First, of course, they spent a week in Rally while Lilia made some 'friends' and scribed some spells into her book. The center of the city was off limits and full of a pillar of smoke, but they respected the military's authority and didn't look into it too hard.
Then, rested, they headed back to the entrance to the underdark that the orcs at the last fort had pointed them too. It was collapsed, but they'd already known that. Sam's familiar Max went gaseous and invisible and infiltrated the area to scout around and find a good place to dimension-door to.
The first room was full of zombies -- not a threat, probably -- and had a pool of water filling most of the floor. There was a tunnel heading south that looked like it might be a secret door, although Max couldn't find a way to open it from this side, and another tunnel heading east that led to a half-collapsed complex of narrow passages with barred doors -- barred from the outside -- behind which dozens of flaming skeletons waited. There was one door that wasn't barred, probably the way deeper in.
The tunnels seemed too narrow to easily dimension door into, though, so after casting a few buffs -- including 'hide from undead' to not have to fight the zombies -- they d-doored into the big room with the lake. Where they were immediately attacked by will-o-wisps.
Fighting back broke the hide from undead, but the zombies weren't really a threat, even to people in heavy armor trying to swim. Enough of the party flew to easily handle the wisps, and a glitterdust spell ruined their normal hide and ambush tactic. Will-o-wisps are 'immune to magic' but glitterdust, as a conjuration spell, hits (and blinds!) things that are immune to magic due to poorly thought out system mechanics. Three wisps survived long enough to run away, at least. Hadriel used turn undead to dust the zombies, and then...
Instead of taking a breath, the party immediately charged after the wisps, who'd flown underneath the non-barred door at the end of the flaming undead section. Hef was way out in front, at the door before anyone else even got into the narrow tunnels, and ended up *surrounded* by undead as someone in another room pulled a lever that released all the bars. Luckily for him, someone had thought ahead and made him resistant to fire, which meant the horde of flaming skeletons was basically harmless since their main schtick was 'stand next to you and burn you' with a side order of 'explode when we die'.
There were a few nastier undead mixed in with them, and Hadriel got licked a few times by a Mohrg. He managed to resist the paralysis at least.
Not wanting to deal with the undead, Sam touched Max, Lily and Talon and dimension-doored past the door -- a ways past the door, probably planning to come in behind the enemies. What he didn't realize was that there was a short connecting hallway with a second door before the room the enemies were actually in, and his d-door plopped them right into the ambush zone. "Oh look, a wizard!" said the squad of hiding kobold rogues, and they filled him full of arrows. The surviving wisps took him down, but switched targets instead of finishing him off since they liked feeding off the slowly leaking life-energy of nearly-dead folks.
That meant Max was able to bring Sam back awake with a little touch of healing, and Sam dimension-doored everyone in the room right back out of the entire dungeon. Which put a rockfall between them and the rest of the party, who had no idea what had happened during their aborted assault.
So, dimension-door assault part two happened, this time with Hef, Hadriel, Calvin and Hobbes. They teleported into the connecting tunnel, and Hef had to smash down the second door -- but once inside, he was able to ignore the poking sticks of the kobold warrior line and fly after the wisps, followed by Hobbes who had the same idea. Hadriel, on the other hand, got tripped, glued to the floor with tanglefoot bags, silenced, and poked and poked repeatedly until he was near death.
The rogue archers tried to take down Hef, but he was immune to sneak attacks as a barbarian, and once the surviving will-o-wisp fled, Hobbes was free to charge into their ranks and distract them with his own invulnerable hide. In theory, the flanking rogues could have sneak-attacked him, but he'd been buffed repeatedly and his armor class was insanely high.
Then the rest of the party dimension-doored back in, to the corner behind the rogues. The rogues did not like their tactical position, and tried to do this cool move where they jumped off the balcony while tossing fireballs from their necklace of fireballs at the party -- unfortunately, they all failed their acrobatics roll to not got AoO'd, got hit by the AoOs, and ended up fireballing themselves. And their dead friends. Who also had necklaces of fireballs. Luckily for the party, not all the fireballs went off.
Then Lilia confused the warriors, who started babbling incoherently and fighting each other, and after that it was pretty much clean-up. They secured the room, looted the bodies, and searched around a bit, with Max scouting in gaseous form while the rest of them explored the room itself.
The room was a small theater -- they'd been fighting on the balcony -- with a newly refurbished curtain blocking any view of backstage. Hobbes tried to move the curtain but it wouldn't move -- a careful examination revealed that it was more than it seemed, and was controlled from a remote location. Sam stared at it with detect magic and was almost blinded by the intensity of the magical effect -- they'd found the gate, which was currently blocked by the curtain.
Hobbes had some theify skills, so he disabled the mechanism to keep the kobolds from opening the gate on them, and they discussed what to do. Max's scouting showed that the undead had spread out to infest the hallways, but not the room with the pool since flaming undead + water. The kobolds were nowhere to be seen, but had locked or blocked most of the doors. A tribe of kobold civilians who'd been encamped in front of the portal had run south -- prying eyes followed them and found a kobold checkpoint about a half mile away deeper into the mountain...
There was no sign of how to close the gate permanently -- the curtain had it closed for the moment but it would be easy enough to destroy even if they damaged the opening mechanism beyond repair. So they blocked off the various doors into the theater/gate room with stone shape and wall of stone spells, and teleported out of the dungeon to report the situation to their orcish masters.
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