After some discussion, the party decided to camp one more night in the woods and then return to the dungeon, as they felt themselves to be in good shape, and they had nearly a week of food left in their supplies. The night was peaceful enough until a few hours before dawn, when Lune spotted a line of figures stealthily approaching. He soon determined it was a skirmish line of Orcs passing near their position, and that the party had been spotted.
To avoid a melee with an unknown size party of Orcs, Lune hailed the lead Orcs in their own language. The Orcs were a bit confused but offered to parley if Lune would come forward. This he did, though the Orcs were rather surprised to face a half-Orc, not a full blooded kindred. Still, they were willing to talk and an officer came up from a larger group to the rear of the skirmishers. They claimed to be “followers of the spider goddess” and were enemies of “the Giant” and his folk. They were much more positively inclined when they learned that the party had destroyed the garrison in the ruins — they knew it had happened, but did not know who did it. But, given this information, they were inclined to eschew combat. They knew little of the dungeon or what dwelled therein, and knew nothing of Dwarves. Lune spoke with them a little longer quietly to reassure them, and then they parted in two lines around the party’s camp and disappeared (with one or two hanging back to ensure they were not followed).
Next morning, the party returned to the river tunnel and made their way back into the dungeon. They first explored north, connecting bits of previous maps and better scoping the eastern portion of the second level of the dungeon. This done without incident, they went back south and began probing to the west. In one empty room they ran into a Rust Monster, but were able to destroy it before it could do any damage. A little further on and they were attacked by large spiders, one of which bit Iban and made him quite ill. They now entered a small mazy area, where they found a door to a small room. Lune entered the damp place first and was globbed by green slime. He rushed out quickly and Iban used his Dwarf battle axe to scrape it from him (it did some very slight damage to the back of the haft). However, the party now took the opportunity (with a few arrows) to collect some slime into a flask.
Further into the small maze they now discovered a giant stone head with an open mouth. A coin dropped into the orifice seemed to drop down a great distance, but the hole was too small to enter and no one wanted to put an appendage into it. The party pondered this enigma for a time and then Goody cast detect magic. The head radiated slight magic, but the elf also got a hint of magic to the west. The party therefore continued to explore the maze for a time but, finding nothing but dead ends, decided the magic could be coming from the area of the temple of Maladominus. They decided to enter it once more, exploring it briefly for magic or secret doors but, finding none, they decided not to risk the angering the temple’s Clay Golem guardian.
They now had a new idea and returned to the room of the orchid, wine and cake. The pedestals all held their respective items once more. Goody now took a scroll of Legend Lore and cast it, despite the potential for failure. He cast the spell and it appeared to work, for he now received knowledge in the form of a cryptic phrase: “I, chaste for any dual, is” and “Tea, his master’s wit.” Nothing more was forthcoming.
The party now returned and passed through the maze to the south and began exploring further back to the west. Opening one door, the party discovered a group of 7 mummies. Havok failed in his attempt to turn them, though the party was able to use oil to fire the doorway as they fired arrows into the room; Iban stepped forward into the fire, protected by a ring. However, one of the mummies went into the fire after him and attacked, forcing a brief melee. And though it began to burn, it landed a heavy blow that nearly slew Iban. Adoward was also struck, and was afflicted with a rotting disease. More oil was thrown into the room, but the party decided retreat was a better plan. Dragging Iban from the fight, the party threw the door shut and Goody wizard locked it.
The party now retreated to a not-too-distant secret room to recover before returning to destroy the mummies…
– Experience: Minimal, so I will roll it over to next time.