In the morning, MacTavish, Aeryn, Phillipe, and Wulf decided to venture down into the well a second time. Bidding farewell to the other adventuring party, they tied a rope to Wulf and lowered him into Kuto’s Well. Wulf managed to work his way into the crawlspace, and found that it was about 7’ wide…easily able to accommodate humans or humanoids moving in single file. A flickering orange light was visible some 20’ in. One by one, Phillipe, Aeryn, and Mac descended into the Well and entered the crawlspace as Wulf moved forward to investigate the light source. As he approached it, he found his way blocked by a large silk curtain.
Peeking around the curtain, Wulf found himself looking at a central chamber with several curtained exits. Two kobolds were keeping a not-so-vigilant watch on the curtain Wolf was hiding behind. After waiting for the rest of the party to move up behind him, Wulf burst from the crawlspace with Phillipe right behind him, cutting down both kobolds in a matter of seconds. As Aeryn and Mac emerged, four goblins appeared from behind the curtain of the southern exit and loosed a mostly ineffectual volley of javelins before retreating the way they came. Enraged, Phillipe rushed after them, only to plunge ten feet into a pit trap.
The goblins continued to run, leaving one of their number behind to harass the party as they negotiated the pit. Just as the last adventurer was on the other side, four orcs and another party of goblins rushed through the northern exit to the room they had just left. This group was led by a menacing armored half-orc…clearly the bandits’ leader. Reaching the edge of the pit, the orcs began to snipe at the party with their own javelins while the intrepid adventurers figured out what to do next.
Wisely, the party decided to pursue the fleeing goblins. Unfortunately Phillipe, punchy to the end, lagged behind to take a final potshot at the orcs with his sling. He was struck simultaneously with three javelins and killed instantly. The rest of the group cut down a single goblin who had remained behind, and pursued the rest down a north-leading hallway.
Meanwhile, the orcs had crossed the pit and were pursuing the party in turn. Wulf turned to deal with them while Mac cast Doom and Bless and Aeryn held off the goblins. After bringing up his spells, Mac scored a mighty critical hit on one of them, destroying his little helmet and raising huge bumps on his little goblin head. Wolf closed with the approaching orcs and slew them, then moved to finish the goblins while the half-orc leader moved to engage Mac.
Mac proved no match for the half-orc, who took him down in three strokes despite heavy interference from the cleric’s spells. As Wulf stepped back in to continue the fight, Aeryn slew the final goblin and then rushed to revive Mac with a healing potion. With the cleric revived, it was now the three of them against the bandit leader.
Now the party seemed to find its rhythm, with Wulf dealing and taking damage, Aeryn moving in from behind to deliver backstabbing attacks, and MacTavish providing spell and healing support. Between them, they wore the half-orc down, and he finally fell with Aeryn’s rapier thrust between his ribs and into his heart.
With the battle at an end, the party explored the remainder of the chambers beneath the well. They also counted up the bandits’ ill-gotten gains and discovered that they were more than three thousand gold pieces richer in coins and gems. In addition, the bandit leader’s armor and sword were clearly magical.
The party had, in essence, recouped its fortunes, but at the price of losing Phillipe. Only time will tell what they’ll do with it…and who they’ll find to fill his slot.
Line of the Night:
MARC: Do the bonuses for Doom and Prayer stack? Because if they don’t I might as well just go after him with my mace.
BOB: If they do not stack, then you must attack.