Polarian the Seer (M:2), Brother Burkey (C:4), Garreth (C:1), Xero (T: 4), Braggle (H:3), Sabbitha (M:2), Zrax (F:2).
Prior to the delve, Brother Burkey, despite a pitiful Charisma, put out the word on the street that he was looking for a
meatshield henchman to join the group in the capacity of torch bearer, loot hauler and to be willing to fight. Amazingly, he managed to find a taker, one Durin (F:1), grounds keeper of the Shining Sparrow and seeker of greater fortunes.
[Since this was a short session, we jumped right to where the party left off last time, forgoing the trip to the ruins and descent to the 2nd level. Next session, we'll return to that format. ]
The party continued the exploration of the crypts, with the intent to get a sense of the scope of the perimeter of the 2nd level.
Zrax and Braggle led the way into the unknown.
Almost immediately they encountered a wraith but Brother Burkey called upon his god, Fahrvergnügen, and drove the creature into the corner where it was quickly brought down with judicious use of holy water. In the burial chamber there, they found a box with a glowing sigil on top.
Xero, who had gathered an undead skeleton's skull last delve, put it on the box and the skull turned into stone.
Creative use of a 10' pole by Zrax knocked the box to the ground and as luck would have it, the lock mechanism broke and the contents spilled out - a scroll and a small vial among a pile of silver and one large beautiful amethyst sphere. Sabbitha, who runs a small apothecary in town, was able to identify the potion by the scent as being one of fire resistance.
Neither magic-user has read magic, and so no one has any idea what the scroll contains.
As the party debated some finer tactical points they were set upon by a gang of murderous necromantic pixies, who did some damage but were dispatched without much concern.
In the same set of crypts, the party found the lost standard of the last garrison of Trelleborg. Knowing full well that reward for this is substantial, the party debated making an immediate exit of the dungeon to prepare for a trip south, to Hedeby. For good or ill, they decided to continue exploration, and a short time later were set upon by a pack of ghouls.
They returned to their southward advance and heard screeching and growling and other terrible sounds. SWAT mode engaged, they tossed a lit flask of oil down the hall to light the way, rather than risk being surprised by anything. The flaming pool of oil lit up the crypts and drew the attention of two tall, bulky, fugly, gobliny looking thugs who, seeing the source of the fire, charged.
Combat was brutal.
Braggle was dropped, paralyzed to the ground. Sabitha prepared to cast light directly into the eyes of one of the creatures, but was struck and paralyzed before she could get off the spell. Still, the party killed one of the things (they were thouls) and Polarion cast Charm and ensorceled the remaining monster. Lacking any kind of language commonality, Polarion used the secret signs of Chaos to communicate simple commands to the thoul, who now took a space in the front rank of the party.
The source of the screeching was found to be a bound and gagged harpy and several others were found bound and gagged in another crypt. Taking no chances, the party dispatched them. For their troubles, they found a potion of gaseous form and a rope of climbing (which had been used to bind the first harpy they found).
A brief sojourn down an eastward hall led to an encounter with a pack? of giant tiger beetles. The thoul proved somewhat ineffective in combat until he scored a hit and paralyzed one of the beetles, allowing its easy slaying. One of beetles managed to deal some damage to Zrax, but they were eventually dispatched, with Braggle delivering a particularly smiting blow.
A final encounter with some zombies who resisted turning by both Garreth and Brother Burkey, finished off the exploration for the day.
With the thoul disguised in a cloak, the party returned to Gorgoroth to rest and to plan a trip to Hedeby.