Well, that's not quite true. I didn't forget, I remembered several times, but when I went to actually write it down it was like 'meh'. So anyway, the next two sessions:
It turned out that the wine from Gluttony was a component for the well... but the hint we'd gotten from the Peacock Spirit's Quill said that we needed *opposing* elements, and Lust wasn't opposed to Gluttony, if you went by their schools of magic (Enchantment and Necromancy). The opposite to Lust was, in fact, Pride, where we'd been planning to go anyway to ask the leader there why he'd dumped the life-draining, murderous, clingy succubus queen.
I mean, the question kind of answers itself, but still.
The Temple of Pride started with a hall of mirrors -- all the walls perfectly reflective. This made people paranoid, but not paranoid enough to stop Zeddicus from setting off a Mirror of Opposition hidden around a corner. Fortunately, June was able to use Detect Magic to find out where the places not to step were, and then Wall of Stone to cover the magic mirrors to keep them from triggering again, so they only had to fight the one doppelganger.
Past that was a large, empty room with an altar in the middle, atop which preened a giant peacock. A booming voice announced, "The Master is currently in his study, leave now or be punished."
They tried to argue with it, and then with the automated defense mirror-reflections of mages that showed up to punish them, but it was all pre-programmed defenses so they just had to fight their way through. It wasn't too hard except for the illusionary giant that Kaito kept failing his save against and had to run away from, since everyone else was ignoring it. The succubi had fun, though, dominating and 'playing with' the mages.
But anyway, past that room was the study, where the master was face down and dead on top of a journal, where he was writing that his clones kept lasting a shorter and shorter time, and he'd have to switch to a new one so--
Reading backwards in the journal, they found out that the people inside the Runeforge had fought a little war a while back -- not thousands of years back, like you'd think, but only a few months back. Karzogg's pending resurrection had been noted, and most of the temple leaders had not approved -- they backed a different Runelord for resurrection, one who'd take over the world and rebuild the Thellosian empire, but not fuck it up as badly as that idiot Karzogg would.
It also told them that a fragment of the mirrors from the entry hall would count as a component of Pride, and that Pride + Lust was the best combo to enchant weapons with.
And it mentioned that Karzogg had a runewell somewhere and that as long as it was active, he was invincible or his barrier couldn't be penetrated, or something like that -- even by astral projection, which the lord of Pride had used frequently.
Also, he'd stopped seeing the leader of Lust because she was too clingy, and he had half a dozen more obedient clones of her stashed in his bedroom anyway.
Oh, and since nothing rotted in the Runeforge, most of his temple past the entry chambers was filled with room after room of corpses of his previous clones.
They scavenged what magic items they could (there were a lot of them actually) and some valuable books. Apparently, it was supposed to be a moral choice whether to take the books on clone-based immortality? Why would you not take that information with you? It didn't require any evil acts to use it; the supposed downside was just that people would really want it and maybe kill each other or something.
Aaanyway, since they'd barely fought anything and were still fresh -- and one of the notes had suggested that Greed had some healing magic or items or *something* despite being Transmutation based -- they decided to immediately move on to the Temple of Greed, hoping to find out more about Karzogg's runewell and maybe save Elyssie.
The temple started with a boring hallway with a door near the end, which had a trap set to go off by someone checking for traps. Which seemed extremely unfair. No one was killed by it, at least, and a careful search eventually found the secret door that let them actually enter.
But the hallway beyond was full of mist -- mist that Detected as being full of Transmutation Magic. No one wanted to walk into that mist. Phoof had a staff with some weather magic powers, and used one to try to blow the mist away, but only managed to clear the hallway and one room beyond -- the whole place was full of it.
The room they'd cleared had a pool in the center, with what looked like an ice sculpture acting as a fountain. In the pool were a bunch of mephits who complained that the party was going to kill them or take their water or something, and kept splashing people until June got fed up and domed it over with a wall of stone.
Phoof summoned some Hound Archons -- which summoned extra, and lacked the normal duration, just like the succubi (who were mysteriously gone now?) -- and sent them into the mist to scout it out and find out how far it went. One of them returned quickly, saying that he'd come back to report after his friend had vanished.
Zeddicus (confident in his ability to resist anything), Kaito (confident in his ability to change back if he was transformed, being a natural shapeshifter), and Phoof (unwilling to let them go alone) braved the transformative mist, and managed to resist the 'shrinking' and 'scaly' sensation as it tried to transform them.
Kaito: "I bet it's trying to turn us into fish, and since the fountain is domed there'd be no water and we'd suffocate."
But that turned out to be unfounded, because they quickly found some more fountains. These fountains had fish in them, and the statues animated and tried to kill the party. Kaito made quick work of them, since his rapier was adamantine, and Zeddicus at least had an adamantine backup weapon to use even if his anti-evil focus wasn't useful.
