Once fully rested, healed, and refreshed with divine and arcane knowledge we determined that further exploration of the throne room in the stronghold was needed. In order to remain nimble and combat ready we unloaded enough coin in our secret rest area in order to retain a light load. Our noble friend Sharky volunteered to remain with the excess coin treasure as we struck out to search for the lower level of the stronghold.
Our group of 5 includes the Ranger, Barbarian, Cleric, Alchemist, and Rakshasa greet the new day, which is overcast but dry, with a new determination and resolve. We stop at the main landing to survey the courtyard and main gate area for any activity since our last battle. Averron confirmed there was no recent activity in the courtyard. Averron found his recent Wyvern mount in the courtyard, however, the Wyverns temperament towards the ranger changed dramatically and he flew off.
The throne room led us to a large dining room containing a large orc tapestry as well as a long table with aged and moldered food. In short order we discovered a secret door, which led the group down a 5’ narrow stairway that angled down 30’. Raven took the point position and utilized his dark vision to scout ahead of the group as we moved down. The rest of group followed at 40’ and minimized the light output from our Ever Burning torches.
Raven entered a large (50x50) octagonal room that had a large 20x20 hole in the middle of the room. The sound of water could be heard in the hole and with some inspection we determined the hole to be at least 100’+ deep. Raven was greet by several orc’s in this area including an orc with a long spear - a battle starts and the battle went our way. Paintings/drawings adorn the walls depicting the rise of the orc race. There are 4 orc warrior statues (1 in each corner) beating drums. One statue was smashed, and the others we topple to show our distain for the worship of Gruumsh. The north wall has a door with runes that keep us at bay. The west door contains some sort of lock that keeps us at bay. We follow the south passage, which contains a 5’ wide staircase that we follow down with Raven leading the way.
Octagonal Room - Level 2
We move down another 30’ and enter an Octagonal room, which is shaped roughly the same as the one above and contains the same 20’ hole in the middle of the room. This Octagonal room is different in that the north, east and west alcoves contain 8 crypts each. There is more water in this area moving into the center hole from the west and from under the statue in the NW corner. There is a statue in each corner of this room - The entire complex has been created utilizing Dwarven construction skills but the crypts, runes, images, and statues are all of orc creation. We decided to leave the orc crypts alone as Duffy discovered a secret door behind the NE orc statue.
Octagonal Room- Level 3
We move down another 30’ and enter an Octagonal room, which is shaped roughly the same as the one above and contains the same 20’ hole in the middle of the room. This room contains double doors in the west, north, and east walls, with orc runes on the western door. There are 4 statues in this room with one located in each corner. The murals/images on the walls in this room depict orc’s battling humans, elves, and dwarves. We engage several raging barbarian orcs as well as a Worg. The raging orcs hit hard but Stryfe, Thomas, Averonn, and Raven return their hits with some brutal hits of our own. Duffy goes invisible and works on confusing the opponents with a silent image of himself.
The west doors contain a crypt with a large central tomb which contains a type of continual flame spell as well as some type of bladed poison trap that we spring and hits 4 in the group. A fortitude save is needed due to poison and Thomas loses some constitution. There are 3 smaller damaged tombs in this area and they appear to be the (3 wives) of the main tomb occupant. We decide to search the main tomb again but are not able to detect the trap or determine if it has reset – we decide to leave this trap for Sharky.
The eastern set of doors has a distinct sound as well as some warmth – this area turns out to be an active forge area with several orc blacksmiths. Averonn takes out 2 orcs quickly with his bow and we take care of the remaining orc who flys into a rage. There are 5 active furnaces running in this area and a curtain in the north section of the forge that we need to search.
We decide to stop for the night.