They quietly discussed the problem. Agrent was not sure how to find the key. Parlay was more to the point, “We be lucky so far! We need help!” Agrent readily agreed, “We go get help to find little buddy!” They retraced their steps as quietly as possible. This was no problem for Agrent, but he felt that Parlay sounded like “a war horse stomping” on the way out. They managed to exit the Gold Goblin without being noticed.
They ran back to the temple to rouse their friends. They began pounding on the doors to the apartments with Agrent yelling, “Come quick, they stab little buddy and carry him down stairs!”
Bron demanded, “What’n hell are ya shouting about!”
Agrent and Parlay relayed how they had stayed behind to kill the devil. “I look in window and see little buddy stabbed and carried to back of room. I signaled Parlay to follow quick and quiet. He really need practice quiet,” Agrent said rolling his eyes. “We snuck in to find little buddy and I hear two men saying he had been taken downstairs. Parley trick them so I can backstab them. We followed the blood trail down stairs and found guard sleeping. He goin’ to sleep long time,” he said grinning. We found trail leads to hidden door under floor, but it needs a special key. I no open!”
The party prepared for battle and followed Agrent and Parlay back to the Casino. They moved to the side door to the kitchen. Agrent opened the door and lead party in only to see Saul and a man in strange leather armor along with eight guards drinking at the bar. The party could hear the men talking. Strabo cast eagle’s splendor on himself. Agrent motioned for the party to come up silently, but the Paladin’s clanking armor sounded like a tin smith’s shop.
Alerted Saul and the guards were able to defend themselves. Rain rapidly shot an arrow into the bartender. Sampson upon sensing his evil attempted to bull rushed Saul, but missed with his sword. Erlig moved down the wall to the second opening to the room. Bron ran in and laid a massive hit with his war axe stunning one of the men. The man in the strange armor jumped up on the bar and pulled out two weapons. Agrent prepared to fight by casting shalleigh. Saul pulled a rapier and attacked Parlay with that and a key attached to the stump of his other arm. “You can’t hit me with key, but I like the way you think,” retorted Parlay. Strabo ran in and dove under the bar channeling negative energy. The caused the bartender and stunned guy to drop. Cameo cast mage armor on himself.
Rain launched her second arrow into Saul. Sampson cleaved into Saul hitting him, but seemed to be minimal damage. Erlig cast mage armor on himself. Parlay struck Saul with a solid hit. Bron swung at the next man in range, but missed this time. The leather clad man on the bar attacked Parlay, but could not touch the Shoanti. Agrent ran in and dropped the first man he came towards. Saul attacked Parlay, but still could not touch him. Strabo still under the bar, channeled negative energy again.
Two of the men jumped over the bar to attack Sampson dealing some damage. One man moved between Bron and Saul. He tried to attack Bron, but missed. Another moved to attack Parlay and was successful where Saul had failed. The last man made a break for the kitchen. He turned the corner only to see Erlig waiting for him, which caused him to attack. He managed a light hit on Erlig. Meanwhile, Cameo cast a magic missile into the man fighting Agrent and was elated to see him drop.
Erlig cast color spray at the man who attacked him, which caused him to drop unconscious. Parlay managed to miss with both weapons, Bron hit the next man solidly. Sampson was attacked by the man in strange leather and received two hits. Saul, like all cowardly rats, scuttled out of the room in an attempt to escape. Parlay swung as he ran by, but failed to connect. Agrent gave chase after Saul and caught him. Saul returned the favor by landing a strike on Agrent. Strabo channeled a third time. This caused one of the men around the bar to drop. Yet another tried to run past Bron, “Oh no ya don’t!” Bron dropped him with a massive swing of his war axe. Cameo cast a magic missile into Saul, which dropped him on the spot. Rain launched another arrow, but missed rather badly. Sampson called out, “By Iomedae, meet your maker!” Attacked another man at the bar and split the man in two.
All of the opposition now being dead, about to be dead, and/or unconscious, the party began to pull together. Agrent bound Saul’s wounds, and then bound Saul securely. Erlig quickly dispatched the downed fighter with his dagger. They searched and collected weapons and armor. Agrent was sure the key attached to Saul’s stump would fit the lock on the trap door. He removed the cuff holding the key. Sampson noticed the devil’s cage was empty. He did a quick sweep around the room to detect evil, but did not find the devil. Bron proposed that we keep Saul as a hostage. Agrent stripped Saul to make sure he had no hidden weapons and he did find a ring of keys. Bron urged everyone to stop searching and get back on task, “We take Saul and the keys with us.” Strabo was trying to figure how much the booty was worth. Bron chastised, “We don’t have time to appraise treasure!” Bron then picked up the unconscious Saul and carried him. Strabo shouted out something in Infernal, which no one understood.
