The Final entry

The party headed east past the city of Kedad. After three days on horseback and various encounters with vampiric trees, they came to a lake. The dock-man granted them passage aboard their boat for a huge sum of gold. The boat seemed to have no crew deckside but was in reality rowed and steered by animated cadavers below deck.

As creepy as that was, the three day voyage went without a hitch. The party pulled onto a beach on the south side of the ten-mile diameter, wedge shaped island. The party traveled inland through a path-less forest and had several strange encounters not to be spoken of.
During one of these encounters, the party rescued a woman and her daughter. This pair they decided to return to their home on the East side of the island. They pulled into town by nightfall.

The next morning, they hired a guide to take them to the temple, the one that apparently held the Hand of Vax. The party encountered more undisclosed weirdness along the way but made it to the temple by mid-day, and were unharmed. They blasted through the temple finding more weirdness and defeating the toughest monsters that they had ever faced.

Gargg, Tia and the regenerating Rah all fell in one fight against an insane lich. So after another quiet side journey back to town, and two Raises, the party spent the night and then returned to the temple.

After a few more big bosses, the party entered the treasure chamber of the temple and fought a Specter, much to K’em’s chagrin. But they had found a fair amount of magical treasure including the Hand of Vax, which was hidden inside a block of cement.
With the Hand extricated from the block, the party returned to the town for another night’s rest. Gargg let his curiosity get the better of him and he touched the Hand, realizing some of its curses. K’em took responsibility for the Hand after that.

The party made for the port in the morning. They caught the same boat back to the mainland and set sail for the three day trip. They were attacked by a bounty hunter along the way but to no permanent damage. They landed and reclaimed their horses, made their way to Kedad without incident.

The party spent the next day pricing out and dividing loot, with some degree of argument. The party seemed much better equipped afterwards, adding a sword of sharpness, a holy sword and a powerful bow to their arsenal. The party started to feel good about themselves.

Martina came to town and put the question to the party, would they leave with her to parts unknown? The question really fell on the religious members of the party as they would likely be leaving their temples behind, but also on Gargg. Gargg felt a loyalty to his family that no other member felt. He had to stay and fight for their well-being. The religious members, on the other hand, decided it would be best to establish Utu or Siduri temples in the new land. All but Gargg decided to go with Martina the next evening.

The next day was filled with celebration and drinking as Maka Buck and Rah Kahn got married. The town of Kedad had never seen such a celebration and the entire town, it seemed, came out to party.

That evening Martina returned, and the party gathered around her, plus one stranger, another friend of Martina, named Sunshine. One elaborate Teleport spell later and the party, minus Gargg, was gone, never again to set foot on Ki.

It's All About Gems and Escaping the Apocalypse

In Malacad the party priced out the items they found and cashed out the gems. They gained quite a bit of cash from these and divided it out among the party members. Several of them then took the opportunity to train to a higher level of ability. Three weeks passed in Malacad as Delal needed the full length of time. Not much information was gained in the meantime. Seems that all of civilization is preparing for war.
On the night before the party was going to head back toward Selangod, they saw a dark stranger in the Inn. Tia sensed no evil in the person but did sense that it was undead. Gargg approached the shabby character and found to his surprise that it was Martina. She looked rough, her features dark, except for her glowing eyes, and her hair and clothing were disheveled.
Martina was sad having apparently lost a fight with something she believed to be a goddess. She expressed that she was losing her faith in Utu, that the Sun God wouldn’t be able to stand against this new god. The coming wars, and the futility of her efforts demoralized her. The image Martina gave of the future was a bleak one, a future without Utu. She just wanted to leave, wanted to avoid the coming horror.
The party heard from Martina that, the goddess in question was the very goddess worshiped in the town of “Singa’s Justice.” They were surprised to hear that this goddess of extreme goodness would wage war on other faiths that fought for the good. It would be a war of iconoclasm, where one goddess would replace all other gods. Martina seemed convinced that this one goddess would emerge victorious at the end of the coming war.
There was talk of escaping the world, leaving the wars behind. Martina spoke of magical artifacts that could help her transfer herself and those accompanying her to a safe place. The Hand and Eye of Vax would give Martina the coordinates and ability to escape. She, herself would go after the Eye.
The party said they would go after the Hand. It was something to do, a mission, and they seemed unclear as to what to do next so, Martina’s suggestion was fortuitous. Martina gave them information on where the Hand might be located, an island in a lake three days ride east of Kedad. There, two rival factions fight for control of the island and the ancient temples located there. The hand is apparently located inside one of the temples.
Martina agreed to teleport the party into Selangod, mainly so that Delal could get her curse removed. While there, the party did substantial shopping and took care of their personal responsibilities. Maka found a ruby for Delal to use for the remove curse, and after a sojourn to the Inanna temple, her curse was removed.
The party looks next to journey East, past Kedad. Will they stay to fight in the coming wars or will they get the hand, and leave everything behind? Big decisions coming up.

