The last session ended with the group resting in the smithy after a harrowing battle with a Carrion Crawler that nearly swallowed Brother Cadfael whole. After a good long sleep and some spell recovery, the group decided to continue onward through the dungeon they were now lost in ( thanks to the teleportation room). They moved south down the hall they hadn't explored yet only to find it rounded a corner into a dead end. Callam wasn't able to find any secret door or means to open it, but Orien's keen elven eyes spotted a stone out of place well beyond the halflings reach, and upon pushing it, a secret door slid sideways to reveal a new hallway going north and south.
As they moved south along the hallway that turned east, they stopped at a locked door. Callam was quick with his thieves tools, and soon the door opened to reveal a long storage chamber filled with all sorts of equipment: rope, chains, crowbars, hacksaws, jacks, arrows, broken mining equipment, barrels, etc. They took a hacksaw and left the room.
But as they assembled themselves back into marching order, they heard a distinct slurping sound coming from down the hallway and at the edge of their torchlight they could see a skeleton lazily floating along the hallway with various items floating about it including metal spear. The group looked at each other with surprise and confusion as Cadfael stepped forward to Turn the "undead thing". Much to his surprise, the strange cadaver quickly moved up to Cadfael and revealed itself to in fact be a giant Gelatinous Cube with the remains of its last meal floating inside of it. With one solid smack of its pseudopod like fist, Cadfael went down paralyzed. The group immediately set upon it with weapons and arrows, but found these to not be as effective as throwing flaming oil.
Golar grabbed Cadfael from within the slimy cube creature as he began to be absorbed into it. The group retreated back down the corridor as it moved ever closer toward them. The secret door they came through had some how closed, so the group had to flee for the other end of the hall where a single door awaited. The Cube hungrily drove the group to the end of the hall, all the while slowly dissolving as it was being pelted with flaming oil.
No sooner had they made it to the end of the hall and the creature succumbed to the effect of the fire bombs, when the party heard a loud CLANG!!! The group had set off a pressure plate at the end of the hall and now a heavy iron portcullis blocked their way. "Well at least we can go through this other door" Cadfael pronounced, as he opened the door only to reveal a dead end. " A cleaver trap!!" replied Myra.
The group spent some time trying to lift the gate or bend the bars but had no luck. Toldric the porter remembered the hacksaw they had gotten in the other room and pulled it out and started on the bars, but soon concluded it would take many many hours to file through. Cadfael suggested getting the other hacksaws and perhaps the crowbars they had found in the storage room to help. Luckily, they had the halfling to slip through the bars, once he was all greased up with some oil to wedge his way between them. He brought the supplies one by one back to the group, but they couldn't get the gate to lift. Golar finally suggested (per the DM) that they needed a longer lever and a fulcrum point- so the hafling went back to get some of the longer metal rods in the other room and a iron vise to use for this.
But as he rounded the corner he heard the distinct grumblings of humanoids moving down the corridor toward them- drawn by the noise the party had made. Callam hid in the store room as the Orcs passed by and came upon the party trapped beyond the portcullis. Studying the party cautiously, the Orcs said something in Orcish that no one other than Golar understood and he responded with something that clearly so offended the Orcs that they jabbed a spear through the bars and struck the dwarf. A battle ensued, but was quickly over when Myra cast her Sleep spell and took out the Orcs and Callum crept from beyond the storage room and quickly slit their throats.
The group continued for a while working on the gate, using the bars, one of the mining jacks and a bench to raise the portcullis up enough to bring the group through, though it was up to Golar to "coax" the pack mule into ducking under and through the opening. As this was going on, Cadfael and Orien heard the sounds of men coming from far down the corridor. Orien could also see a doorway shining low light through it and several figures were approaching fast.
Orien's darkvision easily made out the man shapes- rough, hairy, unkempt, men with wild eyes dressed in fur and skull armor, charging with bloodied axes "Berserkers!!!" Orien warned. Myra ran up and quickly downed all but one of the berserkers in the rear with another Sleep spell before they could reach the group, but as it ran over its sleeping fallen comrades, the berserkers rose up again. Orien was quick to follow with his Sleep spell and the wild men went down again but not before a few got to the group and delivered some nasty wounds.
After the fight with the Berserkers, the group headed down the hallway toward the open lit doorway in which they discovered a long chamber which was served as the Berserker's lair. Filled with bedding, broken furniture, a fire pit, and decorated with trophy skulls and bones, The place reeked badly. A search of the room turned up two chests, one that had a severed hand nailed to the front of it and locked with a simple spike, and another heavy locked iron box that clearly had been heavily hammered upon yet never opened.
