Campaign Day 5
While they ponder the two hallways, some of the party notice eyes staring from the other halls. Raelynn’s suspicion is that they are worgs. Likely mounts for some goblin riders as hobgoblin armies are known to use them as light cavalry. When they ask about the eyes, they are told that “they aren’t any of their concern. Their concern is the two hallways: stirge or zombies.”
The party pauses and discusses their options. After a brief discussion, they choose to clear the stirge lair. As an extra precaution, Raeylynn sets an alarm spell at the mouth of the tunnel to ensure they are not ambushed from behind. Twyn guides them down the first hall on the right. The tunnel turns at the end to the right. Twyn tells them that the hall turns to the right and about 50 or 60 feet down that passage, it opens up into the old forge. Pausing, the party sets to planning. Raelyn heads to the end of the corridor and carefully advances to scout the room. Proceeding up the passage a short way, Raelyn can see the room and eventually the back wall. In the centre of the room she sees the massive bellows used to feed the forge. It is nearly 8’ tall and 10’ wide. On either side, she can make out the stonework sides of the forge, but can discern no movement or signs of stirges.
Reporting her findings back to the party, they setup a marching order and advance on the room. As they get close, they set fire to their crossbow bolts and fire them into the room. Hoping the bellows would ignite, two are directed at it, but no flame takes. Advancing closer, Nogrite in the lead, the torches now close enough to illuminate the room. As the light hits the far wall, movement can be seen.
A stirge is seen hopping on the top of the bellows looking towards the lights. Two others appear on either side of the bellows. Crossbow bolts and arrows take flight showering the area with death. Two fall, left and on top of the bellows. The third takes flight and attacks Nogrite before he can attack it. Taking hold of his left leg, it sank its proboscis into his thigh. Nogrite took his glaive and attempted to pries the beast from his leg. Dagger drawn, Orynn moves to assist. Eventually the beast is removed.
Another 5 stirges reveal themselves and fly forward and swarm the party. Some fall to arrows and bolts, but others take hold of party members and drain vital fluids before they are removed and dispatched. After a flurry of daggers and short swords remove the thirsty stirges, the party finds the room quiet. Approaching the bellows cautiously, they determine that the initial 3 stirges are indeed dead.
Examining the room reveals little other than abandoned broken tools and the forge itself. Crawling into the forge, the party determines that the stirges must have used the smoke stack as a means to enter and exit the room for hunting. They also see that they have built a nest amongst the charcoal of the forge. Some searching of the nests reveals two rough cut emeralds and a fine ring.
Taking a short rest, they proceed back down the hall and rally themselves for the zombie chamber. While they clean their wounds they discuss an approach and plan to investigate the room. Raeylynn casts a spell to detect undead. Having been told there were 4 zombies at the end of the tunnel, she inadvertently says questioningly ‘Only 4?’. Setting a marching order, they proceed down the hall. As they reach the end of the hall, they can see that the walls here appear to be changing from solid stone to a mixture of earth and stone. Moving further down the hall, they see that the tunnel has several more supports and beams to stabilize the soil. Nogrite believes this to be a mine expansion, but based on the change in earth, that likely the dwarves abandoned it after trying and failing to find solid rock again.
Further down they see the remains of bodies have been impregnated into the wall soil as if half buried in a vertical grave. The bodies are in varying stages of decay. Eventually they locate a dead hobgoblin in armor similar to the others in the tribe.
When asked if they want them to retrieve the body, the hobgoblin’s only reply is ‘he’s dead. He’s no use to the tribe.’ Contemplating this response, the party proceeds to the edge of the room cautiously advancing. The room appears to be flooded. Valbin takes his giant firebeatle light and hurls it into the room. It lands in a pool of water illuminating the room.
The central portion of the room appears to have flooded. The central 20’ of the back wall has a continuous stream of water flowing down its surface, drainage from the ceiling. The water pools covering the central 30’ wide surface. The water appears to drain just to the left of the entrance. A small path on the right is dry enough for them to enter the room.
Advancing cautiously, Nogrite advances to the water’s edge and probes the pool. Finding it shallow for the first five feet and then dropping off, he choses to stay close to the wall and proceed into the room. Once in the centre right of the room, he continues to explore the pool probing with his glaive haft. Finding no zombies in the immediate area, the party advances towards the room; Valbin and Gribdunk head to the left of the room through the water followed by a goblin torch bearer. The rest of the group approached the entrance, weapons drawn.
From the back of the group a sudden struggle arises: arms have erupted out of the walls and grabbed onto Horfire and one of the goblin torch bearers. Grappled and mouth covered, Horfire cannot cast and must struggle against the grappling arm’s relentless grip. The goblin on the other side of the hall does not struggle for long; a sickening snap and a limp body evidence of its death.
Two more sets of arms burst through the walls in the chamber hall. One attempts to grab Valbin, but he manages to escape the grip. Gribdunk attacking once he is clear lands a solid blow, but the zombie remains standing. The other zombie attacking Nogrite.
The hobgoblins counter attacking the walls themselves guessing where the bodies of the zombies would be. Mud and clay falls away, some reveling gouts of blood and ichor, others only finding earth. Raelynn draws her short sword stabs the earth behind Horfire finding flesh behind the earth. A flurry of combat ensues.
Yet another 4 zombies burst from the walls attacking en mass. Even killing blows were sometimes not enough to stop them. They rise from death again to attack only to be felled again. Eventually, the zombies are dispatched leaving the party exhausted from the experience.
The goblins are ordered to gather up the zombie corpses and heap them piling scrap timber upon them and setting them alight. The party returns down the hall to the central chamber. But halfway down the hall, Valbin and Nogrite decide to turn around as they realize, they did not examine the chamber.
Returning to examine the room, they find some gold pieces, but little in the way of treasures. Upon closer examination, Nogrite is confident that this room was a failed mine expansion. The soft earth and intruding water would make for an unstable situation long term. Remembering his firebeetle light, Valbin wades out to retrieve it from the pool. While Nogrite sits at the pools edge waiting for him, he notices something strange behind the water fall on the wall. As the light shifts, it is just barely noticeable. Moving into the water with Valbin on his shoulders, they find that 5’ up the wall behind the water fall is a 5’ x 5’ opening in the wall. The passage extends further than Valbin’s light will reveal.
End Scene Day 5