My Microlite kids' campaign continued apace on Sunday. They have been exploring some underground tunnels in Haranshire, searching for the dark dwarves who are part of the kidnappings that have been occuring. The dwarves are taking people kidnapped by bandits and orcs down, presumably into the Underdark, for purposes unknown but probably nefarious.
They started by recanvassing Broken Spire Keep, and this time managed to break into the old treasury, claiming a significant haul of gold and a new spellbook for the wizard. Then they went back down into the caves.
It took them a day and a half of exploration, including a run-in with a pair of cave bears (they ran away) and some giant rats led by a pair of wererats (they stayed and fought) before they turned down the passage that led to the lair of the Bloodskull Orcs. They encountered a Bloodskull patrol, which they dispatched with ease and took one hostage via Charm Person, who led them to the huge, thick gates barring entrance to the clan's lair. The heroes had a key for one door, but not the other. Fortunately, they had the orc, who knew the secret knock to gain entrance. They sent him in with orders to get the boss to come out. The boss came out a while later, with his bodyguards of course: the orc shaman of Gruumsh, a seven-foot tall orog, a pair of cave lizards, the charmed orc, and an extra archer.
This fight definitely went the orcs' way first. The shaman Cursed the heroes first, and the heroes couldn't seem to penetrate the orog's armor or land any blows on the big lizards. Then, with dwindling hit points, in one round the tide turned; first a lizard was dropped and then the fighter landed a decent blow on the orog, which was followed by a critical hit by the halfling rogue using her Vicious shortsword, which dropped the orog, and the other lizard fell right after that.
The boss ran back into the lair, but the shaman wasn't fast enough. He was cut down quickly, and the heroes made it inside before the gates could be shut, killed the orcs trying to shut the gate, and set up around a corner from the main force of orcs.
The next half-hour was pretty tense, as both sides waited to ambush the other should they be foolish enough to come around the corner in a bottleneck hallway. This is when the party remembered they had some unidentified potions tucked away in their bag of holding.
One of the magic items I gave the party a while back was a pocketwatch. Once per day, one person can use it to gain an extra hour of time to do something; it's cursed though, and takes that hour off the end of your natural life. So the wizard used an hour to Identify the potions, which turned out to be a Potion of Extra Healing and, rolled randomly, a Potion of Superheroism! He also learned a bit about the fishy-smelling potions they'd been finding; they make the imbiber much more susceptible to charm and control magic. Weird, huh?
The new potions gave them the edge they needed. They wizard and the rogue drank the Extra-Healing Potion, and the elf fighter drank the Superhero Potion, which knocked her up to seventh level and granted an extra 25 temporary hit points! Both elf fighters then drank what remained of their Invisibility Potion and snuck through the waiting orcs to take up positions behind them. The rogue and the wizard drank what remained of the Potion of Flight, and flew in and started shooting from above while the cleric stepped out and cast Darkness on the rear formation of orc archers.
It was a slaughter. The battle lasted four short rounds.
They let the women and children orcs leave-quickly-and freede a couple of prisoners, including Snagger, a first level dwarf fighter who desires to join the party to rescue the kidnapped people taken into the Underdark. He also gave the party an important bit of information: only magic-users and clerics have been taken below by the dark dwarves. Furthermore, he had talked to the apprentice wizard Jenna, whom the party is searching for, and knows she is still alive and was taken below by the dwarves just a few days ago.