After resting up in the Cyclops’ lair in the Labyrinth of Zingalis, we set off down the hall past the summoning circle in search of more loot. The treasure finding potion that Lucias had quaffed during the previous session indicated there was more treasure to be found off in that direction somewhere. At the end of the hall past the prison cell blocks was an empty room with one angled corner wall and an archway on the right wall that led into another rectangular room with tapestries on two of its walls. This room, however, was not empty – staring at us with wicked smiles from the other side of the room were four Eryines! The winged female Devils were somehow strangely attractive and yet had a cruel, alien and wickedly evil look to them at the same time. They hissed obscenities at us, promising to return our souls to Hades, and then the melee commenced.
We weren’t surprised but unfortunately, they had the initiative and acted first. Two of them teleported across the room using their Teleport Without Error ability and jumped the dwarven cleric Brummbar in the back left end of the group's line. One of them managed to land a hit with her evil poisoned dagger but the dwarf made his save against the poison affects of the blade. One of the others attacked Kaira to little effect with its dagger, as Kalaniekos and Asclepius came to her aid. The other one stood where it was and used its enchanted Rope of Entanglement to try to ensnare its opponents, and managed to tie up Taleth the Ranger who was stuck and couldn’t move. She snarled “I’ll turn you into a Lemure once we return to Hades!”
Then the group struck back and managed to kill the one holding Taleth with weapons, arrows and magic missiles and he was free once again. Lucias came to the aid of Brummbar and between the two of them they managed to slay one of the ones attacking the dwarf. It was looking like the combat was going well when suddenly things went horribly wrong. The devil that was fighting Brummbar and Lucias used her rope of entanglement and managed to ensnare the fighter – he was helpless to act from that point on. To make matters worse, the other one used her Cause Fear spell like ability and a number of the party members fled the room including Brummbar, Cyrcla, Taleth, and Asclepius.
Things weren’t so easy with our primary fighter and four other characters effectively taken out of the melee and in the next round it only got worse. The one holding Lucias in the rope also used her fear affect along with the other one and then Kaleneikos and Naas also fled screaming in terror from the room but not before they managed to kill the one in front of them. This left the one devil holding Lucias in the rope, fighting against Kaira the cleric and Gradwin the Cleric/Mage. Kaira tried in vain to cut the magical rope to no avail. Gradwin picked up Brummbar’s magical short sword that had been dropped as he fled, and attacked the she devil doing a small amount of damage. The lone Erinye tried to summon more of her kind to the fray unsuccessfully as she hissed obscenities at her attackers. Both of the clerics now focused their full efforts on slaying the evil devil creature. Before attacking her, Gradwin intoned to his deity “Oh mighty and powerful Hecate, grant me strength against this foul abomination to send her back to the hell from whence she came” and he struck her with a powerful blow (he invoked the d30 for his damage roll – once per session, any character can roll the d30 for a single roll for emergencies such as this).
She reeled and was hurt badly (he rolled 20 points of damage plus other bonuses) and was suddenly not so sure of her victory anymore. She once again attempted to summon more of her “sisters” from hell but they did not answer her call fortunately (it would have been game over if they had). Then Kaira managed to land the killing blow with her enchanted spear and the battle was over. As the magical ropes disappeared and returned to hell, Lucias thanked the two priests for freeing him from the ropes and certain doom. As the remaining characters in the room took stock of their surroundings, slowly the others started returning to the room as the fear affect wore off. Fortunately, they didn’t encounter any wandering monsters in the labyrinth as they fled as that could have been disastrous for them. They slowly filtered back into the room and picked up their discarded weapons littering the floor. We had to go back to the hallway with the permanent sleep spell cast on it to retrieve the two fourth level characters that had succumbed to the sleep spell in their flight in order to revive them since they were asleep.
Once the group was re-joined, we searched the room and found the Erinyes treasure hoard then decided to open the large bronze double doors in front of us. These led into a long rectangular room with caryatid columns on either side that was otherwise empty. At the end of the long hall like chamber it opened into a much larger chamber beyond with three elliptical steps leading down a few feet lower to the floor below. At the other end of the room was a group of fourteen very odd creatures. They looked to be yet another example of Zingalis’ crazy experiments. They were some kind of abominable cross breed between humans or humanoids and devils but they had lobster like claws instead of hands. The DM referred to them as "infernal mutants" but we had never encountered their like before.
They rushed at the group and we formed a line across the top of the stairs between the columns on either wall so that they couldn’t get into our rear ranks. Behind the front line stood the spellcasters who hurled magic missiles and fired arrows into the crazy looking lobster devil things. The front line consisted of Cyrcla on the left side, Lucias and Taleth in the middle and Teth-en-Aire on the right side. Before they could come to grips with the adventurers, both Cyrcla and Teth-en-Aire cast mirror image so there were suddenly many more images of the elves to conceal their actual locations. As the others stood in the back and cast spells and fired arrows, Kalaneikos stood behind the front line and attacked them with his spear to bolster the line as needed. Brummbar and Kaira cast a combination of Prayer, Holy Chant and Bless simultaneously which not only bolstered the group’s offensive capabilities, but also bolstered their defensive capabilities as well with positive energy from their deities.
The characters in the front line slew the beasts as they came at them and suffered very little in the way of damage from their opponents while the characters in the back of the line helped to whittle them down as well. In this manner, the group managed to slay all fourteen of the abhorrent creatures in a slow grinding battle that diminished their numbers until they were all dispatched. These beasts were not true devils but were some kind of cross breeds between humans or humanoids and devil kind. This fact was ascertained by the clerics, because they didn’t wink out and disappear to their home plane when destroyed like devils would have, rather, they bled and died like normal humanoids. After the last creature was killed, we searched the room thoroughly and found their treasure piled in one corner. Aside from more of the evil looking demonic caryatids lining the walls and a few other statues, the room had no other exits or hidden features that we could discern.
So, after two long grueling combats against the spawn of Hades and Zingalis’ crazy creations, we decided to call it a day and headed back to the Cyclops’ lair for a much needed rest.
TO BE CONTINUED…