The party continued exploring the fortress, going from the lower level to the ground floor to the top level. Eventually they passed through the northern overlook and went back down to the ground floor.
At this point they encountered an Eladrin female, apparently Queen Sephatiah, in the throne room. She had some human lackeys and 2 cacklefiend hyenas with her.
After defeating the Queen, her form changed from that of an Eladrin to a Dryad.
There were also a number of trees growing out of the floor in the throne room and surrounding area. The party chopped the trees down.
Later, while passing through the central courtyard the party was ambushed by a carrion crawler hiding in the sand. The crawler died quickly, but then flying harpies descended from the hole in the ceiling to attack the party. Eventually the harpies were defeated as well.
The party then explored an area with an abandoned stable, a cart storage area and an ore storage area. This area apparently used to house the Warden and his pet behir.
At this point the party had run out of new locations to explore, but they still had not located the Karak Lode
While discussing what to do next, the party heard a noise at the front doors to the fortress. When they went to investigate they saw the Birdman wandering out of the fortress. When they attempted to follow the birdman into the desert a freak sandstorm blew up and forced the party to return to the shelter of the fortress.
Trapped in the fortress by the sandstorm, the party decided to rest for the night in the northern overlook.
During the night the party was awakened by the warning sound of chirping canaries. This was immediately followed by an ambush, but thanks to the chirping sound the party was not taken by surprise. (Note: The ambush occurred on Balasar’s watch, so he was already awake.)
The ambush consisted of a Troglodyte spellcaster and a number of Chokers. The rubbery nature of the Chokers allowed them to squeeze between the arrow slits of the northern overlook. The Troglodyte and another Choker arrived via the eastern passage.
The party defeated the ambush and completed their rest. When they awoke they were 7th level.
After breaking camp the party noticed something on the floor to the east. After investigating they discovered it was a canary feather. At that point they noticed another feather further down the passage.
The party quickly realized that the trail of feathers was leading somewhere, so they decided to follow it. The trail went down to the lower level of the fortress and back to the dungeon where they first encountered the Birdman.
In the southeastern cell, across from the one that had held the Birdman, was a hole in the floor that hadn’t been there earlier. Below the hole is a wooden platform that can be lowered into an even deeper portion of the fortress. The Birdman, however, was nowhere to be seen.
At this point it was late so we ended the session.
Each character has 10,476 exp at the end of the session.