The group led by Agrent moved off and down the stairs. Agrent’s keen eyes told him someone had swept and cleaned away the blood trail left by Falathar. He turned to Parlay, “Someone cleaned up blood,” “I never saw blood,” was Parlay’s response. “No blood! I think there is someone down here,” cautioned Agrent. They smell in the wine cellar was stronger than before. The room where they had left the body of the guard had been cleaned up. The guard’s body was no longer there. Bron muttered, “They got a good cleaning staff!”
They continued down the next set of stairs, which were also swept clean. They checked on the room holding the animals. All of which still seemed to be in their cages. Upon reaching the arena they found the sand had been raked smooth hiding the trap door. “This floor where I track Falathar,” Agrent bent down to clear the sand off of the trap door. Rain took up a position high in a corner with an arrow notched. Agrent used water to find the outline of the door and the keyhole. He used Saul’s stump key, which fit into the lock like a glove. A turn of the key released the lock and the trap door rose up by itself. There was a hole below with a wooden ladder going down about twenty feet.
Agrent, “What happens if key pulled out?” He pulled it out and the door closed. He used the key to open it again. There was no visible keyhole or release on the underside of the door. “Parlay, no key hole inside, could get trapped.” The party “wisely” decided to split up. Erlig moved up in the arena and lit a couple of the wall torches. He took up station opposite of Rain to guard the entry. Cameo also decided to remain behind. Sampson went down the ladder and stood guard keeping Saul quiet.
Agrent followed by Bron went down the ladder. They found a natural tunnel like care leading away from the pit. They motioned the rest to follow. Sampson, Parlay, and Strabo followed down the ladder. The moved down the tunnel lead by Agrent and Bron. It varied in width and followed a meandering path through the limestone. The surface was wet and somewhat sticky. Bron cautioned, “There could be sinkholes!” The followed the tunnel about three-hundred feet towards the river. At the end of the tunnel they found themselves on the edge of a gapping pit. It looked like an old sinkhole. It was about twenty feet deep and all but a ledge on this side was covered with water. There were a couple of old wooden ladders in a series leading down to the ledge. They could see another tunnel just above the water on the other side leading away. Bron observed that the swirly water moved with the tide. He could see that the ledge and far tunnel would be covered by the rising tide. Agrent went down first and was followed by Bron. He called out to Bron to watch the last step. Strabo tied a rope about himself and handed the rest to Parlay. He managed to reach the ledge without a problem. Strabo was next and at last it was Parlay’s turn. He slipped going down the last ladder breaking it in the process. He fell into the pool, but pulled himself back onto the ledge.
The tidal pool is about thirty-five feet across. The tunnel on the other side was high enough not to be flooded by the tide very often. There was some discussion about going on. Bron implored, “We got to get him out of here,” meaning the bard. Agrent easily swam the pool and got out on the other side. He had noticed a strong surge due to the connection to the sea, which could suck one under. He called back to caution his friends. “Don’t swim till I say. Tide carry you under!” Bron shoot a line across with his crossbow. The first try failed, but he drew the line and bolt back. His second shot was successful and the bolt buried itself in the sand. Agrent then pounded it further in to set it.
Bron tried to swim across but was caught by a surge. He grabbed for the rope, but missed. He was sucked under, which was alarming. What was more alarming were the two creatures snapping at his feet. One bite dealt severe damage to one of his feet. Bron vigorously tried to defend his poor feet. Parlay threw a grappling hook and line and managed to hook Bron. Bron suffered a second bite before Parlay assisted by Strabo tried to draw the dwarf back up on the ledge. Agrent tried to shoot whatever was in the water, but missed. The rope slipped through Parlay’s hands, but he was able to grab it again. Strabo channeled negative energy down into the pool.
