The Cradle of the Death God

In which our heroes destroy the Soulmonger and take on its legendary creator, the archlich Acererak

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We open in the Border Ethereal with Gretchen in hot pursuit of the fleeing hags. The one with the peg leg has the triangle skeleton key. They are heading for the stairs leading out of their lair. The one with the sack on her head pauses at the base of the stairs and uses her magic to put Gretchen to sleep.

The paladin shakes off the magic and pushes past the hag, racing up the stairs after the other hag, who can move surprisingly fast despite her peg leg. Gretchen catches up to her in the corridor in which Carn had lost his clothes.

Gretchen pours all of her might into herĀ shadow bladeĀ and smites the hag with as much righteous vengeance as she can muster. The hag doesn’t stand a chance. Gretchen recovers the skeleton key just as the last hag enters the corridor.

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The Trials of the Sewn Sisters

In which our protagonists find the lair of the Sewn Sisters and complete the trials awaiting them therein.

Before opening any of the wardrobes in the third cog room, the group decides to go back and loot the late Lord Brixton’s corpse. In addition to some adventuring gear and a pouch containing gems, the deceased leader of the Company of the Yellow Banner is still wearing his longsword.

Gretchen’s eyes light up when she sees the hilt is fashioned like a dragon’s head. With Elvraema’s permission, Gretchen claims it for herself. Finally a magic weapon (although its magic does little for her, since she is already fluent in Draconic)!

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Mazes and Minotaurs

In which our protagonists encounter a magical maze, fend off skeletal minotaurs, and give painting tips to some blind artists.

After returning to the magic fountain room and taking a good, long rest, the group is unable to convince either Ziles or Hakkar (who has now become even more goat-like, with fully-grown horns and fused-together fingers) to help them combat the invisible creature on level three. Instead, they decide to go back to level four and see if they can find another skeleton with a shaped headdress.

On the way down, they decide to try the zombie door on level two again. After dispatching the “fresh” crop of zombies installed in the door, Carn (aided by Kubazan’s strength) and Erethas have little trouble pushing the heavy door up so that the group can enter the chamber beyond.

The first thing they see is an ancient chariot carrying a bronze sarcophagus strewn with treasure. The chariot’s sides are painted with images of an eblis. This is Papazotl’s tomb!

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Seeing Double

In which Elvraema returns and the group finishes exploring the third level of the tomb.

We rejoin our brave adventurers as they come to grips with the fact that their cleric is now an inanimate statue. They decide to retreat to the fountain room to regroup.

Erethas goes to tip Elvraema over so that he and Hakkar can carry her back with them. As the eladrin touches the statue, the spirit of Kubazan emerges and insists on joining with him in order to take the fate to the hated Acererak! With his newfound super-strength, Erethas is able to carry Elvraema’s petrified body on his own, which is a good thing because Hakkar is finding his own trickster spirit incredibly distracting right now.

Back at base, the group fills Gretchen in on what just happened and then settle down for a brief rest. Close to an hour later, they hear the secret door in the southern corridor slide open and a voice call out: “Hello?”

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Puzzles and Petrification

In which our protagonists are repeatedly stymied by Acererak’s puzzles.

We begin with our protagonists, having escaped from Wongo’s tomb, returning to the fountain room for a rest. Safely ensconced in a series of tiny hut spells cast by Ziles, the group spends the better part of a day resting, training, squabbling, and puzzling over Acererak’s riddles.

Ziles, meanwhile, is still being plagued by the golden skull of Yaka, who keeps bothering him with distracting blather. He pleads with the skull to leave him alone and eventually Yaka tells him he has a hankering for some gems. Over the course of the day, Ziles and his companions feed the skull numerous gems. Every time, Yaka grinds them into dust with his teeth and then asks for more.

In frustration, Carn catches Yaka’s skull in a bag, only to have magically reappear by Ziles’ shoulder. “You can’t get rid of me that easily, pointy!” taunts the skull. Carn throws his hands up in disgust and tries his best to ignore Yaka.

As the light trickling through the cracks in the ceiling fades, it is finally time for sleep (or meditation, in the case of the elves in the party). In the morning, when everyone is getting ready for a new day of dungeon delving, the group notices that Hakkar is now not just covered in fine goat fur but he also has the beginnings of some horns budding from his forehead and his eyes have become goat-like.

Elvraema offers to call on the Dark Maiden to break the curse, but Hakkar insists that the risk of turning into a goat is minimal compared to the value of the magic staff that is causing it. Much to the spirit of Obo’laka’s disappointment, Hakkar declines Elvraema’s offer.

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Of Frogs and Fans

In which our protagonists continue to explore the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

When we rejoin our trio of elven explorers, they have decided to return to the magic fountain room for a rest (and to check on their slumbering human companions). They head back the way they came, accompanied by Yaka’s acerbic commentary as the skull continues to float along behind Ziles.

Back in the fountain room, Ziles buries himself in Withers’ stolen spellbook (and does his best to ignore Yaka), while Elvraemo settles down to commune with his deity and Carn fidgets (and occasionally throws things at the floating skull). Eventually Gretchen and Hakkar wake up, and the elves fill them in on their adventures deeper in the tomb.

The two humans are understandably upset about having been left behind, but their companions explain that they simply couldn’t wake them up so there wasn’t much of a choice!

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Tomb Raiders

In which our protagonists continue to explore the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

We return to the room with the magic fountain to find the party resting. All of a sudden, the sound of a stone door grinding open echoes through the dungeon. Carn and Ziles, still alert during their nightly elven meditation sessions, look down the corridor in time to see a large, armored figure step into the hall to the south. It immediately turns and starts lumbering toward them.

The elves are able to awaken Elvraema, but Hakkar and Gretchen are deep in slumber and won’t be disturbed. The three stand their ground, ready to defend their sleeping friends as the armored hulk walks uninhibited through the room with the magical magnetic shield of rusting.

A short but sharp fight ensues. When the hulk lies defeated on the ground, the party pokes and prods at it. Under all the armor is a stitched-together body … a flesh golem!

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