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Mar 02 2012

Neverwinter, February 19th, 2012

The Pit

Having rested, we approached the pit cautiously. It was quite large and its depths were shrouded in darkness. It was so deep that when we dropped stone inside, no sound could be heard when it hit the bottom. It looked like a portal into emptiness.

The Ashmadai had been busy; four elevator platforms had been installed to allow access to the bottom of the pit. And as it turns out, two were just about to arrive at the top.

We hopped on and rode them down. But after a few minutes we came to an abrupt stop. Across the pit, the ascending platforms were now level with ours. On one of the platforms, four Ashmadai had come up to investigate why they hadn’t heard from the surface team for so long. When they saw us coming down, they must have pulled some sort of master control and stopped the platforms.

As if facing four Ashmadai arcanists wasn’t bad enough, the platforms had stopped next to a nest of stirges.

While the stirges were an annoyance more than anything else, the Ashmadai were a very serious threat. All four of them were ranged fighters, which meant they could attack us while remaining in relative safety on their platform. Even if our melee fighters could somehow reach the enemy platform, there was no free space onboard, so they would have no way to engage the enemy.

The Ashmadai made the first move, and Cormac was thrown off his platform. He managed to grab on to one of the chains dangling underneath before it was too late. Since he could make out (barely) the ground below, he decided to climb down and see if he couldn’t gain control of the platforms from down there. After confirming that he’d reached the bottom, we didn’t hear from him for the rest of the fight. {Cormac was removed from play by the DM.}

At this point, Theren managed to land two hits in quick succession on one of the Ashmadai, who as a result lost his balance and fell to his death.

With an opening having been made on the opposing platform, Kar’dith decided to jump into action; quite literally in fact. Through some amazing feat of acrobatics, he jumped at the wall, appeared to walk along it for a couple of meters and then jumped away and onto the enemy platform.

The Ashmadai were so surprised, that Kar’dith was able to land a few good hits; but he was eventually thrown off the platform as well. He grabbed on to one of the dangling chains, but the Ashmadai who threw him off climbed down to prevent him from climbing back up.

With more space freed up on the platform, Dugar jumped over with a standard but nonetheless impressive long jump. He tackled one of the Ashmadai still on the platform, and both of them fell over the side and grabbed on to the chains.

Theren then concentrated his attacks on the two dangling Ashmadai. When they fell to their deaths, he and Kar’dith and Dugar turned their attention to the sole remaining Ashmadai. While all this was happening, Mattloke and Herman held the stirges at bay.

Once all the enemies had been destroyed we reactivated the lift mechanism and rode it all the way down. Although Kar’dith and Dugar had to also go all the way back up first.

The Statuary

At the bottom of the pit there were signs of lots of recent activity, but none of Cormac.

In the wall of the pit there was an opening, and following it lead us to an old statuary. Quite a few Ashmadai cultists, including a devil, were hiding among the statues; and on the far end one of them was standing guard over a bound and unconscious Cormac.

Using the statues and other features of the room strategically, we engaged and defeated the cultists. Along the way we managed to untie Cormac, who joined in the battle.

When the last of the cultists was defeated, we disabled the lifts and made up a base camp among the statues. With the camp set up, we now had a bit of free time to look around before we turned in for the night.

All of the statues were depictions of dwarven warriors, and the writing at the base of each one was in dwarvish glyphs. While not absolute proof that we had found Gauntlgrym, it was still an very good start. Each statue was holding a shield, and upon each shield was the crest of an ancient dwarven family.

When Dugar found a shield with his family’s crest, that of the House Grombril, he became ecstatic. The statue even looked like him a little. There was an inscription at the base of the statue that read:

Only an heir of Grombril may take this shield.

Even though it was clearly solidly attached to the statue, when Dugar attempted to take the shield it came off with ease, as if it had merely been resting against the statue. This was concrete proof that he was from an ancient and noble dwarven line.

But that wasn’t the end of it. The statue had originally been holding the shield in one hand and in the other it had been holding a halberd, a two-handed weapon, one-handed. Somehow, without any of us noticing the change, after Dugar took the shield, the statue was now holding the halberd with both hands and Dugar realized he could now hold his halberd with one hand.

These events would require some serious pondering.