The bugbear (hobgoblin? I always get them mixed up) general opened the door to his harem, wondering where his food was, only to see the entire party milling about in the hallway. "Oh, hell no!" he said, reaching for his sword, at which point Zakhar whipped out a fire-bomb and tossed it past him, into the harem, where he roasted the goblin whores. You know, just in case they were actually warchanters or something.
I was sure they were all going to be high-level clerics, personally, but they died in one hit, so... maybe not so much.
The party melee specialists fought him in the doorway, Ash eventually taking him out with a shocking grasp channeled through her axe. The mercenary from the backrooms might have joined in to help, but Phoof charmed him and led him around the corner to keep him out of the fight. "Stay here!" she told him.
That lasted about six seconds.
At any rate, as the party was congratulating themselves on killing one of the goblin leaders (and some whores), Ripnugget showed up at the end of a long hallway, pelting Elsie with magic missiles from a staff before ducking back into cover. The party charged after him, only for him to hide behind a barred door. This door was much flimsier than the previous door Elsie had tried to break down, and she was easily able to smash it in half.
Only to see Ripnugget hiding behind a woman, this time. Kaito ran up and stabbed her, but only got one of her mirror images -- and then she closed the door on them. "Fine," he said, "If you want to hide in your closet, hide in your closet." Then he and Elsie -- who'd watched him charge in, but stopped her attack as soon as she saw the new person, because she wasn't sure whose side she was on -- propped a table up blocking the door, and piled chairs in front of it to hold it in place.
Just in time! Zakhar, bored with the chase, decided to open another doorway, and four sets of frightening howls echoed through the dungeon, terrifying most of the party, who dropped what they were holding and fled in random directions. Ash was left on her own staring into the temple behind the double doors, and took a step inside to investigate.
Three creepy dogs stepped out from behind pillars, or descended from the ceiling like spiders. Knowing that her... associates were busy cowering in various corners, she stepped up to hold off the evil creatures.
That was probably a mistake. Their bites were vicious! And one of them slipped past her, menacing Phoof who'd also resisted the fearful howls and was coming to assist.
She managed to get back out of the temple, at which point Phoof closed the door behind her and used her skill at handling animals to calm the one dog who'd already come out into the hall. She managed to mollify it, and it wandered off. And fortunately, the other dogs couldn't open doors on their own.
Around this time the rest of the party had gotten over their panic attack and was gathering in front of the temple, except for Kaito who'd dropped his very expensive rapier on the far side of the dungeon and ran off to grab it. The creepy dog-thing was standing right over it! He was in fox form, though, so he snuck up and grabbed it in his teeth, then ran off...
...but the creepy dog saw him, and started following him around. Apparently, it thought he made a cute fox, and turning back into a fox-man didn't deter it.
Ash: "You have a girlfriend!"
Kaito: "I already have a girlfriend back in town!"
Ash: "You playa!"
The mercenary was also following the group around. "Oh, you shouldn't have opened the temple. Nulia keeps her dogs in there. Wait -- is that one of them? Why isn't it eating you?"
So, with the merc and dog in tow, they started searching for the path downstairs. The merc knew there was another level, but not where it was -- he was only contracted to protect the level they were on.
After exhausting almost every other option (they didn't go search the cave with the tentacle-thing in it, or go back into the temple), they grudgingly acknowledged that the room they'd 'trapped' Ripnugget in was probably the way down. Again. Sure enough, when they moved the furniture aside and opened it up, it was empty... except for crates, and shelves, and some weird notes (that Zakhar added to his collection).
No trapdoor under the crate.
Nothing hidden behind the shelves.
Elsie eventually found some tracks -- footprints that walked up to one of the blank walls and vanished, and after some searching Altei managed to open the door, revealing a staircase down. So down they went!
At the bottom of the stairs was a chamber with a large statue of a man holding a glaive, and alcoves with other, less-well-preserved statues of various sorts. Stepping inside gave them a sense of unease... and when Zakhar and his sunrod came close enough to better illuminate the room, Altei swore for a second that he saw a cat crouched in the corner -- but as the bright light filled the room, there was nothing there.
Or, well, it was invisible. Wounds started appearing on the creepy dog, without any obvious attacker.
Kaito: "50 gold on the dog!"
Fortunately for him, no one took that bet, because immediately after he said that, the dog was clawed to death by the invisible attacker.
Ash: "Oh no, your girlfriend! Aren't you sad?"
Kaito: "She wasn't my girlfriend. I gave her a chance, and she couldn't even kill one hellcat."
Val: "Should we bring your other girlfriend down here to give her the same test?"
The party had nothing to use against invisibility, and their attempts at improvising something to reveal the cat proved futile -- Ash missed with her vial of ink, and Elsie's potion of 'helping' just soaked into the cat's fur and quickly vanished. The cat *did* become visible when Zakhar thought to hide his sunrod... which helped exactly one person, since no one else had darkvision.
Despite that, they got a few hits in, but Elsie was badly mauled and they couldn't pin down the cat, who seemed to flow through their formations like smoke. Eventually, it decided that enough was enough and fled the room, rushing past Phoof up the stairs.
They closed the secret door behind them to keep it from sneaking up on them again, and moved on.
Or tried to. Moving on involved going down a hallway with an obvious trap -- two statues wielding blades in alcoves to either side of a suspiciously polished section of floor, with portcullis-like holes in the ceiling from which bars would obviously fall. Kaito broke off a piece of the glaive from the statue in the previous room, and used it as a 5-foot pole to verify that the trap was triggered by a pressure plate, working exactly as they'd expected. Altei poked at it for a bit, but couldn't figure out any way to disable it.
Kaito: "The pressure plate's only 5 feet wide. We could just jump over?"
So Altei and Elsie did just that, but as Altei stepped back to give Elsie room to jump, he found himself between a set of doors to either side, both of them open, and...
And cue the cliffhanger.