Caleb, wizard (Chris)
Mayhem, short barbarian (Chris)
Kim, thief (John)
Yémos, cleric (Eric, who was absent; John handled)
Anêr, swashbuckler (Eric, who was absent; NPC, but Chris made most of the rolls)
Kúflaug, orc slave (NPC; Chris handled most of his rolls too)
They rested at camp for two days, until 32 Blôs. On the 32nd, they asked Likháfrikh, the dwarf engineer, about building the bridge athwart the chasm, and he wouldn't do it. "I can't waste the orcs," he said. "One of two things will happen. The first is that the hobgoblins kill all the orcs, so we lose the orcs. The other is that the orcs join the hobgoblins. They'll have a few fights about who leads whom, with the big, dumb hobgoblins trying to tame the not-as-dumb orcs, and maybe there will be a pissing match. I've seen them do it, too, they stand a few yards from a wall and see who can piss the highest. Anyways, with this one, we're down the orcs too, and now they're fighting against us. I don't blame you for wanting that bridge, and I'd risk it if there were ore down in that room, but I have a mine to dig up."
The gang also asked Likháfrikh and Péllē, the slaver, about the "tribe," and neither knew about it. Péllē said that orcs and goblins down south in Natālūna were in tribes, but by now they would have forgotten all tribal ties, and anyways, there were men in this tribe. Men in the same tribe as goblin-kin would be so odd as to be unbelievable.
So with that, they went back into the dungeon. Not much happened as they made their way back to the rubble under the chasm. From there, they crept along the north wall to the stairs, and saw the two hobgoblins who fled a few days ago: a skinny one and another one with perfect white teeth. (How a hobgoblin has that, I have no idea.) They moved towards the stairs, and Kúflaug saw that both hobgoblins had arrows ready, and warned the others. The bowmen let out an arrow at each of Kim and Anêr, and hit both, with Anêr taking the arrow straight to his ribcage. Yémos cast Shield on himself, and Caleb cast Fireball and step forward.
Anêr and Kúflaug moved nearer, while Kim shot the skinny hobgoblin, who fell off the edge of the ledge in his pain (the wound was 12 HP after DR and impaling multiplier, and he critically failed his HT roll after the major wound, so I thought it would be fun to have him fall off the ledge). Dr. Teeth the hobgoblin turned and ran, while the skinny one tried to get up, but Kim and Mayhem ended his life. Yémos cast Major Healing on Anêr, while Kim looted the hobgoblin's body, finding a whopping one copper farthing.
The heroes went up the stairs, and moved along the north wall again, Kim still at the fore until she stepped on the trap door and fell into the spiked pit. Luckily, she tumbled away, so she didn't take as much damage as she could have, and, after Caleb trying and failing to cast Levitate on Kim from above, Mayhem lowered a rope and Kim climbed up.
Once around the corner past the trap, they saw a marble statue of a young man. They went to check it out, and Caleb saw writing on the bottom of the statue in a strange tongue. He couldn't read it, but knew that others had seen these writings and put them in books, with notes that nobody could read them without magic (I likened them to Linear A in our world: we know it's a tongue, but nobody can read it). Kim found a spot in bas-relief on the west wall (psst, Jennell Jaquays: that's the west wall, not the east—there is no wall to the east!), a drawing of the man of whom someone had made the statue, that stuck out from the rest, and pushed it a bit, hearing something click. She told everyone to step aside and pushed it, moving to the left as she did so. This wasn't enough to keep away from the two spears that shot out from the mouths of the beasts on the bas-relief, though her armor stopped one. Still, she fell, and Yémos had to cast Minor Healing on her.
Now the door was open in the wall, and they saw a hallway behind it. They went down it to find the big demon statue that they had come through the floor in the room with the chasm. They could see that it had big amber gems for eyes, and its open mouth smelled of methane. As much as she wanted those gems, Kim held back, as did everyone else. The looked around, and could see the frescoes on the wall to the south. The frescoes were mostly of lizard men, and the lizard men were sacrificing men to a big, winged lizard man sitting on a throne. The gang chose to go back, not willing to let the statue do whatever to them.
Back outside, they looked to where the hobgoblin had fled: up another short flight of stairs to a raised base, with eight pillars along it. They could see nine hobgoblins among the pillars, doing a bad job of hiding themselves. The heroes went to the stairs, and Kúflaug and Mayhem went up the stairs first. Anêr held back to let Yémos cast Shield on him, while Kim aimed at Dr. Teeth, who popped out. Kim's shot missed, while Dr. Teeth missed Mayhem, and his arrow flew past and hit Caleb. Another bowman with long earlobes shot at Anêr, but the arrow missed him, as well as Kim and Yémos.
Yémos cast Shield on Anêr, and Caleb passed out as he tried to muster up the strength for a Blast Ball. Anêr, Kúflaug, and Mayhem all moved up the stairs, while Kim readied another arrow. Three more hobgoblins, one with a cleft lip (making him ugly even by hobgoblin standards) and two with stud earrings popped out from the pillars and took shots at Kúflaug, two hitting. Dr. Teeth and Mr. Earlobes dropped their bows and readied their halberds.
Yémos cast Major Healing on Caleb, who knelt and looked up for a spot where he could throw a Blast Ball. Anêr and Mayhem went up the stairs, while Kúflaug passed out. Kim took a shot at Dr. Teeth, but missed again. The two hobgoblins with stud earrings and the one with the cleft lip dropped their bows and readied their halberds, while Dr. Teeth moved to the top of the stairs. The one with the long earlobes took a swing at Anêr, now at the top, but Anêr parried.
Yémos moved over to Kúflaug, while Caleb cast a Blast Ball. Anêr stepped and stabbed Mr. Earlobes, and Mayhem put his axe into Dr. Teeth. Kim got her arrow ready. The hobgoblin with the long earlobes stepped back and tried to hit Anêr, but Anêr's rapier flicked away the halberd, which strained the hobgoblin's arm. Dr. Teeth missed Mayhem, while the other three moved nearer. Four more hobgoblins watched the fray, arrows nocked, but dared not shoot through their friends.
Yémos cast Major Healing on Kúflaug, and Caleb let loose a Blast Ball behind the hobgoblins. None fell, but their backs took a good singe. Anêr stepped and stabbed the hobgoblin with the long earlobes, who fell dead. Kúflaug knelt, and Kim aimed at Dr. Teeth. Mayhem stepped and swung at one of the hobgoblins with stud earrings, but he stepped back. Indeed, all the hobgoblins stepped back, and the ones holding back ran to a statue in the middle of the dais.
Yémos got out his bow, and Caleb stood up. Anêr and Mayhem rushed after the hobgoblins, but missed. The hobgoblins kept stepping back, while the four before the statue vanished. The gang's last strikes failed (though Caleb's second Blast Ball did singe a few hobgoblins), and the hobgoblins made it to before the statue, and vanished into thin air.
I gave out 4 character points. They didn't find any loot, but they did open a "bonus area." Everyone at home: that's room 53. Hey, I gave them a hint! They also found a teleport pad, though didn't use it.
I haven't heard from Eric, so I don't know if he's coming back. I do hope he's doing alright. If he won't come back, we'll have to do something for clerical help.