PCs: Janus Stradivarian, Fifi, Prancine, Charlie Darrowkin, Audrey Carcassonne, Jim-der the thief
(Summary by the guy who lost two characters in one night.)
The mish-mash party returns again to the Wizard's tower beneath the farm fields. The Barbarian we loosed upon the world has apparently been apprehended, and the farmer continues to spend the money that Charlie, Fifi and Prancine made sure he received to care for his family. Unfortunately the stream of events are clouded to this poor tale-teller, so bear with me if I tell them out of order.
A room we often encountered had a sequence of tiles which activated when depressed. Previously, we always used Charlie to run around and secure a rope as we climbed across. Since we did this without armor, we were ambushed by white goblins with bulbous eyes.
Janus wished to make hasty progress to the heart of this wizard's tower by ascending the staircase (past Dim, the now deactivated skull) rather than retracing our previous route. The next time we encountered this tiled room, Prancine and Fifi ran across and activated the trap: a mustard ooze, which we escaped from without loss.
The next room involved a large pool surrounded by a narrow path. Sensing hesitancy, Fifi stepped forward to look at the water. She was then seized by an undead presence and dragged underneath, immediately killing her. The party dispatched the wight quickly (he turned out to be somewhat weak), decapitating him when he arose to claim more. We then explored the pool more cautiously, but netted no treasure.
A room adjoining it had pipes, one of which was clear and pumping a red fluid. Charlie wanted to smash this, and did so, and immediately an ominous moaning echoed from the halls ahead. At the right fork just ahead we encountered the source of discontent: a magical wall of flesh which struck out with pseudopods when approached. The party decided to wait for its demise. Exploring the left we encountered a series of libraries, and a glass case with a special lock. this lock housed a book and required a special hand-print to open. Waiting in a locked room for the wall to die, we returned only to find a procession of goblins taking meat from the now dead wall. This wall had been the sole source of nourishment for the living denizens of the tower! Ambushing the goblins, we hacked behind the wall of meat and found a door!
Following the door, we found some more stairs. These stairs led to a garden, an arboretum, apparently in another limitless dimension, until we tested its limits. Then we found it was an illusion. Encounters with a bear and a troll followed, but I am unsure which were real or which were not, since I was so pissed I lost a cleric. Eventiually we encountered the room of the wizard, and we sent in the thief to backstab him. This is when the thief had one of those "What?? Should I even do this??" moments right before striking, and struck, ineffectually.
The wizard was a mass of flowing beard hair, hiding most of his undead features. Books were covered in scrawling, elaborate writing and were written and re-written with the same ideas. He greeted us, asked us if we wished to be his apprentices, until we attacked. He then twisted a ring and disappeared. The ring clattered to the floor. The thief took the ring and did the same. Prancine immediately followed. This left the higher level characters in a quandry: was this a TPK situation? Should they follow? Janus followed, Audrey as well. We advised Charlie, the most senior member, to stay behind and tell our tale.
The members teleported to a huge room with immense pillars and piles of treasure. The wizard had two giant glass statue constructs which would later explode when destroyed. We pressed the wizard, who was a lich/wight with level draining abilities even with no magic weapons, to disrupt his casting. The thief had been charmed by the wizard to think he was also a friend, though he later found a way to get the Wizard's circlet, and tricked him into engaging in a wizard's duel for his friend's lives before being destroyed.. . It was a grim situation, but Janus and Audrey's arrival turned the tide. A series of lucky die rolls and lucky misses kept Prancine alive much longer than her adversaries thought possible, but she fell as well. Janus Stradivarian, the sole possessor of a magic weapon found himself fighting the crazed wizard and was struck, losing a level. For an elf, this is a pretty harsh moment, worse than losing 2 first level clerics, for sure. But eventually Janus and Audrey destroyed the last remnants of the wizard's guard. They offered treasure shares to loved ones of the lost, but they were not to be found.
Janus sought the means of finding a restoration of his lost level.