The Family

Kutok's Journal

Ilikan, Merroc, Daern and I went back to the Hall of Seven Pillars and discussed things over a few pints. Merroc was distracted, having had the humans we rescued from the Duergar carry back as much cheese as they could Merroc was building a nest out of the stuff. I had thought of cheese as a food until now…. now I’m not sure I could eat any if I were starving to death.

We paid Brugg’s taxes, and collected our rewards for accomplishing the retrieval of the Bone Scepter for Gendar the Drow. Meanwhile we also discovered the Cold Gem company bought goods and treasures, and even better he looked unfavorably upon our other general goods proprietor in town, and was willing to pay 5% more for items we retreived from our adventures. This was good news, so we decided we liked the old dwarf who ran the place.

In the morning, we decided to head back down the Shadow Road to the Horned Hold to find out what more it had in store for us.

The fortification we had infiltrated the day before was just exactly how we had left it (so Ilikan took day-old Duergar ears as trophies, saying he would make a necklace). We found that two of the exits out of the back of the place went across the chasm on bridges to another fortification, so we hopped over to see who was home across the street.

A bunch of bastards, that’s who was home.

They kept the door barred, shooting at us through slits while we (Daern and Ilikan mostly) banged on the door to see if they could somehow convince them to open it by knocking louder. Ilikan got bored of that and started sticking the overcompensator through the slits, managing to take out one or more of the archers. I threw a spiritual mace through and bashed on them from the other side. Meanwhile Daern upped his efforts to knock as loud as possible.

Suddenly there was no resistance to our banging on the door. It took several more seconds to finally bash the door in, after realizing that the hole Ilikan had widened in the door just wasn’t going to let us reach through to open it from the inside. We burst through to find… Merroc? He’d somehow gotten in through another direction— apparently through the roof since last I’d seen him he was clinging to the wall above the door ready to pounce on anything below. He was in a bit of a pickle, holding onto the ceiling for dear life while several casters below pelted him with spells, seeking to dislodge him. I threw a couple heals on him just as Daern got the door fully open and we stepped into—OH. MY. GOD!

These Duergar were nasty… several had some kind of spell that blinded and dazed us, making it nigh impossible to fight or retreat (hence Merroc’s state when we found him). Meanwhile several others were weaving some kind of electric lasso with their weapons and pulling us back if we even tried to disengage momentarily.

We took one or two down, but there were just too many of them, and Merroc and Ilikan tried to run, but Daern got trapped. I continued to pelt them with the spiritual mace, and Merroc returned briefly to “make a whole” right through one of them, hoping that Daern would get the clue and run for it.

Daern never had a chance. They subdued him, shut the doors on us, and when I continued to harass them with the spiritual mace, they shut the inner doors dragging Daern deeper into their fortress. With most of us severely hurt and Kord not affording us any more healing right away, the three survivors escaped.

We will return to rescue Daern or to learn of his fate and avenge it.

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