The DM really had us worried when he had previously told us that something very nasty was at the bottom of that temple, and that he was not going to flub any rolls in our favor if we ended up fighting it. That kept the suspense up for the rest of the session. As we got to the lowest level, Jason was reading the Monster Manual, as usual, to intimidate us. We were confronted with an "either or" decision. I wanted to go upstairs, but the rest of the party wanted to go down below. I gave in, anounced the party's movement to the lower level. Just then, Jason quickly closed the book, and simply said "gotcha." Several seconds went by in dead silence. I still can't believe that we killed that damn thing. (And the DM kept pretty close to his word. He only made one "flub"...the very first attack took the cleric down to 0 hit points. There's nothing fun about dying before you even get a chance to fight the thing, so Jason said that it only took her down to one hit point. Still a devastating blow, still going to cost us some healing potions and clerical spells, still a very good possibility for death, but at least Brenwyn had a chance now. Aside from that, Jason was fully expecting some of us to die. Between the cleric's bull strength, healing, and other magic, my NARG, and the monk's running and cowering and not fighting at all, we all managed to make it through the battle. We only have 4, 11, and 2 hit poitns respectively, and still might not make it back to the surface, but damned if it hasn't been fun so far! ^_^
Everything ended up perfect. While there were bits and pieces from other games that might have been more fun, thay were just the highlight of an 8-hour session. Last night though was fun almost non-stop. Every battle was exciting, and we never knew if we were going to make it or not. Every villian was so well described that they sounded imposing, intimidating, and just plain cool. Even down to the freaking *skeletons*. There were not too many traps or puzzles, likely because the rogue player didn't show up that night. However, we avoided what was there, only springing one on accident. There was also a puzzle, and though we failed to solve it properly that whole scene ended up being one of the most vividly depicted encounters of the whole night. For some reason, it just stands out in my mind like a boss battle in a video game or the final scene in some movie. Between the XP, the treasure, and especially the storytelling, last night was certainly one of the best adventures that I remember in recent history.
And to make it even better, instead of us just lugging our haul back upstairs to party hard, we're in a pretty big cliffhanger. Damn, I cain't wait for next Saturday to get here! ::smiles::