At the Dwimmermount table, Ferdick the Goon returned in his role as party leader / caller, accompanied by the mighty-thewed Brunhilda (NPC). Mai the swordswoman, Woody the Tree, Jack and his dog Mark, and Kermit (a fighter whom everyone suspects of having more than a smidge of goblin blood in him) rounded out the party.
Loomis the Wizard had contracted the explorers to find their way down to level three and awaken the "perpetually moving lightning-speaking gear-golems" along with the "watchful arcane eye-spirits" ... those being only very rough translations of course ... so that Loomis might properly employ the powers of "click-click," the arcane key sold to him by the party the week prior, to access Dwimmermount's greater secrets.
Motivated by the prospects of a quest, the prior session the crew located steps leading down to level three, though it brought them into the clutches of a terrible rage-wight which defeated Frosty the Snow Golem (scattering his little button eyes) and slew Solum the blue dragon hatchling as their comrades escaped.
Hearing of their setback, Loomis affirmed that no mortal weapons would prevail against this undead guardian, and that (for a substantial reduction to their retainer) he could provide them with two daggers of "moon-forged silver."
Equipped with these and two more flasks of precious alchemist's fire (standard lantern oil isn't the explosive kill-all in this campaign that it is in Moldvay Basic), the party made its way swiftly back to the chamber where they had last encountered the wight.
Finding that hall empty, they had to choose between exploring beyond a western door (which stood ajar) or turning east down the tunnel that led to level three. Ferdick opted to avoid potentially leaving the hate-filled undead behind the group and, with Kermit likewise equipped at his side, he brandished his silver dagger and heaved the door aside. The dreadful wight emerged slowly from behind a tapestry, eyes blazing.
|(c) Robert Berk|
While Ferdick and Kermit slashed away at the first undead, Solum unleashed his breath weapon--a blast of withering negative energy--upon the rear of the column. Jack tried to batter the Solumn-thing away with a torch while the other party members stood by and gaped in horror, allowing it time to recharge and blast away a second time. Everyone failed their saving throws and even as the first wight crumbled at the front of the line, Woody, Mai, Jack and his dog all fell lifeless.
With the party suddenly reduced to three fighters (only two of whom had any hope of inflicting damage), Ferdick and Kermit had to make a quick decision--engage the Solum-thing or flee?
They chose to fight on, and even as the former-dragon began to charge up for another burst of negative energy (permanent HP drain), the pair struck--ending the horror once and for all!
However, while catching their breaths, and looting some choice bits from fallen teammates, Ferdick noticed a bitter, black frost beginning to form on Woody's bark-hide ... Mark's dead jaw clenched, cooling lips peeling back from his teeth!
Four more wights prepared to rise right before them.
Even as Ferdick applied his alchemist's fire to his former friends, I had the players of the undead characters roll for hit points. Fortunately for Ferdick and Kermit, the hit point rolls were abysmal and only one of the neophyte wights emerged from the blaze. This one, blackened and smoking, was polished off before it could do the surviving adventurers any harm.
So ... the way to level three was now clear ... mostly ... there was still that living statue at the top of the stairs to deal with, but that could wait until after spring break.