About a day’s journey north of the drop box we came upon an old toolshed in the middle of an abandoned pig farm. Upon closer examination Bel discovered recent signs of use inconsistent with the general appearance of the structure, so Patrick summoned an earth elemental to investigate. It confirmed our suspicions that the shed was the entrance to a larger structure underground. Fearing that the door was trapped we dug into an earthen tunnel under the shed.
This tunnel lead to a stone structure that was much older and larger, an ancient stronghold of sorts that was being used by the Gandean spies as a base of operations. The first two tunnels we explored were dead ends. One having caved in and the other being an empty dormitory. Going down the third tunnel we almost walked into a trap, as we realized that there was another hallway above us with arrow slits in the floor/ceiling. Three guards had their crossbows trained on us, however after Malcolm alerted the others Patrick expanded one of the arrow slits into a larger hole through which the most heavily armed of the guards fell. While the rest of the party was dealing with him Mal teleported (don’t ask) to the level above to engage the other two. After wounding one with my swords and knocking out the other, Mal rejoined the party to discover that the big man had escaped and barricaded the room ahead of us and that a cleric had joined the fray and having been subdued, committed suicide.
We managed to force open the door to find a room with several benches and tables, where a number of clerks had been transcribing documents. They fled down an adjoining tunnel while the big guard and what appeared to be a valuable Rosewood table held us off (the table was enchanted, its legs were quite painful). After defeating the table and the guard, we collected various papers scattered around the room as evidence and went off in pursuit of the clerks. This path took us to the upper hallway and farther along we encountered the guard Mal previously had knocked out. Subduing him again, we approached the cornered clerks.
At their front was Richard May, a local cleric who had joined the Gandeans. Attempting to calm the clerks so we could arrest them, Curteel and Malcolm began to question Richard. We were making progress when Patrick unexpectedly shot him in the foot. This caused a general rout, as the clerks panicked and attempted to escape. We chased them down and knocked them out, but weren’t quick enough to stop two of them from getting to the door of the shed, which was, as we suspected, rigged with an explosive. If the unlucky clerks they weren’t killed by the blast were buried when the tunnel collapsed seconds later. Fortunately we were able to make it to the surface in time. After breaking for lunch we dug out the entrance using Quentin’s knowledge of mining to stabilize the dirt walls. We found that the clerks and Richard had awoken and fled down a tunnel that we had not explored previously, which led to an underground river where they escaped in boats.
Seeing that there was no more that we could do, and that we had fulfilled and exceeded our task, we decided to return to Styness with ample evidence of a conspiracy and a prisoner in tow. we collected the weapons and armor that the guard possessed. We made a brief stop in Werrickshire, where we learned that the gnome and the elf we had fought previously had fallen victim to mob violence, and where Patrick distinguished himself by watering the fields of a local farmer. When we arrived back in Styness several days later Erik went in to talk to Sheriff Colson. He seemed perturbed about something when he came out, but wouldn’t tell us what it was. He gave us the day off so we sold the gear we had collected earlier. Quentin went off to visit Jane, and the rest of the party went off to prepare for our meeting with the sheriff tomorrow.