Tegan Dreamed a Dream ...
... aka Stoner Town, Part One.

Watch this space.

Meet the New Boss
Same as the old boss? Nah. Angrier!! (Valentine's Day, 2 of 2)

Enchanting a coin with a “light” spell, the party cast some additional preparation spells (barkskin, more Improved Invisiblity, mirror image, more cold resistance, etc.) and proceeded forwards towards certain death. Since they were using a light spell, no one would be surprised by their approach, and Billy continued to sing the inspiring tune, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.

Arriving at a series of large chambers carved out of the ice and rock, the party knew the game was afoot. Tossing the coin ahead to the next intersection, Marielle let loose with her first fireball, engulfing the unseen opponents in the next chamber. From the smell of barbecueing monsters and screams of indignation ahead, she knew that she had hit paydirt.

In all, the party was facing the last Jotnar and five large-sized white dragons. The party’s spell-casters pulled Juno, and Tegan back until everyone could be hasted again; a Pray was cast, and Clement was buffed up bigtime with Divine Power AND Divine Favor.

[Clement to add battle details]

With two dragons and the Jotnar dead, and the other three dragons taking heavy damage, one of the dragons burrowed out of the cavern in search of Daddy (Hinterbite).

An erie silence echoed through the chamber after the fourth dragon was toppled. The party was worried that their buffing spells would wear off before they could located their Huge foe. They cast a divination asking Pelor what was the best way to engage Hinterbite before the spells wore off.

[Clement to insert result of Divination]

Interpreting Pelor’s message to mean the the party should stay put and wait for Hinterbite’s arrival, they set up so that only Billy was visible and the others were scattered around the chamber in positions that would make it impossible to Hinterbite to breathe on any two of them at once.

As Pelor had foretold, Hinterbite appeared in the chamber, burrowing his way in from a new angle. The younger dragon also arrived in an adjoining chamber, and so did a couple of canine-like foes. Billy taunted the huge dragon, attempting to cast Fear and Blindness spells at him using scrolls, but Hinterbite easily saved. Meanwhile, however, the rest of the party refreshed their haste spells.

[Clement to summarize rest of battle and aftermath]

  • Tegan lay limply on the massage table as the twin masseurs, Nargard and Fjomgard, performed their magic. In the distance, she could hear Billy and Marielle giggling as they rolled around in the massive pile of coins from Hinterbite’s hoard. That sounds fun, she thought … but nothing could assuage her unease. It was clear that Dendritius was up to something, and as usual, he had gone out of his way to involve Les Cinq in his dastardly plans. That slimeball! She couldn’t wait to cut him to ribbons with her swords. But as she lay in a meditative state, she had an almost prophetic sense that Les Cinq would be settling the mind flayer’s hash soon. She had a vision of Dendritius’ eyes glazing over in death and for the first time in hours, she smiled.

One Jotnar, Two Jotnar, Red Jotnar, Blue Jotnar
Lock and load. (Valentine's Day, 1 of 2)

With so much at stake, the Les Cinque used up a small fortune in scrolls and potions, and used up many spells in preparation for the conflict ahead. Clement’s use of the magic incense helped maximize the prepartions, and the party was grateful for Zethro’s assistance.

After the genie left, Angelina popped into castle to see what was happening. She reported back that the three Jotnaren were dozing or on guard in the ante-chamber of the tower. She also cast Aid spells on everyone. Protection from elements (cold) was cast on everyone.

The party, mostly invisible except for an enlarged Tegan and Clement, began to sneak up to the front door. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!! Darn, a magical alarm went off. The jig was up, as the party’s attempt at stealth was foiled. Billy sang an inspiring song, then all the spellcasters frantically threw last-minute spells, as the party gathered near the front door. Clement summoned a trio of Celestial dire badgers to help the party, as many haste spells were cast.

As expected, two Jotnaren came charging through the doors but were confused to see only Clement and Tegan at first. Soon, they also saw the badgers. Billy and Marielle stuck to the plan, using only non-attack spells to preserve their invisibility. Juno, with Improved Invisibility, wreaked his usual havoc with his bow. The Jotnaren fought well, but as the first two began to falter, the third turned tail and ran inside the tower, disappearing through internal doors.

