Seeing the fall of Kersath, Garth lets out a cry of "Die you godless evils!" and sets into the Troll before him, swinging his mace at every opportunity. The Troll snarls and jumps back from the swing of the dwarf, avoiding the mace. From the corner of his eye, he notes the desperate state of Kersath and cries, "Someone help me! Take my place that I may tend to Kersath."
Garth's cry is answered as both Gnore and Snagger come to his aid. Snagger surveys the limp body of the dark elf and the retreating Garth and shouts at the top of his lungs, "Ortho! We be needin' ye! Stake down dem mules and get in 'ere!" He then growls and looks in the direction the half-elf, Kre, came from and heads toward the charging Trolls. Planting his feet, he swings his mighty battle-axe at the first Troll to appear before him. The axe strikes true and a large wound is dealt to the side of the beast. Blood flows freely from the wound but the creature appears to ignore it, a yell of rage being the only acknowledgement of the wound. Three other green-skinned behemoths emerge from the eastern chamber to engage Snagger and Gnore.
Gnore is about to scream for Ortho to come when he hears the alarm from Snagger. With a final worried glance upon the still form of Kersath, Gnore turns his attention to the Troll that felled the elf. Now, finally, the fury of his dwarven blood can be unleashed upon an enemy so vile and corrupt that he feels the rage of the dwarven ancients coarsing through his body. A primal scream erupts from his dwarven soul as Gnore's bastard blade carves a lethal arc through the air with deadly intentions focused on the Troll. In the farther reaches of his mind, Gnore understands that his mighty strike is far from the last nor possibly enough to kill the beast but, as a single repeating thought echoes in his mind his purpose in facing this Troll by the side of his kin, Gnore has vowed never to let a dwarven kin battle alone nor perish in solitude when he is near. Unfortunately for Gnore, the fury of his attack does not translate to a blow to the Troll. Although the Troll manages to land a hard claw to the side of Gnore's ribs. For the moment, the blow only manages to infuriate the dwarf even more.
Garth quickly backs away from the fight and kneels over the fallen body of Kersath. Pulling the body a few feet back to relative safety, he quickly lays hands on the dark elf and prays, "Oh Selune, please heed the calls of this unworthy one. My comrade is cold unto death and needs your tender mercy." Taking one hand off of the gaping wound of the elf's neck, Garth digs out his amulet of a crescent moon from about his own neck. His face scrunched in a knot of prayer, ignoring the raging combat around him, his face slowly relaxes as he feels the power and goodness of Selune dance from his fingers. The subtle glow spirits about the wound of Kersath, healing some of the grievous wound. The tear in his neck closes as the flow of blood mercifully comes to a halt. Although in no immediate danger of dying from his wounds, Kersath is still unconscious. Garth stands and replaces his mace at his belt as he prepares to pull Kersath back to the tunnel they came from.
Garth calls to the others, "Fall back that we may face them in the narrow tunnel only a few at a time!"
Druckner moves forward with the intention of helping Garth and Gnore fend off the first Troll when he runs into two of the beasts coming from the eastern tunnel. "Feel the breath of Brom, you ugly celery-stick!" he yells as he swings his axe at the larger Troll before him. He lands a minor blow to the right arm of the beast before dodging a few swings from the second Troll. The first ignores the wound dealt to it and hits Druckner hard to his left shoulder. Hearing the approaching Trolls from the south, Druckner hopes that they are part of the second clan, "Fall back!! Fall back! Let 'em fight each other!"
From his position at the mouth of the chamber, Dain can see the two converging masses of Trolls clearly. As he gazes over them closing on his companions, his heart sinks as he realizes Druckner's plan will not work. Even with his limited knowledge of Trolls, he can tell that these two groups are of the same clan. All of the Trolls are massive beasts, larger than he had been lead to believe for normal Trolls; but, most distinguishing of all is the thick tuft of hair which protrudes straight upwards from the crown of each of the beasts. He knows that only Trolls of the same clan would have this similarity.
