This actually covers several sessions ... as do some of the previous logs ...
Where the party began last session ...
The party has elected to hold-up for seven to eight hours to recover Action Points and Daily Powers. The camp time goes by uneventfully. There are two ways out of the cavern that the party is in. One is through a carved entryway very close to where the party teleported into the chamber. The second appears to be the entrance to a dwarven carved ramp that leads up at a very sharp angle. At first blush, the carved entryway appears to be of dwarven construction too, but there is something vaguely disturbing and odd about it. The Party has a bad feeling just looking at it. The lintel is full of demonic images, and Glog informs the rest of the Party that this is not the work of healthy, well-balanced dwarves, but rather this is the work of the foul (*spit*) Duergar! Bah! As Glog reads the dwarven/Duergar runes carved around the entrance and translates them roughly as: "Enter here to receive the Mark of Passage! You must pass the tests to show that you are worthy. Once the tests are complete, enter that which is sealed. In the inner chamber beyond, receive the blessings of the Faceless Lord and the Eternal Eye that you might be found worthy to enter the resting place of Palmalta's Lords in this Barbarian north." Hmmm ... Sola, Mallan, and Varis consult and agree that this must be where the Duergar, Gnolls, and Orcs bring the prisoners to receive "the Mark" before transportation to the the Slith burial chambers to be possessed by the ancient, foul sorcerers. The party has not heard of any "test" before though. So, this must be something that must only be completed once ... hmmmm ...
Onward into the chambers beyond ...
The party ventured on through the glowing arch. They felt for a moment as though they were being moved sidewise and then were left with a lingering disorientation.
Unfortunately, the party did not surprise the denizens awaiting within. A grand melee ensued, and it took every ounce of tactical prowess on the part of our doughty band to prevail. In the end, one Duergar caster and three foul Duergar warriors lay still on the ground.
The party found four unusual items amongst the Duergar dead, a book on demon summoning, a demonic mask, a bell, and a hideous looking sword.
Before the party could ascertain the significance and the powers of the four items, three dwarven spirits appeared. After some debate and discussion, the three spirits informed the party that those four items had to be placed in four magic circles within the complex that lay beyond the next archway. The party would then be required to pass some type of test to gain access to the "mark" that would allow the party members to enter into the Slith burial chamber.
The spirits also reinforced some facts that the party had heard before. Unlike most of the magics and effects that the party members had hitherto been exposed to, some of the effects were lasting. For example, the party met one group that claimed that a number of them had been charmed simultaneously, and it was not until the vile caster was slain that they collectively returned to their senses. Another group told of battling Logmar and having their lead warrior's bones "turned to jelly" for an entire day; though fortunately no apparent permanent damage was done.
The party was shaken, but still ventured on-ward. They found a strange warren of chambers and tunnels beyond, all apparently carved by skilled artisans and filled with demonic motifs. But, nothing hindered the party's progress.
At last the group elected to follow the advice of the spirits and placed all four items in the disparate magic circles simultaneously.
A hell erupted throughout the complex. Sterling was affected by a hideously lasting fear spell. The largest group was assaulted by a young green dragon that nearly proved their undoing. Glog was assaulted by animated skeletons. Glarg and Varis were attacked by a huge, rolling ball.
The party battled for its very life, but within a few minutes the assaults ceased, and even the dragon retreated.
The group reassembled and found a runic forge with a glowing brand. The party received the marks that would allow them to pass freely into the Slith burial chamber.
Before the group continued on its way, they elected to deal with the dangers presented to the Team by Kelmore's erratic actions. Glarg, Varis, and Mallan emphatically argued that Kelmore had to give up his vile sword, but Kelmore demurred. In the end, a well placed sap on the back of Kelmore's head won the argument. Mallan, careful not to touch the foul blade, picked it up and threw it into the dragon's hidey-hole. Kelmore's faithful slime companion leaped in after the blade.
Kelmore awoke to find the blade gone. He confessed to his ever faithful team mates that he had indeed been sorely affected by the foul magics of the sword and still felt its dark stain upon his heart. He would gain no further knowledge and wisdom in this world until he had atoned for his indiscretions.
The party traveled back to Karst's keep where the party even now prepares for the assault on Logmar's Tower.
Lord Karst is preparing several magical items that will aid the party in their next endeavors.
The plan appears as follows:
1) The party will return to the tunnels beneath Logmar's Tower and enter into the Slith burial chamber in order to destroy the remains of the Slith sorcerers. The party knows that it must exercise some caution, because they do not want the party members possessed by the undead spirits!!!!
2) The party will assault Logmar through the tunnels through the base of his tower while Lord Karst simultaneously leads a host of undead to battle the gnolls, Duergar, and orcs loyal to Logmar.
3) The party will defeat Logmar directly while Karst and Lizabeth defeat Logmar's army in detail.
4) The party will close out with Karst and then return to Quivera to train and refit for their next adventures. In particular, Kelmore will want to speak with Mortanius, Death Priest of Humakt, to determine what Kemore should do in atonement for his previous, foul acts.
Let the games begin!