I'm a little late getting this actual play report up. We continued our 4e Pyramid of Shadows game, with the companions making their way up to the second level of the inter-dimensional prison.
This session was played on 7/21.
Dietrich the Human Knight
Ander the Halfling Rogue
Barakas the Tiefling Warlord
Chan Lee the Human Monk
The companions returned to the great stairs that twisted up in the pyramid. As they ascended, a harpy and a pair of gargoyles flew down and harassed them, while the stairs shook, trying to toss them down the central shaft. Chan the monk at one point lept off the stairs and grabbed hold of the gargoyle. The creature couldn't carry both of them, and Chan pummeled the creature all the way to the bottom of the pit. The Harpy swooped down trying to knock Barakas off the stairs, but the warlord, in a feat of martial prowess never before hinted at, slayed the harpy. The second gargoyle dropped down to help his companion, but the warlord followed up by teleporting down and helping Chan defeat the one, while the second fled.
At the top of the stairs, the chambers seemed slightly warped with demonic faces, and the opponents were just as warped. An initial group was guarding the top of the stairs, and used the biting pleading demonic faces to teleport around the room. Throughout the encounter the faces begged to be fed, and cursed everytime they were used to teleport. In spite of being surrounded, the companions managed to take down the twisted creatures pretty quickly. They then fed the demonic faces the chopped up remains of their opponents, and in return were gifted with a magical blade.
The next set of doors was a large chamber with several statues, and a large heavy breathing form off in the shadows. As they tried to enter the room silently, the ogre stood up and moved toward the companions. They engaged it, and noted its empty eye sockets. The orge wasn't alone. A medusa slithered out of the darkness. Her attacks were more distracting than anything, so the companions focused their attacks on the orge. Chan fell under her gaze, and felt stiff, but continued on with his attacks on the ogre. For his part, the ogre slammed the party around, crashing through the previously petrified victims of the medusa until the party brought him down. The monk found himself locked, completely immobile. His companions took down the medusa, but by the time they were done, he had turned to stone. Of course they took her head.
A far too brief discussion about what to do next reveals that they have no way to restore their friend at the moment, so they pack him into their portable hole, and continue on. Their next roadblock is a set of three enchanted doors. They manage the first one with out difficulty, the second with great difficulty, and the last door with a curse that affects all three of them the next time they fumble in combat.
Beyond the enchanted doors, they encounter a chamber that contains several rough built hovels, and a bunch of sad looking human refugies who have been trapped within the prison. They call their area "Haven" and invite the companions to join them for food, rest, and stories, giving them a hovel to rest in before dinner. They enter the hovel, and a few minutes later find it falling about their heads. 4 of the refugies turn out to be the same sort of twisted monsters they encountered before, and the humans their brainwashed slaves. The fight does not go well for the companions, as they focused on taking out the rabble, while the monsters were mostly ignored. In the end they won the day, but they keenly felt the loss of their friend.
In the chamber beyond Haven was a room riven with tears in the fabric of reality. A massively deformed Kalavakos was chained to a set of pillars and surrounded by swirling magical energy. When the companions entered the room, the delicate balance of forces was tipped, and Kalavakos ripped free from the chains. This was another tough fight, as the magical vortex kept pushing and teleporting everyone around the room while the Kalavakos abomination did his best to remove the companions from reality. Dietrich was the first to trigger the curse from the enchanted doors, and as he swung at the abomination, spectral robed figures plunged daggers into him, giving a ghastly demonstration of what Ander and Barakas have to look forward to.
The set of enchanted doors, called the Three Gates of Agony in the adventure, was so terribly structured. It isn't even a problem specifically with 4e, it's a problem with the way 4e adventures are written... but this deserves it's own post.