Excellent. Back down the stairs. The portion of the room to the southeast is more of a north-south twenty foot wide corridor, seventy feet long. At the north end, there is a door next to the east wall. Along the entire west wall are four doors, evenly spaced. In the center are three support columns. And twenty feet north of the southeast corner is an opening to another room.
We scout around carefully now that the Zombies are gone. The north door we spike shut for now. Each of the doors to the west open upon empty ten by ten cells. The eastern opening leads to another north-south room, this one twenty by fifty. There’s a couple of support pillars here, and this room really reeks. There are torture instruments caked with dried blood, and two racks. One has a relatively fresh stains, as if someone was ripped off the rack recently.
Pertherditeis is poking around at notices that the drips from that rack follow a curve towards one of the pillars by saying, “Guys, check this out.” I discover a latch on the pillar and get a secret door to open. It smells far fouler inside the pillar – which is saying quite a bit!
Carolin says, “I don’t think we’re ready to meet more Zombies.” and everyone else agrees with her. We spike the door with a cheap sword and tie the (outward-opening) door closed with a section of rope. Good thing I had that, no one else in the whole party had rope!
Now that the whole section is inspected to be monster-free, we poke around looking for any other secret doors, and poke through the various bits of debris for anything useful. In the northernmost cell, a loose stone concealed a peridot(500) a tome and a scroll.
Now, what’s behind that other door? After unblocking it, it opens easily and quietly. But it leads to a twenty by twenty room with debris and filth piled up on both sides of a walkway through the room. A well used walkway. Hmm. Well, we’re set up to go into the next room when suddenly the door on the eastern wall slams open – flinging Slade into the northern wall like a discarded bone. Ouch, that has to hurt. But this is going to suck – there’s an Ogre in the doorway!
There’s space and time enough for me to squeeze into the next room before the Ogre can reach for a new victim. I circle to his flank trying to distract the brute. Pertherditeis is apparently inspired by my efforts, and steps up to the doorway to thwack the Ogre. The Ogre’s response is to punch her hard enough to send her into the western wall. That had to hurt… too.
Carolin manages to cast her newest spell, Mirror Image, which seems to confuse the Ogre, and Slade manages to sit up. Finally. I run around the back of the Ogre and give it another couple of full swings with my staff while it tries to reach any of the screeching Carolins. Slade lurches upright, and brings his sword in a big overhand slash on the Ogre’s outreached arms. Excellent. Pertherditeis manages to moan. The Ogre abandons Carolin as a target and goes for yours truly. Well, he’s welcome to try. I dodge and runs to stay ahead. This is a forty by forty room with four support pillars in it – plenty of space to run rings around and Ogre. Especially if it manages to not see Slade winding up for another tremendous swing. This one finishes the Ogre. There was much rejoicing.
He has clearly been living in this room. Foul bedding, clothing remnants, and a large decrepit chest at the foot of the bed. Marbles, candlesticks, 823cp, 46sp, 3gp. Gah. “Heelp?” goes a tremulous voice from the south. There’s a door there. Opening this hefty, barred door leads to what can only be the Ogre’s larder – three humanoids chained to a wall. Two human merchants offer a reward for freeing them from the Ogre’s clutches, a gnome looks unconscious.
We free the three captives, patch them up, and give them some food and spare gear from the bandits to get back to civilization. The gnome says “My name is Meryll Smokehand, and I’m forever in your debt.” He gives Carolin a ring with his sigil as a sign of his regard. Carolin takes them up and out of the castle, while everyone else patches up a little bit from a ferocious fight.
Some tracks have Pertherditeis fiddling with a section of wall. She’s rewarded by a <click> and an opening section. There’s a tiny hidden closet. That seems silly, so more searching ensues. Click, click. Two of the walls inside the closet are also secret doors. One seems to head downish, and the other heads upwards. The other end of the upwards passage turns out to be the where we fought the bandits on the ground floor. We spike the other door and limp out to camp.
The horses are happy to see us, and we’re happy to wash off the foul stenches and eat warm food. Ointments are applied, and Pertherditeis has a healing spell that helps herself and Slade a little bit. But no one feels up to more exploring today. So we rest from the late afternoon through the night. Carolin declares “That was a scroll of Write, I’m copying it into my spellbook.” Later she remarks, “And that book has pictures and descriptions of types of common potions. It looks like the correct names of the ones we have are Light Healing Potion, Medium Healing Potion, and Treasuresense.”