The various vicissitudes of fate conspired to cause us to cancel the last two scheduled sessions of the Greyhawk game, and we were all raring to go tonight.
Present were Present were Ehrendar Dawngreeter, elf mountebank; Kabliska, human mystic; Theric, paladin of Pholtus; Mongo, half-orc fighter; and Sir Faust Ensign, human Cavalier.
After having gotten sorely wounded in their previous encounters with a hydra and giant beetles beneath the crumbling ruins of the Castle of the Mad Archmage, the group recuperated in the Cock and Bottle and then decided to assay the dungeons once more. This time they decided to explore a section they had previously visited, as the soundness of their map was in question.
Indeed, the party spent quite a bit of time re-exploring the section of the dungeon, but it was not entirely unfruitful, as they managed to discover linkages between sections of their maps that they had not previously realized, and thus discovered where the great central staircase fit into their previous means of entry to the level. Unfortunately, they managed to trigger a trap in their explorations, when a section of the floor pivoted down, dropping Sir Faust and the hireling Salvomar onto a bed of spikes.
Having reconciled their maps and figured out what was what, they struck out into unexplored territory. Sir Faust decided to attempt to knock down a locked door they encountered, which turned out to be made of balsa wood, behind which were... more spikes. He thundered through at full speed, crashing through the door and impaling himself on the spikes. Fortunately, first aid was at hand.
More exploration was done, and another door opened, this time revealing a group of reptilian humanoids. Sir Faust proved his dedication to the cavalier's oath and charged in, followed by several of his companions. The troglodytes ended up proving to be tougher opponents than they had realized, especially as their stench took effect and the party members started losing strength points. This was an especial blow to Mongo's pride, as he was used to enjoying massive bonuses due to his exceptional strength. "How do you people fight like this?" he asked.
Both Sir Faust and Salvomar went down during the combat, only to have their wounds bound and be sent back into the fray (albeit with hefty penalties, but they managed to score some hits even despite those handicaps). The trogs were eventually laid low, but it was a close thing, and almost everyone was reduced severely in hit points, and if a few more dice rolls had gone the other way, it would have been a TPK. But the party prevailed, and discovered a hoard of 10 pieces of jewelry for their troubles. When all was said and done, each had more than a thousand gold pieces as their share, and returned to the Cock and Bottle to nurse their wounds.