Nifzab explains to the group that he has misplaced his lucky magic hat and that he believes it is being held in a hellhole to the northwest of Haven. He warns the group that there will be many fearsome dangers and the very real possibility of death (or at least dismemberment), but if they can return his hat to him, they will be greatly rewarded. He sets them off with the general directions on how to reach the hellhole and a wish for good luck.
The group, for a lack of anything better to do, sets off to find the mystical and magical mousy grey hat. They march off along the road heading towards the hellhole, hoping that Nifzab had overestimated the danger in retrieving his hat. On the outskirts of town, they find a pack of kobolds attacking a traveling merchant. Charging valiantly into battle, they soon find that it was a cunning (for a kobold) trap set to lure in would-be heroes. An enormous mutant kobold bursts from the cart attempting to overwhelm the party with his sheer mass and ferocity. However, even an extra large kobold is no match for a true hero, and the band is soon dispatched. When our heroes attempt to check on the two humans lying in the dirt, they find these were just straw dummies also set as part of the trap. Why this band of kobolds would set a fake-merchant trap designed explicitly to lure in heroes and not just prey on actual merchants, the world will never know. It’s just the kobold’s way.
The party soon leaves the road to cross through part of the Dragon Wood. Here again they face many dangers, including a raging river and a very hungry, yet polite vampire (whom they introduce to the wonderful world of vegetarian eating). They then find themselves lost in the vast wood, only to happily stumble upon the entrance to an obviously evil cave that could only be the hellhole they were looking for. Such is the luck of a hero.
The opening of the cave is guarded by a golem with three riddles that must be answered to gain entrance. The first, “What is in the middle of nowhere?” is easily answered with, “The letter H”. The second, “What invention lets you look through a wall?” is answered even quicker by “A window”. However, the third proves much more difficult. “Why is an eagle liking a dining table?” Even the smartest of the party is stumped by this clever riddle, so as adventurers are wont to do, they resort to violence. Smashing their way past the golem and his skeleton friends, they enter the dark and spooky cave. It is pitch black.
Inside the cave, they slowly began to explore the winding tunnels. They first encounter some exploding beetles that prove more annoyance than serious threat to our band. Beyond that, the find a large room with a pile of humanoid remains in the center. As they cautiously explore the area, a magical darkness descends snuffing out what little light they had. An enormous cave ogre that was lying in wait springs his ambush, bashing away with his tree-trunk club. A pack of hook scuttlers descend from the ceiling and attempt to tear apart those separated from the larger group in the darkness. But again, the party proves more than a match for these simple creatures and slays them in record time. With the ogre dead, the magical darkness lifts, returning them to the still fairly dark darkness of the cave. Here they stop to catch their breath and gather themselves before venturing deeper into the unknown…