The party continued their exploration of the Chamber of Eyes, culminating in an epic battle within a Shrine to Torog. The weary group returned to the Seven-Pillared Hall for a much deserved rest. The next day Mot engaged Bennik the Wanderer in a bardic challenge and easily bested him to win a new song sword. The rest of the group was entertained by a strange sideshow, before Brugg showed up and ruined the fun. After a brief interaction with the massive ogre, they asked the acolyte, Paldemar, if he knew where the Horned Hold was, in the hopes that they could rescue the slaves there. He wasn’t much help, but provided them with a couple options for getting the location of the Hold. The group chose to talk to Gendar, a merchant in curios and information. The friendly (some might say overly friendly) Drow made a deal with the party and provided them directions to the Hold’s unguarded entrance. A few hours of trudging through caves and tunnels later and the group arrived at the crumbling minotaur ruin. The forced their way through a rusting portcullis, only to be confronted by some spirits of the former minotaur occupants. They didn’t last very long against the combined radiant powers of the party, and we left the heroes about to open a door that led deeper into the fortress.
The party examined a ceremonial wash room, before heading through a large door marked with signs of the god Torog. Inside they were surprised to find a small beholder in negotiations with a tough looking duergar wielding a giant hammer. A huge battle quickly ensued, with summons, arrows, and bolts flying. Once bloodied, Rundarr, the duergar champion, grew to a large size and starting making massive attacks on the heroes. Goblins and orcs poured out of doors near Ganassi and threatened the eladrin wizard, but he lit most of the area on fire in an attempt to hold them at bay. The beholder used many different attacks from its eyes to hamper the party, even putting D’kar to sleep at one point. Despite their opposition, though, the party eventually overcame their adversaries and freed Warchief Krand.
The noble hobgoblin told the party that the slaves they were going to free had been moved deeper under the mountain to the duergar stronghold. He didn’t know how to get to the Horned Hold, however, so after the party looted the Chamber of Eyes they headed back to town for a much needed rest.
The next morning the group once again found Bennik the Wanderer entertaining the crowd with his bardic skills. He challenged Mot to a battle of song and story, but was defeated quite handily. He was gracious in defeat and handed a magical sword to Mot, which improved all of her skills with it’s fine quality.
While Mot continued to entertain the crowd (and earn a bit of coin), the rest of the party wandered into the Hall. They were attracted to a crowd of spectators watching a fire show with some wererats and fire beetles. The entertaining show was cutoff early by the appearance of Brugg and his Bronze Warder, who chastised the performers and killed a fire beetle in a show of force. The party thought about confronting the ogre, but were wary of his protector and enforcers. As the ogre returned to his duties in the customs house, the acolyte of the Mages of Saruun came over to the group and asked how the recovery of the slaves was going.
He introduced himself as Paldemar and told the group that the Mages would see them upon freeing the slaves. He also gave them a couple leads as to how they could find their way to the Horned Hold.
After discussing their options (heading to the Grimmerzhul Trading Post and confronting some more duergar, hiring a guide, or buying information from someone named Gendar), the group decided to head to Gendar’s shop. The friendly drow (too friendly perhaps?) offered them the information at a discount in return for retrieving an item for him. After agreeing, and with the information in hand, the party was on their way.
They arrived at an ancient minotaur fortress, situated on the precipice of a deep chasm and connected by bridges. Scarab and D’kar manage to open the rusted portcullis letting the group into an open courtyard. There they were attacked by minotaur spirits, but the more holy members of the party easily dispatched them. The party is currently poised to open the large doors leading deeper into the Horned Hold.