P.W. the Halfling (1), and his slave Krogo the Fighter
Gutboy Barrellhouse the Cleric (3), his dog Rufus, and his henchman Serlo the Elf
Mongo the Fighter (2), and his henchman Leroy Brown the Cleric
Netal the Elf (1), and his dogs Bitey and Moe
Justin the Dwarf (2), and his dog Bailey
Richard "Dick" Dock the Thief (1)
Things started off slowly in the city of Denethix. Mongo and Gutboy awoke in Mongo's apartment, with no evil-book-related hauntings to disturb them. P.W., Netal, and Justin slept in the common room of a filthy inn, along with a crowd of similar drunken wretched hobos - they awoke to find one of them had died during the night. Netal rifled the body, and contemplated gutting the corpse to see if the hobo had recently eaten gold, but decided to preserve law and order for the time being.
The group met at the Bazaar Incomparable and got a bit of shopping done. Mongo examined various wingback chairs, eventually settling on an only slightly battered clawfoot version, upholstered in fine Corinthian leather. Netal harassed a gunsmith, attempting to buy a shotgun, but was informed that sales were restricted by the Unyielding Fist.
Gunsmith: "I'm sorry, but those are restricted. I can't get you one. Look, let's approach this a different way. What's the problem you're trying to solve?"
Netal: "The problem is I want to buy a shotgun."
Eventually Netal offended the honor of the gunsmithing profession by asking if there were any gunsmiths who were less reputable, and was shooed away. Justin actually spent some cash, and left his gun with the smith so that new bullets could be custom cast for the rifling in his barrel.
Justin: "Wouldn't it be more efficient if you guys standardized the barrels?"
Gunsmith: "Are you crazy? I'd go out of business! I make a fortune crafting these bullets!"
Alas, it appears the lessons of Henry Ford and the assembly line were lost when the world was broken. P.W. decided he needed his magical bronze crow amulet identified by a sage - there were no known wizards in the city other than its ruler, Feretha, so he decided that perhaps an elven sage might be able to figure out what properties this relic held. Heading back to Leafy Green's on the Street of the Alien, P.W. asked the bartender what he knew of the amulet. The bartender cleared P.W.'s misconceptions that just any elf would be able to tell him the arcane secrets of any arbitrary magical artifact, and referred him to the eldest sage of the ghetto, Frondgar. Frondgar's attempts failed, however - he sent his mind into the interstices between dimensions in an attempt to root out the intent of the maker, but the complexity of the enchantments were beyond his abilities.
Gutboy was extremely worried about finding a bug to sacrifice that was larger than himself, per Nisus's divine instructions. He bothered the temple to see if they knew where to find large bugs, and was told that the largest beetles they knew of were the Giant Fusillade Beetles of the Lanthanide Wastes, far far to the south of the city - and that perhaps the gunsmiths would know more, as they were the purchasers of the beetle-paste. Another trip to the gunsmith ensued - and he informed Gutboy that there were no beetle hunting expeditions in town at the moment, the last had left a week ago. They should arrive back in a few more weeks, if they survive the beetles and the horrid insect-men who prowl the wastes. Disappointed, Gutboy decided his best bet was in the dungeon.
The party assembled and equipped themselves. P.W. picked up his slave Krogo from the slave-pens, and Mongo decided to leave Jimgar behind. The trip to Mt. Rendon was uneventful until nightfall - however, in the middle of the night, during Mongo & Leroy's watch, the red mist from the last session returned. Serlo once again turned pale, and groaned in his sleep, but could not be awoken, despite repeated slapping by Mongo. Mongo & Leroy dragged everyone out of the mist, but not until a half hour passed and the mist disappeared were they able to awaken the other party members.
The rest of the night went uneventfully, and the party headed into the dungeon. On the way to the lower level, they fought through four of the spongy yellow-and-red kruller-shaped monsters, and passed seven fire beetles that spun in a circle, indicating their respect for Nisus.
Once in the lower level, they made their way to the thirty-foot wide corridor that crossed the dungeon, and explored a corridor leading south from one of its many alcoves. They found the room that the warrior Too had been slain in many weeks ago, and contemplated his well-chewed remains. Mongo laid claim to Too's retractable 20' aluminum pole, and Justin grabbed the white shield that had once belonged to the warrior. There was also a locked strongbox in the room - some jabbing with Justin's protonium letter opener destroyed the locking mechanism, and the lid flipped open, revealing a wealth of silver and tourmaline gems.
Flush with success, the party decided to try their luck beyond the secret door in the room of ravenous scarab beetles and silver-tasseled tapestries that they had looted a few sessions before. The corridor beyond had many doors coming off of it - the first they opened revealed a room with a red-and-black checkerboard floor, and a door on the other side. Mongo prodded at the squares with his retractable pole, and nothing happened. Growing tired of the party's endless caution, P.W. boldly stepped into the room. "See, it's safe" he said as he began to cross to the other side. Sadly, halfway through, he depressed a five foot wide pressure plate stretching across the room, and a one foot thick section of dressed stone fell from the ceiling across the entire length of the room, crushing the halfling.
