The session began as the party arrived back in town after raiding the creepy-Cthulhu mansion. The empress (hereafter “Minga”), called an emergency court to find a champion. Fomorians had kidnapped the crown prince.

No demands had been made, but Minga “doesn’t negotiate with terrorists.”

Anat and the rest of the group answered the call, and set out the next morning. (They had wounds and powers to recover from their previous outing.)

On the road, they were startled by some jaunty humming — made worse when they realized the humming was coming from inside their heads.

They had inadvertently wandered within the telepathic projection of a friendly mind flayer. It greeted them with a warm, “Hello, friends!” moments before the Warlock started blasting him with spells. The party reluctantly joined in.

Before they could slay the mind flayer however, it fled using magic.

Around the bend, the party found the mind flayer’s home: a cottage constructed of sweet-smelling gingerbread and other treats. The Ranger felt compelled to leave the mind flayer a potion as a peace offering, but the flayer wasn’t seen again.

Further down the road, the group encountered a raiding party (rival NPCs) with a group of troglodytes. The Ranger recognized Victoria, a traitorous former henchman. Also among the group was Pearl, a slave-trader.

The NPCs scattered into the woods after several of their number were injured and the troglodytes were slaughtered. The PCs took Pearl captive and learned of her connection to the fomorians who had taken the Prince.

Pearl led the party to a cave where they could find the prince.

Inside, the group was swarmed by two dozen troglodytes in close quarters. The battle went badly at first, and before the party could rally and turn the tide, a fomorian was attracted by the sounds of fighting.

Its first order of business was to blast the Fighter with its Evil Eye power.

A lucky save prevented him from being killed outright.

Things got pretty grim at that point. The Warlock got lucky with the Command spell, and compelled the fomorian to flee for a round. The party finished off the troglodytes — but not before they finished off the Fighter.

The group fled with the Fighter’s body and the giant in hot pursuit.

Twice during the chase, the fomorian blasted PCs with its Evil Eye power. The Sorcerer was knocked unconscious (another lucky save prevented her death).

The Cleric carried the Sorcerer to safety (he also carried the Fighter’s corpse) with help from magic boots that negated encumbrance penalties.

Meanwhile, the Ranger led the fomorian away from the group and lost him in the woods. The party limped back to town . . . lucky to be alive, by all accounts.