Midday, Eleasis 24th, 1479DR
And so, the brave adventurers depart from the Seven-Pillared hall, and descend the Deep Stair. Ereven is suitably worried when they pass several signs that direct them to the Underdark further down this very path.
After an hour or so the path opens into a deep chasm, and continues clinging to one side. They proceed cautiously, unsure of what may be ahead. They soon see the Hold in the distance, towers cut from the living rock on both sides of the chasm, bridges spanning the void to join the north and south outposts. They spot the main entrance, a portcullis guarded by several orcs, and immediately try to strike up a conversation.
Normally this might work, but the orcs had been alerted by the Duergar that had escaped the attack on the trading post, and so they attacked without hesitation. After some struggle, and finding out that spears can reach through bars quite nicely, they get the portcullis up and finish off the orcs. This time they are sure to leave none alive to raise the alarm. Due to having now completed 42 seconds of work, the group found a secure location for a 6 hour rest.
Refreshed and ready for another few minutes work, the party continue to explore the Hold, finding the forge room next. Amongst the flames of the forges, and the glint of steel, the duergar blacksmith and his apprentices are quickly killed. They search the area, and having cleared this entire section of the Hold, lock the doors and have another rest.
It is during the search that Ereven locates the Sceptre that Gendar had asked them to retrieve, with what looks like a stone hand wrapped around the handle. Ereven inspects it, and notices it only has a thumb and one finger, and seems to be talking to him…
Eleasis 25th, 1479DR
Fully rested, they move deeper into the Hold, coming across what appears to be the main hall. Avoiding this however, they move onto explore other areas. Following standard procedure, Ereven approaches a door, checks for traps, and then stealthfully opens the door. This time however, he is greeted by the glaring eyes of a mind-flayer ready to strike! He promptly shuts the door, and runs for his life.
Deciding that taking on the Illithid is a bad idea, they regroup and explore the rest of the area, finding the kitchen with two human slaves, and the main hall full of Duergar. They free the humans, and bait the Duergar into a funnel of death, dealing with them quite easily. Soon they realise that to progress they must go through the room with the mind-flayer, not something they really want to do. In a wonderful example of team work, they develop a strategy, plan the attack and buff up. Then Ereven cut off his hand.
Finally listening to the voices, he jammed the stone hand onto his bleeding stump, it merged and became one with him, enhancing his body and granting new powers. Now, he was ready to fight the Illithid. Screaming their battle cries they flung the door open and charged…into a wonderful example of taxidermy. Minotaurs not only liked statues, but also to stuff and mount their enemies it would seem.
north fortress finish in horned hold