We made our way through the decrepit offices of the mushroom farm and towards the entrance of the upside-down tower, set upon a massive stone platform. A pair of Eladrin statues stood in front of a massive staircase spiraling downward into the earth. My comrades began to step eagerly forward onto the platform, but I stopped them. For set into the corners of the platform were four arcane runes, surrounding a massive pile of bones.
Steeple and I set about inspecting the runes, careful not to set foot on the platform. The runes hummed with a magic that seemed to be linked to a faint energy field I could now perceive shielding the entrance to the stairs. This seemed to be a dangerous, dangerous place. I muttered a brief prayer to Aladra towards one of the elven statues. I suddenly felt a calming warmth spread over me and felt emboldened with some kind of supernatural courage. I took in a deep breath and was about to try to magically disable one of the runes when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tor take a brazen and impatient step onto the platform.
The earth began to rumble around us as the runes flared up with an intense light. The giant pile of bones in the center of the platform began to swirl around and coalesced into the form of a giant skeletal cyclops!
“KNEEL BEFORE ME, PITIFUL WHELPS! ALL WILL FALL BEFORE LURGORAAK!”
We leapt into action as Douven had taught us, a well oiled machine bringing death to any opposed us. Yet our immediate attacks seemed to glance off of Lurgoraak. The light leaking from the runes was joining into a shield surrounding Lurgurak. Steeple shouted out in his metallic voice that we needed to stand on the runes in order to make the cyclops vulnerable to attack. We did so, and the shield faded from Lurgoraak. Standing over the runes exacted a foul toll on us, and the evil magic of one of the runes spawned a pair of skeletal centaurs who joined the fray, along with some reanimated dwarves.
All of a sudden, Lurgoraak let out a mighty bellow. I felt my skull crush a bit under the pressure of his roar, as every fear I’ve ever felt screamed out in my brain simultaneously. I was deafened, but in the silence a solution presented itself to me.
“THE STATUES,” I screamed. “THE STATUES MIGHT CLEANSE IT!” But I could not be sure that the rest of the party could hear me, for I couldn’t even hear myself.
I tumbled over to one of the Eladrin statues and once again prayed to Aladra, and blessedly felt the roaring fade from my ears.
The rest of the party caught wind as to what I was doing and did the same, all except for Romana, who braced herself and stubbornly kept firing arrows at Lurgoraak.
And so the battle ensued, a desperate dance as we tried to balance standing on the runes with running over to the statues to cleanse Lurgurak’s foul roar from our ears. Romana, who must not have believed in prayer, seemed to get worse with every mighty scream that ripped from Lurgoraak’s lungs. We almost lost her.
Finally, Lurgoraak seemed to sag a bit and Tor took advantage of the moment to plant a foot onto Lurgoraak’s knee, which he sprung off of as he thrust his greatsword through the cyclops’ lone eye socket and out the back of his skull.
We began mopping up the rest of the skeletons. The dwarves exploded in a hail of bones upon death, so I smartly leapt backward and threw Aecris at the last remaining dwarf. Unfortunately I was just a bit too zealous in my throw, and Aecris whistled past the dwarf to clatter upon the stones. The rest of the party collectively rolled their eyes at me. Well, it would have been amazing had it worked.