Novak led the ragtag crew away from the locked cell to where the elves told him about a torture chamber. He instructed the small elf to stay with his man, Bolcox, but noticed a moment later that the elf had followed along, leaving Bolcox alone. Before he could protest, the forest elf barged through a door into a room carpeted with bear skins. That room gave up a secret door, which the forest elf again rushed into. A frail cleric looked up and gasps a surprise. Novak intended to rush in and tackle the foe, but the evil works slipped past those foul lips and both he and the elf felt the icy grip of magic hold them in place.
The rest piled into the room to beat down the evil cleric. Novak could only watch as his friend, the holy cleric, was knocked down. But but the evil one doubled over when stabbed in the side by the little elf. The moment the magical hold lifted from Novak, he rushed to the cleric, pulled a vial of berry juice from his sack and poured it into his unconscious mouth. A few minutes later, the cleric was revived to vigor.
Another secret door opened to an evil chapel, dominated by a statue of the devil they’d seen elsewhere. This one was carved of pumice. Jewels glimmered in eye sockets, calling to be extracted. The big elf climbed with ease and began chiseling one out with a dagger and a hammer. Out popped the jewel as Novak pushed pews against the double doors opposite the dias. Suddenly a dark shape flapped out the eye hole, soon followed by several other giant flies. This time it was the big elf’s turn to be dropped. Novak rushed to pull him to safety, considering a full retreat.
Yet the flies dropped, as they are wont. The cleric saw to the fallen elf and Novak rejoined his comrades to stab at flies, and soon they were all dead. They removed the other jewel from the statue and made plans to retreat. They fetched Bolcox, who needed help walking due to a broken leg, then picked their way back through the hole in the outer wall and to the graveyard.
Hiding in the crypt, they spotted torches and hobgoblins spreading out from the monastery. But they were safe from the superstitious hobgoblins. After the sun rose, they marched towards where they were told the mongrel men made home, and presently they came to a cave from which emitted a fearsome growl, exactly like that of a bear. “Ho! Mongrelmen! It is I, Novak!” he cried.
The admiring monsters greeted them and offered healing and food. Though of questionable quality, they all partook of the feast offerings. The next day, the rescued thief showed obvious distress, his skin hot to the touch and needing help to move along.
Before long they came to the clearing in the middle of which stood a small cottage. Two women came forth and invited them in. Novak and the rest worked past initial skepticism and eventually accepted the hospitality of the two matrons. Entering the hovel, they marveled at the cavernous inside, clearly a work of supreme magic. Ready to accept all that the old ladies told them, they accepted a quest to collect ogre heads, and the forest elf rushed back to find the body of the ogre they’d stashed in bushes few weeks before. When he returned a few hours later, the two matrons were appreciative and promised a potion as reward when they’d completed their work.
In the mean time, they offered two healing potions and a potion of invisibility. Additionally, they told of an ogre encampment nearby, to which the party planned to explore but not before a return to Malcolmsfort. The trip was uneventful, and they made their way directly to the merchant to exchange loot for coin.
It was confirmed that the mace taken from the evil cleric offered magical advantage, and their cleric took it up as his main weapon. They split the the loot and went their own ways to train and relax. Novak paid no mind to a few other baubles, such as a book the big elf kept. He was glad to have a magical ring that protected from fire and a new belt pouch that held much more than its outside size would allow.