Right, so: as planned, we picked up with another session in the dungeon, this time with the Druid accompanying the party. The group stopped to acquire another Ring of Protection for their new companion, then defeated the kobolds and the kobold sorcerer. ("Not... again..." he gasped as he died.) Heading down to the second level, they selected a direction and proceeded east, stopping to disarm a spear-trap along the way. (Their method is just to stand out of the way and set it off, then walk past.) Behind the next door they discovered a pack of white apes, who immediately attacked them (as almost everything in this dungeon does). They defeated the apes, and discovered in their room a bit of treasure and a magical dagger, which they handed over to the druid -- she being the only character who doesn't have any magical weapons at present. At that point they decided to rest, so they dragged the corpses out into the corridor, cleaned the floor as best they could, and settled in for a long rest.
When they awoke, they stepped back out into the corridor and noted that all of the bodies were gone. Had the dungeon reset? It shouldn't be able to, with them inside it. Something else, then? Toruv, the dragonborn sorcerer, suggested the possibility of a gelatinous cube. They continued on, bypassing a side-passage and coming to a door... and noticing another, secret door in the wall beside them. They got it open and walked through. sneaking down a narrow passage to another secret door... and beyond that, they found a naked, bound dwarf either sleeping or unconscious on the floor. The prodded him awake, and quickly got his story before cutting him loose.
His name is Brand Ironspark, and he's a member of the Black Vanguard -- another banner company. He got separated from his group down on level four, and managed to make it up to level two before being ambushed by a bunch of bugbears and dragged back here. That was, he thinks, a couple of days ago; the bugbear cleric seems to be planning to sacrifice him to some pagan god. Can the group help him get back to the surface?
They can do better than that: between the dragonborn and the half-elf barbarian, they're able to outfit him with a tunic and pants (even if they have to cut a bit off the legs). Then, digging around in the Bag of Holding, they come up with a suit of Ring Mail, a shield, a morning star, and a spear. Brand is ecstatic, and asks if they'd be willing to do him one further favor: he wants to kill the whole troop of bugbears before he goes. Is the group willing? Of course they are. They hand him food and water, and he's in the midst of scarfing it down when the non-secret door swings open and a robed bugbear strides into the room, yelling for the prisoner to quiet down until he can be sacrificed.
The half-elf swashbuckler/bard reaches out and swings the door closed behind the cleric. Then the fight begins.
It's a short fight. The bugbear cleric has just stepped into a room full of vengeful adventurers, and... well, Aika (the swashbuckler) stabs her, Sana (halfling druid) poison sprays her, Arch (half-elf barbarian) hits her with his flaming sword, Barrith (halfling Arcane Trickster) stabs her with his frost brand shortsword, Brand Ironspark misses his swing with his morning star (he's still recovering from being tied up for two days), and Toruv (dragonborn sorcerer) steps in, puts his palm against the cleric's face, and finishes her off with a pair of Eldritch Blasts.
The room that the cleric came out of is empty; there's some treasure, and they quickly loot it before setting up in front of the next door. They haven't been discovered yet, so they have time to set up a plan -- and it goes off perfectly.
The barbarian and the fighter set up in front of the door. The arcane trickster opens it (very stealthily) with Mage Hand. Then Toruv steps up with Melf's Minute Meteors ready, and sends two of the meteors into the room. The bugbears are sitting in a circle around a cookpot full of something that smells horrible, and the meteors catch all of them. In addition, Toruv has aimed his attacks to knock over the cookpot, doing additional damage as it spills over three of the bugbears and converting that side of the circle into difficult terrain. He steps aside as the bugbears all look up.
--Or, well, they start to. Along the way, they see a pair of skeletons floating down the side-passage towards them. They manage to spot (and recognize) a sort of shimmering wall in front of the skeletons, and correctly conclude that these aren't magical skeletons; it's the remains of the white apes, and they're being carried along inside a gelatinous cube. Toruv fires off a couple of meteors at the thing, and everybody runs for the stairs. Fortunately, gelatinous cubes are not fast; they're able to get to the statue room and realign the statue before it catches up with them. The closed portcullis won't keep the cube out, but the other portcullis is now up and their way to the stairs is clear. They race up the steps and pass through the magical membrane to the first level. The cube does not follow.
Feeling relatively safe, they continue back to the dungeon entrance; along the way, they think to ask if there's another way down to the second level, and he tells them where to find a second entrance behind a secret door. He also answers Aika's question about whether the Black Vanguard is engaged in a blood feud with the Iron Men: they are. The Iron men aren't really exploring the dungeon, they're just trying to make sure that nobody except the Guilded Lancers (the other Banner Company of their House, Briyann) gets to explore. Brand thanks them again, tells Arch it was good fighting with him, and leaves.
With Brand safely out of the dungeon and on his way, they circle the first level of the dungeon to find the secret entrance, which is exactly where Brand said it would be. They're looking at it when they hear the clump of footsteps, and a group of five dwarves come stomping up the steps. From the devices on their armor, this is obviously the rest of the Black Vanguard.
"Um, hello," says Aika, the swashbuckler. "We found your boy Brand."
"Ah?" asks one of the dwarves. "And where is he, then?"
"We gave him armor and weapons and saw him to the entrance," answers Toruv.
"I told you I felt him leave," says one of the dwarves -- the one who's carrying a staff instead of something edged, though he's every bit as heavily armored as the rest.
The dwarf who spoke first grunts an acknowledgement, and the group starts past. Another dwarf, the other one in the front row, stops and turns. "We're in your debt," he says. And with no more ceremony than that, the whole group marches past and heads towards the entrance.
"Well," says Aika. "That's not the worst thing that could happen."
So at this point the group decides that they've had enough excitement for one expedition; they, too, exit the dungeon. They're due a day of rest, and Sana the druid wants to see if she can exchange the magical dagger for something more useful to her. So after a pause at the manor for breakfast, they divide the treasure with Aldenmier and head off to the local magic shop...
...but that's a story for next time.
At this point, according to my listing, they have:
Current party treasure by my count is 25 PP, 2,602 GP, and 331 SP.
Treasure they've collected over the last few adventures (which we really haven't settled out) includes:
-A silver idol worth 450 gp, which they straight hand over to Lord Aldenmier in exchange for keeping the bracers of archaery, which the barbarian is using.
-A ruby worth 200 gp.
-an ivory scabbard taken from the bugbear cleric, worth 75 gp.
-a +1 Ring of Protection, which they handed over to Brand Ironspark to help make sure he got home safely.
Once they finish dividing that up, they should have:
25 PP, 2,927 GP, and 331 SP.
(Aldenmier agrees that they can hang on to the ivory scabbard as a keepsake; they've brought in quite a bit of wealth for his House and several of his business ventures seem to be doing well, so he's feeling generous. Also, an ivory scabbard for the Ivory Scimitars? It's just too appropriate.)