Our intrepid band of tomb looters gather themselves for a final foray into the dreaded Caves of Chaos, this time determined to finish off whatever is left alive in the last cave, and take its/their stuff.
After picking up Bruce, they arrive at the last cave, immediately heading to the medusa’s cell to confirm that the medusa is a) still dead and b) still headless, which it is both. Continuing to explore the lower area, they come upon stout wooden door, bolted from the outside. There’s a bit discussion on whether the party should open it, memories of the medusa still fresh in their minds. But eventually they sack up and open the door, discovering a tomb containing six sarcophagi. Promptly ransacking them, they find little, save the last one which contained a wight, ready for a fight (hehe). The party had been binding the leg bones of all the skeletons in the tomb, just in case they suddenly animated. So, as the magic-user attempted to bind the wight’s leg bones, it rose up and struck him.
Now, normally wights drain a level automatically if they hit, but I’ve never particularly like that no saving throw was allowed. So I told the magic-user’s player to go ahead and make a saving throw, which was successful. After that the party made quick work of the wight, finding a sword, potion and helm hidden in the wight’s tomb. The dwarf grabbed the helm, immediately donning it (and becoming evil, unbeknownist to the rest of the party). The elf grabbed the sword, which looks to be of exceptional quality.
Moving on, the party next finds the temple store room, filled with all kinds of mundane supplies, but no treasure or weapons. The elf does find a couple casks of oil. After messing about in the room for several rounds, as they leave they behold an unusual sight: it appears that several coins and bones are floating mid-air in the corridor. The elf immediately throws a cask of oil at, well, whatever it is. The cask seems to get caught in something and it, too, hangs mid-air. The party follows up with a flask of oil and a torch, and the thing is now a wall of flame approaching them. The dwarf finds a crude club in the storeroom and uses it to bash the gelantinous thingy. The elf attacks with his nifty new sword, the blade of which bursts into flame as he swings. The rest of the party pours on the hurt and pretty soon the gelantious cube is dead. Only the elf came close to being paralyzed by the cube.
On their way back up, they come across a well-appointed torture chamber, complete with posh viewing section. They do find some nice treasue hidden in the torturer’s bed. A few S&M jokes later, the party is on its way back up the stairs to finish exploring the upper portion of the chaos temple.
Proceeding up the sloped passage way, they come to a T-intersection. They turn left and soon enter a large chapel to chaos. There are some fancy religious vessels on a blackstone alter, which the party doesn’t touch (which surprised me, considering their usual greedy natures…just as well, though, given that the vessels were cursed). The dwarf, however, does start hammering on the alter, trying to split it. A gong sounds throughout the temple complex, and soon a host of armored skeletons are at their doorstep. The cleric manages to turn several of the skeletons, but the fight is still vicious. The elf is forced to retreat and both the dwarf and Bruce take a beating. Eventually the skeletons are smashed to pieces, though, and the party spends some time binding wounds and getting whacked with the staff of healing.
Heading back to the T intersection and continuing straight, they encounter a large room dedicated as a temple to chaos. Near the entrance is a door to their right; when opened the party sees about 20 zombies in parade formation, awaiting orders to murderize someone. They promptly slam the door shut and spike it closed.
As they enter the temple proper, candlebras suddenly erupt into flame, revealing a room covered in tapestries depicting all kinds of chaotic nastiness. At the far end of the room is a throne made of ivory (yeah, ivory…couldn’t believe that when I read it) sitting on a dias. As the party takes all this in, the BBEGs enter from a hidden side door, ready for the final boss fight of the module. Before them stands the Priest that escaped the Keep, a fighter guy dressed like a Torturer and the Evil Priest, and main boss guy of the temple (along with a couple of big 3 HD zombies).
The Evil Priest monologues a bit, generously offering to spare the party’s lives if they agree to surrender and become his slaves. The party says something to the effect of “Nuts” and the fight is on.
Right out of the gate the Evil Priest casts hold person on the cleric, but the cleric makes her save (good thing, too). The Keep Priest runs up and starts attacking the magic-user. The Torturer rushes in to attack the dwarf. On their turn, the magic-user reads a protection from undead scroll they’d found earlier in the session while the elf casts charm person on the Torturer (which succeeds!) and the dwarf, cleric and Bruce attack. Since the two zombies can’t approach the party, one of them heads back through the side door and rings a gong, summoning the 20 waiting zombies from the next room. Unfortunately for the party, there was a second door from that room, hidden behind one of the tapestries. So now they’re being attacked from two sides.
Fortunately the cleric is able to turn most of the zombies not repelled by the protection from undead scroll. With the Torturer charmed, the fight is well in hand, until the Evil Priest casts cause fear on the party. Most of the party fails their saving throws, leaving only the dwarf and Bruce to fight a horde of zombies and the Evil Priest. The following round, however, the Evil Priest is splatted by Bruce, thus breaking the spell. With the dwarf standing on the throne, loping off zombie heads, on one side, and the party on the other (joined at this point by the thief), the party quickly finishes off the zombies. They are victorious…let the looting commence!
While the looting is going on, the elf chats up the charmed Torturer (whom they named Damien). Turns out that Damien is a bit disgruntled that he doesn’t get much good loot, but all the torturing he gets to do makes up for it. It seems Damien really loves his job, and can’t stop talking about torture. He does point them in the direction of the Evil Priest’s chambers, containing lots more treasure to loot. He also points out a large demon idol with two gem-socketed eyes, warning the party not to touch it, or else it will fall on them. For some reason the dwarf finds this to be utter nonesense and decides to test the theory. He asks that Bruce hoist him to the top of the demon idol. Once done the dwarf stands triumpantly atop the idol…until it rolls over and crushes him beneath its bulk. Thus ends the life of the evil-besotted, semi-suicidal dwarf (I think the player wanted to kill off the dwarf, as he’d already started rolling up a new character beforehand).
The cleric decides the Torturer is immoral and can’t remain with the party. So, at some unspecified point of time, while the Torturer slept, the cleric crept up on him and slit his throat…in the name of morality. Don’t worry, it’s D&D morality, lol.
The party gets quite a haul this time, especially in magic items. They pick up two suits of plate mail +1, two shields +1, a mace +1, a snake staff and a flaming sword, plus a good bit of gold and other sundry valuables. They also found a mysterious letter and a partial map of an island. The letter mentions a legendary black pearl of the gods, which is enough to tempt the party. On the outside of the scroll is written ‘Kopru!,’ which holds no meaning to the party.
The rest of the night was spent organizing for their trip to the Isle of Dread. They’re treated as heroes by the Keep, and they meet up with a new halfling companion before taking their leave back to the civilized lands. With the help of Bruce they manage to manhandle the ivory throne onto a wagon. Bidding Bruce a teary goodbye (well, Bruce was crying anyways), they haul the throne back to the city of Specularum (which the players mangled as ‘Spectacularium,’ which kind of stuck). On the way they are briefly ambushed by some pathetic bandits, but the party dispatches them with haste. They trade the ivory throne for a small sailing ship, hire some crew and mercenaries, purchase provisions and trade goods and are pretty much ready to sail out to the island next session. They also trade in one of the suits of plate mail +1 for a halfling sized version for their new halfling companion, and trade the other +1 plate mail for a suite of golden +1 chain mail for the elf.
So, at this point the party’s composition is thus: 5th level thief, 4th level cleric, 4th level magic-user, 4th level halfling and 2nd level elf. They have a good mix of magic items now and plenty of resources to draw upon. It’ll be interesting to see how things go on the Isle of Dread.