Game 1: Evil Harlequin, Witch, and Spooky Children

Some went to do good, others went just to hit things.  Also, cuz bards be barding.

As you can see I'm missing two piece of information: I don't remember Maven's name and I don't remember if Robert's character fit our all-chaos time (Otherwise we're 2 Chaotic Goods and 2 Chaotic Neutrals, totally unplanned).

Word came down that a village in our protectorate has been attacked.  Something flying, described by some as "30ft long, serpentine in shape, with possible legs tucked up underneath it and no wings, was flying down and breathing cold from its belly and freezing/shattering houses".  It was not eating people as one might expect of a predator.  The description was dubious so we knew to expect something unusual, we just didn't know HOW unusual.

We met the refugees who were headed back to our town.  Seems also some children had recently gone missing as well.  And this was all preceded by a strange GRAY snow which doesn't seem toxic.

We arrived at the town and found it full of icy carnage, but no activity.  However, have two scent trackers in the group we sniffed around and Maven picked up an odor of food cooking and we followed it to a creepy little house with creepy little trees and a plume of smoke coming from the chimney.  We had to make regular saving throws (2 of them... One vs Fortitude and one vs Willpower) or be nauseous/creeped-out respectively.

We arrived at the building and Gilda doesn't mince words, deciding that where there's creepiness there's evil, and a chance to break down a door.  She goes to Bear form and knocks down the door.  Inside is a scene out of a Grimm's Fairy tale.  The original ones, not the sanitized Disney ones.

An old woman is seated at the head of a table and along each side of the table are arrayed a series of children.  On the table itself is a naked, injured child.  The attentive children are slicing off pieces of the child on the table and feeding them to the old woman.  Meanwhile, behind her stands a dark harlequin figure with a gleeful smile and laugh.

Gilda roars to terrify them, but all it really does is give them minuses to hits and saves.  So a horde of kids surrounds here and ineffectively attacks.  But the Jester comes at her with a scepter.  Making saves vs the scepter=good.

Maven goes to the window and breaks it in to attack from behind and with reach (being a shapeshifter).  The beholder disintegrates part of the wall in order to allow more access.  Shwanda the bard sings us up.  Aishe dervishes through the group and attacks.  The old hag goes down first; she takes enough damage to start hiding under the table but that's not enough cover as she gets taken out.  Anti-magic and good old fashioned smacking/magic missiles take out the Jester.

But the kids don't snap out of it.  They are out of willpower and thus are instructable.

We line them up, burn down the house, and head back to the traveling pilgrims.  On the way, we are assailed by encounter #2...

The 30ft long beast turns out to be... a flying fatman in a sleigh led by a team of eight rabid deer and accompanied by strange little corrupt fae.  They set down on the road and attack us.  Shwanda and the kids head to the bushes (because Robert abandoned game).

Since everything flew, the main tactic involved the Beholder bringing down the enemy using anti-magic shell.  The frontline for this is mostly Evil Santa vs. Maven, with most elves and reindeer coming after Gilda who is in close, while Aishe dances through and cuts away at foes.  Ashen and his pet are the magical support for this fight, neutralizing their magic and then shifting the anti-magic in order to single out individuals.  Until it was neutralized by said shell, Santa had silver cords that led to each reindeer which made it so that each time you hit him, his damage was dispersed to the deer instead.  They were his hitpoint battery.

Santa gets trapped in a force cage and those with ranged attacks continue to pick on him until he drops.  Fortuantely, no regen.

Many PCs escape with a few hitpoints left, a few are uninjured, and Gilda lost enough HPs to kill several people, but she's fine.

We reunited children and parents, but the gray snow continues.

Game 2:  Wraiths and Undead Ooze

Your all-star cast for this game:

Aishe - Dancin' Machine (Alan)   ¤   Maven - WolfOgremagiBearGiantPuppyMonkeyBaby (Mark)   ¤   Ashen - Disintegrator (Joe)   ¤   Dr Elmore of the far-too-long name - Tiny Tank (Paul)   ¤   Jenna - Mini Dervish (Michelle)   ¤   Eisenthorn - Useful Character (Brandon)   ¤   Gilda - Ghost Toucher (Darren)

So Paul rejoins, Michelle rejoins, and filling the Terry "Vernal" memorial cleric spot is Brandon!  Healing and turning will turn out to be VERY useful.

