What a blast it has been too!
I've run adventures against the white skinned Morlocks, tempted the party into a den of carrion crawlers and into old ruins populated by ghouls. The party have been snowed in and forced to take refuge in a haunted monastery, have ventured inside a nest of giant ants, have explored ancient elven ruins, have freed a village from a curse that turned them into lycanthropes, have journeyed across crystal fields deep underground and accidentally freed ancient evils, have cleared out the city of spiders, have entered the tower of the Ghoul King and reduced half his reserve army to dust, have stormed the city of serpents and finally, have adventured within a dream realm to try and pull a powerful artifact back into real life. Phew!
There have been casualties along the way. Many brave heroes (and foolish ones) have died. We even had one total party kill against goblin spider riders in the wilderness once. We've had many, many near death experiences where one more die roll would have ended a heroes life... and yet it didn't. Perhaps fate does smile on these heroes after all (I roll my dice out in the open and do not fudge them)... a fate which is more powerful than the DM!
The heroes are now 6th-7th level and well capable, in their own right, of defending themselves. It's been a terrific journey to this point... when the party decided to save the world from a potential orc tribal alliance was one of my highlights as a DM and led to a terrific battle to play out, too.
I'll leave you with one of the scenes from last night as a parting thought. The heroes hear a scratching noise in a room as they approach it, but as soon as they open the door, the noise stops. They never hear it again, nor can they find any sign of its source. It bugs them so much that, after they have explored the whole level and the one above it, they come back to investigate once more. Still finding nothing, they decide to douse the walls of the room in oil to burn the green moss that covers all the surfaces in the dungeon and reveal what it is underneath. Four flasks of oil later, they find the charred stone under the moss... and still they do not find the source of the sound. Still, it made me laugh, imagining the mighty heroes attacking some humble moss with burning oil, discussing how much they might need and then working out if they needed to somehow cover the ceiling too... all because they heard a little noise... ;-)