After spending the night in the hobgoblin’s room, which appeared to be one of many in a complex that may have formerly housed the Hextorite soldiers, the PCs looted the hobgoblin dead of their weapons and treasure. As they were exploring, a lone hobgoblin came down the spiral stairs; before the PCs could kill him, he had introduced himself and told them that he wanted to help them as he had been exiled by the hobgoblin tribe the PCs had just defeated. When he had seen the refugees streaming from the ruins, he had snuck in to see who or what could have driven his kinfolk away. When Adeipho determined that the hobgoblin was not evil, the PCs decided to let him join them…for now.
As they were exploring, they were ambushed by a dessicated wight who had heard the fight with the hobgoblins.
Although the undead was tough, he died quickly—but not before he could warn his “boss”, a diabolical minotaur. All seemed lost as the brute charged…until he wildly swung and hit the ceiling instead of cleaving a PC’s head off. Seizing their chance, the heroes quickly swarmed the minotaur, felling it.
After exploring the mintaur’s room, which must have been some sort of holding area of prisoners too large or too dangerous for the level above, the PCs discovered a room inhabited by a nearly-naked human male. After asking the PCs for orders and passwords, the man became enraged by the fact that they were clearly not Hextorites. In a shocking display, the man’s form morphed into that of a man-sized underworld dragon! With lightning breath and adamantine claws, the dragon attacked the PCs.
Despite the lightning severely wounding several of the party, and despite the dragon’s fierce melee prowess, the party eventually prevailed. While looting the dragon’s chambers, they were able to surmise that the dragon, too young to be of use to the Hextorites when the Iuzians had attacked, had remained in the ruins awaiting the return of a Hextorite. In the meanwhile, it had conned the hobgoblins, dessicated wight, and infernal minotaur into thinking that it was an avatar of sorts of the Herald of Hell.
With the dragon dead, the level was cleared out the PCs were free to explore a barred iron door which bore goblin words of warning and danger written upon it in chalk. As the bar was on this side of the door, clearly it was meant to keep something out. However, even after removing the bar, the PCs were unable to open the door as it was locked, stuck, and magically held fast. After getting it unlocked and unstuck, the PCs were finally able to break the magical seal as they continued their quest to find Tyderius and his crew. However, when they did so, an intense blast of unholy energy and fire rewarded their efforts.
After surviving the trap, the PCs discovered a large, straight staircase descending deeper into the earth. Upon reaching the bottom of it, they saw a strange creature trapped inside a powerful magic circle. The circle, which was large enough to prevent anyone from passing without going through it, was the prison for a large, brown-furred, bi-pedal, hooved, horned and ape-headed ceustodaemon. It begged, pleaded, cursed, and threatened—all in efforts to get the PCs to free it from its prison where it had been left by the Hextorites many years before. And in talking to it, the PCs realized they were on the right track! The daemon revealed that it had spent many hours recently conversing with Tyderius—who had promised to free it after he had learned all he could from it.
With this information, the PCs grew tired of the creature’s bargains and bellowing and released it from its prison by breaking the magic circle’s perimeter. Immediately the daemon attacked, breathing a scorching cone of fire at the PCs. The creature was very powerful but, in the end, the PCs prevailed.