|Our Heroes (l to r): Davian Battlebeard, Veriel Whisperwind, Peter Entwhistle & Kirchin|
Having found that the crypt under the abandoned The Temple Of The Lady Of Healing was infested with undead, Kirchin (Pete's GMPC), Davian (Kevin) and Peter Entwhistle (me) returned to the village of Bendwyn to rest up and see who we could to join us for the inevitable return trip.
Only Veriel Whisperwind (Meredith's character), the elven wise woman (wise in the ways of kicking ass, as it turned out) was brave enough, but as we found out later that was all we needed.
As soon as we descended back into the crypt, three more skeletons jumped us and Davian immediately smashed one to pieces with a single blow, breaking his run of bad luck from our last outing, and setting the trend for the rest of the evening.
I withheld using magic during this first encounter - knowing I only had a limited pool of stamina to draw upon - but foolishly still tried to engage one of the skeletons and suffered a massive hit that reduced me to below half hit points, before the team physicker (Pete) was able to stitch up my wounds.
Unfortunately this also reduced the amount of energy I had left to cast spells later in the adventure.
After the others made short work of the zombies we headed down into the mines that had been dug off the crypt, wandering into a four-way junction where four more zombies lurched from the three exits.
Even though I exhausted myself casting fireballs, the others - again - made short work of the shambling dead and while I got my breath back, Davian and Veriel cautiously checked out two of the passageways from this crossroads, discovering a pair of abandoned barracks - one significantly better quality than the other.
Leading off from the posher bedroom was a stairway down to a laboratory, complete with beakers, jars, arcane-looking books, maps, scrolls, iron maiden, glass cabinet of bubbling green liquid containing a skeleton and an operating table with a corpse on it - that reanimated as a zombie, which Davian dispatched.
I flicked through the books and stuffed some of the scrolls into my backpack before we returned to the intersection and headed down the passage we hadn't yet explored.
This spiralled down to an ornate curtain (this dungeon didn't go in for doors but had curtains across corridors instead) from where Veriel heard the sound of pacing.
Yanking back the curtain revealed an elderly man in contemplative mood, in luxurious bedroom with two shapes curled up at the foot of the bed.
However, because Kirchin was hesitant about shooting him (Kirchin is also a trained archer, but up to this point hadn't used his bow because of the close-knit nature of melee combat), the wizard - for that's what he was - animated the two curled-up zombies (I believe them to have been "sex zombies") to attack us while he made for a second exit.
Davian hurled a hammer at the retreating man, but it bounced off a sorcerous force field before he disappeared into darkness.
While Davian engaged one of the zombies and Veriel the other, I telekinetically lifted a flaming molotov cocktail over the one the dwarf was fighting and poured the flaming liquid over its head.
With the aid of my magically-assisted fire (which, again, exhausted me), we got rid of the two sex zombies but were too late as we followed the wizard, getting in to his casting chamber just in time to see him disappear in a cloud of green vapour.
Beyond that room, behind the dungeon's only wooden door, we found a final, morbid sight: a cold room filled with 20 to 30 corpses - clearly material for the manufacture of future zombies.
The dungeon was "cleared" as far as we were concerned and the Big Bad thwarted, if not defeated.
So we made plans to return to the town, round up all the able-bodied people and come back to ferry out the corpses, and dead zombies, so the town priest could bless them before we gave them all a proper burial.
Our team of labourers would also help us remove all the treasures - the books, a painting, a baby dragon skeleton etc - so the town council could decide what to do with it.
All being well, next month, Simon won't still be snowed under with work and he'll be able to throw his halfling bard into the mix, bringing our adventuring party up to full strength.