After a well earned rest where our adventurers thought up some new tricks it was time for the assault on the keep proper.
Leaving Osborn for a few more hours of rest the remaining party carefully peeked through the trap door into the next room to be greated by some loud Goblin snooring.
Being of the sneaky types the two rogues snuck in and quickly dealt to the green b’stards so their entry went unnoticed.
Faced with a choice of directions our hero’s decided to follow the passage they assume went around the outer limits of the keep and soon came across a grand dining room that had seen better days.
And judging by the numerous Goblins bustling around the cooking fire, including one massively fat one, it had seen better clientele too!
Again the party managed to get the drop on their enemies and gave them a good drubbing, luckily again managing to stop the alarm from being raised.
This treat contained the party moved on, with only the slightest delay while Bob raided the Goblin larder for some unsavoury looking ingredients.
Next the party came to a long wide corridor with a door on either side.
While Mal listened at the door on the right Bob stuck his head into the one on the left and barely managed to keep it on his shoulders as a Hobgoblin tried to relieve him of it.
A short brutal fight proceeded where again our plucky protagonists emerged victorious.
A quick catch of breath and room rummage led to the decision to explore the room on the right.
Which upon opening revealed a darkness that no light the party could muster seemed to penetrate.
This was no magical darkness according to Perilous the cleric, but an unholy darkness.
A quick decision was made, by Mal, to explore the dark room. So he boldy strode in carrying with him a rope that the party had tethered in the corridor so that he could find his way back if he got into trouble.
The room turned out to be not particularly large and a quick amount of stumbling around led Mal to a break in the darkness where he spied some Goblin priests preparing to sacrifice a body on an Alter.
Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor Mal tried to summon the rest of the party with a quick tug of the rope but after some futile tugging realised that while the ranger had been smart enough to think of the rope as a tether nobody had thought of a system of rope pulls to communicate.
Frustrated Mal made his way back down the rope to the group at the entrance to summon help.
After a brief discription of the room and the scene on the far side the group headed back in with hands on each others shoulders to keep in formation.
However it was not long before Bob at the rear felt something fall on him and try to grapple him.
Surprised he stumbled backwards releasing hold of Perilous who turned around and proceeded to lay about himself in the darkness with his mace, in turn releasing his grip on Vasardi.
Vasardi likewise loosing contact with the member following her felt around and quickly located the tangle of thrashing bodies and proceeded to try to enter the fray.
This quickly brough the issue to the attention of Branic who decided to try to convey a sense of danger to Mal by tapping him urgently on the shoulder.
At which point the two party members also found the trashing mound of limbs and weapons and not being able to tell arseholes from elbows they both came to the surprisingly coincidental decision to bum rush the whole pile of bodies back out into the corridor.
Here the group discovered that Bob had been attacked by some strange changling type monster with the tentacles and a beak so they proceeded to beat the living snot out of it, but not before it had managed to take a few chunks out of Bob.
A quick repair job was done by Perilous and off the group went through the darkness again.
Unmolested on this journey the group came to the edge of the darkness just in time to see the head priest plunge an evil looking dagger into the victim they had on the altar.
Chargrined Mal charged the Goblins while the rest of the group entered the fray as well, with Perilous doing his best to pull the sacrifice back from deaths door.
The Goblins where quickly bested revealing the poor soul to be a Dwarf that Mal recognised but obviously wasn’t too fond of, but not so dislikeful to wish the end that was approaching him.
Perilous while unable to save the Dwarf did manage to pull his soul back from a descent into hell and set him on the path to what ever afterlife that Dwarves look forward too. Probably something involving lots of beer and small hairy women.
Feeling an urgency that was partly fed by a growing sense of disquiet and partly by the wish to revenge the fallen Dwarf the party forged onwards.
They quickly heard loud voices arguing, apparently over some map, so again tried to sneak up on their enemies, but this time they were unable to take their foes by surprise and the battle was joined.
In one corner we had a huge Bugbear with an equally massive Wolf, and an Elf with a dark complexion that Branic, not having seen on in person but hearing tales of them, took to be a Drow.
In the other corner we had a party of some repute, mostly ill.
In another corner there looked to be a body.
Quickly Branic fired an arrow at tne Drow and managed to strike a glancing blow which unfortunately didn’t deter the dark Elf from in turn casting a spell at the advancing Vasardi who managed to fight off the brief clouding of her mind.
Then Mal charged into the fray hurling abuse at the Bugbear, something like ‘I fart in your general direction’.
This enraged the Bugbear who proceeded to bash Mal into the ground like he was hammering in a tent peg, all the while with the Wolf deciding that it likes the taste of tent pegs.
With Perilous and Bob going to Mals aid, and with Branic’s view blocked by the wolf this left Vasardi alone to face the dark elf caster.
Again the Drow cast a spell at Vasardi and unfortunately this time she was not able to ward off the effects as she felt her muscles begin to lock.
With this accomplished the Drow, deciding that the events in the room no longer interested her went to the body in the corner and took something off it and then opened a secret portal in the wall and passed through it.
Back to the main fight the Bugbear, having taken some punishing damage itself, finally managed to beat Mal to the ground despite the best efforts of Perilous to keep him up which left it up to Branic to impose himself between the Bugbear and his fallen comrade.
With his shortswords in hand, and with Bob hiding behind him, Branic managed to strike his huge opponent down with two well placed blows.
The wolf, with the slaying of his master, prepared to leap on Branic in revenge only to be shafted from behind by the now free, and thoroughly pissed off, Vasardi.
The immediate danger past Perilous roused Mal and the party took stock of the situation.
It was discovered that the body was in fact a living breathing, but slightly worse for wear, Dwarf which again was from a family that Mal didn’t give much stock too, and to be fair with his first words being to accuse the party of theft didn’t raise much warmth from the other members either.
Of the Drow no trace of her exit could be found so the party then took their time to consider their options…