Monday, August 10, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 12

Savan 22, Year 752
Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer, 3rd Level
Abazu Sorn, Human Cleric of Sahva, 3rd Level
Kaleb, Halfling Rogue, 3rd Level

Acheron, Human Wizard/Fighter 2nd/1st Level

 Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Barbarian, 3rd Level  Dead

Resting another day on the troglodyte level, the party heads back down to Level 5.  They make their way back towards the room where they fought the large water elemental.  Before they do so, there was a passage heading east they did not go down.  Kaleb takes the lead, and since the two feet of water flooding the passage is murky, he could not see another flight of steps heading downwards, and almost slips down into the water.  He recovers and does not fall, but since this is deeper water and would require swimming from him, the party decides to head back to the room where they fought the large water elemental the day before.

The party approach the chamber and this begins the major battle of the session.  There was a chance that every four hours or so that either one or both of the other two Undine Summoners on this level would be in the chamber resting or sleeping.  As it turned out both were here.  One sleeping and the other awake with her Eidolon.  The sleeping Undine was named Dayana and the one that was awake was Senethar.

Senether spent the first two rounds casting buffs on her Eidolon (Mage Armor) and Haste so that both Undines and the Eidolon were hasted.  Dayana used her spell-like ability of Monster Summon III to summon a Giant Frog which she positioned to block Yaotl from getting closer to her of Senethar.  Senether kept the Eidolon in front of her since she benefits from an increased AC when it is within reach of her.

The Giant Frog managed to bite and grab onto Yaotl and the Eidolon closed in to attack him.  Yaotl was raging but he was getting clobbered by the hasted Eidolon.  Nobody attacked the Eidolon since they learned that if you kill the Summoner it belongs to, it will be banished back to it's home plane, so everyone concentrated their attacks on Senethar.

Yaotl managed to break free of the Giant Frogs grab and killed it with his battle axe.  Dayana then followed up with summoning an Electric Eel the next round.  Senethar cast a Ray of Sickening at Abazu, who made his save and did not suffer any ill effects.  Acheron was using his Hand of the Apprentice to make ranged attacks with his falcata against Senethar.

Yaotl was killed by the Eidolon, despite healing from Abazu from his Channel Positive Energy ability.  This enabled the Electric Eel to move to attack him, but Abazu was able to get a free attack since he had a reach weapon.  Dayana had cast Glitterdust, but both Kord and Kaleb made their saves and were unaffected. 

Kaleb moved to try and attack the eel with his shortsword, hoping to get a flank on it, but that did not pan out.  He did get shocked by the eel and was stunned for 4 rounds.  Someone else managed to finally kill the eel.

Senethar had cast Glitterdust in an area where Abazu and Acheron were positioned, but they made their saves as well.  Senethar was finally killed by a critical strike by Acheron throwing his falcata using his Hand of the Apprentice ability.  This made the Eidolon disappear.  Dayana screamed in fury and consumed a potion of Invisibility.  The next round, she summoned a Giant Crocodile which began to attack Acheron and managed to grab him in it's jaws.  She then moved behind him on the next round to cast Corrosive Touch, but he had broken out of the grab and she missed with the spell.  She was killed shortly thereafter.

The party scored some nice loot whinch included a potion of cure moderate wounds, a potion of invisibility, two +1 chain shirts, a +1 adamantine battle axe, gems, jewelry and gold and some other gear and another Spire Transport Token and a scroll with a rune on it that was similar to the other sigils they found on each level of the Emerald Spire.  This one was "Six".

The party wanted to head back to Throxia to rest and sell their loot and find a replacement for Yaotl.  Kord and Acheron made use of their Spire Transport tokens to teleport themselves and Abazu and Kaleb up to Level 1, thereby avoiding having to make their way past Level 3 on foot which had proven difficult for them because of the defenses and hostile humans there.

The party made it back to Throxia and the player of Yaotl made a new character, but we didn't have time to get her introduced to the party and we ended the session there.  They sold that +1 adamantine battle axe, which I think was a big mistake, because there is a definite use for it on the next level.  (i.e. overcoming damage reduction and ignoring hardness of objects).

