July 19, 3430, Age of Kings
DM's Note: Due to life being busy it's been nearly a year since we've played, but I'm hoping to get back at it soon. There's one more update that I neglected to post, so I'm going from an almost year old memory on this one!
As the battle continued in the bottleneck, the guards eventually began to see things weren't going their way, so the wounded captain yelled out to fall back. As the remaining guards ran from the party, Ander managed to fell a few more with well placed arrows, only to see them turn around a corner and out of sight, but the party gave chase fearing they'd come back with a larger force.
Audrey led the charge after the guards, but as she turned the corner she was met with the blade of a guard's sword (a critical hit, if I recall) that dropped her to the floor, bleeding out on the flagstones. As the rest of the party caught up they were greeted by the last of the guards with captain unlocking a set of doors. By the time they party had cut down the rest of the guards—and Broak had heroically dodged passed swinging swords to stabilize the gravely wounded Audrey—the captain had snuck away and locked the doors behind him. Grabby immediately set to trying to pick the lock but was unsuccessful.
Knowing they couldn't catch up to the captain any time soon, they turned their attention to strange sounds they heard coming from beyond a set of double doors where they had just battled the guards. They went through the doors and came to a hall lined with cell doors, four on each side of the hall, and ending in a set of double doors marked with black gunk on the floor around it.
The first door they inspected had a ravenous ghoul swiping his clawed arm at the party through the small barred window in door. The next had a man rocking back and forth babbling—he had clearly lost his mind. They came to an imprisoned bugbear who engaged them, introducing himself as Grakk (a name they heard two other bugbears mention outside on their way to the keep) and telling them how he was imprisoned for murdering two guards, but if they were willing to release him, he'd lead them to a hidden treasure beneath the keep, and he'd take his band of bugbears far away from the keep—he doesn't like working for the "pale skins, doing their dirty work."
This conversation got the attention of another prisoner, a mongrel man—with the head of a bugbear, one leg like that of a giant bird, and a tentacle for an arm—named Ora-Tok (goblin for "bad smell"), he warned the party not to trust the murderous bugbear, and how the bugbears slaughtered his people deep in the caverns beneath the keep, all the while Grakk warned them not to trust Ora-Tok as well. Not totally trusting either one, the party was willing to release both prisoners to help them find their way beneath the keep, but keeping their eyes on both of them for any treachery...