At first it looks bleak for the heroes as the drakes are released from the cages to start looking for their starter courses. Meanwhile the big goblin on the stairs hides behind his toadies while trying to dominate the minds of the adventurers.
He has little idea of what he is up against however, as soon his toadies fall under the combined weight of Thorn’s arcane power and the blades and bows of the others, soon bolstered by the arrival of Bodin and Makaria.
With some nifty work by Thorn, who manages to cast a spell that slides one of the drakes back into its cage before relocking it with a spectral hand, and some less subtle but equally effective tactics by Bodin, who simply bashes the other drake with his shield until it, too, is pushed back into its prison, the fight is over before it has really begun, and the goblin leader, Snilvor, is left pleading for his life.
He looks for a guarantee for his safety from the paladin of the party and Benedict readily agrees, promising with the oath of Bahamut that he will not kill him. The promise is enough to persuade Snilvor to reveal all – he is the leader of a delegation of Daggerburg goblins sent here to buy scrolls from the undead wizard Yisarn, who must be in the room next door; scrolls that reveal the location of several sacred elven crypts in the Harken forest, the destruction of which would prove a major victory in the never-ending war between the goblins and the Harken elves.
Unfortunately for Snilvor, although Benedict has promised not to kill him, the same does not apply to Mordzan, whose hatred of the goblin tribe that assaulted his homeland remains bright and vicous as he fells Snilvor with one shot of his bow. Meanwhile, on some immortal plane of existence, Bahamut’s lawyers are checking to make sure that Benedict has successfully covered himself against future charges of breaking the Paladin’s Code.
And so the party steel themselves for the fateful encounter with the necromancer. Picking the lock of one of the doors they summon up the last of their strength and charge through the door, to be faced by a cackling undead fiend protected by three skeleton warriors and a massive spider that seems to glimmer and shimmer in the dark light and moves so quickly in its attack it seems the equal of Glaudr in the invisibility stakes.
Undeterred by the deadly opposition the heroes charge in, only for disaster to strike as the floor beneath Makaria’s feet opens up, plunging her headlong into a ten foot deep spiked pit. Meanwhile Bodin gets across the pit but is isolated as he faces the full wrath of the evil forces arrayed against them.
The party are exhausted from the battles that have got them here, low on resistance, low on resources, with Benedict’s healing powers drained by his prior treatment of Glaudr’s brush with death.
There is good news and there is bad news.
The good news is that Makaria still has the power to restore health to the wounded and weary in this vicious fight. The bad news is that she is unconscious at the bottom of a pit.