The party said goodbye to Angelina, after she healed a few wounds, and Billy held back a tear as the beautiful Avoral disappeared back to the celestial plane clutching his Valentine’s Day card. After a quick search of the room, the party proceeded into the tower, searching each level as they looked for the inevitable onslaught of the dragons.

[Clement to add more details of searching the tower.]

After killing some frost ants and resisting the temptation of a message left by Thaddeus, to convince them to abandon the mission, the party found the top floor of the tower. Things were increasingly frozen, and the party found it necessary to remove their boots and use Spider Climb spells in order to negoitate the slippery goings. There was a hole dug from the tower into the mountainside, leading into deep, dark caverns.

Cutting to The Chase
Temporary posting
Sorry, kids—I’m woefully behind in my recaps, so this post will be a quick summary of what we did last time.

  • Raised Marqvilla (see earlier adventure log.)
  • Scried on Mally. He was in a demonhide tent with a scary looking human and Dendritius. They were cackling about a glowing orb and something in the Beastlands.
  • Gathered info in St. Ingrid. The local “hymners” (bards), particularly the “regent”, Thaddeus, seem to be resisting the return of the monarchy. Corruption & graft rampant.
  • Council accepts us as champions, but doesn’t care about the Mally/Dendritius aspect.
  • We learn there is a spell of perma-blizzard protecting the castle.
  • Townspeople differ on the jotnaren’s alignment and special attacks.

  • Divinations say: 1) jotnaren have no special weakness such as fire, 2) we will face three big battles … jotnaren, baby dragons, papa dragon, 3) MELEE combat with jotnaren will bring us neither weal nor woe, 4) Hinterbite probably cannot wield the crown for mind control, 5) We should be Dexy to avoid trouble.

  • We set out for Castle Karrack! Taking an alternate route to avoid the blizzard, we are attacked by winter wolves and a lame wizard. We thump ‘em.
  • While on watch, Zethro the genie appears. He gossips about Dendritius, saying that he met the human companion once, and that he’s scarier than our mind flayer friend. Zethro digs us and offers to help buff us in the morning.
  • We sleep in a rope trick. Zethro explains he’ll give us three free invisibility and two free enlarge.
  • Clem divines that only Hinterbite can see through invisibility.
  • Billy casts clairvoyance: there are 3 jotnaren. One is sleeping, others doing t’ai chi (?)
  • We plan much buffing: Zethro will help (see below); we will cast lots of anti-cold stuff and summon a lesser planar ally (Angelina). Clement meditates for 8 hours and uses incense of maximum.
  • The party has a spirited discussion about whether to sneak into the castle, fireball the door, negotiate with the jotnaren, or just walk in. Pelor says:


In the morning, Angelina agrees to help us in a temporary, limited, non-combat way in exchange for charitable contributions of 650gp to the poor. She will open the door and use her at-will and spell-like abilities, and lay on hands, if necessary. She is swell, and Billy finds himself blushing whenever he looks at her.

Zethro casts invisibility on Copernicus, Marielle and Billy; he enlarges Tegan and Clement. Other war planning noted elsewhere.

