Another TPK (or TPKO - Total Party Knock Out) for my group, bringing the death toll to 15. I count these as deaths because with the entire party unconscious, only the plot prevented a TPK. I actually now have a sign that says "It has been ___ days since the last perma-death".
Magny, Halfling Sorcerer 4/Rogue 3/Arcane Trickster 3 (player of Davi and "Z", 6th PC death)
Hermod, Elven Cavalier 9/Fighter 1 (player of Skuld, 4th PC death)
Halung, Halfling Barbarian 10 (only surviving beginning character, 3rd death)
Mimra, Human Bard 10 (player of Maruk and Aubrey, 2nd PC death)
Adventure: Mother of Flies
Location: Ilnerik's Lair
Catalyst: Morrowfall backfiring, plus being completely unprepared
The Gory Details:
The party successfully killed the Calikang and began looting the Treasury. After securing the contract with Mammon that outlined Chammady Drovenge's doom, along with several nice pieces of treasure, they decided to press on. Despite being told by Eirtein that there was only one room beyond the Treasury, and knowing the Ilnerik lurked down there, the party chose not to resupply with anti-vampire equipment, such as a wand of Death Ward or Protection from Evil. The only anti-vampire tool in their kit was the Morrowfall. A potent tool to be sure, but one that they had already used a couple of times that day.
Undaunted, the party opened the door and came face-to-face with Ilnerik. And the 4 vampire spawn that they failed to kill in the Walcourt basement. And Jerusen, who they never killed during the Infernal Syndrome. And a vampiric Larko, who had just recently been turned (they could have rescued him had they moved a bit swifter through Walcourt).
Before anyone else can act, Magny raised the Morrowfall and used Sunburst. The vampire spawn all failed their saves and died instantly. Unfortunately, Ilnerik, Jerusen, and Larko all passed their saves, and since all had Evasion, were unscathed. Even more unfortunately, the Sunburst placement resulted in the entire party getting hit. Of the 5 (including Hermod's mount, Berzerker 2) intrepid adventurers, only Hermod and his bear made their saves. Thus the battle began between 3 fairly potent vampires and a group of blind adventurers.
Despite Ilnerik's cockiness and his refusal to cast Haste or to Dominate the only remaining enemy with eyesight intact, the party struggled. A couple of times, they barely missed attacks as the concealment penalty for being blind wreaked havoc, in addition to their quick accumulation of negative levels. Despite at one point bringing Ilnerik to 15 HP, they eventually ran out of momentum and began to fall. Magny was last to be taken out, chased down by Jerusen as he blindly stumbled down the hall to the treasury.
Amazingly, I was able to knock all of them unconscious rather than killing them. Thus they awoke the next day in Skarx's prison, where Aberten aided in their escape as a favor for the mysterious Council of Thieves agent named Abrogail.
My party is actually fairly competent in terms of build. The encounter seems like a lot, but with the damage that Halung can put out, and the ridiculous AC of Hermod, the vampire spawn and Larko were never a threat. I expected them to be wiped out within a round or two, and sure enough, none of them contributed to the fight. With wand of Death Ward and Protection from Evil, the party probably could have easily won the fight, even while blind. They just continue to try to brute force their way through encounters, rather than properly strategizing and preparing.