THE FUNNY THINGS:
Ken and Cathy, as we set up to play: I think we should all depend heavily on Hagbarde this time around. - Why? Because I'm asleep? - Yes!
Katy, during a search of the room: Well, we don't know that Cayce rolled a 1, even though he rolled a 1.
Cathy, when they found another Levitation Room: Hey guys, we've been given the shaft!
Bruce, as he continued to roll 1's for the party's NPC: I would switch dice but this is so much fun!
Katy, Cathy, and Ken, when Bruce showed them a picture of the creature they were about to face: Ew! - Ew! - Cool!
Bruce and Ken, when Cathy suggested casting Mordankainen's Disjunction at their enemy: Hagbarde did what?! - Cleric, heal thyself! - I'd kill you but I don't have anything magical left to use!
Ken, suggesting what Cathy should do to figure out what she should do: Cast 'Maximize Brain.'
Ken, singing about how the party should keep quiet as they raided the rooms laden with his greatest phobia: Killing you softly with your tile...killing you softly....
Cathy, singing spontaneously: Ooh, ooh, ooh, do we see a demon there? Ooh, ooh ooh, what color is his hair? Ooh ooh will he do a beard attack? On his little back? Oooh, what is going on in the town tonight?
Ken, about whether Fnord knew where to Dimension Door to join the party: Well, I could [do it] if someone came to the door and told me where to go...wait, let me rephrase that!
"Are you aware that Shadow Magic and regular-Weave magic are incompatible?" Fnord asked the ambassador.
"Actually, they are not. However, this particular disruption is damaging to the Weave."
"Do you know what is causing that disruption?" Hagbarde wanted to know.
"I can't say for sure, but I suspect the disruption is caused by the Undying Temple. The Temple itself appears to be Undead."
"Do you have a vested interested in the Temple's continued Undead status?" Fnord asked.
"I am not taking any sides in this issue. I will simply report back."
"Is the Undying Temple sacred to any of your people?" asked Hagbarde.
"No, our gods are much older than that. The Drow are upstarts."
"As a diplomat you must understand that our position in this is similar to yours. We are on a mission to restore the Weave and return harmony."
"The interests of Shade will be served whether or not the Undying Temple is destroyed."
"Do you have any idea how many servants of the Temple are still present?" Maeve chimed in.
"I have never been into the Temple."
"Again, our apologies for our hasty entrance into your chamber. Thank you for your assistance and information. Farewell." Hagbarde said to the ambassador.
The party returned to the hall and headed to the right. They reached a door and Cayce listened at it, but heard nothing. Maeve found no traps and neither did Fnord. Cayce picked the lock. Hagbarde opened the door. Two neatly-made bunks and a variety of weapons hanging on the walls occupied the room. It seemed to be the residence of someone with plain but martial tastes. There was no one in the room. They entered the room and headed to the next nearest door -- a set of double-doors on the same wall.
Cayce listened, but again heard nothing. Fnord searched and found a trap. Cayce attempted to disable it, but triggered it accidentally instead. Everyone Saved. The door was still locked. Cayce picked the lock and Hagbarde opened the door. Clearly Drow of some importance lived in this suite of rooms. The walls were sheathed in magnificent fluted paneling of ebony and gold, the floors were made of black gold-veined marble, and the elegant furnishings were made from exotic surface hardwoods lovingly carved into beautiful, if vaguely sinister, designs. A great battle seemed to have been fought through the rooms of the suite, as evidenced by the scorch and impact marks marring almost every wall and brown bloodstains appearing on many of the furnishings. In the smallest room of the suite were five large chests.
Fnord searched the nearest chest for traps and found none, it was not even locked. A quick looting of the room ensued, yielding: 480pp, 8400gp, 26300sp, 6 golden goblets, a masterwork lute, a ceremonial court costume, 45 gems, a Staff of Frost (40 charges), +4 Elven Chainmail of Invulnerability, and a +3 Heavy Mace of Disruption.
There was one closed door at the far end of the suite. Not wanting to leave any stone left unturned, the group headed over to check it out. Cayce listened but heard nothing. Fnord searched for traps and found none. The door opened easily and revealed an empty space with no doors or stairs -- another Levitation Shaft, this one leading down to the floor whence they had just come.
Retracing their steps, they returned to the large room at the end of the hall. There was a set of double-doors made of stone and covered with golden spider designs. Cayce listened and heard the sound of rushing wind. He found no traps and picked the lock. Hagbarde opened the door revealing a long, slender hallway stretching between the Lesser Tower and the Great Tower. Narrow windows looked down on the city below from a dizzying height. Huge stalactites hung down from the ceiling. Double doors of stone decorated with golden spider designs where the means of egress at each end of the bridge.