Traveling to Castle Karrack (New Year's Day, 2 of 2.)
And Away we Go!
Off to the frozen North (New Year's Day 1 of 2)
  • Morning at the Crow’s Nest. Marielle brought the party coffee in bed, and each of us told her she’d recently become our favorite Cinq. After steel-cut oatmeal, prayer, communing with Billy’s muse, etc., Clement nipped out to the jewel merchant’s to purchase a 500 g.p. diamond which he hoped to use in raising Marqvilla from the dead.
  • We all met up at the morgue at the police station. Clement did his holy mojo, and the lovely Glasjenfreian maiden rose from the dead. At first she was bewildered, but she quickly recovered her senses. Billy eagerly stepped forward to lay hands on the blond bombshell, reciting the limerick about “the young girl who sat by the hearth”, and using the power of Fharlanghn to heal some of her wounds. She was very grateful, and gave each party member a lingering hug and moist kiss on the cheek, particularly the women.
  • She explained that while “Benny” was torturing and killing her, he kept babbling about two things: firstly, he wanted to know whether she was in league with Juno Nim, whom he despised and referred to as a “pointy-eared sneaky bastard.” Secondly, he wanted to know whether she had finished sending the money for the Frusenpurse. Frusenpurse? giggled Tegan.
  • You see, her native land was completely devoted to the worship of the goddess Ioun, who had come to Oerth in her avatar form and personally founded the new capital city of St. Ingrid after the townspeople had fled Castle Karrack, the earlier seat of the duchy.
Requiem for a Heart of Gold
Murder and torture are bad! (Thanksgiving weekend part 2 of 2)
  • Juno, knowing that Les Cinq would soon be looking into every nook and cranny of the pleasure palace, excused himself to consult with Oni-chan and to hide any contraband from the other nobles’ eyes. The other four began to question Deimos the orog cleric using our traditional combination of zone of truth and detect thoughts. Apparently, the orogs had tried to parley because of some language in an old prophecy which indicated that it would be the strategy with the highest chance of success. Tegan snorted. Given that the chance of getting Kursk’s treasure using parley was “snowball’s chance in hell,” that’s hilarious, she thought. Deimos seemed depressed. It seemed that obtaining Kursk’s armor and axe was destined to usher in a new Golden Age of Orcs, but the prophecy indicated that if this battle failed, there would be an Age of Humans in the Thar, and the orc/orog civilization was doomed to weak and servile status. Nevertheless, we sent messages to the crown and the Council of Iron, urging more security forces be made available to protect travelers and keep an eye out for danger. Deimos further said that he was acting under the orders of the orogs’ current king, Nulathric, a mighty monarch with great treasure (guarded by his army) and power in the Underdark, but who was very interested in prophecies (he is a cleric) and who had no plans to attack Melvaunt without Kursk’s treasure to help. Clement and Marielle took the cursed items to the Temple of Pelor, where Archbishop Olmert vowed to plane shift with them to Elysium, where they would be stored in Pelor’s castle – a safer place seemed hard to imagine.
  • A council of war (of investigation, perhaps?) was convened at the brothel… er, Pleasure Palace… to look into Marqvilla’s murder; the ladies of the evening set out a nice Japanese tea ceremony. The attendees were Halmath Bruil, Lord Calaudra, Oni-Chan, the party, and Marqvilla’s roommates: a cerebral Hanamatchi named Hiroko and a cheap floozy named Vooba.
  • Hiroko and Vooba discussed Marqvilla’s background and character first. A beautiful blonde, she was immensely private and seemingly tortured. She wrote endless tear-stained letters, which she sprayed with perfume and sent to a mysterious correspondent with Andros’ help. She had a pot of some sort of oil with which she would periodically anoint the doorframe. She was very devout, and prayed daily to a strange icon that she hid under her bed. She often “wore” an ioun stone which provided extra wisdom. She had a tattoo of what looked like the Northern Lights on her back; the same image appeared on her only nice possession: a gold box which carried some sort of magical protection—Hiroko, despite her roguey skills, had never succeeded in picking the lock.