Having just rejoined the kids from scary-town to their parents, we make a brief return to the keep.  There we are quickly informed of two things, and since Ashen is not present yet it is realized that Gilda is in charge... which is fine because when you put a hammer in charge every problem looks like a nail.  But the two things are that the local village of neanderthals with whom we have a truce has been attacked by some sort of shade/wraith creature and it turned some of them into similar creatures.

The other thing I can't remember off the top of my head because this seemed to be the more pressing issue so we tackled it.  I think it had to do with Miners and some sort of rust-monster-like creature that was eating our newly found veins of Adamantine.

Oh, and we also tried to research the Grey Snow some more and Eisenthorne communed with his goddess to find out where to go to next.  There was some thinking that if a volcano had popped the ash might be mixed up in the snow.  And one more thing happens before we head out to pound ghosts:  A comet or something flies over and there's a brief flash of light.

So anyway... We go to neanderthal town and find that the locals have been transformed into ghosties of some sort.  Ashen lays down the fireballs to take some out, there's some stabbing/clawing/javelining of the others and they are wiped out fairly quickly. 

Where the original wraiths had come from we investigate the hillside and are quickly set upon my three big-ass wraiths.  (Sorry, I can't use phrase "Dire Wraiths" because I have flashbacks to the Rom Spaceknight comic book's enemies, the shapeshifting Dire Wraiths).  We manage to dispatch one (I believe it was "turned" to dust by Eisenthorne's turning?), but the other two flee into the hillside.  The mine entrance we've found here gets cleared some by Ashen's beholder and his disintegration beam.

Inside we find a rough cavern that empties into a somewhat diamond-shaped chamber with a square 5' box at its center.  Before we can investigate it, an undead ooze descends from the ceiling and we do the combat thing.

Among the man problems with oozes, such as the fact that they seems to disintegrate weapons on contact, they also have an enormous reach making it tough to maneuver the chamber when you don't have a good tumble roll.  So the dervishes (Dervi?) get around fine, the rest of us have to do a lot of 5-foot shifting to avoid attacks of opportunity and spellcasters/healers have to be cautious.  What's more--The Two wraiths return! 

Maven quickly diagnoses that the ooze can be harmed by stone weapons without them dissolving, and quickly goes through a number of shapes in order to hurt the creature and to break free of its wrestling grasp.  Ashen locks up one of the wraiths in a fore cage, thus cutting down on enemies for the duration of the fight.  Gilda finally can't stand standing around doing nothing and grabs the lid massive lid of the stone box and uses it as a weapon, smacking the ooze for damage.  Problem is that the box is trapped!  Darts come flying out.  Everyone in range takes D4 darts.  Some of us avoid it but some don't.  Hill-Giant-Form-Maven cuts the ooze in two when we finally cross the HP threshold for splitting it, and when we're done the last wraith has fled.

We spend some time investigating.  The pile of items in the box are enchanted tools.  They will come in handy shortly, because blocking our progress into the dungeon is a statue behind a wall of force.  An anti-magic from the beholder unleashes it.  After some failed attempts to bait it out into the open to fight, we just go in and smack it around.  It has a very high Damage Resistance, but those who grabbed either the Chisels or the Hammers are able to hack away at it.  So can those with disintegration beams, as the beholder turns it to dust.

Not far beyond that are some large zombies, who are far less of a problem than anything else has been, even though when they are pulped they turn into a melange of centipedes and rot which require a saving throw.

This is where we stopped, having not gotten very far into the dungeon.  So far not a single enemy can be hurt by sneak attack and plenty have the 50/50 miss chance inherent in non-corporeal foes.  But we're hanging in there.

