The first day of travel eastward brought the party to Delkrag where they spent the night. The next morning, they headed out northeast cross country for the point Bey had indicated as the location of Valraydaehr. About mid-morning, while moving through some tall grass, members of the group spot several bugbears moving parallel. Knowing it would only be a matter of time before the humanoids would detect the adventurers, Otto took quick aim at the nearby enemies and hit one with an arrow to the head. Rayn, and Xander pull out their slings but only the druid hit. Gorax and Nova both decided to hide for an ambush amongst the grass. Ram activated his Ring of Invisibility and moved to flank the humanoids. Foxman, Sir Ryan and Trinity all charged in to attack. Sir Ryan landed a blow with his two-handed sword, Foxman hit twice with his long sword, and Trinity nearly kills her target in one solid hit. The Bugbears turn on the melee fighters and managed to hit Trinity twice but her skillful maneuvering caused these to be glancing blows for minimal damage. Otto had moved up and took a point blank shot at one of the two foes facing Trinity slaying it. Nova leapt out of the bush and connected with her backstab attack on a passing humanoid bringing it to a knee. Xander and Rayn both launched sling attacks and again Xander hit while Rayn missed. As another bugbear passed Gorax’s position, the dwarf jumped up and swung his mighty battle ax but missed. After several further rounds of combat, the party whittled their foes down with melee, missile and magical attacks. Trinity took several other blows and Xander cast a Cure Light Wounds spell on Nova, who was badly wounded, in mid combat. Final kill tally: Ram-2, Otto-3, Sir Ryan-2, Trinity-1, Gorax-1, the last kill went unassigned. After the combat, Sir Ryan used his Lay on Hands on Nova as well. Meanwhile, Ram searched the fallen for items but found only a handful of coins.
Not long after setting out the next morning, the party could make see the overgrown entrance tunnel in the towering eastern cliff face. The party entered the well-constructed passage cautiously, following it for nearly 30 paces to a massive set of metal bound, wooden, double-doors. All along the archway surrounding the doors was written a message in several different archaic languages. Working together, the party figured out that the inscription read, “Valraydaehr, where our hearts are opened as well as our minds.” Nova found no traps on the door and Sir Ryan detected no evil radiating from the other side. Otto noticed that a large amount of traffic must pass through the doors as the tunnel was clear of dust and debris as well as any specific tracks. Gorax threw open the doors to reveal a large, rectangular entry room.
The room was empty and featureless save for two doorways in the opposite wall and one other door in each of the two side walls. Otto found hints of trails to the two side doors but found no signs of foot traffic through the doors in the opposite wall. The party approached one of the opposite wall doors and as soon as Nova began to check it for traps, a face slowly appeared in the wood and spoke in a matter of fact tone, “Well, that wasn’t very polite. Ever try knocking?” Sir Ryan and Xander both apologized profusely. “I’ve heard it mant times,” answered the door, “Rule 47, please.” The party all looked at eachother in silent confusion. “If you don’t have your handbooks then I can’t allow you students entry.” With that, the face vanished back into the door. The same set of events then occurred at the adjacent door. Frustrated and now determined to locate a student handbook, the party checked out one of the side doors. Passing through the door, the party discovered a square room whose opposite wall was pushed out to form a fifth corner. The two walls in this section of the room each contained a door. Broken furniture and bits of parchment were scattered about the room, but it appeared that trails leading to the two doors had been cleared away. Gorax opened the left-hand door onto a long, wide hallway.
The hallway continued out of range of Gorax’s bull’s-eye lantern but the party could just make out doors evenly spaced along both sides of the hall. A few steps into the passage, Nova detected an anomaly in the right-hand wall. Quick search revealed a secret door that lead into a triangular shaped office complete with deck and bookshelves which were mostly empty. The most interesting thing the party discovered was a large hanging cloth of the same shimmering material that Bey’s communicator was made of. They placed the few ancient tomes titled “Elven Literature”, wrapped in Sir Ryan’s bedroll, along with the black cloth, into a large sack as it was feared the books would get too damaged in the Bag of Holding. Ram found nothing of note in the desk and Xander cast a detect magic spell and sensed nothing else in the room, but did feel the presence of magic radiating from the wall across the hallway.