This battle gained the party enough XP to level up to Level 4.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 11

Savan 21, Year 752

Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer, 3rd Level
Abazu Sorn, Human Cleric of Sahva, 3rd Level
Kaleb, Halfling Rogue, 3rd Level
Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Barbarian, 3rd Level
Acheron, Human Wizard/Fighter 2nd/1st Level

After spending a day resting, healing and recovering spells back on the troglodyte level, the party heads back down to level 5.  Kord investigates the emerald spire column and find the sigil which translates as "Five" inscribed on it and makes a copy of it.

The passage on the east wall descends a few steps into a flooded passage filled with 2 feet of water.  They proceed down the passage heading east.  This puts the water level for Kaleb and Kord at about chest-height since they are small and it makes it slow travel for the party (difficult terrain).  The water is murky, but growing on the walls at the waterline are small bio-luminescent corals.  The light they give off is very dim, about that of a candle.

They see a flooded room to the south that reeks of shellfish and rotting garbage.  Yoatl is leading the party and can see a large pile of bones and other refuse in the southwest corner of the room which has hundreds of toad-sized crabs clambering all over it.  They approach the chamber and are attacked by a crab swarm.  Yaotl is attacked as he was closest and leading the group into the room.  The party quickly discovers that trying to attack the swarm of crabs with weapons is fruitless given their numbers and the fact they are underwater provides them cover from spells.   Kord tried to cast a Burning Hands spell on the crab swarm, but learned that since the area is flooded with water, his spell will be difficult to cast and requires concentration.  He fails his casting of the spell and loses it.  The party makes a tactical withdrawal back to the first room where they fought the undine summoner the day before.  Their intention is to lure the crab swarm out of the water into the room since it is not flooded.  This tactic works better for them, but it uses most of their spells and some flasks of alchemist fire to finally defeat the swarm.

The party decides to press on.  They go back into the room with the pile of bones and examine it.  A thorough search would require an hour and they decide against it and move on down the flooded passage.

The passage narrows heading east and a small passage on the south wall leads to another flooded chamber where the water is clearer.  A small passage heads east out of the chamber.  To the south is a wide passage and the sounds of waterfall.  The party enters the room where they are surprised by a water elemental that erupts and forms out of the water in the room and attacks.  They defeat the elemental and Yaotl investigates the sound of the waterfall.  He finds a low wall constructed by stones and debris about 2 feet high.  Water trickles over the wall like a waterfall into a large flooded chamber below that is lower than the area the party is in.  Yaotl almost slips due to the current near the wall, but he manages to recover his balance and rejoins the party.

Meanwhile the rest of the party is investigating the passage leading east out of the room.  It is a large flooded chamber with tables within and some items piled atop them. Acheron cast a spell to detect magic and detected an aura inside a chest on one of the tables on the far side of the room. Heading into the chamber to check out the items, a large water elemental appears out of the water and attacks the party.  This elemental almost kills Acheron with it's watery fists pummeling him and the rest of the party with cleaving attacks.  Abazu managed to grab Acheron and pull him out of the chamber in order to save his life.  The party finally manages to defeat the elemental, but it was a very pitched battle that nearly could have killed them all.

Kaleb checks out the chest and finds foodstuffs and a potion.  Kord examines the potion and discovers that it is a Water Breathing potion.

There is a shimmering effect centered on the north wall of the room.  Investigation discovers that it is a portal to the Elemental Plane of Water and that water is flowing into the room every few rounds.  It is only large enough for a small creature to enter it, but a medium creature could squeeze through it.  The party try to block the portal with one of the tables, but it is not a water-tight obstruction, so water still flows into the room.  They also discover two iron-grated hatches, one each in two different alcoves on the south wall.  Each hatch covers a shaft leading downwards about 10 feet before turning south.  These are flooded with water, but there are iron rungs set into the side of the shafts.

The party decides to head back up to the troglodyte level to rest.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Kruthik [5E Monster Conversion]

Below is a conversion of the Kruthik monster for 5th Edition D&D. 

