Actual Play from last weekend:
We had freeze-framed from last session with the party in various states of strung out and on the doorstep of the Ruinous Palace of the Metegorgos (https://www.rpgnow.com/product/208237/Ruinous-Palace-of-the-Metegorgos):
Solon: Lvl. 5 Magician: Reasonably OK. Flying.
Eutropia: Lvl. 5 Ranger: Not a scratch!
Billy Ray Valentine: Lvl. 4 Mountebank (ill./thief): Not too shabby
Ulva: Esquimmeaux cleric: Blinded, flying, with further continual light spells giving crotchlight and footlight
This Witness: Lvl. 2 Mystic of Aurorus: Stunned into emotional stupor by having visucalized the last ten minutes of the life of one of the Metegorgos's pariah children (zombies)
Halstan: Lvl. 2 bard. OK
Mato Firebear: Lvl. 2 druid. OK.
--His tomato plant: Poised and ready
Ondrest: Lvl. 2 Scout: OK
Argyros the Coffin(/Coughin'): Lvl. 2 assassin
After some brief scouting around into the darkness of the Ruinous Palace, lit by Ulva's crotchlight, the party decided to retreat and try to rest in the nearby forest. This Witness came out of her emotional stupor and managed to dispel the light on Ulva's eyes, though only after Aurorus misunderstood the first request and locked the mystic's and the cleric's heads together in a vise of darkness that pulled secrets out of Ulva's mouth and poured them into This Witness and so on to the goddess. the cleric decided not to risk dispelling the crotchlight.
By the time they got going, Mato's entangling of the last of the piteous zombies had worn off, and they had to dispatch the last few as they climbed the slope, crying for their mother to witness the revenge they would wreak for their fallen brother, the Obsidian Wyrm, calling on her to finally love them, to let them in, to forgive them for the transgressions that led to their births. The party chopped them down. Then Ulva managed to use a scroll of animate dead on the fallen Wyrm and, with a 40', rather mangled, obsidian-scaled corpse fitting into the marching order, they struck off into the woods.
They found a place to camp and rest, but rest proved hard. Essentially, the wild high druids, taking advantage of the sudden power vacuum created by the death of the Obsidian Wyrm, launched a DOS attack on the party. Surrounding the campsite from up to a few hundred, the whole dog pack howled and howled and howled. The watch roused the party, which was hardly necessary. Finally, Argyros the Coffin (Coughin'; also a homophone in Kimmerian) activated his ring of invisibility and established a range for the dogs. He reported back. Soon the howling faded, and everyone tried to rest again, only to have it start up an hour later. Argyros went off again to scout toward the mound of the ruined palace. When he wasn't back in an hour, Ulva aimed his undead wyrm in the same direction and told it to go and bring back the first dog it found. When it wasn't back in an hour, the spell casters stuffed wax and gauze in their ears and bedded down while Eutropia and This Witness kept watch [saves required to get to rest with those measures; everyone passed!].
In the morning they followed the Wyrm's tracks through the forest, which soon weaved and deviated, showing that the dogs had toyed with it until they led it over a cliff to smash on the rocky ground below. They went back and aimed toward the mound and soon found the bloody mark of Argyros's passing, though his body, its heart and tongue eaten out, was not revealed until Ondrest searched through the blood and pulled the ring off a blood-slick finger [and their was much rejoicing; er, mourning].
Back to the Ruined Palace. Ulva's crotchlight had yet to fade and so was aimed into the crevasse just inside the entrance. What it revealed chased the cleric back to her fellows. The two floating excresences of filth, undulating forward on sine-wave filaments were dispatched rather quickly. This Witness, hoping to send knowledge of the unknown creatures to Aurorus, tried to light them on fire. [Here, everyone, including the DM, had a ten-minute delusion of this working, everyone taking 4 damage from the violent self-fouling induced by the smoke, Ondrest the Scout falling unconscious from the damage, and This Witness "healing" him but committing Malpractice and thus accidentally filling his flesh with psychic antennas that would summon a spirit every week that would mopily follow the scout around bemoaning its fate. But it turned out this was just caused by some Pringles that had been incorrectly ranked on the Extreme-O-Meter and fire didn't actually work AT ALL in the Ruined Palace, and so soon order was restored.]
