The first order of business was the good news that Joette's father was out of the hospital and was back to puttering around the house again. The other news was that Dave and Scott had to miss this week, and while other players do an admirable job covering for them in their absence, it does slow play down a little if one is not deeply familiar with their character.
The last session ended up with the party having entered the Chamber of Eyes. The first room was a long narrow room that featured a 10 foot high balcony on the north end of the room and a locked pair of double door facing east up a small set of stairs in the middle of the room. When the doors were unlocked and opened the party saw a long passageway with a hallway leading north and a door facing south about halfway down the hallway. At the end of the passageway was another set of eastward-facing double doors, and passages that lead both north and south. The hallway was lit by a flickering torch, and oh, there were a pair Goblin Skullcleavers wearing chain mail and wielding battle axe standing there.
Both parties were stunned to see the other, but the shock quickly wore off and the battle commenced. The two goblins were quickly joined by a third, and from within the first hallway to the north a bellowing voice "encouraged" someone or something to also enjoin the battle. A fourth and then a fifth Goblin Skullcleaver poured out of the hallway to the north, followed by a Bugbear Warrior, the owner of the loud voice. The bugbear's appearance on the battlefield coincided with Akta's ill-timed decision to teleport to the back of the battle zone and a well-placed smack from the bugbear's morningstar soon had Akta bloodied.
The rest of the party soon had the goblins bloodied, but the goblin resolve seemed to kick in at this point (i.e., the party couldn't hit a thing) but a bloodied Goblin Skullcleaver does extra damage and they manage to land several blows, bloodying both Krstic and Bogar. Just as the party seemed to be regaining the upperhand a Goblin Blackblade appeared as he jumped down from off the balcony and immediately went after Miave, the only party member left behind in the balcony room. Miave, with some serious backstab assistance from Oester, managed to dispatch with the newcomer rather quickly, but the rest of the party had to carry on without Miave's archery support.
Akta managed to teleport out of more serious danger and as the goblins began to fall the bugbear stepped up to the battle and soon met his fate as well. As the last goblin fell the quiet of the chamber returned. The party quickly assessed they were at least temporarily out of danger, so they reviewed the area and moved up the small hallway to the north and into a small room that included several beds, a table and chairs, a burning brazier, and a pile of wood.
DM Note: Think of a brazier as an all stone weber grill. A fireplace is a fireplace with a mantle and a flue leading the smoke up and out of it.
The room also had a set of stairs that led north out of the room. As the party rested Oester slipped up the steps and saw an open door that lead out onto the balcony to the west - no doubt this was the path of the Goblin Blackblade. Another long hallway lead east to a closed door - at this door Oester could hear muffled voices in a language he was not familiar with, but this time he decided to simply report back to the rest of the party as they took their short respite.
During this time the party had a few minutes to review what they had seen so far and to determine what direction to go next. As the party looked around they saw:
5 Goblin Skullcleavers, each wearing chain mail and wielding a battle axe.
1 Goblin Blackblade, wearing leather armor and wielding a short sword.
1 Bugbear Warrior, wearing hide armor and wielding a morningstar.
The monsters carried no gold, but a magic belt was found on the bugbear. Initial assessment found that it had some type of healing power, so Eldred took it and promised to put it to good use. Each member of the party earned 165 XP for the encounter and accrued an action point.
The party decided the next step was to inspect up the hallway to the north and south hallways farther to the east. The double doors were ignored for now, the passageway north having a small set of steps that led up to a door. The passageway south went about twenty feet to a passageway leading to the west, and maybe another ten feet to an eastern facing door. Oester could hear the same voices from the door at the top of the stairs in the north hallway, but the party decided it wanted to first investigate what lay beyond the southward facing door across from the guard room.
The door wasn't locked, and nothing could be heard, so Krstic bolted through the door looking for any sign of trouble. A small wall potentially hid someone behind it, but the room was found to be uninhabited. At the southern end of the room a small set of steps led down to a pool of fresh water, water that looked similar to the water that flowed through the middle of the Seven Pillared Hall.
The party now pondered their three choices - a single door at the south end of the hallway, the double doors, or the two doors that at least appeared to enter the same room to the north. The party decided to split in half with each half rushing through the two doors that lead into the north room. Krstic and Bogar each took the lead at their respective doors and more-or-less simultaneously burst into the room to find two Duergar Guards, each wearing chain mail and wielding a war hammer.
Krstic and Bogar got in their swings, and the Duergar retaliated by shooting poisoned beard quills at them and following up that attack with a swing from their war hammers. Several other party members stepped into the room - a room that featured a fireplace along the north wall and a hallway leading further east out of the room. From up this hallway two doors could be heard to slam and a single Goblin Warcaster, wearing robes and wielding a quarterstaff, stepped into the room and promptly zapped Krstic with a shot of lightning ... and we'll pick it up from there next time (another cliffhanger!).
Scoreboard: Eldred claimed the Belt of Sacrifice, the party found 0 GP, but added an additional 165 XP, 4815 total (685 additional required to reach level 5).
DM Note: We will not meet next Sunday (7/4) - apparently it is some sort of holiday. Brian will be blowing things up and making a lot of noise, and several of the players will be attending local fireworks displays. We will pick up where we left off the following Sunday (7/11) at Rich and Joette's, although Rich will miss. Roger will provide snacks, assuming he can remember.