Packing up their equipment after a night of uneasy dreams in the security of the secret room, the party sets out to further explore the keep and find a route down to the portal. Observing the map, the party decides to head back and try to work their way past the secret passage, and catch any enemies by surprise.
As the party leaves the secret room however, there is a unearthly silence in the previously noisy cavern. Unnerved and recalling the terrible Blue Slime that nearly wiped out the party, Morthos indicates that he has no intention of staying here, and promptly bolts out of the cavern at top speed. Aster and Rendar quickly rush after him.
After returning to the excavation room, they proceed to the secret passage, only to discover that the door prop has been altered. Anticipating ambush, they ready their spells and weaponry…. only to discover Goblin corpses, and a Shifter. After a tense stand-off, they discover their interest in stopping the Orcus cult is mutual, and they agree to work together. The Avenger had made his way into the Fortress, and had in turn ambushed the Goblins waiting to attack the party. He also had killed the Goblin Leader on this floor, a fat loathsome goblin named Bagron the fat while he slept.
As the party crept back into the room, they discovered they were hidden from sight by a curtain, but on the other end was a sleeping Goblin Warrior. Despite their best efforts 4 heroes cluttered into such a small area had little hope of remaining concealed, and one of the party members ultimately slipped up and revealed some type of presence to the dozing goblin.
Salvaging the situation, Morthos began to curse at the Goblin in his native tongue, and intimidating him with foul incantation. Terrified he slowly approached the curtain…. only for Rendar to Cleave through the Goblin and the Curtain in one fel roar of primal… Rage? No, Primal Impatience.
Aster in the mean time looted Bagron’s chest, and discovered supplies, and a Magic Wand. Looting Bagrons body revealed a key to the Door… and a key to the chest she just had opened. Not one of her proudest moments.
Sneaking through the hall, they discovered a strange magic veil of some sort and what looked to be Goblin Barracks. A failed Stealth Check alerted the Goblin horde to their presence, and a fierce battle was joined in the cramp confines of the hallway as Hordes of Goblins flooded out on three different sides. Nearly overwhelmed by the Goblins, it was only thanks to the timely use of the bottles of Alchemist’s Fire that they managed to divide the horde and deplete it’s members down to more manageable numbers.
After one last stand against the heroes, one of the surviving Veteran Goblins sprinted off in the direction of potential reinforcements – the Prison Block. Barely dodging attacks from Morthos and the others he burst out of the hallway in a dead sprint. The party followed after him just in time… to see the Goblins of the Cell Block pulling up Crossbows and taking aim at the doorway.
Already depleted from the first wave, the battle grew desperate as Morthos remained “trapped” outside the prison/ torture room, while utter chaos raged around the doorway. Aster, Rendar, and the Shifter were attacked on all sides by Dangerous Goblin Crossbowmen, Spearmen, and a wicked Hobgoblin Torturer wielding a hot iron poker. Aster was nearly tossed into a waiting Iron Maiden, while Rendar was knocked unconscious, but managed to revive himself with sheer RAGE. Aster was also downed, but revived with a health potion by Rendar. The Goblins and Hob-Goblin were defeated as Morthos managed to enter the room, and the Shifter managed to survive extreme damage and dodge what would have been mortal blows to knock one of the Crossbow Goblins into the pit of hot coals, and then gut the other one in an exhausted struggle to the death.
Oh, and Morthos got tricked into a cage by a Goblin, but used his Fey-Pact abilties to teleport out. (I bet you’re just proud of that fact aren’t you? Tricked by a Goblin, Hee hee!)
Taking stock amidst the carnage of the blood smeared room, the party did their best to patch up their most immediate and pressing wounds. A foul smoldering stench began to emanate from the burning corpse of the dead Goblin.
As he began to loot the corpse of the Hobgoblin, Morthos discovered a ring of rusty but functional keys, presumably to the jail cells in the room. While the rest of the party rested he travelled down the short hallway to the jail cells, and took stock of it’s occupants. In the first cell Morthos discovered a small sycophantic Goblin by the name of Splug who began to plead with Morthos to let him out of the cage. Morthos did not trust him, but agreed to use him as a servant in exchange for granting him freedom.
In the next cell though he found something entirely different. A human bard by the name of Montago, who promptly laughed at Morthos and his “ridiculous goat horns.” Cutting right to the chase, the bard explained with a bemused tone that he knew the secret of unlocking the Doorway to the next level of the Fortress, and would gladly lead the party into the depths of the fortress if he was granted his freedom.
After attempting to toy with Montago for a brief time, he consented and released the human, who promptly left to find where the Goblins had stashed his supplies. Returning with most of his equipment intact, he began to look over the parties injuries, and while humming the lyrics to a old “healing” song, properly bandaged and cured the party of it’s injuries to the best of his training.
He commented on Aster’s mask, and gave it a cursory examination. Morthos found this to be highly unusual and challenged him on the nature of his findings. Montago claimed that the mask was unique, and not of Nerath or Bael Turathi design. Morthos strained to detect any deceit in his voice, but could not discern any hidden truth.
After a short rest, the party set out.