After the last session, Duncan and Ataraxia found themselves in an empty cave, having cleared out the bat swarm that lived here. In a small make-shift cell, they found a young human male, who had been gagged and his hands and fingers tightly bound.
After arming Embreth with a small dagger--it was the only weapon they had on hand the young mage could use--the three set out to explore the rest of the cavern. Down one twisting and turning hallway, they found another room where the bats in the area nested, and beyond they found, not another jail cell, but the living quarters, such that it was, for the kobolds of the tribe. While the kobolds outnumbered their hobgoblin leaders, they had no loyalty for Crookneck or his ilk. Since the party was willing to leave the rest of these kobolds alone, including the women and children of the tribe, the kobolds were willing to stay out the heroe's way.
Down another corridor, the party was able to sneak up on a hobgoblin guard. The guard was half asleep at his post and they were quickly able to subdue the hobgoblin before he could alert anyone. From the hobgoblin, Embreth took a spear that he could wield instead of the small dagger.
With surprise, the party burst into the room to find two more hobgoblin and a lone gnome. The gnome is chained to a heavy chair near a set of work benches. One of the benches displays all manner of chemicals, oils, and liquids, while the other table shows small mechanical devices in various stages of build.
After fighting and defeating the hobgoblins, the party was able to talk to the gnome. It seems the gnome, who's "human" name is Sparks, was captured by the kobolds months ago. He was a member of the Mt. Nevermind gnome's Guild of Fences and Defences. He would have been killed, but Crookneck saw the gnome's plans for various inventions in his journals and spared the tinkerer so long as he created useful devices for the tribe.
Down the main hallway of these caverns, they came across a pair of hobgoblins who've set up a defensive position. After hearing some of the commotion nearby (the party wasn't as stealthy as they'd hoped to be), some of Crookneck's top guards started investigating and after finding the mage missing, they knew something was amiss.
With a coordinated attack, the party burst into the room, which was better decorated than any other place in the caverns. Inside there was one wounded guard, as well as his unharmed partner. Also in the room, giving orders was clearly the tribe leader, the one others referred to Crookneck. With everyone in clear view, Embreth cast one of his spells. Soon missiles of magical force flew unerringly toward the various targets wounding each of the hobgoblins.
After than, Ataraxia rushed in pummel the wounded guard while Duncan went after the other guard. Crookneck was just out of reach, but he soon rushed in to gang up on the cleric. In short order, Duncan, Ataraxia, Embreth, and even Sparks defeated the leader of the tribe and his personal guard.
In the room they found some valuable treasures, including several bags of coins of all types, a handful of precious gems, and a few rare and valuable books. Mostly importantly, among the other books, Embreth was able to find his personal spell book. From Crookneck, Duncan was able to retrieve the leaders enchanted long sword, and a set of keys, for what, the cleric did not yet know.
On the other side of the room, was another door, but instead of leading to another hallway, this was a dark and narrow stairwell down, deeper into the bowels of the earth. Heading down, with sunrod close at hand, the party soon found themselves in the makeshift dungeon. In here, they were able to find the two remaining prisoners, shackled to the walls. One of the keys Duncan retrieved from Crookneck undid the locks. The young men were in fact Oswald and Hubert Fastralli, as Erik Frause has mentioned traveling with on the the road carriage. After freeing the young men and tending to their wounds, all minor, everyone made their way out of the caverns.
Behind the Scenes: As you may have guessed, Embreth was supposed to be a new ongoing character in the campaign. Unfortunately, shortly after these sessions, the person playing him he had to drop out of the game.