Having found nothing in the goblin archer room, the party quickly moved on though the only other exit. They again found a line of archers, this time hobgoblins, waiting for them. Having suffered the slings and arrows of the goblins only a few minutes prior, the party reacted more quickly and only Buck received a wound which was minor. Following Landor and Buck’s return arrows, the rest of the party (except Nordis) charged the hobgoblin squad and made quick work of all but one of them. The last hobgoblin, knowing he was surrounded and not getting out alive, fell on his sword.
In the rear of this room the party found a large pile of smelly, tattered robes and clothes. Nordis said, “Yea!” and began collecting as much as he could of them in his pack, much to the wonderment of the party. Thurin cast his second healing spell on Gorax who had been wounded in the hobgoblin battle. Once healed, Gorax stepped up to the rag pile and raised his battle ax to strike it just as Nordis dodged out of the way. Gorax’s ax landed with a solid thunk. Sir Ryan moved a few more rags away and found a large wooded chest. The ax blow had damaged the lid, revealing several hundreds of gold pieces with a silver bracelet mixed among them. Nordis cast Detect Magic and could see the bracelet glowing. The rest of the party stood by watching, then Lothar asked Nordis, “Well? Is it magical?” “Yes.” answered Nordis. Gorax asked the magic-user for the bracelet to try it on. Nothing happened. Nordis took it back and tried it on himself realizing it expanded his ability to remember spells and informed the party of this. Several party members made the case that Landor should have it as he needed to be able to cast more combat magic, being a Fighter/M-U, so Nordis agreed and gave it to Landor.
This was the last room on the first level of the dungeon, so the party returned to the spiral staircase and went down it. It lead to a hewn passage/natural cave tunnel extending past the limit of Nordis’ lantern. The passage ended some way down in a large, roughly circular, empty chamber with five other passages radiating out of it. Sir Ryan offered that they start with the first passage on their left entering the chamber. Everyone quickly agreed and began moving down the first tunnel. Ten steps or so down the tunnel, the party heard a loud growl/roar and a feathered, beaked bear-like creature lumbered out of the darkness ahead to attack Bagna who falls after receiving a claw and bite wound. The fighters all landed substantial hits on it and it fell before doing anymore damage to the party. Thurin and Sir Ryan were both out of healing magic so the party members took turns carrying Bagna’s unconscious body. The passage ended in another large chamber.
The lair of the owl/bear creature contained two bodies of dead adventurers who were partially eaten. Judging by the bits of equipment on the bodies, they had been a M-U and a cleric. Thurin found a mace and holy symbol on the cleric and a spell book as well as several mundane items on the M-U. While Nordis checked the spell book, Landros investigated the cleric further and found a small bag of gems under the armor on the body. Nordis listed the spells he understood in the book as: Light, Detect Magic, Shocking Grasp, Sleep, Identify, Message, Push, Pyrotechnics, Wizard Lock, ESP, and Darkness 15’r. Buck was chosen to carry the book back to town so the party could sell it once the two M-Us have scribed the spells into their respective spell books. The party then returned to the main chamber and began heading down the next passage of the five.
Ten or twenty steps down the second passage and the party could see a faint red glowing from far ahead. Thurin and Landros decided to move up and use their infravision. They discovered a large chamber at the end of this tunnel. They also found the glow was caused by four dog-sized fire beetles which immediately came in for the attack. Thurin shouted back to the party, “Beetles!” As the party came up, Thurin was hit on his leg and Nordis cast his magic missile, wounding a fire beetle. Within a round or two of fighting, Xander, Gorax, Sir Ryan and Buck had managed to kill the four beetles. A search of this cavern found another dead adventurer who possessed a “beautiful sword” and a coffer containing eight identical potions. The party decided that Landros should take the presumably magical sword and everyone took a potion from the box. Nordis gave his potion to Kug, who is revived by it. Lothar gave one of the potions to Bagna who is similarly healed. While this was going on, Landros began cutting the light glands from the beetles to use as a light source saving the party’s oil flasks and torches. Then the party returned to the main chamber as this was another dead end.
<part 3 tomorrow night>
Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want.