16 Nightal 1486
The group arrives in Gauntlgrym. On the way in, Voldrick gives them a brief history lesson on the relations between the Drow and the Dwarves. One of the drow great houses has allied themselves with a powerful fire giant, Duke Zalto, who is sending others out to find mithril and adamantine to forge some kind of great artifact so Duke Zalto may lead all of them.
The Gates of Gauntlgrym are lined with statues of dwarvish elders and rulers: the most recent is of Bruenor Battlehammer, followed by Torhild Flametongue. The party leads their vultures by foot down into the city beneath the mountain, being serenated by Voldrick’s rendition of the Canticle of Gauntlgrym. Guards at the inner gates allow them passage through and find stabling for the vultures. Voldrick tells them it will likely be several days before King Bruenor can see them, and while Atarah chomps at the bit (the Solstice is near!), acquires lodging for them all.
The party decides to spend their waiting time… shopping! Tranled leads them to a contact of his, a Zhentarim ‘jeweler’ who also deals in less mundane objects and who maybe has a coin minting facility in the back room, to sell off the adamantine nose-ring and the second rod of Vonindod. The tiefling creates an epic narrative about how the nose-ring came from the fire giant attacking the Stone Bridge (because, dwarvish holy site). The jeweler offers them 6500 in gold and gems for both objects – more money than the party has seen ever. Korotir and Atarah have one thought: Plate Mail!
18 Nightal 1486
Two days later, their audience with the King has arrived. All weapons, including holy symbols, are checked at the door. There is grumbling.
Voldrick and the king discuss amongst themselves the situation, and the king thanks the party for rescuing Voldrick. He tells them that he appreciates their concern, but it is unnecessary – the drow have already attacked and been rebuffed, and a special door has been installed at the forge, magically sealed and reinforced. There is no way they can get in now.
Tranled is skeptical. “Torhild Flametongue was not exalted by the dwarves for putting in a door…. The best defense is a good offense.”
Bruenor stares him down. “It is possible that I, King of Gauntlgrym, know more dwarven history than you.”
“Explain to me then, why the dwarves hide behind their doors.” Tranled replies.
Everyone takes two steps back from Tranled and closer to Natalia, who has been polite and respectful thus far.
Bruenor laughs. “You would have to know the basics, and I’ve no time to spare to teach you. Voldrick, come.” The two retreat for a bit to a corner to speak. Nik approaches and asks permission to operate in Gauntlgrym, as he is an investigator. Bruenor thanks him but assures him it is unnecessary.
Natalia also gives a pretty speech, being very respectful of the King, and assures him they only want to be helpful.
As the party is about to leave, another dwarf bursts in with news – the front gates are being attacked by fire giants and drow, and they’ve got a Destruction Orb with them! The hall bursts into chaos. In the confusion, the party notes a group of dwarves approach the king for his signet so they may go reinforce the guards at the forge. Bruenor does not at first recognize them, but eventually agrees and hands something over.
Natalia asks for permission to go and help – Bruenor acquiesces and the party goes to the Lord Martial to ask where best they would be helpful. The Lord Martial never saw the dwarves who said they would go reinforce the Forge, acts as though that is out of the ordinary and very suspicious.
Nik, who noticed something off about the “dwarves” heading towards the forge, takes off at a monk-enhanced run, yelling for the party to follow. Natalia hesitates only long enough to ask the Lord Martial how to raise the alarm should they find something wrong, then the rest of the party follows Nik at a (much slower) run.
Nik has caught up with the troop of “dwarves”, who implore him to help them with the door to the forge so they might secure it. Nik stalls as long as he can, but the “dwarves” open the door without him and head inside. The dwarves inside call for them to halt, identify themselves. Nik declares they’re here to steal, much to the “dwarves” consternation, and chucks a spear at the nearest “dwarf”.
As Nik stalls and the party dashes to catch up, the illusion falls away from the “dwarves,” revealing a party of nine drow: a Priestess, two male mages and six male warriors. An arrow from Envar’s bow drops one of the warriors, and most of the party just manages to make it under the door before it crashes down again. Envar is left outside, but he immediately turns and begins rallying dwarves outside.
The drow mages cast spells to cause fields of tentacles to spring up from the floor, restraining half the party. The priestess tells them: “We are not here for you. Stay out of our way and you will live.” A massive spider demon crawls out from behind a statue and Looms. Tranled mouths off, and the spider is sic’ed on him. Tranled kites it around the room.
The mages cast Cloud Kill, instantly killing (or nearly) the majority of the dwarven guards already in the Forge.
Atarah, wisely (not), challenges the priestess to one on one combat, yells at the male warriors to get Out Of Her Way. The males hesitate, but not enough, and Atarah is forced to shove her way through half the warriors protecting the priestess. Most of the blows fall off her though, and she crows about how awesome the new armor is.
< stuff happens and I totally did not write any of this down I AM SORRY remind me more event sequences & I’ll write them in >
More giant spiders are summoned and protect the priestess, who takes shelter beneath the Spider Demon’s legs. Atarah slides under, a few bites from the spiders getting past the armor, and gets in a hit on the priestess before falling, poisoned and paralyzed. Tranled picks up a dipper of molten iron from a trough at the back of the forge, aims, and blasts it, creating a shotgun effect of red hot molten metal. The priestess screams and goes down, the summoned spider demon collapsing into yellow gore over both her and Atarah. Gross.
Korotir kills several warriors and a spider demon, Nik stuns and knocks out one of the mages, causing the tentacles to vanish. The other grovels before Natalia, claiming he will do whatever she asks.
The fighting is nearly over, with the powerful members dead or restrained, and the warriors dropping arms, when the doors reopen and Envar returns with the King and another dwarven squad. The drow appear to surrender arms. The King commands them all to kill the drow (prisoners), to which Envar and Korotir reply that he isn’t their king and they do what they want.