At the end of last session, we left the PCs looting a storage room protected by several large skeletons. With the treasure secured, talk inevitably turned to their next move.
Eventually, the party decided to explore the long passageway running to the south. Krorz scouted ahead of the party, but sadly at the end of the corridor didn’t spot a large spider web hanging across the corridor where it entered a very large room.
As he struggled to free himself, two large spiders scuttled toward him from elsewhere in the web. Also, above the door a humanoid completely wrapped in webs began to struggle furiously to get free. The spiders darted forth, but even ensnared Krorz managed to dodge their attacks and in quick order his companions arrived and despatched the huge vermin. With that task completed, the party turned to rescuing the person trapped in the web. Cutting through the webs they managed to get him down to the ground and Krorz started to clear the webbing from around its face. Sadly, the creature therein was a ghoul, which promptly bit Krorz infecting him with ghoul fever. Moments later, its unlife was ended by a barrage of attacks from the party.
Having secured the room, the party began a careful, meticulous search of the area. After an hour or so, they discovered several small holes in the southern wall – perhaps the only remaining clues to a wooden staircase that once stood there and what looked like a secret door high up in the wall. Again, brave Krorz went forward, climbing up Belivar’s extending ladder. He quickly found the means of opening the door and did so.
Disastrously for Krorz several ghouls lurking behind the secret door surprised the hapless rogue and paralyzed him (and infected him with more ghoul fever) before he could shout a warning. Nevertheless, the rest of the party saw this happen and as the ghouls dragged him into the passageway beyond the door to feast on his warm flesh Belivar sprung into action, urging his mount into the ghoul’s corridor. His intervention almost certainly saved Korz’s life as two ghouls turned to face this new threat. Two ghouls behind the first pair dragged the helpless Krorz further back along the corridor, but Belivar’s attacks combined with those of his eidolon and repeated blasts of channelled energy from Klara and Adoven quickly destroyed the threat.
After this quick, but brutal struggle the party decided to return to the surface and rest – mostly to make sure the many people injured by the ghouls had not contracted any nasty disease. Shutting the secret door so no other explorers would find it – for the party theorised the legendary fire opal might lie beyond – the adventurers made the brief trek back to the surface.
Once back in the ruins, they immediately discovered horse tracks around the entrance to the dungeon. More worryingly, the tracks led off in the direction of the party’s camp. Fearing the Hextorites searching for Belivar has finally found them the party dispatched Krorz to scout. He returned quickly to report a man was in their camp trying to light the campfire.
Emboldened by this news, the party returned to camp cautiously. In the conversation that followed it transpired that the man (Vanhar) was a messenger from one of Ratik’s Sword Lords – Lord Woarsten Nanther. It seemed Nanther had immediate need of their services. Rumours of orc tribes massing in the Loftwood and preparing for war had the Iron Council of Ratikhill worried; all adventurers loyal to the crown were being called to the city and the party were no exception. While Krorz briefly contemplated treason (stupidly in front of Vanhar) his companions (Hemgor in particular) were extremely keen to speak with the lord.
Thus the next day, after treating several of their number of disease, the party travelled east toward Ratikhill and a new adventure – their search for the monastery’s legendary fire opal temporarily suspended…