The last two rats fell or fled as we tore apart their nest, finding a few gold coins in the process, but with that Denara’s blessing faded away. We deferred searching the rest of the nest immediately, though we did make an effort to block the hole to the outside to prevent (or at least delay) reentry.
We chose to investigate the secret door in the back of the chamber. Turning the brazier affixed to the wall did nothing, but Ygnas stuffed it with cloth and lit it; this allowed a firm push to open the door itself, leading to a small chamber with an obvious trapdoor. We set that aside for the moment and focused on opening the coffer.
We used Ygnas’ rope to drag it away from the walls into a different part of the room, in hope of avoiding traps. u-Heury set out to try to pick the lock. It took him three tries; meanwhile Ygnas and I searched the outside corridor. She found a small key, u-Heury yelled that he had managed to open the box; that’s when the giant scorpion broke through the door. I slammed the door closed and barricaded it with the table. We could figure out what to do with the scorpion later, with all three of us.
u-Heury’s box turned out to contain a small bag and two clockwork centipedes, already busy attacking him. We rushed in. Between the three of us, u-Heury smashed his, something about his barbarian fury making it’s total destruction easier, even as he took wounds that dripped poison. I smashed mine, but not before it slashed through Ygnas’ armor. She fell, bleeding badly. By the time we got to her, she had already passed. Her body was covered with scratches and gouges from landing in a thornbush earlier, wounds she bravely bore without complaint, yet no doubt contibuted to her death at the mechanical centipede’s fangs.
We wrapped her body for transport to Thatchem, where we might be able to arrange for a resurrection. Such magics would be beyond our immediate means, but we might be able to scrape the funds together. Contributing to that would be the 350gp worth of diamond dust from the coffer, and perhaps we could sell the smashed centipede parts I had collected in a sack. We were in a race against time to bring her body to Thatchem, but we decided to look around for opportunities to gather more treasure while we were here. We would need both, after all, and traveling had fewer opportunities.
Below the trapdoor was a very long ladder. We had just barely enough rope to reveal a floor 50 feet below, along with persistent sounds of the howling wind. Perhaps an exit was nearby? We struggled to lower Ygnas’ body down the ladder, thedn explored the room. Besides a huge pit that lead into open air with the ground clearly visible, the room had multiple other exits and a woman, tied up right next to the pit. She wasn’t moving, but we managed to wake her up without losing her through the pit.
The woman claimed her name was Morn, and she had been knocked out and left here by her own party on a previous expedition for unspecified reasons. Perhaps if she was less candid about her profession, she would have fewer interpersonal problems.
We looked around the rest of the immediate surroundings. To the east were two strange statues ofg the same man, one stern and one kind. Just south of that pair was a room with tapestry covered walls. One of the tapestries had a secret door behind it. After some investigation, including ripping off the tapestry, we managed to open the door, revealing a room full of carefully labeled bottles and small boxes. I quickly surmised they were spell components. The horrid grinding noise from somewhere nearby suggested that opening the door had activated something, however…