DM: Rick Smith
Hex Cade lvl 5 Barbarian lvl 5 Psion Earth Genasi – Dan Forrest
Falkner lvl 5 Barbarian lvl 4 Rogue Tiefling – Barbara Kalberg
Drachalt lvl 8 Druid Silver Half Dragon Half Elf – Tom Blossfeld
Vishana lvl 3 Rogue lvl 2 Fighter lvl 2 Cleric Pixie – Jon Rosen
Zohi lvl 11 sorceror half-elf – Ken Marin
Tough Bananas For Hex
Before the party is a chamber about 20’ by 15’. In the center is a dark grey life-sized statue of a weeping man. Two benches flank the statue. A pair of robes, a group of potions and a scroll suddenly appear on one of the benches! Zohi flies into the room to investigate. Hex punches the purple gem in the nearest door to get it open. This door slides open extremely slowly. Beyond is a Spartan bedchamber. A black wooden chest of drawers with curved daggers sits nearby. Falkner ransacks the room. With some subtle manipulations Falkner avoids a contact poison and discovers some rings and a pouch. He also finds a few doses of id moss and dark reaver poison.
Drac opens the second door to reveal a long corridor that widens up ahead. There is a pillar of purple stone ascending from floor to ceiling. The near side is carved like a sculpted statue of similar make to the ones in the moathouse… where we found the drums and the incense and stuff. The party spreads out to investigate as the pixie checks the purple pillar in detail. Zohi finds a hallway with purple stone panels set every 10’ down the sides of the walls. Three alcoves filled with a thick mucus-like green goo fill the wall behind him. A black oblong rug covers the floor before them.
Falkner opens the nearest door. Another bedroom with ebony wood carved with hideous faces and stuff. A pair of gray stone statues of creatures made of writhing snakes and tentacles stand at the far wall. A purple robe hangs on a peg to the left of the door. Falkner tries to enter the room and is repelled by an invisible barrier that does damage to him. Drac tries and is also repelled, as is Hex. Angry, Hex tries again and manages to force his way into the chamber. Hex starts dragging the nearest chest towards the door when a pair of skeletons step out from behind the curtain. Hex screams “abominations!” incorrectly and swings Earthcleaver to meet this newest threat.
The skeletons are no trouble. Hex continues to slide stuff out the door. When he comes to the bookcase, he smashes the glass.. and immediately dies due to a slay living spell! Hex is an outsider so he can’t be resurrected, but Drac heroically pushes his way into the room (Falkner, Vishana and Zohi try to get in and are repelled by the barrier) and casts a Last Breath spell… this spell, which can only be cast within a round of death, brings the character back to 0 hit points… since it does not count as a resurrection, Hex’s soul in unable to flee to its just rewards, and he avoids a furniture doom by the barest margin possible! Hex’s head has been turned and he isn’t quite sure what just happened, but he decides to take a bit of time to heal himself.
Vishana takes two magical books off the now open shelf. One book is a vacuous grimoire… it nearly sucks out Vishana’s intelligence and wisdom! The second book, luckily, is a tome of understanding… a book that can grant 1d4+1 wisdom points to a single reader! This is clearly the bookshelf of doom!
A note between the page of one of the books reads “Dread Tharizdun, power of the elder elemental eye and master of all destructive forces, I am the champion of elemental evil and am ready to carry out your wishes!” At that moment Falkner tries to open the chest and dies… another slay living spell! Inside the chest are various riches, a lens of detection and a hand of glory. Despite the cool loot, this room is way too dangerous for the likes of us!
The party returns to town and heals up, and then they continue the adventure. Falkner and Drac waste some time trying stuff with the pillar but nothing seems to happen. The party discovers a door and a wrought-iron staircase carved out of human arms linked together that descends into the depths. Vishana checks the door and then Hex kicks it open, revealing another corridor with doors at the end. Dark gray stone depicts scenes of awfulness.
Vishana opens the door. A circular plate of glass with a red pentagram painted onto it is centered in this room. All that can be seen through the glass is darkness. Meanwhile Drac is in the room with the three slime-filled alcoves and the black rug. Drac suddenly feels a chill… something he has never felt before as he is immune to cold. Zohi steps into the room and feels nothing wrong… it looks like the purple robe protects him. Suddenly two huge creatures constructed of decaying human body parts with green goo dripping here and there step from the two outer alcoves. Each one is 8’ tall!
