After a healthy rest and time of training, Novak’s friends made ready to return to the ancient monastery to kill any remaining hobgoblins. The big elf hired two swordsells to protect him and to replace the thief they’d rescued and the fighter with the broken arms, Irving.
They marched half a day, stopping to talk with the witches who reminded them how they’d promised to kill the ogres. The hobgoblins in the monastery were first on the list of monsters to kill, Novak explained. They marched on, skirting the clearing and slipped through a hole in the walls.
A Second Drink from the Fountain
They entered the building via the same side entrance and made directly for the fountain. All drank and were invigorated but two who felt the icy hands of paralysis. So they camped overnight in the fountain room. They heard nothing and were not disturbed.
Checking the weapon and armor cache, they found a significant portion removed. They reasoned hobgoblins fled, taking what they could use and leaving the rest. Next, they went down a level to re-examine the quarters of the evil priest and then the evil chapel. Besides the body being partially eaten, all was as it was when they left it weeks before.
Across the hall from the priest’s quarters, they found a well-furnished room. Novak stuffed a silver candelabra in a sack. A sack of gems from a desk drawer he poured into his belt pouch, the one with more room inside than out. With it, he stashed a small statuette of the evil god.
Death by Rot Grub
Down a hallway, they found a room with two corpses inside. The dwarf did not recognize them. They were decomposed and missing large chunks of flesh. The little elf dashed in to grab arrows from a quiver. The rest of them gasped as they saw several rot grubs leap from the bodies. The little elf wasn’t sure what was happening, but the rest of them debated a remedy as the worms crawled under the skin.
Suddenly, the half-elf sprung into action! Arrow in hand, he began stabbing wildly at the squirming patches. A puncture through the final grub pushed through into the little elf’s chest. Thick blood flowed from the wound, the cure as bad as the illness. With the little elf’s life ebbing away, the half-elf threw him over his shoulder and bolted from the monastery, hoping for emergency help from the witches.
Partway through the tall grass of the field, he came face to face with a giant lizard who promptly opened his huge jaws and out darted a thick, sticky tongue. For several moments, the half-elf darted about, avoiding strikes from that giant tongue. Then he turned to flee, only able to muster a feeble jog while lugging the little elf. The lizard struck once more, this time snatching the little elf. Off the half-elf’s back and into the lizard’s gaping maw, the little elf disappeared forever.
With two members out, the rest of them kept exploring. Novak opened a door, spotted those terrible birds they’d fought months before and slammed the door. They found a passage to a small room with bars and the birds on the other side. Not worth killing, they turned to leave and faced a ghoul.
Novak rushed forward to fight, but the ghoul bit him savagely. He froze in place and before the other could intervene, the ghoul dragged him through a secret door and slammed it shut. For server moments, they puzzled over the door, finally turning to the dwarf who quickly poked a stone, causing the door to spring open. They rushed in to pummel the ghoul.
Novak came to his senses and they all began searching the room. Novak found another bag of gems that the again poured into his magic pouch. Suddenly the ghoul came to life again! He savagely bit at Novak’s man Bolcox in the groin area. Battle began anew. They persisted, killing the ghoul again and this time burning it to ash. The cleric healed Bolcox who now walked with a noticeable limp.
After that, the party kept exploring. While walking down a hallway, the floor opened and Novak, the elf, the cleric and Bolcox fell down into a chute, tumbling them into an octagonal room. The dwarf and the elf’s two hirelings remained far above.