Still brimming with joy from of meeting a dragon, the party once again descended down the dungeon through the trap door. Before going past the octagons to the true dungeon, Dimitri asked if he could visit Mefixitmanders. Seeing no reason not to, the party traipsed to the secret room where he resided. Here, the saddest of occurrances occured. The room had originally housed zombies, but the party had vanquished them. But now, they returned to find more zombies. However, these zombies were familiar: there were goblins and hobgoblins that the party had slain. Then, a short but stout zombie approached, whose sight crushed the souls of the adventuring party: Borin Blackforge.
Mendek, unsure how to properly proceed, decided to turn the zombies, and was successful. However, none of the original adventuring party was willing to slay their comrade. Finally, Dimitri agreed to be the one to send Borin back to the beyond. After mourning the loss of Borin again, the party took the time to perform as best a burial ceremony as could be affored in enemy territory.
The second secret door was located once again, but inside the second secret room was nothing! No Mefixitmanders, no chests, and no Sword of Arik! The party searched for footprints to follow, but found none. Deciding that time was of the essence, the party traversed the octagons toward the true dungeon. Once again, steam forms gaurded the entrance, but were of no contest to the might of the party.
All this time, Slydra was trying to come to terms with his enhanced person. Since drinking from the enchanted fountain, he had felt more flexible, wise, strong, and intelligent. But after the fighting members of the party dispatched the steam forms, Slydra thought he must have eaten something rotten, because the wall looked… wrong. He got close and inspected it, and realized that the wall was fake! He called everyone over with the news. It took Mendek quite a while to comprehend fake walls, but after Slydra seemed to walk straight into stone, he was sold!
Beyond the fake wall was a passage covered in a thick layer of dust on the floor. What was interesting, was that there were no tracks in the passage. They party creeped forward into a larger cave which was still covered in dust, but now there were corpses in the dirt of goblins. Yet there were still no tracks to the corpses! A feeling of dread and danger started filling the party, but as any good adventuring party would, they continued none the less.
As they started into a far passage, they saw the outline of some further chambers, but more importantly, they saw a floating orb with a giant eye, a giant, toothed mouth, and eye stalks on top.
In a completely sophisticated manner, the party retreated to the previous, larger cave while the magic uses sealed in the beast with a web. But the Beholder, being stronger than most, was quickly tearing through the webs. The party could only try to fight. Even before the Beholder had broken free, Mendek felt searing pain through his armor! Soon, the beast broke free and the party readied itself. But, apparently, Dimitri readied before the rest of us and let loose an arrow whose trajectory a wood elf would have been envious of! It zipped right into the giant eye of the Beholder and caused it to close! However, the party did not have time to congratulate him for the shot, because eyes around the Beholder began to open. The party fought as fierce as possible, but the Beholder’s body was extremely tough to damage. Spells were flung with a gusto, and the Beholder began to turn. Another round of searing pain like talons across his flesh passed through Mendek, while others felt the occasional charm spell narrowly miss over coming them. Quickly, the party’s health dwindled, but eventually, this beast was too slain! With a thump it collapsed on the dust covered floor and moved no more.
The magic users decided to keep some of the eye stalks and the party continued on. Beyond the passage the Beholder emerged from was a cliff that looked impassable. Trying another passage, they party found another cliff. This cliff seemed climbable, so the party entrusted Belladona to climb up and find some way to secure a rope. At the top, she found another passage continuing on and caught the glimpse of a little creature darting into the shadows. She started to work on securing a line for the others when suddenly she was surrounded by lights! Blinding and colorful lights filled her eyes to where she could see nothing. She vainly struck at the air around her, but found no target. Dimitri, also being quite limber, saw the light and heard her shrieks and ascended up the cliff. When he reached the top, he saw a small creature which he charged. The creature then retreated to the darkness. Dimitri helped and guarded Belladona until she could see and they secured a rope.
