We got some new recruits with the change of location that have joined up with Grunka's Company. I've gotten pretty terrible at taking notes since I started recording the audio files, and I really need to include the names of the characters that show up (since I never can remember so many names).
New Characters (I think). Theodius, Blevins, Percy, El-Rashid, Tristan, & Gabriel.
The new recruits saw the giant green dragon that was wrapped around the ancient temple on the very top of the hill. At this point the group had explored all of the surface buildings, the 1st level (currently filled with blood), 75% of the 2nd level, and a few areas of the 3rd level. The new guys noticed how gnarly, scarred, and beat-to-hell the surviving members of Grunka's Company were.
They noticed more of those black swarms of insects traveling from the South and heading North. They had no idea where they were coming from or where they were going to.
Down into the depths of Darves Hill the group went. They found several deadly traps, but they were able to disable them. One of the traps wasn't disabled but it failed. They found old blood smeared all over the floor of a hallway.
They found more blood smears in the rooms, and they assumed that these wounds were caused by some of the traps in the area. Somebody or several people came to a bad end here it seemed.
In another room the group heard spellcasting going on, and then many of them were held in place by a spell. They didn't see who cast this spell on them. They heard the sound of a dragging chain coming closer to them. There was a scene where people were running in a hallway and others were hurling javelins and darts into the darkness. It was rather silly, but surprisingly no one got hit in the gut.
Thimple drank his Mist potion and turned into a Gaseous Form and then drifted down to the end of the hallway, where he popped up behind the 4 Gnoll Spellcasters. Everyone else was hurling weapons at them. Then the Gnolls unleashed a barrage of Magic Missles on the party. Thimple killed two of them by stabbing them in the back after he turned back from being mist. Surprisingly the casters didn't notice, and then Thimple killed off another one.
The last Gnoll raised his hands, and said he would answer any questions. Thimple killed the last Gnoll. He doesn't have a great track record when it comes to people that surrender.
They heard more booted feet coming towards them from behind one of the doors. An undead creature of some sort (Wight) was armored and had a horrible looking beast on a chain. The dog-like creature belched forth flames and they thought it was a Hell Hound.
Targ sliced off one of the front legs of the Hell Hound and it crumpled to the ground dead. The Wight was quickly killed. In a back circular room there were torture devices. Thimple killed the living Kobold and tortured humans there. Cyr put on a ring and his hand turned black. Cyr touched the Cleric Gabriel's back. 2D12 was the number of days till he died from it. The skin withered to gray. There was almost a PvP situation but it resolved.
They heard more booted feet and another possible Hell Hound coming near them.
They ambushed the oncoming Hell Hound and destroyed it. They found a black flame brazier, 15 emeralds, and all kinds of disturbing plaques with taxidermy faces, arms, hands, etc. They kept messing with the black flames in the brazier until they finally broke it. It gave off twice the amount of heat as a normal torch but it gave off no light. They thought it was the dog dish for the Hell Hound. The brazier cracked when the Cleric put his holy symbol into it.
The group heard the sound of lots of bells ringing...
They realized the room they were going to enter had a way up to the rooms that were not flooded with blood on the 1st level. They heard the sounds of breathing. They broke in the door and saw an impressive looking minotaur. The Cleric Joshua cast a Hold Spell off of a scroll and the Minotaur failed (Natural 1 rolled). They killed the minotaur (that was overseeing the fights in the Arena). He had a black metal greatsword, and impressive platemail armor and plenty of gold and silver, a signet ring, and a crown. The platemail, sword, and crown were magical.
The signet ring had a symbol of a minotaur head with broken swords crossed. In it they found a small dose of poison. From behind them they heard lots of booted feet (perhaps summoned by the ringing bells).
They went upstairs because those outside the room they were in started burning the wooden door. The smoke started to fill the room upstairs where everyone was. They debated about opening up another door with all of the blood on the other side (which would have drowned them). Luckily they didn't do that. They were coughing on the smoke, and debating what to do. They were caught between fire and blood.
ESP was cast to see what was going on below, and they learned that there were 8 Gnolls down there that were piling up furniture and burning it. The smoke was filling up every room between the group and freedom. Thimple bravely covered his mouth and attempted to close the secret doorway to reduce the smoke without success and he took some smoke inhalation. They started to break small holes in the door keeping the lake of blood back. The room continued to fill with smoke... They were thinking that they would flood the fire out below with the blood, but this would have more than likely ended the session with a TPK (Total Party Kill).
Theodius died from the smoke. Below the Gnolls noticed the blood flowing down so they retreated from the burning door that was put out and then spiked the doors to the adjoining room so that they blood would be contained. The characters realized that if they waited long enough they would die from the smoke inhalation or by drowning in blood.
They managed to break open the doors spiked by the Gnolls and as they were exciting, doors opened and shadowy forms emerged. Gabriel the new Cleric cast Light on one of the Shadows as everyone else fled upstairs to flee the dungeon (since they were all nearly dead). Gabriel died a horrible death and galently dying to help the others escape. He crumpled under the pain inflicted upon him by the Shadows.
The rest of them breathed deeply when they broke the surface, thankful to be alive. They divided up the 6,000 GP, and 5,000 SP. There were also the 15 emeralds (75 GP each).
The group hung out in town for 3 weeks to identifying all the Minotaur's item. His crown was a helm of comprehend languages and read magic. The Minotaur King's Great Sword made from a dark black metal, “Black Death” was +4 and on a 19/20 2D8 dmg, the target hit by the sword needs to make a Save vs. Death or die. They got the feeling that it was a very well known item, and if anyone sees them wielding it would know where it came from. They also found out that a demon is trapped inside of it, though it isn't an intelligent item. The plate mail was +2 and Climbing at 99%. It also had the Minotaur's crest on the chest.
2,400 XP for the main characters, 1,200 XP for the retiners.