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
Hex flung open the double doors to the south to reveal impenetrable darkness. Falkner used his tremorsense to move into the room and investigate, while Hex used his lack of wisdom to blindly do the same. Hex and Falkner discovered that the room was only magically dark around its edges… the middle featured a vaulted ceiling above an ebony table supporting a huge iron horn. Vishana and Falkner uncovered a series of three invisible levers behind a folding screen on the wall. Hex tried blowing the horn, which made a gawd-awful racket that caused everyone to take some sonic damage… but then, that was pretty much expected considering Hex’s musical talent.
To the south the party discovered a large altar room with writhing snake carved railings that felt dangerously pleasurable and life-sucking to the touch. Past these were a series of leering demon statues, and every once in a while the heroes would become convinced these statues were laughing at them. A purple rock insert sat in the ground just before the dais at the end of the room. Not knowing what to do, the party went to investigate the other exit from the horn room.
This was a short corridor divided by a series of translucent barriers, each one supported by an impish demon statue. When the first statue was approached it asked the question, “who?” to which Hex tried answering “Tharizdun.” Hex was immediately teleported to the rock insert in the altar room, and he had to shake off a magical compulsion to attack the leering statues. He then chose to attack them anyway, and was sapped a point of constitution, which he luckily was able to heal himself of. Falkner stepped forward and tried a different response, and was also dropped back into the altar room. Unfortunately, Falkner was overcome by the desire to smack the demon statues, and when hitting them with an expert swipe he lost most of his strength (7 points!) Hex ended up having to heal him back up, which ate up most of Hex’s power points for the day.
All this time Drac had been praying for a continual light spell to use against the magical darkness in the horn room. As he returned with the spell a pair of large shadowy dogs appeared, obviously having been alerted to the heroes’ presence by the horn blowing incident. Luckily, these shadow mastiffs proved no problem for the mighty Falkner-Hex-Vishana-Drac team, and Zohi mostly just sat back and watched. Hex decided to try one more thing in the barrier corridor, citing his own name to the cue of “who?” This worked, causing the first barrier to become translucent and allowing Hex to pass. Unfortunately, the next statue asked “what” and Hex had no good reply, so he ended up back in the altar room again after all.
The party concluded they didn’t have enough information to deal with this brain twister, and so they proceeded to the room beyond the vampire’s den that had the summoning circle. Flinging open the next door revealed a small corridor with several doors. The first led to an unspectacular storeroom. The second opened up to a pillow room with three or four heavily protected chests. Falkner and Vishana double-teamed these chests, eventually getting them all open with a minimum of accidental explosions.
The problems began for real when the next door was opened, to reveal four summoned large elementals (one of each primary type!), a drow wizard, a drow priestess, and a human cleric who looked like serious bad. Hex found a second way into the room, and so he tried to attack from that direction while the others began to move in from the primary entrance. As Falkner easily held his own against the elementals, Hex’s retreat was cut off by a well placed wall of fire. Magic missiles also slammed into him as he began to fight the earth elemental.
Suddenly some majorly bad spells began to be thrown at the party. Drac, Falkner and Hex all suddenly found themselves saving against death spells like destruction, slay living and harm! Sweating buckets Hex had to back off as a blade barrier spell exploded into existence near him, even as Falkner succeeded in taking down some elementals and rushing into the room. Drac engaged the Drow Priestess, who continued to cast some nasty mojo. The Drow wizard turned invisible, prompting the heroes to block both exits to the room so he couldn’t escape, as Zohi was out in the corridor busily throwing protection spells on his friends.
Just as the earth elemental and the drow priestess finally fell, tragedy struck! Falkner had been going toe to toe with the nasty human cleric when the dude reached out and sent a sickly green ray at him. In an instant, Falkner was completely gone except for his belongings, dematerialized and un-resurrectable due to a super strong destruction spell! After many trials the mighty barbarian thief had finally fallen in glorious battle! To make matters worse, the drow wizard and the cleric both managed to teleport away, despite the fact that Scaly had succeeded in grappling the cleric, and the fact that the party had thought the whole place teleport-proof! Cursing their ill-luck, Vishana and Drac (the only two party members left standing as Hex had fallen unconscious to a harm spell and Zohi had fled to heal himself) had to fight off a final summoned dire ape.