Just a Bunch of Wandering Monsters

With the cornfield behind them, the party continued on their journey to Malacad. The bulk of the party traveled at the front of the column, with K’em taking the rear position. Between them traveled the peasants and lesser adventurers. The first priority was to get these non-party members safely into town.
So when the party came upon two, tentacled monstrosities, each having eleven mouths, they silently passed by without engaging them. The large creatures radiated evil but were too engrossed with each other to notice the crowd of humans. It looked like a very tough fight and the party was overly concerned with the fate of the weak.
They continued on and came upon a scene of carnage. Several violently slain gnomes laid before them on the grass. Rah talked with a weed to find out what happened, and found that giant humanoids had fought here. Closer examination of the bodies attracted the attention of enemies that were indeed giants.
The fifteen-foot, lanky giants came up from a depressed area, demanding payment. They stated that the party was passing through their territory and must pay the astronomical amount of four thousand Gold Crowns to them. Certain party members prepared for a fight while the banter continued.
The giants drew huge, great swords and cut brutal wounds into K’em, Rah and Gargg during a long melee. The party used flanking maneuvers and magic to overwhelm these dangerous foes. Threep used his natural hatred for giants to great effect, inflicting huge wounds. Before long the party was able to fell each of the giants, and di so without losing any of their number.
But then the Lizard King Sakatha, who had been freed for the fight, chose to interpret his instructions in such a way that he attacked Delal’s Hippogriff Familiar. The Lizard king stabbed Albert the Familiar with his trident. Gargg reacted by attacking Sakatha much to the chagrin of Rah, who wanted to preserve the asset he saw in Sakatha. K’em was able to body slam the Lizard King before Rah tucked him back into the Iron Skull.
The party rested and did some healing. The damage caused by the giants was heavy, however, and there wasn’t enough time for full healing before the next day came around, and with it, another fight.
A twelve foot tall shambling figure of decayed flesh appeared, looking like a giant zombie. But then is spoke, asking the party simple questions. Scruffy detected no evil in the horned, disgusting creature but that didn’t stop Maka from lying to it. The fetid monster became enraged at the dishonesty and attacked with powerful claws. Gargg feared for his life and the lives of the civilians in their number. He retreated to lead the non-combatants away from the fight.
Threep started as the monster’s first target, receiving a few blows. He too feared for his life as this creatures attacks were mighty. For all of its wasted appearance, it still maintained great strength. It also proved difficult to harm as its tattered flesh resisted attacks and magics. So fearsome was its appearance that Tia, Maka and Spot ran away in terror.
Scruffy found success is several consecutive strikes but progress was slow. Then he failed to resist the monster’s magic and had to be pulled from the fight by Delal, whose magic was useless. Rah brought out the Lizard King, who was then slain. K’em took over for Scruffy and started taking great damage. He sucked down healing potions between strikes. Rah too fed K’em healing potions and spells. In the end it was Rah and a mighty blow from his flail that brought the creature down. With the fight over, the party was able to make it in to Malacad by nightfall.
There was great celebrating in town as the captured gnomes had been returned. They welcomed the party to some free services and accolades. The party had some very powerful magic items identified including a Talisman of Pure Good. It would be a time for training and recovering for the party as they rested in safety.

