The context of the adventure is set so the action can begin ... "First Positions and Action!" (see below). The magically summoned humanoid monsters charge fearlessly at the party. The Ranger and the Elf Fighter Magic-User are torn between popping off missile weapons at the Evil "Big Baddie" Magic User and self preservation. The DM (me) calls for a quick decision or they will automatically lose the initiative (I am a meanie like that) and self preservation wins and they fight what is in front of them (Note from DM: Potentially a very bad call). In the background the Cleric starts Chanting a spell to give her boys a +1 to hit and damage in combat. Meanwhile the Evil MU turns his attention to the door and casts a Knock spell.(Note from DM: If that "Knock" spell works it could be a very short adventure and off to the pub after all!)
Thankfully there is a lucky/clever chap in the party. Almost as an afterthought the Dwarven Thief (every party should have one) chucks a throwing dagger at the Evil MU, rolling high (19 and unbeknownst to the party the baddie is dextrous and magically protected to AC3 in good old 2nd Edition AD&D terms, so it was a very lucky hit) and hits, does damage and the Evil MU fuddles the spell. Note on the Player Characters (PCs), the party numbered five adventurers, but there were only two players present. Each chose their primary character from the five, a third player was nominated 'there in spirit' (and 'ethereally' commanded the Ranger) as we asked "What would Mr. P have done in the situation?" The Dwarven Thief was technically a trusted NPC who could be "asked to do things" (Note from DM: At which point I would make a roll based on the situation and perceived 'character' of the NPC). The Dwarven Thief certainly bagged a lot of XP for that 'lucky throw'. Meanwhile as the fighters were hacking into the low level monsters and getting to feel quite (over) confident two things happened in quick succession. The Elf Ftr/MU went "urk" and took a nasty cut took losing half his Hit Points (HPs) in one go and then then about two dozen armed skeletons charged into the room from a side entrance (see below). If you remember those red poker counters were meant to indicate noise and danger. The only good news for the party was that the Evil MU was obviously rather vexed at them turning up too!
The party beat a hasty retreat back down the corridor they came from, leaving the Evil MU to deal with the hoard of angry skeletons and whatever other undead come after them. Last the party saw was a web spell being rather successfully being cast on them, but the sheer numbers probably meany he didn't get them all. The Cleric cleverly spotted a portcullis arrangement at the "T Junction" and together with the non-fighting members of the party brought it down with a tumble and a crash, releasing a rather large angry Giant Bat (see below). Fortunately the bat pounced on the last of the magically summoned creatures, giving the characters a chance to slip away. Part of the DM's glee of the night was: When the Giant Bat randomly chose whom to attack I informed the players the Dwarf Thief was excluded from the list as he had successfully "Hid In Shadows" to their groans. Revenge is sweet for the thief is commonly the "expendable man (or Dwarf) on point duty" ;)
The party beat a hasty retreat down a side corridor as they heard the last gurgling sounds from the magically summoned humanoid just before the Giant Bat devours it. The sounds echoed down the corridor after them putting an extra spring in their step (see below):
What's this? Sounds of fighting up ahead! The last few remaining defenders of the Keep on the Borderlands seem to be fighting underground now. Which does not bode well for the battle above ground. Three wounded fighters are defending the steps (top right, see below) and a bunch Orcs are lobbing missiles at them (bottom right, see below). It's party decision time. Do they pitch in and help the fighters or use the time cynically to put some distance between the party and the Orcs?
Tune in next time to find out. Where has that Evil MU got to? Is there another way out from this tunnel complex apart from the way up? In D&D there always seemed to be more questions than answers ;)
At this point I topped up the party's drinks and we settled down for a long night :)