Fireday, 16 Rova 4707, afternoon
Charrone crouched into a defensive position, and raised her shield to take the impact of the demonic dog’s flying charge, but the second one found an opening and mauled her leg. The paladin swung her enchanted sword and connected; foul-smelling black ichor bubbled out of the creature’s wound. Halfred charged in, smashing the other demon dog on the head with the magical heavy flail he’d claimed earlier in the day from the bugbear. Larissa sneaked into the room while the enemy creatures were distracted by the fight, and let loose an arrow from the shadows, grazing one.
Once inside the room, it was apparent that it was indeed a temple to Lamashtu, as a ten foot tall black stone statue of the Demon Mother of Monsters dominated the north end of the room. The statue held a glowing stone kukri in each of its hands, and the two weapons each glowed with magical energy: one blue and one orange. Under the glittering red eyes of the statue, Charrone, Halfred, and Larissa managed to drop the demon dogs while sustaining minimal injuries. The Abyssal creatures began to dissolve into a pool of ichor almost immediately, but McGregor managed to acquire two vials of the stuff before it boiled away.
After the fight was over, Declan examined the black marble altar below the idol of the demon-goddess. He noticed iron rings set into its sides, presumably used to tie down sacrifices. The group also saw ashes and bits of charred bone on the floor beside the altar. Larissa noticed that the idol’s eyes were set with large garnets, which she pried loose. The heroes did not find anything else of value in the room.
Continuing to explore the complex, the group next found a room that was obviously a torture chamber. Six prison cell doors lined the south wall. As soon as they entered the chamber, they heard a hoarse voice say, “Please, water!” in both the common Taldan tongue and Goblin. The voice came from behind one of the cell doors. Larissa picked the lock, and opened the door to find a human woman huddled in a tiny cell. She was naked, filthy, and her arms were chained to the wall. Larissa freed her from the manacles, and offered her a cloak, her waterskin, and some trail rations. “By the gods, are you all right? How long have you been here?” asked Charrone. After taking a long swig of water, the woman introduced herself as Marla Forsythe, a merchant from Magnimar. She said that she was with a trading caravan going along the Lost Coast Road to Windsong Abbey, when they were ambushed by goblins three weeks earlier. She said that herself and five other humans were taken prisoner and held in this room. One by one, her fellow prisoners were taken out of the room, sometimes by goblins and sometimes by a human, and then she never saw them again. She said she sometimes heard them, though… and shuddered. Declan escorted her back up to the goblin fortress, gave her a weapon, and told her to hole herself in the room. The group would be back later to escort her back to Sandpoint.
Winding their way through the rest of the chambers, they found a workroom where weapons were fashioned from refuse from human settlements, and a grotto guarded by squid-like monster. Halfred made short work of the squid creature, and siezed its treasure.
From there, they then found a corridor off of which were five bedrooms. Halfred explored them. Most of these bedrooms were unoccupied, but in one Halfred found the human soldier they had encountered in the first fight in the Throne Room the previous day, asleep in bed. The man stirred when Halfred opened the door, but didn’t awaken. In a burst of rage, Halfred skewered the sleeping figure through the gut with his mithril ranseur. The man’s eyes opened wide and his face took on an expression of great pain and surprise, locking his gaze with Halfred’s. He only managed a blood-choked gurgle before he died.
One other chamber that appeared to be empty actually had three female goblins. After a short fight, two of the goblins were dead, and a third captured. She said that they were Ripnugget’s wives, and now were Bruthazmus’ wives since Ripnugget was dead. Charrone locked her in one of the cells until they could secure the rest of the complex.
As they explored this underground lair of the complex, Larissa sketched a map of the layout in charcoal on a sheet of paper. “I would guess that we’ve explored all of this level, but no Nualia. I think we may have missed something. Let’s start over,” and headed back to the room in which they had encountered the necromancer. A through search of the room revealed a concealed door which led to a set of stairs descending into darkness…