Kruthiks are insectoid creatures(but they only have 4 legs instead of 6) with a hard chitinous shell.  Their chitin is a silvery metallic color.  They  burrow through the earth and hunt in packs.  They make nests in subterranean caves and tunnels.  The tunnels that they make remain intact behind them.  Kruthiks communicate in a series of hisses and clicks. 

Small, beast (insectoid), unaligned
Armor Class: 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 4 (1d6+1)
Speed: 40ft, , burrow 10ft, climbing 40ft
  STR      DEX      CON     INT     WIS     CHA
13 (+1)   16(+3)   13(+1)   4(-3)   10(+0)   6(-2)
Senses: tremorense 50ft, low-light vision, passive Perception 10
Languages: --
Challenge: 1/8 (25xp)
Gnashing horde:  A kruthik hatchling that attacks a target while another kruthik is within 5ft of the target, gains advantage on the attack roll.
Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit , reach 5ft., one target.
Hit: 2 (1d3+1) slashing damage.

Small, beast (insectoid), unaligned
Armor Class: 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 18 (4d6+4)
Speed: 40ft, , burrow 10ft, climbing 40ft
  STR      DEX      CON     INT     WIS     CHA
15 (+2)   16(+3)   13(+1)   4(-3)   12(+1)   6(-2)
Senses: tremorense 50ft, low-light vision, passive Perception 1
Languages: --
Challenge: 1/4 (50xp)
 Gnashing horde:  A kruthik young that attacks a target while another kruthik is within 5ft of the target, gains advantage on the attack roll.

Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit , reach 5ft., one target.
Hit: 5 (1d6+2) slashing damage.

Medium, beast (insectoid), unaligned
Armor Class: 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 45 (6d8+18)
Speed: 30ft, , burrow 15ft, climbing 30ft
  STR      DEX      CON     INT     WIS     CHA
17 (+3)   18(+4)   17(+3)   4(-3)   12(+1)   8(-1)
Senses: tremorense 50ft, low-light vision, passive Perception 1
Languages: --
Challenge: 2 (450xp)
 Gnashing horde:  A kruthik adult that attacks a target while another kruthik is within 5ft of the target, gains advantage on the attack roll.

Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit , reach 5ft., one target.
Hit: 8 (1d10+3) slashing damage.

Toxic Spikes (Recharge 5-6): Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 60/120ft, two targets.
Hit: 8 (1d8+4 ) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 3 (1d6) poison damage.  If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable, but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, and is paralyzed while poisoned in this way.

Large, beast (insectoid), unaligned
Armor Class: 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 76 (8d10+32)
Speed: 30ft, , burrow 15ft, climbing 30ft
  STR      DEX      CON     INT     WIS     CHA
20 (+4)   18(+4)   18(+4)   4(-3)   12(+1)  10(+0)
Senses: tremorense 50ft, low-light vision, passive Perception 1
Languages: --
Challenge: 3 (700xp)
 Hive frenzy:  All allied kruthik within 20ft of the hive lord gain advantage on attack rolls.

Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit , reach 10ft., one target.
Hit: 9 (1d10+4) slashing damage.

Acid Spray (Recharge 6): The kruthik hive lord spits acid in a cone that is 30ft wide.  Each creature in that cone must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) acid damage on a failed save, or half damage from a successful save.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 10

Savan 20th, Year 752

Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer, 3rd Level
Abazu Sorn, Human Cleric of Sahva, 3rd Level
Kaleb, Halfling Rogue, 3rd Level
Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Barbarian, 3rd Level
Acheron, Human Wizard/Fighter 2nd/1st Level

At the end of last game, the party returned to Throxia to rest up to regain their spells and heal up ability damage from being hit by poisoned crossbow bolts.  Kaleb visited his friend Dhullifol who was missing for a few days.  Kaleb managed to find him in a local halfling tavern and he was told that the rat population in the sewers had decreased dramatically.  This worries Dhullifol as he makes his living as a rat-catcher and he doesn't know what he is going to do to make a living.  He has been exploring the sewers, but hasn't found a cause.  Kaleb later sells his old armor for a new masterwork chain shirt.  Yaotl puts a down payment on a new masterwork greatsword.  The next day the party heads back to the Emerald Spire.