The adventurers headed across the bridge. At the doors at the far end Cayce listened at the door and heard nothing. He found no traps and picked the lock. Hagbarde opened the door. A strange glowing shaft of light 10 feet in diameter pierced the room. In the weird illumination it was possible to see that the column of light descended through several more chambers, going down 100 feet or more. There was a stairway going up and a door in the room as well.
Cayce headed over and listened at the door, but heard nothing. It was unlocked and untrapped. Hagbarde opened the door. The small but comfortable room was well appointed with purple tapestries and velvet-covered furnishings. The room smelled oddly of old perfumes. Seeing nothing of interest in the suite, they returned to the main room and checked out the stairwell. At the top of the stairs the levitation shaft opened into a large circular chamber with two small doors in the north wall and a large double door of stone in the south wall. The shaft continued to the room above and the room below. A large green statue of a monstrous spider dominated the chamber. It was only 5 feet high, but fully 20 feet in diameter -- easily half the width of the room. Hagbarde and Fnord knew immediate that the statue was actually a stone construct.
Cayce attacked the Jade Spider and hit all 6 times; Fnord shifted into an Adamantine Golem and attacked the Jade Spider, hitting once for 13; Hagbarde cast Flame Strike, hitting for 52 and killing the Jade Spider. While Maeve took the time to stick some more magical arrows in her quiver, thus recharging it, Cayce went to investigate the doors on either side of the Levitation Shaft. At the first door, Cayce heard some scraping sounds, which stopped after a moment. He proceeded to search the door for traps, found none, and determined that it was unlocked. Hagbarde opened the door.
The room beyond was a small armory, complete with arming dummies on which suits of mail hung and long racks of polearms and crossbows along the walls. Lights bobbed disconcertingly around in the darkness in the center of the room, floating around a skull resting on the floor, lit with emerald green fire.
Hagbarde studied the item with his Knowledge: Arcana and determined that it was a Drow skull; it was definitely emanating magic.
Cayce attacked with his gauntlets, hitting every time, but each of his attacks seemed to be deflected by the Skull; Skull cast Otto's Irresistible Dance on Maeve, who began to dance; Fnord charged the Skull, attempting to trample it, and severely damagied it; Maeve continued to bust a move; Hagbarde cast Greater Dispel Magic and the lights and green glow went away, the cleric looked around with his Detect Magic sight and noticed that one of the practice dummies was surprisingly life-like, fully-armed, and standing right behind the still-dancing Maeve.
Cayce began looking about the room to see if there was anything to loot; the Practice Dummy seemed to disappear. After a short while Maeve stopped dancing. The party looked about the room. They found: a Masterwork short-sword set with emeralds, 4 suits of Masterwork Elven Chainmail, and a Masterwork Light Crossbow
Returning to the room where they'd fought the Jade Skull, the adventurers headed to the far doors. They traversed the hallway beyond reaching the far doors easily. Cayce listened at the doors, but heard nothing. He found no traps. Hagbarde tried the door, but it was locked. Cayce unlocked it and the cleric opened the door. Three silver goblets fell to the floor with a clatter, their stack knocked over by the opening of the door.
This small room seemed to have been a reception area of some kind. Double doors of stone led out to the north and the south. The room was finished in glossy black tile, but had no other furnishings or decorations. There was no one in the room.
"I'm not going in there!" said Fnord, backing away. Cowering in a corner of the outer room, the war shifter cast Psionic Energy Ball, hoping to melt the offending tile, while his companions stayed a safe distance away as well. He succeeded in cracking the tile throughout the room, but not melting it. Hagbarde stepped up and cast Fireball into the room. The tile was damaged further, but still sufficiently intact to traumatize Fnord, even though the door was pretty much gone.
"Why don't you all go into the next room and tell me if there's tile. If not, I can Dimension Door to join you...otherwise, I'm waiting here," said Fnord.
Just then a demonic creature appeared in the doorway to that far room, focusing all his attention on the party.
Cayce attacked the Demon, hitting three times, once critically; Fnord continued to stay away from the tile; Maeve made her arrows Greater Slay Outsider Evil, hitting four times, once critically, and knocking him to the floor with a metallic clanking, the ranger shot her last round just as a coup de gras.
Hagbarde walked over and investigated the corpse. Opening the visor of the suit of demonic-shaped armor, he saw a dead male Drow. Looking in the room beyond, the cleric saw nothing magical. The entire suite, however, was tiled. On the body they found: Demon Armor, a +2 Unholy Greatsword, and Gauntlets of Ogre Power.
