Having just reunited with their party, elation and confusion washed over the group of adventurers as kobolds roasted meat on spits and wizards pondered the meaning of the word treachery. A quick exchange of words was all the group had time for before a hoard of feasting ettercaps would be upon them. It was quickly decided that with their ranks swelled and their resolve strengthened, they would stand their ground against the arachnoid onslaught. Though the kitchen was small, cramped, and swimming with kobolds, the dwarf suggested that the group remain within in order to bottleneck their assailants in the stairwell and eliminate them one at a time.
Dvallin took up a position behind a table just around the corner from the stairwell while Darcaryn and Aedric held the line up front. Kobolds filled whatever gaps remained and the casters kept a safe distance at the back of the room. No sooner had the group taken up their positions before the first wave descended, a small contingent of ettercaps accompanied by several hooded humanoids that the warriors identified as dark creepers. The first volley of blows were effective, but soon the door behind Darcaryn swung open and she found herself pinned between the stairwell and a fresh batch of ettercaps who had rushed to join their companions. Surrounded and hopelessly out-armed (both literally and figuratively), the ranger was almost out before the fight had truly begun. Dvallin, expecting his enemies to encroach upon the room more than they had, was unable to see his companions and provide the healing Darcaryn so desperately needed. Luckily for her, it wasn’t long before the wizards unleashed a coordinated lightning attack of sith-like proportions, giving her just enough time to maneuver her way past her freshly scorched enemies and the throngs of reptilian henchmen beyond. At the same time, the dwarf took up a more advantageous position to better attend to his comrades and keep track of his enemies. With the ranger finally in sight, Dvallin was able to speak Kelemvor’s words of healing and bring Darcaryn back into the fight. With their position more thoroughly secured, the group laid waste to the hoard of feasting fiends that seemed to be ever present in the stairwell. Though many kobolds fell, the constant onslaught of javelins, blades, and various forms of arcane awesomeness made quick work of their enemies.
When the torrent of arachnoids finally stopped, and the bodies of ettercaps were stacked dwarf-high, the adventurers regrouped and decided to take to Thoran’s chambers above. As they made their way through the blood-soaked anteroom at the base of the stairs, an all too sobering reality set in: no matter how they took to the staircase, the group would soon find themselves bottlenecked in exactly the same manner as their now-slain foes. The more armored amongst the group decided to take the lead and ascended the stairs in an order of least to most magical, trailed by the stalwart kobolds that remained.
Upon reaching the top of the stair, Aedric spotted a contingent of ettercaps and dark creepers just a few yards beyond him. Seizing the moment and opening up the stairwell for his companions, the brash human rush in, sword drawn, ready to unleash anywhere from 4-5 hells. No sooner was he upon his foes, however, then Thoran’s most fearsome creeper weaseled her way around the fray and flanked him mercilessly. The dwarf, his thoughts occupied by roasting meats and dead zombies, had not the reaction time to aid his companion before he was summarily bloodied. Rivyet, being quicker of mind and more present than the Cleric, rushed in next and flung open the door to Thoran’s chambers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the room contained not salvation but the gruesome visage of Thoran himself. He drew a sword from which dark flames licked the air, ready to sear whatever foe was unfortunate enough to be within his reach. Rivyet suffered the fate of all casters who find themselves in melee, and things looked dire from the get go. A pair of ettercaps closed in from the hallways beyond Thoran’s chambers, leaving Darcaryn just enough time to emerge from the stairwell before it was blocked off by enemies. With the cleric’s healing prayers just out of reach, the rest of the adventuring party soon found themselves closer to Kelemvor’s judgment than they had been in some time. Just as Aedric’s blood began to soak his armor and it seemed that the stalwart adventurers might meet their end, Rivyet invoked a pack with the feywild that until now had been a mere thought in her mind. She had never tried it before, but if there was ever a time for risks, this was it. Giving her psyche over to a place where time and space are but playthings of greater forces, she soon found herself surrounded not by the many arms of her foes, but by the stone walls of the stairwell and the spears of her allies. Where Rivyet once stood, Dvallin now dwelled, gazing up at the surprised but intimidating visage of Thoran himself. The trick had worked, and a wry smile crept over the dwarf’s face as he tapped his holy symbol and brought his allies the healing respite they so desperately needed.
Swords fell upon the two melee combatants at the head of the fray, but with each blow that was struck Kelemvor bound their wounds and cursed their enemies. Slowy but surely Aedric was able to push through his many-armed adversaries and get his back to the wall. Finally in a tactical position in which he could not be flanked, the tattered human from Luskan began working his way back down the hall, cutting down all who stood in his way. Thoran and his dark creeper lieutenant tried to cut down the source of Kelemvor’s mercy, but found the dwarf’s enchanted armor and seemingly endless tolerance for pain to be a greater challenge than the warlock’s martial prowess. With their cleric in an optimal position, their warriors no longer flanked, and their enemies even divided, the Raiders of Spellgard could finally carve an opening for their casters and spearmen to ascend the stair and take up positions on the other side of the room. Their spells replenished and their resolve strong, Rivyet, Pellegro, and his young comrade laid waste to Thoran’s personal guard while kobold spearmen did their best to prove they could wield more than just a kitchen knife.
As his guards fell and his enemies continued to gain more ground, Thoran found himself in an increasingly dire situation. Knowing it wouldn’t be long before the group’s combined firepower was focused squarely on him, the dark master fled up the stairwell to the Oni’s chamber. As the last of Thoran’s minions joined their companions upon the blood-soaked floor of his chambers, the adventurers banded together once more to assess their options. A handful of paces above them, Thoran and his enslaved demon lay waiting, surrounded by the alabaster pillars that our heroes had sought since they first crossed paths. Dare they ascend the spiral stair and face their destiny?