Game 3:  Ice Dwarves, Reptile Monkeys, Massive Stag, Lizard Ape, Insect Octopus, and another Ooze

Aishe (To start) then Zuka - Alan Dr Elmore and sidekick Peter – Paul Maven, then another (Magnus? I think…), then Maven again – Mark Gilda – Darren

We picked up from where we were in a cavern having dispatched two wraiths, a statue, an ooze and some zombies.  Turns out the door at the top of the stairs would be the tougher opponent.

First up, there’s a face carved into the ceiling which does a dispel on random magic items/effects as you step under it.  And there are runes on the doors that we can’t seem to translate.  Elmore spends a lot of time with a Staff of Lordly Might (Not that one, a steel one) trying to force the door.  After discovering an illusionary patch of floor with a spike pit below it, we do our best to work around it.  As we’re about to team up on the door, no one has touched it yet.  Expecting a reflex-based trap of some sort, Aishe touches the door and ZAP.  A failed fortitude save later, she’s toast.  No pulse!  We take her back to town and have her resurrected.  Costs her some money and a whole level.

We head off to the mines afterward with a restocked team (Zuka – a cleric with some solid healing powers in for Aishe, and Magnus… whose name I’ll fix if it turns out to be something else, in for Maven).  We go after the creature that is rumored to be eating metal weapons.  We find it by falling into the hole its in.  It tries to ruin/dissolve Elmore’s fancy staff.  Zuka puts up a blade barrier that causes it no end of hurt.  But Magnus takes control if it, making it his bitch for the next 11 days with his powers, whereupon he’ll renew the effect.  He has captured us a creature that loves to eat rock and minerals and precious stones.  He will use it to great effect in our mine, so Maven comes back into the game to fill his space.

While there, we get word that we are requested in the capital.  When we gather there, we find out that some others have used “True Seeing” to look at the world and found that our world is out of phase, kind of overlapping others.  It’s all a bit weird, but it is the likely cause of several odd incursions reported all around the countryside.  We are enlisted to travel to a distant place in the mountains to fix whatever it is that is causing this weirdness.  But first, there are lots of smaller encounters all over the countryside that others can’t handle and we must clear those levels before we head off to the boss level.  These are the encounters and the order we had them in:

Its going well but there are two more enemies and they both sound horrible.  Having fought an ooze before we aren’t looking forward to it.  The other is some kind of Octopi-Insect hybrid that is likely the toughest of the bunch, but we take him next because an Ooze would probably cost us weapons we’d need against it.  So we head after the Walktopi.

It is believed that the Neanderthals on the area were once a more advanced race that have degenerated.  It is possible the place we started out this game (the door with the runes that killed Aishe) was theirs.  So we go talk to tribes of primitives until they give us a couple scrolls to read at the doors.  It’s likely the doors hold another primitive gate, like the one that way up in the mountains has likely ruptured causing the weirdness we are experiencing. 


Game 4:  Wraith Redux, Scorpion Dogs and Stone Statue

Ashen - (Joe), Maven - (Mark), Zuka - (Alan), Elmore & Peter - (Paul), Gilda - (Darren)

Lord Ordin and the rest of the Council of Elrond would like us to undertake one of two options:  Go stop the big-bad main thing that is wrong with the world, or hang out and beat up countless less creatures while someone else goes out and fixes the broken dimensional gate/throws the ring in mt doom.

There are essentially 4 ways they can come up with to stop the dimensional problem if it really is a broken gate.  Two of them are permanent and two can maybe be undone later.  Most of them involve getting things we don't have.  And now, marvel and squirm as I attempt to recall these methods.

One involves casting a series of spells and then it's only 50/50 to work successfully, unless we also get the "Howling Eye" which is some sort of artifact/relic of the local neanderthals.  They don't know specifically where it is.  They handicap success at 80% with that.

Another involves using a specific Rod and touching it to the gate.  That rod, however, is in the possession of a High Priestess of an Arch-Fiend in the frozen city of Icerazer (Not to be confused with "FrostRazor", a sword we had in another game).  Doing this would be the hardest but it's a virtual lock for success AND we get rid of a different local threat in the process.

