When we left our adventurers, they'd started to explore the area at the end of the stairs down they'd found, ending up in a room with a big reptilian statue. They'd also heard noises of some kind beyond the north door, so...
The unidentifiable noises beyond the N doors give our brave adventurers an excuse to backtrack. They reverse course down the hall, past the summoning circle, and into the N-S hall by the stair. Ingvild opens the secret door, steps through, examines the interior walls, gives a sharp nod, and pushes the door shut. It closes with an audible click, and with Raúguey and Rawon on watch, the others mill about so Ingvild can try to determine what can be heard through the stone panel.
A minute or so later, there's a click from the wall, and the panel swings open. "We'll have to be quiet. The wall muffles sound, but it's not soundproof. No sign of a peephole either. Could you see my light?"
"No," says Locky, who'd been watching the secret door. "Where's the latch inside?"
Ingvild shows everyone how the doors work, a similar sliding latch as the exterior, and after a check of the N and S doors for noise (all silent), the party starts down the narrow secret passage, which turns N, then W, then forks and ends, the whole passage being about 70 feet long. Rawon and Maro easily find the secret doors at the far ends of the forks, one going N, one going W. They have the same sort of mechanism as the other door. Listening at the doors is inconclusive. Rawon things he hears something, a guttural voice, but no one else does.
"Drunken elf," mutters Durego, feeling hemmed in by the narrow passage and the low ceiling. "Where now?"
"The western secret door appears to align more or less with the northern double-doors back in the statue room. It should lead into the space beyond. The northern door... I don't know," says Ohwatoo.
"Let's back out of here," whispers Raúguey, longsword in hand (the passage being too narrow to wield a two-hander), "back to the statue room, and through the double-doors there, ready for a fight!"
The others agree (some more reluctantly than others), and the group troops back through the tunnel, corridor, room, and passage, back into the statue chamber. "Just a minute," says Durego, digging into his pack. He pulls out the dwarf kettle and pours in the contents of his waterskin.
"That's a waste," mutters Raúguey, but Durego just shrugs. "If we're going to fight, I want to be as healthy as possible. And I'm sure Ingvild agrees."
"Just hurry," says Maro, eying the reptilian statue nervously.
The pair quickly consumes the broth, and Locky drinks down the remainder. "Mmm, tasty!" [Durego 4 HP, Ingvild 3 HP healed, both full health]. The cleric nods to Raúguey and Mordikarr, and takes position in the front line.
Ingvild gives the doors a gentle push, then a slightly harder shove. There's a muffled *thunk* as the door panels strike an obstacle. "Barred," he whispers. "Be ready for some noise." He slides his narrow dagger between the doors, and using two hands lifts straight up. There's a quiet scraping noise, he nods to Raúguey, "Give that side a shove." The fighter pushes the door, which swings a quarter of the way open. Ingvild darts a hand through the gap, but it's too late, the bar clatters to the floor! There's an inquisitive call from the N, and a clatter of mail. A low-pitched, gravelly voice says something, and another answers.
"Oh dear," mutters Locky, dropping a stone into his sling.
Ingvild slides along the wall to the W, leaving Mordikarr and Raúguey, backed by Durego, at the doors. The two warriors shove the doors wide, revealing a short corridor that immediately bends to the W. The low, flickering light of a torch provides a bit of light around the bend, but there's no one in sight.
"That was Goblin-tongue (*)," warns Ohwatoo, clutching his wand and keeping a nervous eye on the escape route.
"What did they say?" asks Raúguey, who has no understanding of Goblin.
"They say, 'what that?'" answers Mordikarr.
[Let's call this round one]
With a sharp nod, Raúguey darts forward, happy to have space for his large blade. Mordikarr follows behind, leaving Suren crouched at the room's doorway. Durego sees no one, so he follows more slowly. Ingvild remains beside the door, ready to pounce should something hostile come through, while the remainder of the group shifts positions slightly to see and / or keep watch on the other doors.
"You know, this is a good place for an ambush," says Ohwatoo, more to himself than anyone else. He shifts east, away from the recently-used western doors.
At the first corner, Raúguey pauses, peering around the sharp bend. Corridor north, and a branch to the west. "No one," he calls over his shoulder, darting forward to the next corner.
Or so he thinks. His first stride hits an edge, and his second nothing but air! Frantically he twists and makes a blind grab for the corner, and just barely catches the edge of the hole that's mysteriously appeared at his feet!
Seeing the big man fall, Mordikarr freezes and studies the curious scene. All he can see are Raúguey's fingers protruding from the floor! Peering over his shoulder, Durego cries, "Where did he go?!"
"Big man disappear in floor. Big magic!" says Mordikarr, still bemused by the fingers sticking out of the floor.
"IT'S A TRAP!" cries the strangely echoing voice of Raúguey.
And then the Chuds came. Distracted by Raúguey's disappearance, neither Mordikarr, nor Durego have a chance to react when a humanoid figure with a vaguely reptilian head darts around the west corridor corner, hisses in surprise, hurls a hasty javelin at Mordikarr, and ducks back into cover! The missile clatters off the wall and slides to the ground just outside the double-doors leading to the statue room. The creature calls out again in Goblin!
