Again I am sorry for the late post.
After the execution of the drow shadowhunter, the decision was made to continue the search of the tunnel system. They began their search at the stone door which had been found before the run in with the drow.
The concealed stone door opened into a pitch black, man-made, tunnel heading left and right. The wizards, Xyphus and Erowin, each created a light stones then used mage hand to deliver those stones as far as they could in each direction. This provided a well lit area for to test the doors function and to watch for anything aggressive approaching. Phlarr used his keen powers of observation to locate a method of opening the door from “outside”, and after a few minutes had located the latching mechanism for the very well hidden secret door. The party verified they could open the door from either side and discretely marked the ceiling so they could locate the secret door before heading off down the right hand passageway.
They first traveled to the right a few hundred feet down the obviously ancient, but well maintained, passage until it ended in a small circular chamber about ten feet across. On one wall of the chamber there was what appeared to be a golden ladder leading up to a trapdoor in the ceiling. After careful examination, the ladder and door were determined to be sturdy, only plated in gold, and to have been closed for a very long time. The party’s exploration continued back to the secret door and then down what was originally the “left” passageway. This branch of the tunnel ended in an oddly angled jog to the left and almost immediately into a rectangular room that was 15 foot deep by 10 foot wide. Near the tunnel’s entrance to the room, on the left wall, was a five foot wide archway leading into a marble lined room and on the center of the right wall of the room was another of the golden ladders and its trapdoors in the ceiling.
Phlarr moved into the room to check out the trapdoor and Lud began searching the marble lined room. The first thing Lud noticed was the dry rot infested remains of a pair of benches to the right of the arched doorway, and to the left, a pile of rotting corpses stacked on what appeared to be a golden altar. A quick glance over the rotting wood, and Lud began looking closely at the bodies on the altar. At his touch the corpses began rising and with silent deliberation began attacking the party members.
Lud took the brunt of the initial attacks while Portick moved into the fray in support of his companion. As combat began in earnest, some of the party members struggled to squeeze through the tunnel and into the two confined rooms to battle the eight zombie duergar. During the fight, Lud fell to the undead but the healing touch of Damillia restored him in time to help finish off the last of the zombies.
After the battle and a short discussion over how to proceed, the group decided to clean up after the fight, search the two rooms, investigate both of the areas above the golden trapdoors, and rest before moving as a group to another floor.
The party began searching the marble lined hallway-like room. On each side of the arch leading into the room there were wider spaces. On one side, where the duergar zombies had been originally piled, was a horrifically blood stained gold altar to the god Pelor. With the assistance of Xyphus, a shocked and saddened Damillia began doing what she could to clean the desecrated altar of her god. On the other side of the archway was the extremely dry rotted remnants of two oak benches that had once faced the altar. Most of the room was barely over five feet wide, the ceiling was about ten feet high, and the room ran 35 feet with an alcove at each end. There was a statue in each alcove. Each statue was of a different, noble-looking, male human.
Based on the plaques that were on the bottom of each statue’s base, one of the statues was identified as Ersintine Shakala and the other was Demetrius Feltingara. Everyone knew the name of Ersintine, but it took some brain delving for Xyphus to come up with Demetrius Feltingara as the founder of the Duchy of Feltingara, the duchy that governs Rivergate.
A closer inspection of the wall’s marble coverings allowed the party to identify the two foot tall by two and a half foot wide marble slabs as facings of wall crypts. Each slab had a golden shield emblazoned with a green tree that has blue scales hanging from its lower limbs. Below the shield most of the slabs also had a gold name plaque bearing the name of the interred member of the Feltingara family.
The investigations of the areas above the trapdoors began with Phlarr, Biri, and Xyphus moving to the circular room at the far end of the hallway. After oiling and opening the trapdoor, the three found circular space above. The trap door opened into a small chamber within the hollow of a giant oak tree. Peaking up through the rotted out top of the tree, it was determined that they were probably in the woods many hundreds feet north of the orc keep. It looks like this may have been an ancient secret exit from the keep.
