And We’re Off!
Team B&P high fives in Sunhaven and, once again, strikes out for The Elf Hole… Hold. The Elf Hold.
Ambush in the Forest
We retrace our footsteps north through the forest (which has become awell-worn path after six sorties)… only to encounter a group of (slightly weedy-looking) hobgoblins in formation standing on the other side of a clearing. Eirik bellows “Surrender or Die!” and they form ranks. We charge headlong into battle!
When Eirik and Bullpa are about half-way across. A pair of hobgoblin archers appear on the back rank… and, more alarmingly… A PAIR OF PISSED-OFF OGRES BURST OUT OF THE WOODS and join the fray.
A massacre ensues, with the ogres being dispatched by the team with ruthless efficiency. Most of the hobgoblins are slain as well… including Chico (NOOOOOOOOOO!) who has his brain burst with mind bullets as he tries to flee. Only the two archers manage to escape with their lives.
*Pouch of ogre jerky.
*Another pouch with 280gp
*The ogres wear large brass medallions emblazoned with the visage of King Snurri Bloodfart.
RETURN TO ELFHOLD’S UPPER HALLS
After debating the best way to explore the remaining rooms on this level, we elect to bypass the trapped hall and explore a narrow hallway. It is empty, save for a crudely defaced shrine to Corellon. The door at the end (which we spiked from the other side) gets hacked to pieces by Bullpa and we enter…
The Entrance Hall/ Supply Cache
With its high, vaulted ceilings and massivedouble-doors (barred from the inside) leading to the forest, this room appears to be the main entrance to the Eladrin complex. What is curious is that it is being used as a makeshift storehouse for all manner of (fresh) supplies: barrels of arrows, sacks of coarse grain, hardtack, all manner of shit that could be used to supply an army.
There are no creatures here whatsoever. We open the front doors and peak outside into the forest, but find nothing save for evidence that humanoid guards were posted out here recently.
*Save the mundane supplies…there is nothing of real value here.
We go back inside and investigate the last corner of the Upper Halls yet unexplored, the…
A cramped series of winding hallways weave around columns. The columns and walls are covered with carvings of menacing fey creatures. (treants, dryads, mysterious fanged critters all eyes and teeth)
Our first tentative steps towards exploring this pitch-black maze result in the party falling victim to the teleportation magic of the pillars themselves. Both Bullpa and Kuzo get separated from the group and bamphed to theback of the maze.
Seconds later, the team makes out luminous clouds of tiny, winged humanoids with pitch-black skin. We all brace ourselves for a tough fight.
Luckily, Miri identifies these creatures as Umbral Sprites, dark fey that are closely tied to the Shadowfell. She knows that they are often used as lackeys or guards. Using her telepathic powers, Miri tries to communicate with them. She sends them a message saying that we are here to deliver this once-holy place from the forces of darkness.
The sprites are unconvinced, until Kinn approaches them diplomatically, citing his own Elven heritage (and rolling 28). The sprites stand down and divulge some interesting facts about the history of this place.
The Sprites’ Story
Being immortal- and trapped inside the maze- the sprites are really fuzzy when it comes to dates.
The fortress of ElfHold was once ruled over by the mighty Lord Heston. These halls were both sacred to Corellon and a treasure trove of Elven riches. Many threats to ElfHold emerged. The elves eventually left, save Lord Heston, who took steps to personally protect this place:
*He created a series of deadly traps that could withstand the test of time (probably magical in nature).
*He bound the umbral sprites to this maze to protect the many treasures there. (They can’t escape)
*He performed a powerful ritual that turned himself into an undying guardian of the Upper Halls (a.k.a. the baenlorn).
The Dark Wizard
Eventually, a powerful dark wizard assaulted ElfHold. The sprites say that:
*They don’t know his name.
*He was once a man, but had changed into something inhuman by the time he attacked ElfHold. (could it be Acerak?)
*He overpowered the umbral sprites and stole their treasures.
*He took these treasures into the Lower Halls of ElfHold.
*The Dark Wizard was powerful enough to destroy all of ElfHold, but chose to leave it intact. But why?
The sprites go on to tell usa little about…
The Lower Halls of ElfHold
As we leave, they tell us that beneath this level:
*There are more tombs, including places where Corellon’s Heroes were buried.
*Part of the lower halls are at least partially flooded.
*There are many, many devious traps.
*There’s something… else down there. Something dark, but we don’t know what.
Away We Go
We go back to the Entrance Hall and spoil/trash the supplies, so they will be of no useto anyone. We then leave through the front doors and find our way back w/o much trouble (well, except for Eirik).
As we head back, we realize that the signs of goblins are largely gone now. We certainly have killed a lot of the little bastards. Perhaps King Snurri has learned not to bother pestering us with minions of inferior quality?