With a… night…? of rest, the party left the water chamber to explore the upward bound corridor that would hopefully lead to more revelations about the mysterious disappearances on the surface.
All things being normal, Faervel Galadthor sneaked off into the darkness to scout. However, cosmic scales finally tipped the other way, and Faervel snuck effectively, coming back to report on a cavern occupied by goblins, many of whom were asleep. The plan came down to Faervel murdering as many as possible, and the party charging in once he needed to squawk for help. He murdered an admirable number of greenskins before needing aid, but with “Punty”, Gurtak, and Sten Karn off killing the goblin archers that tried to rush in as back up and rush out as cowards with springing axe swipes and sacred fires, Faevel used his time to find PHAT LOOTZ in the firepit.
He was startled when the party caught him. The party was not startled that Faevel had found treasure and wanted to keep it secret.
Exploring further, Faervel reported on a barred gate with a bugbear guard in a recessed alcove further on. The group also found another locked door in a chamber above the middens hole encountered below. Deciding to explore open passageways before monkeying with locked, guarded chamber, the group pressed on, but shortly realized they were being tailed.
With delicate subtlety, “Punty” whirled around, shone his bullseye lantern on the sneak, and blurted (he liked to think of it as ‘challenged’), “Who’s there?!”
Fortunately, it turned out to be Kwon, the monk initially hired by Lord Nestor of Darkshelf to investigate the goings on. He filled in several blanks for the party: the area behind the barred gate was a slave pen, guarded by a pair of bugbears; the so-called dwarf quarry master Basili Erak is actually an ork called Brubgrak, with a female elven lieutenant named Glitherial; and the locked door in the middens chamber is a rear entrance to the slave pens.
He tells us that he has been gone long enough that he must be getting back – the bugbears are surprisingly vigilant in their monitoring of the slaves. The party agrees that if the bugbears are dead, they can’t check on Kwon’s presence, and backtrack to the locked door to make it so.
The plan is to lure out the bugbear with some noise so that Sten can use a hold spell upon it, leaving Faervel and company free to puncture its organs with impunity and then act similarly upon its companion. However, the bugbear is smart enough to wait to investigate until joined by its compatriot. When “Punty” steps out to taunt them into attacking, they instead demand he come to them, with which he is happy to comply. He knows that Faervel, Gurtak, and Sten are there to back him up. Between some mighty smiting and some persistent paralysis spells, the two bugbears fall.
The party spends a few moments catching their breaths, and then considers the slaves and corridors yet to be explored, and we fade to black before the next plan is made.
To be continued…!