Cast of Characters:
Mordecai, a Cleric-4: Adam
Forlorn, an Elf-3: Bo
Mister Moore, Magic User-4: Mike
Grumble the Smug, Halfling-3: Nogal
Shy, a Fighter-3
Phat Kobra, a Dwarf-3
Zeke, a Fighter-3
Starkweather, a Thief-4
Barzai, a Cleric-3
Hammers of the God: Spoilers
Last game ended in the tomb of an ancient dwarf emperor. The group had just completed a difficult battle against the undead honor guard of the emperor, as well as a huge enchanted statue that guarded the crypt. Two additional enchanted statues had animated outside the room, slammed the doors shut, sealing the party in the tomb.
After the battle, Mordecai the cleric used the staff of healing on the injured and dying. Grumble the Smug was restored to consciousness, but Barzai was only brought to zero hit points. Because he had spells left, they decided to give him the only healing potion.
Then they turned their attention to the last crypt - the central one that held the dwarf emperor himself, Mar-Rune.
Starkweather had unlocked it last session, triggering the undead attack, so all that was left to do was to open it. Inside the crypt was the ancient corpse of the dwarf emperor… and it stayed dead. (The group had weapons poised for a fresh battle, expecting a nasty undead). Instead, they looted the body greedily for enchanted plate mail, a shield, a ring, and a massive 2-handed hammer . Unfortunately, Mar-Rune's hammer was not the Elf Bane, the magic hammer that was the actual object of their quest. They had seen a mural with Elf Bane, and knew it was a war hammer; this thing was a maul. They would have to seek elsewhere in the complex for Elf Bane.
Rather than immediately try and get past the statues blocking the outer doors, the group decided to rest in the tomb as best they could, memorize spells, and start fresh the next day. They didn't recover hit points, and the night was uncomfortable because of the lingering death all around them, but I ruled they could recover spells and use the staff of healing again. Then the fighters started strategizing how knock the doors open.
They overloaded one of the doors, won an opposed check, and pushed the statue holding that door back far enough to spill out into the next room. Immediately the two statues switched to beat down mode and starting smashing characters.
Both spell casters had prepared magic missile x 2 and began unloading on the first statue. Unfortunately, horror and dread descended on those members of the party that had taken Mar-Rune's things, as they discovered the "treasures" were cursed! Phat Kobra's armor was plate mail -5; Shy's shield was -2; the ring taken by Zeke was a ring of weakness! Zeke, a front line fighter, suddenly became strength 3. Muhaha.
The other memorable bit from the battle was the halfling, Grumble the Smug. When the others looted the body of the dwarven emperor, Phat Kobra took the maul, freeing up another magic item (in this case, a +2 mace), which they gave to Grumble. Grumble, bolstered by his first magic item, went running around the battle to enter the fray behind one of the statues. He hammered on it's knees, wielding the mace 2-handed - I think he rolled an 18, 19, 20 and 20 over the course of several rounds, smashing the statue that had taken magic missile damage and landing the killing blow on the second one. His new nickname was Grumble the Barbarian!
Nogal (Grumble's player) is still pitching in to our adult game while we recruit (although we could end up merging the two games if this goes on) and it was pretty cool to see him have a moment of awesome and get kudos from the long time gamers. (It was all he could talk about the next day).
The rest of the game was logistics. How to get the gilded plate armor (12 suits of it) across the chasm bridge, up the well shaft, and back to their camp? Boring stuff - lots of time keeping, and a clever scheme with a floating disc scroll to get up the well shaft.
The group's strategy to get everything up the 40' well / shaft was entertaining. The thief climbed the dangling rope they left, then started helping the fighters up the rope from above. The magic user cast floating disc, tied the rope around his waist, and the fighters at the top of the shaft hauled him up the shaft, manually. The disc followed behind him like an elevator. In this way, they moved everything up by riding the disc; they just had to keep dipping and lowering the magician-on-a-rope.
The final issue was the main zombie room, the mural room that had all the purple mist. The last time they visited this room, there were dwarf zombies beating on the metal door between the party's hallway and the room. This time it was quiet. When they peered in, they saw that the purple mist had cleared quite a bit since the party propped open the exit door out of the tomb. Now the mist only wisped over the floor instead of completely obscuring it. As their lights shone over the floor, they could see bodies everywhere, but no sign of any zombies.
Surmising that the bodies occasionally animated themselves and became zombies, they came to a fateful decision. Everything would need to be destroyed. Burned. They set about organizing work crews and guards with lights, and started dragging all the corpses and piling them against the wall. There were like a hundred bodies and this was going to take a while. (By way of reminder, since it's been a few weeks - the purple mist apparently acted as a preservative, keeping the remains of this thousand year old battle from decomposing, too).
From time to time, a few of the dwarf bodies would stumble to their feet as zombies, attacking the work crews. The process was fairly tedious, dragging the bodies, fighting off the few that re-animated and attacked as zombies. It was all done with ghastly pragmatism.
We ended the night when they poured a dozen flasks of oil over the corpse pile and lighted it ablaze. The plan was to leave the tomb and camp in the fresh air up the canyon (where they had tents, bedrolls, and extra gear). The outer door to the tomb was propped open, and it was hoped the putrid smoke would flow out into the open air as the fire raged overnight.
Hmm, I wonder what might be attracted to the canyon by huge gouts of acrid corpse smoke wafting into the mountain air?