Takin’ a well-deserved rest after fightin’ the flame creatures, we doubled back tae search the area we’d hurried through earlier. Our efforts were rewarded when auld Dahlwhinnie discovered a hidden cache in the area the dragonborn had been searchin’, revealin’ a fist full of platinum coins.
Movin’ along we came tae a mostly broken room full of steamin’ hot lava. Only fragments of the floor remained. A temptin’-lookin’ cabinet lay off to one corner, oot of reach. We started to use some of the huge giants’ beds for bridges when one of them fell in the lava and disturbed a half-dozen flamin’ skeletons that were lurkin’ there. A hard rammy ensued in which the bastard skellies refused to engage us up close, instead hurlin’ fire at us. With some doin’, we managed to kill the lot of them deid, mostly by pushin’ and pullin’ them off the fragments of floorin’ where they fell tae the lava below.
Inside the cabinet we found a flamin’ dagger that should be worth a fair heap of coin jammed fair into a wizardin spell book. We also found a blueprint tae one floor of a fire giant hold (two other sheets burned black and unreadable from the heat), though not the one we presently occupied.
At some point durin’ the battle, the bowfin’ goblin Serlick had run off, so we backtracked tae the cave entrance before he could do any serious damage. We found him tryin’ to coax the horses over the flamin’ lava that Everitt had unleashed on the path leadin’ tae the cave. The wee bampot tried to surrender and I almost had a moment of weakness until the others reminded me that the dowie eejit had already surrendered and escaped once, so we chibbed his fool head in. We left the last human bandit tied up in the wagon where we were sure he wouldnae dare cause any trouble.
We returned tae the caves where we explored the path leadin’ off frae the third portcullis. Up a steep ramp we soon found ourselves at the base of a volcanic caldera open tae the bright sky above. Two odd contraptions like giant dragonflies sat on the floor; it didnae take long to figure oot they were flyin’ machines that were activated by the medallions the dragonborn had worn.
Explorin’ further, we found a shaft leadin’ down into a kitchen, and finally we discovered what appeared to be a trainin’ room occupied by five mechanical fightin’ dummies. Needless to say, another rammy ensued durin’ which all of the dummies were destroyed. Findin’ nothin’, we decided to hole up and rest for the night before explorin’ a secret passageway that wee Eli had found.