Fresh from the rescue of Thebes the Heroes of Claremont began their journey into the western desert. Viper found a trail of a smaller group of zombies that they were able to follow initially. Viper assumed his normal role of leading the party, staying under cover as best he could. After his vision of the Couatl he was not surprised when a voice came to him in the desert. When the desert spirit told him that the group should speed up he relayed the message to the party.
Later the spirit again came to him, helping avoid a nest of giant ant lions that would have greatly hindered the party. The spirit again spoke to him, letting him know that they had gone too far on their detour, which prompted him to turn the party south. But at last, they came to the cliff overlooking the valley and all of its ruins.
It was here that the desert spirit revealed that it was not the kindly creature that Viper thought it was. When it urged him to take advantage of the fair Qualiki, Viper knew that this was not a desert spirit of the Couatl, instead, it was some dark force with evil intentions behind it.
They could see parties of zombies laboring among the ruins, which helped them be sure that they were at the right place. While trying to figure out the best way down the cliff the party came under attack. Several flocks of giant, undead crows attacked the party. Viper called upon the powers of the land to summon a wall of wind that the party was able to use to funnel the creatures to a place where the party could easily defeat them.
Entering the valley proper Viper led the party to the ruins that their guide told them was the location of the dread Night Staff. The party entered, and were able to locate a secret door leading to a temple. Unfortunately, the temple proved to be a trap, as the room was guarded by large creatures of stone that the party knew they could not defeat. Luckily the spell casters in the party were able to extract them from the trap.
After some more research by their guide, the party finally determined the best place to go to next. Viper scouted out the different locations of zombie workers to find out how to best approach each set of ruins. With the aid of more magic, the party flew into one set of ruins, only to discover that it had been cleared of anything of value, and was only another trap. A trap that they were able to easily extract themselves from.
At last, the group knew where to go. Viper approached the pyramid where preparations were under way for a terrible ritual. The party was unable to use the illusions of Qualiki to distract the guards so they were forced to attempt a direct attack. An attack that was successful, but still took too much time. So the spell casters, knowing that time was short, used their powers to carry the party to the top of the pyramid. There to confront the Necromancer lord Armando Vitelli and his bodyguard, engaged in a terrible ritual. The party, wounded and tired, knew that this was to be the final terrible confrontation.
My Denver game went very well this weekend. The session was filled with multiple encounters. Everyone had chances to use what skills they had. There was cooperation. And a varied use of spells and skills. It was everything that I could ask for in a gaming session.
Personally, I was very happy with how I played. I was far more heroic, taking risks, and pushing things to the limit.
I am now really looking forward to what will likely be a rollicking finish to this story arc. I already have ideas of what I want to do. Plans that will no doubt be foiled by the GM. But I am still excited about it all.