Once more into the breach, they went. Having cleared the first level, it was time to move on. One door remained to be opened, ad they did all the usual checks, and finally muscled it open. The perception checks had revealed a moaning sound, as of wind through corridors, and with the doors open, stairs led downward into the dank depths. Moaning wind could be heard with a fetid air. They descended and a maze of corridors was revealed, leading generally north-west. They had a light source (unmentioned what type, perhaps a personal glow?) out to 30 ft, so that beyond was all darkness. To the north could just be discerned some type of glowing, which turned out to be glowing blue runic circles, completely filling the 10 ft square in the hall.
The seeker and the half orc tried some amateur thievery until the half-orc rolled a 2 while trying to disable. He tripped the alarm, and the moaning wind was eclipsed by the moaning of zombies echoing through-out all the hallways. By this point the characters had spread out a bit onto the map, and I placed miniatures just at the edges of the maps. There were 4 hallways that ended in darkness, and into each of them I placed 2-4 minions, 1-2 zombie brutes, and behind them a new type, the goblin zombie archers.
The battle was fast and furious. The elven priestess was needed to heal twice, and the seeker was charged buy three zombies and had to use her teleport to safety ability. She needed healing. Cordelia the barbarian was surrounded by 6 zombies, three of which were minions. She used cleave to knock them out and damage the three others. The druid was able to hold many of them off and destroy many with her flame seed, as well as her ability to turn into a horde of insects, which at some point we decided were actually a horde of tiny flying pigs (from her boar-form ability). Thokk charged down a hall and clove thru the zombies to take out 2 gombies single-handedly. He got some elven healing towards the end, being down to 4 hp’s.
The total zombie count was 14 minions, 5 zombie brutes, and 4 zombie archers. It was a pretty fun battle, and much different than the last big zombie affair, which was a race thru a cemetery against a truly countless horde. This was a battle of tight spaces, lines of sight, and areas of affect. Raven wanted to play, and so she was allowed to play Stella Luna Gabriella for her premier appearance. It was clearly not meant to be a primary PC, but she still had some fun with it, particularly during the healing rounds. The battle was won at last, with no fatalities, and without too high a cost in healing surges or daily powers. They were left with the decision to go towards the east, into a crypt-like area, or down another flight of steps.
I was planning on planting a seed for another special-event type session next week (in honor of Shannon’s birthday) but by the time we played, I didn’t have any good ideas. I’m still not ready to commit, but I have a few rough ideas