With disaster staring the party in the face, the heroes continued their fighting retreat down the stairs.
Grand Silvertongue and Artur lagged behind the bulk of the party. Artur, was badly mauled as he made his retreat. Now on the very brink of death he screamed for Grand Silvertongue to run.
Sadly, Grand Silvertongue was by now surrounded and cut off by the small hairless enemies. He cloaked himself in invisibly, but could not find a way passed the enemy. Things went from bad to worse for the young bard when the large ape-like creature arrived. It clearly had some means of piercing the bard's illusion and it knew exactly where he was.
The foul beast pummelled Grand Silvertongue. Now also on the brink of death he gulped a healing potion and fled--but away from the party. Gambling the large creature would struggle to follow him through the narrow passageways to the west the bard set off in a desperate attempt to find a way back to his friends.
Meanwhile on the stairs, the survivors retreated--pressed closely by the surviving hairless foes. Reaching the ground floor, several of the party began to desperately pull two of their boats to the water. At that moment, the shadow demon appeared, but again the party's lights kept it at bay. Already injured, it was slain by the concerted (desperate) attacks of Horsa, Colzo and Luther.
As the other creatures approached, the boats fell into the water, and the heroes scrambled aboard.
Meanwhile on the level above Grand Silvertongue continued to keep just ahead of his ferocious apelike pursuer. As he burst into a room he had not entered before he noticed four large holes piercing the floor. Faint light and the sounds of his companions welled up through the holes.
The ape-thing was close on his heel. With no choice Grand Silvertongue jumped into a hole and plummeted to the ground 20-foot below. He survived the fall, and staggering to his feet tottered after his friends.
He was still invisible, though, so his friends could not see him. Several of the other monsters accidentally barged into him. As they did so, the ape-thing appeared at the hole in the ceiling and a mass of sticky webs filled the archway cutting off the half-elf from his friends.
With no choice, the bard rushed into the webs determined to push his way through. He was amazed, then, to discover they were just an illusion! Elated he ran after his friends, grabbed a rope thrown by Colzo and jumped into the water!
The bard was saved. There was much rejoicing.
For Dennan, though, the heroes could do nothing. Most were badly injured, and virtually no magic--offensive or healing--remained to the group.
With no option but to rest the heroes battled the yet rising tide and rowed furiously back to the first small area of dungeon they had explored in their previous exploration. So precipitous had been their retreat that they were forced to leave virtually all their provisions behind.
Thus it was that a battered, tired and depleted band of heroes gathered to discuss their next move. Discussing their recent battle they tentatively identified their foes as a pack of dretch, a quasit, a shadow demon and two barlgura. Horsa bitterly named the star chamber the Room of Infinite Demon Summoning and remonstrated loudly with his friends for ignoring his call to retreat. With their foes' identity revealed, the party fell to pondering their next move. Should they try to rescue Dennan? What were the odds of the brave barbarian still being alive? Had they inadvertently opened a portal to Abyss?
Things seemed grim.