Eyeing the initial Troll engaged with Gnore, Dain reaches into a pouch on his belt with his left hand and pulls out a small clay figurine. Chanting softly as he clasps the figurine, he finally concludes the incantation and raises his arm to point at the Troll as the clay figurine crumbles to dust. A fist of clay suddenly springs from the earth at the Troll's feet and grasps the beasts leg. The Troll howls in rage at the magical, constricting limb as it tries in vain to yank it's leg free. Dain grins with satisfaction, "That should keep 'em busy for a while."
Smiling deeply again, Dain reaches into a pocket of his robe and pulls an ash 'stick' forth as he looks over the chamber.
Seeing Druckner helping Garth, Gnore and Snagger, Beleg keeps his place near Ras as the Trolls stream forth from the tunnel to attempt to surround him. "Druckner is right, we must pull back!" he shouts at the top of his substantial lungs, never taking his eyes off the Trolls before him. "Troll's Bane and I will act as rear guard!" Lowering his voice to a mere shout as he says, "Ras, go help with the retreat. I'll slow these creatures down a bit, then join you."
As Beleg stands within the illuminated circle of Troll's Bane's power, his mind returns to where he was only a fortnight ago, the Plains of Dimas. For a moment, Beleg is no longer in the chamber of the Underdark but again on the Plains as his comrades cry out in pain and death around him. Once again he can see the fall of his commander, Astihon, and the loss of his own sword. Now Troll's Bane was in his hand, a gift for the courage he displayed on the Plains of Dimas. Smiling broadly, his mind returned to the cavern and the Trolls before him.
A series of quick swings of Troll's Bane and the first of the Trolls falls to the ground, dead. The stench of burning flesh fills the air and smoke comes from the great wounds of the beast as Beleg raises the sword to threaten the other Trolls advancing on him.
Upon hearing the call to fall back, Kre runs toward the entrance to the tunnel. Standing a few feet from Beleg, he pulls out two small bags filled with pepper from his pack. Seeing that the Trolls are too near to Beleg for him to take a chance on hitting the Paladin, he returns them to his pack and draws forth ColdHeart and another dagger; looking aorund the chamber for a wayward Troll to waylay.
Back up the tunnel, Ortho hears Snagger's call. Recognizing the urgency in his kinsman's voice, he knows that every minute is precious. Not taking the time to stake the mules, Ortho simply turns each of the lead mules around to head back up the tunnel and gives them a hard slap on their backsides to get them moving. The mules bellow before taking off down the tunnel. Grasping his axe, Ortho moves toward the large chamber.
As Ortho nears the opening into the large room he can see Dain waving his curly stick. Not knowing what the mage is doing but being smart enough to stay out of his way, Ortho makes sure he does not interrupt nor get in front of Dain as he steps around the mage into the large cavern.
The sight that greets the dwarf is grim. Kersath is down. Garth is trying to aid the dark elf as Gnore tries his best to protect the two. Snagger is engaged with three Trolls as he sings a great dwarven war ballad at the top of his lungs. Kre has a pair of daggers out and stairs around wide-eyed as he tries to figure out how best to help.
"Wal, this is a fine kettle o' fish," Ortho mutters to himself. Grasping the situation, Ortho shouts to Snagger, "Snagger! Ye got ta help Garth an' Gnore get Kersath out of there!" Then Ortho begins to walk calmly in the direction of Ras and Beleg. "Beleg! Ah'm comin'. Ras, get yer potion ready. Try ta throw it into a bunch of 'em." So saying, Ortho pulls forth his axe and helps free Beleg by attacking one of the Trolls engaged with the Paladin.
