Since witnessing the grotesque resurrection of the dead dragon Thorog at the hands of Drugoth it has been on the minds of Throg and his fellow adventurers to travel to Helegrod where the beast had alighted and to consign the undead lizard back to the abyss of death. They had put off tackling the creature because the kinship does not have the roster of 24 active heroes that estimates suggest would be required to down the beast. Also an extraordinary outbreak of Balrogs's in Eastern Angmar has commanded all attention in recent months. Now that Gandalf's fellowship are setting forth from Rivendell towards the Mines of Moria it seems likely they will need our aid on their travels, therefore it was decided to team up with friends from another kin to try and deal with the unfinished business of Thorog.
Throg gathered with his companions in Rivendell where spirits were bolstered by the news of yet another Balrog's demise. Hearts filled with hope, they set forth to Steps of Gram and the dragon's lair. The minions who guarded the entrance to the fortress had already been scattered by an earlier sortie so all that remained was a final encounter with the Drugoth and his Dragon.
Entering the main courtyard we could see the terrifying beast peached high above us. Rebirth has not removed the palour of death from the creature's visage and it is all the more terrible for it. Drugoth, the Death Monger stood before us in the shadow of the dragon and sneered at our motley fellowship. Incensed by these insults we set to with axe, sword and bow and quickly put the gaunt lord to flight but not before he called down the mighty dragon.
In his half living state Thorog breathes neither the fire nor ice but his instead his breath engulfs victims with the pure evil of shadow. His teeth claws and tail are just as deadly as those of any living dragon. Indeed they are made more terrible by Thorog's habit of fixing his eye on a target seconds before unleashing his most devastating attack. If the hapless target of Thorog's eye remains within sight of the dragon they and anyone unfortunate enough to be standing close by would surely die when the beast attacks. It took all of the courage that Throg and companions had brought with them from Rivendell to overcome the knee buckling fear the dragons eye causes and dive for cover before the dragon could strike.
Throg got the eye several times and managed to avoid killing any of his companions but did die himself on an occasion when he ran for a far away corner and did not manage to get off the pedestal into hiding before the dragon attacked. Sadly he was less successful at performing the champions key task of clobbering the dragon when it reared up to pounce. The creature moves constantly and what with knockbacks and running in and out of Hopeful Heart to deal with hope wipes it is hard for melee fighters to stay in place on the beast to be ready and able to clobber at the right instant. It is a fight for hunters who can rain damage down upon the dragon from outside the range of many of his attacks.
Sadly our heroes did not vanquish the dragon, deaths from his roving eye and the constant pressure from hordes of spiders that Thorog calls upon to hold the party while he goes to his perch for healing proved our undoing. Nevertheless full credit must go to the officers who co-ordinated the attempt with a motley crew of adventurers many of whom were inexperienced (like Throg it must be said). Under their guidance all were well marshalled and the tricky mechanic of "Thorog's eye" was well explained. The class balance was perhaps not ideal being short on hunters, captains and burglars.
Aside: My first time in Helegrod and an interesting conclusion to "the Shadows of Angmar" before the "Mines of Moria" expansion is released tomorrow. Who knows when we will come back? All attention is likely to focus on Moria for the next while. Our casual friendly kinship would find it hard to maintain a regular 24 man raid roster. Nevertheless I suspect that we will be back eventually to kill Thorog. After all, with three wipes last night, now its personal.