Having barely survived their encounter with the zombies on the second level, the party decided to barricade themselves in the small chamber off the bedroom quarters with the skeletal remains and strange tapestries. After passing most of a day there without incident, a disturbance came from the other side of the door. After several minutes of agitation and uncertainty, this turned out to be a group of Birhaakaman warriors who claimed to have been sent there by the mysterious Lady May. They had entered the dungeon through the nearby open air grotto with the intent of confronting the brood of harpies they had been informed were nesting somewhere within the complex. When the party informed them that the harpies had already been destroyed, the grateful birdmen agreed to escort them back to Sylo for purposes of recuperation.
Upon their return to Law’s End, once again accompanied by Grimly and his remaining two close companions, most of the party recommenced to exploring the maze, while some remained behind to establish and guard a campsite in the grotto.
The explorers bypassed a set of magic doors when Martin deduced its password to gain admittance into an enormous laboratory. Searching the cluttered chamber, the party found a set of exotic looking keys and two concealed exits: a trap door guarding a long dark shaft and a passage behind a hinged bookcase. The former ultimately led to a vast darkened chamber dominated by a hideous idol radiating a palpable aura of evil. The latter exit led to a hidden room furnished with a simple table and chair set with a veritable heap of apparently magical items. With the keys they had found, the party finally had the means to unlock a stout iron door they had discovered early on in their explorations. The chamber beyond turned out to be a torture chamber occupied by the skeletal forms of a dozen victims along with that of their former whip-brandishing antagonist. After opening a rusty iron maiden, the party was confronted by its grisly undead occupant but were able to destroy it before it did them any harm. Finally, Fugly was able to extract an ancient piece of parchment from the grip of a skeletal form suspended in a cage. This appeared to be some form of treasure map, and Mabe was able to provide some probable clues to its interpretation based on his familiarity with the surrounding region.
The party next decided to resume their exploration of the second level from the room where they had narrowly defeated the zombies. Using the other key they had found in the laboratory, they gained entry into a long room full of stone statuary. The subjects depicted appeared to be members of Nuromen’s family, including five of the necromancer himself. Two of these latter were strangely identical, and the party began to suspect that they were somehow key to opening two secret doors they had discovered in the east wall of the chamber. Manipulating one of the heads of these statues proved nearly fatal for Mabe along with one of the elves, as this activity triggered the release of a deadly gas!