As they seem to get closer to the action, Lilith calls on her Deity and strengthens her siblings and herself with a Mass Shield of Faith. She then blesses Alvra with additional spells of Bull’s Strength and Healing, for the Fighter doesn’t look well.
Phaedra sets off to explore the tunnel and arrives at a larger cave. The heat is oppressive. She sees two little Devils who seem to be having fun fooling around: one is a squat brutish miniature human, made of stone and lava; the other of water and steam – both with wings. There’s also another Fire Salamander. When Phaedra describes the smaller creatures to Lilith, the Cleric recognizes them as Fire and Steam Mephits.
The plan of action for Phaedra is to lure the creatures back towards the others one by one. She tiptoes to the entrance of the fire cave and shoots at the Fire Mephit, but the bolt doesn’t seem to hurt much. When she steps back to reload, the Steam Mephit follows, yelling,
Away, intruder! Away, intruder!
and blows steam in her face. Fortunately the potions helps deflect the heat damage. The Fire Mephit picks up the bait too and follows on her heels. The Scout rushes back to her siblings, warning them of the approaching Mephits.
The little Devils fly around the bend of the corridor and one duplicates itself: suddenly there are three Mephits! The new one is no challenge for Alvra though: he kills it with one mighty blow. The Steam Mephit can’t see the humor of that and also attacks, but the Fighter is on a roll and with a second blow wounds this opponent severely. When the winged creature tries to escape, Alvra kills it. Phaedra tumbles back and two hits with her spike chain end the life of the third creature.
The Scout returns to the cave to see if she’s able to get more opponents to chase her. Two more Fire Mephits are hovering above the lava, and though she tries to tempt them by shooting bolts, they don’t follow her. The Fire Salamander orders the two to stay put. Phaedra then attacks the salamander and step by step it comes forward, until it charges. Because of Lilith’s shield spell, the charge misses and the Scout fully retreats into the corridor. Its failure finally lures the beast into following her and the Drow are ready for it.
Again it goes for Phaedra, but Alvra interrupts and scores a hit. All Xaniqos now attack with chain, magic missiles and flail. Alvra’s two-handed sword is especially effective. After Phaedra manages to trip the beast, Jharrath finishes it off with his wand of missiles. The Fighter takes the salamander’s spear as substitute for his incinerated javelin.
The Drow all march into the cave now, where the heat is like a blow to the face There’s much hissing of the lava. The remaining Mephits stay at a safe distance above the fiery liquid. Lilith cautiously moves forward, followed by her Fighter brother. Up ahead is a passage to another cave. They all walk slowly towards the arch when suddenly the fire takes shape on both sides of the walkway and two Fire Elementals rise to the surface.