  • Marqvilla worked hard and never turned down a “gig.” She had two regular customers: Dornig Leirayghon and a gnome wizard named Thrixby Honeyblubber who seemed to speak Common with the same funny accent Marqvilla had. Both men showered her with gifts,all of which she sold. She seemed to be sending all her money away somewhere, again with Andros’ help. Her side of the apartment was bare and spartan.
  • Halmath told us the details of the crime. A handsome young blonde merchant named Benny Wûrpolam had recently appeared in town and presented himself as the CEO of Wûrpolam Imports. He came to the brothel (damn…. Pleasure Palace!) and set up a corporate account, filling out all the necessary forms. The clerk mentioned that he smiled smugly and kept spelling his name. The clerk also mentioned that Benny had terrible body odor. Benny used his account for the first time a few days ago to book two engagements. Firstly, he booked Hiroko and Vooba for a threesome at the Crow’s Nest. When they arrived, before they knew it, they had fallen unconscous. As she passed out, Hiroko thought she felt a slimy tentacle on her neck. Meanwhile, Benny arrived at the Pleasure Palace and went up to Marqvilla’s room. He never exited by the door (magic?), and soon Marqvilla was found dead. Her body showed some signs of torture (e.g. burns and a broken arm).
  • Les Cinq were incensed at this heinous crime, and we vowed to bring the perpetrator to justice. Tegan noted the tentacle aspect of the Crow’s Nest chapter of the story—could Dendritius be involved? Clement couldn’t wait to use his snazzy new raise dead spell (and a 500gp diamond) to bring Marqvilla back to life. Billy and Juno started working on a plan for our investigation. Beware our wrath, evildoers!
  • Billy, Clement and Marielle went to see Sister Rana, hoping she could identify the icon. After negotiating an information exchange for once (you may recall, reader, that the Oghmans treat information like currency), Rana explained that this was an icon of the northern goddess Ioun, creator of the eponymous stones, and a primeval goddess of knowledge. As such, she is something of a rival of Oghma’s, and her worshippers tend to squabble with his, although there is some mutual respect. Ioun is also known as “The Hearthfire,” because her knowledge cult grew out of the hospitality tradition of the polar lands; travelers would share a meal around the hearthfire and share information. Billy’s pointy ears perked up at Rana’s descriptions of Ioun and her cult, about whom he had known surprisingly little—although the Iounians were naively lawful, he thought, they seemed pretty cool! Ioun’s largest group of worshippers were in the small duchy of Glasjenfrei (capital St. Ingrid), which lay many days’ march to the north of Brestelcia’s northern border. Rana also performed a detect magic on the gold box and detected a strong aura of abjuration.
  • Meanwhile, Tegan and Juno went to see Andros. Andros confirmed that he had been sending Marqvilla’s letters and lots of gold to a mysterious correspondent, “O.B.” This person seemed to be on the move (multiple addresses), but had recently settled in …. wait for it … St. Ingrid in the duchy of Glasjenfrei.
  • Marielle and the boys joined Tegan and Juno at Andros’ shop and they indulged themselves in an orgy … of SHOPPING; get your mind out of the gutter! It felt good to turn those gold pieces into sweet sweet magic weapons, armor, etc.
  • What a day it had been! A tough battle, a shocking crime, and hours of shopping. Clement was beat. He couldn’t wait to sleep at the Crow’s Nest tonight; they were all too exhausted for the commute back to Trevethian Island. He did have some divination spells left, so he excused himself as Billy chatted with Andros, and asked Pelor, “What information about a clue in our investigation, O Shining One, should we know?”