"Beleg, Ras, let's keep 'em bottled up in that passage if we can. And trust the others to take care of the other pack," yells Ortho. As he finishes speaking, the special flask of Ras' flies over the head of he and Beleg. The flask misses the Troll at the back of the pack but lands near enough that the resulting explosion sprays the beast with a fair amount of burning oil. The Troll howls in rage as it tries to beat out the flaming oil on it's body.
As the Trolls move to surround Ortho and Beleg, Ortho taunts them, "Ye flea-ridden, wart-nosed big uglies. Are ye ready fer dinner? Somethin's cookin'!" Ortho's first swing of his axe misses the Troll before him, but his second is much truer as he cleaves into the side of the beast on the return.
Seeing the party being overwhelmed by the Trolls, Talimar repeats the order to retreat, "FALL BACK, RED FEATHER FALL BACK!!!" Talimar draws his long bow and knocks an arrow, hoping to guard the retreat of his companions.
Ortho hears the RFC's appointed leader call for retreat again, but seeing Ras hiding behind a boulder and figuring the halfing might be caught in the open by the Trolls, he continues to move forward until he is sure Ras can get behind him safely.
"Beleg, that sword is gonna get some action. Ye'd best hope it is all ye 'ave been told."
Beleg manages a weak smile to his dwarven friend as he takes a series of hard blows from his left and right as the three Trolls try to overwhelm him. Pain erupts from a number of wounds in his body as he tries to fight through them.
"Too late for retreat!" yells Beleg as the Trolls move around to surround he and Ortho. "Find a partner and stand back to back!" The large Paladin turns himself to form a line of defense with Ortho behind him. The two warriors fight off a number of attacks from the vile creatures, the armor of each protecting them from the sharpened claws and teeth of the beasts. Finally though, their sheer strength proves too much and Beleg is rocked by a number of heavy blows from the massive creatures. A last blow to his head causes him to fall to the ground unconscious, Troll's Bane falling to the ground beside the downed warrior.
"Godless beasts!! Vile creatures of the inferno, I'll cleave ya back to where you belong, you filth!!!" Gnore curses at the Troll in front of him. He does not notice Garth's absence from the fight and barely hears Druckner's or anyone's call for retreat. So intent on killing the Troll before him, it is unknown if Gnore understands the call for a tactical retreat. His fury is rewarded this time though as his great bastard sword falls to open a deep wound to the abdomen of the Troll. The evil creature ignores the loss of some of it's vital organs though as both of its wicked claws strike Gnore. The other Troll before Gnore lands a solid blow to his head as well and darkness engulfs the dwarf. Fighting the pain and nausea, Gnore loses that battle as well as he falls to the ground unconscious.
Seeing Gnore fall to the ground and the three Trolls around him moving forward to feast on the exposed dwarf, Dain takes the opportunity to invoke the powers of the wand he holds. Pointing the ash stick at the three beasts, he speaks the command word, "Loezyn!" and a great cone of cold erupts from the tip of the wand. The blast carries forth in an expanding line across the chamber to engulf all three of the beasts, missing the prone dwarf. The force of the blast knocks the three Trolls to the ground as frost immediately materializes on their bodies. Shivering from the blast, they still manage to gain their footing. As the blast travels through the chamber, everyone can feel the temperature of the cavern drop considerably.
From his position behind the boulder and near Dain, Ras' eyes widen in horror at the cone of cold streaking across the chamber. Although disappearing almost as quickly as it materialized, Ras cannot bring his eyes off the path that it traveled.
"No! Not cold!" stammers Ras as he wraps his arms around his shoulders and begins to shake uncontrollably. "Nnnnoo. Ccccooold."
As the three Trolls work to rise, Talimar releases a volley of arrows at the beasts. The first finds a mark in the right shoulder of one of the beasts, but the second sails wide.
Snagger sees his new companion Gnore fall to his left and unleashes his full fury into the Troll before him. An expertly placed hit of his battle-axe to the chest of the beast and it falls to the ground unconscious. Snagger takes a step forward and lands another blow to the back of one of the beasts rising from Dain's blast of cold.
