One of the Fire Elementals attacks Jharrath, while the other goes for the Cleric. Flames lick hungrily at her piwafwi, but fortunately the potion against fire saves her. This is not the case with the Wizard, who – stepping back – underestimates the reach of the monster and receives a second blow. He is severely wounded by the swing and the fire and his knees start to buckle. Phaedra and Alvra attack the flaming opponent to draw its attention away from Jharrath. Boldly the Fighter steps onto the solidified lava and lashes out at the Elemental – and kills it! The Wizard drinks a potion to recover some of his health.
Meanwhile Lilith again is hit by the second Elemental. She counterattacks and searing lights flow from her hands, straight into the monstrous giant, after which she takes herself to temporary safety and drinks a healing potion too.
A fierce fight develops between the four Drow and the Fire Elemental. A fight in which Alvra gets stuck with one foot in the lava, where hits are scored and misses are regretted, where mirror Scout images appear and the Cleric’s piwafwi disappears – Lilith can save her house insignia though. Phaedra’s piwafwi is scorched as well. A magic missile finally brings the monster down. One of Lilith’s potions returns a bit of vitality to the Fighter.
Warily the four walk under the arch into the next chamber and see two Flamebrothers and a Salamander working the anvil. In an open casket mithril shines and shimmers. They decide to attack from a distance and take out their crossbows; Lilith under the protection of an Armor of darkness spell. Jharrath casts black tentacles near the creatures and manages to capture one of the Flamebrothers and the salamander. The other Flamebrother stays free but to no use: together the foursome attack and a javelin thrown by Alvra finishes off one, while Phaedra shoots the other.
Lilith activates her Spiderbound Buckler and her shield transforms itself into a small spider. A Yochlol spell wills her body to form eight tendrils. The Salamander goes under in a shower of javelin, crossbow, soundburst spell and the by now famous magic missiles from the wand of the Wizard.
When they walk towards the anvil, Phaedra finds a chest with gold pieces and pearls, but nothing that resembles a mithril staff. When she walks towards a wooden oblong case, a thundering voice calls out.
I wouldn’t do that if I were you!
The Cleric has had it with this expedition and sends her spider towards the case. When nothing happens, she walks towards it herself and picks it up. Immediately a twelve feet long floating red torso appears. An Efreeti! Its two large hands come together in a spell craft gesture and fire erupts all around them in a twenty foot radius – like fireworks. Thanks to their quick reflexes they manage to shield their eyes from it while their potions shield them from the fire. The Xaniqos stay safe except for Alvra, who is blinded by the bright eruption. The Fighter activates a globe of darkness as counter measure, so he’s not at a disadvantage.
The fight rages back and forth. The Efreeti starts changing and becomes huge. Lilith attacks with her tentacles and scores several hits. The Scout’s spiked chain adds to the creature’s damage. A medium Shadow Viper appears and attacks, guided by Jharrath. When Alvra hears the monster scream, he lashes out and manages to hit the Efreeti. Enraged, it punches down on Lilith with a giant fist and floats upwards.
Unable to reach the Efreeti at this height, the Cleric holds the case with the staff safely against her chest, calls back her spider and walks towards the arch that leads back to the entrance: they have what they came for. Phaedra grabs the gems from the chest and joins her sister, yelling
to the still blinded Fighter. A shimmering wall of fire erupts in front of the sisters, blocking their escape. Jharrath fires another magic missile at the hovering form and Alvra – once his blindness lifts – hurls a javelin and manages to break the Efreeti’s concentration: the curtain of fire disappears. Heavily wounded and angry, the monster’s last words
I will be back!
bounce against the walls of the suddenly empty cave.
Besides the three green emeralds, two star rubies and three silver pearls she already found, Phaedra discovers another five hundred gold pieces in the chest. They decide to take these with them, but leave the large supply of mithril. Lilith finds a magic flail, which glows with fire, and of course a beautiful staff in the wooden case. The potion lasts long enough for them to escape the tunnels of fire.
When they report back to Thangarth, he is very happy to hear about the retrieval of his staff, which – as turns out – can call forth a Fire Elemental. The clan master is delighted to hear the Efreeti has been chased away and tells them they can keep all they have found. The Steelshadows will retrieve the mithril themselves. Thangarth hands Lilith a map with the location of the portal that will take the Xaniqos back to the vicinity of Looblishar. The use of the portal is payed by the Steelshadow clan. And though trade will always be possible, Thangarth hopes he will never lay eyes on them again.