    The god replied:

  • Tegan looked thoughtful, and reached into her clutch purse for the lettered tiles she always carried. She laid the tiles out to read “Wûrpolam.” When reversed they read “Maloprûw.” Mally Maloprûw. The one remaining orog survivor from Glister, and Billy Bartholomieux’s evil doppelganger. Juno Nim cursed softly and let out a low whistle.

    Next time: A resurrection and more investigation, methinks?
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Melvaunt...
Back to castle sweet castle, we hope? (Thanksgiving part 1)
  • Having defeated the avolaki and disposed of the rod of dark fate, we were all quite chuffed; Tegan and Clement more so than others, perhaps, as they’d had a romantic evening to celebrate their victory. We journeyed for several uneventful days. Tegan summoned a dire cougar named Britannicus, and convinced him to join us using the animal friendship spell. We met an itinerant tinker-mage, who sold us some magic items and laid enchantments on others. [Ed. The mage was part of the large amount of of ‘administrivia’ we got done today including altering our character sheets to tenth level, and a massive swag-selling and shopping spree in Melvaunt, referred to later.] We trudged from Gryth to the temple of “Latis,” where we camped without incident, and we kept walking until we’d nearly reached the gates of Glister.
  • Outside Glister we met a guardsman, Monson, and his three daughters, who were gathering daisies to wear in their hair at the passion play tomorrow where the “Parable of the Hungry Man” would be presented by the Pelorians. We enjoyed meeting the little girls and showing them the scary new kitty. The family invited us to breakfast the next day, an invitation later events would force us to decline.
  • Upon arriving in Glister, the gate guard and later Nikolai were eager to tell us that we had visitors waiting for us at the Dog and Duck. These proved to be Rikno Firepacer (the dwarf rogue we’d met during our last stint in Xul-Jarak, and an ardent fan of Juno’s) and blind sourpuss Stinky Stan (former owner of the dodgy tavern on Trevethian.) These two had taken a paid courier gig to bring us a missive from Sister Rana. As originally promised, Tegan healed Stan’s blindness with the necklace. He departed immediately, grumbling that he was leaving the region to try his luck in Tulk City.
  • Rana’s letter told us that there was some sort of tragic scandal unfolding at the pleasure palaces in Liefmont Piers, and we’d need to come back immediately. She sent us a magic bead which would allow us to teleport to a small shrine of Oghma about an hour away from Melvaunt. We thanked Rikno for bringing us the information, and invited him to call on us at the castle in the future.
  • After waking, eating, praying, communing, etc., we walked out of Glister and found a discreet grove. We cast our buffing spells and used the magic bead to travel to the shrine, where we were met by an Oghman cleric named Brother Pelagius. He told us that we should act nonchalant and unhurried when we walked into Melvaunt, and speak to Halmath Bruil, the Lord of Keys, as soon as possible.
  • As we walked back to Melvaunt, a funny thing happened. Copernicus announced that there was a small orc (named Foddro, we learned) standing in the road ahead waving a large white flag of truce. Cautiously, we approached him and hailed him. The orc sourly asked us to return the magical items belonging to Kursk One-Tusk because our behavior was disrespectful to the orc nation and to their religion. When it became clear that we weren’t going to hand over the swag, Foddro called out “They said NO!” and turned to flee. Tegan skewered the little orc as everybody started to feel mystical attacks, most of which we shrugged off. A night hag appeared and began to attack Marielle, and it was ON. We started with the area attacks against our invisible foes: entangle from Tegan and fireballs from Marielle. The screams started to give us an idea how many we were facing.
  • As time went on, more foes showed themselves. We faced 7 fire demons (called palrethees), 2 orog clerics, an acid-breathing demon (called a vaporighu), and a gaze demon (called a zovvut.) These were formidable opponents, despite the fact that they kept forgetting to use all their special powers properly (DM apologies. It should have been MUCH tougher.) [Billy says: on the other hand, the party should have cast more buffing/defensive spells when we first saw Foddro]] At one point the vaporighu had paralyzed Billy and Britannicus and drained them of Constitution, but we bounced back when Marielle polymorphed the night hag into a slow loris (gotta remember to do something without hands next time—Billy) and Clement finally used dismissal to send the vaporighu back to his hell-plane. It is so nice when the monsters fail their saving throws! Tegan, Juno with his acid arrows, and the revived Billy formed the front line with physical attacks and cut the demonic host to ribbons. The only survivor was the orog cleric Deimos, who had succumbed to Billy’s fear spell and was fleeing. Tegan ran him down and tackled him. We brought the hapless orog cleric back to Melvaunt in chains; he looked downcast and kept grumbling that he didn’t know where they’d gone wrong. Billy remarked that the orogs reminded him of an extraplanar legend: “The Saga of the Bad News Bears,” the tale of a team that couldn’t win to save their lives. He sang a jolly song about the Orogs: “You’re so vain”.
  • We returned to Melvaunt and marched Deimos the orog right back to the police station. As the guardsmen dragged the prisoner away (we’d question him later), Halmath Bruil pulled us aside to whisper the news. “A prostitute at Liefmont Piers has been murdered. Worse, she’s Dornig Leirayghon’s mistress!” Clement gulped, as Billy and Marielle checked themselves in a nearby mirror: in times of crisis it is important to look your best! The irony of Billy’s having sung “You’re so vain” about the orogs only minutes earlier was lost on the rockin’ bard.