Out in the Wilds, a Cornfield Appears, Complete with Scarecrow

It was nice t be out of the swamps. The party and the thirty-two other survivors rested in the damp grassland between the swamp and a forest. The large group didn’t much care for the morning rain that came, but at least they weren’t being attacked by monsters.
The group walked a few days East, an effort to skirt the edges of the swamp and end up back in Malacad. They encountered no monsters along the way. Eventually they were able to turn south, back heading toward civilization.
Out of nowhere on their right, a large cornfield appeared. Corn isn’t a common tropical crop but here it was, beautiful, ready for harvesting. There was also a farm-house in the center of the field. It seemed a good place to hold up for a night, that the peasants would appreciate a roof over their heads.
They came upon a path that led through the corn to the farm and took it. The advanced squad found a grisly scene near the house, four dead horses, rotting in the sun. There was also a well of putrid smelling water. No noise could be heard and knocking at the door produced no response. They checked the barn and found it completely empty, not even a pile of hay to be found.
Looking through a window, Tia found that a suffering man sat on the floor in a furniture filled room. Threep kicked the door in but still didn’t get a response from the man. The smell of death permeated the house. Tia quickly searched the two other rooms in the house, finding a body in each of them, one considerably fresher than the other.
Threep threw water in the man’s face, found him desperate for water and food. After stuffing his face, the man, named Richard, was able to answer some questions. He said that his three companions are dead, one was killed by something in the cornfield, another ate some of the corn and died, and the third just recently died of starvation. He talked about how he and his companions came here for a rest only to find that they couldn’t leave. Something in the cornfield also killed the horses. The house seems safe.
Items were found in the house, some of which belonged to Richard, although he didn’t seem to care about them anymore. There was a fancy harpsichord, a sword, and two books, “The Hammer of God” and “Tales of the Scarecrow.” Party members had heard of The Hammer of God, a forbidden spellbook, illegal to own by pain of death. Delal felt no need to read it even though it offered immense magical powers.
As they all rested, K’em read through Tales of the Scarecrow, found a story that seemed very real. It spoke of a scarecrow in a cornfield very much like this one. The scarecrow had the soul of a powerful, evil cleric within it, and it haunted the cornfield with its terrible scythe. It had power over the plants but also independent power of its own. Believing that the scarecrow from the book was the same scarecrow as outside, party members went out to attack it. Turned out they were right.
The scarecrow approached as an animated scarecrow would. Threep and Scruffy attacked it with burning arrows to small effect. When the horror closed the gap between it and the archers, it called down fire from the night sky. Some of the party were resistant to the flame, others were less so. In any case, the farmhouse was now alight. Delal and Gargg led the civilians from the structure toward the back of the house. Tia leaped inside the house and pulled a resistant Richard from the burning building. The treasures left inside the house were lost.
More archery found its mark. The scarecrow approached closer, found K’em coming toward it. The hay-stuffed enemy touched K’em causing a great deal of harm. Threep, Tia, and scruffy dropped their bows and drew their swords, joining K’em in a melee. They were able to get in several quick blows before the scarecrow could cause any more damage. Rah slew the thing with his sling. The party proceeded to put out the fire.
They decided to rest and heal, roughly planning to set out the next day. Gargg set out in the morning, using the planks out the barn to make a wooden path trough the cornfield. The going was slow but the peasants traveled in relative safety as Gargg himself absorbed most of the attacks. Members of the rest of the party ran through the cornfield. It seemed that the tentacles rose and attacked few in number, most of which went against Gargg. The party and most of the civilians escaped the cornfield and went on their way.

