Sweetlick, Antek, Borodin, and Return rest in the Banshee Queen’s chamber. The haunted sensation has left the Sword Barrows (for now at least). Aftershocks interrupt their sleep. Above ground the landscape startles: the ley lines are now clearly visible 20’ shimmering blue “walls”.
The heroes ride quickly to Hammerfast. Guards have barred the gate. “Hammerfast is shut down! No one in, no one out. King’s orders!”. Borodin asks why. Guard: “The damn blue lines! I don’t know what those elves are up to but we want no part of it!”. Borodin name-drops Vanguard Craghammer and Antek shows off the Gavel of Pure Light. This convinces the guards to fetch Vanguard, who is quickly convinced that our heroes can help.
After a debriefing between parties involved, they hatch the plan to barrel into the mines to find Geomancer Clay. Vanguard preps the mine cart … which turns out to be no ordinary mine cart. It is a train car powered by beer. Only the wondrous magic and engineering of the Dwarves could have dreamed up such a thing. The party climbs aboard and the dwarves get to drinking. The Beer Train takes off!
Not far into the mine tunnels, twisted cultists hop onto the roof. The heroes swing up through the car windows to face them head on! All the while, stalactites rush by causing the combat to shift frequently.
Stalactites: Level 7 Hazard
Two stalactites appear each round. Roll 1d4 to determine their random position (the mine cart is 4 squares wide). They both have initiative zero. On their turn they slam into any opponent on their row and jump to a new position.
Slam: Auto hit. 2d6 damage, pushed 2 squares and knocked prone.
Sweetlick casts Daunting Light but misses by 1. Borodin activates his Crown/Sword set bonus and Sweetlick receives a vision from Avandra…
Avandra materializes before Sweetlick’s eyes as a spinning gold coin. As the coin stops spinning, time itself stops. Avandra steps out of the coin’s relief and glows. She speaks: “What the hell are you doing? Stop missing! It’s all in the wrist. Let me show you… in fact, begin your training…. now!”
Sweetlick, thusly empowered, strikes his target! The other heroes rush to the roof and the melee begins. Borodin attempts to bull rush an Abyssal Marauder but she stands her ground and retaliates with her spear. Return singles out a Doom Flayer and lays down the Raven Queen’s vengeance. Antek takes on the Berzerker Prelate so that Sweetlick is free to maneuver. The Prelate, focus on Antek, ignores the stalactite that smashes him and sends him flying. The Shrieking Cultists lashes out with psychic terror and the others fly into battle rages, but the heroes apply their combat prowess to down the foes.
While catching their breath another figure hops on the train car: Geomancer Clay! He greets Craghammer and relieves one drunk dwarf from the Beer Engine.
But, cultists have followed Clay. Another Marauder and Prelate jump on the train and shriek “You defeated our friends, but you are no match for our captain!” Borodin, nonplussed, bull rushes that Marauder right off the train and under the wheels (crunch!). Return quips “He’s not the first person to get run over by the Beer Train!” With a thunderous echo, the captain and a fresh Marauder land on the roof.
Captain Ivan Drago! (yes, the Russian from Rocky IV and from the montage cutscene)
Sweetlick rushes in to uppercut drago but his fist stops cold on Drago’s abs. Drago looks down, dismissively, before counter-punching Sweetlick! The heroes mobilize again on the roof while Borodin handles the Prelate in the cart. Borodin bull rushes the Prelate, who puts up a fight but is finally knocked down to the tracks. Amazingly, the Prelate (now bloodied) grabs the back bumper of the train car and stays in the fight. Meanwhile the others quickly surround Drago and get to work. Antek has Drago marked and is able to absorb some of his left jabs and right hooks. Borodin reaches the roof and activates Rock and a Hard Place. Return declares Drago his Oath of Emnity and Sweetlick continues to find Avandra’s favor.
Suddenly the train car banks hard right! The heroes slide along the roof and the Marauder falls off the side; her claws pierce the metal roof and keep her from hitting the ground. Borodin flies in and slices her fingers off: she tumbles into the darkness. Drago continues to deal out punishment and ignores the stalactites, which shatter against his back and barely phase him. The Prelate climbs up the back of the train and barrages Sweetlick with his Greatclub; Sweetlick is nearly knocked off twice but Antek is there to save him. Drago takes blow after blow and is finally crushed. His heavy body falls through the roof and lands on the Beer Train floor.
The cultists have magic implements and jewelry that can be pawned. Drago wears a magic belt (oversized championship belt) which Sweetlick claims victoriously. Note: the powers of the belt work whether worn on the waist or draped over the shoulder.
Crunch:Encounter 1: Skill Challenge (gain entry to Hammerfast)
- 300 xp each
- 4 creatures, 1 hazard
- 375 xp each
- 2 regular creatures, 1 elite, 1 hazard
- 450 xp each
- Sweetlick gets a magic belt, level appropriate (8-11)
- Each hero gains 100gp (consisting of precious metals/gems in the cultist implements)