Halls of the Mountain King was the second 4th Edition Open Design project from Kobold Press. I ran the adventure in 2010 as part of the same Parsantium campaign as Wrath of the River King. Here’s the write up from the ninth session which features the 4e version of the lich hounds that have been plaguing my Scarlet Citadel group.
Begin here with Session 1 – Alarm in the Dead of Night.
16th Quintilis (contd.)
The adventurers, with Abelard the Fire Shepherd in tow, approach the metal doors leading to the Ventshafts. Here, the brave but cautious Ella listens at the door and catches a whiff of a ghastly stench.
The party can also hear talking on the other side but are unable to understand the language. They open the door to find themselves facing ghast centurions of the Ghoul Imperium and their gutripper lich hounds. Saethus, quick as a flash, casts wall of fire which catches most of the ghasts and two of the hounds. However, the foul canines soon escape by teleporting behind the party and attacking the rear ranks, as two of the ghasts move forward to attack the front characters. Bolval is paralysed by a claw attack, then bitten by one of the ghasts – this “Imperial conscription” means he will rise as a ghast on his death!
Krivinn moves forward to defend the party but his thunder smite brings the unstable ceiling down on the others, trapping Ella and Abelard. With all visible foes dead, Saethus lets the wall of fire drop and the paladin teleports into the fray, attacking the three surviving ghasts, two of whom have been blasted by Sharden’s written in fire. It doesn’t take long for the characters to win the day but Krivinn also ends up “conscripted”. Both he and Bolval need to have the Remove Affliction ritual cast on them.
The party dig out the agitated Abelard and make their way down the corridor leading from the chamber. When they arrive in a round room with three different exits, the azer sends the characters off in one direction to put an end to the saboteurs’ activities while he goes to try and round up the fire elementals. The Fire Shepherd says he will meet the heroes back in this room once he’s completed his task.
The adventurers head to the Ventshafts – as they approach the doors leading into the room, they can hear the sounds of machinery at work but when they get nearer, they can also hear chanting – some kind of ritual is in progress and the room is filled with enemies!
The owner of the Manticore, Vianna, is being held by a darakhul and a tiefling wizard (the mysterious Orodak that Khuma has been following). A spined devil stands behind them and an older dwarf wearing the robes of a gearworker and a kobold are close by. Other goldveined dwarves stand around the room, looking on, as Carod the Journeyman approaches Vianna, bringing a steaming crucible held in tongs.
The older dwarf calls out “Bring the blessing. The ceremony will be completed!” The spined devil pulls back Vianna’s head and pries open her mouth as the Journeyman dumps molten gold down her throat. As he does this, Vianna changes into a gold dragon and bellows defiantly, blasting the older dwarf and the kobold with molten gold from her mouth, killing them both. Then, she completes her transformation, claws a hole in one of the air shafts, and leaps inside.
At this point, the characters charge forward with Brave Ella in the lead. This doesn’t turn out too well for the ranger, as she is subjected to attacks from the whip-wielding Journeyman, a crazed dwarf hammerer bearing the symbol of Ninkash on his shield, and the ghoul, as well as crossbow fire from the goldveined dwarves, She ends up dazed and poisoned and soon goes unconscious.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party are all bunched up together in the corridor, allowing Orodak to target the spellcasters with gifts of Mammon and knives of the mountain. The tiefling takes Sharden down as the other enemies attack the front ranks. Bolval brings the invoker round and Sharden casts avenging flame on the Journeyman. Ella manages to get out of the corridor with evasive strike and shoots the annoying dwarf twice – her arrows and Sharden’s ongoing fire damage are enough to finish him off. Saethus’ casts Bigby’s icy hand to attack the ghoul, but Orodak’s knives of the mountain knock him unconscious and the hand disappears. By this time, Bolval has run out of healing magic and has to help the eladrin by triggering his second wind. Krivinn kills the hammerer leaving Orodak as last tiefling standing. The characters gang up on him and Bolval delivers the final blow which knocks him unconscious.
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