Elias, Wood Elf Cleric, 396 points
Garreth, Half-Orc Fighter, 460 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 460 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 454 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 465 points
8 Duergar warriors
2 Drow clerics
We resumed with the PCs just having opened a door into a guard post, featuring a bunch of duergar, a drow, and some kind of large buglike monster that had just been let out of a wooden cage and was now charging at them. Polly immediately shot the bug in the skull, doing enough damage to slow it. She followed up with a second shot, which knocked it out, before it even got to demonstrate its attacks. Her third arrow was aimed at the drow, but was blocked. Zaber drew his knife and All-Out Defended. Some duergar waited for the PCs while others moved into position. Garreth stepped forward and used Kiai on one, stunning him. The drow cast a spell on the monster, which started moving again.
Elias charged forward, and Seépravir Great Hasted herself. Polly put some more arrows into the monster's brain, which killed it. She then tried shooting the stunned duergar in the eye, but he managed to block the arrow despite the stun penalty. Zaber invisibly reached the drow, who never heard him coming, and front-stabbed her in the eye, knocking her out. One of the duergar tried to slam Polly, but she dodged. Another one used a melee net to trap Elias, who failed to dodge it.
Garreth tried rapid striking the duergar who just netted Elias with his katana, but his cuts were blocked and dodged. Elias, with no sharp net-cutting weapon in hand, decided to just burst through the net with brute strength. This is difficult for most (quick contest of your ST vs. the net's 14), but Elias is very strong, and the net was Hulked into a useless pile of string. Seépravir tried Death Vision on a duergar, which failed, then she followed up with Rapier Wit and stunned him. Polly shot the duergar who just failed to slam her in the back, stunning him. She then flew around another duergar and shot him in the back too, resulting in another stun. Zaber, with See Invisible, saw some more enlarged invisible duergar coming down the stairs to join the fight. He shouted a warning as he flew back to cover. Hearing that, Polly yelled in Elven that a Grease spell on the stairs would be funny. Garreth used Rapier Wit to insult another duergar's beard, causing stun due to low self-esteem. He then took a couple of strikes at his shield arm. The first one was blocked, but the second connected and crippled the arm, ensuring that that duergar's blocking career was over.
Elias, now free of what was left of the net, tried smashing a duergar twice with his flail, but one attack was blocked and the other was parried. (Even with the penalty for a flail; these duergar were pretty skilled.) Seépravir followed Polly's advice and cast Grease on the stairs. This resulted in loud noises, as some huge invisible duergar fell down the stairs and hit the wall, each other, etc. One of them said "stupid elf greased the stairs" in Dwarven, and another optimistically responded "I'll kill her Cap'n."
Polly shot another duergar in the back of the head, knocking him out. She loosed more arrows at the pile of prone duergar at the bottom of the steps, but they were blocked and dodged. Zaber put his Invisibility ring on. One of the prone duergar tried chopping Polly with his axe, but she dodged. Garreth tried slashing a duergar, but he parried. Elias moved up. Seépravir stopped maintaining some less essential spells and cast Mass Daze at the pigpile, dazing 3 out of 4 duergar. Polly put more arrows into duergar heads, stunning one and then knocking him out with a critical hit. (She used an arrow with Continual Light to try to spotlight an invisible target for Elias, who lacked See Invisible. But the light turned invisible when it hit him.)
The non-dazed duergar tried rapid striking Polly, but she dodged both axe blows. A drow upstairs cast Dispel Magic on the area featuring the dazed duergar, trying to remove the Grease (which was actually already gone but she didn't know that) and un-daze them. More duergar came down the stairs. Garreth Rapier Witted and then chopped the duergar near Polly, crippling his shield arm. Elias attacked one of the just-undazed duergar with his flail, doing serious damage. He also bumped into another duergar who was still invisible. Seépravir Great Hasted Elias and Zaber (with the one on Zaber a critical success that gave him triple speed instead of the usual double), and Rapier Witted another duergar into stun. Polly shot another couple of duergar in the skull, knocking one out and killing the other. Zaber flew up the stairs to catch up to the retreating drow caster (which was easy with Flight and Great Haste), and then fatally eye-stabbed her.
