Session map


The next room to the northeast had two strange vases, filled with earth and decayed flowers of some kind. u-Heury collected some in case they came in handy, and we found small bones that had been broken as if to suck out the marrtow, but a search turned up nothing else of interest in the room at first.

We had posted guards near the eastern entrance, and that turned out to be a good decision. They heard quite a lot of squeaking, enough to give us warning of an incoming rat swarm. With the door providing a natural funnel for the swarm, I thought quickly and poured oil there, and had one of our torchbearers set it alight. The rats diverted away from the fire, and we finished our search.

We found fresh trogolodyte tracks. They had been here, recently, perhaps even preparing an ambush. The rats might even have been part of it, or perhaps their presence or the fire I set scared off the troglodytes temporarily. We got lucky. Nevertheless, we were there in force, so we continued on, checking out nose plugs.

The next room had two statues in some form of ancient robes, one male and one female, along with a set of stairs upwards that had been crudely bricked off. Two doors led south, with a blood trail leading to the nearest. A pile of rat detritus was the final point of interest; we left it alone but probably should search it later. Just in case. We wanted to check the doors to the south first.

Both doors in that direction led to the same room. The layout was similar, two more exits to the south, but only one door. A door to the west, which our map strongly suggested would lead to a different corridor we had already explored. Three stone constructions were evenly spaced through the center of the room, looking vaguely like bathing pools that had run dry, and murals on the walls suggested something similar. The center pool had illustrations of people pouring water in; I donated the contents of a waterskin to the pool, and noticed a bright flash or arcane magic when water filled the container. Hmm. This bore more investigation.

The druid, Pusha, declared the contents to be pure water, which it probably was before the flash. I climbed in to taste a sip; nothing special. u-Heury tossed in flower petals from one of the vases, again nothing. We set guards on the doors and prepared to search the room. I had climbed into the central pool to taste the water, and after that magical flash, definitely wanted to thoroughly search it. Between that and Morin’s relentless tapping on everything,

Unfortunately the troglodytes interrupted us. I heard their strange guttural voices speaking harshly to the hirelings we had placed on the northeast door, and quickly ducked down into the pool I was searching. It wasn’t a great hiding place, but it was enough to surprise them if they didn’t come close first. Oddly enough the troglodytes weren’t attacking right away and the hirelings were asking for instructions. Gestures were exchanged, but no one spoke troglodyte and they didn’t even speak common. Given that the fish-men were prone to ambushes and very good at hiding, there might well be more than the one I had seen talking to our hirelings. In fact, if they were talking to us instead of staying hidden, they almost certainly had more than just one, and the previous room had three sets of tracks.

I stood up suddenly, surprising everyone, and cast Sleep on the one I could see. The trogolodyte fell over, and so did the one behind him, becoming visible as it did so, … and so did four of the hirelings. Well, Sleep is nonlethal at least. I rushed towards the two troglodytes that had fallen asleep, planning to cut their throats before any others in the area could act. u-Heury thought quickly and did the same, and two fish-men bled out their stench on the floor. I directed the hirelings to start waking up those who had fallen asleep, anticipating more nearby.

I was right, there were two more coming in the other northern entrance, striking two of the hired hands from behind. They picked on the ginger, Merwyn, and Garmar. Garmar fell, but Merwyn laughed in the face of the fish-man. We had another surprise for the scaly monsters in store – Morin and Nifty came out of hiding behind the two new arrivals, knives out. Unfortunately they both missed. So did Lucky, Garmar’s dog.

Merwyn did better when she struck back, dealing the creature a serious wound. u-Heury rushed back across the room and struck a telling blow on the other.

They both fled to the north, leaving a trail of blood, and we lost sight of them. We regrouped in the pool room to finish searching the central pool. Both Morin and I had noticed some sort of hollow space under the pool floor, and just needed time to figure out how to open it. Meanwhile, Pusha was talking to Lucky the dog, helping it get over the Garmar’s death and encouraging it to smell the surroundings for more troglodytes. The dog’s nose reported more fish smells to the north, but from the south, “dusty parchment”. That was intriguing. Pusha headed south, finding a short corridor that led to a small open room filled with books.

A proper library. That got my attention, and we spread the group out, leaving Morin to figure out the pool’s secret door while Nifty, and the rest of us moved south. Even if the troglodytes returned before we could do a proper search, we could grab the books in bulk and sort through them later.

Unfortunately, before we got there Pusha opened another door, and there was someone behind it.