We had to walk single file down the stairs, because they were so narrow and short. One of the new men, Stoiko, walked in front of me, and Carmella behind me. I still carried a lantern, so at least I, and the people right near me, could see clearly.

We only got part way down before goblins attacked Hy, who was in front. I tried to envision a goblin sleeping, using that sleep rune from the book. Over and over I tried, but I always failed. It was all I could do, beside hold the lantern, so I just kept at it. It worked once, so I knew I could do it again, if I could only find just the right twist to give it.

Eventually, they killed five of the goblins, and the rest fled down the stairs and through a door. Before I was sure the combat was over, Jason, in front of me and with a better view, asked if anyone was injured, and they said no, they were all fine. So no healing to do yet. Which was good, as changing places with people one at a time on this narrow stairway was awkward.

We proceeded the rest of the way down. There was some discussion and moving around at the door, and then they burst through it, into the room where the goblins were. From outside, I tried the sleep rune again. This time, it felt like something happened, but I couldn't see into the room to be sure. As more of the group ran into the room to fight, I finally got up to the door, and stood just outside, so I could see in without blocking the way for anyone else. Carmella stood behind me, and Stoiko stood next to me with his bow, ready to defend us.

While the battle raged, I tried again and again, sure it worked now, but I failed each time. I hope I improve with practice. No sign of it yet.

They slaughtered the goblins, of course, and then went through the bodies and made sure they were dead. Carmella and Miara disagreed about one conscious one, but Miara beheaded it before any real discussion could take place. Carmella was right, we might have been able to learn something from it. Especially when it was clear that this was the end of the line. No more doors, no alcoves, no dragon statues. The ogres probably lied, and talking to the goblin might have given us more information. But I couldn't help feel that the goblin was probably better off killed quickly. My imagination had no trouble seeing Miara torturing the poor thing until it told her what it wanted to hear. Barbarian.

Hy had been scratched up pretty good by the goblins, so I went up to heal him. He leaned away when I went to touch him, and looked at Miara. She babbled something in their language, and then he let me heal him, or at least start to.

When I came out of the trance, everyone else had congregated in the corner of the room, where it looked like it had caved in. Clearing out some boards, they discovered that this was the vertical hole again: apparently this was what Mongo had seen from above. And, it continued below us.

Miara asked the albino dwarf, Goldrim, about some vision he had about the dragon statue. He said he was sure it was here somewhere, but nothing he'd seen so far matched the vision. There wasn't much left: back behind the portcullis with the ogres, or here down the hole. Miara was determined to leave no hole unsearched for that statue of hers, so we checked out this hole.

Mongo lowered a lantern down on a rope, but it went out. I sincerely hoped there wasn't bad air down there, and hoped even more that it wasn't on its way up here. But when he dragged the lantern back up, it was just covered in wet mud. Mongo next lowered Prestley with a lantern down, slowly. He saw nothing through the sides of the hole, but it ended in the ceiling of another room, whose floor was covered in about two feet of mud. And two decomposing ogres' bodies. How the hell had they gotten down that tiny (to them) hole?

Everyone decided to use the rope to climb down there. Ick.

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~