The Army of the Light enters the Grand Sepulcher of the Elements and defeats Zvin Lorktho, a mummy lord, and his 12 mummy followers. The fighting was fierce and elven archer Elfgiva became a casualty of the massive battle.
Gnoosh, Gnome Rogue 7/Illusionist 6 of Baravar Cloakshadow
Elfgiva, Elf Archer 3/Cleric 3/Wizard 3 of Sehanine Moonbow
Ria, Human Pacer 5 of Loki
Zen, Human Monk 7 of St. Agathos
Arthur, Human Oathsworn 6 of Celestian
Oswyn, Human Cleric 4 of St. Jasper
Gorgat, Half-Orc Barbarian 7 of Haephestus
Tiberius, Human Cleric 5/Paladin 2 of St. Ingrid
Kyron, Human Cleric 7 of Zuul
Balthazar, Elf Wizard 7 of Arcanus
Dhekeon “the Disgraced,” fallen skeletal paladin of St. Justus (seeking redemption)
Last time Kyron was had taken control of 2 16 hit die water and air elementals, and 11 8 hit dice air and water elementals and with them destroyed 15 undead (mummies, wraiths, and rot grub zombies). The group was largely out of spells from these battles and many needed healing. They decided to rest while the elementals remained on guard. However, Kyron discovered that if he tried to rest the elementals would break free of his control and destroy them all. So, he remained awake during the time his companions rested. More than 8 hours later he was getting fatigued from trying to retain control of the elementals, but at least his companions were rested. They were prepared to enter the final Grand Sepulcher of the Elements and take on Zvin Lorthko, the final high priest of Zuul, a forgotten god of Elemental Chaos. He had since been turned into a zombie by the Tablet of Chaos in the Barrowmaze and Zuul whispered into the mind of Kyron – his newly converted priest – that once he destroyed Lorthko, he would be on the path to renew his religion and become his new high priest.
Using Gnoosh’s robe of eyes and hat of telepathy, as well as other characters’ ability to detect evil, they worked out that there were going to be roughly 12 mummies they would have to get through before Zvin Lorthko could be reached. However, Lorthko was aware of them and waited for them. Kyron also realized that if he confronted Lorthko with all the elementals under his control, that Lorthko would most likely try and wrest control of them from him, and considering Kyron was just mid-level, and Lorthko was once a high-priest who had, perhaps, been the one who originally summoned them in the first place to guard the sepulchers, Kyron left them at the exit point to this final tomb (this turned out to be a good decision!).
The group initially proceeded slowly down a long 100+ foot long corridor running into a few isolated mummies and they destroyed them rather easily. During this time Lorthko taunted Kyron, egging him on, but they continued slowly. To force the hand of the Army of the Light the walls exploded outward and four mummies charged forth toward the group, an aura of fear emanated from them and several characters failed their saving throw and fled back down the corridor. This was where the water and air elementals had remained and the characters were prevented from leaving the area by hitting a wall of wind and water.
The clerics at this point turned undead – successfully! – and the mummies turned and fled.
Where the mummies going to be dealt with this easily?
As the group approached a stairway that headed down, a mummy with a staff – Lorktho – aimed his staff, which was crackling with electrical energy, and shot a lightning bolt down the corridor. It dealt a lot of damage. Fortunately for most of the party, they had good Dexterity saving throws and took half damage. Unfortunately, Elfgiva, the elven archer/cleric/wizard failed her save and was destroyed from the blast. She also had a magical elven bow that was incredibly powerful. I told the player to roll a saving throw for it, and said that that because it was so powerful that only a roll of a 1 would be a failure. The player rolled a 1 – the elven bow was destroyed!
Balthazar next used a card from the Deck of Dirty Tricks that allowed him to use an enemies magic item for one round. Suddenly “the gods” seemed to favor the Army of the Light and Lorktho’s staff suddenly appeared in Balthazar’s hand.
Arthur had now lept into action and jumped down the stairs directly in front of Lorktho and fought him one-on-one. A series of magic missiles also found their way to Lorktho and he was being battered down. Arthur then discovered rushing toward him four more mummies to fight by the side of Lorktho! Plus, even without his magical staff, Lorktho was a powerful priest, and he began pondering what powerful spell he could use next – would it be flamestrike or harm? Lorktho chose to cast harm on Arthur, which would reduce him to a mere 4 hit points and from there a simple slam attack from a nearby mummy would kill him.
The plan was set. We rolled initiative – the players beat me and this changed everything! They continued to throw spells at him, Arthur attacked, and then Dhekeon lept from the top of the stair and with two strikes of his two-handed sword struck the former high priest down mere moments (in initiative sequence) before Lorktho would’ve cast his spell and his mummies would have killed Arthur.
One character had died in this battle and another was just a portion of an initiative away from joining her. I then realized after the battle that Lorktho had a magic item that gave him magic resistance and he should’ve been able to ignore several of the spells that had been cast at him. But as I was trying to manage 12 mummies, plus all the spells and other magic items that Lorktho had, this had slipped my mind! Oh well, that happens! The adventure was still a lot of fun! The adventure ended with the group entering the final chamber and collecting thousands of gold pieces in loot and a healthy amount of magic items. The Sepulcher of Chaotic Elements had taken several game sessions and once everyone made it back to Irongaurd Motte several characters leveled up from all that hard work, including Gnoosh, who became the first character to reach 9th level in this campaign. Since I operate this element of my game like AD&D, that means that he will now be getting followers, and the slow work he had been doing in recent levels to begin his own thieves guild will finally fall into place!