Little P.W. still lived, but it was clear he was going to die without aid. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Netal quickly stepped in and yanked the bronze crow amulet from around P.W.'s neck, and began to rifle through his backpack, retrieving Krogo's Certificate of Ownership. Deciding to forge P.W.'s signature and transfer ownership to himself, he declared himself to be Krogo's new master. Justin was also keen to help P.W., and under the assumption that the halfling must have eaten some gold for breakfast that morning, assisted his digestion by gutting the little fellow and rooting through his innards looking for treasure. Sadly, P.W.'s constitution was not up to this ungentle treatment, and he died messily.
Mongo, Serlo, and Leroy looked on this scene with expressions of horror, but they were an unsentimental bunch and quickly forgot the entire affair. They continued down the winding corridor, ignoring some doors and paying attention to others. They found a large stone door with a metal handle, and tugged it open a bit - there was webbing attached to the other side! Mongo quickly let go of the door and it slammed shut on its own. Just beyond this door was an archway, revealing a room with a transparent wall, looking into another room full of webbing, three giant crab spiders, and a struggling human caught in the webs.
A plan was quickly hatched, and pools of oil were splashed around the stone door, a rope was attached to its handle, Molotov cocktails were prepared, and flamethrowers were made ready. The door was opened, and one spider was quickly engulfed, but the others crawled through the doorway and up and over the ceiling and walls. Mongo's flamethrower singed one, and the two surviving spiders ran back into the webbing, fearing for their arachnid lives.
Triumphant, the party entered the room full of webbing, and cut their way towards the struggling human. They released him, and the burly thug introduced himself as Richard "Dick" Dock. Mongo explained that fortunately they just had an opening, and he was welcome to join their party - he accepted, and the party was whole once again.
The group moved further into the chamber, cornered and slew the spiders with arrows, and found a dessicated reptilian humanoid corpse in a cocoon of webbing. The corpse had a pouch of gold and a potion bottle that smelled of feces. It didn't look like sewage, however, and Mongo proclaimed "just because it smells like ass, doesn't mean it tastes like ass." Despite these words of wisdom, nobody was willing to make the experiment.
Seeking to return to town, they found that the door had closed behind them, and there was only a featureless stone wall where the doorway should have been. Further, the wall to the east that had been transparent from the outside, looked like normal stone from this side. A deep suspicion gripped the party, and they wondered if morlocks had been watching them the entire time they were in the dungeon.
There was nothing to do except travel onwards in hopes of finding an exit. The party followed a corridor to a room with two hooded, robed figures sitting cross-legged around a gold hookah. Decorative beads of glass hung in an archway opposite the door. Dick Dock boldly stepped into the room, heading to the other side - as soon as he did so, the figures leapt up, tossing their hoods back to reveal rotting faces with knives protruding from their eye-sockets. He screamed in terror, and ran back past Mongo. The knife-faced zombies chased after, and a grim melee ensued, until Gutboy stepped in and commanded the undead horrors to leave in the name of Nisus. Unable to face the divine wrath of the Goddess of Things that Crawl Underground, the zombies fled.
Pocketing the hookah and cutting down the strings of beads for Mongo's apartment, the party followed the single corridor out of the room. It led to the thirty-foot-wide corridor they had encountered earlier. Where their door opened into the corridor, there were two more right next to it - and a pair of Morlocks guarding one of the doors. The morlocks recognized "the Mongos" and greeted them in friendship. Gutboy asked for Bilibub, and soon the happy group were reunited.
Bilibub: "Ahh, mongos back! You bring people? For eating?"
Gutboy: "Hmm, yes. You know the checkerboard room? We've got something there for you"
Dick Dock (clearly channeling P.W.'s spirit): "The red and black room?"
Gutboy: "Never mind. So how have you been?"
Bilibub: "Very good. Need more morlocks though. Any of you want to be morlocks?"
(nothing but crickets)
Gutboy: "No... do you know where I could get any bugs? Bugs that are bigger than me?"
Bilibub: "Yes, yes! Go north, and down well. Many bugs there! Very big! Morlocks hunt there!"
Gutboy: "How deep is it?"
Bilibub: "Deep, yes, deep!"
Dick Dock: "How many feet?"
Bilibub: (blank stare)
Dick Dock (holding 50' length of rope): "Is it deeper than this?"
Bilibub: "Ha ha, yes, yes, much deeper"
Dick Dock: "Deeper than two?"
Bilibub: "Yes, yes"
Dick Dock: "How about three or four?"
Bilibub: "No, no, maybe that deep"
Gutboy: "Is there anything we can get for you?"
Bilibub: "Yes, yes! People to eat!"
Dick Dock (once again channeling P.W.): "How about the landlord?"
Mongo: "Yes! The landlord!"
Gutboy: "The landlord!"
Netal: "The landlord!"
Justin: "The landlord!"
Gutboy: "Do you want some of this?" (hands Bilibub an iron ration)
Bilibub: "Hmmm. OK. I take. Maybe good for soup."
The party waved good-bye to their dear friend Bilibub the Cannibalistic Morlock and headed out of the dungeon. They encountered some more crab spiders, but this set ran about in a circular pattern in devotion to Nisus, and the party passed unmolested. The trip back to Denethix was marred by the return of the red mist in the middle of the night - Serlo once again became ill and even paler, and upon awakening Gutboy felt compelled to magically heal Serlo, as the elf seemed close to death.
And here the session ended...