Myrl uses her mage hand to touch one of the corpses at a distance. Its red eyes glow and it rises… along with its fellow ghouls. Fight:
- Myrl throws ball bearings down the corridor and backs off. Oohye and his wolf surge forward in defense.
- Most of the ghouls are caught in Kavier’s spike growth but they nevertheless move forward.
- They obliterate the ghouls in short order.
The Avengers return back to the barracks but find that the bugbears and the drow from the north caves are inside. Milo, in a rage, bursts into the room and attack:
- The bugbears were caught in Kavier’s spike growth but (being somewhat more intelligent than ghouls) stayed in place and lobbed javelins.
- The drow moves forward to attack Milo — Myrl misty step behind it and stabs it in the back. He dies shortly and transforms into a grey, almost black-skinned doppelganger.
- Two bugbears try to escape but are captured.
They find a black spider emblem on the doppelganger as well as 45pp. Myrl strips him of his black leather jumpsuit and uses her leatherworker skills to customise to her size. The five bugbears had a smattering of coppers.
During their long rest, they interrogated the bugbears, Kag and Boog, and learned that the Black Spider was holed up in the great hall. The Glasstaff was also with him, two bugbears and four giant spiders. During Oohye and Kavier’s last watch, they heard the clattering of bones outside as skeletons attacked the east door. The barricade gave Oohye and Kavier just enough time to wake everyone so that they may don their amour. Fight:
- The skeletal swarm decimates the stone door, obliterating it. They swarm into the room surrounding Oohye, Kavier and Milo.
- Myrl pulls off one of the skeleton’s head and rips off its spine. To her disappointment, the skull does not remain animate.
- As the swarm is destroyed, Redspear lunges a last lonely skeleton and grapples it. They manage to subdue its movement. Kavier breaks off its lower jaw to stop its chattering.
Myrl adopts this skeleton and hangs it on her backpack. They complete their long rest and then decide to head north to the great hall. Kavier casts Pass Without Trace and they make their approach without being detected. They are confronted by a pair of giant stone doors twenty feet tall. As the others hide around the corner, Myrl steps forward and cracks open a door silently.
She sees within the room a dwarven statue as well as great marble pillars lining the hall. Two bugbears and the drow mage are talking at the far end of the hall.
Myrl relates what she saw to the others and Ixir realises that it is a statue of Dumathoin, the Keeper of Secrets under the Mountain. Redspear also knows that he is the patron of the shield dwarves, as well as the god of buried wealth, mining, gems, and exploration, and the guardian of the dead. It appears they have stumbled onto the great hall that the dwarves and gnomes of Phandelver’s Pact built centuries ago.
They decide to take the enemies by surprise. Fight:
- Ixir, Kavier, and Redspear take the first few shots at the drow.
- Milo bursts in ahead of Oohye but his dire wolf soon catches up. Milo also sees that four Giant Spiders are hidden behind the pillar.
- For some reason, Myrl heads straight for the statue and attempt to pull off Dumathoin’s warhammer. She fails as it is part of the statue.
- Giant spiders close in on Milo and Oohye. Black Spider casts darkness which shrouds the area in front of him in darkness.
- But the enemies are no match for the Avengers. The drow mage is first to be cut down.
- Ixir casts sleep on the bugbears and the rest mop up the giant spiders.
As the battle winds down, Kavier hears the sound of footsteps receding down the corridor east. Milo look down the corridor and find that it is empty and there is a door. Myrl unpicks the lock and find Gundren bound in the room. She also finds her stirge and the Bonesplitter sending stone. Milo dexterously slices open his bindings with his battleaxe. They learn that Gundren had been interrogated by the Black Spider and Glasstaff as they suspected he knew more about the cave than he let on. They had been feeding Gundren to the stirge to make him talk. Gundren learns that his brother Nundro is alive although Tharden is dead. As they talk to Gundren, Ixir and Kavier get suspicious and decide to test to see if he is a doppelganger. Gundren is terrified as Kavier hits him with a moonbeam. He does not transform into a doppelganger. Kavier stuffs a goodberry down Gundren’s throat and he wakes up hysterical. Milo leads him back to the room to calm the dwarf down with ale.
Redspear picks up the Black Spider’s Spider Staff and realises it requires magical attunement in order to use. The drow also carried a potion of healing and an iron key with a head shaped like an anvil. This key unlocks the door to the room. Redspear also found a chest with more money than they had seen in their life (190ep, 130gp, 150pp; 9 small gemstones; a dwarven ale mug made of hammer electrum). Oohye tries to pry off the statue’s warhammer with his pickaxe.
This triggers a collapse of the great hall’s ceiling. Fortunately, no one died.