Just over a week ago we continued playing in Captcorajus' D&D campaign. When last we left off, we were in the temple of the dead god Set, searching for the missing party member who possesses the artifact the cultists needed to restore Set to life.
To briefly recap:
The party had stumbled upon the artifact, one of Set's eyes, while earning bounties by clearing the Caves of Chaos (modified to have a shrine and cultists of Set instead of the original evil cult from Keep on the Borderlands).
In our travels we kept having trouble with Set worshippers, hmmmm, wonder why . . .
We got to Karameikos and got tangled in a murder mystery, set upon by, assassins, and took down the local cult to Set. We also had to once again track down the Eye of Set which somehow got into the Thief Lord's Vault.
We recovered the Eye, and while looking for the way out of the vault took time to loot, since we had not found an exit, and were unceremoniously pitched through a portal into the Hollow World.
We beat up the local Kuo Toa until they realized all we wanted was to get out with most of our and some of their treasure. They were very happy to see us leave.
We wandered through the swamp kicking the crap out of the local flora and fauna - Shambling Mounds, Crocodiles, T-Rex, etc.
We were again set upon by Setites. This is when our halfling bearer of the ring, er, I mean Eye, accompanies the snaky worshippers of Set via teleport and leaves the rest of us to have an "oh, crap" moment.
We tracked them to the gigantic temple built over the dead god's body and went in to get our halfling and the artifact.
We managed to bluff our way past the dangerous throne room by spouting some nightmarish pro-Set propaganda, and went hunting.
After slaughtering a room full of adepts and some capable priests, disguising two of the three of us as high priests, we worked our way deeper into the nastiness, eventually taking down a Death Knight.
And here is where things pick up with the most recent session . . .
After descending a very long stairway we came upon two of the big snaky spawns of Set. My character, the half-orc fighter disguised as a high priest, intimidated the two of them into going up to intercept the intruders that had slaughtered a room full of adepts and priests and we would take over guarding the "Chosen One".
That is when we found the halfling, as we expected, being feted with a smorgasbord of he most delectable foods and wines available, and doing nothing what-so-ever to escape. Yup, we KNEW she went willingly. (Protest all you want CaptCorajus, your daughter's character was content to sit there being catered to, typical halfling). ;)
Coercing the halfling to come with us, and grabbing some food for ourselves (hey, we just spent two days without food trying to get to our hairy little sneak).
Suddenly our sneak vanished on us again, (teleport or dimension door, we weren't sure), and now we had to return to hunting in the vast temple complex.
Our choices became limited to going back up the stairs or risking an opaque black portal in the carved snake maw. We tested the black portal using a broken table leg tied to a length of rope. The leg and a portion of the rope did not come back. That had us convinced the long stairs back up were the only choice. We didn't need further convincing, but we were given additional reason soon enough as the vending machine formerly known as the black portal began spewing hundreds of venomous snakes. (Quite a return on investment - broken table leg and a short bit of rope for hundreds of snakes).
The party ran for the stairs and began the assent as the snakes formed up into a huge amalgamation of a monster.
Remember, running away IS an option in D&D. Run we did. We were climbing the spiral stairs upward in a hurry and this thing was tall enough to intercept the party 20 feet up without effort.
We ended up having to fight this monstrosity and that meant the half-orc fighter with his amazing 28 AC vs evil, had to get in its face while on the stairs. It kept spitting caustic venom like that scene in Jurassic Park where the frilled dinosaur attacks Nedry. Three times it tried and three times my character saved. Got bit once, but is immune to poisons of all types thanks to a magic ring, and eventually the beast swept Torul off the stairs for a 20 foot drop.
While the beast had been occupied with Torul, the party combined for enough damage to destroy it.
The wizard is down to cantrips, the dwarf is conserving spells for when we find the halfling again, and the half-orc has chugged two healing potions and used his second wind. There was no time to rest so we decided to check the portal again - we had another table leg and more rope so why not, what's the worst that could happen, space herpes?
This time there was a normal cavernous tunnel where the black portal had been and we could hear combat and chanting somewhere within the tunnel. That settled it, it was up Set's colon we had to go.
In a larger better lit cavern we located our errant halfling, wreathed in glowing armor with a glowing sword, dancing about in some ceremonial display in which she kept swinging the sword, but never striking her dancing partner, as a room full of Set minions chanted.
The halfling was standing in the palm of Set and nearby, half encased by stone was the serpent god's face, with one eye socket empty, his glowing ruby eye on his palm at the halfling's feet.
Battle ensued, eventually resulting in Torul having to jam his sword into the dead god's eye socket to keep the eye from fully restoring him (The Sorceress the halfling ran off with originally had jammed the eye into the socket). Meanwhile the dwarf cleric uncorked the last of his more powerful spells to harm the remaining enemies each round.
Finally, the eye fell out and the halfling decided to again switch sides to be on the obvious winning team, and tossed the eye into the nearby volcano. She retains all ten fingers.
The temple began to collapse and we high-tailed it to safety.
The only loot was a single live cobra that Torul had captured and was carrying in a sack.