It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
We had dispatched the Kobold king and his wizard. We all stood victorious and covered in the blood of our enemy. Still there were mixed emotions where most would rejoice. The children were safe and we had recovered a pile of loot to boot. Inside though, all of us knew that we were only half way there. We still had to get out of this all-gods forsaken place. Given our current state which was best described as exhausted and almost spell-less, this would most likely not be a simple task.
Gnobbla identified one particular piece of loot that was especially valuable. Valuable in a way that could result in the party owning our own small kingdom with endless hedonistic luxuries including having our subjects waive banners to our heroics every day at noon.
But our comrades bodies lay strewn throughout the dungeon. There could be no celebration when the cost was so high. Pint rose and leaning his weight upon the alter softly muttered "For Godric."
(editors note: ok... pint didn't really do this... but at least he didn't whoop and holler about all of the killing he had just done. And honestly, the blood that he was covered in made his clothing smell less stinky).
Everyone bowed their heads as we remembered Godric and Randy. At least those of us who knew them did. The rest stood in an uncomfortable silence. Without speaking, everyone knew that one of our friends would live again. The group would use the loot, this kings ransom, to resurrect one of them. It would be Godric. It was an easy choice. He was whole. We weren't sure we had both Randy's head and body in one location.
A soft mournful sobbing could be heard back in the King's throne room. As we peered around the corner the queen helplessly looked at us. No words were necessary to understand her pain. She sat next to her dead husband, holding his hand and slowly stroking his arm.
(editors note: Kobold love... BLECH!)
Rhamira quieted the queen, and ensured her that we didn't mean her harm... we just needed to retrieve the children. The queen led us back to the lift and we set about retrieving Godric's body.
That Forged Spawn was back! I guess that is why they call them spawn! He had lay Godric's crumpled body to the side, but it was obvious that he had ghastly plans for it. There is no way that we could win another fight with that infernal beast. We were weak and tired and covered in dried Kobold blood. And the last time we fought this thing - Godric died. We would win this battle with brains not brawn.
Gnobbla snuck into the spawn cavern undetected and tied a rope to Godric's foot. The other end was tied to the lift. A swing of Pint's axe and the lift plummeted dragging Godric's lifeless body towards the entrance of the cave.
(editor's note: it's a good thing he was wearing armor! He might have been ticked off if we resurrected him and he was missing his right butt cheek)
Who knew that a pile of chains could move so freakin fast! The Spawn sprang. Hellfire licking from between the rungs of it's chain and smoke billowed from its mouth filling the air with ash and soot. I Cast a Grease Spell which slowed it down a bit but didn't stop it by any means. 3 of us were hauling the rope to try and get Godric out of the way but that thing kept coming.
It became obvious that the only option we truly had was run. Every time we tried to block its progress, or impede it in some way it returned by barreling into us as fast as it could. Carrying the body of our dear friend slowed us down and put all in danger. As we were considering whether saving one dead body would be worth others dying, it happened. At that hole that Godric had punched in the wall, "Run!" Pint hollered! "I shall keep him at bay until you can get away! Keep the kids safe!"
And so we all shuffled down the corridor listening to the ring of steel against armor as Pint battled this demon alone. Pint laughed sardonically in the spawn's face... "Oh you want some of this? Want some more?" all the while single handedly preventing the Forged Spawn from advancing on the kids.
NJord and Ortho took the lead in moving the kids though a room, through 2 secret doors and into the Horn room when we heard an echo that surely could be heard throughout the dungeon. We heard a battle cry so dark and determined and full of pain it could only mean one thing:
Pint had either fallen, or was about to.
Rhamira raced back toward the Forged Spawn determined to save her friend. Arriving, she saw Pint, covered in blood and sweat. He was barely able to stand and was delirious from the loss of blood as she pushed him out of the way and took his place. "Get with the others!" Rhamira cried.
Pint stumbled along the corridor leaving bloody footprints behind. I held the secret doors open for him and waited for Rhamira. Pint barely made it through. Gritting his teeth from the pain he stumbled into the horn room, and seeing the kids he smiled. Our Cleric stepped towards Pint. "Well done," he said as he began healing Pint. Today was the day that Pint laid out his case that he is truly a Hero among dwarves - for without Pint's sacrifice most assuredly the children would have died.
(editors note: he still needs a bath and a toothbrush)
Rhamira bolted after us as soon as Pint was behind the secret doors. The Spawn followed but could not match Rhamira's half she-orc speed. As Rhamira cleared the doorway I closed the door to the secret room. We hoped we would be safe and the secret door would conceal our passage, but it was not to be. As we moved the children out of another secret passage into the main hallway the Forged Spawn found the first secret door and was on our trail again. Quickly we led the children through the room with the electric lizards and past the trapped room with the tilting floor. The Spawn was catching up. Someone had to slow the forged spawn again and this time it was my turn. I sent the children and the rest of the party ahead to the entrance and Gray Pelt.
The goal was simple. Put an arrow into the Forged Spawn and distract him, and hope he would not notice the trap that we had set off so long ago.
The forged spawn appeared in the doorway. I put an arrow next to his head.
(editors note: we can pretend I did that on purpose)
The Forged Spawn was enraged and ran straight at me, across the trap trigger. Ooops. The floor tilted. The forged spawn fell. I gloated. Put an arrow next to his head again. (we can pretend I did that on purpose, again. I actually shot myself in the ear with my own arrow. It will be a sexy scar.) And I watched as the statues on the opposite wall fell and crushed the Forged Spawn.
I vow to one day return to finish the job. But for now, we had a clear path out of the dungeon. It's time we took it. I followed the group out of the dungeon. Amazing we had all survived.
As we were leaving Grey Pelt appeared and attempted to eat us. Did I mention how fetching Rhamira looks in the new grey wolf "fur and head" cloak that Njord harvested for her? She is going to be the envy of her clan when they catch a gander at her new duds.