...continued from here...
After battling with the hobgoblins and retreating back to town, the adventurers healed up (Rolf the Fighter used his considerable charisma to join a local church, impressing a priestess with his dedication and piety. He did this simply to get the "member discount" on healing potions!) and then they headed back to the Castle...
Once in the cellar, they opted for Door A and headed down...
At the bottom of the stairs they found a swirling mass of impenetrable darkness. They were wisely suspicious and they took a little time testing it. Thrusting their torches into the darkness to discover that the inky blackness quashed the light -- but didn't put the torch out.
Eventually, Oryx the dwarf was put back on his leash and he entered the room. He couldn't see anything, but the adventurers discovered that they could speak to each other in normal voice. The darkness didn't dampen sound in any way.
Feeling the walls as he moved carefully along, he used his dwarven understanding of construction to map the room. Eventually he found the exit door and escaped from the inky blackness...
Following the rope attached to the dwarf, the party threaded itself across the dark room. LB's elf went back into the room, used a rope to "sweep" the floor of the room and found a lost key!
The party headed out and found a long hallway with an alcove that ended at a door. Another passageway went off at a right angle and then off at a sharp 45° angle... The heroes followed this hall.
After the angular corridor, they found a door made of badly weathered grey wood. They listened and heard nothing then they pulled the door open.
The party discovered that the full 8' door covered up a 4' tall opening to a room with a 4' high cieling. Oryx was put back on his leash and he carefully began exploring the room. He discovered that it had six large, tubular holes in the cieling...
| ,-. ,-. .' `. |
| / \ / \ | | | <-- holes/tubes
| \ / \ / \ / | in ceiling
| `-' `-' `-' |
| _ _ ,-. |
| ,' `. ,' `. | | .|.
| \ ' | | |tick |||
| `-' \_/ `._, `|'
| Oryx |
Oryx explored the room but as he approached the far door, he was attacked by a giant bloodsucking tick! It dropped out of the far ceiling hole, nearly surprising our doughty dwarf! It took a few rounds but he splattered the creature all over the floor and was able to open the exit door. The party carefully followed him out of the room, all other members crawling on all fours or bent over at the waist.
On the far side of this room, the heroes found a long hall that branched left and right. They explored a little way in each direction but then took the left branch. The found a sharply slanting hall and a set of large, metal double doors with strange silvery runic inlays. Behind these doors they found a large spiral stair similar to the one in the cellar. Oryx explained that there was no physical way that this stair could connect with the stair in the cellar, despite its similarity.
Just past the doors they found an alcove and after searching they found a keyhole. Indeed the key that LB's elf found fit perfectly. When turned, it made a powerful "click". Turning it back, it made a resounding "clunk". The party decided to leave the mechanism in the "clicked" position and they retrieved the key.
Moving further down the hall the party surprised a troglodyte patrol. At least one member of the party (possibly more than one) were adversely affected by the horrible stench and their fighting ability was diminished from the retching. Eventually they defeated the trogs and retreated from the dungeon by way of the staircase to Door A.