The two less permanent methods exist that involve combinations of spells and/or magical items.

We remember of course that last game we were given two scrolls by the local neanderthals that should help us translate those doors.  So thinking the "eye" might be in there and also that the spot is somewhat dangerous, we decide to go translate those doors before we do anything further.

The doors do indeed translate but they are confusing as hell.  Also, the two sigils on the doors are translated by Ashen as DEATH and BLINDNESS.  We know which one Aishe touched.
Through a combination of spells and simu-beholder beams we manage to remove Death's Door.  ALSO, using disintegration, we took down the face in the ceiling that was casting a dispel on the area below it so that we can install it somewhere at our castle later.

Beyond this is a hallway with lots of murderholes in the walls and ceiling.  Sure enough they emit long darts which Elmore disposes of by triggering them over and over again until they are depleted.  THEN the third wraith from a couple games ago comes back and attacks us.  It goes down after a brief combat in which the 50/50 misses don't go in its favor, and also magic missiles.

Further down the hall is some mist.  We expect this is either a gate or its obscuring a gate.  The Beholderlacrum uses his eye beam to reveal that when neutralized there's just a wall behind that.  So we line up and go through the gate.

On the other side is a large room with 4 pillars in a square formation, in the center of which is a platform on which is a large circle with nothing in it.  At the far end is a 25' statue of a neanderthal.  All around the room is random debris.  Descending upon us almost immediately are two roughly gelatinous shapes that fly.  One gets force-caged by Ashen, the other is pummeled to death.

Immediately after that, one of walls with a pile of debris crumbles under the pressure of a dozen scorpion-dogs coming in from another attached chamber.  Ashen fireballs them to soften them up and then we smack each one down individually.  No sooner are they down than the statue decides to come kick our asses.

The statue is again 25' tall, considered "huge" (3x3 map spaces) and has a 15' reach, is solid stone, so, yeh... ouch.

There's a merry chase around the room until some of us realize we just can't get inside his perimeter without giving up multiple hits and/or attacks of opportunity before we reach him, so those folks file into the room the scorpion-dogs came from.  Ashen and his Beholder and Maven remain in the room, leading it around by the nose.  The beholder uses disintegration to slowly make wells for the thing to fall into.  After many, many rounds of this the DM cries uncle because he believes (and rightly so) that the creature is never going to get to us (due to Force Barrier, pits, etc.) and given enough time we'll whittle a hole in the floor he can't get out of.
Inside the side room are two sarcophagi.  One holds a fancy smooth purple gem.  The other holds a hand with a ring on it.

This prompts the usual discussion of tomb-raiding.  Maven and Zuka are anti-tomb raiding.  Gilda things stuff is stuff an dead people can't use it.  The "anti" folks however will not stop us from taking things, so Ashen takes the ring, which is a ring of wizardry (bumping a bunch of spell effects up one level, which is something we likely wouldn't bump into again anytime soon if ever).  The hand would allow a person to wear a third ring when the item is worn around the neck.  While wearing a hand around her neck would be kinda cool to her, Gilda leaves it because her neck object slot is filled (with something helpful against undead, which we run into regularly).

So how do we leave the room?  There's no going out the way we came in because it's a wall with no gate.

Well, during the fight the circle in the middle of the room got triggered.  It regularly flashes visions of locations.  A lodge exterior, a church exterior, the sky (from the sky), pitch blackness (twice I think) and a view of a pit from above the pit.  The pillars seem to power this thing.  We finally pick a moment to jump, which is when we see the lodge, and we go through.
On the other side is a lodge in the forest along a trail.  While we are able to estimate where we are, before we pass it by, we figure the broken pottery outside is a bad sign so we investigate.  Inside the place is both dizzying (save vs Will to stay upright) and rife with objects which have come to life.  Animated knives, books, spatulas, tables, chairs, sex toys, whatever.  Okay, maybe not the last one, I just want to see if you're still reading.  Animated sex toys would be the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

The beholder shuts down their magic anytime they rush us.  We explore the place and find nothing of use except ONE book that does not attack us because it's already magical before this stuff got enchanted.  It's a book with 1,000 pages, blank, which can store tons of spells and doesn't require any expense to commit spells.  None of us need it but we take it because, treasure.

