After taking a well-deserved rest in the hidden room on the first level of the dungeon, Ava Stone and her compatriots descended the staircase to the second level. As they approached the door, a voice on the other side belted out the phrase “Shadow seeks shadow!” Faced with a choice of two possible passwords, the party chose to use the password found on the body of Kalarel’s lieutenant, who fell in the Winterhaven graveyard. Unfortunately, this passcode was a ruse – Kalarel had given Ninaran the missive with an incorrect password in case Ninaran was slain, and the hobgoblins in the room were forewarned. They allowed our heroes entry in an attempt to ambush them, but were quickly defeated before they could sound an alarm, or release the giant spider kept in a cage nearby.
Proceeding through the level with stealth and poise, the group was challenged at every turn by ever-swelling masses of hobgoblins. After one such fight, they took a captive, Krusk, a (relatively) well-spoken hobgoblin warrior who gave some useful information about the Warchief’s abilities and the terrain of the rest of the compound. At his request, Krusk was knocked unconscious and placed in the spider cage, after receiving assurances that the party would release him on their way back if successful.
Forewarned, Ava, Soren, and Aron proceeded to the Warchief’s council chamber, where they snuck into the small room where he was berating his minions. With his support quickly dispatched, the Warchief, whose abilities on his own were not particularly devastating, the Warchief fell quickly, allowing the party to turn their attention to the hobgoblin soldiers approaching from the other side. Some ran, intimidated by the fall of the Warchief; those that stayed were slain to a man. Occupying the Warchief’s room as a defensible position, the party rested from their recent battles as they prepared to make their run against Kalarel’s dark rituals below.