Somewhere along the escape route of Foxfire and Gargamel, the two run into a couple of new adventurers seeking their fortunes in Stonehell. They told them where to meet up with Milo and Sieglinde, and so Arya, the halfling monk, and Sophosticles, the half elf fighter, joined the party at the edge of the well shaft leading into the second level.
Milo, recollecting old stories he’s both heard and sung about, thinks it may be a bad idea to head straight into the second level at this time. He’s heard a lot of delvers into the deeps say that things get tougher the further down you go. The rest of the party agrees with this and also wants to try to fill in some of their map, so they stay on level one to see what they can see.
Heading back out to the four way intersection, they see the large, double doors opposite them and a single, plain door to their left. The decide to head left. Sensing no traps, Sieglinde does the door slam thing again, revealing part of a room and a shambling skeleton! It notices them and starts forward, initiating combat.
Milo causes a fairly good illusion of Gargamel to appear between the party and the skeleton, hoping to distract it. As the skeleton walks through the doorway, Sieglinde uses Thaumaturgy again, causing the door to slam shut right on the pile of bones, throwing it into the wall and causing some pretty satisfying cracking noises. It continues forward, however, and stops to attack the image of Gargamel. Presumably noticing that it’s rusty sword went straight through it, it looks askance at the image, but doesn’t figure out the trick. Arya bounds forward and does a one-two punch kick combo crushing the thing into oblivion, then nimbly takes her place back in the formation.
As the party is feeling pretty good about this, the door at the end of the hallway opens to reveal five more walking skeletons, all armed with various rusty weapons and sporting tattered mail!
One by one, they exit the room and attack the illusion Milo had set up. And one by one, they seem to figure out that it isn’t a real thing, switching their focus to the living targets further down the hallway. Before they can all exit the room, however, Sieglinde gets another couple of “cracks” at her Thaumaturgy trick with the door, crushing a couple of tibia along the way.
Eventually, they are all locked in combat in the hallway with Sophosticles getting in a few solid swipes with his short sword, aided by the bolstering music Milo plays on his lute in the back of the pack. Sieglinde switches tactics and starts praying down some holy laser beams with her Sacred Flame cantrip and soon the acrid smell of burning bones fills the small space. Smashing down on their skulls with her mace seems pretty effective as well. Flitting around, delivering crushing blows with elbows, fists and head butts, Arya dispatches the last of the things with aplomb.
Finding nothing of worth on the ancient things, they continue into the room down the hall. Inside is a dry fountain with a carved stone fish set in the large bowl, it’s mouth (the spout for the water, presumably) dryly gaping the air. As Sophosticles checks the walls for any interesting script he can take a rubbing of, Sieglinde decides to ignore Rocky’s advice to “Pester not the fish that breathes air!” and goes and pesters the thing while looking for traps and treasure.
Moving the fish moves the pipe inside which, in turn, disturbs some old pocket of poisonous gas that has settled in the system in lieu of water. This gas comes sighing out straight into Sieglinde’s face, poisoning her! She takes no damage, but is certainly not feeling very good (poison condition: disadvantage on attacks and ability checks). Not liking this one bit, she decides she should take the time to concoct an antidote from her herb kit.
The party sits down to rest while she pulls out her kit. Suddenly, they hear a sound from inside the bowl. The pocket of gas wasn’t the only thing disturbed by Sieglinde’s meddling, they discover, as a cobra slides its way out of the drain and raises its hood. Milo isn’t having any of it, though, and kills it in one swipe.
Arya thinks this is a fine bit of natural treasure and starts to dismantle the thing for its venom, fangs, hide, and preps its flesh for cooking later. All the while, Sieglinde is able to make her herbal inhaler, removing the poisoned condition. Nobody bothers with any healing at this point, so they decide to try the door.
Finding it a bit stuck in its jamb and somewhat more than Arya can handle, Sophosticles steps up and jimmys it open, revealing a passageway with an opening on the left and a door at the end.
Here ends part five of the first delve.