We believe this building is on a ley-line.  Which as we investigate this phenomenon we find the Church that was visible in the teleport circle earlier.  It seems to be in fair shape (nothing destroyed) but nobody is around.  We find signs of a struggle and that people were probably dragged away by orcs, but we can't find any sign of where to.

At this point Mark was fading fast and we were about twenty minutes from me leaving anyway, so we called it here.


Game 5: Feanor joins us; DragonGiants, Green Dragon, Orcs

Zuka (Alan), Maven (Mark), Dr Elmore (Paul), Feanor (Paul), Jenna (Michele), Gilda (Darren)

There was a bunch of information sent out by Jeff before the game.  I'll try and include that at the beginning of this when I post it as a recap on my site.

There was a lot of one particular fight so the play-by-play will be lacking this time.

But where we are at the start of the game is at a ruined village, on the path toward the Castle held by an ancestral family of wizards whose names I don't recall off the top of my head.  We are headed that way because we need an object called the Sky Scepter in order to increase our chances of succeeding when we go to do the gate closure.

After finding nothing of use in the village and only signs that orcs had been here, we continue up toward the castle by the longer but less obvious route.  When we finally get up there we find a chasm that must be crossed using a less than great fallen tree bridge.  Since few of us are good at balance rolls we work something out with ropes and get across.  But in order to retrieve Elmore's staff, Jenna goes back across and manages to fall, though she is saved by a lifeline tied to her waist.  I believe further attempts were made using a ring of feather falling and she gets the staff and we continue.

Fortunately we have tree cover, since there seems to be a dragon scanning the ground from overhead.

We try to throw together some camouflage so we can cross slowly without being seen from above, but we suck at it and instead are met by 5 orcs on foot, a Dragon/Giant hybrid and overhead is a dragon.  We opt to pull back for overhead cover.  The orcs try to taunt us, and almost get an angry barbarian for their trouble, but she's a born taunter and tries to bait them in instead.  A hold person spell from Zuka pins the dragongiant in place.  The orcs hold and try crossbows from a distance, the dragon sweeps down and picks up the dragongiant and hauls him back to the castle.

About now we are notified of the presence of another individual via mental contact.  Seems 'tis Feanor, an elf on an unrelated (?) quest to stop a being from being unleashed from beneath the earth.  He will assist us and we go after the orcs, who split up to come after us.  They're tough, being leveled-up orcs with barbarian rage to add to their hitpoints, but they all get taken out.

After we converse with Feanor we end up doing a mad dash for the castle figuring they already know we're coming so let's just get there quickly.  His elven search-for-secret-doors ability finally nets us an alternate entrance to the castle.  We go in and find ourselves in the dungeon/basement area.  After picking through the area a bit and going upstairs we come to a room filled with dining orcs.  Zuka or Feanor drops a web on them and Gilda runs in with a freedom-of-motion spell in place and Doc Elmore has a ring of free motion as well, plus Maven has reach, so we start smacking them down, inside an area of silence because Zuka has cast it on a rock and it was pitched into the middle of the room.

We beat on Orcs for a while and after we complete that we go down a hall and find a waiting group of orcs, a dragongiant and some sort of extradimensional vampire type.  The vamp tries to convince Gilda to come forward but there is already a wall of force up because of Feanor so she can't.  Before she can be convinced to smack anyone around in the group, Zuka has dispelled the effect freeing her.  That large faction are now cut off from us and seem to run off and possibly look for another way to get to us?  Or maybe they just go hide.  Either way, we deal with more orcs who show up in our area, and when we go back down that hallway to deal with them, they are waiting.

