In the mind of Galadeus, the only move he wanted to make was back up the stairs for revenge; having persuaded Alagon to accompany him – and received healing from the paladin - that’s exactly what he did. They approached the door again and kicked it open, to be confronted by five lizard men who had re-armed with fresh javelins. They hurled them at the attackers but their luck was not as good as it had been in the previous battle. However, Alagon had some misfortune himself because as he was preparing to fire an arrow into the nearest lizard man, his bow string snapped and the wood of his bow split. The arrow hurtled off, nearly hitting Galadeus. Horrified that he had nearly injured his comrade, he decided to switch to the sword but Elysia managed to find him a spare bow and he carried on using that. With Ferros and Gullhar providing missile support, the lizard men were overcome, the same fate meeting three more who entered the room from a door on the far side. Elysia’s Sleep spells proved useful in taking out several of the opposition, who were finished off by Ferros.
On the far side of the door, the party found a long, wide passage leading off into the darkness. Moving down it were more lizard men, preparing to hurl javelins. As the party moved in, the missiles hurtled towards them but none hit the target. Battle was joined again, but after a few moments, Ferros hit upon the idea of casting Speak With Animals to see if he could negotiate with the scaly attackers.
There followed an interesting conversation, in which the lizard men cast the party as the aggressors, whilst the party fired the accusation back at the lizard men. The party said that they wanted to pass through that area; the lizard men told them they had to go back and find another route, as this was their home. At this point, Elysia instructed Ferros to advise the lizard men in no uncertain terms that she and her party had already taken down several of their comrades and would do the same to them if they did not stand aside. The lizard men saw the merit of her argument and stood back, permitting the party to pass.
At the end of the wide passage, there was a t-junction and more lizard men, who sensibly stepped aside for the Team. Choosing to turn left, they asked what was down there; the lizard men replied that it was the lair of ‘big monsters’ who they had been fighting and would appreciate help in getting rid of. The party, ever up for a good bit of monster bashing, decided to take the bull by the horns and soon, Alagon sensed evil ahead in the darkness. Gullhar’s infravision revealed five heat signatures and the paladin and ranger moved in, swords at the ready. Their torches soon revealed the opposition – five bugbears, ready for action.
The party had the edge, although the quantity of the enemy started to wear them down as more bugbears came pouring in from rooms further back. It seemed that no sooner had the party killed one than another took its place. Galadeus was knocked down by a well-placed morning star and bugbears started to force their way down the passage. There were at least two decapitations of the long-legged monsters by lucky strikes on the part of the party. Meanwhile, Elysia readied a Stinking Cloud but realised that Gullhar would be caught in the area of effect. She relied on his ability to resist the spell but unfortunately, he succumbed to its noxious vapours and three bugbears came stumbling through the murk, groggy but not incapacitated. As a partially-healed Galadeus, Ferros and Alagon took them on and Alurax found himself beyond the cloud and unable to get back, Elysia decided to fly through and bring him back. Unfortunately for her, she was overcome by her own Stinking Cloud and crashed to the ground, choking and nauseous. The bugbears rushed in, grabbing her and threatening Alurax – who was still fighting on and doing serious damage to the enemy - ordering him to drop his trident. Elysia managed to tell Relic to sting the bugbear who had a dagger at her throat and this he managed to do. She scrambled out of the grasp of the bugbears whilst on the other side of the now dissipating cloud, Gullhar and Alagon were trying to whittle down the remaining two bugbears – the third had fallen, as had Galadeus again.
A combat-heavy session this week, with plenty of action, some good use of the d30 and more criticals than might have been expected, although they came at just the right time. Relic’s roll to sting and the failure of the bugbear to make his roll against poison saved Elysia from almost certain death. We ended the session on somewhat of a stand-off although the first rounds of the next session will reveal if the party get out alive and rich or merely alive and grateful.