back and cuts his enemy badly in a Whirlwind attack.
The Ghouls attempt to bite their immobilised prey, fortunately both Dwarves somehow manage to keep their respective assailants at bay, the third Ghoul however suddenly surfaces and rips into Grimm, the Avenger is bloodied in an instant.
Ragnarr gets into the action, and into the water- the Rogue launches his Clever Strike and the already wounded Ghoul is left bloodied. Grimm screams and brandishes his holy symbol Abjuring the Undead- the same injured Ghoul is blasted, but only slightly. He follows up (Action Point) with his Focussed Fury but still the Ghoul battles on.
Fenchurch’s Majestic Words salve the Avenger, Grimm’s wounds heal over.
Tordek opens with his Steel Serpent Strike (‘1’), and then follows up (Action Point) with a Weapon Master’s Strike- a hit, Koda helps out by Opening the Gates of Battle, with an added Flurry- the second Dwarven Ghoul is also damaged but it too fights on.
The three Ghouls thrash and surge- Grimm is bitten (for 18 damage), left bloodied and stunned- unable to act, Tordek is likewise affected- the front row has been neutralised; Ragnarr is clawed and immobilised he’s still waist deep in the gunk also.
Ragnarr misses with his Torturous Strike and so tries again with a Deft Strike (Action Point & Critical Hit), the badly wounded Ghoul is slashed across the throat and sinks beneath the water- dead.
Grimm gets his blood pumping again, he’s no longer stunned; alas Tordek is less fortunate.
Fenchurch’s Shout of Triumph is as usual a whimper, the Ghouls are unaffected by the attack, the Bard follows up with a Guiding Strike (Action Point), and the only uninjured Ghoul is now wounded.
Koda meantime employs his Dancing Cobra attack, and when that misses he tries again (Action Point), this time connecting- and with an additional Flurry the second Ghoul is left bloodied.
The Ghoul however ignores the Monk and Bites again at Grimm, ripping a great chunk of flesh from the Dwarf’s arm, Grimm swoons and sinks beneath the water, dying (& stunned, Grimm is on -9 hit points). The Dwarves, still standing and not stunned, scream…
Ragnarr, who is still immobilised, slashes with another Clever Strike, Fenchurch adds his Guiding Strike and the third Ghoul is now also bloodied. The Bard reluctantly climbs into the foul water- trying to get closer to the action.
Grimm however is drowning, and Tordek is still stunned.
For drowning I just stated that Grimm takes 1 damage the first round, 2 the second, 4 the third- doubling each time. Right now Grimm is on -10 hit points, -15 is his negative bloodied total so he’ll be dead in two more rounds.
Koda smashes the second Ghoul again, this time with his Dancing Cobra (& Flurry) attack, the creature staggers and almost goes under, and yet it fights on.
Fenchurch is clawed, Koda is clawed- both are left immobilised, the Ghouls it seems have not given up yet, the Bard however is playing the hero’s part- he grabs up Grimm and does his best to keep the Avenger’s head above the water- alas Grimm does not look well, the Dwarf convulses and chokes (having also just failed his first Death Save).
Ragnarr cuts at his opponent, slashes hard with another Clever Strike and cuts deep, Koda continues his pummeling- another Dancing Cobra (& Flurry) attack and at last the second Ghoul sinks below the water.
Tordek, alas, still stands statue- unmoving.
The last Ghoul manoeuvres and Bites- Fenchurch, the Bard, is bloodied and stunned, although still clutching onto the dying Grimm (who’s no longer stunned but still very unconscious). The effect however is short lived, moments later Fenchurch shrugs off the Ghoul’s poison and grips tight onto Grimm- keeping both their heads above the foetid liquid.
Ragnarr spins out a dagger and catches the last Ghoul, although only a graze. Koda shrugs off the immobilisation and goes in hunt his prey.
Tordek awakes- blinks his eyes and screams- he’s alas still immobilised and now a long way from the action.
The last Ghoul dives under the water, surfaces back in the midst of the adventurers, it claws at Ragnarr who is left bloodied and immobilised, the Rogue stabs back but misses, and then sucks up the hurt and gets his Second Wind.
Fenchurch intones Majestic Words and Grimm, at last, opens his eyes, Tordek glugs down a Healing Potion and makes threats to the last Ghoul (Tordek’s still immobilised).
Koda meantime unleashes, one more time, his Dancing Cobra (with added Flurry) and the last enemy is dead.
The adventurers head back into the Goblin Chief’s chamber- take a short rest before they venture back into the foul chamber. Ten minutes later, their injuries healed, they wade back in to the filth and make several more discoveries, first up- the floating chest.
The rotten receptacle is dragged out of the water and back in to the previous chamber- within, it’s not locked, are six rotting heads- clearly the Ghoul’s previous victims- all goblins, which reassures the adventurers somewhat. Also in the chest is a dirty ki focus, Fenchurch identifies it as a +1 Blurred Strike Ki Focus, Koda is happy to receive it.
Koda’s Ki is more focused- whatever that means.
The second discovery is a steam vent over the far side of the chamber, Ragnarr almost finds this the hard way- discovering a great crack in the wall, the Dwarf goes to take a look inside just as a gout of superheated steam is expelled, the Rogue gets clear just in time.
Still that accounts for the warm water.
The last discovery is the exit door, which seems to be in much better shape- although still damp, it’s clear some effort has been put in to keeping the door serviceable, Ragnarr gingerly listens in…
Davek, the Dwarven speech- not much of it, and gruff, more of the bad guy Dwarves lair beyond the door it seems.
The adventurers get ready for another confrontation.
It’s a shame I didn’t get the steam vent in to play but the adventurers had no intention of going wandering in to the chamber, left to their own devices they would have just crossed to the exit and got out.
Three ghouls is just a wonderful way to spend XP for a first level encounter, the players hated (that is whooped and hollered, and swore throughout) the entire fracas.