One of the duergar near Elias was still invisible, and smashed him in the face with an axe. He failed his Hearing-2 roll to hear the incoming axe, and took 24 cutting to the face. Fortunately for him, he had a very stout helmet, which soaked much of the damage. He needed to use his Luck to reroll a bad stun roll, then was mostly fine. Garreth retaliated by chopping that now-visible duergar's head mostly off. Elias tried attacking the last duergar standing, who defended. Polly followed up with 3 arrows, all of which were dodged. Zaber flew back down the stairs and stabbed him the face for a critical hit and a knockout, and that was all the guards in the guard post.
With time to study the bodies, the PCs noticed that all the guards' armor and weapons were very hard wood rather than metal. Clearly their strategy revolved around their pet rust monster that Polly had knocked out before it managed to rust anyone's gear. Polly found a broken lever (part of Garreth's war on levers) and touched it to the monster's antenna, and it rusted. Polly and Seépravir then used some of the wooden axes to attempt to dissect the rust monster and recover any valuable bits. When they were done, Seépravir cast Seek Magic and found that there was some magic nearby to the east. meanwhile Garreth tried Chi Medicine on Elias, but it didn't help. The wineskin of healing potions worked better. Zaber was really sleepy after the double-strength Great Haste wore off, so Seépravir gave him a Lend Energy spell.
When everyone was done resting, the group went east, in the direction that Seépravir suspected had magic. The door there had a knocker. Zaber tried listening at the door, and a trap that he had missed (because I rolled a 17) went off. This caused a loud alarm in the guard room to the west, and also zapped Zaber with a curse. He made his resistance roll, so it only gave him -2 to IQ and made him slightly insane. He started yelling at the door, then telling it to open. Polly helpfully hit the door with a pickaxe, but this didn't make it open. Zaber eventually gave up on conversation and picked the lock, right before Polly got serious about chopping it down.
Behind the trapped door was a nice apartment, containing a nice statue of a female elf, and a dining table with some fancy snifters, which still smelled like brandy. Garreth ripped the door off its hinges, as part of his continued campaign of dungeon vandalism. Everyone was quite suspicious of the statue. Garreth wanted to take it, but it weighed about a ton, too much for the Bag of Holding, so they left it for now. Seépravir's ring started saying rude things about people too gross to clean out their glasses, and offered to Create Water to clean them out.
There was another door. Zaber lectured it, then picked the lock. On the other side was a bedroom. It contained an unmade bed and some dirty women's clothing. Garreth searched the chairs in the outer room, and found a scroll under a cushion. He took it to Seépravir, who read it and found that it was a treasure map to "The Great Palace of Zahadran, Lost To Time And The Sands", signed by an Urgus Spellsmith. Meanwhile Zaber started looking for a teddy bear. Failing to find one, he freed Logan the Wolverine from his magic bag to help.
Zaber's behavior was erratic enough that the others finally focused on fixing it. Seépravir tried Dispel Magic, which didn't help. Garreth tried chi medicine, which also failed. Elias tried Remove Curse, and that seemed to bring him back to his usual level of intelligence and sanity. Seépravir tried Analyze Magic on the statue, which told her that it probably had very strong undetectable magic, probably masked. This caused more discussion of taking the statue home, but it was just too heavy, so the group thought maybe they'd get some stone giants to help, after they cleared out the duergar.
Garreth remembered he had something important to do. He threw several of the bodies from the guard room into the Bleak Theater arena floor and then yelled "Are you not entertained?" There was no response. Afterward, the group resumed exploring the level. They found a room, empty except for a few unpopped popcorn kernels. They found another empty room, this one with some scorch marks on a wall. They found another empty room, this one appearing to be a vacant unfurnished apartment. They found a portcullis with a lever in front of it. Pulling the lever caused the portcullis to go up. But they decided not to go that way (because Zaber said it was further away from the arena and wanted to explore the closer things first), and continued west around the arena concourse instead.
Continuing to the southwest of the arena, Zaber unlocked and opened another door, and found another apartment, with a huge white bear inside. The bear looked hungry and charged. But we were out of time and stopped there.
The two-level guard room featuring a rust monster, a bunch of duergar, and a couple of drow was a long fight, but the enemies were no match for the PCs. Great Haste is good. So is Mass Daze. So is Rapier Wit.
The insanity trap was a lot of fun, but fortunately Elias had Remove Curse. Without it, they would have had to either deal with Crazy Zaber for longer, or go back to town.