Last Sunday’s session had its share of tense moments and hard-won victory, along with some goodies. Coming out alive was sweet, since we were short-handed.

First, Stephan the cleric had announced he would be back. However, by game time, it turned out that, for whatever reason, he had left the game. Then we were also without Grace the bard and Nel the fighter.

That wasn’t unexpected, since both had mentioned that the week before. On the other hand, we gained a new member, Kira Fields the cleric, played by our own Dellaster. And wow, were we glad he/she (heh) was with us.

So it was just Stony, Matreus, Kit, and Kira for this night’s outing. I was hoping that would be enough, especially lacking the second fighter.

To make life simpler, the DM ruled that Grace and Nel were blue fuzz. We would just igore their absence rather than role-play it, since that would present problems.

Since Nel wasn’t present, Stony took charge of the magic sword found last time, which turned out to be a nice bastard sword +1. At least we were semi-prepared for undead.

So we started at the point we left off last time, the entrance to the crypt. Walking in, we found Kira. She had been shipwrecked on another vessel and had just managed to reach shore and run into the tomb.

After the introductions, we went on to explore the area. The next room had some strange fire traps in the floor, apparently unable to be disabled. Everyone except Stony took some damage from those.

In the room beyond, we came under attack by some skeletons and zombies. For a couple of rounds, everyone got into the fighting, then Kira did a turn undead which helped immensely. The monsters were easy pickings after that, though we had taken some damage ourselves.

We had a bit of a breather, during which Matreus announced that “someone is calling magical forces here”. None of us liked the sound of that. And then a lich popped in.

I admit to having a very bad moment there. After all, this is just a 2nd-level group. What chance would we have against something like that?

Surprisingly, the thing was easy to hit, and went down quickly, with Stony getting the killing blow. I wonder if the DM had debuffed it somewhat in view of the small party.

Anyway, it had a magical quarterstaff (+1) which naturally went to Matreus. Kira did some healing on Kit, when suddenly another undead monster appeared, the Shade of The Old King. Woof! Two in a row.

It was much tougher than the lich. The Old King got two good hits on Stony, who needed a quick reviver from a healing potion. It also “killed” Inferno, Matreus’ familiar, and landed a solid one on Kira.

Fortunately, Stony got in a few good hits of his own and that took care of the Old King, but that had been a hard one. He had carried a magical hammer (+1) and I think scale armor +1.

Again we had a breather, and discussed the advisibility of resting, since Kira was out of spells and we were now looking the worse for wear. Of course, a pair of skeletons had to come clacking in, but luckily we dropped them quickly.

We retreated to the previous room for some much-needed rest. Matreus seemed in a very bad way, and resting didn’t help it. No one had any idea of what the problem could be. Matreus thought it might have been a hit from one of those skeletons.

We went back to room, but found nothing. Matreus was moving slowly, and still in great distress. Kit wanted to look into a pair of sarcophagi, but we restrained her, since something might pop out and Matreus was in no shape to do anything.

Matreus wanted to give the magic medallion to Kira. I think we all forgot he had it, since it wasn’t used in any of the combats. She was reluctant to take it, and wanted to hand it to Kit. I’m not sure who has it right now.

Matreus was also feeling tired, so we backtracked again and waited while he rested. Finally he seemed all right, though still moving very slowly. So we returned to the other room and Kit finally got to look into the coffins.

One was cheap, or at least Kit said so, announcing a find of three gold. That didn’t thrill anyone. I think the other was empty; nothing is mentioned in the log about it.

The next door along was locked. Kit got it open, though she was unnerved a bit by hearing a strange sound. Nonetheless, we went on through the door. That’s when the trap sprung.

Matreus, thanks to moving slowly, was still outside. The rest of us were in a small room, with two locked doors, and some kind of gas. And a shadow. Lucky us.

Kit failed her save and was incapacitated. Kira hung in for a round, then she was out of it. Then left it up to Stony. You have no idea how glad I am I decided to be a dwarf. The save bonus was a literal life-saver here.

After several rounds, Stony finally disposed of the shadow. Good thing, too, because shortly after that, he failed his save (that was some long-lasting gas!).

After the room cleared, the DM had to fix up Matreus’ strange slow movement. He did this by killing Matreus and resurrecting him. I hope that wasn’t too painful.

Then Kit worked on the second locked door, and we moved into a very large room, with a raised area in the center having a stairway up and a pair of statues.

Of course they were guardian statues and shot out rays of negative energy. Matreus thought someone should try running up the stairs, which might turn off the statues. So Stony made a run for it.

He reached the top, taking some damage, and managed to trip a trap for even more, though he made his save. By this time, he was really hurting (14 point hit, and that was with the save. Ouch!!).

Two healing potions brought back all of four points (I think the temple sells watered-down healing items; Stony oughtta sue them). Then Kira did some healing on him and brought him back up to health.

Meanwhile, Kit and Matreus had been attacking one of the statues with missile weapons and managed to destroy it. But the other one proved tougher. Then the DM, in a moment of generosity, hinted to Stony that he could RP crawling along the ledge (it was physically inaccessible in-game) and shoving the statue over.

Happily, that worked after Stony made his strength roll, and we could finally get to the sarcophagi up there. Altogether we found a magic shield +1, a short sword +1, a magic wand, a magical runestone of healing, magic bolts, magical throwing axes (looked to do cold damage), and a morningstar.

Then we took a much-deserved rest to heal up. Whew, that was the toughest situation in the session, and I was really worried there.

It turned out that the morningstar, alas, was an evilly-enchanted item. Stony and Kit suggested selling it. Matreus, of all people, thought that was a bad idea.

We debated it for awhile then deferred discussion as there was one area yet to explore. Of course, we walked into three ghouls. Good thing Kira turned undead; once again, the power of good prevailed and the three nasties were soon history.

That room had an altar with 210 gold. We went on and in a hallway, ran into a trio of Allips. After two were disposed off, Stony heard a faint cry for help from Kira. She had turned at least one of them and then ran after it.

Stony came storming to the rescue, and between them, they put an end to the final undead in the crypt.

The hallway ended in a locked door, with the word “FOOL” written in blood on the bottom of it. We puzzled over this for a long time. Technically, it was at the end of the map, so no room was beyond. However, it might have opened on a way down.

Or it may have just meant this was a “fool’s errand” and the door itself no more than a red herring. Only the DM knows, because we finally gave up and left the crypt for our return to town. Whoosh!

This was a nerve-racking session, and I don’t know if we could have pulled through without the invaluable help of Kira. It’s a pleasure to have Dell with us in any case, and we all thank him for signing on.

But at least we found some nice stuff in that nasty place. Of course, the real fights are ahead, when we come up against the monsters for whom those weapons are needed. Time to stock up on healing potions again….