Saturday night, after a long break (games were happening every week, I was just busy with grad school stuff), Justin ran a session of Vaults of Ur. Last time, Venerable Carolus (Elder Karl) had shuffled off his mortal coil thanks to a giant bee sting. Ralex the Fighter (NPC, but played by Dean), Thidrek the Sleestak, and Noctis the Orc (Jeremy) were holed up in a pill-box type ruin.
Time doorways opened, and we were joined by our companion from across the Veil Maya Culpa the Elf (Alexei M.), plus two new-comers to Ur, Megasthenes the Hoplite (Dallas M) and Fang Tigerheart, Paladin of Bast (Steven Goodman), and Fang's torchbearer.
After a LONG discussion (over an hour of real time, although that also included time spent answering questions about the campaign and the two new characters and general table talk), we decided to try to use the underground passages from the pill-box to try and at least get past the killer bees.
We wandered around what was apparently a complex of the ancients, found a small amount of loot, and then stumbled across a room with three alcoves containing zombie owlbears with something like yellow mold growing on them. We managed to kill one, and burning oil kept the others at bay. But we had a dead end, and had to circle around another way.
We found a room that looked to have once been an important person's bedroom. Past that, a corridor linked to the owlbear room, plus in another dead end there was a skeleton that was half embedded in the wall. We couldn't find a secret door or anything, so had to turn back again. Back in the VIP's room, there was a bright light, which turned out to be some sort of mobile time doorway that attacked. Thidrek ended up on the wrong side of it, cut off from the party, who were trapped between the portal (which had grasping claws that drained Wis - Thidrek's a bit more careless than he used to be) and the owlbears.
A nasty melee ensued. The owlbears eventually went down, but Ralex and the young torchbearer both perished. Thidrek had tried to sneak back around, but ran into some of the ghouls. Wounded, he knew he couldn't take on four of them himself, so after a round of melee he had to make a choice - try to run north to the exit, or back toward the portal. Hoping to find some way around the portal or somewhere to hide, he chose the latter. Luckily, for whatever reason the portal had retreated, and Thidrek was able to get around it and it moved toward the pursuing ghouls.
Beaten and battered, with more losses, the party retreated to a gate over the subterranean river to rest and lick their wounds.
The first day's worth of adventuring to save Karl was unsuccessful. We've lost Ralex and we're all beat up without a cleric. Good times! I'm looking forward to the next session.
AD&D Players Handbook part 41: 4th-Level Magic-User Spells
33 minutes ago