Thornkeep (Druid's Head)

Lobbi’s Musings #6

Ambush or Betrayal; Just who’s in Charge?

After our prolonged fight with the human alchemist, Reeda decides we should rest. Before doing so I head off for a cursory scout just to make sure the area is safe. At times like this I miss Gook. Not that I often saw him when he was with us, of course.
There is a small room with a couple of large stone statues filled with gears and blocks, and then a room that looks like a ruined workshop with an iron door and piles of sorted tools. More supplies! I see a pile move so lob a vial of acid at it. Something stirs and I’m off full speed back to the others! I’m being followed by a small creature or construct, 2-3’ tall, made with stone cogs. It collapses from combined hits as it reaches us. The piles of tools seem old and mostly worthless.
Seeing no further access points, we rest here. It must be the chemicals he works with, but the alchemist’s flesh leaves a strange tang on the tongue. Not unpleasant though.
When we prepare to head out, I notice Reeda’s back to his usual animated self. He must have come up with a cunning plan to remain in control. I don’t know if he plans to remove Hob, appease him, or try to get him to change loyalty.
We return to the room with the two geared statues. They appear to be larger versions of the one we destroyed before resting. They both seem to have holes in their chest and both radiate Conjuration magic. Jimbob thinks the crystal from the mining machine may be the key. I think we can sell the crystal for 800gp. We leave them where they are as the smaller one was difficult enough to destroy. Perhaps we can investigate further later on.
We head back to the locked iron door and use the key taken from the alchemist to open it.
We can all see in the dark apart from Hog. Hob is reduced to leading Hog using one of the small glowing blue tiles Reeda discovered earlier. So much for sneaking anywhere.
A spiral staircase beckons, descending yet further.
It leads down to an observation room for viewing into the next room though a metal grille. This next room is also accessible through a door. It is hexagonal with a door on the far side. One side has bookshelves and the floor depicts a night sky that is glowing.
Reeda and Jimbob use magic to take a book each from the shelves but the books crumble. They are all written in some of ancient language but all are in the same condition.
Crossing on Bats, on the other side of the room is a bridge that appears to swivel. Flying into the space below the bridge with skeletons at the bottom, a creature appears in the centre of the bridge. Some weird humanoid thing with a fanged bird’s head and coiling serpents for legs. He seems to be speaking to me in a variety of languages but I’ve no idea what he’s saying. Time again to leave, so I fly back towards the party. The creatures snake legs detach and fly through the air after me. I fly over the party and the snakes are engaged and defeated.
Returning to the bridge the top half of the creature has disappeared. We are not sure if he will return.
There are three more exits we can see – one straight across and one each left and right about 30’ down. Jimbob believes the bridge can swivel and descend to provide access to the two lower entrances.
Hob still has not crossed the star floor as he is the only one not able to traverse the room with flight or climbing.
I fly down and head left. There is a lever that presumable moved the bridge. Have to give it a try and the bridge slowly starts turning and descending. A corridor curves as a ledge round a chasm and over a roper bridge that leads back to the southern exit to the previous room.
Flying over the chasm I spy to undead creatures on the ledge. They are some sort of 2-headed undead velociraptors.
Resetting the swivel bridge we lure them round over the rope bridge and I try to destroy the bridge to trap them, however the bridge seems highly resistant to fire and acid. With a quick change of plan we attack and kill them.
The other exit, to the east, leads to some sort of large chamber.
I pull the lever as the rest of us go and investigate the chasm. Finding nothing, we can hear noises from back in the bridge room. We return to find Hob and Hog have taken the eastern exit and headed off deep into what looks like a cathedral line with alcoves, doors, and strange things on pedestals.
We can see them off in the distance thanks to the light Hob is using, as six figures appear from the shadows and attack him. One speaks and says “We welcome you to us, friends, you will now join us as Children of the Black Goat.”
Hob falls to a crossbow bolt and Hog prepares to defend the body.
We look at one another and decided whether to interfere. Perhaps this is a convenient way to “lose” Hob before he reports back to the chief?
We come to a decision and charge into the room…

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