27 March, 103 CY
Having decided that they had better recuperate from the battles so far that day, the adventurers returned to the room behind the secret door and rested the night. They woke in the morning, ate a light breakfast, and moved to the stairs that lead down to the lower level. As they descended past the extent of Etholin’s magical light, he moved the cantrip to a stone and tossed it down. It bounced down to a landing and off the wall to continue clattering downward. The wizard moved the cantrip again to Balasar’s armor, and the dragonborn warrior led the others down the stairs.
The stairs descended into a large, torch-lit chamber with what appeared to be an open well in the center. Two human-sized creatures stood near the entrance. Big, pointed ears stuck out from under their helmets, and sharp teeth glittered in their mouths. One of the guards yelled out a challenge phrase in the Common tongue, “Shadow seeks shadow!”
Syler responded with the pass phrase they’d found in the note on the elf spy’s body, “In the ground some magic was found.”
The hobgoblin’s eyes widened, and it yelled over its shoulder, “Someone tell Kalarel that Ninaran is slain!”