- Retreating Duergar
- Abandoned Alter Room
- Crypts and Zombies
- Double Secret Surprise Attack
After taking a short rest, the party returned to the Stone Monastery through the side door that led into the kitchen. Various pantries had been left opened and rifled through and several fruits and vegetables were strewn across the floor showing signs that someone had been through here after the party retreated into the canyon. From the kitchen a faint light could be seen emanating from the Mess Hall as well as some movement which stopped about the same time the party stopped and began listening to what was going on in the room to the south (Mess Hall).
A guttural voice yelled out from the Mess Hall, "Your war with the Stone Monks are not with us. We're leaving." Having guessed right, the party exchanged words with the deserting Duergar. The Duergar that had managed to hold onto their lives had collected the bodies of their brethren and lied them out on top of the tables within the Mess Hall. Some attempts had been made to clean the bodies and their fallen comrades held onto their hammers with one hand while holding a fist full of gold coins in the other. Candles had been set up near the heads of the fallen showing at least a minimal attempt to revere the dead.
Refusing the leave through the kitchen where the party was, the Duergar exited the south through the hallways of the monastery where the quarters were and where the party had staged their initial ambush. They carried with them their weapons and sacks of food stuffs and equipment that they had gathered together and the echoes of their footfalls retreated down the hallway past where Milpot could see them as he watched them from the doorway of the kitchen.
Abandoned Alter Room
When the party entered into the mess hall, they noticed that the doorway that lead to the Alter Room had been left ajar. Deciding that they should at least inspect and make sure that there were no foes at their back, they retraced their steps to the alter room and found it empty and dark. They listened for the noises that they initially heard that came up from below the alter room at the bottom of the stairs and where Mojo had been attacked by the half ape/beetle creature but heard nothing. They crept carefully down the stairs, peering into the darkness and keeping a close eye on the barred off section to the west but saw no movement and heard nothing of the shifting that they had heard before.
The barred section of the room cut off the western 20 feet of the chamber and was only accessible by a sliding cage door which was locked. A door along the western wall of the chamber was seen to be left slightly ajar as Mojo used mage hand to sift through the piles of debris that were made up of various bits of clothing and pieces of bone from previous meals. Along the eastern wall was another metal reinforced door which was locked which the party decided that they'd use Kleckhain's talents for opening doors and threw him into it, forcing the door open.
Crypts and Zombies
A tunnel extended to the east and ended in another brass door roughly 40 feet away. Listening for noise and hearing none, the party picked the lock and then opened the door into ha huge vaulted mausoleum. Niches carved into the rock along the wall held the skeletal remains of those interred therein. Shreds of clothing adorned some of the figures and there were a few stone and wooden coffins lying about the room. Another large, brass door was positioned on the southern wall of the room. The mausoleum was large enough that even the dark vision of the non-humans in the party could not see the back end of the room so Merrick cast his light spell on a few rocks and hurled them into the room to shed light towards the far end. After a couple of botched attempts, the room had light both 10 feet away from the party as well as deep within a second vaulted area far beyond the first room. A large stone sarcophagus could be seen along the eastern wall of the second vaulted section.
Milpot, the "Dungeoneer", warned the party about the dangers of trapped rooms and proceeded to leap heavily onto the stone tiles as he checked for pit traps and floor triggers. Being the expert that he is, he proved to the party that no such traps existed and so they began to make their way into the room splitting up as Milpot and Merrick moved to inspect the southern door and Mojo moved east to investigate the stone sarcophagus. As Mojo stepped into the second vaulted room, bodies from within the niches of the walls began to shift and rise as 6 very undead bodies rose to assault the party.
Mojo was assaulted by 2 zombies and had 2 others looming towards him. Knowing that the party's success relied upon their stealth and being able to surprise the Stone Monks, Mojo resorted to his quieter spells of Thunderwave and Shatter on the zombies retreating away from the attentions of the gnome molesting undead.
Idra was attacked by a lone zombie and in a fit of desperation and shell shock, whittled the zombie down to pieces with his short sword and vorpal elbow. Having downed his opponent and having entered into a near manic fury, he charged a second zombie from across the room only to find that it collapsed in front of him from the glare that he gave it. Idra either did not notice the several arrows that Axel had been firing into this zombie or refused to, Idra claimed victory over this combatant and moved on to carry "Idra's Elbow" to the rest of the undead scum.
