The party members who were present were:
The night started with the party facing off against the orc shaman Burdug, her two orc assistants, and Old Yarrack, who had climbed down the kitchen chimney, and joined Burdug in her lab.
Pepper started the combat off by hitting one of the orc assistants with a ray of enfeeblement, draining 7 strength from it. This was followed by Rascal dropping the other one with a crossbow bolt. This caused Epsilon to burst into song, bolstering the spirits of his allies.
Burdug healed the orc that was shot with the crossbow, but when it tried to stand back up, Ivanka mowed it down. Ivanka also managed to take out the strength drained orc also. Old Yarrack tried throwing axes from afar, but when the first orc assistant went down, he moved up to stand toe to toe with Ivanka.
Burdug cast sleep and put Pepper to sleep, and then she cast cause fear, but everyone made their saving throw. She followed this by lobbing some alchemist fire into the group, which had the unintended effect of waking up Pepper.
After taking some damage from Rascal firing his crossbow at her, and Pepper firing a magic missile at her, Burdug turned, grabbed a torch, and bolted out the other door to the great stair, amidst cursing from Old Yarrack calling her a coward.
Old Yarrack continued fighting with the group a little while longer, until he too tried to flee, and was struck down by Ivanka. The party then turned their attention to following Burdug, only to discover that the grand stair was full of Stirges!
Seeing that the stirges were deterred by fire, the party grouped together with torches, and descended down the stairs after Burdug.
Upon reach the bottom of the stairs, the party wedged two torches into the walls, thereby keeping the stirges from following them down the stairs. They descended a little further to find a fork in the natural stone cave. One path lead down into darkness on the right, with the other leading slightly uphill to the left.
It was this left path which had a stream flowing down the middle of it, which Pepper informed the party was not natural (thought it appeared to be) and Burdugs tracks appear to lead this way, but disappeared into the stream.
The party chose to go this way, but encountered some bigger stirges, and had to fight them, while being drained of their blood. It was a hard battle, but after defeating the 6 stirges, the party found their nest, along with Burdug’s corpse, and the corpse of a long dead dwarf.
The party chose to rest in the nest for a day, before exploring the source of the stream. This they discovered was the backside of a waterfall, and so they doubled back to check out the other path that had descended down to the right of the fork.
This path led down a while, before opening up into the high cavern. It was here that they could see the other side of the waterfall, and the stream it created which wound it’s way across this large cavern.
While they stood at the bottom of the steps carved into the cliffside, 4 more stirges detached themselves from the ceiling, and attacked the party. Knowing a little more about what they were up against, and having had time to rest and refresh themselves, the party made short work of this group of stirges.
The night ended with the party deciding whether to proceed with exploring the high cavern.