One their way to the dungeon, they are attacked by a group of bandits who try to ambush the party from atop several piles of rubble that is common throughout the ruins outside of Throxia.  The party took out these petty bandits fairly quickly.  The bandits had no treasure, but the party took their weapons and armor and buried them nearby in a small cache to retrieve later on their way back.

They headed back down the Level 3 and discovered that the men who occupied the area beyond the wall with the arrow-slits and reinforced door had taken precautions and fortified their base.  The area outside the door was covered in caltrops.  Acheron blew on his Horn of Fog to provide cover from any attacks by crossbow fire like last time.  This of course, announced their presence and muffled alarms could be heard in the distance.

Soon a male human voice called out from one of the arrow slits.  "Oh, so you have returned.  We are ready this time and you won't find it so easy to invade our home to kill and steal."

Kaleb asked "Has anyone ever got past the gate here?"

The voice replied. "Some such as yourselves have tried.  Some made it, others did not."

Kaleb followed up, "We are seeking two wizards, did any pass by this way?"

The voice replied, "I don't know, but if any did I doubt they will survive Klarkosh's wrath.  He dislikes wizards and he has tasked us to prevent anyone from going further into the Spire."

At this point the parlay broke down, and the party approached the door and tried to gain entry.  Oil was poured through the arrow slits from the men beyond and lit aflame, making it difficult to move close to the arrow slits.  Then loud metallic clangs were heard as metal shutters we closed and sealed the arrow slits.

Kaleb had trouble with picking the door's lock.  Several times his thieves tools broke and made the work more difficult.  Eventually he gave up in frustration.

 The party quickly assessed that they were not going to be able to get past the door and decided to get past the iron gate.  Yaotl used his strength to bend the bars enough to allow everyone to squeeze through.  Once through the gate, they began to be fired upon by crossbows from the men on the far side of the chamber.  The party descended the small stairway downward. 

After a long descent that the stairway turned and twisted, they reached the 4th level of the dungeon whereupon their senses were assaulted by a horrendous stench.  The stair ended in a small chamber where there was a lone troglodyte who greeted them and was quite friendly.  It spoke in Draconic which Kaleb and Kord understood.  He introduced himself as Slaagh.

Slaagh announces "Welcome to Godhome.  You wish to make sacrifice now, or visit?  Take holy grub maybe?"

Kaleb expresses interest in the holy grub. 

Slaagh shows them to another room down the passage leading out of the small chamber that they arrived.  The door leading out is a copper-colored metal door that glows with a greenish light.  In the chamber and in the passages and rooms beyond are strange torch-like devices set in the walls that glow a greenish light.  Acheron casts a Detect Magic spell, but the objects do not radiate magic. 

Slaagh leads them to a room where there is a hexagonal basin filled with a pinkish, pasty substance.  In the room a two other troglodytes in the room touching up some wall paintings.  They look at the party for a few moments then return to their wall paintings.  Slaagh points to the vat and announces "Food.  Have some, yes?"

Kaleb glances at the others who are reluctant.  Not wanting to offend their host, he reaches in and takes a handful of the substance and eats it.  It tastes horrible as it is raw ground meat.  Kaleb succeeds in not getting ill from swallowing down this meal.  Slaagh then dips his hand in the vat and takes a bite of the food as well.  "Tasty, yes?"  He offers some to the others who say they are not hungry.

"Make sacrifice now to Godbox?"  Slaagh asks.

"What is the sacrifice?" asks Kord.

"Give the Godbox some iron metal and it will bless you and send you on your way.  All good visitors make gifts of iron-metal to the god." Slaagh replies.

The party agrees, relieved that the sacrifice isn't a live being.  Slaagh then opens another closed copper-colored metal door that glows green that leads from the food chamber to the hall of the Godbox.

The door opens and inside is a large chamber dominated by a hexagonal metallic structure about ten feet wide and twenty feet tall that looms in the center of the chamber.  It emanates a greenish-white light.  All kinds of mundane gear, like lanterns and tools as well as dozens of weapons, pieces of armor and shields are stuck to the side of the silvery metal of the object.  To the north and south of the object are two large looming statues of troglodytes with arms raised.  Slaagh announces "Behold the god in the box, Skraa-orm thagh!"