(Meanwhile, the rest of the party was chilling in the only mist-free room. June blocked off the other hallway when they heard some golems approaching, and apparently it takes golems quite a while to break through a wall of stone, since they never actually managed it.)
But the mist kept going and going. The scouting party found some living quarters full of transforming objects that could make anything you wanted, as long as it wasn't magical, had no moving parts, and you didn't need to take it out of the room. So, you know. Furniture. They found more fountains, with more fish that they had no way of changing back since Phoof was pretty sure they were originally people. And then, they found the library.
Finally a room free of mist! It did have a golem, however -- or a man that looked like a golem. He opened his attack by Disintegrating the Hound Archon, and used a Quickened Mirror Image to keep the melee people from murdering him instantly. He *was* evil, at least, and Zeddicus and Kaito quickly ran into melee and attacked him a bunch. He got off a fireball that didn't hurt anyone (they still had protection from fire up) and then... ran away, since his mirror images were gone and some golems had arrived as backup.
Phoof Messaged June that they'd found a mist-free chamber during the fight, and he Dimension Doored in just in time to not see the wizard. He did use Telekinetic Charge to throw Kaito Kaito asked the neww cle at one of the golems, finishing it off.
With all the golems down, the mist cleared up and all the fish turned back into humans, except for the ones that were dead. Apparently being a fish for ten thousand years was a bad thing. The Hound Archon was okay, at least (and not too sad that his friend had been disintegrated), and there were some more recent adventurers who came through the ordeal with their sanity intact. One of them did, in fact, have powerful healing magic Kaito asked the neww cl, and like Zeddicus was on a quest to kill Karzogg, making him willing to join the party, at least for the moment.
Resurrecting Elyssie would have to wait, though -- there was a boss who probably hadn't run very far.
While they'd been processing the no-longer-fish, Ash and June had been reading through the books in the library, and discovered a treatise on the Runewell! It would take a while to read, though. They also found the wizard's research notes about how to turn Kaito asked the neww cyourself into an immortal golem.
Kaito: "Sign me up!"
June: "Unfortunately, it has some serious side effects. You stop being able to learn anything new."
Kaito: "Okay, nevermind. And he used this on himself?"
June: "He didn't know it was going to do that, but ever since he performed the operation the rest of his research is just the same few experiments over and over and over. Half these books are redundant."
At any rate, the people who weren't absorbed in reading books Kaito asked the neww in the library (read: the characters whose players were still present) moved on to try to locate the boss. The next room was full of golden statues of people, and a giant demon who immediately talked to the party before the Paladin could smite him.
"I actually want to be banished. My stupid master died before I could fulfil his request and I'm stuck here forever. You *could* just kill me but that's a bad way to get a ride home and I'd have to kill you instead if you tried. Banish me though, and I'll reward you."
Ash did have a Banishment spell in one of the spellbooks she'd been collecting, and it wasn't a Magus spell so she would never be able to copy it into her own book anyway -- so she let June read it out of the book, with the stipulation that she'd be the one to get the reward.
Unfortunately, the reward was 'You don't have to fight a powerful demon -- ha ha ha, tricked you!' which was actually a lot better than they'd been expecting.
Past that, was a door. Kaito asked the new cleric to summon an obscuring mist so that they wouldn't all get zapped with Finger of Death when they opened the door, then carefully opened the door and snuck inside --
Wait, scratch that plan. The room was almost entirely filled with a massive well of tortured souls, that drained Kaito's mental stats when he tried to sneak past it -- he aborted the sneak into an all-out run to the other end of the room, where the boss was, in fact, waiting for them, and managed to (barely) make it before his mind was entirely gone. (Of course that left him ALONE next to a powerful wizard with the rest of the party not even able to see what was going on because of the mist -- if that isn't a WIS 2 plan, I don't know what is.)
Luckily, the plan had already been to advance into the room, so Phoof cast a haste and Zeddicus managed to run around the pool (and resist the drain, because Paladin) and join Kaito before he had to try to fight the guy solo.
Of course he opened with another Quickened Mirror Image (why would you not, if you'd decided to memorize three of them?) but Zeddicus and Kaito were able to resist his spells enough to not die before taking them down, again. Desperate, he flew up over the Runewell and used a Prismatic Spray on the pair -- but this time they made their saves, and weren't driven insane or turned to stone.
They also both immediately sprouted wings and followed him.
His death, however, came from Altei swooping down from above and backstabbing him... and of course his body fell into the Runewell, taking all his equipment with it. Damn it.
We stopped there because basically everyone had had to leave at that point. Actually, a ways before that point. v.v