This week’s session picked up straight from where we left off, right at the end of a pitched battle with our party’s evil counterparts. The last couple of combatants were being swiftly despatched when an all too familiar roar was heard and our immortal pursuer made a new appearance, barrelling down the corridor towards us. In our battered state there was no way we were going to be able to take another round of assault, but luck was with us this time.
My mage was able raise a wall of stone to block the corridor before he could close with us, reasoning that if he could not directly assault the demigod with magic, he could at least throw up barriers to slow him down. With the wall already cracking from the blows it was receiving, we fled back into the maze, to retrace our steps and look for another way through. On the general principle that it wouldn’t stop our pursuer, but would at least pause him for valuable seconds, every door we found had a hold portal enchantment placed on it.
This was a fun benefit of the wizard holding a staff of the magi and not needing to expend charges to create these barriers. The calculation was very much one of it not costing anything, so nothing lost if it didn’t work and who knew how those extra moments might stack up? With the cleric and paladin have a vague sense of something pulling them to the South West, we tracked through areas we had skirted previously. Active searches for secret doors revealed additional options, leading us to the divine portal that had been attracting our holier companions.
It led to a small pocket dimension created by their deity – where they could receive blessings and boons, and the rest of us could rest, heal and change our trousers. We were told that the exit from the maze would take us to our quarry’s lair, from where a ship would allow us to return home.
Duly refreshed, we pressed on, anticipating a battle royale. Still keeping ahead of the rampaging minotaur demigod, we found another portal and rushed into it for a Stargate-style swoosh across space and time to another pocket dimension. This one appeared to be a formal garden with disturbingly alien plants and a distinct preoccupation with octopus statues. Before we could say “We R’leyh must be going now”, the owner of the garden appeared.
Rather than being an evil human wizard, our target was an Illithid, or Mindflayer, who had basically been wearing a disguise. As he prepared to engage us, enraged at our trespassing in his home, our kobold thief shot him with a poisoned dart, and rather anticlimactically ended the fight right there.
There was a moment of dropped jaws around the group and then I quietly mentioned we were supposed to take him alive. Fortunately we had the means to neutralise the poison immediately and take him prisoner. To minimise the risk of transporting our prisoner, my mage promptly turned the mindflayer into a frog – because he’s a traditionalist about these things.
Our session ended with a quick ransack of the mindflayer’s home, the stuffing of an expensive sofa into a portable hole as a souvenir and the discovery of a Spelljammer ship, ready to take us further on our adventures than anticipated…