Ugh ventured once more beneath the earth. This time he shared the risk and reward with Willyam the human thief along with a desperate mecenary and a pair of torch bearers.
Ugh was surprised to hear Willyam initiate the idea of scouting ahead. The last thief Ugh had taken up with had been reluctant to risk his life serving as point man. Willyam scouted to the edges of the torch light allowing his eyes to adjust to the murky gloom. Eastward he crept till his ears made out the sound of some reptilian roar reverberating from far off long the twisting tunnels. Rather than discover the nature of the roar Willyam chose to scout the remaining tunnels that lead into the entrance chamber. Ugh looked disappointed as he longed to shed blood. Willyam explained his decision as a preference to leaving nothing at his back.
Scouting north Willyam came across the slumped body of an orc, its throat slit. Proceeding cautiously Willyam’s sharp senses picked up the aroma of Halfling pipe weed. Pausing and waiting, the thief’s caution was rewarded as he saw a Halflings face illuminated as it puffed at a pipe from a low crevice hidden in the corridor. The thief noted the location as an excellent point for an ambush. Willyam recalled tales of tribes of Halflings dwelling deep underground known as Under Halflings. They were notorious for their thievery and ill nature. Returning to his companion the two agreed to try talking before violence. Willyam crept back to the Halflings hiding place, knelt down so it was obvious that he knew were the rogue was and extended his hand to help the little fellow out.
The two struck up a conversation. The Under Halfling was part of a larger group that claimed the northern caverns. The diminutive fellow was called Karl and if they needed a place to recover they were welcome to use their caves. The odd looking Halfling also mentioned a treasure guarded by a large toad to the north. He didn’t know what the treasure was but knew the toad must be keeping something because “that’s what toads do ‘eh governor?” He warned that the toad had swallowed an Under Halfling whole and advised they take care. Ugh readied his mighty two handed blade and set off toad hunting.
The cavern of the Toad was vast. Along the northern wall a large lake loomed and from the lake sprung a waterfall running in reverse. Not seeing any immediate threat Ugh took to poling through the edges of the lake with his 10’ pole. His searching was rewarded as he struck a solid object. It was then that his dark vision spotted the huge toad swimming towards the shore. Falling back the warrior prepared for the toad to beach itself. Willyam readied a flaming oil flask. The toad made the shore. Strange vapor played around the immense beasts mouth. The half orc charged. The toad’s head flew off. Blood and foul ichor drenched the half orc. Ugh earned the monicker toad slayer. The object in the lake turned out to be a locked coffer, which Willyam deftly picked after oiling the lock. It contained a valuable necklace worth a small fortune.
Pressing on the group uncovered a well dedicated to the healing gods. It had long been covered with mineral deposits and its once lavish decorations were barely visible. The water within it had long turned brackish. As the party was uninjured they did not see the need to drink from the fountain. Further exploration revealed a flaming ball rolling around the ceiling at the end of a cavernous corridor. Suspecting something more to the mystery further exploration was defeated by bolts of fire that on occasion leapt from the flaming ceiling sphere. Additonal exploration revealed a stone tablet clutched in the skeletal fingers of a long dead priest. The tablet served as a scroll to some loathsome deity and was inscribed in a magical language neither adventurer could decipher. Eventually the party struck south as Willyam had the notion to find the ooze Ugh had told him about.
Instead the party ventured far further south than they had intended and found a natural chamber full of mushroom patches in which lurked a hobgoblin. The hobgoblin was a friendly sort. He had escaped some sort of dungeon deeper in the earth. He warned them of some of the local inhabitants. Crab men to the east and Troglydtyes to the South. The friendly goblinoid, called Furby had little else to offer information wise. It was here that the party decided to retreat back to the surface their foray done for the time being.