When we last left the party, you had traveled to the demiplane Occipitus, a chunk of a celestial plane that has been cast down into the abyss after a war with a rebellious angel named Adimarchus. Your new traveling companion, Kaurophon, says that it is your destiny to pass the Test of the Smoking Eye and take control of the plane. Though you do not trust Kaurophon, these were also the dying words of Alek Tercival, a paladin of Pelor, and so you are willing to play along.
The first test involved defeating a horrible spider named Thathnak. After making quick work of this foul bebilith and rescuing an angel named Halalia, you were rewarded with the Lantern of Guidance. This lantern would light the way to your next test.
The second test turned out to be one of perserverance and dedication. The Lantern led you along a twisted path that was full of distractions: a basilisk, a retriever, a dying coatl that you rescued, and several grave robbing clerics of Wee Jas. Any pause in the Lantern’s progress teleported the user and those close to him (or her) back to the start of the test. Fortunately, Risa surmised the purpose of this test and continued to move forward as the party quickly dispatched each nasty distraction.
The end of the path led right up to the skull-shaped structure in the center of Occipitus. You were ready for the final test. First, however, you had to deal with the sudden appearance of the black dragon Vorkaire. The battle looked like it might go pretty badly until once again Risa’s clever mind saved the day! Using a web spell from her magic cloak, she downed the circling dragon. Everyone then moved in to quickly beat the bejesus out of poor Vorkaire and send him off to dragon hades. Let’s hope he doesn’t have any relatives!
You then approached the entrance to the skull and found another trapped angel. Dispondent and wounded, Saureya had been trapped on Occipitus for centuries. During this time, he was forced to help design the Test of the Smoking Eye. He revealed that he had designed a flaw into the tests: one did not have to complete the first two tests to proceed to the final one. Doh! He also revealed that a rival pair of creatures, a fire giant and a rakshasa, were already moving through the skull to the final test.
Without any further delay, you headed into the skull and quickly tracked down the deadly duo. The giant proved to be no match for the bashing that the party heaped upon it. The rakshasa was a different story entirely. It’s damage reduction kept it from being hurt by all but the most powerful blows. Thanks to Ody’s anti-wizard ability to drain spell casting ability, the rakshasa soon found itself without any offensive capabilities. A stalemate ensued until the rakshasa suddenly sprinted down the tunnel. The party followed and chased it into a room with a beserk clay golem. After Hildstaf imprisoned the golem in a wall of force, the rakshasa found itself trapped. It parleyed and agreed to leave the skull and not return. The party accepted these terms.
Now the group faced a difficult choice: wait for the wall of force to fizzle and deal with the beserk golem or head up the spiral staircase at the end of the room. (Okay, maybe it was also getting late, and we were tired). Gathering up their courage, the party ascended the stairs and prepared to face the final test!