…to their presence…
…the adventurers decided to send the halfling ahead to scout the higher levels of the Sceptre Tower. Sam stole up the stairs behind the wizards’ quarters and managed to sneak through a room full of kobold kitchen help.
Listening at the kitchen door he heard the mages arguing with the front-door guard that they should ring the alarm bell. The plucky hobbit decided not to attempt to go up the stairs he had discovered in the middle of the room.
Returning to his comrades below, Sam warned them that a counter-attack was being organized above them. Rather than rush ahead and try to disrupt whatever preparations were being made for the counter-attack, the party decided to rest a short while and prepare a defensive position.
They found plenty of furniture and boxes in the mages’ quarters to prepare a barricade behind which they could snipe at the counter-attackers. Storm Johnson had different ideas. Not much of a sniper himself, he directed the rest of the party to pile furniture on boxes to form a narrow corridor leading to the stairs up to the kitchen. Then, when Thoran (who styles himself as the “master of the tower”) led the attack down the stairs, Storm met him in the narrow corridor and then toppled the pile of furniture.
Meanwhile, Thoran and his gnomish friends tried to infiltrate the party to its rear (behind the Wall of Illusionary Nakedness). While Thoran was successful in getting behind the party with the gnomes, Storm’s disruption of his plan of attack was sufficient to force a retreat.
Pursuing swiftly after Sam reconnoitered, the party scrambled up the stairs to the kitchen, where Ettercaps and Dark Creepers were waiting with a bunch of kobolds (tied up with bows). Flinging the kobolds into the party’s rear, the Ettercaps tried to gain some advantage in the cramped quarters of the kitchen while the gnomes and Thoran tried once again to attack from the rear.
With Rothe Draken in back to foil just such a tactic and the bard attempting to push forward to intimidate the misused kobolds, Thoran was killed, along with all the Ettercaps and most of the Dark Creepers. But Thoran’s Captain (clad in some strange dark plate mail) and the gnomes (like all good gnomes in a losing battle) got away and fled further up the tower.
In the process, some of the party were able to discern some interesting details of the fighting styles of the Dark Creepers and their Captain. Up to this point, Storm Johnson had been maintaining that these particular foes might be well nigh invincible for an inexperienced party of heroes like the one he was leading.