Fights, Fights and More Fights, ah Freedom at Last

The party started in Malacad, rested knowing a long journey awaited them. Tia received a dark message from no one less than the monster that so harmed her the day before. The message instructed her to give herself to the monster, a Lamia of great power. They decided to try to find the monster, to kill it so that Delal could dispel her latest curse.
They checked the bog where they had met the monster before but it wasn’t to be found. They pressed on toward Weycomb when the monster in question ambushed them. It used magic to attack the party, round after round, but most of its attacks were resisted.
The party responded with bows a swords but the damage done to the monster was infrequent and often small. Delal used most of her spells in the fight and Gargg, Threep, and Maka attacked it with projectiles, to small effect.
Toward the end of the fight, the monster had drawn its sword, yet it found trouble hitting anything. It was being worn down by the sheer number of attacks being leveled against it. It was about at the point where it would turn invisible and flee again, when Maka attacked.
The backstab Maka gave split the monster from head to talon in the single greatest application of hurt ever given by any party member. Black blood gushed out in the explosion of damage. A satchel of gems and a greatsword were had.
The journey continued without incident until they came upon the ruin that was Weycomb. The giant, armored worms burst up through the ground, knocking Maka and Gargg up and then down to their knees. The worms sought to devour the characters using vicious mandibles.
Being surprised, the party decided not to fool around with bows, but drew their impressive swords and attacked. They did impressive damage against the four worms but found them resilient, the toughest worms they had ever faced.
K’em and Rah received the bulk of the monster’s damage, with the worms missing many attacks against the others. One by one the attacks from the party brought the worms down.
The party decided to head back to the swamp to see if they could borrow Stephen’s boat. He was not to be found and his boat was gone. It looked as though he had moved on from his murky abode. They decided to backtrack and find the boats they left on the other side of the swamp.
During this journey, the party came upon a strange site, a Goth woman sitting in a circle of salt. They found no evil in the woman and answered her entreating gestures. The woman asked to be freed from the circle, some kind of magical barrier. Unbelievably, the woman claimed to be a goddess named Circe. She had apparently been trapped there by another wizard, someone named Shakti. She was asking him to help in the fight against the coming Armageddon, one that she noted had nothing to do with the plants. But the wizard trapped her in the circle instead. Threep decided that, as Circe wasn’t evil, and that she offered rewards, to free her from the circle. Once freed, Circe announced her intention to leave, and then teleported away. Interesting but fruitless.
The party continued on and eventually found their boats, in need of repair. Spending the day to do so, they then entered the swamp. The journey was again harrowing and there was no sleep to be had, but Threep’s directions were true. They found the temple and approached their hideout to receive their much needed rest. The attack came without warning but largely without success. It seems that the Lizard King’s prisoners had escaped without the party’s help, and had set up a meager defense. They were quickly talked out of future violence. The former prisoners begged for help, as they wouldn’t be able to escape the swamp on their own.
The party and the former prisoners set about building extra boats by the astute example of K’em. Rah fed the prisoners with blessings from his god, as food left behind was running thin. Four of the thirty-plus prisoners actually had levels as fighters and were the leaders of the masses. There were ten Gnomes and two Elves in the mix.
The days passed uneventfully as the workers built the boats. There was still substantial concern that the former prisoners wouldn’t survive the flight through the swamp. The party turned to possible sources of information, to find anything that would help. Rah talked to the plants, but the plants would only make a deal in the presence of their evil goddess. Rah then turned to the Serpent King and found that the swampy area behind the mountain was thinner, could be traversed in a days’ time. That seemed to be their best option, even though being out in the wild-lands far from the nearest city was daunting.
The party set out dragging behind them four boats filled with people. Rah kept the Lizard King in the front to fight anything that got in the way. The defenses they had built into the boats worked well but not perfectly, four civilians were lost to the ravenous plants. Then the lead boat encountered a huge plant monster. This threatened to destroy everything, however the Lizard King and the use of fire had shockingly large effect on the creature. With the monster defeated, the party made it through to an open grassland on the other side of the swamp. About half of the former prisoners were injured but they had escaped the swamp. What would lie ahead of them, as they returned to civilization?

Resting, Walking, Bush-wacking, and Cursed Curses

The party rested in Singa’s Justice among the hustle and bustle. Seems that something big was soon to happen in town, as shop-fronts and religious buildings were all getting a fresh face. Nothing less than gold was being used to decorate the walls and posts down the main street. It turns out that the goddess Singa is arriving, physically, in town within the month.
Party members asked about Singa and received religious answers about Singa wiping out evil and toppling false temples. These questions were secondary to the party’s need for rest, item identification, and financial transactions. All of this took no little time.
The party decided to head in the direction of Selangod, setting out for the Gnomish city of Malacad. Along the way the party met a huge, viney, tree-monster. They killed it fairly quickly, finding it easy enough to damage.
A day later an unpleasant discovery was had. Delal found to her chagrin that she had been cursed again. Her thinking process had blurred slightly and the effect didn’t pass. She learned that Sakatha’s spellbook, while not protected by any wards, was nonetheless cursed. Seems that if you are not Sakatha, and you use the spellbook, then you lose mental ability, weekly until you die. Delal now had two cursed items that she could not part with.
After this discovery, and as the party approached Malacad, they heard the sounds of a woman in distress. Indeed it seemed the woman was stuck in a bog. The party approached and tried to help the woman, before finding that this was no woman. The lizard-bodied half-woman emerged and attacked the party with spells and weird, toothy tentacles. She turn out to be quite tough too, standing up to many attacks. Most terrible, perhaps, was that Tia, the Paladin, lost her connection to the god, a damage somehow inflicted by the beast.
The party pulled into town having failed to kill the monster. They found that the Gnomes were also busy, planning the defense of Malacad in case any plants decided to come their way. Tia found her deficiency to be permanent and so tried to find a magical means of restoring her connection to the god. At the same time, Delal learned what was required to lift her curse, a strange combination of divine action and culinary disgustingness.
Tia, for her part, learned that the Lizard King apparently had a large collection of slaves. Returning to the swamp temple may be required, if not to free the slaves then for a promised bauble that may return her connection to the god.

