After a brief rest the party continued on. Moving north the party entered a room where the walls and floor were covered in a slick mucous like substance. As they moved forward they discovered this room was full of cages where the slurks were raised. Killing the slurk wrangler and his assistant the party wrapped around to the west and found a pair of kobolds lying in ambush for the party. Luckily for them, the kobolds expected them to come from the south rather than the north however, so they were able to surprise them.
Njord “The Goat” Scouted ahead and found to the east and believed he found another group of kobolds waiting in ambush and beyond he discovered a nursery for young kobolds. Returning to the slurk kennel the party moved to the north again and came to a cross road. On the wall in the eastern passage was a note in Draconic that Niene was able to translate to “Darky-dark below, and whispers soft and low. Evil lurks, its lipless mouth smirks. Do not go! Only Death below!”
Scouting forward again, Njord “The Goat” discovered the west passage looped back to the south and reconnected to the room he believed held another ambush party. When he moved north he discovered one large room that held the host of the kobolds. Most of them were at rest, but a pair of guards could be seen moving about. Creating a distraction, the party was able to draw most of the kobolds to Njord “The Goat” and Uthad while the rest of the party circled around and attacked from the rear. Dyne opened up on the group with flaming hands and immediately melted 3 of the creatures into bubbling pools of goo, setting the mood for this encounter. As they wore the group down a handful of the creatures ran north to alert others while another one ran to the south to get more guards, but even with their addition the party was able to easily defeat their foes.
During the fight, Dyne looked down a corridor and discovered what appeared to be the throne room of the kobold king, who rather than attack, held his guards back. Once the group they were fighting was defeated the party moved into the throne room and was greeted by King Merlokrep, who welcomed them and offered the party a great feast before they lay their lives down on the sacrificial altar for the “dark one”. Merlokrep showed greater signs of mutation than those the party had fought before and when informed they would not be sacrificing themselves, Merlokrep became confused and demanded that if they not lay on the altar, then they fall before his axe, Manfeller.
Edgrin Galesong, enraged by finding the one responsible for his friends death fought with a vigor no one had seen in him before. Once the king and his royal guard were dead, Edgrin slit the throats of a group of kobold zealots that sat in the room the entire time praying, before moving on. To the east a passage lead to the private chamber where the king’s consort was found. Initially the consort attempted to seduce the party, but when this failed she attacked but was easily slain.
Moving further east the tunnels smoothed and became more like a stone carved hallway, which based on what Niene had seen before confirmed that these passages were not natural in design but were more of the same ruins that had fallen into a great state of disrepair. The tunnel roof fell back as the party continued on until they found themselves in a great cavern with glowing crystals littering the ceiling, creating a twilight sky in the cavern. Across the ceiling and walls the party could make out homes and sculptures of dwarven design, indicating that this was most likely a central chamber for an ancient dwarven city.
In the center of the chamber was a round platform that circled a great runestone. The stone itself appeared to be covered with a thick layer of the mold that the party had dealt with previously and before it lay an altar and pair of braziers. Upon the altar lay Tyran, a ranger that traveled with Edgrin’s group. As they approached a withered kobold shaman cries out and plunges a dagger into the chest of Tyran, who cries out and dies. The kobold pulls the heart from the man’s chest and raises it to the sky spitting out arcane and ancient words that cause the heart to burst into dark flames. The party engaged the shaman in combat who summoned a swarm of insects to help him fight, but it helped him little as the party cut him down in record time. Two creatures lay on the ground at the base of the altar as well, like a human corpse but without any bones or organs. Kicking the braziers over and using their own powers, the party destroy the abominations.
The last child, Hollin, was recovered. He lay bound near the altar, wide eyed and catatonic from seeing the murder of Tyran before him. With all the children recovered, the party begins their return to Marienheim to reunite them with their families.