We return to our party of adventurers as they come face to face with the guardians of the stairs to the third, and final, level of the dungeon.
Before the heroes had a chance to act, the skaven charged but were unable to push past Croaker who had taken up position in the doorway.
Just then, the elf heard the tiniest noise from behind. Too late he spun around to see two skaven (a warrior and a champion) who had managed to sneak up on the adventurer during the battle (When playing by the solo AHQ rules, you roll a die each turn to see how the monsters behave. A roll of one means that a group of “wandering monsters” appears, which is what happened here).
The newly arrived rats threw themselves at Ellandiel and Hans. The poorly armored elf and wizard only dodged the onslaught by a hair’s breadth (having to spend a point of fate each).
The warlord tried to circle around Croaker, to attack him in the back, but was cut down before it could get there. Meanwhile, Allum killed a skaven champion as Hans and Ellandiel engaged the remaining warrior and took it down over two rounds of furious mêlée.
The final map of the second level
I ran out of space on the Heroscribe-map, so the map will continue from the "A" marking
Eventually, they rounded a corner and came up against another skaven patrol. Emboldened by their previous success Croak and Allum charged.
These skaven, however, proved to be a bigger challenge than usual. Perhaps aided by confidence from fighting so deep underground, the ratmen stood their ground and then counter-attacked aggressively. Allum was beaten to the ground and only escaped being skewered by rolling away from a wild stab at the last second. Visibly shaken, the dwarf regained his feet just as Croaker and Ellandiel slew the last member of the patrol.
Up to this point things had gone so well that I must admit I’d almost gotten a bit bored. That certainly changes when my heroes not only initially failed to take down a small group of wandering skaven, but those skaven then caused two wounds on Allum – in two consecutive rounds. This meant that I had to use both the dwarf’s fate points to save him, so the next time this happened, he’d be dead.
I was now faced with the choice of whether to play it safe, and go back to town, or to press on. In the end, I decided to risk moving forward – at least until I’d found some d*amn rooms!
With new-found care the party moved on. As they rounded the next corner, their tenacity was rewarded as they not only found a door (finally), but also a flight of stairs leading out of the dungeon. How lucky can you be!
Hans summoned a magic fireball to blast the rats while Croaker and Allum engaged them in hand-to-hand combat and Ellandiel fired arrows over the warriors’ shoulders.
We’ll leave things here while I ponder whether to leg it (boring but safe) or try to end things now and risk losing my entire party.
Croaker (I’ll probably stay, since I’m not really playing this game to be “boring but safe”)