The adventurers readied their weapons and spells, automatically forming a circle around the incapacitated Bosco, all of them facing outward. This served two purposes: it protected Bosco, and it allowed them to face all possible flanks of attack.

Belphanior: What did you hear?
Songa: Scratching...hissing...
Belphanior: I detect no souls, but then again, that doesn't surprise me.
Ged: With the shape and size of this tunnel, those sounds could have come from quite some distance away.
Otto: Or from somewhere much closer.
Ged: (nods) Good point.
Rillen: (his bow ready) Be alert. An attack could come from anywhere and at any time.

The monk's words proved more correct than he knew. As the twelve adventurers watched and waited, their hearts racing at the prospect of an unknown menace, something dropped from the tunnels' ceiling high above. Something big, dark, and deadly.

creature: (lands right over Bosco, straddling his comatose form) Hsss!
everyone: (whirling about)

The monster that now faced them was truly horrific beyond imagination. It stood at least seven feet tall, its limbs long and lanky and shiny and black. The limbs, like the rest of the thing, were decidedly non-human, being grotesquely shaped and proportioned. The creature's feet ended in huge claws, as did the hands at the ends of impossibly long arms. A long, spiny tail weaved slowly back and forth behind the thing. Its head was the strangest feature of all, for it was strangely elongated, jutting out in front of the thing's squat neck.

creature: Hsssssss! (without a moment's hesitation, it reaches out and grabs Tanya)
Tanya: (held fast in a grip of iron) Aaargh!
Peldor: Tanya!
creature: (bares vicious fangs at the others) Ssssssss!
Peldor: Don't attack it - we might hit Tanya!
Ged: But what can we do-
Belphanior: I can hit it- (he slashes at the thing, but it dodges, causing his sword to glance harmlessly off its bony exterior) Dammit-
Mongo: (swings his hammer, but misses) Fucker-
Gorin: (having backed up a step when the thing landed in their midst, he raises his axe) It's mine!
creature: Hsssss! (it tenses, then suddenly leaps over everyone, bounding off down the tunnel with its victim)
Tanya: Help! AAAAAAaaaaa...
Peldor: Tanya!
Mongo: Can't throw my hammer - I might hit her-
Rillen: To hell with this. (unable to get a clear shot with his bow, he drops the weapon and sprints off after the foe)

The others were pursuing as well, but Rillen had the immediate edge thanks to his enchanted boots. Still, the monster was impossibly fast; within the space of a ten-count, it was out of the sight of its foes.

creature: (stops, regarding its victim) Sssss...
Tanya: N- no... (she draws her sword)
creature: (bats the weapon aside before the woman can bring it to bear)
Tanya: No!
creature: (its tail wraps around Tanya's leg) Hsss!
Tanya: Aaaaargh!

Just then, Rillen dashed onto the scene, his quarterstaff in motion like a lightning bolt. The powerful weapon took the monster across the side of its head, distracting it and causing it to drop Tanya.

Tanya: (still caught in the thing's tail, she cries out as her leg is crushed tightly, snapping in several places) AAARGH!
Rillen: Hold fast! (he whips his staff to and fro, trying to drive the thing back)

This was no ordinary foe, however; it barely seemed to feel the blows, and Rillen had not counted on that.

creature: (intercepts the staff with a blindingly fast arm, grabbing the weapon and tearing it from the warrior's grip)
Rillen: (knocked back by an offhanded slap from the monster) Ungh!
creature: (bears down on Rillen) Sssss...
Rillen: (tries to leap aside, but gets intercepted and grabbed) Argh! Too fast-
creature: (grabs the warrior's head in its other hand, its claws sinking easily through flesh and bone)
Rillen: AaaaaaaAAAARGH- <squish>
creature: (tosses the body aside, turning back to its other victim)

Down the tunnel, the others heard the woman's screams, loud at first and then fading quickly.

Peldor: (leading the pack as they all rush in that direction) TANYA!

It didn't take them long to come across the mutilated body of Rillen, and a short distance away, they found what was left of Tanya.

Songa: Rillen... (she simply stares at the gory remains, in disbelief)
Peldor: Nooooooo... (he sinks to his knees, sobbing)