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It seems like we have been in this dingy room without making any progress for a month! Maybe my state of near-death affected my perception of time, but everything is becoming clear now. Before we move on we check the state of everyone's health. Adran is a little concerned, 'I've only got eight hit points left. And I've used six healing surges.'

'How many do you start with?'


'So you're on full hit points? That should last at least one more fight.' After the confusion is cleared up with a glare that couldn't have been deserved we rest to regain hit points and healing surges ready for the next encounter.

Pushing deeper in to the Keep we manage to outwit some statues—somehow—and find ourselves confronted with a dozen zombies and a ghoulish creature that we might recognise as a ghoul if we knew what a ghoul was. Leaping in to action and defying typecast Adran acts first on initiative, moving from the back of the party in to melee combat for first strike.

Inspired by these heroics Iago, our warlock, follows quickly behind. Ready to blast some intense energy towards the zombies he uses a mighty encounter power. Sadly, both D20s he rolls land on a natural 1, casting his initially optimistic attitude in to a deep despair.

'I missed, missed! My soul itself is blackened from the disappointment and rebuke I must surely suffer at the hands of friends and foe alike.' With this he pulls out a small dagger from his tunic. 'I call upon my dark lord to witness my self-harm and grant me absolution!' The player announces that he has used another ability, this one letting him get back the failed encounter power at the cost of a few of his hit points.

'So the net result of your own action is that you took damage? You're really playing in to the whole 'emolock' character.'

Despite this initial set-back the zombies and hardier undead are fought valiantly. My own minion-destroying spells work their magic and Adrann continues his pursuit of bravery by pursuing a fleeing flying enemy and preventing it from exiting the chamber. The main problem comes from two undead that work together to cause all sorts of problems for our dwarven fighter. He becomes immobilised, dazed and stunned in quick succession.

It all works out in the end with a concentrated attack on the undead monsters and some crafty pushing and pulling. It is not long before the status effects are shaken off by the dwarf, at which point Kawakami quips that the dwarf's efforts have 'saved the daze'.

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