The rest of the party quickly darted up the cliff to join Belladona and Dimitri. They then entered the dark corridor which led to a hallway. Blindly deciding, the party went to the left. Once again, as Slydra was coming down the passage with the party, he saw that a wall looked like it was a wall, but this time there was a woman with a wand in her hand and a small creature at her feet. Just as he started to warn the party, the released a spell and Mendek, Slydra, and Narcissa felt overpowering fear and ran the other direction! Before Dimitri and Belladona could even react, the rest of the party had retreated in the opposite direction and were out of sight. Not sure what to do on their own, they decided to follow their friends. Being encumbered by armor, Mendek quickly fell behind the two mages who zipped out of sight. But before too long, the all realized that they had been enchanted with fear! Mendek, at that point alone, had made it to the narrow passage before the dragon’s sky entry chamber. He waited there, unsure if he should go back for Dimitri and Belladona or go protect the mages. So to compromise, he stayed still and waited. Soon enough, everyone met him in the chamber where they discussed what had happened.
Deciding that the day’s adventure were not quite finished, the party returned to the passage again. But as they turned the corner to approach the passage, a starting familiar sight of a Beholder approached them. But with the knowledge that the mage was probably a master of illusion, they decided to disbelieve and fight! After successfully landing a blow, the image disappeared and they crept on. As they crept forward, they stumbled upon a wizard! The mage, not nearly as startled as the party was at the encounter, was quick to start an a spell, and before the party could react, the walls of the passage erupted in tentacles! The tentacles quickly entrapped the entire party and began to squeeze the life out of the unfortunate adventurers. However, Belladona, Dimitri, and Mendek were able to free themselves by either their weapons or strength. But by the time they had escaped, Slydra was woefully close to his demise. Without waiting to vanquish the tentacles entrapping him, Mendek used Frostbrand’s special power to heal on Slydra. But when Mendek turned to help Narcissa out of the snare, the party only caught a glimpse of the small creature touch Narcissa, and then they both disappeared.
The creature, Narcissa, the illusionist, and even the tentacles all disappeared at the same time. Fearing that the enemy had managed to teleport with the sacrifice required satisfied by Narcissa, the party began to run down to the hidden hallway. But as they passed by where Narcissa had disappeared, Frostbrand alerted Mendek to a strong feeling of chaotic evil still there! Going for the long shot, Mendek stopped running and began to check around the floor for their missing comrade. Sure enough, he felt the shape of Narcissa: not teleported but made invisible! But at the same time, he felt the two bites from the small creature, who became visible when it attacked. Sadly, both bites were laden with poison. Fearing the retaliation of Mendek, the creature scamped away and the mage appeared! The creature climbed to her shoulder, then they transformed into a cloud of smoke. Slydra quickly fired magic missiles into the cloud, which appeared to hit, but the cloud continued unphased and disappeared further down the hallway.
Narcissa, noting Mendek’s dire case, started tending to Mendek. He was too weak to move, so the party dragged him to the closes safe place they could find: the outcropping before the cliff. Narcissa was able to stabilized Mendek, but it would be a few minutes before he would be able to move on his own. While they waited, a voice erupted as if out of thin air over the cliff. “Give us the elf maiden, or you will all perish.” A dire ultimatum. If they party tried to retreat out of the dungeon now, then Mendek would have to be sacrificed. But they couldn’t give up Narcissa either. While the party deliberated, Mendek used what little strength he had to cast detect magic upon himself. When he did, he could see a bat-like magic shape hovering above the cliff! Without any projectiles of his own, he whispered a plan to Narcissa. Mendek discreetly guided her hand that was holding a wand of paralysis. Mendek aimed as best he could, but when the blue light shot out, it missed the evil form.
However, the attempted must have startled it, because it then flew out of sight. Without any options left, Mendek gathered what strength he could muster and, with the help of Dimitri, the party started leaving the cave. They successfully made it to the dragon’s sky entrance when the mysterious old man appeared. The old man knew of their weak state, and offered to take them into town. And before their eyes, he transformed into a silver dragon! Without a doubt, this was Arik’s Bane. He permitted the party to ride upon his back across the river. During the flight, he informed them on how elf maidens were useful for many magical rituals and that even dragons have sought them before. But who will need that kind of information?