By now the Scout has arrived at the top of the ladder and tumbles past the attacking araneas. They try to bite and spit at her, but she manages to dodge the attacks. Her spike chain is ready. Alvra and his lizard appear at the entrance of the room, attacking, while his brother is still climbing. Lilith, still waiting for an opportunity to climb up, speaks the command word which unleashes the spider that is magically bound to her shield. It animates, and a fiendish spider joins in the attack. When Jharrath makes his way towards the top, the Cleric is finally able to climb up too, following her spider.
Both Drow and lizard are engaged in a fierce fight with the araneas. The araneas, unable to use their magical abilities in close combat slash, lash out, bite and spit, and finally Phaedra manages to kill one of the spider-beasts. Alvra is less fortunate and misses repeatedly. The Scout takes advantage of the distraction, makes a flanking move and green blood spurts all around: the third aranea is down too.
While she investigates the room, a male Drow, dressed in very noble clothes, descends the stairway. His chainshirt emanates a soft glow, then red then blue. He is wearing the insignia of House Godeep. It is very hard to focus on the dark elf. Meanwhile Jharrath is on top of the ladder, ready to cast a spell that calls forth his elementals, while the Cleric makes her way up too.
The Drow, gesturing with his hands, commands Alvra
Go away. Go back!
but the Fighter’s will is too strong, he stays put. This instantly enrages the unknown Drow. An incredibly loud shout echoes through the cave. The Wizard recognizes it as a hostile spell and summons his monsters into the scene. The ear-splitting yell proves too much for the riding lizard of Alvra, which dies of sonic damage. They all are damaged and deaf by this evocation, except Lilith and her spider, who are still in the shaft. Though Jharrath’s elementals attack the Drow, they can’t seem to hit him – each time he is slightly out of place. A displacement spell?
Arriving at the platform, Lilith sends forth her spider, but it can’t bite through the Drow’s armor. The Xaniqos attack, but both the spiked chain and the javelins bounce off a sort of invisible shield. An earth elemental manages to breach the defenses, after which a Kellgore’s firebolt delivers further damage, but only a little. Something seems to temper the pain. A Melf’s acid arrow comes buzzing back towards the Wizard, after which, under attack by the earth elementals and Lilith’s spider, the Drow disappears from view. Phaedra tracks him up the stairs. She sees a large cave, filled with more boxes and crates. It looks like a lair. The cave is floodlit. Alvra also walks up the stairs, sword in hand, while Jharrath – still suffering from the acid arrow – first casts mage armor on himself and then sends his elementals in pursuit.
The fiendish spider manages to bite the Drow, but the male discharges a bolt of electricity at the creature and it gets killed. It immediately transforms into a buckler, once again on Lilith’s arm. The Cleric has made it to the stairs and starts moving upwards. Already at the top, Phaedra throws an exploding object at the male Drow’s feet, but he doesn’t seem to be affected by it. He counterattacks by taking out a wand and sends two rays of pure fire at his opponents, missing Phaedra, but hitting one of the earth elementals. The Fighter sees his chance, runs up and aims his javelin at the Drow.
Lilith sees her Wizard brother halfway up the stairs; he looks awful. To keep him on his feet, she extends a faith healing towards him. Feeling better, he goes forward and aims a spell of clumsiness at the male. But the Drow has spell ready: again he opens his mouth and releases another horrible yell. The earth elemental, grabbing the opportunity, immediately attacks and succeeds in hurting its target, but the damage is done: Alvra, Phaedra and both earth elementals are deaf. the wizard seems to be less affected. Unlike his siblings no blood is dripping out of his ears.
Finally arriving at the top of the stairs too, the Cleric dispells the Drow’s magic protection, until only his shield remains. Alvra wants to charge, but is obstructed by one of the elementals. He walks around it and hits the now more vulnerable Drow. The earth elementals join in, as well as Phaedra. Lilith suddenly grows eight tentacles, feeling Yochlol’s blessing, but before she can get her tentacles on the male, Alvra kills him in a ferocious attack. Under their very eyes, the corpse of the Drow changes into an aranea. It was a shapeshifter!
The Scout searches the lair and finds magical bracers, a ring, wand, two healing potions and a lesser restoration potion. There is also a key. She throws the wand at Jharrath and then uses the key to open a strongbox. Inside are two thousand gold pieces, ten garnets – worth hundred gold pieces each – and a golden vial with a ruby stop. But on top of those is a cloak. It shimmers and glistens, reflecting light and colors. By its aura she feels this might be the object they were searching for! Worn by a male, this artifact’s effect must be overwhelming. Lilith claims the cloak from the hands of her sister, their mission accomplished.
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