The group eventually got to the last fight with the dwarven priest of Hades who assaulted them in 3 waves of various undead baddies - with a surprise of a wraith assault at the end.
Damage was almost zero since as the group pointed out - if they HAD gotten hit, it would have meant level drain as well as damage - and we already had a few group members suffering with negative levels to date.
The next meeting would be the cleanup and training - and then we'll take a few weeks off before rolling into adventure 5.
Write up follows:
Bless spells, protections from evil, shield spells, and all sorts of weaponry and missiles were readied. We had Encrinus hurl a glass flask of grease against the bottom steps to make the passage down that much harder. Castus’ dogs were snarling and slavering, and we positioned Marcus nearest the steps, the fighter wizard watching the approach with a wary eye. Lastly we hit Tranis with an Enlarge spell (thanks to Castus’ man Yuri), the ranger growing swiftly to just about 9’ in height.
And then the undead hit us. Ghouls and skeletons swarmed into us and we struck back hard and fast. Our front rank held strong, bolstered by the 2nd ranks spears and staves. Curufin and Vestanus had opened his porter’s chest and were hanging the entire stock of medium wooden shields we brought with us in the hallway, expecting that we were going to need them swiftly.
Funis, Marcus, Tranis, Torquil, Yuri, and one of Castus’ druids armed with an enchanted spear plied their weapons against the necromantic horde in position, hewing them down in easy swipes of hacking swords and axes. But even as they fell the next wave approached, and this one had Karstimis and some wights along. And the wights were Auri, Sanford, and some other figure we did not recognize. A number of spear wielding skeletons came along; hitting the party with impunity from the enemy’s back rank.
Once more we held the ground as best we can, tearing into the level draining foes with determined ferocity. A Faerie Fire spell illuminated the wights and then a flaming sphere was strafed down the corridor, burning about half the undead before it came to a stop next to Auri who was fighting Marcus from the steps and therefore out of the possible range of the sphere. One of Castus’ dog’s died which caused the party to shuffle people around, the sorcerer Yuri taking front rank now with his enchanted axe. Marcus splintered a shield as he was struck by a wight and then Torquil did the same, the two fighters terrified about being touched by any of them. Meanwhile the enlarged Tranis and the Carayn family undead killing sword, “Day Star” was arcing his blows over everyone’s head, ripping whoever was in range into chunks of bloody meat.
And then the necromancer hit our group with a sleep spell and 3 of our front line fell over. More shields were burst (including Auri splintering her own shield!) as we pushed forward at the same time the undead tried to push into us, the two lines blurring and bending as we tried to get everyone up in time. Steiner called to Apollo to turn the undead, giving us a brief respite (and some blows to their back as they were trying to flee) as the rest of us hurled stones, spears, and spells at the enemy (as well as slap, kick, and pinch the sleeping members to get up once more). A pair of summon nature’s ally spells went off, a honey badger (he don’t give a shit!) hitting the necromancer’s shield, while a deadly viper also showed up, getting under Karstimis’ shield…and biting him. Poison!
As we were staggering to our feet and making some room, taking down Sanford in the process, we heard the dwarf himself coming closer, along with another batch of undead (ghouls, skeletons, and wights according to Marcus). The party backed up while Pecheri was pushing his way to the front. The new undead came into view and were repelled thanks once more to Steiner and Apollo. Our spells were winding down and we wanted to get this over with quickly.
The fleeing undead slowed up the dwarf’s approach, snarling the stairs with too many bodies. Karstimis was slumping over, pleased to have killed the viper, but dying from the crazy toxins in his body.
At this point Dardrum’s final undead came into the chamber, slamming out at us in a wave of necrotic flesh and grasping limbs. Swords slashed and spears stabbed. And Pecheri finally let loose his exploding arrow at the approaching dwarf – missing!! Missed! How the fuck can you miss? You’ve been saving that arrows for weeks and when it’s important you blow it! Douchebag!
A final turning by Steiner and the undead stopped and began to reverse, many of them cut down while retreating. Pecheri meanwhile was storming forward getting lightly struck by a flying spiritual hammer in the process, but shooting arrows at closing range – two of them the shafts that Curufin had prepped with the Gorgon’s hair venom earlier. And this caused racking pains to flood the priest of Hades, making him unable to get enough concentration to cast a spell successfully.
And through it all, Pecheri kept stalking forward, bow firing again and again. Even with the dwarf’s entropic shield, more than enough arrows got through. And the dwarf was unable to stem the tide of hurt or the pain he was suffering under.
The rest of the party beat at the last of the undead, only one of them managed to escape back up the stairs – when Dardrum’s last surprise came out of the wall assaulting us…a wraith. Non-corporeal, requiring magic items to strike it, life hating and warmth devouring, it flowed against the group like a thousand black flies – vapor thin and utterly devoid of warmth – we scrambled to do damage to it while also avoiding being touched in return.
It flitted across the melee ranks, no mind of front or space, the party racing to avoid contact with it. Those who could do nothing, fled back up the corridor to stay safer; those who could strike – did so with determined abandonment. The wraith grew ragged and indistinct and then with a cold breeze, burst apart and faded away.
As a final ignominy, Pecheri walked right up to Dardrum, looked him square in the eye, and shot him with the final arrow in his neck @ 3’ away, killing him. The battle over, we pressed on to the final room…only to see it empty. The last necromancer and whatever goods were in here? Gone. A tome that had obviously sat on a lectern? Missing. We pooled together what we had found and cast a detect magic on them – finding most of our friend’s magical items as well as some of the items the followers of Hades had. We gave Castus first pick of 4 magic items, the druid nice enough to return our ring of enhanced healing. The poison earring and Auri’s sword were taken as booty, along with some other items the dwarf had.
There was a large black mirror in the room that NO ONE wanted to touch or fuck with – assuming it was a portal that lead out of here to somewhere – and we were in no condition to follow it through or out. At this point we learned that Pecheri had already slipped out and was gone. Castus and company were going to leave next and we wished them well – eventually would meet them in Shakun in some weeks from now. They were going to get their petrified companion Tauris and head to Gul to find a mage or apothecist with the skill to turn stone back to flesh.
We picked our way OUT of the dungeon after all had gone, getting what treasures we had passed along the way (Pecheri’s arrows, a pewter bowl and cup, 4 small barrels of Barmeer Bold Brown Ale, the chitin from the colossal beetles slain earlier, etc…) eventually making it to the main entrance and then out.
It was here that we were going to have Marcus read from the book and Tremble the dungeon, burying all within and making sure no one could go back and make use of this place again.