After our battle with Chief Ripnugget and his cronies, we checked them over for shiny. The chief had a nice magic shorts word that I strapped to my belt. It’s no knife, but it’ll do in a pinch. In addition, we found a key ring that I pocketed, a wand, and a few other goodies. From there we checked the rooms attached to the throne room. In Ripnugget’s “love nest” we found a holy symbol of Lamashtu and a large iron key, which I put in the key ring. Through the other door we found a goblin “deli” of sorts, filled with rotting sides of flesh, specifically dog, horse and human flesh.
With the top floor of Thistletop cleared, we headed to the small stairs we found, leading deeper into the island. We came to a war room first. On one wall was a slate board covered in scribblings, including plans for the attack on Sandpoint, and a curious side view drawing of the island. In the center there seemed to be a large cavern, and a depiction of a giant goblin with snake like eyes. If the scale is correct, it would be at least 30 feet tall! Perhaps this is Malfeshnekor.Off of the war room there was two doors. One led to a corridor, the other was locked. I could hear pages turning, as if someone was reading in the room beyond. I quietly tried the keys I found until one worked on the lock. Opening the door a crack revealed nothing but a wall, but must have alerted whoever was inside, because a female voice called out. The woman the voice belonged to started asking if Orric was there, and if Nualia needed the assistance of the woman in the room. I quickly shut the door and the boys and. Started to debate what to do. Before we could come to an agreement, Chaff barged into the room and demanded the woman put her hands up! What brash, unthinking nerve! What in Sivannah’s name was he thinking? I rushed in behind Chaff to find a beautiful, dark skinned woman, a wand in her hand and a confused look on her face. A mage! Not wanting to take any chances, I stepped to her and swung with Tickle, but I connected with nothing but air. Thankfully Cohl was right behind me, and felt the mage a furious blow with his great sword. Chaff then flipped a table over and attempted to pin the mage against the wall with it. This, unfortunately, shattered the table.
Seeing that she was gravely wounded, I decided to demand she surrender. The mage quickly complied. We tied her to a chair and started asking her questions. As soon as she opened her mouth the lies started to come out of it. She claimed she was a prisoner of Nualia, as was this man Orric. Chaff assured us she was lying, but she stuck to her story. Chaff slammed her and the chair over backwards, knocking her out. While he revived her for more questioning, I searched the splintered remains of the table and its contents. As I looked up from my search, I saw Chaff crush the woman’s skull in with his mace. I guess he wasn’t getting the answers he was looking for. It’s been a long, harrowing day so far, and I think Chaff needs a nap.
After searching her, and finding quite a few goodies, we continued down the other corridor. From beyond we heard some one opening one door, then the next. Footsteps went up a flight of stairs somewhere deeper down the halls. Continuing on we found a small room that was the intersection of two hallways. A large set of double doors dominated the chamber. We decided to try those, and see what lay beyond. Peering through the doors, I saw a large room with pillars running down its length, and a dais on the far side. A black altar sat on the dais, and a grotesque statue stood just past it. As we attempted to enter the room unseen, out if nowhere two narky demon dogs flew at us. Yes, flew…. When they started baying, it was enough to shake us to the core. While Patrick, Chaff and I were able to withstand the terror, big, bad Cohl fled like a little chava. I quickly followed him, to ensure his safety, and the other boyos slammed shut the doors. I found Cohl curled up in the corner of a room not far away, shaking and mumbling something about his mother. Just as I was trying to console him, we heard a door fly open at the end of one of the hallways. There, at. The end of the corridor stood a hulking bugbear. It was Bruthazmus, the bugbear ranger that Shelalu had spoken of. He ran down the hallway and immediately attacked Chaff. I recall Shelalu mentioning his hatred of Elves. I guess that extends to exiled half-Drow, as well. I charged in from my position near Cohl, leaving him there to rock back and forth. I sank Tickle into the bugbear’s chest, causing a gout of blood to spray forth. A few hits from everyone later, and I was able to deliver the killing blow. For such a big, bad bugbear, Bruthazmus went down like a desperate tavern wench.
After a minute or so of the weeping, Cohl finally got control of himself. We decided to skip over the devil dogs, or Yeth Hounds as they’re called, and continue our exploration of the underground complex. The next room we came to was an antechamber of a kind. Many doors led off of it, and a large staircase went up to the first level. Behind the first door we checked was some sort of gobbo harem! Four half naked goblin women were inside, and after one look at Cohl’s ugly mug, they attacked. Being half naked gobbo ladies, they were easy enough to take down. I decapitated the last one with a scissor like move of my kukris. From there we started checking the doors and corridors that led off the room. Down one corridor we found what must have been the dungeon, filled with empty cells. A small hallway led to the room with the Yeth Hounds. Down another hallway we found the sleeping chambers of the more human residents of Thistletop. Well, and one bugbear bedroom. Not much was to be found there, but we all mentally marked the rooms as a potential place to spend a brief rest.
Traveling down the final corridor out of the antechamber, we found ourselves in a new area. This section was rough hewn, carved out of the inside of the island itself. The passage way led to what must have been a refuse dump, as the room was filled with trash of all sorts. Leading off of that was a narrow tunnel. I followed that and came to a strange room with a polished floor. I could see the water of the ocean out of a cavernous opening in the wall, but my attention was drawn to the weird creature across the room from me. It looked like half octopus, half rock. Having no idea what sort of aberration it was, and not wanting to tangle with it, we backtracked around it. All we found was another refuse room, this one filled with corpses, sucked dry by whatever the rocktopus was.
We were at an impasse. No other passages led out of the stronghold. No stairs down, no doors we hadn’t checked. Convinced we missed something, we returned to the room with the Yeth Hounds. Stuffing our ears with wax, we entered the room. The hounds bated at us again, but we were immune. We took the Yeth Hounds out, one by one. The second, and last hound was crispified by Patrick, as he shove the wand of shocking grasp into its hide. Searching the room after the battle, we found no hidden way out. Chaff suggested we try the room the lady mage was in. Sure enough, he was right. There was a hidden door there, and it was open. Someone had snuck in behind us!
We need to rest. We’re tired, and getting frazzled. Perhaps we should go back to the bedrooms and pile the furniture against the door. A couple of winks would do us good.