    Next time: Holmes and Watson examine the fishnet stockings.
Of Thee I Bling
In which we deal with some valuable hardware. (Columbus day recap 2/2.)
  • Happy to have survived the harrowing battle, we began quickly healing ourselves before any more baddies could arrive. But only six seconds passed before, with a clattering rumble, the back wall of the cavern turned to mud, revealing a gargantuan creature we later learned was an amethyst dragon named Glinka. Amethyst dragons are neutrally aligned and known for their prowess as negotiators and go-betweens.
  • Before any of us could react, Glinka pounced on (apparent) black dragon Billy, saying “Little brother, what ARE you doing here.” Billy quickly explained that he was not really an evil black dragon, but a polymorphed half-elf. Glinka, who seemed to be amazingly sleepy and lazy by nature, thanked us for killing the avolakia, who were really getting on her nerves. We told Glinka about the rod. She mentioned that she was familiar with it from 600 years ago. She said she would be happy to help us get rid of it, if it would “bring some peace and quiet to these caverns.” In fact, she even offered to give Marielle a little bauble from her hoard as a thank-you gift—she didn’t need it herself, and she particularly liked Marielle’s style.
  • After Glinka retreated back into the stone wall for a nap, we finished the healing and searched the bodies. We noted that the orog and drow zombies were ancient—clearly the avolakia had raided the tombs to get them. Even the avolakia had nothing! How frustrating.
  • We searched the only part of the cavern system we hadn’t seen yet and we found <dum> a TOMB, with a big sarcophagus. Ruggiero cast comprehend languages and discovered that the runes were an Orcish riddle whose answer (“waterfall”) we figured out. Inside was a well-preserved orog corpse with one tusk, and five pieces of magical treasure. Six were usable or sellable: a vest of resistance, a circlet of persuasion, an amulet of natural armor (+2), two crystals with magical weapon powers, and an ioun stone. The other two items (armor and an orc double axe) bore powerful curses which rendered them unusable. We resolved to give them to the Temple of Pelor for safekeeping.
  • Oh yeah—and of course there was one other item: the rod of dark fate. Being an intelligent artifact, it spoke to all of us, especially Clement, who decided to mess with it by pretending that he wanted to use it and become a powerful elf-killer. Marielle used mage hand to put it in the bag of holding.
  • We gave the rod to Glinka,who told us we’d chosen wisely. She, in turn, gave Marielle an amazing staff—see her inventory for more information. Glinka disappeared into the wall and began snoring lustily. We climbed out of the dungeon and traveled back to Gryth without incident.
  • Marielle, Ruggiero, and Clement went to the Temple of Heironeous to deliver the news of their victory to Varshalla and Atticus. The door guard (as before) was rude, but admitted them on Ruggiero’s say-so; he feared Ruggiero’s mother. The three adventurers met with Varshalla in Father Atticus’ parlor, and gave her a full debriefing. Varshalla was delighted with their work, and very proud of her little boy’s participation. Surprisingly, she knew Glinka of old (the dragon had mediated an important agreement for Varshalla), so she reassured Clement that giving her the rod had been a good idea. The paladin said that she’d speak to Atticus and deal with whatever grousing ensued.
  • The three adventurers returned to The Drow’s Head, excited to hear the results of Billy’s identify spell. The bard was flushed with excitement and eager to share the results: A fancy vest of resistance +3 that Clement donned, a circlet of persuasion that the party could sell, a nice amulet of natural armor +2 and pink rhomboid IOUN stone, as well as a crystal of Acid Assault, all for Juno, and a better ring of protection (+2) for Billy, as well as Kursk One-Tusk’s cursed elf-slaying axe and cursed full plate armor. The party agreed to donate the two cursed items to the Temple of Pelor in Melvaunt, where a miracle spell could no doubt re-tool them for good adventurers, and their eventual sale would benefit the temple’s good works. Glinka was so pleased that she gave Marielle a Staff of 3rd level spell replacement, giving her three new spell possibilities. Between these magic items and the ones won from the drow wizardesses and driders, Les Cinq was much more formidably equipped, even though no one had changed their primary weapon(s) or armor; and there was much of value to sell. The party rewarded Ruggiero for his assistance with a ring of protection, bracers of armor, wand of Melf’s acid arrow, and an amulet of natural armor. Juno Nim put into his haversack two items for his Cohort: bracers of armor and a ring of protection.
  • Ruggiero bid Marielle a fond farewell, and promised to call on her in a month when he went to Melvaunt to consult the spellbooks; we all waved goodbye as he left for the Monastery of Jade Harmony. Tegan talked Clement’s ear off, reminiscing about Snuffles as Juno added some details to our travel map with a practiced artist’s hand. Billy settled our hotel bill with Jimmy the barkeep, who apologized for his coldness and announced brightly that Billy was “a stand-up fellow, for a pointy-ear!” We shared one last stein of ale, bought a few scrolls at the general store and set out on the road toward Glister, whistling as we strode.

FIN! [Thank you and well done, DMTegan!]

