The Heroes, returning from Gendar’s shop, sought out Rendill in the Halfmoon Inn. Once there, they enjoyed drinks on the house from Rendill, and talked to him about the location of the Bloodreaver hideout. Rendill explained the way through the Dragon Door and along the trail of Dwarven runes left by miners. On the way, Zakhar and Niall argued about which way to go a time or two—good thing the party followed Zakhar’s directions, since it turns out he was right. They were outside the Chamber of Eyes. Indeed, They arrived at a large antechamber—a narthex. Two fearsome-looking statues of winged demons squat on either side of a stairway leading up to double doors. Inscribed upon the doors is an image of a great eye with multiple eye stalks, as well as a symbol of a circle with a crossbar rising out of it. Heaps of rubble are scattered across the floor, and to the north a balcony overlooks the room. From behind the double doors, they could hear high, rasping voices and the footsteps of several creatures beyond. The Heroes could not understand what was being said, and assumed that it was in Goblin.
The party did not attempt to go through the double doors. Instead, Aramil used his Fey Step to get up to the balcony, and helped everyone else up. Malkyr listened to a door at the top of the stairs, and hearing nothing, slowly opened it after picking the lock. When he opened it, he saw two Goblins cleaning their weapons and a dozing Bugbear. Malkyr motioned back to Merrick, and the two descended the stairs stealthily to eliminate these Bloodreavers.
Surprise Round: Malkyr and Merrick try to surprise attack one of the Goblin sentries, but only Malkyr gets in a decent hit, while Merrick misses his opportunity (critical failure—roll of 1). The Sentry yells out an alarm and the Bugbear wakes up.
Round 1: Niall charges the Sentry and hits him, bloodying him. Zakhar holds up his holy symbol, bright light shining from it, and it hits the Sentry, hurting him a bit. Merrick attacks him again, trying to skewer him with a Piercing Strike and misses (rolls his second 1 in a row!). The Sentry tries to shift away to get better positioning, but he leaves his guard down, and Niall crushes his skull. The other Sentry drops his spear and shield, and shoots at Niall with his hand crossbow, but misses. Malkyr, meanwhile, does a Running Slash and wounds the Bugbear; he skitters away and out of reach, and then turns slightly insubstantial using Shade Form_. More Goblins appear, with hand crossbows but also sporting battleaxes on their back. One Skullcleaver Goblin runs in the room and shoots Malky. Two more arrive, and one shoots at Malkyr (misses) while the other shoots at Merrick. That crossbow bolt would have definitely injured Merrick if not for Niall, who pushed Merrick out of the way and blocked it with his shield (_Guardian’s Counter). Aramil moves into the room, and Theron throws a javelin at the Bugbear and misses. The Bugbear grabs a shovel in the brazier and flings flaming coals against Aramil and Malkyr, but they dodge them, uninjured.
Round 2: Niall charges the Bugbear and smites him with a mighty blow, then pushes him into the coals of the brazier. The Bugbear narrowly avoids getting burned. Zakhar then attacks both the Bugbear and one of the Skullcleavers with two mighty slashes, and hits both, bloodying the Bugbear. Merrick attacks the other Skullcleaver and hits with a Torturous Strike, bloodying him. The Goblin Sentry picks up his spear and tries to trip Zakhar, but misses. He tries to run away and get better position, but gets slashed by Zakhar as he goes. Meanwhile, Malkyr tries to strike the Bugbear, but misses. The bloodied Skullcleaver attacks and wounds Merrick, while the other two miss and flee the room. Aramil attacks the Bugbear and Skullcleaver with Arc Lightning, hitting the Skullcleaver, but not killing him. Theron starts to take control of the situation, and seeing an opening, shouts at Zakhar to attack the Bugbear, who does and wounds him. The Bugbear smashes his morningstar into Niall, but realizes he’s in a bad spot and tries to get away. He shifts, but that’s the only opening Niall needs—he crushes the Bugbear’s kneecap, and as the Bugbear falls prone and tries to recover, Niall delivers a killing uppercut blow to the Bugbear’s face.
