Leaving the Bugbears, the party decided to explore to the east and south, away from the “stronger undead” they’d been warned of. In one room, they found the damaged remains of a very large, wooden harp. It was chopped and hacked, and its strings were all broken. The party tried to use a bowstring to get it to work, but without success.
Nearby they encountered a wandering pack of Ghouls that were easily turned by the combined efforts of Havok and Rowan. The party had turned south and, after passing a set of stairs going down, came to a long passage turning back west. In this passage they found niches every 20′ on either side each filled with the statue of an Imperial Lormyrrian warrior with a variety of weapons and armor. The Elves quickly sensed a secret door behind one on the south wall, which was opened to reveal a passage followed by a room. The latter, though dusty, showed a clear path indicating that the secret door was both known and well-used. To the sides of the main path, the party found toad or frog-like footprints; clearly the weird bird-wizard and his minions came here. Beyond the room, stairs up seemed to confirm this, and the party retreated the way they’d come. During this time, Rowan could sense evil to the southeast. Meanwhile, Lune had spotted a lone human skulking around the secret passage, possibly following the party.
Coming back to the hall of statues, the party decided to go back and try their luck further south. However, their shadow was spotted nearby, so Drogo (invisible, thanks to a potion), stayed back in one of the niches to watch what happened, The party proceeded as if they’d not seen the figure. It followed, thereby cutting of Drogo from the others, so the party soon reversed course and scare off the tail. Drogo reported it looked like a normal man, wielding a broadsword. They did not see him again.
To the south, the party found a large, triangular shaped room filled with many of the toad creatures they’d fought previously. They rushed into melee with them and soon had demolished over a score of the things, taking only some minor wounds in the process. A second, smaller room of the things was soon cleared, as well, leaving the party with a modest gain in treasure.
At this point, they decided to find a place to rest. First, however, they went back north to check an area for a potential secret door, which they found. Inside of an octagonal room was a pool of water that glowed with an inner light. Within the pool was a single, large salmon. Havok made a try to grab it, but it slipped away from him. Lune’s attempts to speak with it seemed to get its attention, but it said nothing to him. A few others tried drinking the glowing water but with no effects, ill or otherwise. The room seemed secure, so they spent the night here uneventfully.
Next morning, the party continued east, soon finding a room with a single giant figure, a clay golem that seemed to stand unmoving. This made the party uncomfortable so they moved on. nearby they entered an antechamber in which hundreds of magic mouths appeared on the wall singing a strange (Gregorian) chant. Statues of unearthly, angelic beings flanked the room, glowing with a white light. Beyond this the party found a large, round temple. Atop a circular dais (surrounded by slender columns) was a headless statue of the god Maladominus (chief of the gods and lord of merchants and magic), the head lying at the foot of the statue; both head and statue had clear signs of damage. Three smaller statues depicting robed humans surrounded it; all of these were badly damaged. The party now had Iban try to lift the head back up to replace it but, no sooner did he begin to do so than a door clanged open nearby ad the golem came forth. As it entered the room, the party decided to flee and avoid battle. They split and circled the round temple, confusing the slow-moving golem long enough to allow everyone to escape without being struck by the great automaton. They quickly outran it and it apparently did not pursue them.
As they continued exploring new areas, the party heard a cry of terror from Drogo, who was invisibly ranging ahead. The party rushed forward to aid him if they could, only to run headlong into a gelatinous cube. The thing was nearly invisible, but the party battered away with their weapons until finally it ceased attacking and quickly began to disintegrate. Drogo was badly burned by its digestive acids, but was saved in time from being consumed.
Shaken, the party proceeded, again finding a small lair of the toad things. This time, the fight did not go so easily, and the toad things proved to be quite adept (or lucky) with their spears. Iban, in particular, was struck by a lucky spearcast that nearly slew him on the spot (with a crit). Several others were also wounded significantly in the melee until finally, the things were slain.
Continuing east, the party passed through a few secret doors and eventually came to a passage heading to the southeast, This they followed for a mile or more, where it came out into a natural cave from which a small stream flowed, southeast of the old imperial keep. After the recent fights, the party decided to rest here, even though it was not even noon outside.
– Experience: 1715 XP each