Okay, folks, I can’t make this stuff up…
Everything started pretty normal, right? They continued from the strange room with the illusionary walls, behind one of which was a secret door that the kenku rogue found. Travelling further, they see a set of stairs going down.
Deciding that they had gone far enough and needed to make good on their deal with the fairy dragon, they headed back to the portal that would lead them to the castle.
Still, everything normal.
Gathered in the castle portal room, the kenku opens the door to see a skeletal human with robes floating in the hallway, looking at them. “Oh, look. A party of adventurers…” he purrs. “How…fun…” he says as he casts power word stun on the rogue. Initiative begins, and the party whispers/says/shouts an expletive as I write on my small board lich in the initiative order. Maddgoth came home to his castle, and was not happy to find intruders. The lich went first. The lich was in his lair. The lich has three legendary actions each round.
Now, trying to do a play-by-play of their encounter would be nearly impossible, but here is the summation of what happened:
The party wizard realized, via History check, that this was, indeed, Maddgoth, who is a serial killer, and his favorite targets are wizards. In fact, it is said that his desk and chair are made of the lacquered spellbooks of his victims. Lovely.
Maddgoth casts a spell, and the wizard cast counterspell on it, making the check!! Maddgoth was not…shall we say…pleased with the wizard. The party opens the portal. The party attempts to retreat through the portal. Magdoth used his paralyzing touch ability to paralyze the monk. The kenku, getting unstunned, grabs the monk and retreats through the portal. The wizard is the only one left, and Maddgoth cast finger of death on him, killing him instantly, then follows the party through the portal. The party try running, and the kenku, still carrying the monk, runs right into the lich, who somehow appeared in front of him. The lich cast power word kill killing the kenku, and then left the monk to deal with the rest of the party, who ran right into the lich. The party runs right into the lich and turns around. The lich casts fireball a few times, nearly wiping the party. Repeatedly. The party tries to go back through the portal (at this point, only the tortle cleric), only to find that the door the lich came through is shut and the wizard is laying dead. The cleric casts revivify bringing the wizard back. They head back into the portal, where the rest of the party is bleeding out, dead, dominated, or fighting with the dominated party member. Maddgoth comes into the room casting fireball.
This is where things get…interesting.
The dwarf barbarian is raging. Every time Maddgoth fires off an area of effect spell, if the barbarian succeeds, due to his taking half damage from raging, he ends up taking half of that damage, bringing the total down to a quarter. It nearly saved the party.
The damage from the fireball spell brought the barbarian out of being dominated. Good deal. The cleric tried to run back through the portal to find a squad of 8 mezzoloth with spears coming at him. Deciding that dying by lich is more preferable, he walks back through the portal.
At this point, the lich is getting hacked on by the dwarf. A lot. The dwarf is hitting actual critical hits repeatedly. Frankly, I was very impressed.
That all said, it was a losing battle with the lich, as he was just too powerful, and the party perished. Or did they?
They had brief visions of waking up in individual coffin-like containers with connectors on themselves, and then darkness.
Upon waking, they found themselves in their room at the Yawning Portal Inn. After trying to figure out what happened, they go downstairs to find the infamous Portal bricked up!
Something was not adding up.
After trying to talk to Durnan, the proprietor, the barbarian realized something wasn’t right and informed the party. Turning to confront Durnan, they see him sitting on the bar.
“Hmm…you figured it out sooner than most groups…” he began.
Realizing that they were in some sort of weird illusiory Matrix-like thing, the party demanded to be let out. The entity only agreed after getting the party to agree to several things:
- Helping the fairy dragon at Maddgoth’s castle as this helps them help him
- Eliminate the Githyanki on level 16
- Eliminate the Githyanki on level 17
After this, he says, still masquerading as Durnan, he will let them have safe passage through his domain on level 17, although if they make it that far, he will be asking another favor when they get there and meet in person. The party agreed.
Everything went black for the party and they found themselves back in the portal room in Maddgoth’s castle. Locating the homunculus they agreed to eliminate, they were offered, by the homunculus, to kill the fairy dragon, which was tormenting it and trespassing in its master’s castle. The party decided to kill the homunculus, and then loot the castle.
The party then made out like bandits, finding and destroying Maddgoth’s chair and desk, made of captured spellbooks, as well as several rubbings of a stone spell page from a statue of Maddgoth who was holding a spellbook open to a Mordenkainen’s Sword spell.
Heading back to the surface and selling their loot, the party planned on their next jaunt into the depths of Undermountain…