The party returned late in the day to Lost Fornim, their two Kobold prisoners dragged along unwillingly (and clearly unhappy to be out of the dungeon and in the, admittedly dim, winter light). Upon arriving at the Horned Man Inn, the locals present and the barkeep became highly agitated at the presence of the “Waste Devils” and monsters. Although the locals were largely unarmed, and the party was heavily so, there was clearly a strong revulsion and hostility to their presence. Wishing to avoid outright conflict, they decided to seek out the cleric of Magnus to see if he knew of any property they could purchase (and thus avoid need of the inn).
Prester seemed just as shocked as the other locals to the presence of the Kobolds, but managed to stay composed. He was unaware of any property for sale in the village, it being such a small and decrepit place. However, after a few minutes of talk, a donation to his temple of 50 gold, and a smile from his lovely wife, he returned to the inn with the party. The hostility remained; however, cleric Prester was able to talk down the innkeeper, and when Perudo offered him 10 gold coins per night to stay, he grudgingly let his greed overcome his hostility. Perudo also tried mollifying the locals present by buying drinks, though this merely reduced the shouting to quiet grunting and cold stares.
The Kobolds were taken to a private room for holding, and the party spent that night and the entire next day resting and recovering, and so Ash could take the opportunity to also make Lune invisible (he himself already was and remained so). They also discussed plans, including perhaps a means of creating copper-plated shields to use as a turtle again to penetrate the Kobold defenses. The following day, the party departed back into The Wastes, with numerous eyes watching them go along with their pair of Kobolds, still bound and gagged. once well clear of town, the party slew the Kobolds and Perudo cast speak with dead. He first asked one of the dead Kobolds to describe the path necessary to reach stairs down to the level below. The Kobold did so, stating that there were two paths that both led to a single staircase down, due east of the Spear. Both passed through defensive positions and kill zones. The second question was to inquire if there were anything the party could trade or do in exchange for a truce with the Kobolds to pass through them, but the answer was a flat and unequivocal no.
Ash now cast invisibility on the remainder of the party and, stumbling along they made their way back to the black stone temple and thence down to the dungeon of the Spear. Lune scouted ahead briefly, noting a lone Kobold archer to the north. The rest of the party waited near the stairs down, where they quietly discussed their plan of action. It would involve a good deal of fumbling about, given the invisibility of everyone and the need to avoid traps, so they decided a silence spell would be necessary.
Lune had scouted ahead, quietly leaping over the first pit trap and into the first killing zone (I can’t recall but I think he shot down the lone archer first). Here, he spotted a lone Kobold run out of a secret door previously undiscovered and rush north, apparently to warn his fellows. Lune tripped him, but then rushed back to the party to warn that they had been heard or otherwise detected. They now moved forward quickly under a silence spell from Perudo. Lune acted as their eyes in the pitch darkness, ensuring they did not fall in any of the many pit traps, though they hit multiple dart traps, including two that hit Ash with poisoned darts (NOTE: contrary to my usual rolling for absent players, he actually made both saving throws).
The party now opened the first door and passed quickly, evading a few loose Kobolds who had clearly been alerted in some way to the party’s presence (Lune suggested they might’ve been overheard from a secret spy hole as they made their plans). Kobolds now appeared with spear out, seeming to sweep the corridors and rooms as they moved. It was clear they knew the party was present and invisible, but their methods of finding them were crude. Still, the party was careful to stay clear and move forward, getting further than they had previously (of note, the second killing room had some weird distortions in the air, along the wall that hid a number of loop holes).
They now came to a choice in directions. Jimmy suggested due south beyond a door seemed the most promising for the directions they’d been given. So, picking the lock, he opened the door just a bit. Beyond was a larger room with eight Kobolds. one saw the door open slightly and went and looked out. Seeing nothing, it closed the door again. Jimmy opened it again, and the same thing happened; a third time and the Kobolds inside became highly alert to danger. As the sweeping patrols would likely come their way soon, the party decided to rush the 8 Kobolds (Jimmy and ash did not attack to remain invisible). A short, sharp melee ensued but, with Letholdus now with the party, they made very short work of the Kobold force. The last one held back, and was holding a pot of clay in its hand. Jimmy snatched it from the Kobold’s hand as more Kobolds began to shoot from loop holes to the east. West was a door that the party felt might be the way down but, as parting shot, Jimmy decided to smash the clay pot into a loophole, thinking it would splash green slime into the space beyond. Unfortunately, the pot contained not green slime but yellow old, and the impact caused a burst of poisonous spores. Jimmy managed to avoid death, but heard what sounded like two Kobolds dying; the rest of the party ran through the door to avoid all of this.
And, indeed, beyond the door they found stairs down 50 feet or so, leading into a great chamber with a total of nine archways leading from it (including the one they’d come through). Each was elaborately carved with dragons, devils, and all sorts of grotesqueries, with a name in common written above each one. However, the room was strangely dim and sound deadened, so it was difficult to see these details.
The party headed directly west across the large room and took the archway opposite them. they soon entered a room with a great mural on the west wall, depicting a great devil wielding the same spear they’d seen above, his eyes lit with bloodlust and triumph, driving the spear into the thigh of some unknown god, a great battle raging all around them. Another mural to the east depicted the same scene moments later, the victorious devil in turn being slain by a number of gods vaguely recognizable, the spear remaining embedded in the dead god. A quick search of this room revealed a secret door, beyond which was a passage running north-south. After entering it, the party was set upon by a handful of huge spiders, all easily slain.
They continued exploring this area of dungeon, one mercifully free of Kobolds. At one point, jimmy went ahead to explore a room alone and fell through a pit trap, landing 15′ below in a ghoul lair. Although invisible, the ghouls knew he was there and swarmed him. Perudo managed to turn most, but not all of them, as Letholdus dropped a rope to aid him; however, Jimmy did not take the rope nor respond to calls, as he’d been paralyzed by the ghouls. Ash began throwing his magic missiles down to help Jimmy, as Lune leapt down to aid him, soon to be followed by Letholdus. Unfortunately, the latter was also paralyzed. Fortunately, the remaining ghouls were defeated and the party was able to drag their paralyzed friends back up the pit to the main level above.
After recovering, the party continued exploring. While listening at a door, Lune thought he could sense something near him. Taking a pouch of dust of appearance, he threw it where he thought something might be, revealing a weird floating ball covered with eyes, a wizard eye he thought. The party went through the door and slammed it in the disgusting thing’s face, not wishing to give whoever was watching more information than they already had (but also not wishing to anger the watcher by destroying it).
The room beyond they found had a lone occupant, a spectral, transparent image of a young girl, who seemed to be pleading with them. From her gestures and, then, from mental images and impressions, she seemed to be pleading with them to allow her to possess the body of one of their number, in order to better communicate. The party was having none of this and went to leave, at which time the silent specter flew into a paroxysm of rage, though it seemed powerless to affect the party.
Moving north from here, they continued their explorations of the dungeon….
– Experience: carried over