We change watch: Klael goes to watch the hostages, and Rainor joins us. There are doors to the north and southwest. I think. I am getting a little turned about, which is unnerving.

This dungeon is quite large, and Dave was mapping out the rooms by drawing them wherever we could fit them on the sheet. As a result, it was tricky for players to keep track of where things were, which nicely mimicked the disorienting effect of the Guards and Wards.

To the north is a cavernous room with pillars arranged as stepping-stones. A test of balance – another barbarian test, but one more to my liking. I step across. The pillars are rounded at the top and a little slick. Jope will not make it across here without a little help. I see some movement below. On the other side a short passage and a door which I do not open.

I head back to join the group – Rainor watching my progress. On the final pillar I become overconfident and fumble the jump. My ring of Feather Fall catches me, but below I find what is causing the movement – swarms of ants. Big ones. I cast Spider Climb from a scroll and flee, but I have several of the things on me, and thousands follow me up the wall.

I put up a Wall of Fire to burn them off. It helps, but not enough. Jope’s standardbearer uses the standard (a dragon head on a pole) to breathe fire. After a little longer, I manage by dint of rolling about to crush the remaining ants. But I need a fair bit of help from Ovthen to deal with the bites and stings.

The southwest corner is where the hag-priestess map indicated that the focus of the complex is, and we open that door.

Beyond is a temple, really. And barring our passage a human of indeterminate age. He and Jope chat a little. It seems that he more-or-less administers the test, and is not terribly pleased that Jope needed help to get through it. He is a priest of Gorrum, it seems – the chaotic god of fighting a lot. After a moment more of banter Jope simply attacks him. The fight might have gone on longer, but Rainor managed to stun him with a splendid shot to the temple, then – taking advantage of his momentary distraction – I got him with a Scorching Ray that arced up and transposed our positions. Although this sort of misfire can be a disaster, in this case it meant that he was teleported 30 feet away from his weapon. The next few seconds, well, nothing out-of-the-ordinary happened.

Yeah, we mugged that poor bastard. Three crits – two from Brett, one from me. We use the GameMastery deck, so it’s always a little more fun.

I open the next door. Beyond is a man who has sort-of half transformed into the hero (?) in the statues around us. With him are a squad of undead. The man attacks me rather than Jope, springing in and away. The undead move in. I drop a Glitterdust on the group, and retreat.

The man and the undead warriors pour through the door, I am hit again, then Rainor, then another one takes a swing at my ne…

I shall remember you, Verdant-daughter. To any who wears me I will tell your story too among all the others.

And so ends the story of Seldryn Verdant. She died looting a tomb – low on spells, out of action points. If she had cast Improved Invisibility rather than Glitterdust, it might have turned out differently. As it was, she was overkilled by 15 points – a definite character death.

Dave is not keen on respawning, and I don’t really want to bring her back nerfed. I had a look through Ultimate Magic, and two options have caught my eye so far.

First, there’s the question of her family ring: Thought and Memory. We could bring back her cousin who was present during the owlbear attack as a Magus, a gish class who probably can benefit from the T&M bonuses.

The second option is that it seems that this “hero reborn” business involves a certain minor artifact sword, dedicated to Gorum. I am thinking Oracle of Steel, which is an option for Oracle in UM. Chaotic Neutral, of course. Oracle of Steel gets Disable Device as a class skill. It leaves us short of an arcane caster, but like any team that’s been working to together a while the only way to seamlessly replace Switch would be to make a Switch clone, which we don’t want to do.

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