The session resumed with our heroes having just left the Myconid chamber.
They decided to go back and ask the Myconids if there were any other threats, or if there was anything else they could do to help—there was none, and the Myconids just wanted to be left alone. They learned, though, that the Myconids were here before the dwarves, and saw that there was a tunnel leading out of the chamber that was impassible due to a cave-in. Bidding farewell to the Myconids, the group crossed the bridge, back to the shaft, and crossed over to the mushroom garden. While there, they gathered six of each type of mushroom, one for each member of the party. At that point, they then began going up the elevator shaft, and on the way up, one of the three riders noticed something unusual on one of the walls—the faint outline of a door. After some exploration, the members found a catch/mechanism that opened the door. Three of the group worked their way into the hallway beyond, while they lowered the elevator for the second group. As they waited, the explorers in the hallway heard what appeared to be footsteps—metal on stone. Within a few seconds, they saw two fiery eyes at roughly chest height—and as it approached, they made out what appeared to be a lightly armored undead dwarf carrying a pickaxe, with shining red eyes—and it charged towards them. Eventually, the undead thing reached out and touched Cullen, who felt a chill run down his spine—but he was otherwise fine. After some hard blows, the dwarven wight turned and ran.
The group followed him, with Gregor in the lead, and they came upon a small room, with a metal ladder going upwards—which the wight was climbing. They followed suit, and found that the ladder led to a larger chamber, this one populated with zombies—some dwarves, one human, and one goblin. The dwarven wight, wounded, received some help from the zombies, but it was not enough. The group quickly dispatched them, with Storen braining one, Angus roasting another with a flaming spell, Cullen crushing one, and Yesunge shooting one in the head. The wight fell as well, and the group took a short rest.
Exploration revealed a brass mug with a jade inlay that is worth 250 gp in the wight’s lair, and the pickaxe was of fine quality (nonmagical, but +1 to hit and damage). The zombie room, which had nothing of value, had another exit—a spiral staircase leading upwards, which the party followed to a smaller room that was covered with broken items, garbage and filth. As they crossed the room, Cullen cried out, and fell into a pit, which was about 10 feet deep. As he stood up, a giant centipede crawled on him and attacked, biting him (but somehow managing not to poison him). Gregor quickly lowered himself into the pit, grabbed the centipede, and tore it in half. Turns out the “pit” was actually a storage vault (with a ladder), and the trapdoor above it had rotted. The vault had a small leather backpack in it (in poor shape) with 20 gold, 50 silver, three vials of acid, 50’ of silken rope (in good condition). The group pocketed the loot and, instead of heading back from where they came, followed the tunnel upwards to the point where they saw sunlight—but also a natural cave branching off from the tunnel. In it, they saw a sleeping black bear, which they did not wake, and left alone.
After heading out of the tunnel, they walked around the hill to the mine entrance, and then headed back to the road. There they found the rest of the group, which had buried Felipe and the albino, Nick Paulus, in graves on the side of the road. Since they were so close to the Cracked Tankard Inn already—not having made it very far—and it was getting late, they decided to go back. When they arrived, they spoke to the barkeep, advised him of Nick’s fate, and hit the sack. The next morning, they headed out, and after a few days, arrived in Deghulan (the rest of the trip being uneventful). Otto told them that they would have about a week before the rest of the caravan arrived, and that they would not need to head out to Womtham until then, so they had some free time. The group spoke with the gate guards to get the lay of the land (and literally got a map of the surrounding area), also visiting some shops to sell off some goods and explore what was available for purchase.
In the evening, the group went to Falco’s Tavern, where they had some drink and played some darts. Angus challenged Falco himself to a game of darts, only to find out that Falco was amazingly good—much to Angus’ dismay (and his coin purse’s). Falco, seeing that Angus was young, only kept half of the money that Angus had wagered. As they sat and drank, they heard some rumors at the bar, specifically that: (1) there’s an old monastery where monks dedicated to St. Cuthbert used to live about a day’s hike south of town on High Top that has been abandoned for over 50 years; (2) the Lord Mayor’s cousin Gunther was a fierce warrior that used to carry a big axe, and he hasn’t been seen in about six months since he took a journey to the hills in the south; (3) there’s a druid that lives in a hut near Kelman Woods who comes to town sometimes, and he doesn’t like hunters who hunt just for sport; and (4) there’s a bunch of evil gnomes that live in Chestnut Grove. Someone also warned them that (5) "I saw some hyena-looking things that walked upright once near Flym Peak, but they didn’t see me. They looked really scary—I’d stay clear of there if I were you.” Also, a drunk patron told them, in slurred words, that (6) "Nobody believes me, but a few years ago, I saw this thing that looked like a cross between an owl and a bear near the Wild Woods. Everybody says I’m just a stupid drunk, but I didn’t even have anything to drink that day!”
One of the serving wenches—a plump, busty woman in her mid-40s—took a liking to Cullen (perhaps overly so!), and the rest of the group thought that perhaps Cullen would have a very interesting evening. After having enough to drink at Falco’s Tavern, they decided to head to the Grinning Imp Pub, which was a far lower-rent and rowdier establishment. Sure enough, they found Otto and some of the other crew there, and enjoyed some drinks there. They also heard another rumor that (7) Falco’s Tavern is run by two slave traders. Ultimately, the group decided to spend the night at the Golden Stag Inn, a middle-of-the-road establishment.
When they woke, they decided to explore the hills to the south, looking for the old monastery. On the way, they were surprised by a constrictor snake, which dropped down on Angus. The group quickly dispatched it, though, and it was a non-issue. Setting up camp that evening, the group were attacked by wolves in the middle of the night—a pack of six. Four of them were quickly killed, and the remaining two, also injured, fled.
The next morning, with the monastery in sight, they began heading up the hill. However, on their way there, they spotted what appeared to be a body in a copse of trees. Approaching it, they found that it was a hobgoblin—a dead one. It appeared to have been rent by claws to the chest, and had half of its face eaten (as well as other parts). A search of the hobgoblin turned up no coins, but did reveal a scroll containing a note, which was written in common and read as follows: “Gaiax: We have found a suitable location for our new base of operations. We have also found a complication and obstacle—but one that will please you no doubt. For now, we have it contained. —Krug."
Heading up to the monastery, the heroes could make out a cloister as they approached, which had a second level above it. They also found that it was surrounded by a ravine, and whatever bridge once led to the monastery was now broken and in disrepair, and the ledges were fairly far apart. The group decided to rappel down the ravine, and managed to make their way up to the entrance of the monastery without much inconvenience.