Standing near the fallen Paladin, Ortho thanks Moraddin for his sturdy armor as the claws of the Trolls before him are unable to penetrate the sturdy metal. His cloak is in tatters and several scratch marks mar the shine of his armor but he has yet to sustain a wound. The Troll directly before him is not as fortunate though as Ortho's mighty axe cleaves a great gash in its right side. The beast releases a howl of rage and renews its futile attack on the dwarf.
As Ras is overcome by his fright, one of the Trolls circling Ortho spots the halfling and moves in to take what it believes to be an easy prey. Unfortunately for the Troll, Talimar and Dain both spot it's movement and release a barrage of magical missiles at the creature. The magical bolts of energy fly true as all four slam into the chest of the beast. A roar of rage bellows from the beasts maw as it turns to advance on the mages who assaulted him. As it draws close, Talimar draws his longsword and steps between the Troll and Dain.
A duck of a high-flying claw followed by a side-step of the second swing and Talimar steadies himself for his own attack. Stepping quickly around the over-extended beast, Talimar strikes true twice to the abdomen and back of the creature. Blood flows freely from both of the deep wounds and Talimar looks on with satisfaction as the beast falls limply to the ground.
The howl of rage from the Troll hit by the magical bolts is enough to shake Ras from his fear and he quickly tries to compose himself. Looking around for an opponent, he draws forth his daggers seeking an opportunity to throw them at the Trolls.
In the center of the chamber, Kre has become entangled with one of the Trolls moving around Ortho. Kre slashes the beast a time or two with ColdHeart but is unable to do much damage to the creature. The ferocity of the Troll's attack turns out to be too much for the half-elf though as he weakens under several blows from the claws of the beast. With blood flowing from a number of wounds along his chest, arms and legs, he finally loses consciousness and falls to the ground at the feet of the beast.
The Troll lets out a yell of triumph and bends to begin ripping the half-elf's flesh from his body when it is hit with three daggers from Ras. All three of the weapons bury deep into the flesh of the creature and it rises to gaze at the halfling across the chamber. Pulling the daggers free of its body, it throws them to the ground and starts to advance on Ras.
Talimar steps forward once again though to save the halfing as he intercepts the advancing Troll. Missing the beast with his sword, he avoids the swings and bite of the gruesome beast. The two continue as such for several more minutes, Tal avoiding the dangerous claw and teeth of the Troll as he seeks out an opening to strike. Finally, he catches the Troll off balance and strikes home twice with his sword again. The blade slices deep across the Troll's back first before the beast spins around only to have Talimar bury the blade deep into the Troll's stomach. The tip of the blade erupts from the back of the beast as Talimar gazes up into the dark eyes of the beast. A moment of fear comes over Talimar as the Troll reaches up with both hands as if to crush his skull but a quick turning and pulling forth of his blade and the Troll spasms before falling lifeless to the ground.
Across the chamber, Garth, Druckner and Snagger continue to hold off the Trolls that entered from the eastern chamber. Working his axe around before him, Druckner thinks about the futility of his maneuvering. The untrained beast before him cares nothing for tactics or leverage or anything else for that matter, it's one tactic is to overwhelm the dwarf before him. Druckner bleeds from several open wounds in his sides, arms and legs, a number of claw marks show on his bearded face as well. But the Troll before him also bleeds from a number of heavy wounds inflicted by the axe of Druck. Druckner knows that he cannot continue on this way, what with the Troll slowly regenerating and gaining strength with each passing moment.
Feeling desperate, Druckner draws the Troll in close to him taking a claw wound across his right shoulder as he does so but allowing him to jam the spike of his battle-axe into the gullet of the Troll. The beast yells with pain as the spike enters its mid-section, both its claws falling to grasp the handle of the weapon. Druckner smiles as the creature does so, pulling the weapon free of its weakened grasp. His smile broadens as he spins the axe once around over his head, bringing it around again to sever the head of the Troll from it's body.