Having learned that fire would not light, and with Ulva convinced that some curse laid by the gods was on the place, Solon had his henchkid, The Kid, activate his electric torch as the cleric's crotchlight was starting to fade. This Witness, after failing to secure permission to relight said crotch, also managed to coax magical godlight onto an unlit torch after only a few incidents. And they proceeded, after Eutropia's social advances were completely rebuffed by the stone-playing rock creatures who were decidedly not amused by the dungeon marbles she tried to add to their game.
And so. Down the stairs. To an ancient shrine where the Metegorgos herself cooed and cuddled a golden idol that was both ikon and child. Here the miasma of anticlimax threatened, for the players achieved surprise and scattered effectively as Billy Ray Valentine fired off his wand of lightning at the Metegorgos. The good news for trivia buffs was that this was the first time he had used such a thing at close range and so was not expecting his own lightning bolt to bounce back and hit him (after hitting the Metegorgos twice). Fate was kind, though, in figuring rather than bouncing back a time or two more, it would somehow angle itself up the stairs. And so fell the Metegorgos. And almost Billy Ray valentine, too.
But wait--wasn't there something about Old High Thunder Hag being a language rich in information density and pathos but somehow completely useless against tigers?
Indeed there was. For the party found the only daughters of the Metegorgos at play in their rushing river. After only a moment of parley, the group retreated and searched the Metegorgos's bedchamber carefully, there finding the only thing in the Ruined Palace they suspected had not been birthed by her: a black velvet bag with seven irregular lumps. Solon took one out, and it leaped from his hand, a tiger! After a moment's hesitation, the great cat seemed to bond with him.
For some reason heartened by this enough to convince themselves that winning could always be winninger, they boldly set back forth again to confront the Thunder Hags. Here, This Witness steered into the skid of her class by allowing one of the languages she knew to be completely replaced by the tongue of the Thunder Hags (Old High Thunder Hag). Of course, the one she lost was Common. But before the rest of the party attacked, she learned from the monosyllablic grunts and fish-to-wall smackings that the Thunder Hags basked in the glow of a mother's love for her only (nonzombie) daughters, that the joy of running water and robust blind cave fish was a sensory delight ever renewed, ever refreshed, ever revealing itself again as each crystalline instant was rooted in indelible memory by the elemental sounds of current, the infinite varieties of condensation, the invisible rainbows of water dashing itself to vapor in the dark.
Then the party attacked.
The fight was long and insanely dangerous and involved rank after rank of PCs stepping forward to the ledge only to be grappled down into the pounding current by a leaping Thunder Hag. Until the tiger got involved. And it leaped from Thunder Hag (favored daughter) to Thunder Hag (infinitely treasured consciousness), powering its mighty springs by raking its back claws through viscera to bone. And the blood was soon gone for the river will wash away all sins and all memories when nothing is left to speak them.
It turned out that other than blind-cave-fish toys-food, the Thunder Hags had no treasure except their legacy of experience. So the party trooped outside only to find a fresh human head, Kimmerian, tongueless, eyeless, posed on the top step just outside the door of the Ruined Palace. After some [lengthy] debate, they retreated back into the mound, hoping to be able to rest in the Metegorgos's bed chamber, where they felt the curse was slacker and fires might light.
In the shrine, though, they found the last two Thunder Hags weeping over their mother's seared remains and vowing eloquent vengeance. Solon remembered to tell This Witness (in Atlantean, the only common language the Mystic had with the party at that point) to tell the Thunder Hags to mention to their mother and aunt in hell that Solon had sent them and would do the same for the other ten or eleven or however many Medusa sisters, and then, even though the tiger had faded to nothing, the party dispatched the last two Thunder Hags and left This Witness as the only speaker of Old High Thunder Hag in all the great, abyss-tossed disk of Hyperborea.
And freeze frame.