After a brief rest, our heroes decided splitting up in the middle of a lair of hostile goblins and drakes was probably not such a good idea. The group that had gone up the stairs did a quick search of the room they had conquered and found that one of the three sets of double doors exiting the room led outside.
About this same time, Wilik, having recovered from his fight with the two goblins in the hallway above the mushroom chamber, decided to descend back down the rope he had climbed to search for his companions. The group then tried the other set of doors in the mushroom chamber, where they found an angry witch inside a magic circle yelling insults and threats at them. After a few tense moments, the party realized she was being held captive in the circle and she realized they were here to rescue her. Varda was able to manipulate the energy of the circle to allow Zerriksa to escape.
At this point, a debate ensued, as the group tried to decide whether they should take the old woman with them or release her from the dungeon to find her own way. This debate included a discussion over whether she had to be returned alive or dead, which did not seem to sit too well with her. Wilik asked the old woman if she thought she could climb the forty-foot rope up into the hallway above. She said she couldn’t, and the group decided to lead her to the dungeon entrance and send her on her way. Poyin Dekstor summoned an animal messenger in the form of a badger to guide her back to Fallcrest.
Our heroes then barricaded the two unexplored doors with a couple of huge braziers and proceeded back down into the mushroom chamber and then up the rope into the hallway again. Once up there, they had a choice of direction to make: there were doors heading south and west, and also the hallway led off to the north before turning. Dana listened at the doors, hearing goblins to the south and nothing to the west. The group opted for the goblin-free path and headed through the doors to the west.
This led them into a strange chamber with a large curtain on one side. On the curtain could be seen the moving image. The curtain appeared to grant a view of a black tower sitting upon a hillside with a river of lava running past. The sky was red and black and there were settlements scattered around the tower. Varda intuited that this curtain was a portal to the Shadowfell, and the group decided it would be fun to experiment with this fell gateway. First Dana shot an arrow through the curtain; the arrow cut through the curtain and hit the wall behind instead of passing through the portal. Wilik then threw a rock at it, but the rock hit the curtain and bounced back. He then grabbed a corner and shook it around some, but other than a numbing energy in his hand, this didn’t seem to achieve much.
Bored with the curtain, the group spread out to investigate the two doors leading out of this room. Wilik and Poyin listened at the south door and heard goblins, while Dana checked out the west door, where she heard nothing. Harann and Varda remained in between, waiting for information. It was then that they noticed shadowy ripples in the curtain, spreading from each of the three places it had been touched. These ripples spread to the edges of the curtain and then returned to the point of contact, where they began coalescing into three shadowy, ghostly forms. One by one, three specters emerged from the curtain.
The first specter was close to both Dana and Harann. It immediately screamed and filled their heads with horrible images of hatred and misery. They both fell to the floor in agony as it swept toward Varda. Wilik decided he had no chance against incorporeal attackers and wanted to add the goblins from next door to the event, so he kicked open the door and charged in to what appeared to be a goblin barracks.
Unfortunately, instead of drawing the goblins into the fight with the specters, Wilik and Poyin simply engaged them, and the goblins had no reason to leave the room. In the portal room, Varda managed to scare away one of the specters with a flashy light show, convincing it she was channeling divine energy at it. It fled through the wall and encountered Poyin, Wilik, and the two remaining goblins in that room. Wilik responded to this new threat by trying to throw a goblin into the specter. He failed spectacularly, and ended up hitting the dwarf, who got pushed into the specter himself. The specter seemed outraged at having a dwarf inside it and shrieked more hateful images into everyone around it. This proved too much for the goblins; one died and the other fled. The specter then disappeared, but Wilik took a wild swing with his axe where he had last seen it and he felt the blade make contact, destroying the undead thing.
Meanwhile, Varda, Harann, and Dana finished off the specters in the other room. Wilik decided to chase down the fleeing goblin, but it missed its jump across one of the pits in the pit hallway, and fell to its demise. The group then took a short rest in the goblin barracks.
To be continued in the next entry…