Vampires, Amber, Old Friends and New Faces, oh and Swamps

Hanging out in the Statue room of the Serpent King’s abode, the party decided to move on, but not before Delal had the dead woman freed, to be brought along. Maka stored the body in the bag, for now. They moved on to the throne room and found it’s terribly evil appearance less offensive, for the distinct lack of enemies. Rah produced the Serpent King to answer the question, “Where is your treasure?” After a word game that wasn’t a word game at all, the party made there way back to the treasure chamber. Maka dumped the body to spring a trap, much to Delal’s dismay.
Maka saw the glittering lights of treasure and went in to investigate. She encountered a snake with a hand for a head, giving it enough attention that she failed to evade the vampiric Lizard Queen who’s bite chilled the thief’s blood. A melee ensued, sans Maka. Rah used the Lizard King to small effect, harming the party substantially more than the vampire, at least the snaky hand thing died. The queen once again escaped the fight. Delal fetched the woman’s body from the pit.
So then there was treasure. There were mounds of coin and magic items, a spellbook, and two large blocks of amber. These last two items each stood about seven feet tall three feet wide. They were probably worth thousands of gold each, except for the fact that inside of each, a humanoid figure stood frozen. Some party members started chipping away at the amber, to attempt to free the heads of the frozen people first. Others appraised the magic items and stayed wary of the vampire hidden somewhere.
Eventually Delal decided to use the two Stone to Flesh scrolls that they had conveniently found earlier. This freed both people captured in the amber, the mysterious Witch, Martina and a female Paladin of Utu. Both of these people were essentially suspended in time for months, happy to be freed but also quite disoriented. Martina claimed to be exhausted. Both of these people joined the party, at least for the nonce.
They traveled up to the river-side in the subterranean cavern. Martina pointed out that the river wasn’t actually there, but was some kind of an illusion. She instructed the party on where not to cross so as to avoid the acid pits. Then they came upon the battle scene where Martina was apparently captured. She found the skeletal remains of her Bullette Familiar, Stanly. She committed to Find another.
Prior to leaving the Temple, Martina offered the party a gift for releasing her, she would grant them a single Wish. The consternation and arguing began. K’em and Martina exchanged words while Maka, Threep, Gargg, and the rest explored wildly different possibilities for the Wish. Boredom set in for some and the juggling of old heads took place between fighters.
Martina suddenly felt better, although she also became impatient with the party’s squabbling. They decided to Wish that certain peoples that wanted them dead, (The Inquisition, Duke Haverstaff, and any assassins sent by the above peoples) would forget about them. The party found itself surprised to agree, and on one of Gargg’s ideas no less. With the Wish granted, Martina left the party.
It was night-time and so the party went to their cave to rest. The next morning the party found that the jungle swamp had become animated. Discussing it with the Lizard King, uncovered that all this time the Lizard King had exerted some kind of power over the jungle, keeping it passive and quite safe. It could be restored to peacefulness if the Lizard King was released, something the party was loath to do. So they risked entering the very active swamp under the direction of the infallible Threep.
The party was besieged during their entire journey. Jackfruit and Durian bombs pelted them, cactus needles sprayed them, thick vines and branches swiped at them. All of the party members took regular damage and couldn’t rest. Only the wise use of the Regeneration Ring saved them. After three days of being flayed in the swamp, Threep’s masterful direction led them right back where they started from. Indeed, the party had gone in a circle. It wasn’t all Threep’s fault, however, as the landmarks had all changed with the activation of the jungle.
The party set out again after taking a long rest break. During which, Delal identified some of the magic items and found that the magic ring was a Ring of Three Wishes, with one Wish left over. Exciting times. More discussion broke out as to how to use the Wish. Delal kept the ring for safe keeping.
Threep did better this time out. The party traversed the pugnacious swamp for five days before reaching the far shore and safety. They were desperate for rest, their physical reflexes and mental acumen were long exhausted. Still, a large monster came to bang on them. The two-headed, two-clubed giant seemed very sore at the party and managed to beat on them, but only for a short while. The party still had enough strength to slay the monster.
The trip to Singa’s Justice was undisturbed after that. The party reached the front gates, looking forward to several days of rest.

