DM: Rick Smith
Hex Cade lvl 5 Barbarian lvl 4 Psion Earth Genasi – Dan Forrest
Falkner lvl 4 Barbarian lvl 4 Rogue Tiefling – Barbara Kalberg (in absentia)
Drachalt lvl 9 Druid Silver Half Dragon Half Elf – Tom Blossfeld
Vishana lvl 2 Rogue lvl 2 Fighter lvl 2 Cleric Pixie – Jon Rosen
Zohi lvl 10 sorceror half-elf – Ken Marin
The End of the Great Circle
Having taken down the four temples of the Outer Fane, the group was resting on their laurels. In fact, when Falkner volunteered to go back and properly map the areas that Hex had “mapped”, the rest of the group told him to go ahead, figuring none of the remaining challenges would require the help of their demonic friend. The party confidently kicked down the nearest door, discovering four amazingly tough dire bear skeletons that leaped forward and promptly tore Dracalt to tiny pieces. And so the dungeon generously gave the party another chance to learn humility.
Anyway, the bear skeletons were destroyed by Zohi’s judicious use of walls of fire and Hex’s hammering away with his glaive. Hex gathered up the Dracalt fragments and the party considered their options. Tallying funds, Zohi figured they could get Drac brought back to life at the cut-rate Hommlet fix-up temple they’d frequented in the past. Without further ado, Zohi teleported with Hex (holding Drac’s body by the ankle upside-down.) Here fate intervened. Zohi’s teleport went wild, and instead of landing in Hommlet as expected, Zohi and Hex found themselves in a huge city! Because of the random teleport, they were able to get Drac a real professional healer, who was able to restore the unfortunate half-dragon to full health and vigor (with no level loss) for the modest sum of 27,000 gp. So much for the funds for rebuilding Hex’s temple, but ah well.
Back in action, the party took down some gnolls and gnoll archers, a pair of ogres and some foppish dude without breaking a sweat. They found a balcony overlooking the lake, and a lavish bedchamber. Marching up a short flight of stairs revealed a rectangular dusty old room with a window on the far side. Hex marched across and was immediately attacked by a Spectre, which drained him of two levels before Zohi and Vishana could fry it. Once again Zohi teleported Hex to town, where he got his life force restored.
Marching forward again the party ran into seven warriors, all of whom ACTUALLY SURRENDERED!!! As this had never happened before, Hex was utterly confused, but luckily Drac and Zohi managed to stop him from slaying them anyway. The party chased them off out of the dungeon and then proceeded. A dwarven crypt was discovered with a huge diamond at the center. As Vishana tried to grab the diamond the floor swelled up around her… a guardian mimic! Hex entered the room and convinced the mimic to let her go, at which point the party attacked the poor creature anyway, killing it thoroughly. Happily Vishana snatched the treasure. Unfortunately this caused a pit to open beneath Drac and Hex, who both fell 60’ while a metal plate closed above them. Also gas began to fill the chamber above, threatening Vishana and Zohi. Vish and Zohi escaped, and then Drac used his abilities to soften earth to mud and dig him and Hex free of the pit.
The next room sported 6 kuo-toa and a kuo-toa priest, who Zohi got into a major slapping contest with. Zohi’s touch spell paid off, though, and he vampirically drained the Kuo-toa priest of hit points, adding them to his own. The kuo-toa were guarding a pair of rowboats for the lake… obviously a preferred choice to take across the water for assaulting the island at the center. The party marked it well and moved on.
In the next corridor a cloaker swooped down on Zohi while a second one began to moan, giving the whole party a headache. After the cloakers were dispatched, the party found a pit room where they were assaulted by two gargoyles and their big mac daddy. These were not too hard to beat, though, and the party managed to rescue a dwarven miner and his dog in the next room.
Moving into a section of caverns, the party ran into one final encounter for the day, a nasty sonic dinosaur called a destrachan. The critter sent a wave of sound over Hex and Vish, making all their items vibrate dangerously. Hex’s bracers of health blew up, and Vish lost an item or two as well. This was all the provocation the heroes needed, and the monster was promptly disposed of.
At that moment Falkner returned with good news… by his maps, it looked like the party was within spitting distance of finishing the complete caldera circle. It looks like a little clean-up at the beginning of the next session will pave the way for assaulting the central island… finally!