The party took a short rest, both to recover health and to study the loot they acquired during their previous encounters. A mace claimed by Roque turned out to be magical, as did an armor breastplate now carried by Dresden.
They explored the area around the forge, confirming that water once flowed through the now-dry channel, turning a waterwheel and driving the bellows. Their investigation also turned up raw ore, and they surmised that the forge was used to craft normal metallic objects, which were then likely taken to the light-beam “spell-forge” area to get imbued with magic.
Six bugbears, but only five beds
Still on the hunt for the lost brother of Gundren, the party continued their exploration of Wave Echo cave. They found a door that refused to budge, but a strong surge of strength from the Dragonborn caused the door to fly open. Inside, they found a kind of barracks, inhabited by six bugbears. A fight ensued.
At first, the party didn’t cause much damage to the beasts, but soon Gran began using his oil-soaked arrows, and the flames seem to inspire everyone. At one point, a hail of thorns targeting the bugbears also seemed to target Erevan, but the plucky monk caught the thorns in the air, re-directing them into the bugbears. Another flaming arrow — lit from the burning body of one prone bugbear — was shot into other bugbear. Soon, the room was very bright but completely devoid of living monsters.
The Prisoner Speaks
Next, They found their way to a large cavern partly filled with water. Eschewing the easy path, they followed a water-filled narrow passageway out of the cavern and into a large room, where they surprised a group of five bugbears and a drow. Some of the bugbears appeared to be excavating in the dirt-covered floor of the room.
The party focused on eliminating the drow first, and were able to take it down despite its attempt to flee up a set of stairs in a corner of the room. Dresden found himself alone facing a pair of bugbears in a sunken section of the room, but held his ground long enough for the others to climb down and join the fight. Eventually, the bugbears were dispactched, and the drow was captured.
They interrogated the drow, who revealed that another drow named Nesnar was in charge. The prisoner said that the bugbears were digging for treasure, and confirmed that, somewhere up the stairs, a dwarf was being held prisoner.
The party debated what to do with the prisoner, finally deciding to knock him out but leave him there alive.
Before they left, the party investigating the bugbear’s digging. They uncovered the ancient remains of a dwarf, wearing an intact set of gauntlets.
Hey guys, I have a plan: Leeeeeeeeroy Jenkins!
Sneaking up the stairs passed a locked door, they tip-toed their way toward another large room, where they saw a drow and two more bugbears. Assuming this was the leader, and possibly a tough opponent, the party sketched out an intricate plan that involved dashing across the room and hitting it with their weapons.
The drow and bugbears were surprised, but soon recovered. The drow began casting spells, including a shield spell on himself, but the party focused all of their efforts to take him down, and rapidly dispatched him. The two bugbears survived marginally longer.
On the drow’s body, the party found a key, which helpfully unlocked the door that they’d passed earlier. A thankful Nundren the dwarf emerged.