The Principles

The mist solidifies into the large form of a vampire ogre. He’s very pale, which is emphasized by his black cloak. Like the ogre mage, he has two horns. Next to him another big form appears, no horns though. The vampire ogre sends forth a large cone of cold, which hits the elemental, Alvra and his cleric sister straight in the chest. The remaining ghoul dies in the process. The vampire looks content. The other ogre hurls a javelin towards Lilith, but misses completely; the weapon splinters against the wall. She counterattacks and launches a bolt of cold darkness from her left hand, leaving the beast dazed. Phaedra tumbles down from the wall and loads her hand crossbow.

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When the drow and elemental go after the vampire ogre, their opponent proves to be unnatural fast. Alvra’s charge misses and the vampire lays his hand on the fighter’s arm. The icy cold drains his energy, while the vampire visibly grows stronger: his wounds heal! The other ogre is still under the effect of the darkbolts and wanders about. Lilith casts a healing circle, helping Alvra and the earth elemental, but harming the ogre. The horned giant is not troubled by the spell. Several attacks of the Xaniqos fail, so Phaedra changes back to her spiked chain. The vampire ogre grabs his shiny greatsword and pulverizes the earth elemental, sending it back to its own plane. A malicious roar echoes through the cave. The beast is laughing! What can they do to take him down? The drow cleric calls on the power of the Spider Queen to dispel any ongoing spells on the vampire ogre.

Meanwhile Jharrath is still in combat with the rats. The bats have been expelled but one rodent doggedly hangs on. The laughter has just died away when a new sound fills the room. The roar of a lion blasts straight into the rat’s ear, and with a squeak it runs after the bats… it will be its last race though, for the cleric kills the passing rodent in one swipe. Satisfied the wizard nods. Sometimes a trick is all it takes.

Alvra changes the hold on his sword and takes another swing at the horned ogre in front of him. This time he succeeds in wounding the vampire – twice – but again the creature’s wounds start to heal. The scout isn’t that fortunate:  her chain whizzes through thin air. Walking towards the cleric, the giant attacks and with a mighty swing wounds her badly. Again his maniacal laugh bounces against the walls. His fellow ogre is still under the influence of the dark-bolts.

Holding up the holy symbol of Lolth, Lilith rebukes the vampire ogre. She seems to succeed, as his behavior changes and his arrogance is somewhat tempered. The wizard sends down a hail of stones, while Phaedra scores two hits with her spiked chain. Again the ogre’s wounds heal, but only partial. He glares at the cleric but won’t touch her. He even turns around and starts to walk away! Alvra immediately lashes out with his sword and strikes home. The vampire takes to the air and tries to flee into another room. Jharrath’s answering ray of flames doesn’t do any damage, but Phaedra and Alvra’s combined attack with chain and javelin do: the vampire ogre dies and dissolves into mist.

Still under the influence of the cleric’s rebuke spell, the dazed ogre is commanded to answer her questions.

What is behind that door?

The library, with very important items; Thra’esue has the key.

When Lilith orders him to give her the key, the ogre refuses.

Where does the other corridor lead?

To the resting place of Mephisolis, leader of the Three Principles.

Aha. And how do we kill Mephisolis?

He is most vulnerable in his coffin.

Having extracted all the information she needs, the cleric attacks the ogre, aided by her siblings. It takes their combined forces to wound him and finally the wizard takes him down with his wand of scorching rays. Patches of mist are the only proof that there ever was an ogre.

 

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