Capture the King, Avoid Fangs, and Kill Innocents

With training done, the party moved on from Malacad. They had re-supplied and moved out, heading back to the Temple of the Lizard King with a largely uneventful journey. They ran into their old friend Stephen and asked to borrow his boat, but with conflicting stories. Stephen lent out his boat for a small cost and the party was off, traversing the swamp again. The denizens of the swamp remained at a distance.
The party plumbed the depths of the dungeon to its lowest known level. They noticed that the door to the temple closed as they approached. They prepared for a fight, with Delal summoning a monster to help.
Then the doors burst open and a torrent of fire smashed into the party. Someone had hit them with a fireball. The damage proved more an irritant than a hindrance. The caustic smell coming from the temple wasn’t a hindrance either, as the party swept in to attack a collection of priests and a lizard-man wearing a crown.
The melee started with the summoned help being struck down by an enemy fighter that had been eluding the party up to then. A buffed and re-buffed K’em and Threep engaged the priests. Scruffy planned to but was Held by magic. Gargg went back and forth, fighting but turning back to rescue friends. Maka snuck up to deliver backstabs. Delal contented to fire off Magic Missiles from the back.
It was Rah that claimed the lion’s share of the victory. He opened the Iron Skull of Gul’Dan and successfully captured the Lizard King. That Rah would later be knocked unconscious in the fight is of less importance. With the main antagonist removed, cleanup of the remaining clerics proved easy. The party now had a powerful, disposable wizard at their command, at least Rah did.
With daylight remaining, the party pressed on, finding little treasure from the big fight. The Lizard King shared some information, at Rah’s insistence, and it looked like most of the fighting was behind them. They entered a chamber containing five coffins. Scruffy detected evil in the room and set about checking the coffins for the source of the evil. The centermost coffin contained a Lizard-woman, an apparently undead lizard-woman, who leaped up to attack the paladin. A melee ensued as Scruffy desperately sought to fend of the monster’s fangs. After a few rounds the vampire-lizard vanished in a puff of smoke. Would she re-emerge?
Undaunted the party pressed on further. Came upon another chamber filled with life-like statues. Approaching, they heard the sound of a snake’s rattle. Was there a medusa lying in wait? Delal decided to send in her summoned monsters to slay whatever was in the room. The two pig-men ran in and did the deed. Closer examination found that the enemy medusa was in fact an innocent, shackled peasant woman – now quite dead. The rattling turned out to come from a rattlesnake that lived in a small pit in the corner of the room. No evil or real threat was ever present. The party did find two scrolls of Stone to Flesh. Much frowning was had at the devilish trickery that was left in their path.

No Longer Dead, but Still Worth an Argument

Gargg was dead, and the party had to do something about it. Having bought scrolls that would aid them in this endeavor, they set out from Singa’s Justice. Several days of masterful path-finding by Threep later, they came upon the now familiar temple of the Lizard King. They descended to its lower level and returned to the structure that they hoped contained the corpse of Gargg.
Delal read the difficult Transmute spell at the stone blockage located in the main hallway. It turned to mud, partially filling the deep pit also located in the hallway. They found Gargg’s body among the bodies of three large fire-dogs, an ape and a tall lizard-man. All of the bodies had been through a harsh carnage of a fight. Gargg had apparently bled-out. Maka conjectured that perhaps these foes stepped out of the mosaic on the wall, as happened in the dining room. But with Gargg’s body in tow, they set off back toward Singa’s Justice.
On the way they fought a large, toothy dinosaur that had apparently taken poison damage. It was in a rage, crashing through the jungle. It attacked the party and bit deep into Rah. Attacks kept coming and the monster fell before it could do much more damage. The trek continued.
They reached Singa’s Justice a few nights later and deposited Gargg to be Raised. The next morning the party discovered that a merchant was in town, buying and selling magic items. Her name was Darla and she was a two-headed woman. The party inquired about many items that they wanted from her.
They also found out that there was a new threat coming to distant Selangod. It seems that a great Plant army has risen, planned to march on the Capitol City. Details at this point are scarce.
With a few items bought, and a healed up Gargg, the party moved on, heading around to the Gnome city of Malacad. On the way, Gargg got into an argument with Rah. Rah had withheld healing. He denied Gargg’s assertion that he was Gargg’s father, and wanted Gargg to acknowledge the fact. Gargg also got into an argument with K’em, as Gargg didn’t appreciate the way K’em scolded him about moving too fast. It might have gotten uglier if Maka and Threep did not come in on Gargg’s side.
Another strange thing occurred when Delal cast her new Find Familiar spell. It wasn’t an owl or a cat that came to her side, but a strange, winged beast looking part horse and part eagle. Delal thanked “Al” for this boon of a familiar.
The party continued on and late one night, were attacked by large owl-bears. Once again, it was Rah that received the brunt of the damage. With a well-timed back-stab from Maka and a huge smash from Gargg, the creatures were defeated. Rah healed himself.
They pulled into Malacad to train in the city that was bustling with activity. Everyone trained except K’em, who had recently suffered the touch of a wight, and Scruffy who just couldn’t afford it. What would they all do next? Return to an ugly situation in Selangod, or return to finally deal with the Lizard King?

