We played a standard session but had five separate combats, with only one of those really being quick. (In addition to exploration and some strategic planning.) I felt that the players got more done this session than is usual. The fight with the ghoul-stirges and ghouls got a bit nasty, but Merxif’s player has got some quite useful equipment now (in addition to channelling positive energy) and can be very nasty against undead when he gets in the right position.
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(25th Ready’reat): Stronger and fully healed they return to the cavern. Crossing the marsh to the ruins they are attacked by a mass of vegetation. The shambling mound is quite tough, grabbing hold of Hardaz and battering him. Once killed they have to cut the creature off of him. Into the ruins, they elect to go after the shadow – this time prepared with Hardaz’ axe, and other magic. (Mage armour on Seldrel, displacement on Hardaz and Merxif wears his magical moon-bolt gloves.) The shadow comes out to attack Hardaz but misses a number of strikes. Hardz though hits, while Merxif and Seldrel use searing light spells. Merxif fires a bolt from his gloves, disabling the undead for long enough that the rest of them can destroy it. There is only one room in here that they had not been able to reach – it turns out to be another tomb for Gregern Falshandren. Seldrel notes that the date on it is similar to the others encountered. There is some minor treasure and a magical helmet with mind shielding, but Seldrel notes with disappointment that it is cursed. He cannot determine how, but no-one is game to wear it.
Moving north, Lanliss and Winter note movement within a building. They enter carefully, and sight a small group of stirges. As they begin melee, they realise the creatures are undead, and the noise of the fight attracts some ghouls. Lanliss is paralysed when a stirge attaches itself to him and begins to drain his blood. Hardaz and Summer are also paralysed, but from ghoul attacks. Merxif again uses moon bolt on 2 stirges, and channel energy against the undead. Hardaz takes considerable damage before the active members of the party can defeat all their opponents.
Further west, most of the buildings are little more than broken walls and piles of rubble. Some repair has taken place, and they soon learn why. They encounter a few morlocks and bugbears. The fight attracts more bugbears and spreads through a fair section of the ruins. Some of the latter bugbears are stronger, leaders and more advanced warriors. Prayer, haste, fireball, and acid breath are used against them. It looks like small groups of both humanoids are living in this part of the buildings – the morlocks in burrows under the rubble and the bugbears in reconstructed rooms and shelters.