Last night’s game began with a bit of an anticlimax, but that’s what archmages are good for, isn’t it?

I’ve started incorporating some flash fiction into the campaign: which you can read by the way. It’s all here on the blog.

Anyway, the group had both the Siege of Sarthel and the Sack of Ionic on their minds before the session began, and an army of bearded devils coming up on their home base in ‘the Shire.’

They’re starting to get more used to the idea of using Sending and certain higher-tier magic, I’ll give them that. Just before one of the players issued a sort of ‘goodbye letter’ to one of the NPCs, cookiemonger suggested contacting Allandra over in White Cliff.

That was probably the easiest Sending I’ve ever drafted. It amounted to, “hold on, I’ll come right over.” What she actually did was use her resources to open a Reverse Portal and enable the evacuation of the entire village in a matter of hours.

When the army of devils arrived… no hobbits.

The only reason it worked was because it was suggested by a player. I mean, I wouldn’t have offered it as a solution unless someone asked. Which they did. So yeah. Funny how stuff like that happens sometimes.

The players took some time to audit character sheets again, for magic items. They’ve been running into this consistent problem that enemies will have damage resistance and half the party will lack weapons that can punch through.

There was an extra belt of giant strength kicking around, along with a couple of magic short swords that our dual-wielding dragonborn barbarian could make use of. He was like, “25 Strength? I didn’t know you could do that.”

He’s one of the new players. :)

There was also the matter of the key to the third level of the dungeon.

It mysteriously appeared in the room of one player character with a note reading “thank you.” The players had their suspicions, but nothing conclusive about where the key came from. Pity. ;)

After the magic item audit, the group used teleportation to re-enter the dungeon. As long as they space out the trips, they’re guaranteed to have enough charges for a round trip using the Helm of Teleportation. It’s a simple enough trick.

They used the key to access the third level of the dungeon, where they found an underground river and rooms and rooms of golem parts.

One of the rooms they decided to try was locked with an intricate mechanical trap that blasted them with steam at regular intervals. Once they got the door open, they were attacked by an iron golem.

Between their nine characters, they managed to demolish the golem in spite of the steam bath healing it at the beginning of every round (fire absorption), and with no casualties!

The session ended after the fight, but there’s one more point to discuss: the “skip to the end of the dungeon” plan.

There is purportedly a magical fountain at the bottom of the dungeon, the “Font of Knowledge” that enabled Ioun to become the god of knowledge. At some point, the Font was corrupted by Vecna and he’s been leeching power from Ioun ever since.

The idea is to reach the Font, cleanse it of Vecna’s taint, and restore Ioun to her former power. The sooner, the better.

Well, the party has access to scrying and teleportation. All they needed was a creature or a place on the bottom floor of the dungeon to scry on, so they could teleport there. The old “scry and die” method.

Well, I pointed out how the lower-level clairvoyance spell could be used to view an unfamiliar location, so the party could thereafter scry on the location to study it, before teleporting there.

Bam, boom.

So, depending on whether the players have anything else they want to use to prepare beforehand, it looks like we’ll be wrapping up the Temple of Silver Pages next week.

Now, it will likely leave most of the dungeon unexplored and still full of monsters, but you can’t expect the player characters to do everything, now can you? ;)