Almost immediately, the party could feel that every metal object they wear was being pulled upon by an unseen force.  They cautiously did not enter the room, but began to take out various metal objects such as spare daggers, crowbars and sledgehammers that they felt they would not need and threw them into the room.  They objects flew through the air and attached to the sides of the Godbox.  A green glow burst forth.  Slaagh then announces "The sacrifice has been accepted.  You are free to go anytime you wish.  I can show you the way."

Slaagh leads them out of the chamber back the way they came and down another passage.  Up ahead they see the familiar green glow of the emerald spire column set in the south wall of the passage.  Kord examines the column and finds the sigil identified as "Four" on it.  He takes note of this.

Slaagh leads them to a room that has a tall troglodyte statue in the northwest corner of the room.  In the northeast corner, a section of the floor is cut away revealing a stairway that descends into darkness.  Slaagh bids them farewell and say that if they wish to return this way again, they will be welcomed as guests.

The party thanks Slaagh and descend the stairs which meets a winding ramplike passageway that descends down 100 feet over a half-mile walk, ending in a low ceiling room.  The familiar green glow of the emerald spire column takes up the northwest one corner of the room.  There is a broad stairway leading down on the northeast wall, into a dark passage from which the sound of lapping water can be heard.  A small closed door is on the south wall.  In the room is a blue-skinned, blue-haired humanoid clad in silvery mail armor.  Flanking him is a hideous, four-legged orange crab monster with a small, blue, winged creature sitting on it's back.

The blue-skinned humanoid immediately claims "Who are you?  What are you doing here?"

The party responds that they are just passing through and ask if he had seen the wizards they are looking for.

"I don't know these wizards you are asking about, but you are not welcome here.  You are interrupting my research and you must leave!"

Kaleb goes over to the small door and opens it.  It is a small room that appears to have been a storage room at some time in the past.  There looks to be the remains of long-rotted supplies.

"That is NOT the way out!"  the blue-skinned humanoid yells. "Go back the way you came!"

The party says that they cannot and that they must continue past.  "Then you are trespassing in my and my sister's home."  Suddenly, the orange crab creature leaps towards Acheron and attacks.  There is a pitched battle.  The crab monster wails on Acheron sending him unconscious and near death.  The small blue creature is killed (later identified as a Water Mephit) and the blue-skinned humanoid (later identified as an Undine) is killed by Kaleb who drives his rapier into that humanoid's eye socket as he removed a scroll from a scroll tube and tried to cast a spell from it.  Upon his death, the orange crab monster vanished.

The party searched the area and the dead undine and found a potion, a scroll with a spell on it, they took the silvery chain shirt off the undine, his dagger and light crossbow with 10 masterwok bolts.  They found and removed the Ring of Protection +1 it wore and some pearls and gold amounting to 221 gold pieces.  They found a journal on the undine that detailed research on the emerald spire and how it had properties on this level that influenced portals to the elemental plane of water.

At this point, they decided they needed to rest before continuing onwards.  So they took the undine's body up the stairs with them and took Acheron's unconscious body back up to the level where the troglodytes lived and rested for a day to regain their spells and heal up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dungeons Deep (Pathfinder Battles Minis)

I had a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card sitting around collecting dust since last Christmas.  I've been debating what I wanted to use it for.  So, last week I used it to purchase a brick of 8 Boosters of the new Pathfinder Battles pre-painted miniatures set called Dungeons Deep.  Each booster contains one Large mini and 3 Medium or Small minis.  I must say, I think this is one of the better sets with regards to the paint jobs. 

The interesting thing about this set is that it has dungeon dressing pieces, such as a flaming brazier or a treasure chest.  I got a Sarcophagus and a Treasure chest.

What is strange is that Wizkids, the company which manufactures the minis for Paizo is also making the minis line for D&D.  And the quality of the paint jobs of the D&D minis are sad compared to the Pathfinder minis.  I had picked up a booster of the D&D minis a while back and was disappointed by the paint jobs and some of the sculpts.

So, what minis did I get?

