You and what army? .... Oh, THAT army!
Flamerule 24

As we venture further into the bowels of this rank dungeon we twist and wind through the narrow passages and come to a T shaped intersection ahead. Several of the party stop and motion that they've heard something ahead. I quickly (and quietly) cast Ablative Barrier and I can hear Nick casting as well. He whispers that we all have the abilities granted by Blessings of Ferver, and we each can choose from

* increase speed by 30ft
* stand up as a swift action (no AOO)
* 1 extra attack as a full action
* +2 to attack, +2 to dodge AC, +2 to reflex save
* cast a single spell of 2nd oevel or lower as if it were enlarged, extended, silent, or still

I hear Eldin casting as well and as I prepare for combat and start to look into the corridor ahead, all of a sudden I am engulfed in a searing flame that burns me severely. I look around to see which of the opponents might have had line of sight to cast a fireball, and I look back realizing that Eldin has jumped the gun and cast fireball partially into his own party. And to add insult to injury the opponents, who look to be rock trolls appear completely unaffected by the fireball.

As I'm reeling from the pain of the burn, I sense an ease of the pain and realize that Nick must be casting one of his mass healings to undo some of the damage from the errant fireball. I sense Theresa moving past me and attacking one fo the trolls with her quick efficient sword strikes. Its amazing how deadly accurate her attacks are. As the trolls are now upon us I am able to attack the front rank without having to move out into the other corridor. I swing three times, feeling the quickness of the Blessing of Ferver allowing my arm to swing an extra time.

Jason sidles by between Theresa and me and positions himself on the other side of the opponents. I think they got a strike at him as he slipped past but I'm unsure if he was struck. He is attacking from the other side - I'll need to see if I can position myself to flank the opponent he's fighting and allow Theresa to concentrate on this one. I hear Nick chanting again - but I think he's just asking his god what any special weaknesses of these monsters may be. The trolls a moving through the group and I miss trying to hit one as he rushes past. Probably because I'm still reeling from the pain of the burns.

I hear more opponents showing up in the distance. Hopefully not more of these rock trolls I hope. As I move to flank, I see Eldin in the back firing magic missiles into one of the trolls who had moved into position to attack Nick. And Theresa begins swinging quickly showing bits of rock from their bodies in all directions. With the one opponent trapped between myself and Jason, I strick the creature solidly three times. But they seem very tough. Immediately after I see a flurry of attacks from Jason on the same creature and it falls to the ground.

Groups of Drow and what looks like another beholder moves in and attacks behind the rock trolls. This is looking rather iffy for us to make it through with all of these opponents.

Another surge of relief comes through but I hear Nick say that's all he has. It might not be enough. One of the drow moves up to attack me but I get the jump on him and hit him soundly with two blows and a charge of magic from my force punch spell and he goes down in a lump. Barley moves past into the fray and I see him launch one of his bombs into a group of the enemies - but they seem to dodge most of the spray and exhibit only a minor affect from the blast.

One of the opponents moves up and strikes at Barley, but it appears that Barley has developed a slew of large pustules and when he his hit they seem to burst and spray the opponent with acid. I've never seen anything like this.

Another fireball bursts amongst our group - I think we're getting pretty close to losing this battle. Theresa mows down another of the rock trolls, but still nobody seems able to get to the beholder. I'd like to at least fire a spell at it, but I can't get clear of melee to be able to cast the spell cleanly.

Finally, I'm able to get clear of the melee for a bit and get a chance to cast a lightening bolt at the beholder. It seems to hit it soundly but doesn't take it down.

The beholder keeps telling us to surrender. Obviously he doesn't know who we are. But all of a sudden Theresa seems to be saying we should surrender as well. Obviously she's been affected by some kind of mind spell.

I hear some cries from the back and see that Nick and Eldin have gone down. I hope they're still alive. Then durin is struck and goes down as well. I dispatch one of the drow and move to attack one of the remaining rock trolls. He takes some hits but has not gone down yet. After another exchange he falls, though. And I see Theresa come up beside me and pour a potion in Durin's mouth. I see some life there - but why doesn't she help defeat these so we can help everyone?

As we're continuing to fight the trolls that we defeat are coming back as they heal. We need to destroy them with something more permanently.

We dispatch a few more of the opponents but as we do dozens more drow show up and reinforce the opposing troops. Perhaps we will have no choice but to surrender, as much as it pains me to say.

As I'm moving to attack one of the revived rock trolls - I racked with pain from electrical shock. I think from the beholder. I get the feeling I narrowly avoided getting hit with the full brunt of that lightning bolt.

Then a bolt of energy goes by and hits Barley and he turns to stone.

Just as I thought we were getting somewhere when the Beholder goes down from Eldin's magic missiles, another shows up from the other corridor.

Jason is trying to negotiate a truce and eventually they demand that we give them our equipment. Jason and I refuse but the others give up theirs and are led off. I don't want to lose where the others are so I reluctantly agree and give up my equipment.

They lead us off to meet their "mistress".

After winding through a number of narrow halls and tunnels we come to a point where it opens up into a larger cavern.

We're led into the cavern. In the cavern there is a dais where there is a green dragon a throne with a woman upon it and a larger beholder next to what looks like a door covered with a tarp. Out in the cavern are two pilars one has a woman tied to it and the other has a gnome tied to it.

The woman comes down and applies a salve to Barley and he returns to flesh. Then the woman starts to pray above Nick's body. After a minute he starts to move and gets up but looks drained. Listening to her prayer I pick out some elements that indicate that she is praying to Lloth.

Afterwards she indicates that we are to be the entertainment tomorrow. And she refuses to indicate who the other prisoners may be. We're then led out an eastern corridor into an area with some cots. We go in and they lock a gate behind us. It looked like there might be a total of 5 cells total along here. We talk with some of the prisoners in the other cells and learn that whoever the previous occupants of our cell were, they were taken away and never seen from again.

We struggle to try and remember where we might have met the Elf and the Gnome that were chained in the cavern. But no luck.

After much cogitation and rubbing together of a few brain cells we recall that the Gnome and Elf are Charles and his wife - those that helped us in Taylorville when we first got to this world. Now it's all come together - these are the worshipers of Torm who we are supposed to rescue from this hell hole. But half dead and defeated, and unsure what the morning will bring - I wonder who they'll have to send down to save US!

...To Be Continued...
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