Recovering from the epic struggle with the lone, unmoving zombie, the party considered where to go next. Most of the discussion was between exploring further west, or south, where they’d as yet seen very little. South was agreed to, and the party returned through the great entry hall, with its many carved archways and dark, dead air. His companions noted that Jimmy remained somewhat out of sorts.
South of the great entry hall, the party came across a life-like and life-sized (i.e. very large) statue of a huge devil, holding a military fork pointed towards the ceiling. They passed this warily, but nothing untoward happened. There was no hint of movement or life in the statue, except for maybe the eyes, and the party hurried on. They now came to a strange temple. Every surface seemed to be of transparent material like impenetrable glass, beyond which the party seemed to be in the midst of clouds in some high place. There was no sign of the ground, nor of the sun, though there was some light. Atop a nearly invisible dais was a statue of a handsome devil some 8 feet high, holding a staff in one hand and holding forth a rod in the other. The party liked this not and did not linger here, but continued on, soon running into a gelatinous Cube (Lune in the literal sense). This was quickly destroyed and a secret door led to yet another large room.
In this cross-shaped room, there were many doors, behind one of which Jimmy could hear something. the party rushed into that one to find three of the green-scaled devil things they’d fought before. These proved tough, but not insurmountable. However, Ash had taken some hits from one and backed to the doorway to stand watch and avoid more injuries; about that time three more came rushing out of another door, right into the wizard. It was rather touch and go for a time, but the party prevailed with no casualties. But rest was needed, and the party debated where to go briefly, somewhat confused by their own map and where exactly they’d rested before.
They eventually made their way to a room not far from the temple where Jimmy was afflicted (he proved to be a bit of trouble, wishing to go plunder rubies from it). But, despite noises in the night (including the periodic sound of a hammer on metal, like a blacksmith), they were undisturbed until the early morning hours, when a glob of Lemures attacked. Fortunately, the party had spiked the doors with the heads of the dead lizard devil’s halberds, which slowed the things down sufficient for the party to escape. But rest was needed still, so the party decided to try their luck with the “lemonade stand” as they called it, the weird room with the strange woman, her weird children, and the even stranger fixtures there. This proved to be an excellent resting place (and catered with lemonade, milk and cookies) despite the uncanny occupants who never seemed to leave or do anything different. Two nights were spent here, allowing the party to fully recover from their wounds and previous exertions.
The party now passed back through the devil statue room, but now noted that its fork was pointed downward. The place was uncanny, so the party hurried through once more. Nearby they found a large, round and domed room within which rested a beautiful woman in armor and holding a sword, seemingly asleep. Her skin was cold, though she did not appear dead, only sleeping. Letholdus gave her a kiss and she stirred, sitting up but not hostile. She claimed to be a warrior who had been sworn to the service of Adragomm, the devil that dwelt below in this dungeon. By some trickery (she implied), she was forced to do three tasks for him, and had one yet remaining to do. By questioning her, it was clear she has been for a very, very long time (since 1119 YM, over 150 years), waiting in sleep for her final task to be released from service. When asked, she said that after her releases he would seek glory in honorable battle (she seemed very much interested in fighting, and little else). She would not accompany the party – she could not leave until her task was done and the devil released her. To a question from Letholdus, she did think that slaying the devil would release her from her agreement. The temples were to the Arch Devils, she told them, there was one to each of the great eight Arch Devils that ruled a plane of Hell. As the party left, she returned to her slumber.
Moving back south, the party found a dead body of what appeared to be a local from Lost Fornim, torn to pieces and fairly recently. Near this room, the party found a small room where the air seemed charged with electricity (small sparks were visible everywhere). There was a small pedestal with a hand print in it. Someone (forgot to write down who) put their hand it and a swirl in the air began to appear, eventually forming a stronger and stronger vortex that became more opaque. From this, slender blue hands with long black nails came, seemingly trying to pull themselves from the vortex. Eventually four hideous females emerged, with pale blue skin, black hair, clawed hands, lusterless eyes, and cruel expressions of hate and mockery. An intense cold accompanied them. Ash was struck down by one and became very weak, and the thing began to drag him towards the vortex. It was a tough melee for the party, but by dint of strong fighting, they Lune was able to delay the thing from dragging their companion to whatever doom awaited him in the vortex (NOTE: it really was a close thing, down to a die roll or two between life and death). This fight nearly spent the party. Much shaken, they retreated to the “Lemonade Stand” to rest once more, happy to have not lost their wizard to the cold hags.
– Experience: 1937 XP each