Having rested over night under Lord Padrigs care in Winterhaven, a diminished party retraced its steps towards the keep atop the hill. Merry had been left behind to nurse a hangover that felt like it had been bestowed upon him by the Asmodeus himself. The party crept carefully through the gates, down the stairs to the first level. Their caution turned out to be unfounded as it was as deserted as they had left it. A few lingering moments were spent at the top of the stairs down to level two before descending into the unknown.
The scene that greeted the party at the bottom of the stairwell was not what they expected. The stairwell had lead them into a large square room with a deep pit in the center, two hobgolblin guards standing infront of it. Two more Hobgoblins were positioned near the entrance to a hallway behind them, talking distractedly in their gutteral dialect. The two nearest the well snapped to attention at the arrival of the party, eyeing them with mistrust. The left most Hobgoblin took a half step forward, snarling out a comment in Common. Joreb replied in turn, answering their mistrustful stares with the pass phrase they required and eloquent explanation their purpose in the dungeon. Eventually one of the pair departed to confirm details of the yarn that had been strung.
After a few minutes had passed the party tired of the charade and, convinced that all would not end well, decided that words would not be enough to win the day alone. With a cry weapons were drawn and they barreled into the room, cutting down the first startled Hobgoblin before he could reciprocate. Alerted to the commotion, a door to the left of the party crashed open and admitted several more beasts. In the midst of the fray Glorien noticed several Hobgoblins making for the passageway towards the rear of the room, intent on unchaining some iron bars, behind which he could make out the hulking form of a giant spider. With slow yet impeccable accuracy he pincushioned one after another, until even his great talent couldn’t quell the weight of numbers and finally the lock was sprung.
With a deft movement the spider lept forward, seeking to sink its fangs into any member of the party rash enough to get close. Some quick action by the adventurers deflected its attention until they could deploy their decoy, Merry, who’s bleary eye’d enterance caused a commotion. However, even in his disoriented state, he managed to avoid the angry fangs, using his speed to unbalance the spider and push it into the well.
The fight up top continued with relentless intensity, Hobgoblin corpses forming a thick carpet across the stone floor. Before Merry could join the clean up he was met with the uncomfortable sight of his nemesis, the spider, using its mighty legs to propel itself back out of the hole and into his path. With his companions still occupied by the Hobgoblins and unable to come to his aid, he was ravaged relentlessly until he collapsed to the floor.
Seeing the sight of his fallen companion, Jonn roared in dismay and leapt forward to lay a healing hand on Merry’s small shoulder. With a last thrust of his dagger, Marry put paid to any further thoughts the spider might have of harming him, jamming it hard into the glistening cluster of eyes. As one the fighting across the floor subsided. Wounds and egos were attended to and the area was searched, revealing a smattering of coins.
Once done, they set off further into the darkness, searching once again for Kal Arel(?). They followed the corridors through several twists and turns until encountering a set of doors. The party gathered in formation, and with a gentle shove, opened to the sight of another Hobgoblin. For a breathless moment looks were exchanged before a shrill shreik eminated from the monsters mouth…
“We’re under attack!”
XP = 1091/5 = 218.2xp each
Treasure = 10gp 27sp