The plan was that Shivani would try to bluff the guard sounding the alarm into thinking that everything would be ok, but this appeared to have failed. Vaelus began to retreat to a more defensible position (as opposed to a wide hallway with a large double-door at the far end, some 70-90 feet away with several other doors branching into hallways or rooms beyond). Archers went ahead and opened fire upon the lone guard and Chase caused a supernatural fear within the man – causing him to run.
Grumblejack, Grakas, Chase and Vaelus caught up to the (wounded?) guard as he reached the far end of the hall. Shivani caused him to go temporarily blind and he dropped his weapon and began to fumble for the door. During this time, the vicious sound of baying dogs could be heard getting closer. In addition, Shivani opened one of the doors (the only door on the east of the long corridor) discovering that it led to a mess hall. The scrambling of guards could be heard from the north door branching from that room. Meanwhile, (I think it was) Zeran opened the southernmost door on the west side of the hallway discovering that it was lockable and called for us to retreat to it.
The guard managed to open one of the double-doors he was fumbling with, exposing the courtyard beyond, and was killed almost immediately thereafter; 3 guards burst from the north door in the mess hall, Shivani retreated to the room Zeran had opened. Chase opened the northernmost door (the only other one) on the west end of the hallway and moved into there, discovering that it was an armory filled with some unmarked/confiscated weapons and many prison-marked weapons and armor. A guard and a pair of angry dogs came out of the darkened courtyard, and he demanded our surrender or our lives. Vaelus quickly moved up and closed the door to the courtyard, attempting to slip his sword through the looped door handles (ultimately to no avail), then later fell back to the armory door.
As the guard at the courtyard door breached the hall and the dogs began to move in, Grumblejack attacked the man and dogs as opportunistically as he could (though the hounds were swifter than he). Their vicious maws turned on him, felling him quickly. Chase and Vaelus now faced off against a pair of angry hounds, and two guards.
Meanwhile, towards the south, Lucien took potshots with bow and arrow from the southernmost corridor door, which we had entered from. Shivani had retreated to the office and began rifling through some of the papers on the desk. Zeran, from within the office, continued to apply pressure to the guards with his bow, scoring a few hits. Likewise, Grakas was engaged in melee and utilized his claws to deadly effect. However, after eviscerating and felling his first foe, he stopped for a snack and ripped the man’s heart from his chest and began to feast.
Chase unleashed an unholy blast of negative energy from the corner that he and Vaelus had become pinned into. Vaelus scored a few hits to the dogs, but after Chase fell, he was soon to fall as well. Shortly before this occurred, however, Shivani emerged from the office and was taken down in a single hit by the houndmaster who had decided to reinforce his men to the south (one being eaten, one fleeing after a particularly vicious arrow – courtesy of Zeran). Grakas ended his feast and engaged this man, and they fought brutally. Zeran investigated a closet and began to suit up in a guard uniform. Lucien slew the formerly-fleeing-now-crying man in the mess hall. Vaelus went down, leaving only a single hound remaining. Grakas managed to take down the houndmaster. The remaining hound attacked Lucien, who was now the closest and then finally, it was killed after several tense moment.
After the last hound was slain, the remnants of the group began to look around at the slaughter. Zeran was able to bring Grumblejack back to consciousness fairly quickly but Tiadora appeared to the group before he could do much else. She had a derisive and scornful tone, handed Rythern a stick and vanished – leaving whispers in the minds of those still conscious. Cue Lucien’s disdain for the fallen.
The stick was quickly discovered to be a wand of Cure Light Wounds, with a paltry 6 charges. These were administered to bring everyone back up to their feet and investigation of the guards’ bodies, the Armory, the Office and the mess hall commenced.
Evidence of Blackerly’s corruption was confirmed to have been found in his office – records of his cheating at organized gambling, pilfering from guards and embezzling prison funds funds. Adjoining Blackerly’s office was his personal room where we found booze and the spoils of his (crooked) gambling ring. Also adjoining the office was found a store room with enough lantern oil to light this place up.
Armory spoils were mentioned, details are in the post about loot.
Adjoining the mess hall were two rooms. One was the guard quarters. Their locked chests were raided and looted (details in the loot post). Also adjacent to the mess hall was the kitchen, complete with the fireplace we had previously seen from the level above and two cowering cooks. These two were interrogated about changing-of-the-guard, the location of Blackerly’s gambling ring (which was apparently going on now in one of the towers) and the location of the wizard/warden (in the largest of the towers). We ate, decided to wait 30 minutes for the guard to change and began to clean the main hallway so as not to arouse suspicion. During this bustle, Grakas slipped in and murdered the cooks.
We left off after the 30 minutes had elapsed. We assumed our ambush positions and Lucien (I believe) had just alterted us that three guards approached.