A short trip to the shaft

After five days of divvying loot and preparing for the next step. the group investigates the rest of the gate captain’s compound. This reveals little but does put the group in conflict with five large and well-equipped trolls. A few strategic walls of fire and the warty foes are ashes. A bit of looting and searching reveals a steep stair to a large roll-up door. The door is opened and a room of pitch blackness is revealed. The darkness is so deep that it threatens to overpower even the aura of magical weapons. The party hugs the walls and scoots into the room. One of the columns lining the wall has a secret door that leads the group to a ledge in the secret shaft.

Passing beyond, the group enters a large room, using a bridge to pass over a lake of extremely black, very still water...

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…carry the one…

The group passes four or five days sleeping, healing and identifying items. Tallies are tallied and lists are constructed. Choice items are diced for and the party is fat with loot. Yet, they are disgruntled.
Being duped by Coburg’s squeeze has irked them, one and all. They are determined to push on and find a way to end his un-life.
They investigate the shaft and wander around a prison complex, view a torture chamber, find the waiting room revealed by the mirror they found in the lady’s bedroom and an exit to a catwalk that stretches across the top of the gates. There are signs of occupation, but all are in the distant past. It does not seem that this area has been utilized in some time...

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Leaky Vessel

The group de-ropes and springs into action – finding their way through a set of well-concealed sliding panels and into a privy. Out of the privy and into a study. Two doors present themselves. Traps and magic are detected on one, the other opens to a staircase leading downward.
Irresistible door gets the dispel magic treatment, and once opened, the Vessel of Souls writes a brief note indicating that there is a ring within that allows her to bypass locks in this place. This would greatly speed the party progress. The group enters the bedroom and sees the usual furniture plus a shuttered window. The window allows a view of the portico, causeway and area in front of the gates. The ring is found and given to the Lady of Garun...

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Salami Flood – or – The Birdman has no manners

The birdman ignores the advancing party, but there is no time to reflect on such appalling lack of manners for the dazzling view of the majesty of the city suddenly rises out of the mist, and a vast precipice plunges down into the bowels of the earth. Dazed by the imagery, the group is taken mostly unawares by the pack of plague hounds that staggers out of a squat building to the right of the portico entrance. The pit is in reality a set of mirrors that reflect the towers ahead and make them seem to be the roots of a large tree.
As the group rallies and engages the creatures that vomit clouds of plague dust and attack with savage claws, the birdman watches impassively...

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Portico Politics

After defeating the flesh-stripping devil, the group explores the last major gatehouse on the causeway before making the final push to the walls of the city. They discover a lot of spiders and a few tattered servants of the orc and goblin variety. One way or another everything is killed, with the exception of one huge spider that manages to wedge its bulky body out a hatch before the fireballs and missiles could claim its life. They find the flayed body of a dead dwarf and use the cleric’s powers to question the fallen soul about the general layout of the city they plan to enter, They learn the approach is guarded by an evil beast of some sort that examines all who pass...

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