From the Travel Journals of Nimimil Anterome-Galanodel:

After having rested and prayed to Sashelas for the skill to speak to the dead. We plan our questions and ask:

“How do we get to the next level?”

It answers that it does not know, that it was brought from a different level.

“How did you die?”

“Halaster killed meeee…” it responds.

“What is your heart?”

“It is my heart, it still beats,” the skeleton reveals, and allows us to hear a heartbeat.

“What should we be scared of most in this dungeon?”

“You should be scared of Halaster and his school, Dweomercore – much more goes on that meets the eye,” It warns ominously.

“What is the situation with Izzy’s sword?”

It responds to our last question, “I know nothing of this sword.”

The tiefling skeleton reminds us once more, “Look for the little dwarves under the mountain, one of them holds the key to my heart.”

We journey onward and Shadow stealthily unlocks yet another door to reveal a bugbear with an uncanny awareness of our presence. On the bugbear’s pauldron is a symbol of Xanathar’s guild (the thieves guild run by a beholder named Xanathar in Waterdeep) that Shadow is aware of. This bugbear speaks, and asks Shadow for a password. After attempting to convince the bugbear to let Shadow through without a password the bugbear becomes confused and asks Shadow to come with him. Eerily, the bugbear knows how many are in Shadow’s crew. Cal and Izzy replicate the symbols for each of us so that we seem to be part of Xanathar’s guild. We follow the bugbear single-file, and Shadow takes the opportunity to sneak attack the bugbear with his rapier… he succeeds, but the bugbear warns that Shadow should not have done that and calls for reinforcements.

Battle ensues!

With excellent efforts on all parts, Sprouting Hops and Dencik spotted strange beings fleeing the fight, two creatures that look like brains with legs. A third bugbear comes after the first two are dispatched and he summons more reinforcements as well. After all the bugbears are defeated, and some of the goblins, the remainder of the goblins surrender. Izzy leads a deal with the goblins to answer our questions if we promise to leave them unharmed – we do so, and after our questions are answered, Sprouting Hops closes the goblins in the room they had come from. The other emptied room is made secure and our motley crew inspects the contents. Inside is a marionette made of a human skeleton and a broken shield that rebuilt says Nimraith. Sprouting Hops respectfully placed the shield over the skeleton and moved it to a corner. We take a long rest to regain spell slots and health.

Traveling on, we seek out the way to the next level, shooting crossbow bolts before heading down each hall to make sure we don’t walk into the gelatinous cube as we walk through. As we continued, we run into more of Xanathar’s guild of thieves, who seem like they don’t want to be tattled on to Xanathar. Shadow takes advantage of this and attempts to gain more information from the blundering bugbear duo. Our rogue tabaxi Shadow is successful in convincing the bugbears Steve and Klommmp that we are an inspection crew from Xanathar’s guild.

Leaving on our direction, the watch group “Gricksnacks” the bugbears lead move to the other side of the dungeon level giving us a dire warning about gricks…

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