My instincts obviously broke a bit last night. We did all right against the obelisk that spawned will-o-wisps any time we were dumb enough to hit it, found the secret door and figured out how to get past it (actually, one of the relative newbs figured it out--good on her), and wandered down into a room with a festering pile of corpses. A quick detect magic revealed something apparently buried under the pile, so I went to try to shift some corpses with my spear.
I should've brought a 10' pole.
The pile animated and attacked--and I don't mean that the individual corpses in the pile animated and attacked, I mean the whole pile rose as a solid mass and attacked. So naturally, we decided to have at it.
I really should've taken the hint when I critted no less than three times, using a magical sword that crits at x3 vs. undead and abominations, and it kept on coming, but by that time, I was in full berzerker rage. It got its collective hands on me and I got in one more good blow before it snapped my barbarian/fighter in half and absorbed him into the mass.
The paladin was next to go.
Fortunately, we had weakened it enough by this point that the party was able to take it down by using our entire oil supply to set it on fire and repeatedly fireball it with a wand. It turns out that my character hadn't been completely absorbed, so the cleric was able to raise me with her staff of life.
We're a party of 8th or so level. This was an EL 13 monster. If the dice hadn't been wildly in my favor, I wouldn't have done enough damage before dying for the rest of the party to bring it down. A strangely lucky break, given the way the dice have been rolling for me of late.
Anyway, the xp we got from that encounter was enough to offset the level loss for resurrection, so I didn't actually have to rework my whole character sheet, but I did miss the chance to level up with the rest of the party. Ah, well, it's a light price to pay for my foolishness.
Besides, I had a great time, and that's what it's all about when you get down to it.