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Here's what happened in this afternoon's game. The first few encounters were clearly too easy but the last one more than made up for this!

18th Maius (contd)

Sora and Gil search the papers on Arturo’s desk, finding some cryptic notes, while Hrothgar heads up the stairs and triggers the alarm put in place by the “Dog Brothers”. The brigands attack as the party enters the room – Hrothgar makes a flying leap up to the loft to attack the War Captain, Irocar, followed by Juma. The gnoll knocks Irocar into a brazier. Bloodied, the captain tries to run for it but is killed by attacks of opportunity from both PCs. Meanwhile, downstairs the others have killed four of the Dog Brothers – the fifth and final one (named Cosmas) surrenders to Ulthar.

The warlord interrogates his hapless captive who reveals some facts about the layout of the tenement – Juma threatens to feed him to the otyugh but this isn’t necessary to get him to spill his guts. Satisfied he has nothing else useful to impart, Ulthar lets him go. Juma shouts camply after him “We’re the Juma Gang, don’t forget!” Meanwhile, Hrothgar is searching the two rooms for a second time. Noticing some loose bricks in the chimney, he pulls them out, bringing a load of rubble down on his head but revealing some treasure including a +1 lightning javelin. He also finds a secret door in the SE corner. Ignoring Juma’s warning, the gnoll opens the door, triggering a double spear trap. In the room beyond are dozens of rats among the gang’s food supplies – the PCs are able to deal with these pretty easily and the group heads into the sleeping quarters beyond. They search both rooms but find nothing of interest.

Next, the PCs enter Madame Zeb’oltha’s laboratory/study where they are attacked by the tiefling warlock and her two Tiangaon eunuch bodyguards. Gil casts flaming sphere and orbmaster’s incendiary detonation, Juma charges in to attack Zeb’oltha and Sora criticals with radiant delirium, allowing the PCs to finish off all three opponents in a single round!

Searching the lab, Sora finds a crystal orb containing a dragon’s eye, Ulthar finds three vials of a strange powder and Gil discovers a test tube filled with phoenix feathers. Hrothgar tries to lift the floating head out of the blue liquid it sits in but is scalded by acid and drops it in shock when its eyes open! Tipping out the liquid kills the head.

Heading downstairs, the PCs fight ten beggars in the warehouse – one of them surrenders but doesn’t seem to know much useful information so Ulthar lets him go. Hrothgar heads up the ladder into Orloch’s “court” chamber. Gil uses fey step to teleport in and attacks with incendiary detonation, killing the 11 year old girl disguised as Orloch lying on the sofa. Hrothgar charges one of the “guards”, but realises they are just dummies as Sora enters the room and triggers the pit trap, falling down into the cage below. Deadly rogue Black Shet appears, shooting at the PCs from the rafters. Jihad jumps down after Sora, followed by Gil, then Hrothgar and finally Ulthar as Black Shet heads down through the trapdoor.

In the cavern below, the trapped dragonborn is winched towards the slave pens by a giant ape as the other PCs ride on top of the cage. She struggles to get out as battle is joined with three hobgoblin slavers, the ape and Black Shet. Hrothgar leaps off the cage on to the ledge to the attack the hobgoblins as the ape uses its bounding smash to jump on top of the slave pens and knock Gilgarran into the water where he spends most of the battle floundering about. Jihad also falls in but is able to get out fairly easily. However, every time he climbs up the ladder to the ledge, he is shot at by Black Shet and forced back down again. Meanwhile Sora is still trapped in the cage despite help from Ulthar to get her out. The ape is killed but this leaves Hrothgar to hold off the three hobgoblins who are slowly wearing him down. Eventually, Gil gets out of the water and Jihad uses dimensional warp to swap the eladrin wizard and the dragonborn paladin. Sora climbs up the ladder and finishes off Black Shet with a commander’s strike granted by Ulthar. Hrothgar goes unconscious and fails his first death save but is rescued by Ulthar who pours a healing potion down his throat. Gil magic missiles the last surviving hobgoblin and the battle is over.

After a short rest, the PCs release Gil from the cage and get the three captives out of the slave pens. These are an elderly priest of Niu Dihan named Wang Jin We and an aristocratic woman named Lady Patricia and her handmaiden. Lady Patricia had apparently been abducted while on her way to visit Jagadamba. On Black Shet's body, the PCs find a +1 duelist's dagger ("Felis"). After deciding Lady P won’t be keen on waiting while the PCs take an extended rest and then clear out the rest of the dungeons, they take her home, getting their friend Sethos from Flotsam to row them across the Dolphin Strait to the Royal Docks and then on to her home in the Grand Ward. Her husband, Didymus seems a bit taken aback to see her but the PCs are nevertheless given a reward of 200 gold bezants. Afterwards, the PCs take Wang Jin We back to temple of Niu Dahan, and then head home to rest.

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