After a two-week hiatus because scheduling conflicts, we resumed the Dwimmermount campaign yesterday. At the conclusion of the previous session, the characters had to flee Adamas for fear of being charged with the death of an alchemist in their employ. This meant they had no choice but to rush headlong back into Dwimmermount, since, oddly, it was a safer place for them than the city-state, at least in the short term. Once inside, they continued their exploration of the sub-level they'd been mapping the last time they were inside the mountain fortress. In doing so, they discovered a ventillation shaft designed to allow fresh air from the surface to enter the dungeon (and the giant bats that were nesting in said shaft). They also encountered creatures that they called "big kobolds,"slightly tougher little guys than the ones they'd seen on Level 1. These creatures were engaged in the creation of strange whorls of paint on the walls of one room in the dungeon. After they were defeated, the PCs examined the paint to discover that it appeared to be mixed with small amounts of azoth, which caused the paint to dry quickly and leave behind peculiar vein-like patterns on the walls.
Pressing on, the characters first found a room containing a statue they assumed was related to the mythology of Turms Termax. In a rare display of impetuousness, the elf Dordagdonar entered the room alone and began looking for secret doors, failing to notice the green slime on the ceiling, which promptly dropped on his head. Fortunately, the application of fire by Brother Candor and Vladimir destroyed the slime but not without leaving a scar on the elf's face, which he declared forever marred his beauty and would deprive him of the company of other elves, who would judge him "hideous."
Slimes, molds, and fungi seemed to be a theme for the dungeon as they pressed onward into the dungeon, where they encountered a room whose surfaces were almost entirely covered with weird growths. Fearing what would happen if they ventured in too far, Vladimir decided to take his torch with him and clear a path from one archway to another. He figured he could burn away some of the growths, bit by bit, and avoid their potential danger. What he didn't count on was the fact that, in setting fire to them, he'd cause them to release noxious spores into the air, which he inhaled. A failed saving throw later and the intrepid dwarf was dead.
Through the clever use of a grappling hook, the party recovered Vladimir's body. Brother Candor decided that they could pool their limited funds to have the dwarf raised from the dead at the Temple of Tyche in Adamas. Unfortunately, that meant return to the city-state where they were wanted men. After some thought, they found a farm on the way between Muntburg and Adamas, where they paid the farmer for the temporary use of his cart. They then cleaned his stalls of manure, piling it into the cart and on top of Vladimir's corpse. They also applied a healthy dose of the excrement to themselves so that they could enter Adamas "disguised" as manure collectors. The plan worked well enough and Vladimir was restored to life. However, the priests of Tyche cautioned Candor about ever again returning to the temple, since he could bring the law down upon them. Meanwhile, Dordagdonar had an iron mask fashioned for himself to hide his "disfigurement."
With Vladimir once more among their company, the party returned to Dwimmermount. There they encountered some animated skeletons, which served as guards to a large chamber that looked like a desecrated temple to Turms Termax. Overseeing the temple was a strange lich-like being, dressed in the rotting robes of a priest of the god of magic. He was preaching to an invisible congregation, denouncing the church of Turms as a sham and immortality as a false hope that leads only to a living death. He took no notice of the PCs, who did not interact with him out of fear of what would happen.
Moving onward, the characters found a room where the floor stones had been overturned to reveal bare earth. Upon entering, giant ants burrowed up from below the earth and attacked them. The ants' poison claimed two hirelings, Wulfhere and Brandis, and, while Dordagdonar's use of a web spell helped defeat the giant insects, the party was now low on muscle. Brother Candor reluctantly decided to return to Adamas and face the music, hoping that he could use the head of Jasper -- which was kept preserved in formaldehyde -- could set the record straight. The priests of Tyche agreed to accompany him to talk with the constabulary and to cast speak with dead on the poreserved head, which did in fact exonerate him of murder. However, Candor was still fined for desecrating a corpse and he was told that the constabulary would be keeping an eye on him, since he was a "known troublemaker." With that, the PCs decided they needed to find new hirelings and to seek out more information about Saidon the Archivist, the priest of Typhon whom Jasper the alchemist had spoken to shortly before his death.
As usual, a superb session, filled with lots of action, mysteries, and roleplaying. I am very pleased with how the campaign is unfolding.