8. Glancing around, the party realized that the evil rune on the Font of Lolth was still pulsing with ominous red light as the gory mess in the white marble container continued to churn and bubble. Yoshin bashed at it with one of the Fae Mhor sabres to no avail - he was still weakened by his earlier poisoning. Krizzen made short work of it with Soothslayer, a couple of heavy blows breaking the line of the rune and causing the glow to fade. The font continued to roil, though, and a closer examination located a small golden disk attached to the marble just below the rune. Carved words in the Fae Mhor tongue read as follows: ‘Quarval-sharess Lolth, al'yorn mrigg-wun, ninta xund’. Only Caitlin, enabled to read the dark elf language by the Translator's Ring, knew that this meant "Great Goddess Lolth, guide your (favoured) servants as they strive in your cause" and she didn't volunteer this information.
As they considered it, there was a disturbance in the gory fluid, and a spider exoskeleton surfaced and began to climb out towards them. Startled, Yoshin leaped backwards and snapped a Magic Missile at it as Caitlin and Krizzen attacked. The undead spider's mandibles scored on Caitlin as Thengorn cast a Protection from Evil.
Scrabbling to escape the Font, the spidershell continued to tear at Caitlin as she and Krizzen hacked at it to little effect. Thengorn had to heal Caitlin twice in the battle as the spidershell's attacks struck home. Finally Yoshin slammed a Disrupt Undead home, and the undead spider sank back into the Font, disintegrating. The sorcerer rounded on his companions; "I suggest we run away," he stated.
Caitlin hefted a rock and threw it at the golden medallion, without much effect, while Yoshin used his rather notched Fae Mhor sabre to plumb the Font; as he'd suspected, it wasn't really deep enough to hold one spidershell, much less as many as they'd encountered. It was summoning them, then. He used a Mage Hand to remove the medallion, and the blood and bones drained away and vanished. A single blow from Soothslayer reduced the disk to an amorphous lump of gold and the enchantment was well and truly broken. "Shall we go?" asked Yoshin.
Caitlin didn't reply. Instead she unpouched a small vial and necked the contents. She'd hoped no-one would notice, but Krizzen's sharp eyes spotted her; and recognized the vial of "poison" she'd looted from a dead Fae Mhor some time earlier. Far from dropping dead, though, the Tellaran had straightened up, several of her wounds closing and skinning over. Krizzen's brow darkened.
"How come that made you better?" he demanded bluntly. Caitlin's clear blue eyes were innocent as she replied. "I just drank poison," she said cheerfully. "But you aren't dead," growled Krizzen, looming over her. "If we can't trust you, we will leave you behind. What else haven't you told us?" Caitlin shrugged. "I'm a bard and I play piano?" she suggested. Krizzen frowned. "What if someone else had been killed for need of that potion?" he asked. "Give the other one to Thengorn, and play straight with us after this," he said. "Swear you won't deceieve us again, because next time I won't speak to you about it, if you get my drift?" Caitlin agreed and the potion was passed over.
"Now," said Krizzen, relieved to put that behind him, "what shall we do next. Yoshin... Yoshin?"
The irascible and cautious elvish sorcerer was nowhere to be seen.
"Where's he gone?" asked Caitlin.
A loud, resonant "Bonnnnnnngggggg!" echoed through the corridors and hallways, and Caitlin felt a moment of jealousy. "He's sounded the gong!" she cried.
3. All three whirled and charged down the corridor back towards the gong room, Krizzen easily outpacing the slower Caitlin and Thengorn. Skidding around the corner into the room, Krizzen blinked in surprise. There was no sign of Yoshin - but two bugbears were searching the room, presumably for the elf arcanist.
Already moving fast, Krizzen charged, winding up Soothslayer and swinging at one of the humanoids, who ducked out of the way in a hurry, only to be caught on the backswipe. Caitlin and Thengorn rounded the corner just in time to see two Fae Mhor warriors and three spidershells fade into existence to add to the bugbears, gulped and reacted quite differently. Thengorn levelled his crossbow and fatally drilled the bugbear wounded by Krizzen; Caitlin spun around and fled.
Sprinting back up the corridor, Caitlin reached the priest's tomb dubbed "the Good Room" by the party, huddled into a niche with one of the mummified priests, and blew out her lantern. Only once she'd done this did it occur to her that she was going to have real problems trying to relight it in the pitch darkness...
Back in the Gong Room, Krizzen picked out the Fae Mhor as the worst threat and unloaded a ferocious swing at the nearest. Krizzen's battle luck was variable, but this strike was right on the money, and the Fae Mhor's mangled remains splattered into the gong on the wall with a muffled "bong-splutch". The other one jerked backwards as a Magic Missile struck it, and Krizzen glanced over his shoulder to see Yoshin climbing out of a Rope Trick to join the fray.
The spidershells wounded both Krizzen and Thengorn, and the latter cast another spell, the effects of which were not immediately apparent. Yoshin jumped down, wielding his staff against the chitinous undead spider, while Krizzen pressed the second Fae Mhor back towards a corner. Surrounded, the lizardman was being battered by two spidershells; a moment later he receieved a mortal wound and dropped to the floor. With apparently suicidal bravery, Thengorn stepped staight between the spidershells towards his fallen comrade. Shielded by his Invisiblity to Undead spell, the undead monsters ignored him utterly, moving in on Yoshin instead, and Thengorn was able to grab the staff from Krizzen's backpack and use it to heal him.
As Krizzen regained his feet, two more figures shimmered into existence in the now quite crowded room - female Fae Mhor acolyte priestesses. Each glanced at the situation before her and lifted her hands to work magic. One glared at Krizzen and snarled "Hold!", freezing the warrior in place. A moment later, velvety black Darkness enveloped most of the room, leaving Yoshin just on the edge of the sphere.
Thengorn and Yoshin both reached the conclusion that it was time to leave, and both managed to run to the exit from memory. Yoshin considered picking up the slower dwarf and carrying him, but the spider poison had left him too weak to carry the sturdy priest. Shrugging an apology, he pelted off up the hall, leaving Thengorn to catch up as best he could.
Back in the Gong Room, the helplessly Held Krizzen felt someone come up really close in the utter blackness. There was a moment's pause, and then there was a sharp pain in his neck. A dizzy warmth spread through him and his muscles sagged. Everything went black ... everything was already black - everything went black internally as well as externally.
7a. In the Good Room, Caitlin had become desperate enough to have the utter cheek to pray to Diruc, God of War and Loyalty, for aid relighting her lantern after having run away and abandoned her friends in a pinch, got nowhere and had started on Pelor, God of the Sun. Whether the Lightbringer was listening was debatable, but she'd got the lantern going just as Yoshin tore around the corner, alone and covered in blood and sweat, and came to a halt in the room's sanctuary, panting and trembling as the sound of pounding feet in pursuit echoed behind him.
"Did everything go all right then?" she asked brightly.
Session Date: 15th June 2013