But Wait… There’s more… Finding the Dancing Hut, the party approached cautiously with stealth. This is what they saw:
Before you stands the fabled dancing hut. The structure
is a small log cabin, roughly fifteen feet across and fifteen feet tall. It is hexagonal in shape, with no windows and one door, and it sports a peaked roof made of wooden shakes. A small stone chimney juts from one edge of the roof. The hut is perched on two giant chicken legs, each fifteen feet tall and two feet thick at their slimmest.
The hut is in the center of a hundred-foot-diameter circle formed by a fence. The fence is four feet tall and con- structed from intertwining wooden posts that seem to have grown out of the ground. Spaced evenly along the tops of the posts are twelve skulls of various humanoid races. A five-foot-wide gate made of bleached bones stands between two of the posts. Bones in the gate are oriented vertically, but a few of them form a toothy mouth.
A few trees are interspersed around and within the fence’s circle.
From a hidden position behind some trees outside of the fence, Shan Val used the “Wizard Sight” ritual to place a sensor inside the hut and look around. This is what Shan Val saw:
The interior of the hut looks like the hovel of an old peasant. It contains a small wooden table with a wash basin on it and 2 chairs next to it. The floor is packed earth, and the walls and ceiling are of simple wooden construction.
A stove stands along one wall, its pipe leading to the chimney above. A tattered quilt lies against one wall. The floor and the shelves on the walls are littered with tattered clothing, utensils, and sewing supplies. Several candles glow in various places.
They could not see around the one other door that was in the room but there were no immediate threats so they decided to approach the Gate together as a group. Dorian stepped up to examine The Gate of bleached bones for some sort of enchantment when a magic mouth sprung to life in the middle of the gate. The mouth said, “Welcome to BabaYaga’s domain. Kindly state your business or be on your way.” Dorian turned on the charm and tried to bluff his way in saying that they had important business with Baba Yaga. His Silver Tongue proved a valuable asset as he convinced the gate to open and allow entry. So everyone made their way through the gate and approached the hut. Shan Val wanted to examine the door but it was 15 feet up in the air. The hut was standing up on the 15 foot long giant chicken legs. In order to get up there and try to open the door, Quill and Shan Val began to try and climb the chicken legs to reach the door. As soon as they touched the chicken legs, however, the legs burst into motion. They delivered a flurry of kicks in all directions injuring many of the party members. The hut began to spin around furiously and run around inside the fence.
After some consideration using their arcana skill, Shan Val and Dorian agreed that it was their thinking that as a magical construct of some sort, if the party could do enough damage to the hut, it would stop its wild dance and settle down enough to allow entry. And so a wild battle broke out between the Dancing Hut and the adventurers. (During the beginning of the battle, I played the attached music which is actually written to describe Baba Yaga’s hut from Russian folklore – “The Dancing Hut.m4a”)
The battle began with the hut bending over and unleashing a sheet of flames from its chimney to burn the party. This minor action caused considerable fire damage and left those hit by it on fire with ongoing damage. The Hut’s favorite tactic was to move and dance through party member squares and kick them forcibly with its strong chicken legs. These kicks not only did lots of damage but also sent the unfortunate person hit flying 6 squares to land in a heap. In order to escape the rampaging hut and get some distance between himself and those terrible chicken legs, Sunshine had Shan Val teleport closer to the fence and away from the Hut which was in the middle of the fenced in area. Unfortunately Shan Val soon discovered that the skulls on top of the fence were traps that blasted those who got too close with fire. He tried teleporting further away but just got in range of some more of the skulls that were evenly spaced around the permitter of the fence. So in a frustration of fey teleport movement, Shan Val got cooked by many of the skulls and found out how the trap worked the hard way.
During the course of the battle, Dorian was able to disable a skull or two. Redbeard and Shan Val did lots of damage to the Hut. Quill had some cool maneuvers where he saved party members from attack by the interrupting the attack, teleporting the hut to the edge of the fence and having it attack the skulls instead thereby destroying them. Redbeard was on fire for much of the battle, but he laughed it off as he made good use of his resist 10 fire spellscar. Others did not fare as well. Almost all healing magic was used during the tough battle with Praxis going down for a bit as I recall. Another fun thing that happened was that Redbeard was punted outside the fence. Since it was only 4 feet high, he got up and tried to make an athletics check to jump over it and return to the fray. Unfortunately he found out that the fence could grow up to 15 feet to keep out intruders. He leaped up, smashed into the fence, and slid down to the ground, flustered and bewildered.
The Hut had 592 hit points so it took a long while to bring it down. But Sir Praxis who is now known by his monicker “The Closer” which Sam relished and referred to all day reminding everyone that he had the killing blow. A mighty strike of holy furor brought the Hut low. Its legs finally stopped moving and it slowly sat down, the floor of the Hut finally touching the earth. It was an epic battle to be sure and everyone agreed that Paragon level is no joke.
Unsure of how much time they had before the Hut might regain its restlessness, the party decided against a short rest. Even tough they really needed the rest, they instead rushed to the door. There was no door handle nor key hole nor any way to seemingly open it. Quill looked closely finding no traps but that it was wizard locked. Shan Val stepped up and using his arcana sprung open the the wizard lock and the door opened. The room on the inside looked just like it did when using the “Wizard Sight” ritual. Quill, however, heard something stirring in the next room beyond where they could see. Still, wanting to ensure everyone made it inside, the party rushed forward and everyone went inside, closing the door behind them. A quick search of the adjacent room revealed a peasant bedroom of sorts. Quill was surprised by a pair of reflective eyes when he peered into the darkness but found they belonged to a house cat who warily eyed him suspiciously but otherwise seemed harmless.
The rooms seemed secure except for the cat who seemed harmless enough. Dorian gave the cat some food and the cat settled down on the bed content to eat and look around. However, Quill decided to look at him closely and discovered that the cat was a familiar about the same time as it spoke in elvish asking for some more food. The party gave some more food and began a conversation with the cat whose name was Vladimir. He said that he was supposed to be guarding the Hut but that he was bored with the job after so many years and that you were welcome to try and enter if you like. Dorian got Vladimir to reveal that he was Baba Yaga’s familiar and that he hadn’t seen the old hag in a long time – months at least. He wasn’t sure if she was in or out but that she did spend a lot of time away from the hut these days. Quill found a hidden trap door covered by an illusion under the table. Shan Val was able to dispel the illusion and knock open the wizard locked door. However, he luckily avoided the trap that was laid on the trapdoor in the form of a powerful Baba Yaga curse – curse of the Morphing Flesh which over time will turn you into a slime devil. Below the trapdoor was a purple light which looked to be a portal of some kind. Vladimir confirmed that it was a portal that would whisk you away to the next room in Baba Yaga’s hut. There are hundreds of such portals that connect the rooms of the hut together.
The party took a short rest to heal up, thanked Vladimir, and jumped down through the portal to be whisked away deeper into the Hut.