Wednesday, March 5, 2014

K26 - The Rising Hall

Taking a breather

Bain took a last look at the rabble across the unending well. Hundreds of ancestors, pulled from their tombs to jeer and gesticulate offensively at his dwarves. He headed back up to the East Gate Hall and ordered the rotation of the Mithril-Attack out of Khazad-dum. Bronze filled in, with strict order to avoid descending to the first deep except for a skeleton crew to keep a watch on the Hall of Trees.

Khazek left with Donarik and his Goldleaf rangers. Thordar reported to the hospital camp to have the wound in his thigh bandaged. The festering, unhealing gash in his cheek that was made by the Ghouls months ago started to tingle. The poison spread to his blood and made him very sick. He vomited for the whole of the following day and missed on the slow slug of the Silver-Attack up the Marzabul stairs.

The assault up Marzabul stairs

Gror returned to the Lower Hall of the Marzabul stairs and drew a battle plan. H-hour would be on the following day. A scouting mission ventured up the stairs and found that one strand of the double helix was broken. This left only one of the two stairs accessible. The dwarves found out quickly that the orcs were using this second stairs to take well aimed pot shots at the climbing dwarves.

On the following morning, the leading elements began the climb amidst the smoke of the bonfire at the base of the stairwell. A second element broke through to the second set of stairs using ladders and began to advance on both tracks. The orcs resisted almost exclusively with bow fire and minimal delaying action by sacrificial units.

An hour into the battle, Bain was counting the wounded being taken back to the base of the stairs with arrow wounds, often around their necks. Some dwarves had died, some were grievously wounded.

By mid-day, cheers rose from the warchants as the lead elements of Silver made it to the second level hall. The orcs didn't put up a determined defence and instead withdrew further up to the third level. Bain climbed up to meet with Gror and take stock. The Marzabul stairs were proceeding further ahead as a sequence of stairs built within the unending well. Bow fire came form all directions as soon as the dwarves ventured out of the hall into the open.

A group of scouts made headway South towards the Rising Hall. They reported being assaulted by invisible forces, some kind of mighty wind rousing the vines growing inside the complex. Bain understood that the Rising room was a site for heroes rather than for grunts. The viceroy returned to the base camp outside the Gate.

He met there Khazek, Lahtmelen and Thordar. Khazek confessed of having lost Goldleaf in Lothlorien and told the viceroy about his adventure. He gave to Bain the amulet that Queeb Ngaii entrusted to him. Lathmelen was more cryptic and insisted in talking to the viceroy in private. Thordar wiped the vomit off his beard, his infection was under control and although he had a gaping hole in his leg, it was hardly bothering him anymore.

They all decided to have a look at the Rising room on the following day.

The Rising Hall

The Rising room is a known hall of Khazad-dum. It is famous for being the base of the outdoor fortification system called the Eastern eyes. The lore is that the Rising room connects to to tall towers, which themselves connect to two ladders climbing 300ft up to the 4th level's second pair of towers. The Rising room is also a suspected crossing point over the unending well. For this reason, the site is considered to be of strategic importance. The orcs didn't defend the location, maybe because it "was haunted" as the scouts from the Silver-Attack reported.

Khazek, Thordar and Lathmelen proceeded carefully to the point where the scouts turned back. The hall's walls, floor and ceiling was covered in thin and wiry vines. A faint light came from the left, suggesting at least some kind of window letting daylight in. Thordar, ordered by the Viceroy to protect Lathmelen, moved in first. Beyond their position, there was a tall pile of gnawed bones of small bowlegged orcs. The smell of urine was almost overpowering.

A wave of movement propagated through the vines towards Thordar who jumped in the air to avoid being ensnared. Two bodies of vines, loosely fitting an anthropomorphic shape, sprinted to the dwarves. Thordar dodged the slam but Khazek got solidly grappled (7CP). Lathmelen shot her bow but the arrow passed though the vines without really doing anything. Khazek dropped his elven Ghost blade and tore himself off the grapple (8CP).

Thordar danced off the assaults of the vines and engaged into the pursuit of one of them towards the light. With his smallsword in reverse grip, he stabbed the vine with extreme violence and triggered a huge blast of green light. The cold blast drained the dwarf of a bunch of FPs. He didn't get to celebrate his victory as a large black panther pounced on him from his side. He returned the favour and thrusted swiftly into the beast's vitals, dispatching the kitty to the floor, unconscious.

At the other end of the hall, Khazek and Lathmelen were holding against the other walking vine. They avoided a few sweep attempts. Lathmelen got tangled and resorted to her elf magic to compel the vine to let go in a spasm (at the cost of twice the FP!). This is both when they heard the growls of Thordar's panther and the gnaw of another black ambusher going for Kahzek's back.

Bain arrived into the Hall with a complement of Axedwarves. While Lathmelen was struggling with the vineman, he swung his flail and hit it hard enough to make it explode in another flash of green light. All member present suffered FP damage, but the worst off turned out to be the panther. Khazek whacked the cat with the flat of his sword and sent it into a flight (He got a critical hit here). The panther took off to a dark part of the hall where it was eventually cornered and killed by axedwarves.

Wrapping up

Thordar standing on a pile of dead things. Recklessness
suits him well, so far.
Thordar returned to finish the panther when he got surprised by another lurking panther. In pure Thordar style, the panther fell to the ground with a clean impaling wound to the chest after suffering massive damage (27HP!). The axedwarves clearing the hall arrived late but enjoyed complimentary strikes to the felines. Thordar walked out of a door to a parapet. Some 200ft below, the Mithril-Attack was recuperating. Thordar looked up and spotted the metal ladders climbing up all the way to the vanishing point.

Khazek, Bain and Lathmelen followed the vines to an adjacent hall until they arrived to a gallery. The thick bundles of vines crossed the chasm and lead to the other side. Lathmelen inspected the vines: they were dead but still sturdy enough for a single individual to cross. Everyone needed a breather. They agreed that the shortest and safest path to the crypts on the 4th floor.

Khazek and Lathmelen proposed to scout across the chasm to see what the 2nd level has in store.

Finally, a way across the unending well. 


  1. Khazek did not "lose" any Rock Walkers nor did he admit to it... they are on a training missin. Donnarik is with them!

    1. Yes, the tough love methods of Kahzek's ranger academy.

  2. A very dire training is indeed at hand for them.