Below is an abbreviated account of our otherworldly adventures. Since the entire demiplane exists in perpetual twilight, it was impossible to know exactly how much time passed during these episodes—we estimate two “days” separated by one “night” -Scott
After a brief dream sequence in which they found themselves as little children being led to safety by a flaming lizard, the Giantslayers found themselves in an endless battle with mindless skeletons and zombies. As soon as one fell, another rose from the sands to take its place. Asa thought he saw the flaming lizard appear in a dust cloud so the party pursued it. They traveled for eight hours through a desert lit by perpetual twilight, and as they walked, they became aware that they were functioning as one level lower than usual. Asa attempted Detect Evil and was stunned by the sheer evil surrounding them on all sides. As they moved, the same undead minions constantly appeared behind them, but since the heroes were faster, they always escaped them.
After eight grueling hours, it was time for a rest. Gydion erected the Warp Wood Manor and the party slept, although the constant scratching of undead claws upon the Manor’s walls made their sleep fitful at best. When they woke, our heroes found that they’d lost another level. And to add insult to injury, Turin looked out a window and saw that the manor was surrounded by an army of skeletons and zombies, climbing over themselves in hopes of reaching the windows of the Manor’s second floor! By expelling 10 charges of his Wand of Fireballs, the elven wizard was quickly able to clear a path for him and his friends to escape.
Over the course of the next “day” the party traversed the seemingly endless desert. Sandstorms overcame them occasionally, and all seemed lost. At one point, they found themselves on the brink of a valley filled with bones; the bones were the same color as the sand. With a shiver down their spines, they realized that the sand they had been walking on had been created from eroded bones!
Finally, after 6 hours, the adventurers walked through a curtain of light into a new realm: one of perpetual twilight, like the desert they had traveled through, but thankfully clear of sand and undead. They saw a high cliff to their right; a petrified forest in front of them; and a village beyond that. Reconnaissance by Silaqui, Gydion and Asa (hidden by a Hide from Undead spell cast by Draken) revealed that the village was the same one featured in Asa’s nightmare a fortnight ago. In the heart of the village they found a farm tended by captive human souls, and overseen by an imposing mansion located on its periphery. The trio flew away from the village (and a potentially deadly encounter with ghouls!) and saw what looked like a stargate/portal device, and a temple glowing green in the far distance. Then, they rendevous’d with Draken, Turin and Kingsley in the petrified forest and told them everything they’d seen. As the party tried to make sense of it all, a man approached from the shadows. He seemed more hearty than the human slaves they’d seen in the village, and his eyes grew wide with hope when he saw Asa’s and Silaqui’s Iomedaean holy symbols. “Thank the goddess!” he exclaimed, and greeted them. After a brief exchange, the adventurers learned that all of the human slaves had been brought to this world via the stargate. They also learned that the human, who couldn’t remember his name, was an acolyte of Iomedae. “Brother! Iomedae has answered our prayers!” exclaimed Asa, falling on his knees. The man responded “No…You all must become the answer to your prayers by setting free the angels, and other celestial beings, kept prisoner in that temple”—and, as he spoke, he pointed in the direction of the glowing temple.
The PC’s discussed their options at some length, but finally decided they should try and “take” the mansion within the village—thus gaining a sanctuary ie “sacred space” within this relentlessly evil realm.
On their way to the mansion, the party was attacked by undead minions who unfortunately reduced Gydion and his lion Kingsley to fifth level! Admitting they’d only be a liability to the party in their weakened state, the duo decided to remain in the petrified forest.
The rest of the party found their way into the village, guided and hidden by their new human friend. They entered the mansion with ease but instantly found themselves at the mercy of a powerful Dispel Magic spell. This dweomer negated most of the “buff” spells they’d cast upon themselves, including Mage Armor and others. The party then re-buffed as much as they could and began exploring. The mansion was decorated in high Victorian style with creepy embellishments, such as pianos that mysteriously played themselves, and chandeliers that suddenly dropped with a crash. After a few minutes Silaqui was attacked by an annoying Vampire-child, giggling its way down a corridor at a mad pace. The party decided to explore the basement and were confronted by [what Turin identified as] four Greater [huge!] Mud Elementals. Silaqui killed the first; Asa killed the second; and Draken killed the remaining two.
Further exploration of the basement revelaed a passage into a dank room occupied by a Crypt-Keeper and a female Vampire. The passage was guarded by three Flesh Golems who were quickly dealt with. The Vampire lobbed Fireballs at the party, dealing significant damage. Asa then ran into the room and [via Smite Evil made quick work of the Crypt-Keeper, who tried to Teleport everyone in the room hither and thither. Fortunately, everyone except the Vampire made their saving throw… so the Vampire was Teleported into an adjacent room!
Though the crafty Vampire spellcaster warded herself with a Wall of Force and Invisibility, the Giantslayers defeated her with clever usage of Draken’s Purge Invisibility scroll combined with Turin’s Dimension Door and Teleport spells. Draken finally landed the killing blow. They followed her to a chamber where her coffin lay. Silaqui [via a Gaseous Form potion through a little hole, made bigger by a Lightning Bolt by her brother Turin] destroyed the Vampire by staking her, putting an Iomedaean wafer in her mouth, and beheading her.
The Giantslayers took to the stairs and explored the second floor—the only part of the mansion they hadn’t been in (except for Silaqui, who’d briefly been there during her reconnaissance mission earlier that day). The Vampire-child found them and took keen delight in stabbing them, then running away, giggling. The PC’s eventually found themselves in a large, lavishly decorated bedroom. They looked up, and to their horror, discovered 20 dead, human children. Asa noted that one of them was the girl from his nightmare! Silaqui began cutting them down while Asa said a prayer.
Then, out of nowhere, the Vampire-child attacked from behind a door. Next, the 20 children became animated, and attacked the party! Silaqui kills the Vampire-toddler while Draken and Asa take out the children with Channel Energy (assisted by Turin who cast Burning Hands). After the battle was over, Turin sniffed out the Vampire-child’s coffin using Clairvoyance. Again, his sister Silaqui staked, wafered and beheaded the Vampire, while Asa gave the dead children their Last Rites.
Out of nowhere, the acolyte of Iomedae that the party had met in the petrified forest walked in and hailed them. “I remember who I am. I am a celestial sorcerer of Iomedae!” he exclaimed, as he doled out potions. “Drink these and be restored!” And as the party imbibed their contents, their lost levels were found—they were Restored to their proper level.
The party, led by the celestial sorcerer, then made their way back to the petrified forest, and Restored their companions Gydion and Kingsley.
Next: I Don’t Know! I’m not DM’ing anymore!