Feanor goes around the long way to take on the giant from behind.  The orcs get bottled in the hallway while Elmore holds the line.  When a couple more come in from behind the team and go after Zuka, Maven and Gilda come back to take on them.  Eventually Elmore is making a push into the room and Feanor is set up behind the giant when the he gets stunned, and a coup de grace is performed by Feanor utterly destroying it.  The Vamp takes control of Maven and instructs her to let n one pass into the room it is in.  Being flat-footed however, Elmore tumbles past, does some attacks, and comes back.  Maven gets freed of the control because it wasn't instructed to prevent anyone from approaching her, and Zuka does then dispels the effect.  The vamp flees back into the dungeon.


Game 6: Spirit, Serpent creature, more Orcs, DragonGiantHybrids

Maven (Mark), Feanor & Elmore (Paul), Zuka (Alan), Ashen (Joe), Gilda (Darren)

This one is virtually all combat, the recap will be brief!

We continue to explore the castle of the Sarowins in search of the Stasis Scepter which we need to improve our chances of closing the big horrible gate.  Feanor is helping us because he's arrived on the scene to prevent an ancient evil from being awakened from below the earth.  We team up.

During the search we find lots of destroyed rooms, but eventually we hear approaching Orcs and so we arrange ourselves for combat.  They have a wizard so they fill a bunch of area with blade barrier spells, which causes some of us damage and impairs our ability to easily maneuver the area.  Zuka's anti-magic shield helps neutralize it, as does the occasional glance of Ashen's Beholder.

In all, we end up fighting in this fight alone a serpent-like creature (and its fake mirror image), about ten barbarian-leveled orcs, an evil little girl (who turned out to be possessed), the ghost-like creature that possessed the little girl, and one of the dragon-giant hybrids.

Zuka tries to heal Gilda (who keeps running away toward the right), Ashen and Feanor rain down area effect carnage on the bad guys, Maven crushing foes in bear form, Elmore tries to hold them at one doorway, and the evil ghost damages nearly everyone (and drops Gilda) with firestorm spell.  Gilda would be deceased except for Jeff's "one round" rule to get healing in place to raise a PC, whereupon Zuka uses a Mass Heal off of a scroll bringing everyone to full and Gilda up to 0.  (It was her own fault; I couldn't see a barbarian running from the fight to get healing, although after that I can easily justify her doing it next time).
The evil little girl got killed during this and that freed the ghost that possessed her,  Possessed?  Oh nos, we killed an innocent kid!  Someone (Feanor or Ashen?  Feanor, I think...) cast a spell that forced the ghost to the Ethereal plane where it can't hurt us.

We got 4,500 xp for that insane fight, and those who were not present got 2,250  accordingly.

There's more castle-sweeping before we decide to bypass the stairwells, which are all manned by greater air elementals, opting instead to disintegrate a hole in the ceiling and go up to the next floor.  Lots of the rooms up here are manned by invisible stalkers, which we at first avoid, but ultimately wind up fighting (one) thinking that the only way to find the scepter is to clear the place.

The elemental threatens us to leave or he'll crush Feanor, except Fe is slippery and slides right out of its grip and the elemental gets killed.  It's not until we encounter a few more Ele's that we try to engage them in conversation, since they do not charge us.  Ashen has a pet air elemental and he uses it to translate.  We get an audience with whoever is in charge, which turns out to be an angelic being who is unaware of current events outside; it's here because the Sarowins summoned all of these elementals to help protect the Scepter and the castle which has beneath it an ancient evil yearning to breath free.

So it seems when Feanor says he's come to prevent an ancient evil from rising up from below he means literally right here at this spot.  The Sarowins trapped it below centuries ago.

We have to lay on the angel the fact that we destroyed the little girl, which seems to perturb it, though luckily it didn't try to destroy us.  It will give us the scepter (on loan to do what we need to do) provided we get rid of the immediate threat, which is the invading force which is occupying other parts of the castle.

We agree and before go out looking for the ones in the forest outside, we continue to clear the castle floors, going to the basement.  There we encounter some sort of extradimensional undead elementals in the form of tiny wisps of air that come after us as a mob (there were 20); those who can, hurl are effect attacks at them, then we smack down the rest in individual combat.

