Four zombies lumber forward. Kark establishes the frontline just outside the entry hallway to the chamber. Smoking corpses fall to the ground as Thorail and Ulmfor launch spells into the ranks of their foes. In short order the battle is won. The room is dominated by a large, apparently dormant, gate depicting a demon. Its sigil stones are dark. A small 4” square depression is in the eastern wall with an inscription above, “A heart of amethyst opens the way.” It is surmised that the gate is activated by finding the proper key. Chanting echoes into the room from another chamber further on.
Tiertan scouts the next chamber. Humanoid forms are seen through gauzy strips hanging from the ceiling, they are a mystery. The party is scattered between the chambers when the forms become aware of Tiertan’s presence. Skeletons emerge from behind the thin veils as the one remaining mysterious form backs away. Once again Kark charges forward to hold the line. With the skeletons dropped Dahlmel is the first to see their next foe: a large hobgoblin in black mail holds a pulsating black mace – a red handprint adorns his surcoat. Kark charges ahead. Inky tendrils of magic leap from the hobgoblins hand at Dahmel. The tendrils seem to drain his life, giving it to the hobgoblin in return. Even surrounded their foe handles his attackers adeptly, stunning Kark and felling Dahmel and Tiertan in turn. A well placed spell by Ulmfor provides an opportunity for Kark to open up his assault. The battle turns quickly against the hobgoblin.
A search of the room finds treasure on an altar, an offering to some cruel goblin deity named Maglubiyet. Among the treasure is a small glowing cube, no doubt the key to the demonic portal. Rouckan, Dahmel’s dog, senses danger behind the doors to the north. Ulmfor opts to investigate in smoke form. It is dark beyond the door. He moves cautiously through the blackness. He perceives a small humanoid form against the back wall as a dagger hurtles toward him, passing harmlessly through his misty body. A chase ensues. The small creature dashes into a narrow passage. Ulmfor pursues navigates the cramped passage easily in his smoke form. They reach the surface where the creature cowers from the midmorning sun and turns to face its pursuer. The black cloaked creature stands half as tall as a man with pale white skin and dark hateful eyes, its legs bent backward like a dog. Deciding not to pursue further, Ulmfor returns to the party. Entering the room they find a small desk with a map left behind. It is a map of the valley with the Slaughtergarde ruins and the Surrinack hunting lodge circled. Hasty notes are scrawled on it: “Slaughtergarde – no usable sigils found” and “Surrinack Lodge – hearthstone passage.”
Wounded and low on power the party decides to rest and recover in the protection of the Maug’s pit.