The party slipped stealthily from the secret room to continue their explorations. Thren scouted ahead into the large temple room and spotted a blue-skinned imp watching to the west (the other direction). Invisible, he told the party to wait and went south to come around the other side. There ensued a game of cat and mouse as he discovered that a number of the creatures seemed to be observing the direction of the area where the party encountered the hostile demons. He attempted to draw their attention to the west, to allow the party to slip away. It did not go well, as the imps noted his light and began to systematically search for him, occasionally striking at him even as he remained invisible. At one point, he noted a single imp break from the group to head south and out the secret door. Eventually, the imps caught the thief, but the party came to his rescue, attacking them from behind (aided by summoned Goblins). The creatures were destroyed but not before Thren was seriously wounded.
The party moved on, first re-exploring some areas to the west, then moving east to unknown areas. Turning a corner, they ran into a blue Troll standing before a door. As they attacked it, a second, larger one came out of the door. Aldeberon took a tremendous blow from one of them (a crit for 43HP damage!), but they were able to eventually slay them both and take a modest treasure. Nearby, they ran into a pair of Yetis moving through the halls, also slain quickly by the party. Nearby they found a series of rooms with badly damaged murals and other debris, but little else. Nearby was the remnants of a temple to the demonlord Orcus, though whatever power it once had was clearly broken.
The party soon encountered another room of blue trolls. ZZ aided the fight with bless and chant spells. Meanwhile, Cadwalider blasted them with magic missiles, a lightning bolt, and paralyzed one with a wand. Aldeberon, Atletan, and Havok bore the brunt of the melee, and soon the Trolls were slain and burned by Aldeberon’s flaming sword. At this point, the party decided to rest in this room for a time as they talked about the possibility of polymorphing someone into a Troll to do some spying. But, not long after the melee, they heard the sounds of many feet passing outside. After a few minutes, there was a knock at the door and a high-pitched voice in Common yelled at the “trolls” to come outside and help as there were intruders loose in the dungeon. The party opened the door and grabbed the blue skinned imp standing outside and dragged him into the room and shut the door again. Under threat, he told the party that his folk had been sent down to locate a group of intruders. The stairs up were nearby, to the north. Realizing that they had alerted the place to their presence, the party slew the imp as it cursed them with “the Ice Wizard will freeze your souls.” ZZ took his head to “prevent speaking with dead,” and they quickly slipped north, finding stairs to a dungeon level above.
There was a four-way intersection at the top of the stairs. They still wished a place to rest, so they began exploring to the west. They found a door and entered a room not far away, within which was a free-standing archway of thin stone in the middle of it. Cadwalider walked through it cautiously and heard a whisper in Dwarvish, saying “feed me, please.” Cadwalider got some rations from his pack and held it up the arch, which sent out a pseudopod to engulf and absorb the food. It seemed pleased, and politely asked for more, which it was given. It proved talkative, and the party realized that it was a mimic. Fed and then provided wine from ZZ’s magic cup, it grew drunk and quite garrulous, answering all the party’s questions. Stairs up were to the southeast, while also that direction was a prison or dungeon of some sort. West were some “powerful undead” as well as a two-headed Troll named Zotz, who had a bad disposition. He also warned them that his “mute cousin” was wandering about and was quite dangerous and to be avoided. When asked it, told the party that there was secret corridor at the south end of the room they could use to camp safely – it even offered to stand guard for them. The party accepted and camped safely in a 10′ long corridor with secret doors to either end. Opening the other secret door they found an east-west corridor; to the west were things hanging on the wall that they could not make out, but they did not explore further.
Next day, after a brief time speaking with the mimic, the party went west, urged by Cadwalider who wanted to “find stuff.” They came to a huge room with an ice devil encased in a block ice as hard as diamond. It was immobile but here was anger in its eyes, and several in the party received a telepathic message that, if they were to free it, it would reward them. The party debated this for a short time; Cadwalider was in favor of release, and Aldeberon went as far as trying to melt a little of the ice with his sword, but it did not do anything to it, so the party continued. They now ran into the Specters they’d been warned of, but Havok managed to turn them and hold them at bay as the party plundered their room without a fight. A nearby secret room proved to be full of long-ago plundered chests, sadly.
In another room nearby, the party ran into a giant two-headed troll; as warned by the Mimic, it proved to be quite ornery and strong. During the melee, it grabbed Havok and ripped his left arm clean out (bad crit roll there!). But, it was outnumbered by the party, who managed to slay it with the aid of Thren’s backscratch. In addition to a modest treasure, the troll was wearing a blue-steel arm band. ZZ took it and slipped it over his arm, and it shrunk to fit him snugly.
Moving around a long loop, the party soon found themselves in the east-west passage adjacent to their secret room of the night before. They now came to the hanging objects near it – ice skates by a door. Opening the door, they found a large room with a floor of smooth ice. Cadwalider (I think) tried skating and found he could cross easily enough; Atletan simply hovered above and used the celling to make his way across (there were tow other doors in the room). Thren then tried sitting on the ice, and promptly froze solidly to it; worse, the intense cold began to sap him rapidly. Getting him up proved to be problematic, but eventually he was pried up through the use of a dispel magic spell that temporarily broke the magical effect. After that, the party successfully crossed and exited (most kept their skates, I believe; others were hanging outside of this door).
They now came to a large audience hall of sorts, filled with elaborate ice carvings, icy ropes festooned between pillars, and several white wolf and bear skin rugs. They took the pelts and decided where they would go next…
– Experience: 4266 XP each (4693 XP for those getting +10%)