Shaddek had gone to Langtland to get started on some weaponized claws for Crazy Bear. He returned to the oasis to find Crazy Bear had followed a shamen out to the desert to get some enchantment (he was drunk at the time) and Melursus had sighed and followed him. Neither had yet returned, but they’re fine…
Meanwhile, Arane Sparess, a wizard, and Strings, a gladiator, arrived with a caravan. They put in their names, and they were selected (along with Kaedo, Saedenn, and Shaddek) to head into the Lottery Dungeon.
Down We Go
Saedenn was the group leader. They started in a small room, and fortunately Kaedo’s sharp reflexes saved him from a pit trap in a long, crooked hallway. They fondly remembered this hallway and its kitchen from their first foray into the dark. The veterans managed to guide the group to the trapdoor leading down.
Once they headed down to the second level, they tried to intimidate a room full of collectors, zombies, and skeletons by showing their favor with the current ghoul king. The collectors were not respectful, but they did not attack. Continuing to explore, the invaders found a room with brass statues facing off in combat.
Shaddek remembered there was a pressure plate between them, and he shivved it. He examined the eye gems, not seeing marks of where they were removed last time; he removed them again, unknowingly picking up two curses, one per set.
As soon as he said what the gems were worth, he shrieked and writhed in pain for a minute; Arane tried to counterspell the effect, and recognized a curse. Recovering, Shaddak noted that the pain sucked; he shrieked and writhed for another minute.
He remained speechless for the rest of the adventure. Having discovered the edges of the accessible terrain, and haunted by vague memories of a secret door, they hunted and searched, then gave up and withdrew. They sold their map to the khan’s men and headed for the temple.
Breaking the Curses
They went to the temple of the Laughing Frog, and the priest there took half the gems in exchange for breaking the two curses on Shaddak; he warned them that if they continued to rob those gods, he would not help them again.
They threw a grand party (Saedenn was drunk, standing on the gate, throwing balls to knock things off partiers’ heads.)
Still, they put in for more tickets, and the next day their names were drawn again.
Once More Into the Dark
Saedenn was the group leader. The veterans showed off to the new members by identifying a couple secret doors and how to move through them, closing in on the trap door on the other side of the level with ease.
Much to their frustration, they realized they had gone down one of the two entrances to the limited area they found the day before. As they wondered what to do next, Arane produced a lizard her spider had poisoned. Saedenn managed to bribe a collector to show them the secret door, in exchange for fresh meat.
The collector led them to the room full of collectors, zombies, and skeletons. At the back was a door to a closet with a chest. They left the chest alone, under the watchful eyes of the collectors, and Shaddak found the secret door in the back of the closet.
Continuing their explorations, they found another ghastly dining room, then they found the massive chamber where they had faced the Black Warlock. Without tampering with anything there, they continued looking around.
They discovered a room for discarded bone, where much of the bone had been powdered as the Black Warlock pulled incorporeal undead from it. They also found a closet that was a trapdoor, and only quick reflexes saved them from a nasty spill.
Across the hall, they discovered a closet with a statue of the frog god tipped over face down in a corner. They righted it, and felt a strange blessing from the frog god suffuse them.
Shaddak dug through the grode and gore on a lock, popping it open, and they found a strange altar made of ribs trickling blood into a pool. Rather than interfere with that gruesome object, they withdrew, and continued their exploration.
They found the central ring corridor, and remembered that the trapdoor was in it. Then, they were on their way to the third level.
Unnerved by the well-lit third level, they were not pleased that no matter where they stood they were in arm’s reach of a weird statue. Some of the statues held torches. Wary, they continued down the hall.
They discovered a tiled room with a scorpion statue, silver for eyes. They examined the floor for traps, and were very methodical—until Kaedo walked over and touched it. The statue came alive, snapping at the wizard and his ball of flame. Saedenn blew it up. Shaddak pocketed the eyes.
Feeling better about things, they continued exploring, but found themselves in a very limited area. One room they discovered was full of chipped and broken statues, with some furniture and an urn; they had a bad feeling about it, and left that room alone. As they searched more intently for a way out of the area, Kaedo relieved himself on the wall, and discovered a secret passage there.
He also managed to avoid falling into the pit trap that was full of the arms of statues pointing up, fingers spread. They continued into the next area, finding another tiled room, this one with a bull.
Ready, Saedenn blew it up; it took two shots. Shaddack pocketed the eyes, gold this time. Finding their options for exploring run out after poking into a few uninteresting rooms, they withdrew back up and out.
Now with plenty of silver from selling the eyes, they threw a massive party.
The sand nomads had killed a bulette, and the party pooled their funds and bought it, selling off meat to the locals for booze and favors. They played games with the head, and stuffed themselves and besotted themselves beyond reason, celebrating their victory down in the dungeon.