Last session we'd just finished clearing out the courtyard. Now we're burning through a wand of Cure Light Wounds to get us all back up to health.
The doors and windows on the second floor of the main house are all boarded up. Tavros marches up to the door, and just as he's about to try the handle black tentacles spring up and grab him.
While he's being grappled, the door swings open and a four-armed giant ape - a girallon - tries to smash him, but misses. Alexej moves up and attacks the beast, hanging back from the tentacles. Lyra attempts to dispel the tentacles, but fails. Marshall Mercy casts Enthrall on the girallon. Tavros, meanwhile, is trying to talk to the beast: "I say, good fellow! Just help me out of these tentacles and we'll all get along splendidly."
Marshall makes friends of three of the Girallons, holding their attention despite the arrival of a fourth; they move back and group together, looking in fascination at Marshall. Tavros finally manages to break free of the tentacles, and steps into the house.
Leira charms the fourth Girallon. Marshall sees something on the far side of the room; the charmed Girallon moves to meet Leira and get caught by the tentacles. Marshall's got a whole football chant going with his three.
Tavros surveys the room, seeing no particular danger; that is, naturally, when a bunch of bugbears come pouring out from a couple of doors at the back of the room. A particularly fearsome-looking bugbear comes out behind them. Tavros: "Come, lads! Surrender, and I'll see that you're well-treated." Tavros apparently talks like a combination of Sir Didymus and Professor Elemental. The Bugbears charge forward; the leader starts smacking girallons and trying to get them to attack us.
This could all go terribly wrong... and it does; he shakes them out of their trance.
Leira blows a higher-level spell slot for Fireball, but they way everything is clumped together she hits basically ALL OF IT. Most of the bugbears are now gone; the girallons are damaged, and the bugbear chief less damaged. Tavros, looking around: "You see? You should have surrendered."
Leira's Girallon-buddy comes over and scoops up Leira and cradles her in his arms and starts petting her. The other three move up. One of the bugbears tries to cross in front of Tavros and dies; the other two bugbears attack him and miss. One of the girallons attacks as well, doing a pretty decent amount of damage; another smacks him as well, though not as effectively.
Alexej attacks the nearer Girallon, and kills it; but he doesn't try to move through the tentacles yet. Marshall throws himself in through the window like a fucking cannonball, landing at the feet of a bugbear. Tavros wipes out that bugbear and the one beside him, but the chief bugbear rages and charges and takes him down.
Leira's girallon-buddy carries her through the tentacles and leaps up onto the balcony; she magic missiles the nearer of the girallons.
One of the two remaining girallons slings himself up onto the balcony and tries to take Leira; they struggle, and finally Lenny (the buddy Girallon) yanks her back. The other Girallon moves down and tries to attack Marshall, but misses.
Alexej tries to dive through the other window and succeeds, but like Marshall lands his side on the ground. Marshall reaches over and drops a Cure What Ails Ya (Cure Critical) on Tavros. Tavros attacks the bugbear chief but fails to connect; the bugbear attacks him but likewise fails to hit. Leira throws magic missile at the bugbear that tried to steal her, and it dies and falls from the balcony with an enormous crash.
Lenny is meanwhile petting Leira. Alexej stands, and while the Girallon takes a swing at him it misses. He attacks with his guisarm, damaging the creature. The Girallon attacks Marshall, hitting twice and rending, and Marshall is hurt. Marshall takes a five-foot... roll... and then reaches out to touch the beasty from the ground.
Tavros and the bugbear chieftain exchange blows, damaging each other; they're both still upright, but also both badly damaged. Leira finishes the girallon with magic missile, leaving only her buddy alive. Following Leira's lead, Lenny the girallon leaps back down to the floor.
Tavros attacks and critically hits the hobgoblin barbarian, cutting him off at the knees. Everybody staggers to their feet, and we do more healing; the wand is nearly gone. By the time we finish healing Marshall, the wand is down to two charges.
Leira saw a really creepy ghosty-thing crawling on the ceiling and it was disgusting and then it vanished and she's probably cursed. It was in a noblewoman's dress. It ran away when Leira screamed at it, though.
Lenny takes Leira out of the houe and over to the market-area and gives her flowers.
We proceed to check the lower level; the old barracks has become the bugbear common room, and it is trashed like a frat house. It reeks of body order, they've been marking their territory, there's rotten food and trash on the ground, discarded mugs filled with horrible once-alcoholic liquids...
