They camped out near but not inside Black Run, on the shore of the lake that (thanks to them) was now full of sahaugin, but were awoken in the middle of the night by tortured screaming from the dwarven town. Being adventurers, they decided to go investigate.
Dwarfs: "Oh, that's just the elf."
The elf was locked in one of the now-unused barracks, chained to a bed, screaming insanely about how the dream was now a nightmare and yada yada yada. The dwarves claimed that they'd found him that way. They'd assumed that the elven bandits had been leaving them alone because the mine was shut down, but then this elf came staggering out of the forest completely insane and walked right into their camp and let them capture him.
Artican thought he knew a spell that might cure the elf -- Restoration -- if his insanity was the result of wisdom drain; if it was an 'Insanity' spell per se then he'd need to use the sixth level spell Heal which he couldn't cast yet. Since they hoped the elf would have information, they told him to go ahead and memorize one the next day even though it cut into their anti-shadow loadout. Unfortunately, the spell didn't work, although Artican thought it felt more like spell resistance instead of his spell being inapplicable.
At any rate, they weren't getting anything more out of him, so they bought a lot of sunrods (you don't want to fight shadows in the *dark*) and headed into the flooded and haunted mine to start a methodical search.
They quickly came across a group of two shadows, but discovered that despite the party's considerable perception skill, the shadows' lack of sound meant they were impossible to see before coming into line of sight, which was often too close for comfort. Despite being much much weaker than the party on paper, the pair of shadows managed to dangerously drain Alex's strength before being taken out, because the tight tunnels made it hard for the party to actually fight, especiallly underwter where they couldm't move around very fast.
But they won, and the next time a couple easy shadows showed up Artican managed to turn them to dust. They decided that this wasn't going to work -- they needed to find a big open area and lure in the shadows somehow. Of course, the bigget open area was where the gloomwings and shadow-caterpillar things had been killed just before the mine flooded, which was also a likely place for shadows to be hanging out near.Win-win!
However, on the way they were ambushed by a larger group of shadows, who got the jump on them and drained Lilia, Alex and the dragonne. Artican managed to *almost* kill most of them with a burst of positive energy, and Lilia finished them off with a magic missile barrage from her wand split between many different targets, but there was one shadow that was larger and scarier and shaped exactly like one of the shadow caterpillars from before, that charged in as a follow-up. It still had its acid venom (which did acid damage instead of strength damage at least -- its touch was no worse than any other shadow) and its hairy spikes that struck back at anyone who tried to hit it (although they did more strength damage instead of paralysis now), and it was a lot harder to kill.
Worse, Artican -- who had most of the party's memorized copies of Death Ward -- wasn't able to swim under his own power, so the only person he could ward was Lilia, whose pocket he was riding in this time.
This turned out to work okay, though. Lilia's magic missiles did way more damage than anything else the party could throw, and drew the creature's attention, and after Ironhoof added a resist acid she was able to tank the caterpillar indefinately, and it was eventually worn down.
But there were probably at least five more such creatures in the mine, along with who knew how many little shadows... and now after restoring everyone's strength they were out of lesser restoration. Still, their original plan seemed sound. If they could somehow fight all the shadows together, they could death-ward almost everyone, and the hit point damage from the acid was healable. So they continued on until they came in sight of the large open area they'd planned to lure the shadows to.
Which was already full of shadows. Score?
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