World War We
The best damn battle Les Cinq ever had (Columbus day recap 1/2)
  • After our naps, we stayed up late and made s’mores. Varshalla stopped by and sweetly grilled Marielle about her prospects. We woke up rested and ready to kick some monster ass. We prayed, we communed, etc., and we hiked out to the entrance to the Underdark.
  • Ruggiero opened the iris again and shared the command words with the party. Clement rode Dragon Billy down, Marielle used her boots of flying, and the rest of the party shimmied down the rope of climbing. We assembled and walked into the main chamber where we had engaged the spiders, following Clement, who was lighting the way with his snazzy new radiant sphere.
  • We reached the twisty little passages where we had killed the wizardesses, and we were surprised to learn that their bodies had been removed. We asked Tegan to attempt to track any intruders by examining the cave dust. She investigated, and found some large slithery tracks and some slimy residue. She concluded that some large … snake-like? slug-like? creatures had taken the bodies. We’d stripped the drow ladies’ valuables. What else were the bodies good for? Necromancy? Questioning via speak with dead? Grief-stricken loved ones giving them a proper burial?
  • We drew back into a slightly larger cavern to plan our buffing and do a divination: “What can we do to win our biggest battle today?” Pelor said:

  • We did an augury which suggested we’d better pull out all the stops on our buffing before entering the next cavern, which lay just beyond the passages where we’d killed the wizardesses. As we enacted a sophisticated buffing plan, we were interrupted by the sight of a distant figure, who looked like a twisted drow. The figure retreated back into the main cavern; somewhere, violins began to play the spiky foreshadowing music. We continued buffing, with increased urgency. Since Juno Nim had received all the spells he needed, he drew his bow and walked out to the passage to keep watch on the corridor where the twisty drow had gone.
  • Suddenly, it was ON. A spectral insectoid claw flew down the passageway and hit Juno for more than half his hit points. With a cry, Ruggiero let loose a magic missile and killed the vile thing before it could do more damage. Soon FOUR spectral claws were flying down, paralyzing both Billy and Clement and making them stink like corpses! The situation began to look dangerous!
  • Marielle, hoping to stop the caster(s) of the spectral claws, cast a random fireball into the dark cavern beyond. Screams and sizzles told us it had found a target. Meanwhile, Tegan removed Clement’s paralysis, and the newly-mobile cleric was able to do the same for Billy.
  • On the next round, “hasty” Clement cast light on a large rock and threw it into the fray, seeing only a lot of fried drow (thanks, Marielle.) Ruggiero and flying Marielle came into the battlefield next, and the sorceress’ random fireball this time hit a bunch of DRIDER zombies, including Morning Glory Blade! [That girl can’t catch a break.]
  • Tegan joined the battle next, picking up the large rock, whose light fell now on some massive orog zombies – it was like an undead smorgasbord. Four more spectral claws flew out, draining health from Tegan and reducing Juno to near death (he was “bleeding out.”) A new wave of undead attacked, including 13 wights (they drain levels!) and two mummies. Ironically, given her crusade against the undead, the mummies’ despair effect claimed Tegan, who froze gibbering on the spot next to poor stricken Juno. It looked VERY bad for our side…. As the magic was whizzing back and forth, Marielle pushed a shiny curl of hair out of her face, knitted her pretty brow slightly, and asked: “When is the big battle, ‘cause these guys are pretty tough?” Clement and Billy looked at each other for an instant and said, as with one voice, “Umm, this IS the big battle”.
  • Then Billy had the idea of using his second shadow evocation fireball on the wights and Tegan (who could survive it), and Clement mopped up by using his healing circle to simultaneously help Juno Nim and kill many burned wights. A holy smite reduced the survivors (does that apply to the undead?) to one, and Ruggiero used a lightning bolt scroll to kill the last mummy.
  • Meanwhile, that canny Marielle had been flying around in her snazzy boots and sent a fireball into the nook where she believed the spellcasters where. The light illuminated some creatures like this. The party grinned. With the undead army gone, we’d make short work of these clowns…
  • Um, except … a new spectral claw attack drained Clement of THREE LEVELS and virtually all his remaining spells. He felt the holy energy leave him and vowed he’d try to be the fighter poor terrified Tegan could not be. [By the way—what a weird battle this was, one where neither Tegan nor Juno did any damage.] Marielle and her beloved softened the disgusting creatures up with lightning bolts, and dragon-Billy and Clement (avec Peri) ran in and beat/clawed/bit/burnt some of the avolakia to death. Finally, there was only one remaining, whom Marielle polymorphed into a sloth, and dragon Billy ate! (Yum! – burp!) VICTORY!!

Next time: The aftermath and the treasure.


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