Anyone following along with our campaign will be happy to know that our lost party has finally made it out from Beneath the Ruined Tower of Zenopus. Yes, that's right, with only 3 PC deaths, experience and treasure was finally divvied up.
Of course Skwanky, the halfling that caused all this trouble to begin with, survived but that is beside the point.
Session XXXVI: Into The Light
The party, now only consisting of Arvin and his Mushrooms, Skwanky Furrytoe and Slick Vinny with a hand full of pirates at his command entered a large lit chamber that appeared to be a type of waiting room. There was a Giant Bat, a gnoll, an orc and orche jelly and a Gelatinous Cube all waiting to be called in from beyond a door where a giant spider had just left and a voice called out "Next!".
As the orc walked through the door, Skwanky started up a conversation with the Gnoll. It turned out that the Gnoll was here to see a wizard who would help him with his personal 'problem' (which turned out to be a four hour erection). He came from another part of the dungeon down a long, long tunnel.
After a while the orc exited the room and one by one the other creatures were called in. The orc (half-orc named Argh played by Brian who lost two characters down here and rolled up yet another one) struck up a conversation with the party still waiting their turn. It turned out that Argh found a flier for the services of the wizard in his village and came down here to trade his two orc sons for a scroll of the world's worst insult, which, after Skwanky read, made him cry.
As Argh's village was on the surface, it was thought that the half-orc could help lead them out.
All this time Vinny was getting anxious thinking that this wizard could grant wishes and give Vincent unlimited power. He no longer cared about the fate of Caladan thinking that they were now on some other planet or plane - which all turned out to not be the case.
When finally the wizard beyond the door called out for our party, it was decided that only one person will go in at at time. Vinny stepped in first.
Bowing before the mighty wizard, Vinny asked for more power. The wizard laughed and said that was not what he was giving out. He was offering potions, scrolls and other magics, such as his home-made skeletaurs. Slick Vinny then asked for a powerful spell of the eighth circle and the wizard laughed again. He wasn't so stupid as to give away his more powerful spells.
The Wizard introduced himself as Mordrith and this dungeon was his home.
Vinny asked him if he had heard of the city of Caladan. Mordrith replied that of course he had. He had lived there for many years before he came down here to continue his studies. When Vinny asked him about Zenopus, Mordrith spit out her name and called her evil and a powerful witch who had betrayed her lover and his friend Onyx for his tower and his magic. It was discovered that Zenopus was in alliance with Empress Kushana of the southern Empire.
Vinny finally mentioned the Crafty Magi and again, Modrith raged as he told Vinny that he actually started the Crafty Magi to share magic with one another but his guild was taken over by Risiri, a sorcerer from the south who took over the Crafty Magi and began worshiping the Yellow God Hastur with human sacrifice.
Mordrith offered Vinny treasures beyond count if he could bring back the head of Risiri.
To win favor with this powerful spell-caster, Vinny offered him Zenopus' spell book which Mordrith accepted with much triumph.
Suddenly the dungeon wizard was too preoccupied to be of assistance any longer and, after telling Vinny to follow the long tunnel to get back to the surface, closed his doors for the day(?), which was good, because a conversation with Skwanky could have been quite counter-productive.
So, the party left Mordrith's office and headed up the giant northern tunnel, avoiding any side passages. After passing Mordrith's skeletaur guards, they continued traveling for a couple hours down this passage until it opened up into a cavern with bridge crossing over a pool of water and three cave opening on the other side. Crossing the bridge, they decided to take the center passage which headed upward for a short while then turned and began to spiral downward. It was here that they were attacked by some Albino apes. Vinny cast a web spell on them and blocked the passage. Argh stepped in and slew the apes.
Heading back up the passage they found the cavern was filled with a bunch of giant worker ants which they slew as well. Taking the right passage, they headed towards the surface eventually coming out into another wide and carved tunnel that lead to a cave and the outside!
Traveling a short distance from the cave opening they made camp and rested. Here, Vinny looked into his Cat's Eye crystal ball and saw that indeed Caladan was overrun by pirates and soldiers from the southern empire.
It was in their camp that Gnarly spied a tiny figure watching them. It turned out to be a fairy that was lost in the caves and had followed them out. Her name was Flora Fawn and wanted to accompany them to Caladan (this was my wife's new character after her dwarf Maudlin was killed last session).
Not knowing quite where they were, they headed south and passing through some woods found the Great Coast Road and headed back to Caladan and their Moon-tower. It was from this vantage point that they saw the port town ablaze with the remnants of battle.
Back at the Moon-tower, Skwanky immediately ran to the kitchen. While the pirates wanted their fair share of the treasure so that they can head back to Caladan and pillage. Of course Vinny wasn't going to have any of it and soon the pirates drew their swords and demanded their fair share. Argh, didn't stand for any of the pirate's shenaggians and slew one while Vinny called up an illusion of Zenopus to frighten the other who ran off down towards Caladan.
Not wanting him to get away, Vinny sent One-Eyed Jones, the charmed pirate leader, after him, and Gnarly sent Tuk. As the sun was beginning to set, One-Eyed Jones was catching up to the fleeing pirate but saw that he was set upon by a pack of ghouls coming out of the forest. One-Eyed Jones high-tailed it back up to the tower.
The party, relieved to have survived their day and a half lost beneath the tower were quite happy to make it back and divided up their loot.
So this ended a great side-quest of a party lost in a dungeon. It was great fun for all of us. The players didn't think they were actually going to make it out alive. With three PC deaths it was looking pretty grim for a while but, for the most part, they prevailed.
So the party is united once more and the next sessions should have the whole group back together to begin an new chapter in the story of Arvin's Avengers.