Kleckhain, Merrick, and Milpot spent several rounds wailing (and missing) a single zombie that refused to fall. Kleckhain entered into a rage early into the encounter only to end up chopping the shit out of the door frame, completely missing the zombie round after round. Merrick wailed heavily onto the lone zombie only to frustrate himself at the undead refusal to fall. While it was probably the smashed lungs that led to the groaning sound from the zombie, none of the party members wanted to believe that this lone zombie was laughing at them as the party pressed a 3 on 1 advantage to no avail. Milpot also struck with his glaive, unfortunately with little effect and after 5 or 6 rounds of attention the invincible zombie fell to Idra's Elbow as he leaped over the head of Milpot and struck the laughing zombie in the temple, collapsing it and crying 'Cherry Pick!' to himself. The last zombie fell to Axel's arrows and Mojo's Flame Bolts giving the party a few moments of respite before they heard the scraping of metal on stone from the hallway connected to the southern exit.
The creature that had haunted Mojo's dreams charged into the room. As large and lumbering as an ape, covered with the chitinous carapace of a beetle, and armed with bronze blades that had been sutured into its hands, the creature thrashed about wildly and smashed into Kleckhain with one of its claws and a tore out a chunk of his neck and shoulder with its mandibles. Kleckhain was lucky to have entered into his third rage of the day because this had made him partially resistant to the creatures attentions. Round after round its attentions fell back onto Kleckhain as the rest of the party continued to miss and occasionally hit the creature. Milpot patted Kleckhain on the back, giving him an encouraging word while stepping back out of melee reach of the creature, unfortunately this inspiring word did not do anything to help Kleckhain's aim or accuracy as he continued to miss each round while being randomly chosen to be caressed by the enraged monstrosity before hand. (Every round Kleckhain was rolled to receive the beastie's attention and every attack G made for Kleckhain missed horribly – maybe if Milpot is treated well, he will rewrite the account of this past week's encounter…)
Merrick called upon Trithereon to assist in this fight by granting Merrick extra attacks with his war hammer and Mojo boosted his Witch Bolt spell which struck the creature with staggering impact round after round. Arrows flew from Axel's bow and even Idra sliced and elbowed the creature, encouraging Kleckhain to strike it with his axe, but the might of the creature continued to hammer and tear chunks from his body, making him reel back and his attacks ineffectual. The creature finally was brought down to a number of heavy blows by Merrick and a final spark from Mojo. After the creature fell to the ground in front of Kleckhain, the party looked at one another and then as one, continued their assault on the fallen creature, making sure it was dead. Mojo continued striking it with his Witch Bolt until the spell faded and then used magic had to float the broken halfling skull he had pilfered from the creatures lair to mouth, "Yeah, see. That's the second time I beat you, no matter what anyone here says!" in a rather terrible, high pitched, 1950's radio voice.
Double Secret Surprise Attack
Moving out of the mausoleum, the party discovered the crazy network of tunnels that the prisoners had drawn in the dirt days ago. A doorway across the hall was found to be the one that interred into the room where Jorth, the ogron, and the prison guards lived in and had escorted the party members through when they were interrogated by Qarbo. Milpot could hear the slurpy breathing from the other side of the door as Mojo saw Drool, the ogre guard, standing off to the right side of the doorway that led to the stairs that exited up onto the second floor. The rest of the room was empty, the sleeping pallets and mounds of crap were still in their original places and the well which had been full of water was still present. Drool was armed with a huge club but had virtually all of his attention on the closed door.
Milpot devised a cunning plan, he told the party that he'd run around to the other side of the room and surprise the ogre from the rear. Once he struck, the other party members would come in from this side of the room and they'd have the ogre dead to rights. As Milpot stealthed through the empty passages, he was already imagining the tale that he'd weave and how he, the bard, was the hero of the day. Not some stuffy cleric in shining armor, nor some micro mage with a weird skull fetish, or a loopy scatter-brained elf, not even a disgruntled barbarian of a dwarf whose talent seemed to be attacking doors and door jams, the hero would be the bard. Smiling to himself and casting a minor enchantment to increase the devastating nature of his attack, Milpot quietly opened the door, walked the short steps behind the drooling ogre and smashed him with his glaive. Surprised, the ogre cried out in pain, Milpot struck again, laughing to himself as the verses were writing themselves and he could envision the tavern wenches already lining up and swooning under his attentions…
Furs flew up into the air, bodies moved, as Jorth and his two ogron underlings sprang from underneath their sleeping mounds and charged the lone figure before Mojo could even open the door. Jorth struck Milpot with his great axe, dealing a devastating wound, and causing the iambic pentameter narration in Milpot's head to falter only to be dashed as Drool swung his great club around and smashed Milpot to the ground, turning the revelry into a dirge. The party members swarmed in and combat began, only to be paused after the first full round to wait until next week.