As we proceeded south along the oversized twenty-foot corridor our light began to illuminate what appeared to be minotaurs, but upon closer look we realized all three were merely statues. Yet the closer we looked at the scene before us the more we began to suspect that these creatures were once alive. A wooden cart sat amongst the three with a tarp pulled over the top to hide its contents. A closer look revealed random items of some intrinsic value but nothing to clue us in on what might lie ahead. A few of us decided to scout ahead to inspect the rubble further south, as well as a dark hole excavated in the right side of the passage.
We discovered a shattered statue at the very southern end of the hall and all the stone minotaurs seem to be peering in that general direction, but we are unable to discern whether they are looking at the statue or the hole in the wall as they lie adjacent to one another.
Our situation grew very intense quickly. We attempted to peer inside the hole in the western wall and discovered two minotaurs standing inside a rough hewn cavern, and as surely alive as I am right now! We don’t know if we’ve been detected however as Moonglum raced back toward the group to the north to inform us of what he has seen. We then decided to slowly approach as a group, mainly staying about the wooden wagon for some sort of cover and protection, all the while trying to steady our nerves. We have heard of such beasts in legend but none of us has ever encountered such beings, and we are unsure of what to expect. Finally our worst fears were realized as the beasts charged us in unbridled rage as we attempted to approach. Somehow we came out of the encounter unscathed. The beast seemed wildly enraged which may have played to our advantage.
After the battle had died down we could hear a faint voice emanating from a passage leading north from the cavern. We soon discovered an orangish glow illuminating the hall up ahead. Then as I rounded the corner another minotaur came charging from within. Once again we avoided any casualties but I did get gored by the creature’s horns. Luckily Benus was able to mend my wounds with his mysterious powers. He claims these strange powers to be divine gifts of the gods, and I must admit they seem to be of a higher power unlike that of anything we have ever witnessed.
The complaining from up ahead seemed to intensify following the battle so I hurried ahead. Soon I discovered a dwarf hanging from a spit near an alcove burning with some sort of supernatural heat, an apparent attempt at a meal by the minotaurs. The dwarf seemed basted with oil, or perhaps it was just sweat, but he was otherwise surprisingly unharmed, we had arrived just in the nick of time. I cut him down as quickly as possible, and as one might imagine the dwarf moved away from the heat with great angst. He proved to be very thankful for the rescue and offered up quite a bit of information about his companions and their ultimate fates. The bald dwarf had badly rotted teeth, a beard parted in two down the center, and little for clothing so we gave him what we could. Soon he told us of Darwa’s fate and how she was turned to stone by some kind of trap, and how he (Thord), his son Grit, and another individual named Lump somehow escaped unscathed luckily. Then how he slipped into a fast moving stream and was swept away only to be rescued and captured by the minotaurs. He seems genuinely worried about what might happen to his son in his absence, and no longer knows where he might be, or if he is okay. We offer to let him follow us if he provides information to what he knows about these dangerous halls with hope that we may be able to reunite him with his son.
Water can be heard rushing nearby. We believe a large flooded cavern stands just to our west but we have decided to inspect it later. Thord informs us that the large chamber to our east is where the door is where he last saw his son. We decide to head in that direction in the hopes of finding some answers…
The room was dimly lit. Six wide pillars of stone carved to resemble four smiling djinn and two scowling efreet supported the vaulted ceiling of the twenty-foot-high chamber, which also contained six pools of liquid, one of which was steaming and bubbling. Each six-foot-diameter pool contained a different substance, and some of the liquids seemed to glow with unnatural light. Carved into the far eastern wall we could see a deep alcove containing a fifteen-foot-tall black basalt statue of a fire giant seated in a throne. Flames could be seen burning within the giant statues hollow eye sockets. It is upon this scene that Thord points to a nearby door to our right informing us that this was where he was swept away by a swift flowing underground stream. We now discuss exactly how to proceed…