Wandering through the tunnels in hopes of putting as much distance as possible between themselves and the cold waters of the subterranean river, the adventurers discovered an illusionary wall resembling a pile of rocks. Pushing beyond the illusion, they found a rectangular room with a large chest and two statues. They easily managed to unlock and open the chest revealing old gold coins and two amulets. Milanthis was able to quickly determine that the amulets were enchanted, but before he could determine what sort of powers they bestowed, the group was interrupted by the statues coming to life.
The guardian constructs proved to be a difficult fight. They were able to assault the minds of their enemies, hide in plain sight, and easily dodge out of the way of sword and hammer swings. Thankfully, the heroes prevailed and left both statues as mere piles of rubble.
Charles, our DM, did a great job with this encounter. The statues were described as resembling two pieces of a single totem-pole-like statue, which meant that none of us knew what to expect once they activated and attacked. Towards the end of the fight, some of us finally pieced together that they had the stats of clay scout homunculi, but up until then we had no idea what to expect.
After recovering their breath, the group pressed on through the twisting tunnels. Then they heard a clicking sound in the distance. Curious, they crept forward with their weapons ready and found a den of creatures that had a mix of reptilian and insectoid features. Recognizing the monsters as kruthiks, Milanthis attempted to hinder them by conjuring a patch of ice, but the nimble creatures avoided the worst effects of the spell and closed into a vicious melee. Fortunately, there were only three small kruthiks, and they were no match for Norask and Thoradin. Unfortunately, they found more kruthiks just moments later.
We learned that the damaging aura of kruthiks makes them particularly scary in melee. Luckily, our softer party members, Milanthis and Thia, did a pretty good job staying out of reach.
After finally cutting through the remaining groups of kruthiks, the adventurers discovered that they had reached a dead end. Their path to escape lay somewhere else in the tunnels…