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4 January 2003 - Saturday

Despite being all tired when I went to bed, I couldn't get to sleep and therefore didn't wake up in any useful way until noon. Because I suck. :(

Amazon Quartet of Justice Vc: "You come to this plane often?"

Although the events in the pocket dimension took no time in the real world, Amaryllis and Fresa have still expended almost all their spells, and Alyra is still poisoned, so the next foray into the caverns beneath the temple of evil has to be postponed for a day. Sophia and Serenity are somewhat annoyed, since they don't get any of Moradin's bounty of gold, and they have to wait another day before smiting evil, but at least there're prisoners to interrogate!

The cutest of the evil monks encountered earlier beckons to Alyra from concealment, and when she sneaks off to meet him, he suggests moving camp and asks if her short cute brunette friend is available. Hmph.

The prisoners turn out to be only hirelings of evil, and not amazingly competent ones at that, so they get the choice of going back to Tigris to stand trial or being set free with minimal equipment. Moments after they grab their minimal equipment (including light armor for one of them, since he helpfully divulged that the necrotheologians have a sphinx) and take off, the sound of boot meeting head is heard. Serves them right.

Camp is duly moved, but the entire city is being swept by zombie patrols, and Sophia, Serenity, and Fresa can't resist the chance to rid the world of fifteen of the walking dead. During the (brief) fight, the cute depraved monk shows up again, expresses despair at the inability of paladins to keep a low profile, and asks Amaryllis out. She tentatively agrees.

Camp is moved again, and the lawful good types put on a leash, so further zombie incident is avoided until the next day, when Our Heroines feel ready to go looking for trouble.

Well, almost ready. Before setting out, Fresa petitions Moradin for divine assistance, which is delivered in the form of a stunning avian celestial by the name of Gabriel. "But call me Gabe," he says to Sophia. "Are you free for dinner?"

The temple above the caverns is full of zombies, but Gabe teleports Sophia to the rear of the hall, and she drives the zombies forth to be slaughtered by the rest of the party. Zombies are so passé.

Retracing their steps, the Amazons come to the room ideally designed for undead ambushes, but the mummies and ghasts there are only a momentary obstacle. Finally, they reach the room where they first encountered the hirelings of evil, and find that a barricade of rubble has been built facing the entrance. Discussion ensues.

Finally, Alyra is sent in to scout. She finds only a couple of snakes lurking behind the barricade, so she shoots one, provoking it into assuming human form and shooting back! That's not too bad, but the enormous spider-monster clinging to the ceiling reveals itself and attempts to rip Alyra into pieces! She beats a hasty retreat with her information, and the assault begins.

Serenity and Sophia advance, but the first part of the fight is mostly a contest between the bebilith's webs and Amaryllis's fireballs. Finally, the bebilith completely clogs the tunnel and Gabe has to evacuate Sophia via teleportation. The two sides sit at opposite ends of the web-filled tunnel and plot.

At last, Amaryllis enhances herself with every spell the party can cast and several of the scrolls and potions she's been hoarding for a rainy day, and Gabe teleports with her to almost the far end of the tunnel: behind enough webbing to provide cover, but not enough to block the fireballs she launches into the room. After two or three, the bebilith falls smoking from the ceiling, so the strike force teleports into the room to be able to shoot down the other corridors. The evil cleric, in a stunning display of magical potency, dispels almost all the spells on Amaryllis, but that doesn't stop her from casting more spells, and doesn't remove Gabe's innate abilities. Things look dicy for a moment, especially when the bebilith gets up and starts taunting them, but it can't actually move within ten feet of Gabe's divine body, and Amaryllis has a few more scrolls, so the cleric, the three snake-men, a bunch of ineffectual zombies, and finally the bebilith go down for good!

Amaryllis had conjured a wall of ice across the corridor the snake-men tried to escape down, so they had to return and die like the barbecue they were, and during the final stages of the battle she hears someone breaking through it. She sends an elemental to scout, and it reports people there, who then leave. It is surmised that it was the four depraved monks.

Now, with only one fireball remaining, the Amazons (plus Gabe) must charge into the heart of the catacombs to rescue the sacrifices and destroy the heartstone of the dead god, putting an end to the necrotheologian threat once and for all!

* * *

Al and Sherilyn decided that their new dungeon bits are actually cool, and protested that they merely felt unworthy earlier, but Marith and I talked them down.

On the way back, I thought about Transmundane and now I might know what goes in the next chapter!

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