Agrent notched another arrow and saw Bron being hauled to the surface of the water. “He look like pig stuck in mud,” mused Agrent. Parlay with a mighty heave yanked Bron to the edge of the pool. Bron crawled out shaken and bloody. Two huge swamp barracuda reared their heads above the water trying to get to Bron. Agent missed with his second arrow. Strabo channeled again into the creatures. Parlay struck one knocking it unconscious. Agrent finally scored a hit with an arrow. Bron lay gasping for breath on the sandy ledge. Parlay stepped up to the edge trying to entice the second monster to attack. It worked, and he scored two hits slicing its head off and gutting it. They immediately gutted the first monster to make sure it was dead.
Parlay set about tying a rope around Bron. He had Bron cross over the first rope going hand over hand. This time Bron made it. Strabo secured the same rope to himself and crossed over. Parlay just dove in and swan across as the last one. “Not so hard to swim,” he said directed at Bron.
They moved off and down the passage led by Agrent’s tracking. The limestone showed the passage of many feet recently, much to his dismay. There was a very bad smell in the air. The tunnel varied in width between three and five feet. It twisted back and forth and they came to a place about fifty feet in where it split in two directions. Agrent noted the tracks leading off to the right tunnel. Strabo seeing how Bron was limping cast two cure light wounds on him.
The right side passage had hanging stalactites, which had veins that sparked in the light. The smell was even stronger here. Parlay noticed the veins start to glow and pulse, “Run!” Four javelins came flying in with two each directed at Parlay and Agrent. Fortunately, all four missed! A very loud and ominous hissing issued from inside the cavern. The cavern had widened out to about twenty feet. They saw four lizard-like Troglodytes armed with javelins in a line abreast. The party moved up to engage. One managed to claw Parlay and another Agent. Parlay and Bron each hit a creature. Agrent hit a third monster. Strabo touched the fourth creature to cause moderate wounds. Four javelins flew in over the monsters aimed at Strabo. Fortunately, all missed him. Parlay was clawed a second time, but the attacks missed Bron.
Parlay scored two hits with the second dropping his monster. Bron swung and missed. They could now see a second line of monsters who were throwing the javelins. Agrent could hear the flapping of many feet approaching from behind the monsters, “Way more coming!” He then hit and downed his creature. Strabo channeled negative energy again. The two remaining monsters up front turned their attention to Bron and Parlay. They missed in attacking Parlay and Bron. A third monster had rushed up to join the other two. Strabo pulled out a net to trap them.
Parlay held to help Strabo. Bron dropped the one he was facing. Agrent picked up a javelin and returned it to the back line hitting one! That line of monster set their javelins waiting for the charge. We could see ten more Troglodytes arrive at the back of the cavern. Parlay used his bow to hit one in the next line. Bron missed with a javelin he had picked up. Strabo pulled out his crossbow and stunned one of the monsters.
Four more creatures moved up to attack the party. Parlay held his initiative until they had closed. Bron missed, but Agrent hit one dropping it. Parlay and Strabo used the net and tangled three of the monsters. Strabo was clawed by one. Two others missed Bron and Agrent. Agent ran up to the next line and attacked. Four javelins flew at Parlay, but all missed him. Parlay moved up to fight alongside Agrent. He hit one twice dropping it. Bron hit one of the creatures back by him and Strabo. Agrent skillfully struck his opponent.
The next round found Agrent missing with one weapon, but scoring a critical his with his second. Parlay also managed a critical hit. Bron swung and missed. Two javelins each flew at Agrent and Parlay with all missing. Parlay moved up and missed in his attack. Bron missed again. Agrent hit one. Strabo threw a Tanglefoot Bag at the three creatures in the net. The others missed in their attack on Bron. Another set of javelins missed Agrent and Parlay.
Bron finally hit and dropped his creature. Parlay managed two hits on his. Agrent hit and dropped another. Strabo used a javelin like a spear hitting one of the creatures. The creatures missed in melee attacks on Agrent, but managed to claw Parlay. The last creature in the line ran back. Bron moved up and threw Alchemist’s Fire on the three netted troglodytes, casing one to burn and two others to suffer from the heat. Strabo scored a hit dropping one. One tried to crawl away from Parlay, but he dropped it. Two separate monsters tried and failed to hit Agrent and Strabo. One of the monsters in the net dropped. Parlay expertly scored two critical hits dropping another. Bron moved up to help and hit one. Agrent managed to miss with both weapons. Strabo hit one in the net. One monster managed to claw Agrent. One troglodye broke free from the net.
The four quickly dispatched the remaining troglodytes and halted in near exhaustion. Agrent cast cure light wounds upon himself.