Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Five - Chapter One: The Last of the Trolls

It was in the evening of Freeday, the 14th day of Planting, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon killed the wizard Ussisemeel in the dungeons of the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. After destroying the wizard’s body by dumping it into the river of lava in the dungeons of the War Tower, most of the band members were running low on spells and becoming fatigued. Corvyn, in fact, was still suffering from the after effects of having been raised from the dead during the battle and was in need of restoration spells. So the band took the opportunity to rest for the night.

The following morning, on Starday, the 15thday of Planting, the band prepared themselves for another assault on the chaotic faction in the dungeons of the Power Tower. Diamond then cast two restoration spells on Corvyn and got him back to full health. Then Zeke used the rod of resurrection, as the band had promised, and resurrected Eleena’s brother, Dorthonodand. With these matters out of the way, the band then went through their normal procedure of spending an hour consuming a hero’s feast, followed by a walk through the secret passageway to the dungeons of the Power Tower. Once there, they made their way to the first floor where the spellcasters sat at the magical table and attempted to duplicate their spells. Tadwin and Diamond succeeded, but Zeke did not and lost a spell instead. From there the band went to the third floor and prayed at the altar of Boccob to receive a blessing on their weapons and then to a statue of Boccob to pray for a granted spell there.

The band was now ready to resume their explorations where they had left off on the previous evening. Tadwin cast a dimension door spell and transported everyone to the bottom of the stairs leading into the 6th level. From there the band went back through the chambers where the last battle had taken place, still littered with the bodies of the trolls and bugbears they had recently killed. Beyond that was a chamber where the bugbears had apparently lived. But the female and young bugbears were nowhere to be found. Pressing on, the band found the quarters of the bugbear chief, and there, in a secret compartment, discovered a bejeweled crown and scepter.

Taking the royal regalia with them, the band continued on to another nearby intersection in the cave system. With Brom leading the way invisibly, as usual, and the band relying on darkvision spells instead of light, Brom detected the sound of movement and gruff voices coming from the passageway heading to the west. Sneaking up ahead of his companions, Brom soon came upon the female and young bugbears, just over a dozen of each, as they were attempting to hide in a side chamber. Observing that they appeared to be of little threat, Brom retreated and told his companions what he had seen. The band then approached the bugbears and Zeke spoke to them, telling them that if they caused no trouble, the band would allow them to live. The bugbears agreed to the terms and Zeke told them to gather their things and move to the level above.

Once the bugbears had moved on, the band took some time then to consider what to do at a nearby side passage that lead up to a statue. Tadwin had seen, on the band’s previous assault, using an arcane eye spell, that the statue was of Zagig, much like the other two statues of Zagig the band found in the other two sections, one of which had briefly trapped both Zeke and Diamond inside. About halfway up the stair-like passageway leading up to the statue, however, was another humanoid statue that appeared to be guarding the way and which looked suspiciously like a stone golem. Not wanting to deal with a possible stone golem, Brom snuck past the stone guardian invisibly and moved to inspect the statue. Finding nothing remarkable about the statue, and suspecting it to be like the others they had found, Brom pushed the statue over, causing some damage to the statue but not entirely destroying it. When he did so, the stone guardian came to life and looked around in apparent confusion. But seeing no one there, since Brom was still invisible, it turned back around and resumed its guardian stance. As expected, Brom found a word written below the statue which read “Zeejom”, but he made sure not to speak the word out loud. Believing there was nothing more to be found in the area, the band then moved on, leaving the stone golem to guard the toppled and damaged statue.

Taking the other passageway from the earlier intersection, the band approached a cave where Tadwin had previously seen several trolls standing motionlessly. Some of these trolls had fingers, toes, and bits of hair oddly missing and the band had postulated that these trolls had been turned to stone.

Fearing the presence of some creature or creatures capable of turning other creatures to stone, the band debated a bit on what to do. Brom then decided to replace his darkvision goggles for smoke-lensed goggles and have Tadwin cast a darkvision spell on him. He then moved into the cave cautiously and without the use of his ring of invisibility. There were five trolls in all, three of which had body parts missing, and after Brom had snuck past the three, the other two trolls suddenly came to life and attacked Brom with surprise. These two trolls, which had obviously disguised themselves to appear like the others in order set up an ambush, were able to wound Brom a bit. But Tadwin then blinded them with a glitterdust spell and the rest of the band rushed in, allowing the band to quickly take the two trolls down.

