In hot pursuit of the cowardly Skulks the party delved deeper into Jzadirune. Hot on the tracks of the Skulks the heroes stumbled upon a small magical garden in the heart of the city and it was here that they discovered a secret passage that led an important clue. A child’s shoe sat in front of a large wooded door. Attempting to open the door, One found himself out of his league and suggested the party look for another entrance. Frantically the party moved through the city only to find that their passage was blocked at almost every turn by a series of huge wooden doors that were all nefariously trapped.
However, a stroke of luck occurred when they clashed with a lone Dark Creeper and found on his body what appeared to be a key to one of the doors. Encouraged by the knowledge that there were in fact keys to the the doors the party went on and after a series of encounters they found the key they were looking for… On the body of a Dark Stalker, the leader of the Dark Creepers, and new master of Jzadirune. Grabbing the key to the door with the shoe the party made all haste to free the children.
Opening the “door with the shoe”, they were surprised to find two hobgoblins standing guard over an elevator. In an utter route the heroes took the elevator from the beasts and took one of the foul creatures hostage. Placing The ring of truth on the hobgoblin, they began to interrogate the creature and were shocked to find out the following:
-Below the city of Jzadirune lay the Malachite fortress an ancient Dwarven stronghold and entrance to the underdark.
-The children and other missing were being sold into slavery by Kazmogen.
-The hobgoblins were working for Kazmogen and his number 2 Major Domo.
-The latest batch of slaves were going to be sold in the morning.
Agreeing that what they needed was a plan the heroes thought it best to pose as fellow slavers and make an offer to Kazmogen in return for his entire lot. On the following morning after One slew the prisoner they descended into the Malachite fortress. Immediately the plan went south as a creature/guard smelled their goodness and attacked. Defeating the beast with only minor difficulty they turned to find that they had awakened Major Domo.
However, the parties fast talking rogue/monk was able to convince Domo that they were simply lost and asked that they be taken to Kazmogen. More braun that brains Domo agreed and the party was escorted to the slave bazaar. However before they got there Domo informed them that they would have to wait in the forge so he could talk to Kazmogen and announce their arrival. While they stood in the forge outside the bazaar the heroes heard a heated discussion. It appeared that they might be too late as a powerful being named Orbius was screaming at Kazmogen and demanded the Slave child Terram.
Spurned to act the Heroes drew their weapons and attacked the hulking Major Domo. However the sounds of battle alerted the entire fortress of their trickery and they found themselves face to face with not only a squad of hobgoblins but Kazmogen as well. Acting on pure instinct Belacore cast Colorspray and miraculously the tactic caught the half troll/half dwarf completely unaware and knocked him out of the fight. Making quick work of the hobgoblin squad the heroes left little to risk and freed the remaining slaves and then used gnomish ingenuity to drop the bridge leading to the under dark and cause a partial cave in of the entrance to the Malachite fortress.
Now with the slaves free and the threat of the underdark behind 9 tons of rock and rubble the heroes took to truly exploring the fortress and the gnomish city.