"It said, 'Humans! Call the others!'" says Ohwatoo, taking another step away from the west door...
[Round Two-ish] ? Initiative
Mordikarr and Durego rush forward to help Raúguey, but both stop and leap aside as the Sword of Bees comes swinging up out of the floor, almost slicing open Mordikarr's leg! "HEY!" yells the wild man.
"Coming through!" cries Raúguey as another hand appears through the floor, followed by a leg and the rest of the big guy. "Come on!" he says scooping up his blade and advancing to the corner.
Mordikarr shrugs and jumps across where he thinks the gap in the floor is, but Durego says, "Fall back to a defensible location!" and retreats toward the statue room.
Meanwhile Locky darts through the north double doors and takes a position at the east wall near the pit's edge, sling at the ready. Ingvild moves in parallel, sliding along the west wall, then stepping past the pit.
Maro hears Durego's call but remains where he is, ready to cast a spell at the first target that presents itself. Rawon, befuddled no doubt by an excess of brandy, moves to the west door, realizes it's the wrong way, shrugs, takes another swig from his flask, turns east, and stations himself by that door, bow ready and aimed at the west doors.
Ohwatoo and Dagmarten watch the confusion in... confusion. Finally Ohwatoo trots over to the east door of the statue room, waiting to see what the others do, while Dagmarten follows his brother's lead and heads through the north doors into the corridor. He prepares his sling as well.
With all the clangorous noise of Raúguey climbing out of the pit and Durego running away, it's hard to make out the sporadic speech from around the corner, but those near the front can still hear more than one creature there. Raúguey just has time to peer around the corner to the west and spots two of the reptiles, one down the corridor a bit, the other right in front of him!
[Round Three] Foe initiative
The creature in front of Raúguey hacks at the fighter with a two-handed axe, calling to its ally/allies as it swings! The other creature rushes forward to join its companion, also taking a swing at the fighter. The first creature scores a hit, but the second rushes the blow and misses. [4 Damage to Raúguey]. Another creature rushes out of the dark western passage beyond the front-line combatants and hurls a javelin at Mordikarr as he moves to support his friend, a hit! [6 damage to Mordikarr].
Mordikarr and Raúguey each engage one of the creatures, but neither can score a hit. As they fight, Mordikarr mutters, "What is bad smell?"
Meanwhile Locky and Dagmarten manage to loose sling stones at the creature engaged with Mordikarr, the only one they have a clear shot at (those in the statue room have no line of sight on the front ranks due to the twisting passage and doors). Both manage to score a hit on creature! [2 Damage each]. The creature hisses in pain, but continues to press the attack. Ingvild tries to edge forward but there's simply not enough space for him to engage between the two two-handed sword wielders.
At the rear Durego trucks through the statue room, and out the east door, intent on getting to the stairs or the secret passage, one or the other. "Come on!" he calls to the others as he rushes past the two elves and Ohwatoo.
[Round Four] Party initiative
Raúguey senses Ingvild behind/beside him and shifts position, drawing his foe into the north-south portion of the corridor. This opens both creatures to missile fire from the slingers in the hall, and they each unleash a shot, one per target. Both strike home again! [3 and 1 Damage by Locky/Dagmarten]. Mordikarr takes another swing at his foe, while Ingvild joins Raúguey in attacking their enemy. "Gaaa!" cries Raúguey in frustration as he misses, a cry echoed by both Mordikarr and Ingvild.
"We're useless back here! Ohwatoo, Rawon, come on!" Maro takes off in pursuit of Durego, hoping to perform an end run around the front line via the secret doors... The others follow with a greater or lesser sense of reluctance.
Meanwhile the lizard creatures, now completely surrounded by a terrible stench, press the attack. The pair in front attack while the third unslings its axe and moves to support its allies. The first creature attacks Raúguey and scores a powerful hit on the big guy! [10 Damage] The other creature misses. "Dag! Get up here!" cries Ingvild, and he tries to provide Raúguey some cover.
The front ranks hear another low-pitched cry in Goblin from the west, warning of at least one more foe approaching. "Bad place for a fight," mutters Locky, debating the merit of leaping over the impossible-to-see pit.
Meanwhile the back group, Durego, Maro, Ohwatoo, and the trailing, slightly staggering Rawon, reach the secret door, and Maro activates the sliding switch...
(*) Goblin, in this campaign, is effectively the common tongue of all sorts of evil creatures. The party has heard it from gnolls, kobolds, and now these reptilian creatures.
Ingvild, Raúguey, and Mordikarr are at the T intersection beyond the pit. Dagmarten and Locky are in the corridor just south of the pit. Rawon, Maro, Durego, and Ohwatoo are at the secret door by the stairs.
There are three foes in sight, though only two can engage. Each armed with a two-handed axe. It sounds like one or more additional creatures may be approaching from the shadowy corridor to the west. They smell *terrible*.
Raúguey: 14 damage
Mordikarr: 6 damage