The party continued their explorations. Coming to a large room, the party crossed to check a door and managed to barely avoid falling into a deep pit filled with spikes. However, the noise must have attracted attention for, when Parker went to listen at the door, it opened abruptly and smashed into her. A number of Ogres rushed out amidst the party. A general melee ensued, during which Iban blew his Horn of Valhalla, and Parker was knocked unconscious. However, the onslaught clearly overwhelmed the Ogres, and the last two surrendered. They admitted to being a patrol from the so-called giant king, Gulliveg, sent to explore the lower level of the dungeon. They had fared poorly and were considering returning, as the place was too dangerous for their tastes. One carried a Dwarf-made battleaxe and admitted that they knew that a large number of Dwarves had been captured recently and “sent east” to the King. They were aware of the party’s existence, it having been reported some time back after they wiped out the surface garrison. The two Ogres were subsequently released, weaponless, and they quickly ran off. Havok took the Dwarf axe.
Continuing exploration, and after driving off a pack of wandering Ghouls, the party found a secret door, beyond which were a trio of the large monkey creatures they’d fought before. One tried to flee through a second secret door, making to a staircase going up. however, it did not make it far as Lune chop-sakied it down (with help). The other two were also cut down. Sneaking up the stairs, the party came to realize they had found a secret back-way into the territory of the monkey monsters. opening one door, they found a fat monkey with several female and young, obviously the chieftain of the creatures. Fatty tried to flee (abandoning his fellows) but was cut off, while the females fought with remarkable viciousness, as did the younger ones. The party eventually took them all out (they would not surrender or flee,aside from the boss). But, the fight had made a lot of noise, and more soon arrived. The party was now being worn down, and most were wounded, some significantly, and the Horn of Valhalla was no longer usable. Lune managed to stun one, while Parker poisoned a pair of arrows and managed to slay one monkey with one of them. When this second group was taken care of, the party quickly plundered the room and fled, spiking doors behind them as they went.
Once clear, the party returned to the room they kept their cart in to rest, where they passed three nights in order to fully recover from the beating they’d taken. During this time, Iban tried to locate object on Adoward’s armor, but without result. He also cast invisibility on Parker and Drogo. The party discussed going back to town but decided that they would first explore the second level, as there were significant areas not yet explored. So, they set off to explore what they believed the far southwestern corner of the level. It was a fair trek, and Drogo managed to avoid being globbed by a Gelatinous Cube (again). Further on, the party entered an area of intense cold, and soon opened the door to a large room that seemed to be the source of it. This room they chose not to enter, but turned north instead, coming to a large room with many Shadows. They turned nearly a dozen (between Rowan and Havok), and slew the remained, though Aldeberon, Rowan, Iban and Havok all lost strength from the chill touch of the creatures. A goodly sum of treasure was taken before the party fled, spiking in the remaining Shadows. Another room-full was also turned successfully as exploration continued.
Another room contained four Wights, whcih Rowan and Havok managed to turn (working together), but no one wanted to enter that room (it seemed to not contain anything of value). This door was also spiked. A nearby room contained two mroe Wights and an elf warrior in silver armor lying on a bier, wrapped in white strips of silk with uncouth writing on them. These Wights were turned and held back as the party took the silver armor and a number of other treasures in the room. The elf, who was cold to the touch, they took to be dead. Rather than leave him to the Wights, the party now poured oil on him and lit it — only to have the elf sit up howling in agony. The party quickly smothered the fire and healed the stricken elf, who now came around. He named himself Voromakil, Chief Lieutenant of the Dragon Legion of Orengil (whatever that was), an Elf of the High Elven Kingdom of Neldoreth to the east. He had been on the King’s business in the Paren Highlands when he was taken, and remembered no more since. When asked the date, thinking him to have been long afflicted, he said something unintelligible like “the 17th year of the 74th Long Century.” He later amended that to 1271 in the “calendar of the human empire” (i.e. the present – he’d been out for a few weeks, it seemed). He had no idea what the Wights were about, but was heartily thankful for the rescue, despite the barbecue.
The party cut short the discussion at this point because of the Wights, and now fled back to their bolt hole to get the cart and head back to town. They would question Voromakil further when they were free of the dungeon…
– Experience: 5400 XP each (definitely a record!)