Among the chaos of the fireball that sent so many dueragar into the air, the duo had cut a slice in the general's tent only to find it to be empty.
They quickly searched the room and found a peculiar wardrobe sealed by an arcane lock. They had no means to dispel it, so they bashed the wardrobe in hopes of not destroying its contents.
A paralyzed dueragar is gagged and tied up inside. They quickly take him with them with the theory it to be the general, but two dueragar rush in to report the fireball damage. A battle unleashes, but the duo come out as victors. Quickly healing from the fight, they make their escape out the back slit.
Five dueragar follow in to further report, but Zaburk had set the bed on fire as another distraction. Instead of leaving them, Zaburk peeks back through the slit only to come face to face with one of them who spots him immediately.
Pickles takes the two dogs and casts his second spell, flying, once again to bring them back to the ledge with the mind flayer. It takes him a while to get there and back, so Zaburk is left to fight the 5 dueragar himself.
Four surround him, but on Pickles' returne trip, he obliterates one of the dueragar standing on the ledge next to Zaburk. Between the two of them, they are able to kill the remaining four and flee from the scene.
The mind flayer anxiously latches his tentacles and mouth onto the head of the dueragar and begins to partially feed. Telepathically the dueragar communicates with them, explaining that they tried escaping the stronghold as they did not wish to follow Kaval's orders anymore, but Kaval caught him and paralyzed him in the wardrobe in hopes to cause confusion and chaos from the lack of leadership.
Two alternative entrances were revealed to them beside the main gate: a service door on one side where the cook dumps the food waste, and an underground river that leads to a cistern close to the throne room.
They opt for the easier route of the kitchen. The door is strange and takes them some time before they are able to slide the heavy metal door to one side and enter the kitchen. An albino gnoll stirs tonight's food as he prepares to feed the dueragar. He is clearly deaf as he doesn't hear them open the door.
He turns out to be indifferent of them and agrees not to mention their presence. Zaburk finds the fireplace in the kitchen is fake, and through coincidence of Kosher sticking his paw in a mouse hole, finds a mechanism that opens a false door in the back of the fireplace.
It leads into a huge cavern filled with magma pools and a stone bridge that arches over it all. A fire salamander glides along the surface with three fire snakes. They all sense their presence as they attempt to cross the bridge.
The salamander summons the fire snakes out of the magma, so the duo focuses on it to quickly eliminate the beast while their dogs work on any snakes that float up to the bridge. The mind flayer shows its raw awesome power by sending a devastating psychic emitter to the salamander as well, and they soon end the fight and continue on.
The opposite side contains a door that leads to a corridor with both stairs going down and cells along the walls that end in a bright lit room at the end. Clearly the prisoners in the cells have been beaten savagely with open wounds. Among the prisoners is an orc.
Zaburk mentions his own name to him, which causes the orc to show interest. He confirms his name is Karug and that he ordered Zaburk to be taken away by Rangers due to an imminent invasion of Frost Giants to Nanook City, his hometown. He begs Zaburk not to let his body rot underground and to at least dump his body on the surface anywhere.
Karug desperately tells him that he must go to Nanook City and find information there that he would try and expand on when there was more time. At that point, over a dozen guards enter the corridor and shove all prisoners and the 3 along with the two dogs into the bright room and down into the arena pit.
A series of 8 gates open….