The adventurers burst through the doors to a spiderweb-filled landing where three hostile ettercaps waited. After defeating the vicious, spider-like creatures, they found the body of the unfortunate guard captain, Kartenix Osborn.
Kaolen sneaked up the stairs in the room and discovered a party of hobgoblins lying in wait. The companions set an ambush and attempted to goad the brutes into surrendering or coming down the stairs for a more favorable fight, but the hobgoblins were having none of it. After trading verbal barbs and taunts, the heroes left the room as quietly as possible and made their way back downstairs the way they had come.
The group returned to the Raven Queen’s shrine where they had left Mirtala, but found she was no longer there. Left only with speculation as to her fate, they decided to return to the first hobgoblin barracks they encountered in hopes of following Adronsius’ original directions.
Unfortunately, after Kaolen swung across the first caved-in section of corridor, both Perrin and Gorgoth fell to the room below. Kedrick immediately climbed down after them, leaving the ranger little choice but to follow.
The room was full of poisonous mushrooms, and the walls and ceiling glowed with phosphorescent fungus. Across the room, two looming red drakes bellowed and charged. Kedrick met them head-on, while Kaolen riddled them with arrows. Soon the party had defeated the reptilian beasts.
In a chamber to the east, the group found the captive crone Zerriksa trapped in a magic circle. She needled and berated them, but they were unable to free her without the key stones. They left her, unhappily still in her arcane cage, as they set out to explore the corridor to the north of the mushroom chamber, hoping to find the jailer, and perhaps more clues.
The players came up with an interesting plan to try and lure the hobgoblins into an ambush, but they were already set in a strong position and the plan was not successful. That’s not to say that another plan might not have worked, but it would have been exceedingly difficult to justify them walking into an obvious trap.
I did not expect the PC’s to double back instead of going forward from the spiderweb landing room, but the reasoning was sound. Likewise, when the group fell into the mushroom room and decided to stay and fight, then proceed into other rooms on that level, it wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it makes sense from the players’ perspective. I look forward to seeing how it plays out.
From my point of view, I’m left with plenty of time to consider which of the dungeon’s inhabitants are aware of the party’s presence, and gauge how they are most likely to react to this knowledge.