As the session opened, the All-Knighters searched the empty Dwarf Barracks, discovering that they were, in fact, empty. This lack of pillage opportunities is likely what drove the Orcs they had encountered their to charge headlong into a meat grinder, or perhaps it was just because they were stupid.
Whatever the case, there was nothing of value, and so thy continued on, to the final chamber – the Nexus.
As they entered the chamber, the Drudges started emerging from the connecting tunnels, and the All-Knighters began the long slog to the top of the spiraling catwalk, some 80 feet overhead. There, Kalad assured them, they would find the control panel needed to seal the Nexus, but the levers had to be thrown in a specific order, and if the orcs got there first, they could destroy and chance of sealing the nexus. He failed to mention, however, that “sealing” the nexus meant filling the entire complex with boiling water..
The Heroes fought their way toward the goal, intercepted by wave on wave of Drudges (crunch all you want, we’ll make more), a pair of Orog Militants, a pair of Bolt Throwers, and ultimately, Merissa the Shadar-Kai Witch and Tusk the Orog Cheiftan, a massive beast of an Orog, and master of this horde.
Funny thing about being a Superminion, when an Orog Militant hits you, then pushes you off a 20’ ledge, the rest of the party just leaves you there… as it turned out, that was a good plan, as they ended up pulling out every Daily, all but one of one person’s action points, and using almost all their Surges to make their way to the console. In an especially balsy and almost self-destructive move, Falco used his familiar to figure out the Control console, triggering it just as Merissa arrived at the top of the chamber, which left him “neck deep” – literally – as the bottom of the Nexus quickly filled with boiling water.
(Here, I’d like to add as an aside that after re-reading Familiars, they are not able to manipulate or pick up items unless otherwise specified. I see this as a perfect example of using a Hero Point to “Power Stunt” the familiar to be able to operate the Console. Mig should have earned 1 HP for leaving himself in such a dangerous position while the rest of the party advanced on Tusk and Myrissa as well… so I’ll call it a wash, but in the future, I’d ask for a Hero Point to be able to do that.)
Swimming in dead-orc stew, Falco managed to get around to the far side of the chamber, and was rescued by the rest of the party, who lowered him a rope, pulling his ass out of hot water and force-feeding him a healing potion. Still being swarmed by wave after wave of Drudges, the party escaped through the hatch in the ceiling, but only barely. Kallad was not so fortunate, and died holding off Drudges so Falco could escape the rising water.
Making their way back to the camp-site, the discovered an unconscious Lamorik, collapsed and still steaming outside the entrance to the Vents, now also almost entirely flooded with boiling water. Apparently, he had been carried by the first surge of the water out of the facility, awakened by the searing pain of being boiled alive as the skipped across flagstone, steel, and stone, to be ejected back into the volcanic tunnels of the Vents. Only through a staggering combination of luck, faith, and sheer pig-headed refusal to die did he make his way to the mouth of the tunnels, where he promptly collapsed.
- The Nexus (base): 1590XP
- +37 additional Drudges in the Nexus: 1452XP
- Finishing the Quest (to seal the tunnels under the mountains and save Bordrin’s Watch): 750XP
- Subtotal: 3792XP, divided 4 ways: 948XP ea
- Silus: 948xp
- Tor Lun: 948xp
- Halcyon-01: 948xp
- Lamorik: 758xp (superminion rate)
- Falco: 1042xp
On returning to the Elders at Overlook, you are paid the agreed on 1000gp as a team, and have the gratitude of the council for you going beyond the call in saving their collective butts.