I'm sure there was more but we've reached the limits of my memory.


Game 7: Harpy, FrostDragonGiants, Chimeric Dire Bears, and a Green Dragon

Zuka (Alan), Ashen (Joe), Feanor & Elmore (Paul), Maven (Mark), Gilda (Darren), and the glorious explosive return of Khouzam (Jim)

So.  We're in the castle and we've made a deal with the upstairs residents that if we get rid of the evil folks who are trying to release an ancient horror from beneath the castle they will lend us the Sky scepter (aka the Stasis Scepter).

As we're plotting how we will go about this there is a knock on the castle door (we are in the room closest the front door).  We look at each other like "who the hell would knock on an evil castle door?"  Then a voice calls out and claims to be Khouzam.  For a moment we consider that it could be someone impersonating him but really... isn't it worth the risk in order to get the outstanding firepower?  Of course it is.  Blinky the beholder neutralizes the door's magic and he 'Zam comes in.

Our aerial surveillance gave us a list of possible foes lurking out there.  After some consideration of how to get them to come into the castle one-at-a-time we realize we're just going to have to engage them.
Now is where my recall of the order of events gets week.  As always, feel free to correct me:

We head out to engage the dragon and don't see him but we find a group of Half Orcs, an Ettin, and some kind of Wizardly type.  A chain lightning or two does a great job on the half orcs, but from here (quite a distance away) we were not close enough to true-see that the two leaders were illusory.  So orcs be toasted, but there are others around somewhere.

So we advance and eventually find the dragon but when Gilda alters course to engage it some of the rest of the bad guys show up... Two "Chimeric Dire Bears", more orcs, a harpy, and a couple of those dragon-giant hybrids.  Gilda (for once) wisely moves to extract herself from certain obliteration and Zam and Ashen provide cover fire on the bears.  The harpy does its singing thing but the only two folks in range miraculously make their saves before the harpy gets locked in a force cage.

This is the part where my memory gets shaky, because when it gets to a fight that Gilda can't charge into and I do a lot of passing my round.  But the team do enough damage to the dragon that when Ashen calls for a parlay with the dragon it actually agrees to leave (even though Maven is throwing rocks at its head).  One problem takes care of itself when the Harpy decides to teleport or d-door or something to get out of the force-cage and the current extradimensional irregularities we are experiencing causes her to 'splode all of the nice clean force cage.

The foes retreat and we marshall our forces and head after them.  Haste helps us catch up relatively quickly and find that while the orcs are in the village we've lost track of the bears & dragiants.  We crush the orc contingent in seconds and head back to the castle after a cursory search of the town turns up none of the big guys.

Turns out that's because they're in castle!  They've returned to it while we were out and are searching the first floor.  We get in and prepare to run downstairs (because we didn't see any in the immediate area) when they all come rushing out and attack!  Now we've got the two bears and a dragiant in one room and the other halfbreed is locked on the other side of a force wall, and he's going to spend a few rounds running around to get to us.

Gilda goes to bear form and starts her attacks but winds up in a bear hug.  So that's sweet: two bears hugging.  And she manages to dish out damage since she hasn't been pinned yet, but that bear and the dragiant do a ton of damage to her which causes Zuka to collapse due to the spell he casts that lets him absorb half her damage.  He's a few HP below zero but he gets a healing potion inside a round.
As always, Feanor and Maven do the bulk of the hand-to-hand damage, Fe tumbling through and attacking from the back and Maven striking from long-reach range.  Just after those three go down, the last giant shows up from behind the force wall and promptly get trounced.

The Elemental contingent loan us the scepter and we go back to town to equip for the next part of our trip.  I believe Feanor departed, his duty to the elves completed.  We winterize our gear and prepare to head into the mountains.

Game 8: The Finale

Maven (Mark), Ashen (Joe), Zuka (Alan), Khouzam (Jim), Elmore (Paul), Gilda (Darren)

This week we must scale Mt Doom to throw jewelry into an opening.  And by that I mean we must climb the Yatil mountains in blizzard conditions and use a scepter to seal a crack in the universe.

