Returning from the chair back to the front door, the group prepares to descend the trap door. After some discussion, the group lowered some ropes and a lantern, before Oswald climbed down. At the bottom, he found a water pool filled with algae, and stairs leading upwards. He managed to swing over to the stairs and went up, meeting some kind of crocodile man.
The crocodile man considered poor Oswald (who carried just a dagger and no armour) a tasty snack and attacked immediately. When Maurice heard Oswalds cries for help, and hurried to help, he almost drowned. Luckily, the monster was already wounded and thus died after two lucky stabs with the dagger.
Afterwards, the rest of the group descended the shaft as well, searching the chamber carefully. We found a decomposed warden’s corpse with some treasure (divine magic scrolls, coins, holy symbols). Osric blessed the corpse before looting it.
There was a second stair in the room, leading deeper into the earth. We followed it down, finding a room full of giant glowing mushrooms. The floor was rather wobbly (probably fungus and mold) and stank horribly. We could also see a giant door with a metal face on it, Maurice also found a second exit.
We decided to check the second exit first. It led to the elevator shaft we already knew from our last visit. Next, metal door. Before we could check it, we were attacked by some giant vines which we finally shredded without any losses (Osric was hurt, though).
The door was about 7 m (22 ft) tall and 3 m (9 ft) wide and at least the top consists of gold, while the face is made from brass. Nobody opened when we knocked, pulling and pushing proved pointless – we could not move the door.
When investigating the face more closely, Osric found some nubs within the mouth that were labelled with unknown glyphs – not even Zephyros could read them. Oswald simply tried pushing some of the nubs, resulting in an explosion of toxic spores which almost killed him and Zephyros. Luckily, both survived, even though Oswald suffered permanent infection of his joints and Zephyros was horribly scarred.
Frustrated and quite bruised, we decided to leave the dungeon, taking a part of the vine, the crocodile and the frog man with us. On our way back, we find Orhan stabbed and Taeting (as well as our boat) gone.
We can prevent some possum-kin from fleeing with the second river boat we had found before on the other side of the island. Orhan put them to sleep with a spell, afterwards we smashed most of them before taking their boat and leaving the island.
Due to our complete lack of navigators, the return to Froxhall was delayed by two days (mainly because we got completely lost and accidently drove further into the swamp instead of out). Finally, we reach Froxhall, where we sell the monster parts, grab the stored stuff and sail towards Hewflore.
We stop in Taygle’s End but find it an unwelcoming backwater, where nobody is willing to let us stay for the night. The local teacher is rather strange and Osric finds him suspicious. The local lord is not willing to speak with us. We decide to paddle a bit further and sleep a little outside the village in the wilderness.
The next morning, we reach Hewflore around mid-afternoon. We sell our remaining loot, including the new boat. Osric tries to be received in audience by Warren of Speers, but learns that the metropolitan is indisposed since a study almost collapsing on him a couple days ago.
After some asking, Osric manages to speak an experienced cleric (whose name I forgot), who liked him enough to tell him a lot about what worries the Makerite church in Dwimor. Heresy was spreading, as two few well educated priests were available, the local lord did not cooperate with the metropolitan, instead investing local priests himself and tithing exclusively to a monastery that was independent from the metropolitan.
When hanging out with the local soldiers, Maurice and Osric learnt that there were plenty mundane problems too: Bandits ravaging the countryside and marsh pirates are massing for another raid, whereas the local lord Drogo is busy wooing the Lady of Orellfor. Also, the Deadlhaws are growing.
Shocked that so many things are amiss, with so few ways to earn quick money, the company retreats for this session to plan what to do next.