After returning to the room where the fight occurred, Phlarr climbed the golden ladder that he was inspecting before the battle began. He oiled the moving parts on the gold plated trapdoor, slid the locking bars out of the way, and pushed it up and into a claustrophobic, pitch black, space barely wider than the trapdoor itself. The walls that surrounded the space were sanded and waxed redwood. Phlarr’s internal secret door alarm went off so he looked for and located the latch that released one of the walls of the space. After listening for a while for sounds of movement on the other side of the secret door, Phlarr decided to try to open it but it would not move easily.
The rest was uneventful until, during the second watch, a spectral force came out of the statue of Demetrius Feltingara. The ghostly entity silently removed all of the remaining battle clutter and stains from the area of the fight. It then began to move down the tunnel. When it reached the circular “escape” room at the end of the tunnel it moved into the wall and as it did all of the materials that it had collected seemed to disintegrate. The wizards speculated that it was some advanced form of unseen servant.
After everyone awoke and made ready to move on, Portick volunteered to force the door open stuck redwood secret door and after much flexing and straining the door slid open into a dark room piled full of food stuffs .Phlarr and Lud began to explore the darkened space. They climbed over the scattered bags of grain and around the crates and boxes. Upon reaching the clear space in the room they stopped and took stock of their surroundings. On the left wall of the room was a twenty foot long floor to ceiling redwood wine rack with very few remaining bottles. On the left wall where it met the far wall there was a solid iron reinforced door with a sliver of light shining from its base. Across from the door was a spiral stone stair case winding upwards. On the right and rear walls were many various food containers including grains, dried meats and tubers, pickled fish and vegetables, and two tuns of ale.
Everyone moved from the crypt area into the storeroom then they proceeded to follow the stair to the floor above where they found a very narrow hallway. They decided to follow this hall and listen at its doors before they continued up the staircase. Of the four doors in this hall two of them had sounds of people sleeping in them and two were silent. On the next floor the hall was wider, the stairs ended, there were 6 doors, and am iron ladder leading to an iron trapdoor. Four of the top floor’s doors had obvious sounds of sleeping and the two were silent. With the reconnaissance complete the party decided to peak into the door off of the storage room.
Quietly peering into the space let them see a room with a table and two orcs sitting at it. The orcs had their heads down and seemed to be asleep. Opposite the door into the room was a short hall that ended in floor to ceiling iron bars. Feeling that they had found the prison area and the likely location of the missing girl, the party positioned themselves to invade the door off of the storage room, hoping to quickly and quietly dispatch the orcs, find the girl behind the bars, free her, and make their escape before anyone was the wiser.
They planned their raid on the prison to take the sleeping orcs by surprise hoping to prevent a call of alarm. Phlarr and Lud snuck into the room and synchronized the use of their most deadly attacks on the two orcs that were sleep at the table. The devastating blows from the warriors succeeded in killing the orcs but managed to crush the flimsy table and ended up making a small ruckus. Lud began looking over the dead orcs bodies while Phlarr moved to check on the jail area for the girl. From the door at the back of the room two more orc leapt into the area surprising Lud and Phlarr. The party all moved into the room and worked together to quickly dispatch the two remaining orcs, but not before one of them could shout “Intruders!”
With everyone anxious due to the shout, the party blocked the door that the last orcs entered from while Phlarr attempted to pick the lock the jail cell that contained the girl. Amazingly he was able to get the door opened after a few quick attempts. He decided at that moment that he should get some additional training in this so that next time maybe luck and old locks may not have to play such a big part in his success. The grabed the girl and rushed out of the prison area to the sounds movement on the floors above.
With the felling of the orcs, the rescuing of young girl, and the sounds of enemy footsteps overhead, the party moved quickly to the secret passage to make their escape. Xyphus used his flame sphere to create a barrier on the stairs while the others went down the ladder and into the crypt, except for himself and Erowin. When everyone else was down Xyphus went down and closed and latched both the secret door and the trapdoor. Erowin then repositioned as many of the bags as she could to disguise the secret door they had opened to get into the cellar. When she heard footsteps behind her on the stairs, she feystepped into the catacombs below and the party turned to make a run for it.