We awoke in Balgron the Fat’s secret lair minus a healing surge due to horrible nightmares. Which you’d think we’d be getting used to by now—but, y’know, whatever.
After reviewing our options, we decided we could spare an afternoon to go after the Bloodreavers, since their forest hideout was only a few hours away. So we took a lovely little walk through the utterly still and silent forest until we came to a spot where a natural wall of white stone rose at the left side of the path. We knew from Balgron’s directions that we were near the hobgoblins’ camp, so Jett flowed up the side of the wall and stood atop it, in order to try and spot them from above the trees. He was able to do so, however, the inhabitants of the camp also spotted him. An archer sent an arrow sailing past Jett and it clattered to the ground in front of the rest of the party waiting for Jett’s report. Jett made his way back down to the party as the archer made his way up to where Jett had been. Jett came back down with full information RE: the location of the ‘reavers and their hapless slaves.
We made our plan to invade the clearing where our enemies were camped, and proceeded forward. In the ensuing fight against a hobgoblin commander, a couple of soldiers and some supporting minions, we learned that hobgoblins have better defenses when they’re fighting side-by-side—something we would do well to remember in the future (or “going forward,” if you’re a middle-management dickweed).
Luckily for us, the archer was a graduate of the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, firing his longbow with all the finesse and precision you would expect from a man wearing boxing gloves.
One fairly straightforward battle later, the Bloodreaver commander was our prisoner. The archer had long since fled, presumably in search of something very large and stationary to shoot at. After some questioning, the leader gave us a big download about some place called Thunderspire Labyrinth, located in the mountains to the east. It’s run by three mysterious mages, who the leader informed us were tolerant of the Bloodreavers’ slave trade.
The hobgoblins’ customers apparently took the slaves they purchased to the Underdark. With all that said, however, the leader could not tell us exactly what happened to Moirae’s Vistani friends and matriarch. Once we had squeezed every drop of box-text we could out of him, Venjin once again administered his horrible justice, depriving the hobgoblin of his hands and sending him out alone in the wilds.
Our business in the woods completed, the victorious NVPA hoofed it back to the Keep to regroup. At some point Jett had developed a fixation on the metal door we found that had “Keep Out” carved in it, and he was all hopped up to give it a second look. So he and Merric went off to investigate it more closely, but all they learned was that the mysterious message had been engraved in the door fairly recently—and that there was no evidence of traps or magic in or around it.
When they rejoined the group, we turned our collective attention to the door with the big skull on it. Passing through it without difficulty, we found ourselves in a winding maze-like corridor that opened onto three different rooms at various points. We were only able to discover this, however, by Jett’s leaping over the glowing purplish runes in the floor that blocked our way at certain points. The rooms each contained a small handful of dead bodies, some better preserved than others, but little else.
After this period of exploration, Jett decided to trigger one of the runes just to see what the effect would be. We all readied ourselves, and then he stepped on a rune at the center of the maze.
A piercing scream burst from the rune, causing several of us to run helter-skelter in terror, which caused us to trigger more runes, followed by additional screaming and running. Then, predictably, the bodies in the three chambers rose up as zombies—most of them minions, but some not—and attacked us.
We quickly got our shit together, then settled back to enjoy busting up the low-armor-class-havin’ zombies, who stood no chance at all against Moirae’s array of radiant-energy powers. Turns out Moirae will kick-ass if there is ever a zombie apocalypse.
And when the last zombie fell, we called it a night.