I suppose I should explain how I came to be rafting down a river of magma on a boat made mostly of hobgoblin bones and magic. I realize that this situation seems incredible and stupid, even by the standards of everything else I’ve reported, but we were already in Deep Reach, and between a dracolich and an aboleth, and close to my goal. Slipping away in the night would have been an even bigger risk than sticking with the group.
After wresting The Hammer of Moradin from its altar, vivisecting a beholder, and experimenting with drinking what we had determined was the blood of a sleeping god, it was time for another pointless argument. I excused myself to scout ahead, discovering a room broken up by lava floes, with a pile of refuse on an island towards the back. I could smell a trap even through all the sulfur, but I couldn’t see a trap, so I decided to try and trick the dragonborn into triggering it. I gave the all-clear, joined up with Thangobrind, and stood back to watch the idiocy unfold.
After our leader and the gnome shouted a debate on how to cross the river of magma without the latter needing to jump, they agreed that the best idea was to use some of the broken wood as a bridge, and Kildrak leapt over the magma, and surprisingly stuck the landing after flaming, snakelike bone construct burst out and speared him with a rib bone. It attacked him a second time before anyone was able to react, and a number of hobgoblin skeletons rose from the (liquid?) to launch the expected surprise attack on the rest of us. A few managed to hit Gesh, who weakened them with a freezing storm, and Thangobrind teleported away from the attack before they could harm him, finishing off Gesh’s targets while wounding a third. I finished off the last of the three, and covered us with a shroud of darkness to let the dwarves handle their opening volley while we planned how to deal with the battle.
Kildrak knocked the bone construct back under the lava, I went to help take some pressure off Adrik- more and more hobgoblin skeletons kept streaming from the magma, but Thango & Gesh could take care of those. My job is to take care of the big guns. Adrik summoned his divine lightning to clear a path and grant the two of us a sliver of Kord’s strength. The flaming bone snake re-emerged to spear me with its ribs, but with everything else under control and all my tricks ready, coming to me is a death sentence. I focused my enmity on my target, and with a flurry of dagger slashes, and a little bit of frost, holy fire, and the occasional glancing hammer blow its bones started to bleed magma in about six seconds. The construct lashed out at us in panicked fury, but thanks to Adrik reversed the hurt, and gave me an opening to sever the skull from its spine. The entire construct collapsed into a heap of bones before anyone of value was wounded.
As the others picked through the refuse to search for valuables, we came to the conclusion that the magma river was not natural. Given it was all flowing one way, it was headed somewhere important. At this point, the more Arcane-aligned members of our group reasoned that, if the bones had survived waiting in the magma for an ambush, they must have been enchanted to resist heat. Gesh immediately leapt to the the conclusion that we should use them as a raft and see where it goes. Adrik and myself pointed out every flaw with this plan two minds could find, but Kildrak, leader and tie-breaking vote, asked his hammer. It informed us that the pile of refuse had fallen from the caldera above, as the dracolich’s underlings were using it as a trash chute. This would be the most direct route to our foe, but the river of magma would lead us there eventually, and no-one would expect a group riding a bone-boat down a lava floe for a surprise attack.
I couldn’t argue with that logic. As stupidly dangerous as it sounds on the surface, if you’re fighting a dracolich in or near a volcano, the volcano is nowhere near as dangerous as the ancient undead dragon that had been siphoning the power of an artifact. We had the raw materials to make a fireproof raft, strong dwarves to work as craftsmen, and skilled enchanters to make the laws of physics look away from things like the buoyancy of bones against the weight of five people or liquid seeping though the holes.
At least we moved away from the sulphurous stink and the boiling magma to set up camp for the night.
Given I had been translating for a talking hammer, and the mission had committed me to a battle against an ancient dragon necromancer, reason had already gone out the window. It’s important to take the context into account before you listen to what happened the next day.