Death and Almost Death, Making Good Drama

The party finished their rest with Delal memorizing the all-important Knock spell. Maka and K’em argued briefly about falling asleep during Watch. But then they all descended once again to the lower reaches of the Lizard-temple.
Delal’s Knock spell worked on the large bronze doors at the front of the structure. Looking inside, passages heading left and right as well as a short passage heading straight ahead. Gargg investigated the right-most door and promptly sprung a trap.
He fell into a twenty-foot pit and onto a bed of spikes. Threep moved up to lower a rope and was promptly caught under a second trap, as a ten-foot block of stone fell on him. Most of the life was crushed out of him as he crept back to the party. Gargg, however had his return path perfectly blocked by the fallen stone. The party heard a bellowing voice say, “Welcome Great King to your hunt!” Shortly afterward the party heard the sounds of fighting from Gargg’s location. After several minutes, all sounds of combat ceased.
The party couldn’t follow Gargg and so considered the other paths. The left passage looked fraught with traps. The forward passage was also trapped but Maka managed to spring the trap without damage. Through the door the party saw a huge banquet of food set out for them. Maka and K’em were the first ones brave enough to step into the room. After a brief search they saw the lizard-man mosaics step forward from the walls, becoming life-like figures. They spoke to the party, welcoming the King’s guests to the King’s feast. Rah and Threep eventually entered the room – the rest being too gun-shy to enter. The lizard-men were all too nice, serving wine and refilling empty plates of food. They were gracious servants to the party members, catering to their food desires. A glance under the table revealed a trap door to yet another lower level.
The lizard-men servants did nothing to prevent the party from descending through the trap door in the floor, and the stairs down entered another chamber that wasn’t the suspected wine-cellar. Opening a pair of doors revealed a large chamber. Inside, priests of the evil cult were leading a worship service for a dozen lizard-men.
The fight started with Scruffy engaging the first lizard-man in his path. Other fighters came in to bring the fight to the clerics. Rah moved in to cast Silence on the alter in the back of the room, to silence the spell-casters, who quickly realized that they could hear nothing.
The party’s fighters contented themselves to kill lizard-men, except Threep who went in to defend the unfortunate Rah. Rah had been surrounded by the clerics, and Held in place. Threep too was Held and both he and Rah were effectively slain by the clerics. Things looked dire for the shrinking party, now down two fighters and a cleric.
It fell to Delal’s magic, Maka’s guile, and K’em’s brawn to save the day, as Scruffy too was held. It would take the timely arrival of Delal’s summoned monsters to give the party a respite. By sure luck, mighty bugbears appeared and succeeded in delivering many blows to the lizard-folk, and then the head-cleric himself, who couldn’t go through Healing spells fast enough.
This cleric saw the changing tide as his fellow clerics fell. He escaped out a side entrance, effectively ending any threat to the party. The party collected their comrades and left so that Rah, at least, could be Raised.
They returned to Singa’s Justice, to rest and recoup their fallen and diminished comrades. Divinations performed here also told the party that Gargg had died, wherever he was. They collected means by which to gain Gargg’s body and headed out, once again trusting Threeps sense of direction.


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