Gutboy the Cleric (6) and his blink dog Rufus II
Pai Mei the Wu-Jen (4), and his henchmen "The Doctor" the Time Lord (2) and Paula Abdul the Battle Dancer (2)
Rolf the Dwarf (3)
Having a week to kill before they were to meet with Pablo Sanibel and try selling him fake lanthanides, the party decided to head back up to the fifth level and hunt down some of that sweet, sweet dungeon loot. The hiked across the bridge to the mainland, followed the crumbling highway through the Everglades, and then climbed the Grand Stair up to Swampscott. They passed through without stopping - waving at their buddies from Customs - and took a pair of golf carts into the tunnel upwards to the dungeon.
The trip passed uneventfully, and after two days of travel they arrived at the dungeon terminal. They walked up the stairs to the vast mist-filled room (where they had fought a giant daddy long legs) and began walking its perimeter, making note of the many side passages on their map.
They stopped at a pile of bones they had previously encountered in the mist-filled room - and above the bones the stone wall was pocked and chipped. Paula Abdul began climbing freehand, shouting "It goes up forty feet and there's a ledge OH WHOOPS--" before crashing down to the floor. Rolf stood over her broken, bleeding body, and began playing a tune on his Metal Axe - BACK IN BLACK. The grinding distortion brought renewed vigor to Paula's broken limbs, and she leaped up in a fury, determined to ascend to the top.
The second ascent, she climbed with spikes and rope, and carefully made her way upwards. The party heard another shout - "I made it! Wait what's that AIEEEEEEE" - and then silence. Pai Mei hurriedly climbed the rope, uncharacteristically determined to save a henchman's life. At the top he saw a trio of young giant daddy long legs, each the size of a horse, tearing Paula Abdul apart with their mandibles. His eyes rolled up in his head as he began a mystic call to the unhatched eggs strewn around- thousands of tiny spiders hatched and crawled towards their larger brethren, biting with somnolescent poisons. The three spiders fell asleep, and Pai Mei slaughtered them.
The top of the ledge was scattered with bones and rotting clothing - and gold! Searching through the piles of refuse led to teh discovery of 1,000 gp, four gold necklaces each spelling the name "VINNY", a cardboard box labeled "ORDNANCE - LANDMINE" containing a metal disc, and a glass jar with two rainbow colored leeches crawling around inside.
The party headed back down to the misty room, and headed through one of the newfound side passages. At the end of this passage was a room with a box, carved from the living stone of the room itself, standing at its eastern end. The wall behind the box was carved with a relief of a leafy tree, and two niches were cut in its branches. The floor of each niche had three metal pins sticking up. The party had seen these niches before - crystal skulls were placed in them, for reasons they had not yet determined.
Rolf put a green skull in the first niche - it began glowing softly. This had happened in a similar room (with but one niche in the tree-carving) on the 1st level. The party had been stymied then as to its purpose. He then placed the yellow skull taken from the interdimensional portal on the 3rd level into the second niche - this one vibrated and sparked noisily. Clearly the yellow skull was not meant for this niche. He then removed the skulls, figuring they didn't have the right colors to solve this puzzle.
They then began exploring side passages from this room. One to the north ended at a closed door - opening it revealed a room with dozens of unlit torches in sconces along the wall, and a floor covered with what looked like raisins. Closer inspection revealed the raisins to be dried slugs, covered with a light dusting of salt. As they examined the piles of dead slugs, they heard an accusing voice from the hallway - "MURDERERS! YOU SHALL PAY!" - and turned around to see massive piles of living slugs dropping from the ceiling to the floor, blocking the exit.
The two Slug Collectives assembled themselves into upright, manlife forms and began punching at the party. Rolf took a beating, but Gutboy's potent prayers to his non-deity and Pai Mei's magic missiles eventually killed enough of the slugs that the remaining portions of the collectives collapsed. The individual slugs were easily stomped into slimy paste after that.
The party examined the torches and found that four (one on each wall) would turn - but they would not turn fully individually. Gutboy spiked the door open, and the four surviving party members tried turning them simultaneously - a secret door on the west wall swiveled open a short ways and then stopped, and grinding noises were heard from the spiked door. Clearly the spiked door would have to close for the secret door to open, so the spike was removed, the torches turned, the door closed, and the secret passage opened.
The party followed the passage towards a circular room, with four silver rods with sharp crystals at their ends sticking out of the floor. A milky-white crystal statue, 7' tall, stood in the center of the room. Unsurprisingly, the statue came to life moved towards them, slashing and ripping with sharp crystal claws. Rolf was able to damage it with the Metal Axe, but Pai Mei's non-magical weapons were ineffective. The Doctor was finally able to use a Time Lord abililty, sending a significant chunk of the statue's head a few minutes into the future. Sadly, this was the Doctor's last act, as the crystal monstrosity tore him limb from limb in retaliation.
Panicking, the party ran back towards the raisin room - and thinking quickly, Pai Mei dropped the newly-acquired landmine behind him as he ran. There was an earth-shattering kaboom, and the party returned to see the circular room covered with white powder - salt. The salt golem had been dealt with, but two of the silver rods were bent in half. All four (damaged and undamaged) easily lifted from the floor.
The party decided that was enough excitement, and headed to Bartertown. When the elevator doors to Bartertown opened, another adventuring party stepped out, dressed in black - and immediately began fawning over Gutboy.
Adventurer: "You're Gutboy the Glittering! Omigod, you're the reason I got into adventuring! I can't believe I'm meeting you in the flesh! This is awesome!"
Gutboy: "Yes, it is! So, who are you guys?"
Adventurer: "We're Bela's Boys - we work for Bela Isogul. He comes in with us sometimes, but not every trip. We're looking for some guy he says lives in here - Count Dracul? You ever heard of him?"
Gutboy: "No, never. Say, what do you guys think of the Blessed Expeditionary Company? Does Bela like paying the taxes?"
Adventurer: "Hell no! Who likes paying taxes?"
Gutboy: "Well, we should have a meeting. Maybe we can come to an understanding."
Adventurer: "No problem, we'll talk to him! Here, take our card! He stays at a hotel in Retennis."
Gutboy: "Does he ever visit to Lugosi?"
Adventurer: "No, and he's real weird about that place. Says they're all jerks there. Well, good meeting you in person!"
Bela's Boys headed off into the dungeon, and the party filed into the elevator. Once in Bartertown, much shopping and negotiating commenced - the net result being a visit to Boris the Crawler at the Dying Way, to trade of the Sword of Unlife (held by Gutboy, as he didn't trust anyone to not die holding it and produce a horrid wight) for a strange stainless steel mace, whose head was a green glass sphere filled with liquid, held in place by stainless steel ribs. Pai Mei was unable to determine its thaumaturgical powers, but both he and Gutboy were sure of its puissance. Additionally, Boris informed them that the rods with crystals atop them were salt spears, feared and hated by the Slug Collectives. They also determined that the leeches were some form of drug, although their method of application and effects remain unknown.
Healed up and ready for action, they made the trek back to the underground village of Swampscott, hiring three local yokels as henchmen - the brothers Melba. How they are "brothers" when the citizens of Under-Miami are produced by cloning machines remains a mystery.
Gains: 1000 gp, 4 gold "Vinny" necklaces, jar of variegated eye-leeches, 4 salt spears (two damaged), green glass mace
Kills: 3 baby giant daddy long legs, two Slug Collectives, one salt golem
Losses: Paula Abdul, The Doctor, Sword of Unlife