After discovering the secret door to the subterranean levels of the keep, the adventurers pressed forward. Since most of the party lacked any low-light or darkvision, most of them were hampered by the lack of light below the surface. Only Roan and Andrew had the sight to see more than 10 feet in front of them.
Moving quickly and as quietly as they could muster, the party advanced into the first room. This large room had four guards in it. Two guards were watching the stairs leading to the upstairs rooms of the keep, while two more guarded stairs going down. The room was consumed by the sound of rushing water echoing from a large hole in room’s floor.
After quickly dispatching the guards, most of the party was ready to press on deeper, but Andrew and Jakob wanted to investigate the sarcophagi in the adjoining room. Most held trinkets and baubles from Orcish history, but the western most tomb held something more sinister. A black ooze had devoured all inside of the sarcophagus, and was released by the two curious party members. After moving away, Jakob sacrificed a dagger as it was thrown towards the sentient ooze and consumed. After many attacks by the party, Errol finished the creature with a single arrow strike.
Moving lower into the dungeon, the sound of rushing water grew larger as they discovered the source. Two underground streams had broken through some weak points of the cavern walls and was now rushing to the center of the room and down a large hole deeper underground. Despite his elven eyes, Andrew could not see the bottom of this makeshift waterfall. More burials were on this floor, but there seemed to be no stairs leading down. For the longest time it seemed the only way down deeper would be to risk jumping down the waterfall and hoping for a large pool down below.
Roan found a secret door behind one of the statues in the room and the party moved lower into keep’s underground structure. Roan looked through the door at the bottom of the stairs and he could see four more Orc and a large canine on this third floor below the keep. He decided it would be best for him to don the disguise of an Orc again and try to gain more information. As he approached the guards, the canine lifted its head at the approaching Half-Elf disguised as an Orc, but fell back into a slumber, uninterested. The sound of rushing water still echoed from the hole in the floor as the water cascaded from the floor above, but the room also had an echo of a smithy and many hammers hitting an anvil. The source of the sound seemed to be emanating from the pair of double doors to the east.
The guards told Roan about the ritual that was to begin in an hour. He was told if he wished to see it, he should hurry below, gesturing to the stairs to the south. They were unfortunately forced to stay here. Not wanting to be split from his group still hiding in the hidden staircase, he convinced them he needed to run back upstairs for more ale, and offered to bring them some since they were going to miss the ritual. Completely taken by the ruse, they agreed, but told him to hurry.
Quickly Roan climbed the stairs and headed back up to the tavern where he had first put on the Orc mask and sung the patrons into a frenzy. A frenzy that ended the lives of most of the tavern patrons. He came back down with five tankards of ale and a slab of raw meat for the canine. Before he emerged into the room, Jakob applied poisons to four of the ale tankards and the meat.
With the trap set, Roan distributed the tainted food and drink and drank his own unaltered ale. Quickly three of the orcs began to feel a great deal of pain as the poison ripped through their insides, but the poison on the meat and the fourth orc’s drink seemed to not affect them. Seeing this as an opportunity, the party emerged from their hiding and quickly dispatched the poisoned guards and the canine.
The party quickly checked the doors to the west, which held another tomb and sarcophagi. Jakob also checked the doors to the north which appeared to also be a tomb, but the ceiling had collapsed many years ago and left this room impassable. Finally the doors to the east did indeed guard a large room with multiple forges. A large Orog barked orders to more than six pair of orcs each working a different forge and anvil. Knowing they were running out of time, and not wanting to engage such a large force, the party closed the doors and moved to descend to the fourth level below.
Finally reaching what was hopefully the final floor, they discovered the bottom of the waterfall and saw it empty into a large pool of water which then seemed to flow under the rock to the east of the stairs. Jakob moved into the room and used the loud noise form the waterfall to mask his sound and stayed close to wall to keep his whereabouts a secret. Roan saw two orcs guarding the west doors and still masked as an Orc, pretended that Zhun was a prisoner and moved towards the door to get a closer look. The rest of the party moved into the room, thankful for the waterfall’s noise to mask their own.
The fight broke out quickly and the orcs seemed tougher and more organized than previous encounters. Two more joined into the fray hoping to to surprise the party. Despite the orc’s aptitude, they were no match for the group, and when it seemed they would all fall, one orc tried to run for the open doors to the north, but was cut down by Zhun and Jakob.
Total XP = 1400/6 = 234