"Back ta Hell!" he yells as the head falls to the ground. The body of the Troll stands a moment longer, the arms flailing around in a vain attempt to still try and strike the dwarf before Druckner kicks it to the ground.
To his left, Garth takes heart from Druckner's success and lands a series of blows from his mace to the beast engaged with him. The last blow shattering several of the creature's ribs as he buries the mace deep into the chest of the beast. Another blow to the kneecap of the Troll that shatters bone and the beast topples to the ground like a ragdoll. Garth utilizes the moment of non-combat to rush to the side of Gnore, quickly drawing forth the power of Selune to heal the fading dwarf. Although still unconscious, the breathing of Gnore becomes stronger following the ministrations of Garth and his deity.
Snagger continues his vicious assault on the Trolls around him as his bloody axe disposes of not one but two of the vile creatures. Blood stains the armor and clothing of Snagger all over his body as he turns to find another of the beasts to slay. It is difficult to tell how much of the blood is his or that of his enemies as it is so mixed together. A number of wounds on his body are easily seen though. He quickly rushes to the side of Druckner who dispatches another of the beasts around him. Snagger takes care of the last of the Trolls that were blasted by Dain by burying his axe blade into the beast's back. As Snagger wrenches his axe free, he spies Ras and Talimar moving throughout the cavern splashing the downed Trolls with oil and setting them alight with a torch. A smile spreads across his crooked teeth.
Dain administers to the wounds of Kre, binding several of them and applying as much herbal medicine as he dares in the center of the battlefield. Feeling confident that his wounds are adequately taken care of, he lifts the unconscious thief and moves him to the entrance of the chamber. As he gets there, Garth is carrying Kersath there as well.
Seeing most of its clan down and being set afire, the last Troll fighting with Druckner decides to flee, turning its back to the dwarf. Druckner lands an uncontested blow to the right leg of the fleeing Troll but it is not enough to slow it. For a moment, Druckner contemplates chasing after the beast to properly send it off but he decides that the beast could be running after the clan chief and further reinforcements, so he decides to help the party retreat from the open chamber.
Druckner moves over to take up the limp form of Gnore, hefting the dwarf to his shoulder as he makes his way toward the exit tunnel. As he does this, Snagger moves over to dispatch one of the Trolls battling Ortho. The dwarven priest's axe moves slower now as Ortho begins to tire from the constant drain of fighting off four of the beasts alone. A mighty blow of his axe dispatches another beast and two remain. Snagger bull rushes the two remaining Trolls causing them to back slowly away. Ortho takes the opportunity to lean down and check out the prone Beleg. The large Paladin's breathing is shallow, almost non-existant but Ortho realizes that he will live. Calling on the power of Moraddin to heal the warrior, he releases the healing energies of his God into the broken body of Beleg.
The Paladin moans and much to Ortho's surprise, regains consciousness. Although unable to stand on his own, Talimar and Dain step forward to assist the Paladin in withdrawing from the chamber as Snagger and now Ortho hold off the remaining two Trolls. Although reluctant to rush the angry dwarves, the beasts snarl and swipe at the slowly retreating companions as they follow them.
Once inside the tunnel proper, Dain and Talimar set the Paladin, Beleg, down against the tunnel wall as Dain pulls forth the ash rod from his robe again. The Trolls step into the chamber, a few feet beyond the reach of Snagger and Ortho. Speaking another word of power, Dain invokes another power of the magical wand and a wall of ice springs up behind the Trolls, blocking off their retreat and the pursuit of any other Trolls beyond. As the two foul beasts turn to gaze at the wall behind them, Snagger and Ortho ferociously attack the creatures. Axes swinging at an alarming rate, the two dwarves quickly dispatch of the cornered Trolls. Ortho smiling broadly as he douses them with oil and sets them afire with the torch from Talimar.