We check more doors, finding an abandoned room that was probably officers' quarters, then several more of them. The hobgoblin commander had gauntlets of ogre power +2, a +1 mithral chain shirt, and a +1 greataxe; in his drawers we find a bag of gems worth 2000 gp. We continue down the hall, finding another abandoned room.
We exit the hallway and find a training room, but it's also trash; they've been using it for practice fighting, but in the crudest possible fashion. We move to the east wing.
We open the door to find a room full of zombie workers. These were probably the servants. We close them off and head upstairs.
Leira points out the direction that the vampire-thing went, and Alexej leaps over three of the trip wires and trips on the fourth. Alexej, ahead of everyone else, hears a door open and sees the shimmer of something moving.
...We're back in battle. Marshall moves cautiously forward, avoiding the trip wires, and Tavros does likewise; Lenny bounds down to the lower floor and back up, coming up beside Alexej. Leira pets him and tells him how good he is.
Alexej moves cautiously forward, and finds two former noblewomen hanging from the ceiling, Grudge style. He moves forward and attacks, blowing another tripwire. He attacks, doing some damage, and then they look fetchingly into his eyes and smile charmingly, but Alexej -- remarkably -- is not taken in. They have left a door open, and there are two more noblemen inside; one of them provokes an attack of opportunity as he passes.
Alexej trips him... off the ceiling. He hits the ground hard, squirming, and Alexej tries to pin him to the floor. The other nobleman looks deep into Alexej's eyes, but the guy isn't that attractive and Alexej isn't swayed.
Lenny moves forward, and Leira sees a couple of vampire spawn. She hisses back at them. Then she throws a load of magic missiles at the nearest one and kills it.
Alexej trips a vampire, and attacks him; stabbing him as well. He attacks again, pinning him to the floor like a bug until he turns into mist. Marshall is slower than the rest of us; he moves to where he can see down the first passage, but not the side hall where Alexej is now. One of the vampire comes to his feet and hisses at Alexej.
Tavros charges up beside Alexej, then leans back and drops Protection from Evil on Leira. Leira's girallon mount squeezes forward, putting her in view of the lady vampire. Alexej attacks the vampire in front of him and trips him, then runs him through. He explodes into mist.
Marshall moves past Alexej and into the destroyed game room. Mist is fleeing across the room, and Marshall see it trying to escape. The vampire lady charges Leira and swipes at her, but misses.
Tavros hears Leira scream, and runs down the hall and smites the vampire, doing a reasonable amount of damage; Leira throws magic missile at her while her girallon carries her away.
Following the mist, we find a couple of coffins with sleeping vampires in them. We stake 'em, them toss them out on the balcony to die in the sunlight. We check more rooms, finding abandoned guest quarters; Alexej finds two more tripwires the hard way. We check more rooms, and eventually find more coffins; stake 'em and roast 'em. They are... well done.
We continue exploring the second floor and find the Baron's meeting room, avoiding a few more tripwires. We step into another hallway, and Aexej looks one way and sees more vampire spawn; Tavros looks the other way and sees more vampire spawn. The do a quick fist-bump and then set up back to back. The vampire children attempt to charm us.
Alexej: "Oh, no. More suitors!" Neither of us are affected.
Alexej charges, setting off more tripwires and taking a bit of damage, but attacking and hitting. Tavros settle back, waiting patiently for someone to attack him.
Marshall steps up to where Alexej was, and turns undead. Marshall is the main reason Tavros doesn't bother to turn; he's too good at it. His holy aura burns evil away, destroying all four of them. We find the kids' rooms. Lenny takes Leira down to look for the end of the hallway, and sets off a couple of tripwires; the garillon is mildly injured and very sad. They call up Alexej, who comes forward to absorb tripwire damage for them.
Following the hallway, we open more doors and open one... and we're back in battle. Clinging to the ceiling is the baron... and his wife.
Tavros: "My lord! We've come to return you to the capital and see you restored to your proper self! Pray, come down that we may return you intact."
The others move up.
Alexej: "Those... were... words..." He prepares to trip the noble lord should he attack.
Tavros: "Come, noble lord! Let us take yourself and your lady wife back safely." He's not as convincing, but he doesn't alarm them.
He tries again, and the lord protests that he hears voices; but after a bit Tavros convinces them to get in their coffins so we can bring them back to the capital. And thus, we end without the need for further combat.
...Which is a fucking miracle, mark my words, and we'll probably pay for it later.