As the group leaves the governor’s mansion with those previously abducted in tow, they make their way to the keep to drop off the group of saved house members to include the governor. They quickly return to the Inn of the Slumbering Drake and receive an invitation from Lady Chauntessa, the owner of the brother. They quickly discuss the fact they did not claim their reward. Cole and Hammah decide to meet up with Ugadesh and the rest of the party enjoy libations and song.
As Cole and Hammah enter the keep they are quickly escorted to a meeting hall where a celebration has gotten under way. After some drink and congratulations, Ugadesh pulls them aside. “I am unable to offer you a reward in gold at this time as I am consolidating resources for the upcoming attempt to rid the town of the Shadowmasters, but I am willing to offer you this magical cloak.” Cole and Hammah accept the prize of the Cloak of Elvenkind and return to the inn.
The group is then ushered into a meeting room, where Lady Chauntessa awaits. She tells them that she is interested in any books they can recover from Whiterock Castle and offers them fair payment in return for any and all tomes. She then hands them a Heward’s Handy Haversack to store the weighty volumes as the party accepts the mission.
They sleep the night uneventfully, and decide it is in their best interest to leave town quickly in the morning. Wynnin decides to purchase a pack mule laden with elven wine and they begin their three day journey to the castle. Along the way, Wynnin sees a large creature belly crawling in the tall prairie grass on an intercept course with the path. He quickly drops off his horse and makes his way towards the ambusher and discovers a large one eyed giant lurking in the tall grass. The cyclops is challenged by Hammah and stands to demand payment in the way of food to proceed. “Leave me the mule, and I will let you proceed.” Hammah negotiates with the cyclops saying he will retrieve game for in the stead of the mule and the cyclops agrees. He disappears into the distance and returns several hours later with a fallen deer. He gives the prize to the cyclops and the cyclops takes his leave peacefully.
Upon arrival at the castle, all but Hammah, Cole, Wynnin and Theartist stay in the ruined buildings above ground to stave off any encroachment of enemies from the rear. The other four make their way into the dungeons. The small quartet finishes searching the level where they saved the slaves and quickly find the way downstairs in the throne room of the ruling orc who has seemingly disappeared with any who were left after the inferno in the lair of the minotaur.
Wynnin makes his way down the stairway and carefully examines an blank stone wall discovering a doorway further into the lair. He slowly and quietly opens the door, only to feel the door suddenly give and a large net filled with old, rusty armor which makes a terrible racket. Wynnin tells the group that obviously this was designed to warn inhabitants and perhaps they should return again tomorrow. Hammah convinces the group the the heroic thing to do is continue and he makes his way through the doorway into the empty room containing only brown colored stains on the floor obviously a sign of previously held bloody combat. He sees a canvas curtain hanging on one of the walls, and sees a figure move away from the curtain as it swings back into place and footsteps scurry down the hallway along with a bellowed warning.
Hammah moves over to the curtain and peeks behind it. Through the dim light of his torch, he can just make out the figure of a humanoid standing just at the edge of the light down the hall. He decides to pull the curtain and throw a torch to light the path. When he pulls the curtain, he feels a click and is suddenly faced with an enormous morningstar swinging like a pendulum into his chest and just grazing Cole as Cole dives to one side.
Wynnin tried to acrobatically tumble past the swinging weapon and was caught in the back as the weapon swung back in the other direction, propelling him further down the hallway. The rest of the party hurriedly moved down the hallway to engage the bugbear as two of his comrades joined in the fray from a room just beyond their vision. They quickly dispatched the bugbears and moved down an adjoining hallway.
They came upon the first door and Wynnin deftly opened it, seeing a wizened orc with glasses and hunched over with age instructing four other orcs in the ways of alchemy. He snuck into the room and dispatched the orcish alchemist with a sly stroke that severed his carotids. Theartist nocked his bow with a flaming arrow that slammed into a table igniting the components in a large flash of flame injuring two of the orcs. The rest of the party flowed into the room and struck down the remaining orcs. The party scavenged all the alchemical objects as Hammah eagerly identified them. Hammah then searched the body of the alchemist and noticed a bag of Shifting Sand which can be shaped into an item and, when returned to the bag, reverts to flowing sand.
As they searched the room across the hall, they came upon the body of a flayed troglodyte. Unsure of its meaning they decided to move forward into the complex.
The group proceeded down the hall and found caves that appeared to be mines. Uninterested in exploring mines they returned to the previous hallway and followed it to its end. They came across a door that they were unable to open through rougish skill and moved to a second doorway. This door opened into a small orc barracks with four sleeping orcs. They slid quietly into the room and dispatched them in their sleep.
They found another hallway which veered off the main and came upon another doorway. As they opened this room, Theartist could see several one-legged figures standing motionless against the far wall. He brought a thunderstone into his hand and hurled it at the figure. As the loud boom was emitted from the stone, the rest of the party quickly closed and finished off the four practice dummies.
A search of this room revealed a large altar. Wynnin could tell that something seemed odd about the altar, but he could not discern what did not seem right to his studious eye. The party moved on.
The next door the party came upon was searched by Wynnin who determined the door was trapped with a wire. He pinned the wire in place and had Theartist check his handiwork After both agreed the trap had been disabled, the party moved through the door. Unfortunately, the soon discovered that the disarmament had not been successful as a small stone fell to the floor letting out a large “boom!”. The four orcs occupying the room suddenly came to attention and Cole swiftly moved in to deal with the threat. As the party fought, another group of six more orcs, obviously warned by the loud noise, came to the aid of their comrades. The party fought bravely but Cole, Wynnin, and eventually Hammah all fell to the bite of their morningstars. Theartist, realizing he was outmatched began running toward the exit in an attempt to notify those above of the fate of their comrades. An orc chased him down, and Theartist realized that running was fruitless. He then relied on the magic of his voice and charmed the orc into believing he was an ally. He quickly ordered the orc to give him his cloak and disguised himself as one his enemies. He returned to the five remaining enemies and told them their was a troglodyte attack taking place in the mines. The orcs rushed passed him in an attempt to fight off the supposed foe.
Theartist quickly used a healing potion, used sparingly on each of his fallen comrades, to return them to conciousness. The foursome retreated down the hallway and through the exit.