Waleed catches up with the group, and The Wardens break camp to return to the tunnels beneath the Rookwarden. Much to their dismay, they discover that the traps within have somehow all been reset, and even their locations have seem to shifted, not to mention the fact that seemingly new traps have seemingly taken the place of what was previously there. Valin Brumbagh chalks it up to good old Dwarven trapsmithing magic – something that nearly claims his life when the party scrambles to save his life from underneath a crushing stone block trap. After navigating the traps again, the Wardens encounter a new kind of Gremlin – Pugwampis. These dog-faced fey don’t seem to want the trouble that these adventurers pose, as perhaps they may have learned their lesson from previous encounters with larger folk, and decide to be relatively docile with the party.
After one of them – Tik – comes forward and actually assists Waleed in crossing a trapped bridge before shedding some light on the dwarves’ previous arrangement with their clan, as well as their animosity towards the invading Jinkins in the other section of the tunnels. The Wardens conditionally agree to look into similar dealings with the Pugwampis should they succeed in taking the Rookwarden from the trolls.
A number of traps and a long climb later, the party finally finds itself standing in the courtyard of the Dwarven fortress, surrounded by its high walls and impressive architecture, fallen into ruin and disrepair from the carelessness of its current occupants. A signal is given to Letamir Evgenin to join the group as they prepare to assault the trolls in their lair, and once the group is ready they strike out against their formidable opponents. Blood is spilled as they do battle with several trolls and scrags, their amphibious cousins, getting the jump on several with total surprise. Things are going well until a friendly melee mishap nearly severs Valin’s spine, forcing the group to retreat into the tunnels and wait for his recovery before venturing back into the Rookwarden again.
What challenges await them above now that their element of surprise is gone?