Well looks like I have two entertaining sessions to cover for this adventure.
The party spent the night in the secret laboratory. Outside, the smugglers, being alerted by the Magic Mouth earlier and being all prepared to repulse the intruders, were quite perplexed when they disappeared. The smugglers were thankful that the party had cleared out the skeletons, but began to assume that the adventurers, not finding the further secret door (into the smugglers lair) had basically gone back the way they had come. They shrugged and went about their business.
Several hours later the party emerges, hearing sounds from the outer room they approached cautiously. Their sneakiest member managed to sneak up, knock one out and drag him back, all the way to the secret room where he was interrogated.
Discovering there were several smugglers, lead by a magician, the party headed back into the barracks. Here they were met by two smugglers, one of whom fled through a previously unknown secret door. The party quickly overwhelmed the remaining one and approached the secret door, the stairs and cave that followed.
Combat started as soon as they poked their head around the door. What happened next was a strung out, non-stop fight through most of the caves before facing off with a very confident lead smuggler. Whom they resoundly defeated. Ended that session there.
The next session was initially spent searching the now empty caves, finding a lot of trade goods and a small boat. They also remembered they had left a door unopened behind them and there discovered the wizard’s own quarters. Inside they found a lantern and signalling instructions along with some other bits and pieces.
They decided, having cleared out the underneath, to return to the floor above and search the rest of the house, before returning to Saltmarsh with their trade goods.
They kept going up and were soon on the top floor. Unlocking a door using a key hanging next to the door, they discovered Ned. Ned was tied up in the room and told them he was a traveller who took shelter in the building. Only he was hit from behind, knocked unconscious and left here without his equipment.
Ned is actually working with the smugglers and was sent here to infiltrate and stop the party. However, as the party “disappeared” he wasn’t sure what was happening. At this point he doesn’t know that the smugglers have already been defeated. The party was suspicious enough to leave him tied up while they talked, but wasn’t searched and no insight checks were taken. Oh well.
Convinced of Ned’s story, the party moves next door. These two rooms have a shaky floor, which one of the party proceeded to ensure was tested past breaking point, creating a large opening in the floor across the two rooms. Remember this for a moment.
In this second room they found evidence that the smugglers use this room and it’s window to signal their ships. Nothing else – on to the next room.
A shiny attracted their attention here and the first few entered the room. At this point the party is strung along the corridor, with a couple inside the room and Ned following along behind. He has figured out, through their conversations that they have defeated the smugglers. Ned decides he needs to defeat them, or at least inflict some damage and head for his bosses.
The members who entered the room were set upon by swarms of spiders. More of the party charged in to support their comrades. Ned took his chance and attacked the last person, causing a grievous wound with a dagger he had kept concealed (hey, the party didn’t search him, shrug)
Forced to fight in two directions the party split and defended themselves. Ned took a couple more swings and fled for the rooms behind to try to escape. There was a yelp and a crash. In his haste Ned had forgotten the holes in the floor and fallen to the floor below.
In some ways this made it easier. The party had all but killed the spiders so more and more members turned to retaliate against Ned. Several were shooting/casting through the gaping hole in the floor.
Reek, the halfling barbarian leapt into the hole and grappled Ned, knocking him unconscious.
And that’s where the party has left it for the Christmas Break. We should restart in mid Jan sometime.