22nd day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
After taking stock of themselves from the bloody but brief battle, the party chooses the westward door where the bugbears entered. From there they move quickly from that room a 15’ by 25’ guard room through a westward door ignoring the northern door. They come into a barracks with a set of four bunks. Tiberius tosses the beds quickly finding only a few bits. They then ignore the northern door moving to the eastern door. When they open that door immediately to their left is a northern door, closed. Lucky braves the door opens it and finds that he is faced by a well equipped group of four hobs standing behind floor to ceiling barricades set diagonally across the room pointing to each other to form a choke point. Through the choke point and the view slits Lucky can see the hobs ready to pierce anyone foolish enough to charge the 5’ gap with their spears.
Lucky steps back and the party take stock of their options. Tiberius makes a quick decision and pulls out his vial of glowing mushroom he found in Hob’s Nest. He hands it to Norhtal and tells him to throw it into the room. Norhtal understanding what needs to be done throws the vial with good accuracy into the hob’s midst and Lucky shuts to the room as the shards of the vial scatter across the floor. The party waits a few moments then Lucky opens the door again to see two of the hobs on their knees retching. The other two reeling somewhat. Lucky leads the charge into the room with Reollo and Sirath close behind. They make quick work of the two more aware hobs. Lucky barges the one closest to him putting it off balance and then sinking Zephyr up through its jaw into it skull. Reollo eviscerates the other standing hob with easy, whilst Sirath well enough dispatches one of the remaining retching hobs. The other has died during the scuffle in a short lived fit foaming at the mouth.
Behind them almost next to the door they have come through in the south wall is another door. In the middle of the eastern wall is a door. However it is the portcullis at the end of the room on the western door near the corner that attracts their attention. Approaching warily they see through the portcullis a large hob surrounded by four very large bugbears. At the back of the room there is a crude throne and a number of statues hug the walls. At any time any of the party attempts to get close to the portcullis the bugbears make to rush it with their weapons drawn. The party takes a moment to decide what to do, to work out the stale mate. Lucky asks Tiberius for one of his fiery oil flasks; lights it and with incredible luck throws it through the bars of the portcullis hitting the head hob squarely on the head. The splattering oil and sulfur mix catches on the bugbears closely surrounding the hob as well. Within moments after some screaming and a little frantic running around an acrid smoke pours from the room. All that can be heard is the crackle of flames.
Suddenly through the yet unopened southern door crashes a large misshapen man thing. Looking like the odds and ends of a dozen men and women it lurches forward. Reollo and Sirath having taken up a back guard position move to block its path using the choke point to keep it at bay. Behind it they can see another like creature trying to gain entry to the room. At that point from the room beyond, which they now recognise as the room where that fought the large combined group of hobs and bugbears comes a yelled phrase and Lucky and Tiberius fall asleep. Reollo and Sirath find out quickly that despite the large amount of damage being done to it the flesh abomination does not yield or fall. They dodge easily the lumbering attacks, their second round of attacks laid the creature open and it falls apart. Norhtal wakes both Lucky and Tiberius. Shaking off the grogginess of the spell they both stumble to their feet. The shaman in the other room yells another phrase and Sirath involuntarily drops Earth Cleaver, left with only his shield to defend himself. Tiberius tells Bright Eye Sharp Tooth to attack the shaman’s head. Bright Eye Sharp Tooth leaps through the view slits of the barricade into the other room and up the shaman’s body to land on its head scratching and clawing. The shaman in vain attempts to dislodge the furry streak of fury.
The other flesh abomination lumbers forward swinging at Sirath who blocks the attack. Sirath takes the risk to dodge down and retrieve Earthcleaver, whilst Reollo attacks the repulsive creature. Finally Reollo and Sirath make head way with the flesh abomination. The creature being hacked apart it falls apart. The shaman finally is able to dislodge Bright Eye Sharp Tooth from its head and flings him across the room, only to find that a number of weapons arcing in to end its life. Tiberius attends to Bright Eye Sharp Tooth, finding that he has a number of bruises and is quite lucky to have not broken his back in being flung across the room. He tells Tiberius that he hopes he needn’t do something like that again for a while at least.
Turning back their attention the portcullis Sirath bends his strength to try and raise it as they can not find any sign of a winch. He strains and successfully lifts it to a position where an unseen ratchet clicks into place. Another four times he strains and lifts it until it is well clear and the party are able to enter the throne room unhindered.
The air in the throne room is thicker than without. The stench of burnt flesh stronger. They set about searching the room. At first they find nothing and then notice that the head hob had separated itself from the bugbears and attempted to make its way towards the south-east corner. Here simultaneously Tiberius and Lucky find that there is a secret door cunningly hidden. A further search reveals that the arm of the statue next to it is in fact the lever to open it. Stepping through they find what seems to be a bed room with a round bed in the middle of it and several shelves around the walls. Tiberius turns his attention to the aged scrolls on the shelves. He immediately realizes that they are too far gone and any attempt to move them will cause them to crumble to dust. An intensive search of the room uncovers a secret compartment in one of the shelves. Within it there is a small horde of coins several hundred in total with copper bits being the primary coin. Tiberius fishes out the few gold crowns and the silver marks tosses back the bits. The others keeping an eye on him as he does.
The party the approaches the only doorway out of the room other than the one they entered by set in the north wall in the eastern corner. Steeling themselves they open the door to be faced by a scene of sheer brutality. Two young men and three young women bludgeoned to death, brain matter splattered across the room onto the straw sleeping pallet in the corner. Affected by what they have seen the party choose to take the door facing south standing next to the one they came through instead of the door in the west wall. Opening the south door they find themselves at the end of a very long corridor. They travel the length of it wary for traps; finding at the end what appears to be the not so secret side of a secret door facing west. They find the catch without effort and open the door into the guard room where Lucky first started the fight with the hobs on this level.
The party then decided to head through the north facing door that Lucky had barricaded with the table. In the next room and the room through the next northward door they finds crates. These crates on further inspection hold relatively common house hold goods, the like that would be normally traded in or out of New Ilthium. The party decides that this is a strange thing to have in a hob’s den. Further investigation reveals that on the bottom of the crates there is a factor house mark, one that Tiberius automatically recognises as the factor house mark of Andelin Nalis. Sticking this information away in their collective black book of things to deal with later they continue on. After searching another barracks room the party heads back to the room where they found the dead bodies of the young men and women.
Going through the westward door they find in the next room and the next westward room similar scenes of slaughter. Young men and women with their bodies battered and destroyed.
The only way to go again is westward, via two doors on offer. They choose the left hand door. Opening it and stepping into the room they discover a waking nightmare. In this room find three bodies laid out on stone slabs, flayed open. Skin and muscles peeled back down to the bone, nothing barely recognizable as human except the pale luminance of their skeletal structure. Blood everywhere, pooled into dark viscous puddles. In the western wall of the south-west corner is an open door way. Picking their way through the carnage they find themselves in another scene of horror. Large vats bubble and simmer away on small fires full of what seems to be rendered human parts and blood. Lining the walls are totems of devotion to the Darkness, strings of bones hang from the ceiling in tribute to the gnawing, grinding blackness. Dominating the centre of the room is a large altar covered in blood written about with blasphemous runes. Clearly a place of evil. Lucky starts to dismantle the altar, they others joining him. He then sets fire to everything that can burn and walks out of the room.
The party makes their way back downstairs and into the entry hall of the keep.