With the hobgoblins slain, the party questioned the captive dwarf—Garth Ironhand. He was the sole survivor of an adventuring party captured after a disastrous foray into the hills several months ago. Garth had survived by forging weapons for the hobgoblin king (but had cleverly made sure many of the weapons were misbalanced, poorly forged or otherwise faulty).
By now, the party was low on magical resources and decided to retire to the mausoleum roof for a brief rest and plot their next move.
Returning by way of the storeroom on the upper level—to equip Garth and replenish their dwindling food supplies—the party rested before returning to the dungeon the next day.
They explored to the north this time, discovering two cells and several other unoccupied chambers. In one cell, they discovered another prisoner—Lydia Hillstrider—a halfling adventurer and member of the Borderers adventuring party. She had suffered terribly at the hobgoblins’ hands and did not know of her friends’ whereabouts. She had been captured when her party—escorting the wizard Kullervo Lempinen—had been attacked by hobgoblins to the south. She has been cut off from her friends and did not know their fates.
Lydia was in a bad state, so the party quickly escorted her to their camp before returning to the northern portion of the dungeon. They were searching a room for treasure when Harald—wisely keeping watch on the party’s rear—shouted a warning as two large javelins were hurled at him. Luckily, both narrowly missed him, and the battle was joined! The party swiftly pivoted to face this new threat. Two bugbears lumbered into view. Saeldur quickly shot one, and—badly injured—it fled. The other bugbear fought on but was quickly slain.
The party gave chase to the fleeing bugbear, but its terror lent it fleet feet, and it quickly lost them in the maze of tunnels to the south. Mindful of Lydia’s story of hobgoblin ambush to the south, the party gave up their pursuit. After setting a cunning tripwire, they began to probe cautiously to the southeast.
Gromm scouted ahead and quickly discovered another door. Assisted by Thonn, the redoubtable half-orc kicked the door in to find a torture chamber tended by two goblins. The surprised goblins were quickly slain. The room held nothing of apparent interest, so the party pushed further to the south, where they discovered more doors…