The clumsiness that was afflicting Gypsum is apparently some sort of communicable disease or curse. Naturally, StormSlayer was the first to contract it, given Gypsum shadows him like some little puppy. Varistan and Kur were next to succumb, though I think they got it from StormSlayer, not Gypsum, as he’s always spending time with them, boasting of his deeds. So far Shemnon and I seem to be immune, but I’ll keep my distance just in case.
We never did get that long rest we’d hoped for… we’d barely finished barricading the stairs and started to settle down to sleep when Kur heard goblins speaking as they entered the room in which we slew the zombies. Fortunately, we were able to slay the goblins and their Magma Claws fairly easily. I quickly realized that they’d come from one of the unexplored areas from the previous floor, and finally managed to convince the others of the folly of leaving those 3 passageways unexplored.
So, we took the stairs in the eastern wall and in a side passage we found Sertanian, the castellan of the museum, locked up. After Shemnon freed him we discovered that the short cloak he had been using to keep warm was magical. Once notified of this, Sertanian gladly handed it over as a gift for freeing him. While it probably would have been most useful for our suicidal halfling, it was too large for him, so Gypsum ended up receiving it instead.
Next, we proceeded east, down a hallway which turned north into a triangular room with a magical portal along the base of it, and passageways at each vertex. While we were examining the portal, two specters and a duo of ochre jellies came through it. This battle was tough, the jellies split in twain when they got low on health, and the specters are difficult to harm due to being insubstantial. By the end of the battle, most of our melee contingent was pretty beaten up, but we pressed on anyways.
Sure enough, the passageway in the northern wall led back to the hallway with the pits, while the passageway to the east turned north and led to the barracks. We headed back to the altar room with the privy and went through the eastern door to the last unexplored area on this floor — a room containing a pair of goblins, half a dozen dire rats, and a woman tied up atop an altar. StormSlayer got swarmed by the dire rats, but I cast a spell on them to make it more difficult to hit him, then scattered the weak-willed creatures with another spell so my companions could isolate and kill them. We kept one of the goblins alive for interrogation, and Reed freed the woman on the altar. We’ve discerned that she’s Mirtala, the cook, another of the villagers we’ve been searching for. That now makes four that we’ve rescued, just the priestess of Ioun, the guard captain and his son remain.
We’ve cleared this floor, but now we really need to rest and tend to everyone’s wounds. Mirtala and Varistan have contracted filth fever from dire rat bites, so they’ll need extra care. We are going to try resting outside of the catacombs, hopefully that’ll reduce the chances of encountering more goblins and undead.