Drawn by Leaf’s report of a large chained door, the party worked their way through the northern tunnel. They indeed found the mighty wooden double doors chained and locked down tightly. Large Goblin runes were carved into the stone above the door. Padraig stepped forward and read the ancient words, ‘Hall of the Goblin King’. Painted across the chained door was writing in the ancient barbarian language of Padraig’s ancestors. He read these words aloud as well, ‘All entrance is forbidden by order of the king.’ More recent writing in green slime in an unknown language was at the base of the door. Casting a comprehend languages spell, Stem read the words seemingly written by the Kuo Toans, ‘Let the goblin king lie in peace.’
Padraig ran his hands over the smooth wood of the door. His bright blue eyes shown brilliantly in the light coming from his lit torch. They were gleaming as he stood up tall and began to speak. To everyone listening it sounded as if some ancient music of his father’s fathers was playing with his words. The party stood in awe as they heard the following:
A search of the ancient doors showed that the locks could be picked and the mighty doors could be opened. But everyone agreed that they wanted to secure the area before such a thing was attempted. The Kuo Toans and the spectator in the adjacent caves that Leaf had spotted troubled everyone. So they agreed to deal with those threats first and to return to these doors once the area was secured.
As everyone turned to leave the mighty doors, two piercers once again fell from the ceiling to attack. A battle broke out with the party carefully hacking them down and moving around them to leave the area.
A careful sneak down the winding tunnels to the pool room found no Kuo Toans about. They had all apparently slipped away down into the cool dark waters below. Padraig lit a torch and searched the room. All that remained in the room was a deep dark pool of water surrounded by a green slimy mucous like material around the edges of the stone. Above the water words were carved into the rock in the goblin tongue. They read ’Don’t pee in our water per order of The King.’ Padraig read it aloud and chuckled. Undeterred, Padraig picked up a large stone from the rocky floor and tied his hemp rope to it. Brother Eravin cast a light spell upon the rock and Padraig cast it into the pool. Holding onto the rope, he eased the light down into the murky waters, illuminating the inky depths. A few feet below the surface of the water etched into the wall were the goblin runes for ‘safe place’ with an arrow pointing down.
Padraig continued to lower his light, peering down into the dark waters. He saw some shapes moving around and then something grabbed hold of the rope and pulled very hard. But Padraig pulled back and won the tug of war pulling the rock light and rope free. He dangled it about some more seeing a very large cavern down below where the Kuo Toans were clearly swimming about. He could see them cutting at his rope, so Padraig hauled it back up to the surface. He then threw the rock in without the rope and watched it sink so deep that it went out of sight. Everyone shook their heads and agreed the deep watery cave was no place to explore. It was far too dangerous.
The party went back to the main cavern and decided to investigate the spectator in the other adjacent cave. The steep tunnel leading down to the cave was first negotiated by Stem holding onto a silk rope tied to a stalactite. He snuck down silently in darkness using his darkvision and hid amongst the broken wooden structures littering the cave floor making it difficult terrain. Next was Padraig holding a torch. He snuck down as silently as he could but the light of his torch made it impossible to hide. Brother Eravin and Delphinian came next but as they negotiated the way down the steep tunnel, the party heard a crazed voice call out, ’They have a nasty light. Why do they bring such nasty light down to our cave? Turns it off! Turns it off! You are going to spoil my birthday. You are going to ruin it. Go Away! ’
A black beam came out of the darkness to strike Padraig. The necrotic energy hurt badly causing Padraig to fly into a rage and move as quickly as he could towards the origin of the beam. He had trouble negotiating the difficult terrain of the floor and he was hit by another beam which confused him, causing him to stop moving and hurl his enchanted javelin Heartseeker – The Grim Piercer that he had at the ready at a random target. That random target unfortunately turned out to be Delphinian. The javelin sunk deep into his chest and he cried out in pain.
The creature cackled in the darkness staying out of the torchlight. Things looked grim with Padraig and Delphinian badly wounded. But then Brother Eravin stepped forward and bathed them both in the healing magic of Toth. Relieved and fully healed they both pressed on after the elusive creature. Meanwhile Stem had worked his way around the cavern guessing that the tunnels were connected and that he could come up behind it. He guessed wrong and was out of the battle for a long time as he had to work his way back as quickly as he could.
Surging forward Padraig ran through the tunnels trying to catch the creature in his torchlight. And finally he did. He caught sight of it and hurled a spear right into it s side. The creature howled in pain and moved away into the open cavern where Delphinian could see it. Delphinian hit it with a witchbolt. The crackling lightning would now continue to sear at the creature each round as long as Delphinian could keep his concentration on the spell.
Realizing the danger of the witchbolt, the Spectator hit Padraig with a confusion ray stopping him in his tracks and hit Delphinian with a death bolt bringing him down to -3 HP. Delphinian collapsed with blood pouring out of his ears and his witchbolt spell was spell was broken. Things were looking grim with Padraig confused and Delphinian down and bleeding to death. But then Stem finally got back in the fight nailing The Spectator with an arrow sneak attack. The arrow bit deep into the creature. Brother Eravin bathed the Spectator in the holy flame of Toth. And then Padraig hurled a spear at a random target in his confused state. Due to his position the only target he could see this time, however, was The Spectator. Padraig’s huge arm released the spear and it flew through the air finding its mark tearing through the fleshy central eye of the creature. Its lifeless corpse fell to the ground and rolled down the steep tunnel making a terrible squishing noise as it finally came to rest.
Brother Eravin used his healer’s pack to stop Delphinian’s bleeding and carried the sorcerer into a safe part of the tunnel where everyone holed up to rest. The party had been greatly tested and needed to renew its strength.