Callam searched the first chest for traps and found none. " I wonder what the significance of the severed hand on the chest is if its not locked or trapped" he wondered. "Hands Off!!!" Golar snorted with a chuckle. Inside they found a nice collection of coins, a silken cloth banner, a onyx statue of a beautiful maiden and other items, but as Callam picked through these, a hidden poisonous snake lashed out at him and nearly missed. Cadfael quickly hammered his mace upon the serpent, only to hear the crushing sound of glass within the chest as he destroyed something wrapped up in the silken cloth- a crystal goblet. Too bad. Once the items were removed, Callam decided to search the cavity for any concealed compartments and surprisingly found a small hidden catch that contained a magical wand. " I dont think the wild men knew about this" he surmised. Myra used her magic to determine its command word, but when she tried to test it, nothing happened.
Callam could not open the other chest as the lock was far to damaged, so it took Golar and Cadfael some time working with crowbars to open it up finally, revealing it was full of gold and a single white pearl. The group collected their spoils and retreated to the supply room to rest again and regain spells before they would continue onward through the dungeon. Myra cast a Detect Magic spell on everything and determined that a suit of chainmale they found was also magical, which Orien chose to put on.
Eight hours later, they emerged from the room and continued down the corridor to the end where a large hexagonal room lay just after a door to their left. The hexagonal room with its winding staircase leading upward and moaning wind was very familiar. " We have been in this room before but it doesn't correspond with my map" said Myra. " That maps useless. I don't feel comfortable going into that room just yet in case there is some magical effect and we cant get back to this corridor" Orien replied frustrated. So the party set itself up to explore the door to their left instead.
Golar peeked in with his darkvision and reported there was an ominous chamber beyond with an arching ceiling, columns, smoking flaming braziers and a large statue of some sort at the far end holding a large flaming brass bowl and a bloody stone alter set before it. Shadows danced about the room and it gave Golar a very uncomfortable feeling. It was a temple for sure and not a very nice one. As they opened the door and peered in, Cadfael glared at the large idol at the far end and the colored flames that seemed to dance behind it within which he could make out grasping black claws. " This is a temple to the Dark God Bhaal" he declared. " Why would their be a temple to a dark god here at Quasqeton?" Orien mused. " I don't know, but do you see the size of those ruby eyes on that idol, they are as large as my head- I'm going in" Callam responded excitedly.
Callam snuck into the temple and around the edge while Brother Cadfael, who quickly uttered a Protection from Evil spell, paced behind him. As Callam moved up to the idol, his eyes sparkling as he beheld the gems high above, he stopped at the blood stained alter before it and noted a sacrificial Kris dagger lay upon it. Callam quickly tried to swap out his dagger for the Kris dagger ( all Indiana Jones style), awaiting some trap to be set off. But instead, out of the darkened shadows of the temple walls appeared humanoid lizard like creatures. They set upon Callam, dragging him over to the alter and holding him there squirming while one of the serpent men grabbed for the dagger to plunge into his chest. Several of the others immediately ganged up on Brother Cadfael.
The group quickly ran into the room to aid their comrades, but Finn who could not fight off the fear that emanated from the room fled from the room and refused to re enter it. Myra let off a Sleep spell but it had no effect on the serpentine creatures. " This room somehow protects them from my magic" she announced. As the battle ensued, the reptilians continued to rend with claws and teeth. The fear of the room overwhelmed Golar and caused him to swing his hammer and hand axe wildly. He was quickly ganged up upon and torn to pieces and bleeding on the floor.
Brother Cadfael was pinned between a column and the wall by several of the creatures while Thad drove into the group of them to aid him. Myra shouted out orders for flaming oil to be used and Orien unsuccessfully used all of his magical arrows in the fray. Callam wriggled free from the lizard men's grasp and dove off the alter and used his stealth to cower behind it as the lizardmen searched for him. He jumped from his hiding spot upon one of them with a sneak attack and plunged his dagger into its chest but the other scaled humanoid ripped him apart and left the halfling bleeding on the floor. Myra pulled out the magic wand she had found and used its magic once again. To her surprise all of the scaled monsters began to glow a fiery red and the group found the magical glow scattered away the shadows a bit that concealed the creatures and made them a little easier to hit them. "Faerie Fire" cried Orien.
This helped change the tide of battle a bit, but nearly everyone took solid hits and near mortal wounds. Two set upon Myra who was on the verge of dropping, but Mutlik's handy new masterwork spear ( they got from the Gelatinous Cube) ripped through the chest of two of them before Myra was killed. Finally the the lizard men were all dead and the group set to patching up their fallen and wiping off their blades. Luckily no one died, but the Dwarf and Halfling suffered mortal wounds. Now safe, Callam lay on the stone floor before the idol, and hungrily starred up at the large sparkling red rubies with a smile on his face.....