Lombar Pomeranian the high-elven paladin, Doolie the gnomish crusader, Ashari the dæmonic druid and Arouet the half-elven hunter, wandered about a fountain midst the catacombs. Arouet’s animal companion (a semi-humanoid wolf-woman: Kay Dee) seemed to be getting on with Lombar, in the reflection of a timeless amber pond. The two of them noticed an inscription chiselled about the fountains ring: “Shatter the bonds until the Shardillus returns…”
Doolie explained some more of thier quest, how they must destroy the heart to defeat the dragon, in pieces. The enemy dæmon-lord of the underworld wants to ressurrect the stone-dragon gargoyles, through its heart: the source of the dæmon-lords power.
Arouet cast Detect Snares and Pits, nothing. Lombar Detects Evil, lighting up Ashari, showing his true evil nature.
The posse prized open more sarcophagi: Arouet refused some Bracers of Armour+8, saying that a mage or armour restricted character would be better off wearing them. Our team also found a magical amulet. It bore no inscription, but soon enough the dæmon druid Ashari identified it as having the following effects: Spell Res’ 20, absorb energy drain, negate death effects and negative energy resistance. (This Amulet of the Planes had only a dozen uses before it crumbles to dust). Arouet found a tome on leadership and influence, offering it to Lombar or Doolie, what with rangers being solitary people, without need of priests, armies or retainers: beyond that of his animal companion Kay Dee, who, by this time was getting on famously with the paladin Pomeranian. Lombar took the tome from Arouet.
Another door bust open, another dusty-room and sarcophagus, inside Arouet found 3,600 gold pieces, Lombar too found gold. They gave it to the characters carrying the Bags of Holding.
The final room, wherein the dæmon-lord was said to dwell had to be investigated. Our posse was rightfully cautious. Ashari transformed himself into a spider and spun his way through the key-hole. Once on the far side of the door, he tried to use Stone Shape on the granite door, with no noticable effect. Instead he summoned a pair of earth elementals, commanding one to smash the door to pieces. In doing so, one of the earth elementals did himself some serious damage busting the door open.
Our crew moved in… Standing before them was a sculpture of an eight-foot long dragon, near a key nestled on a pedestal, beyond some ascending stairs. Ashrai ordered the undamaged elemental forward. A loud bang happened and the summoned earth entity was turned to rubble somehow, perhaps by a trap.
Arouet tried to knock the key from its niche using an arrow from his bow. Though his fletch flew true, it did little to dislodge the key from the pedestal. Doolie buffed up with spell-defence, while the remaining posse members moved forward, taking the stairs towards the grey, lifeless gargoyle of a dragon.
A gargoyle’s green eye opened lazily as Lombar and Ashari ascended the stairs, the once petrified black dragon awoke from its slumber. As the grey stone sculpture began animating to life, Arouet felt a tinge of hatred, not just at the jealousy of Lombars new found friendship of his animal companion, but at dark lacertians (one of my species enemies is black dragons).
The dark dragon gargoyle bit ferociously at Lombar, taking a chunk out of the knight. Its black tail swung about violently, knocking Ashari for six. Dropping his bow and calling Kay Dee, Arouet charged up the stairs and struck the stone-dragon, biting it with his axe, as Kay Dee bit with her lycanthropic jaws, damaging the once petrified dragon-kin.
A wild and ferocious battle whirled all about them, Arouet ducked a tail swipe adroitly. Doolie tried to use a Stone Shape scroll, but it was to no avail (?), Arouet could only assume that the magic that bound this fantastic monster was too strong for our gnomish clerics attempts at lateral thinking. (I personally thought that Stone Shape was a good call, good role-play. It was worth a try at least).
Arouet swung six times with his magical hand axes, boom! He wounded the gargoyle some more, carving him up like Sunday rotisary, wounding what he thought was a black dragon. Ashrai cast Barkskin on himself [Classic spell]. In a few more rounds the dangerous dragon retreated to the last chamber, wounded. Our team gave chase.
After claiming the key and avoiding the traps, the posse ventured forwards. Arouet scouted ahead, arriving at a curved doorway. He faded out for a second, wandering off depressed at having his childhood animal companion wandering off friendly like with Lombar – the cuckold, sans honour, without scruples. Elves make not good paladins, so fickle is their nature. Lombar may pretend to be good, but he is without honour, chatting up the lupine lycanthrope woman, despite her apparent allegiance to Arouet…
After Arouet recovered his senses, though still seething with jealousy, he happened upon a tall cavern; at the upper eschalons of which was a gigantic beating heart, suspended from the cavernous ceiling on tubes and gory tendons. Spider Climbs and spider shape-shifts from Doolie and Ashari respectively meant the two were at the caverns roof already. After a couple of tries, they managed to wedge a dagger into the rock, and suspend a rope to dangle down to where the others were, who began climbing up.
They entered the giant heart, and had to jump through ventricles at opportune times to proceed, sliding down large artery tunnels, and finally confronted the dark dragon…
The big-boss bad-ass end-encounter Dominated Lombar, who struck for Doolie. Arouet was just waiting for an excuse to clobber the ‘good’ sir knight, and boom! Five out of six attacks struck him for a phat total of fifty-five points of damage. (The benevolent D.M. decided to forego the lethal damage rule of over 50 – shame). Doolie cast Hold Person on Lombar, to try and stop him from attacking his fellow posse crew members. Kay Dee and Ashrai attacked the dragon, biting and casting an ice spell. Arouet again, oh, he’s prone, boom! Another slap on the naughty knight, who, was then strapped up by Arouet in a set of studded leathers with a strap-on orange in his mouth. He was lucky the half-elf didn’t get a pair of pliers and a burning hands spell to get “mediæval” on his ass!
As the dragon was in the process of being defeated by our posses future flurry of attacks, a swarm of flying creatures appeared. All about them the heart began to disintegrate. The dragon hit Lombar with a Greater Curse reducing his INT to 1! (We cannot cure him, currently the knight is unable to even speak, just drool). The only other player to fail their save against the curse was myself, Arouet (as a result of the effects of the hex) now thinks that Kay Dee is secretly plotting against him, so is now wary, distant to his animal companion.
Some of the characters flew down, some climbed, Lombar cut his way through, still drooling, Arouet jumped for the rope, and took some slight rope burn, in sliding down the hemp flax cord.
After leaving the complex, the crew found themselves squinting at the daylight. Losing each other in a sea of sand dunes, they began to wander about alone, each of them, in the featureless sand-stone desert, dotted only with dust and rocks. However, in amidst this heat-wave struck sunny desert, was a small city. Bustling with activity, the posse manage to find one another, meet up, and discuss getting Lombar to somewhere we can heal him of his stupidity.
Here endeth the session.