No secret door was found in the hallway where Xander had sensed magic, so the party continued down the hall. The party stopped at the first door on the left-hand side of the hall. Nova bent down to check the door for traps and as she did so, it flew open. Two hobgoblins emerged with several others standing behind them. With a blood-curdling battle cry they jumped at Nova brandishing their weapons. Otto missed them both as Nova rolled out of the way. Rayn cast a Sleep spell into the room and caused five foes in the room to collapse unconscious. Trinity dropped one with her maul. Foxman wounded a hobgoblin. Gorax pushed to the front and cut a foe down with his ax. And Sir Ryan slew the wounded foe as well as the other that was yet unharmed. Ram and Telegarsh then proceeded about the room, finishing off the five sleepers. Sir Ryan then asked Xander if he could still sense the magic. Xander indicated that it was coming through the left-hand wall as they entered this room. A secret door was found to lead into another triangular office almost identical in form and contents to the one discovered earlier.
Going back into the main hallway, the party investigated a door opposite to the hobgoblin’s door. Inside this room were only some tattered maps too large and fragile to take and piles of broken desks. The next door on the right side opened onto a room filled with what appeared to be refuse, as if this room was used as a trash heap and sometimes toilet for the hall’s inhabitants. In the back of the room, however, the party discovered a desiccated corpse wearing a cloak still in good condition. Telegar moved the cloak aside and found only rotten items on the body. As the cloak was in good repair, Telegar folded it up and placed it in his pack. As the party stood around the body, Nova looked up and noticed a large gap along the top of the wall that would connect this room with the next one along the hallway. She climbed up and couldn’t see much with either her infravision nor Gorax’s lantern; though, when she used the latter, she began hearing a strange slurping sound coming up the wall in the next room. She dropped down quickly as a slimy, silvery shape started slowly oozing through the crack. After a moment, the glistening blob fell to the floor and Sir Ryan stabbed it with his magical glowing dagger. The abomination shivered and spat acidic slime across Sir Ryan’s breast plate as a lightning fast pseudopod lashed out at the paladin and missed. Rayn cast a volley of Magic Missiles at the creature causing it to shudder and Sir Ryan chopped it with his two-handed sword again getting sprayed with acid slime. Otto placed an arrow deep into the blob and it quivered then grew slightly smaller and more solid grey. Inert and lifeless, the blob had become a solid chuck of grey metal. Rayn pointed to Sir Ryan’s armor and gasped as it now had several holes growing in it. Quickly, Sir Ryan scraped the slime off with his magic dagger and deactivated the plate mail brooch.
The next room, that had housed the slime creature, contained nothing of note. The second door on the left side of the hall opened onto a lair of nearly a dozen gnolls. Nova jumped aside as Otto instantly dropped two with bow shots. The rest of the party rushed in but in their haste, only Trinity managed to land a blow. Fortunately, the gnolls were caught flat-footed and did not have much luck either. Regaining his bearings, Sir Ryan spun around and cut a gnoll in half. Foxman landed a solid blow on his opponent as well. The gnolls retaliated with hits on Trinity and Telegar. After six full rounds of combat, the gnolls had been defeated with Telegar finishing the last gnoll standing. In the gnoll lair we found a sack holding a couple hundred gold coins.
The third door on the left side of the hall turned out to be another trash heap room with no items of note. Having cleared the whole hallway, the party returned to the odd shaped room and went through the right-side door and found an identical hallway to the one they had just cleared with one difference, the first “Set” of doors only had one on the right side of the hall. A check of Otto’s map revealed that there could not be a room on the left side as that was where the first office the party had explored was.
The first door on the right then opened into yet another trash room. Examination found a secret door on the right hand wall, as one entered the room, onto another office identical to the first two.
At the second door on the right, Nova listened and heard a muttering in a strange language. Sir Ryan detected evil through the door. Nova opened the door from a low position giving Otto a clear shot killing two of the dozen or more kobolds camping in the demolished room. Rayn and Xander both missed their sling attacks. Sir Ryan, Trinity, Telegar and Foxman ran in as the humanoids cried out and went for their weapons. Between all the fighters six more kobolds were slain. Sir Ryan was nicked twice by enemy short swords before Foxman took a Magic Missile from a shaman who was standing toward the back of the room. Rayn returned the favor and killed the wokani with a Magic Missile volley of her own. The kobolds were finished off after another two rounds of combat with no further damage to the party. Rayn discovered a scroll on the kobold wokani that contained: jump, spider climb, and fly. Ram uncovered a coffer of 100gp hidden under some smelly furs.
Play ended there for the week.
Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want.