Round 3: Niall’s fury and hatred of Goblins is unmatched, and it makes him a hyper-focused killing machine. He attacks the remaining Skullcleaver, and crushes his face with a sideswiping blow, making a terrible mess of brains and blood. Zakhar runs out of the room and strikes the remaining Goblin Sentry, bloodying him. Merrick moved out to help him, and struck one of the two remaining Skullcleavers, knocking him down. The Goblin Sentry trips Zakhar with his spear, and positions himself for an escape. Malkyr, however, seized the opportunity to prevent one of the Skullcleavers from fleeing, and attacked him viciously, bloodying him with a slashing attack and tearing into his psyche with Nightmare Shades (Action Point). Aramil moved into position and cast Beguiling Strands against the Sentry, injuring him. Finally, Theron charged in with a Warlord’s Strike, bloodying him, and shouted words of encouragement to Merrick, bringing up his morale and giving him the will to go on.
Round 4: Niall roared into the hallway and struck the Skullcleaver twice on the head (Action Point), ultimately driving his head into his torso, a bloody mess. Zakhar missed his two attacks (Action Point) against the Sentry. The Sentry hit Niall and pushed him back, and tried to leave through a door to the south. Malkyr attempted to slip a shadowy noose around him to prevent him from fleeing, but failed. The Skullcleaver, frenzied, attacked Theron but missed. Aramil, however, conjured up more of his Arc Lightning, critically hitting both (two natural 20s!) Goblins and frying their brains). Combat over.
The party took a brief, five minute rest as they searched the room. [Niall used 2 surges to go to full hp; Merrick spent 1 surge plus the one he spent earlier (2 total), and is back at full hp. Zakhar also uses 2 surges, while Malkyr uses 1 surge.
The Heroes, using a key found from one of the Goblins, opens the double doors leading to the east. Malkyr opens it but a crack, and when he peeks in, he sees inside the Chamber of Eyes—carvings of eyes cover the walls, floor, and ceiling of this chamber. An idol of a horrible toadlike creature, which the Heroes identify as Torog, the King that Crawls, an evil lord of the Underdark; this shrine presents him in his manifestation of the Patient One, a horrible creature of eyes and mouths that waits in the darkness. In the center of the floor, chains are affixed to the flagstones, though no prisoners are chained there. A huge black Dire Wolf lies on the floor nearby, and a Hobgoblin is busy oiling the chains. The Hobgoblin Archer looks up at the open door and shouts something in Goblin, at which point Malkyr swears and kicks open the door, hand crossbow blazing.
Surprise Round: Malkyr bursts open the door and delivers a critical hit (20!) with his hand crossbow against the Hobgoblin Archer on the ground level.
Round 1: The Dire Wolf runs up and bites Malkyr, but Merrick temporarily blinds him with a shot to his eyes. Zakhar brings down a column of light amongst his allies and the Dire Wolf, which slightly wounds the wolf and heals Malkyr. Niall smashes the Dire Wolf, driving him back, and Aramil blasts him with Arc Lightning, and the Dire Wolf loudly howls in pain. There are actually three Hobgoblin Archers in the room, two on the balcony. The one on the ground floor strikes Malkyr, another missed Niall, and the third fled out a door to the north. Theron Leads the Attack against the Dire Wolf, badly wounding and bloodying him. Malkyr, feeling bold, tried to leap over the Dire Wolf, only to stumble and fall prone, but manages to badly wound the wolf (20! crit!) anyway.
Round 2: A large spear and shield-wielding Hobgoblin—Chief Krand—appears on the balcony. As the Dire Wolf tries to flee, Niall breaks his spine; Zakhar has a tear rolling down his face, but sucks the tear back into his eye as he tries to be tough. Merrck throws two daggers at the Hobgoblin Archer on the ground level, barely bloodying him. Zakhar then charges him, and delivers a mighty blow to his ribs, whereupon a burst of lightning from his sword finishes him off. Niall charges up the stairs to engage Krand, but Krand parries. Aramil zaps the remaining archer with his Arc Lightning. The Hobgoblin Archer who left the room reappears, and both remaining archers fire against Zakhar and hit him, bloodying him. Theron rallies Zakhar with some Inspiring Words, and barks a command at Niall, trying to Direct his Strike—“Hit him!” Niall tries to hit him, but misses him. Malkyr conjures an shadowy noose and tries to drag Krand off the ledge (he doesn’t, recovering and falling prone). A red-robed Hobgoblin Warcaster comes in and yells at the Archer, who cowers.