1 Yithian
1 Frost Giant
1 Terror Bird
1 Ochre Jelly (a see-through material with bones of some creature inside).  Awesome.
1 Daughter of Urgathoa
2 Dire Bats
1 Dire Boar
1 Giant Crawling Hand
1 Dracolisk
1 Eando Kline (must be an NPC from one of Paizo's Adventure Paths)
1 Deinonychus
1 Gnoll Warrior
1 Gnome Mad Prophet
1 Baykok
1 Sasquatch
1 Sarcophagus
1 Chupacabra
1 Mimic
1 Treasure Chest
2 Goblin Archers
1 Dwarf Barbarian
1 Mi-go
2 Giant Centipedes
1 Nuglub Gremlin
1 Balazar (Iconic Gnome Summoner)
1 Puckwudgie
2 Mining Beetles
1 Mouth Horror (Gibbering Mouther)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rot Grubs: Dungeon Hazard for D&D 5th Edition

Some monsters from earlier editions of D&D do not have monster stat bocks, but instead have been classified as Dungeon Hazards, which essentially function as traps.  Such creatures as Green Slime, Yellow Mold and Brown Mold, are described on page 105 of the 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide.

One classic nasty little creature(s), the Rot Grub, would make a perfect Dungeon Hazard to give those greedy corpse-robbing player characters something to think twice about the next time they want to go rummaging through that dung or garbage pile.

Rot grubs reside in rotting substances, most commonly the rotted flesh of corpses, but they can also reside in offal, dung and rotting vegetation.  They resemble maggots of a size of about an inch long.  They viciously burrow into any living flesh which they come into contact with.

Anyone inspecting an object infested with rot grubs can make a  DC 14 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice any signs of infestation.  Anyone touching an object infested with rot grubs must make a DC 12 Dexterity Saving Throw or be exposed to the rot grubs which will emerge and begin to burrow into the person's limb or other extremity that made contact.  If the creature was wearing gloves or is fully armored or clothed in a way that minimizes the exposure of bare flesh, they may make the saving throw with advantage. The rot grubs do 3 (1d6) piercing damage on the first round of contact.  If fire is immediately applied to the rot grubs, they will be killed immediately, however the creature will also take 3 (1d6) fire damage if from say, a torch.  A fire-based spell will do it's damage if used to kill the rot grubs.

If no flame is used to kill the rot grubs on the first round they make contact, they then burrow into the flesh of the creature on the start of the next round.  After this point, fire cannot be used to kill them, as they are too deep within the flesh to be harmed.  The rot grubs then burrow towards the creature's heart.  A Paladin's Lay on Hands class ability that is used to cure disease will kill the rot grubs, as will a lesser restoration spell.  Another alternative is decapitating the limb.  This is effectively a critical hit using a slashing weapon that does maximum damage.

If the rot grubs reach the creature's heart, it immediately drops to 0 hit points.  Each round the rot grubs do 3 (1d6) necrotic damage and reduces the creature's hit point maximum by this amount.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 8 & 9

Month of Savan, 15th -19th, Year 752

Cast of characters: 

Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer, 3rd Level
Abazu Sorn, Human Cleric of Sahva, 3rd Level
Kaleb, Halfling Rogue, 3rd Level
Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Barbarian, 3rd Level
Acheron, Human Wizard/Fighter 2nd/1st Level

The party spends 4 days resting up ability damage from the spider venom.

Our intrepid adventurers return to the Emerald Spire and descend the shaft on level 2 down to level 3. From the bottom of the shaft is a flight of stairs leading down to the first chamber on Level 3. The chamber that is dimly lit by small oil lamps set in the walls, casting dim light.  A gate of iron bars blocks the way to the north.  To the east is a small fight of steps that leads to a landing.  The east wall of the landing is a stout iron-banded wood door.  The door is flanked by two arrow slits on each side. (Area C1)

Kaleb checks out the gate to find it is locked.  Beyond the gate he sees a chamber with a small flight of steps descending along the east wall about mid-way into the chamber.  The west side of the chamber is the familiar green glow of the green crystal column they have seen of the previous two levels.  On the far north side of the chamber is a small flight of steps that lead to a landing with a similar stout iron-banded door set in the center and flanked by two arrow slits on either side of the door. (Area C2)