Continuing about the suite they saw various silver serving dishes and utensils, but opted not to take them. They descended the spiral staircase in the middle of the room and found an observation lounge affording them a view of the entire city of Maerimydra. Climbing back up the stairs they next headed to the door on the far side of the room. Cayce listened, he heard conversation in a language he did not understand; all he could say was that it was not human and sounded malevolent. He searched the door, found no traps, unlocked it, and Hagbarde opened the door.
The room looked as if a crazed demon had worked its will on the place. A path made of bones curved from the doors in the north wall to a large staircase leading up to the east. There the room appeared to continue almost 40 feet above. The floor around the path was warped and shaped to look as though half-rotted corpses or melting souls were trying to free themselves from its grasp. The walls bore images similar to those on the floor, with all the figures facing toward the door. Two columns shaped like skeletons and surmounted by winged gargoyle-like figures flanked the staircase and other nightmarish statutes stood elsewhere about the room.
Cayce attacked the nearest Demon, hitting with five of his six attacks; Demon-1 closed and attacked Hagbarde, hitting three times for a total of 36, and biting for 8 plus 2 points of Constitution Drain; Demon-2 closed with Hagbarde and attacked, hitting thrice for a total of 36, and biting for 5 points plus 1 point of Constitution Drain; Hagbarde cast Turn Undead and Demon-1 and Demon-2 took flight and headed up the stairs; Maeve made her arrows Greater Slay Undead and took out Demon-3, and the fleeing Demon-1 and Demon-2.
Hagbarde cast Restoration on himself. Then the cleric Dimension Doored out to Fnord, told him that the rest of the party was all right, and showed him the way to get Dimension Door himself past the tile to catch up with the group. Moments later the two appeared back in the room. Then the group proceeded to loot. They found: 4000gp, 12000sp, a Crystal of Screening: Greater, a Rod of Silence, and a Vampire Torque.
Next the group headed up the stairs. At the top the faced a set of double-doors which were open. If the entrance hall to this room was grotesque, the chamber beyond was itself blasphemously obscene. Images of death were everywhere -- usually tortured, painful death. Shattered fragments of bone dyed a variety of colors formed ghastly mosaics on the walls, floor, and ceiling. Decaying corpses were used like furniture: two rotting Drow knelt on the floor supporting a slab of stone between them, two more flanked the makeshift altar holding smoking braziers in seared hands, another knelt in front of the altar holding a massive tome so that someone standing behind the altar could read it. A small wooden door exited to the south into what appeared to be a sacristy or vestment room. A large double door of stone emblazoned with a silver-ringed ebon hand stood on the west wall. On the curving northwest wall was a large mural, no less disturbing than the others in the room. In this picture, a female Drow sat on a throne of bones, her otherwise beautiful face painted like a skull, a silver ring adorned each finger on her slender hands; to her right stood an eerily beautiful Elf woman with skin as white as alabaster and one eye glowing red while the other was covered by a silver plate studded with rubies, her head was hairless and her body was wrapped in glowing blue-green mist.
Although Hagbarde desperately wanted to Consecrate this evil temple, he did not have the supplies and was thus not prepared to do so. Instead the adventurers headed toward the double-doors at the far side of the room. Cayce listened, but heard nothing, he found no traps, and the door was unlocked. Hagbarde opened it.
The passage ahead was completely blocked by a column of violet flame that burned without heat. Its lurid light flickered over the nearby walls and sent shadows dancing all around. A huge, still figure could be dimly glimpsed through the flames.
Hagbarde used Detect Undead and determined that the creature in the hallway was not Undead, which he shared with his comrades.
Cayce attacked their adversary, hitting with five of his six attacks; Hagbarde determined that the violet flames in the hallway were magical, and then cast Dispel Magic on them, but the flames did not disappear; Maeve shot the enemy, hitting all five times, once critically; Fnord grew a Beholder Anti-Magic Eye and targeted the hallway, removing the purple flames, revealing that their adversary was an Iron Golem; Iron Golem attacked Hagbarde, hitting twice for a total of 61.
Cayce attacked Iron Golem, hitting with five of his six attacks; Hagbarde held his action; Maeve shot all 5 of her arrows, but couldn't overcome the Iron Golem's damage reduction; Fnord shifted into a Rust Monster and touched the Iron Golem, rusting it.
Hagbarde glowed with his Silver Fire Aura and then teleported the party back to Manifest.