Round 3: Krand stands up, orders the archer out of the room, and demands that the warcaster come to him. He then hits Niall with his spear. Merrick charges an archer, and hurts him, knocking him prone. Zakhar shoots bright light at Krand from his holy symbol, making it harder for him to attack. Niall smashes Krand, bloodying him, and tries to push him off the ledge, but he recovers (although prone). Aramil runs up and wreathes both the warcaster and Krand in flames. The remaining archer stands up and draws his sword, but misses Merrick. Theron yells at Zakhar to move to the other stairs, and barks another command at Niall—“Hit him!” Niall doesn’t like taking orders from Theron, apparently—he misses him. Malkyr tries to scare the shit out of the Warcaster with Nightmare Shades, and does, bloodying him. The Warcaster swings his staff and with a Force Push, knocks Niall prone and bloodies him (but doesn’t push him off the ledge). Two Duergar appear from the door in the North, and seeing the scene, one stated to the other (in Deep Speech, which Merrick translated later), “Krand and his bunch of idiots are incompetent. Once we deal with these interlopers, we should enslave Krand and his bunch as well.” He ten shrouded his warhammer in flames by invoking Infernal Anger, and the other threw beard quills at Niall, but missed.
Round 4: Krand stands up and tries to kill Niall, but misses, Niall bringing up his shield just in time. Merrick, meanwhile, slashes the Hobgoblin Archer’s throat; he drops his sword, grabs his throat to unsuccessfully stop the bleeding from his jugular, and falls to his death. Merrick then runs up to a Duergar and attacks twice (Action Point), both with a Piercing Strike and a Low Slash, but misses both times. Zakhar goes to help him, and heals Niall in the meantime. Niall stands up and swings at Krand, but misses; he then stares down the Duergar that activated Infernal Anger_, giving him a ¬_Glowering Threat. Aramil casts Argent Rain on the Duergar (it barely hurts them, as they are heavily fire-resistant) and the Warcaster, who is now in bad shape. The Hobgoblin Archer (messenger boy) comes back, and appears behind Zakhar from a secret door, alarmed. He swings his sword at Zakhar, but misses. Theron says to Niall, “For third time already, hit him!” and then runs up the southern stairs. Niall pays heed, and kills Krand with a mighty blow, pushing him off the ledge. Malkyr, meanwhile, strangles the Warcaster with a noose made of shadow, and pulls him off the ledge dead. The Duergar with the flaming hammer charges Niall but misses. The other Duergar activates his Infernal Anger, and badly wounds Merrick.
Round 5: Merrick stabs the Duergar back, wounding him. Zakhar, meanwhile, wounds the newly-returned Archer. Niall smacks the Duergar with his hammer, but doesn’t knock him off. Meanwhile, Aramil shocks that one with his Arc Lightning. The Archer misses Zakhar, and Theron charges him, hitting him and bloodying him. Theron then gives some encouraging words to Merrick, renewing his vigor. Malkyr misses his target, and the Duergar attack. One misses Niall, and the other hits Merrick.
Round 6: Merrick stabs the Duergar back, wounding him again. Zakhar badly wounds the Archer, but Niall misses the Duergar fighting with him. Aramil goes with Arc Lightining again, and bloodies the Duergar on Niall. The Archer wounds Theron, and he hits him back, killing him. Malkyr drags a Duergar off the ledge with a shadowy noose, hurting him, but the Duergar strikes back. The other Duergar smacks Niall with his hammer.
Round 7: Merrick has a great opportunity to double-team the Duergar, but critically misses (performance anxiety). Zakhar jumps down from the ledge with crazed eyes, swinging his sword in a downward arc, and cleaves the Duergar’s head in two. Aramil is all business, flinging more lightning on the remaining Duergar, and then Merrick, following Theron’s orders, slashes the remaining Duergar in the spine, who falls to his death. Combat over.
The party explores northward, and finds a few rooms, a Sitting Room (area 6), which appears to have been a small study for the priests who tended the shrine; some Acolytes’ Rooms (area 7), which some Bloodreavers apparently used as personal quarters, one of which looks like it belonged to the Warcaster, the other unclear; and the High Priest’s Quarters (area 8), which Krand took over as his own. They found a large locked chest in the room, which they opened with a key found on Krand’s body. In the chest they found 5 sapphires worth 100gp each, 450 gold pieces, 500 silver pieces, and a magical suit of leather armor of elven make (Elven Leather Battle Armor +2), which Merrick took. They also found a contract of sale in Krand’s dresser, which was agreed upon and signed by Krand and Murkelmor Grimmerzhul, dated two days ago.