Our advance scout is Maven in bird form with "freedom of movement".  We do have a run-in on the mountainside as a chimeric-entropic-bear-dragon-thing comes after us and we put it down before it can make off with our pic-a-nic baskets.  We sleep in Leomund's hut, and eventually make it up over the rise and approach our goal.

'Tis a very tall tower with one door.  After trying to find the way around the adventure in the way we tend to try to do (and are rebuffed by many DM hand-waves--reasonably enough because, do the adventure!), our beholder erases some of the dirt beneath the place and we discover there is nothing but blackness.  A rope tossed into it vanishes upon contact with the abyss.  We decide not to touch it.  We go up and use the door, which we manage successfully.  

Inside is a chamber whose walls are covered with some kind of "glass plates" and pictures.  It's not until we move on in the adventure that in retrospect one might surmise these were pictures behind glass panels like one might find in a modern place of business.

You see, there is a black passage-thingie through which we must pass in order to get to where we need to go.  On the other side is a small room with a desk and a chair and a demotivational poster on the wall.  We can't read the strange language but it undoubtedly was something evil and sinister.

In the next room we encounter a being called an Entropic Harlequin.  It attacks us with its "magic" wand, which resembles a cattle prod, if a cattle prod in addition to stunning you and doing electrical damage also caused Tasha's hideous laughter.  It's not a strategic creature, so once it comes out into the hallway and we can surround it, it gets plenty of pixie arrows.  OH WAIT...

Did I mention we don't have use of magic?  That is correct.  Once we teleported here all our magic ceased to function.  This means that Maven is locked in whichever form she was in when she came here, which happens to be a pixie.  So she's a tiny flying archer with no invisibility until we can find out how to turn off the anti-magic.  Now back to our fight...

So we swarm it and it gets hurt a little by arrows and quite a bit by Elmore and Gilda's weapon attacks.  Nothing useful in its room

There's a conference room with nothing helpful and a room like the one the harlequin was in, but nothing to fight.  We find what we surmise is an elevator shaft with no elevator.  It goes down.  Without magic this will be a tough way to go (seeing as how it goes down a couple hundred feet).  We send the pixie down.  Once Maven reaches the bottom of the shaft its magic kicks in!  So we know if we get down there we can do our thing.  Maven finds its a large square room in the center of which is a swirling mass of darkness which is likely the cause of all our problems.  It is attended by some kind of floaty guardian (later referred to as the Entropic Guardian).

After figuring out the logistics of getting down an anti-magic shaft into a room that holds a spinning vortex of doom without falling into said vortex or incurring the wrath of the guardian we come up with a convoluted plan involving being brought down the shaft one at a time and put on a shelf created by Zuka using stone shape, and then dropping the beholder from above (He's inert right now seeing as how he's anti-magicked) and using his presence in the room be the signal to begin things.

The guardian does wake up on the round after we start our actions.  Zuka successfully uses the sky scepter to stop the entropic mass from existing.  But the guardian is not placated by this so a fight ensues.  Working against us are that its a big room and this guy can Dimension-Door at will (thus escaping the trusty force cubes our wiz's have been using on other guys), and there's a darkness issue.

Once we all get True Sight cast on us so we can see 120ft, we are able to spot him, but there's still a matter of getting to him before he teleports.  We consider just exiting the room, but about then we actually do some damage that it doesn't have time to heal off so we begin the assault.  Hindering us also was that it was highly resistant to a lot of spell effects, thus neutralizing a lot of Zam's and Ashen's attacks.  When it finally dies, we have to figure a way out of the room... because above us is an anti-magic chamber with no special exits, and the exit from this room died when killed the guardian and the swirling void.

Among the brain trust we come up with "Plane Shift" to get us to the Ethereal plane, then a second plane shift to get us to within 130 miles of our destination.  We go and return Stasis scepter, noting to the owner that now it can't be used again else the void be unleashed again.  

We return to Krestible, receive a few pats on the back, are given 10k gold each, and are awarded 5k experience for the finish (half for those who weren't there).