Behind one of the trolls that had been turned to stone, there was a narrow passageway leading off to the west. So Brom snuck ahead invisibly while the others waited behind. Brom soon came to another cave with a high ceiling, where a wide crevice could be seen. Flying up so he could see what lay above this crevice, he spotted nine trolls that were waiting there to pounce upon the band as they made their way through the cave. Brom returned to his companions and told them what he had seen. Zeke then cast an illusion spell, creating an image of the band walking through the cave. As hoped, the illusion fooled some of the trolls, a few of which leaped down to attack the illusions. Other trolls, however, realized they had been tricked and, spotting Zeke, moved to pounce on him. Corvyn then charged into the room and began hacking away at the trolls, and the real battle then began.

This proved to be a fairly tough battle, particularly for Corvyn, who quickly found himself surrounded by trolls that were well trained in team tactics and capable of making vicious sneak attacks. More than once, Corvyn was literally on the verge of being ripped apart by the trolls’ savage claws and teeth despite his ability to regenerate. Several times, Diamond had to cast heal spells on him from a distance in order to keep him alive. To make matters worse, at some point in the battle, Corvyn fumbled with his sword and badly damaged it. But because it was attached to a weapon cord around his wrist, he had little choice but continue fighting with his broken giant-slayer. Fortunately, he did not further damage his sword and eventually the band was able to kill all nine trolls after each of them had leaped down from the ledges to attack.

When the battle was over, and the band had healed up, Brom flew back up through the crevice and found a chest with a dozen potions in it. Brom identified the potions and found that they were all rare elixirs of diminution which would cause the imbibers to shrink. The more elixir that was consumed, the more one would shrink. The purpose of these potions quickly became apparent, as the band had discovered a passageway to the west that was too narrow for any of them to pass through in their current size. Taking advantage of the potions, each of the band members then drank about half of one of the potions and each shrank to about half their normal size. This was still not quite enough for Corvyn, who had to sip a little more in order to fit through the crevice.

When the band was then sufficiently small enough, they crept through the narrow passageway and followed it for about a hundred feet or so, where it finally opened up into a cavern so vast they could not see the other side with their darkvision. The band moved out into the center of the cavern, and as they did so, some of them noticed ledges about ten feet high or so on cavern walls where large creatures were moving about. Brom flew up invisibly to take a look and relayed to the band that they were now surrounded by dozens of trolls of various sizes. Some of the trolls, on the nearby ledges to the east, were now climbing down the walls and moving to attack. So Tadwin threw up a wall of fire that cut the cavern in half, which would conceal the band from many of the trolls and keep them at bay.

Almost immediately after this, two waves of fireballs, with five fireballs in each wave, flew over the wall of fire and struck most of the band members. Unknown to the casters of these fireballs, Zeke had earlier made sure that everyone was resistant to both fire and electricity. And so, despite the ten fireballs, none of the band members took much damage. Diamond, meanwhile, cast confusion spells on the nearby trolls and thereby largely diminished the threat from them. At the same time, Brom used a potion to improve his invisibility, and then flew over to attack one of the spellcasters, which turned out to be one of five female witches who were the obvious leaders of the trolls. Ordinarily very powerful in their own right, these five witches specialized in fire magic, which in this case, limited their capabilities against the band. That, plus the fact that their hexes did not have a very long range, combined with the wall of fire that they could do nothing about, greatly hindered their abilities.

Brom then was able to fly in and make his sneak attacks while remaining invisible, which proved to be devastating against the trolls, including the witches who were easily the toughest of the trolls. Tadwin soon afterwards assisted Brom by summoning a very powerful elder fire elemental, which, while it could not match what Brom was capable of, did prove to be very effective. Corvyn, meanwhile, having now switched to his other greatsword, focused on taking down the trolls on the near side of the wall of fire, while Zeke began launching a series of scorching rays and fireballs.

All throughout the battle, the band remained in control of the situation and rarely did they ever fall victim to any of the witches’ spells. Nor was there ever any need for Diamond to run around healing anyone, and so he remained on the offensive for most of the battle. Eventually, the trolls were able to kill the fire elemental, but not before it had taken out some of the trolls. By this point, Brom had kill two of the witches and some of the other trolls. Most of the trolls on the near side of the wall of fire were now down or confused, so Corvyn began using his flaming longsword to finish off the trolls. Tadwin used several mass damage spells including a chain lightning, a cone of cold and a prismatic spray, while Zeke launched fireball after fireball until finally there were no trolls left standing.

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