The Secret to Boss Fights is Alcohol for the GM

The night passes in tense silence. Balekh receives strange nightmares of a demonic wolf taunting him. On Veshenga’s watch, she swears she sees another black hound flying overhead, but misses it with an arrow. They wake, expend spells to make sure everyone is in top fighting form, and descend into a dungeon that is probably already on alert. One last impasse with the captive mercenary results in them having no information other than that their adversary is certainly making plans to deal with them.

Taeva descends the final stairs, and finds no traps on the door, but does note the utter darkness beyond. Rather than make the opening door a beacon of their presence, they hide the continual flame torches and have Haggor use his darkvision to scout the room. It is of middling size, full of alcoves and fallen statues, and leads to a hallway… the door open and inviting. Haggor sees no immediate threat, and begins to explore the room. This is when the trap is sprung.

From hiding behind the fallen statue in the far alcove, the last of the Yeth hounds charges across the room and deals a vicious blow to Haggor’s backside. Veshenga unleashes arrows with little effect, and Haggor has trouble hurting it. As the party rushes forward, the hound makes an odd choice: it tries to back away, as if to flee down the hallway, though it is barely scratched. Not sure whether the trap is stopping it or following it, Haggor manages to grab ahold and pin the spectral dog. Just then, visible only at the extreme edge of gnomish and half-elven eyesight, a beautiful woman wielding a bastard sword with a deformed claw begins chanting. The rest is silence as a sphere of magic settles upon the room.

Balekh, knowing the sound of a Silence spell when it is cast, rushes from the stairway and drags Veshenga back, so that he can enchant her bow to penetrate the Outsider’s skin. By now, however, Haggor’s furious wrestling has made archery against the hound a dangerous proposition. Instead, she launches an arrow at the infernal cleric at the end of the hall. The woman negligently heals the wound with an insulting flick of the wrist. Balekh heals Haggor of the worst of the hound’s original bite, then charges after the rival cleric while Taeva moves into position with her silver comb to help.

As Balekh charges down the hall, there is a sickening sinking of the floor shortly matched by the feeling of his gut as he instantly understands the tactical position of the fight. In the light of the torch he has brought with him, he can clearly see the Nualia’s mad eyes laughing at the trap he has sprung… and then turn to anger as he manages to throw himself free before twin portculli descend to pin in the space where he should have been standing. As the statues to either side begin to slash at the space where he once stood, he closes the door behind him and focuses on the Yeth hound.

While Haggor fights to hang on to the twisting ball of demonic fur in an oddly silent tableau, Taeva begins carving the bent and twisted comb through the arteries of its neck. Veshenga switches from her bow to the sword that she recovered from the Lamashtu-twisted goblin and used to kill the quasit… with a final stab it flares into fury, consummating its mystical hatred of all things demonic. The hound falls into a heap on the floor, and the party silently motions to proceed down the hall.

Kicking open the door, the party sees no sign of the cleric, but do see the trap silently resetting itself. Haggor easily bounds over the pressure plate and rushes to the end of the hall, where he spots the cleric hiding around the corner. Now that he can hear, he understands the constant stream of mad vitriol coming from her mouth in praise of Lamashtu. Now bearing the bastard sword in her unwarped hand, and obviously glowing with divine protections, she lashes out at the imposing monk, dealing a terrible blow before rushing away back across the new room as the rest of the party carefully leaps down the hall.

This new room is some kind of ancient temple… to usury? A seeming mountain of coins fills the eastern wall, but Taeva quickly discovers that it is an illusion. An office of some kind is behind, but nothing of immediate use is apparent in it. With still no better option than to see how Nualia’s trap unfolds, the party follows her into the obviously ajar set of double doors on the far side of the room.