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. The group resists the urge to throw things into the lake and encounters a series of columns – apparently made of bone. They stretch up into the darkness, beyond the reach of party light sources, but the group members are each encased in a bubble of light that stretches about 15 feet on either side of the group members. As they advance a bit further, stairs leading upwards are revealed by the dim light – and it is at that instant that a devil (demon, perhaps) appears out of thin air and assails the party. The paladin’s immunity to evil, extraplanar beings proves quite handy and the beast beats a hasty retreat, as does the group. They assess the situation and prepare for a second crack at the room.