When last we encountered our intrepid heroes, they had met with Allustan regarding a threat to Diamond Lake. Certain clues caused them to meet with Balabar Smenk, most powerful (and corrupt) of the mine managers in Diamond Lake. Smenk admits to having been involved in some 'bad business' with a group of religious cults based in the mine of Ragnor Dourstone, a Dwarf and a rival for Smenk. Smenk convinces the party that the real threat is not him, but from the cultists in the Dourstone Mines. Our party agrees to cleanse the mines of their taint, remove the threat of the Ebon Triad to the town, and then settle with Smenk.
Sneaking in proves impossible, but a judicious bribe enables our heroes to gain entry to the mines. A quick slink down the tunnels and into an elevator shaft, and down they went, to face unknown perils...
As soon as the first pair arrived at the base of the elevator shaft, they are attacked by a pair of tiefling guards, fanatical devotees of Hextor. These fiendish minions are dispatched back to the Nine Hells that spawned them. A key on the body of one guard fits one of three doors leading away from the central corridor and its loathsome inky black pool. the portal is bedecked with symbols of Hextor, the evil and monstrous twin brother to valiant Hieroneous - Brother Tigh is visibly ready to cleanse this abomination!
Entering the next chamber easily thanks to the key, the party is immediately attacked by a number of skeletons. Tigh calls upon the power of his patron, and several crumble to dust. Moments later, another wave of defenders arrives, in the form of a number of human fanatics, armed with longspears. Fortunately, these fanatics are rather inept, and most are quickly incapacitated. Some run off down a wide corridor.
The sound of rattling chains and a squealing door is heard clearly in the chamber where the party rested for a moment. It is followed by an incredibly loud squeal, as if the largest pig in the world were coming - and that is exactly what was happening! The retreating cultists released The Beast, a dire boar of astonishing size and power. Dealing with The Beast occupied a few precious minutes, and nearly ended the adventurous careers of two of our favorite heroes. Undaunted, and having used a few precious healing potions, the party moves onward.
They pass the lair of The Beast, and come to a pair of tall bronze doors engraved with scenes of battle, and treachery, and symbols sacred to Hextor. These doors open to the slightest touch, revealing a large chamber. In the center of the chamber is an immense statue of a six-armed monster, in black stone. Set in the idol's forehead is a large red gemstone. Around the chamber is a balcony, some 20' high. The chamber's floor is covered with sand to the depth of a few inches. Once the party enters, the doors swing shut behind them and a loud "Ka-CHUNG!" sound lets everyone know they are locked.
The heroes face an enormous task. They are faced on the sand by four additional fanatics. Also, four bow-armed tieflings are firing at them from the balconies. Also, in a seating area opposite the great doors, three clerics and two troglodyte zombies await the party.
More of this epic battle to come...