As it turned out, the negotiations were fairly simple: the heroes and Clawhowl Clan would share their food and water, and would evenly divide the treasure. They would also fight together to overcome their foes: both the fiendish beasts roaming the halls and the “lizardfolk” as Clawhowl Clan put it.
Talking to Thokk, the new orc leader after the death of Orghar, the party learned a few things. Apparently both Clawhowl Clan, led by Orghar and a coalition of several types of reptilians (Troglodytes and Kobolds, by the descriptions) were led into the dungeon by a “rat-man” named Longtail, who has been missing for some time, having gone off into the dungeon on his own shortly after they arrived. Longtail had assured them that treasure was to be had in the dungeon, but the orcs never found any. According to Thokk the reason for this is that the reptilians have it, but certain heroes are of the opinion that there was never a treasure to begin with.
The party also learned that there is a renewable water source in the dungeon somewhere, that this water source is guarded by “Bragdor” (a “large orc”) and that the orcs had semi-working knowledge of where the kobold encampment was. This was of great interest to Kremlin, who is quite dead-set on killing his racial enemies.
Clawhowl Clan had apparently taken to their current camp after retreating from a battle with the kobolds. The battle had been mid-swing when both sides were suddenly attacked by a horde of fiendish creatures (Misty identified them by description as darkmantles) as well as swarms of rats and insects. The orcs fell back here, but, unfortunatley, didn’t really know where “here” was, in relation to anywhere else.
Setting out aimlessly, the party explored more of the tremor-prone section of the dungeon (that where the floor is covered in rubble). The only items of note were some metal rods enchanted with “continual flame” in different colors, wrapped in a cloth that seems to block light. After some particularly violent tremors which nearly killed Kremlin, and an encounter with a pair of darkmantles, the party holed up in a set of cells which seemed more structurally sound than the surrounding area, and which protected them from tremors.
Setting out the next morning (such as mornings are in the World’s Largest Dungeon) the party discovered the tattered remains of a journal which apparently belonged to the captain of some sort of guard. There wasn’t much to the remains that was still legible, but Kremlin managed to deduce that this place wasn’t always infested with monstrous beasts. Thokk confirmed this, stating that the beasts only arrived recently, when (as he sees it) the reptilians summoned them.
Shortly after this Hazim was near-mortally wounded in a fight with three more of the darkmantles, injuries which would take him several days to recover from.
North of there, the party encountered a pair of rooms holding the skeletal remains of a vast assortment of creatures. The place had a haunted feel about it, and at several times it appeared that the skeletons moved. The Easterly of the rooms contained a few better-preserved corpses, all of which were of exotic animals. Of note was a bear who seemed almost alive, and, when cut, was apparently filled with a black ichor which had congealed into a sort of pudding.
Passing through a secret door the party found a bloodstained room containing a throne carved from a single piece of stone. Kremlin pried a pair of red gems from the throne, one of which was given to Thokk.
More wandering led the party to a nexus of sorts, a large hallway which Orghar had apparently considered extremely important. The battle between orcs and kobolds was being fought here when the monsters appeared, it seems. At this point the group decided to return to the orc encampment to rest.
They rested there for several days, in fact, until their water supply (which was no longer limitless, as Cygoponi could not provide for the party and the orcs) ran out. During this time Hazim recovered from his wounds and Kremlin and Misty helped the orcs hunt and scavenge for food (they had rat after the successful hunts). When the water finally ran out, however, they knew they had to press on. Thokk was fairly confident he could lead them to the watersource, but he would have to take them through the Kobold camp and near the Troglodyte camp in order to get them there.
The party made the trip, having only to fight a pair of rat swarms along the way. Passing through the kobold base proved disturbingly easy, as there were no kobolds present, or at least no living ones. The area was filled with carnage from the orcs’ and kobolds’ last battle, but the only signs anyone had been by since were the giant rats which hissed at the party as they approached.
Passing a number of interesting rooms and doors which they vowed to return to later, the party remained focused on their goal, and eventually Thokk announced that they had arrived, pointing to a doorway up ahead. Just as the party reached the doorway, however, a deafening roar, as though from some sort of man-beast, bellowed out from within.
Ending Stats: Day: 9 Location: the fountain