A few moments go by when suddenly Kaleb is hit with a few crossbow bolts from the arrow slits from the east side of the chamber.  Acheron pulls out his Horn of Fog and begins blowing, causing the mists to roll forth to provide cover from their unseen attackers.  The party then starts heading towards the landing.  Soon, the chamber is covered in mist from the magical horn.  Kaleb reaches the door and discovers that the door is locked.  His attempts to pick the lock prove fruitless.  Yaotl tries to use brute strength to break through the door, but to no avail.  Abazu tries to stab at one of their attackers through one of the arrow slits with his longspear, but isn't really doing much.  Kord casts a Burning Hands spell through the other arrow slit where attacks have been coming from.  His flames apparently connect with a target as he hears a scream from a man on the other side.

Their assault on the door and their attacks against the men on the other side proves to be slow, as the intervening wall provides full cover.  The party discovers that the bolts fired at them are poisoned (drains CON) from the few that do hit them.  Finally Kord gets the idea that since he is a small enough, he could squeeze through the one of the arrow slits that doesn't seem to have an attacker on the other side.  He communicates this to Kaleb in the Halfling language, hoping to coordinate it with him so he will do the same thing.

Both of them manage to squeeze through the arrow slits and discover two humans armed with crossbows on the other side. (Area C3).   One of the humans runs to a runs to the north wall where a rope is suspended and he pulls the rope several times.  Somewhere in the distance a bell is sounded.
Kaleb and Kord manage to kill the two guards and unlock the door which was also secured by a wooden cross-bar.

The party spends some time searching the room.  On the same wall that the rope was suspended from, there is also a lever.  Acheron pulls the level and the party gears a mechanical sound in the wall.  Soon, the reinforcements that were alerted by the alarm raised by the guards arrive.  These are 3 more humans armed with crossbows, swords and leather armor.  The party make quick work of two of the guards, but one of them happens to duck into a door off the small passage to the south of the guard room, close the door and lock it. (Area C3).

This is where Game 8 ended and we froze the game to pick up next time for Game 9.

So at the start of Game 9, Kaleb checks the door to C3 for traps and finds none.  He picks the lock and has Yaotl open the door, ready for the guard on the other side.  They find the room is an armory with weapons and armor stacked on racks.  But there is no guard within the room.  Kaleb begins searching and discovers the secret door, which is a one-way door that opens out into the stairway the party entered the level on.

Suddenly, that guard appeared back in the guard room, having used the secret door to get behind the group and tried a sneak attack on Acheron but failed.  The others managed to kill him quickly.  The party then searched the armory and took an inventory of the weapons and armor that they would take on their way out.  They then proceeded cautiously down the east-west hallway south of the guard room.

(GM's Note:  The areas marked C4 on the map are traps that I decided to remove from the level.  I did not want to slow the game down with Kaleb inching along checking traps every 5 feet.  He has a feat that allows him to detect traps without actively searching for them.

When they reached the door outside of C6, Yaotl could see all the way down to the other end of the north-south hallway.  I noted that they saw 3 doors spaced next to each other on the east wall and each one was open.  The guards that responded to the alarm had opened these doors on their way to the guard room to alert the men in there.  Those men had taken up positions to the sides of the doorways and one was across the hall in the 5 foot hallway.  They were watching the party, planning to sneak attack them if they approached.)

The party decided to open the door to C6 and investigate the room there.  It appeared to be both a bunk-room and a small jail.  The party searched the room.  Kaleb opened the cell to the south and Acheron approached the cell to the north.  Then a strange sound started that sounded like several different voices, screams and nonsense all happening at once emanated from the cell in the north part of the room.  An amorphous creature with many eyes and mouths slithered out from under the cot in the cel and oozed through the bars to attack Acheron.  This was a tough battle with a Gibbering Mouther.  Kaleb was swallowed whole at one point of the battle and Acheron took most of the damage from it's attacks.  They managed to kill it, but by the time they did so, they were low on spells and healing, so they decided to leave.  They grabbed the gear from the armory and Kaleb made a few Disable Device checks to sabotage the secret door, the gate and the main guard room door on their way out.  He hoped this would help them get easier access the next time the came back.