In the aftermath of the battle the party explore the upper ruins, looting the bodies of the dead bandits as they piled them into the ruined watchtower. They then descended into the cellars below, torches lit, cautiously, leaving Old Man Willow and the two daoine hunters on guard above.
In the cellars they started exploring, finding signs that the bandits slept there, rooms that were once used to hold wines and kegs, and a damp room with mould growing along the wall. Jacob threw a torch in there, to see if anything reacted, but it seemed to just be ordinary mould.
Just then, Jacob thought he heard whispers from the darkness to the east of the cellar, and suddenly a wave of sleep washed over him and Young Alf; the watchman collapsed, fast asleep before he hit the floor. Jacob shook it off, and spotted a man hiding behind an upturned table, starting to gesticulate and chant again as he cast a spell. Callum ducked behind another table opposite, but was suddenly struck by a blade as a previously invisible bandit appeared before him!
Battle ensued. Another sleep spell sent Jacob to dreamland, while Callum and the bandit exchanged blows. The bandit wizard narrowly avoided being struck by arrows, and fired off a series of magic missiles, striking the fir darrig, Magnus and Willow. Ratkin summoned his terrifying presence, but it failed to worry the wizard, who prepared to cast another spell, but was shot in the leg by Magnus’ arrow. Willow, meanwhile, rushed over to his sleeping allies and shook them awake, while the wizard suddenly found himself out of spells and facing an angry Magnus. He surrendered, as did the other bandit as he found himself outnumbered.
The pair were trussed up and gagged, and the rest of the cellars explored fully. Magnus and Alf found a room where the wizard was sleeping, taking his spellbook, and finding a scroll with a deciphered script, which the mage pocketed. They found some loot, coppers mostly, but also some silver and gold, and decided to take their prisoners back to Haven for them to deliver what justice they deemed fit. They journeyed back, dumped their prisoners and loads of coppers, and slept the night. In the morning they headed back to the ruins, and descended into the cellars, quickly finding a secret door that lead to stairs leading down.
Torches lit they descended to a hall with an archway blocked by a slab of stone. Tiles were fixed to the stone, each with a symbol, that matched the writing on the cipher that Magnus had found: the tiles, when rearranged, spelt Welcome. They found the tiles moved, and spelled the word out. The door ground open, revealing a short corridor, leading to a wide hallway with large tiles on the floor, each engraved with a symbol, each translated as letters of the alphabet: S, P, F, G, and L. Examining the floor, they soon realised that the letter S tiles marked a path through the tiles. Magnus tested it out and crossed safely, and the others followed. They found more symbols carved in the floor: a P in the north corridor, a S to the south. They proceeded south, Magnus leading the way with his mage light.
A dozen or so feet in, and the mage’s foot pressed down on a loose flagstone, triggering a trap: spears erupted from the walls, cutting across the mage’s chest and back, grazing him more than wounding. At the same time, a pit opened on the other side, its canvas cover dislodged by the force of the springing spears. A few minutes later, the spears retracted into the wall. The rest of the party crossed safely, keeping clear of the pressure pad and (with some rope to help them cross) everyone jumped over the pit.
They found themselves in a corridor stretching east and west. Heading east, they proceeded carefully, tapping the floor ahead of them. The corridor turned to the north, and they approached a large chamber, unlit, their light revealing something further in the room…