Drac moves forward, gets grabbed by the head and knocked about. Drac hacks back twice and goo flies all over. Scaly is repulsed by the smell of these creatures and slithers backwards. Zohi steps back and throws up a wall of fire on the two lumbering nasties. The fire doesn’t seem to do much… one of the two steps past Drac to threaten Zohi, while the other one attacks Drac directly. Falkner attacks the nearest one from the side. Vishana flies into the room with the pentacle… ten black tentacles whip up out of the pentacle and three of them snake around Vish, beginning to squeeze!
Drac smacks the golem something good. Hex swings into action and destroys all three tentacles grappling Vish and takes down one extra one to boot. Falkner cuts into the other golem, doing it solid damage. Meanwhile Zohi finds a rune-charged fountain in the corridor just beyond the golem attack.
Hex commands Vish to stay put and attract more tentacles, which she grudgingly agrees to. Five more tentacles wrap around her, and once again Hex slices through them, destroying all the remaining tentacles. Drac takes down the nearest golem. Zohi opens a door to find a long-dead cleric of Pelor corpse hanging from the wall. Vishana flies in from the other direction to inspect the corpse. Both Vishana and Zohi realize they can’t hear anything in this room. Falkner takes a moment to imbed the second golem’s head into the floor, resolving the encounter. The party is now fairly scattered about this area. Suddenly a mist coalesces around Hex’s ankles and solidifies to become a sallow human with pointed teeth wielding a nasty-looking greatsword. He wears a purple breastplate. He wears a defaced symbol of Pelor with a black triangle atop it.
The sword strikes across Hex with an evil negative energy sword! Hex realizes he might be outclassed so he runs for it, taking another attack of opportunity as he skates for it and getting severely hurt! This is a tough day for Hex! Falkner and Drac creep up the corridor they last saw Hex disappear down, and they hear him screaming bloody murder from up ahead. Hex and the pursuing vampire appear before Drac and Falkner. Drac throws a flame strike down on the vampire while Hex sinks into the floor in order to heal himself.
The vampire rushes forward and swipes a claw at Drac, draining life from him as its own wounds close. Falkner moves in from the side and attacks three times, giving the vampire something to think about at least. He doesn’t think much, though, as he carves into Falkner three times and brings him to the brink of death for the second time this day. Drac wildshapes into a rhino in order to keep himself together. Rhino-boy withdraws. Falkner retreats past Hex as the bitter warrior rises out of the ground and yells for stoneskin. Hex gets critical hit for the second time by this bruiser, and then Zohi throws a stoneskin on him. Drac head back towards the battle while Hex hits the vampire once fairly hard. Vish joins the combat. Hex gets knocked unconscious by the creature’s next attacks. Zohi throws a wall of fire onto the vampire, who seems to take no damage from it. Vish pours a potion of cure serious down Hex’s gullet. Hex retreats.
The vampire lays on hands on himself and heals almost completely. Hex and Falkner run for it. Drac casts protection from fire on himself. Vish pulls back. The party is in full retreat if they can get away with it. Zohi, who has improved invisibility, is still in the room with the dangerous vampire. The vampire moves through the wall of fire and discovers Drac on the other side. The fully healthy vampire whacks Drac again viciously. Hex spins around a corner and sees the damnable vampire in front of him again! Hex throws a greater concussion on the vampire, actually doing some real damage. The vampire spins and attacks Falkner again, but luckily the attack is only a grazing wound.
Zohi takes advantage of the turned back to smack him with magic missiles, each of which seems to penetrate his defenses hard. Falkner keeps the heat on, giving him another solid strike before tumbling backwards. Drac goes with the flow making a desperate attempt to drop this sucker. He hits with his sword and then goes in for a bite… the creature is still up. Hex casts expansion on himself and moves towards the combat, a fatalistic expression on his face. Drac gets drained again as the vampire sucks his life force. In fact, we all agree this vampire sucks big time.
Zohi slams the vampire with magic missiles again and the creature turns gaseous… it looks like the terrible creature is finally on the run. The mist rushes away towards the room with the Pelor corpse. Zohi yells, “Follow me!” and leads the group in pursuit. Zohi points out the secret door in the center of the room that he had previously detected. The center of the room recesses into the floor and slides away to reveal a hollow area below. A coffin with a carved human bas-relief on the top is covered with the obex holy symbol. Falkner slides the coffin lid off to reveal our opponent, lying motionless inside. Drac takes the creature’s breastplate off and gets bit by a small bat in the pocket… Drac punches it dead. Zohi stakes the creature and then the party carts the body outside so that it shrivels up in the daylight. In the coffin is treasure… including a ring that marks him as a Prince of Fermundy… a paladin prince of Pelor who disappeared long ago.