After a skirmish with some spiders in a ruined temple, the party, with Sir Oakley in tow, descend into the Vaults. Almost immediately, they meet a Minotaur raider that tells them to state their business. Timandrius steps forward, and claims they are in the area searching for human artifacts, and that they will not take anything belonging to minotaurs. The Minotaur, defiant, declares that everything in the vaults belongs to minotaurs!
Clubbers steps up, sensing the unease, and says that the party will help the minotaurs clear out any unwanted intruders, specifically orcs. This gives the Minotaur pause, and calls to his allies. From an adjoining room, two very large and even scarier minotaurs emerge. The party takes a collective step backwards. The minotaurs discuss their situation: there is a pack of gnolls that claim the. Adults as their own, and their leader is dining with the Minotaur chief, as well as the creature brokering the peace agreement. There is also a young dragon that has claimed the vaults as his lair. At that, TaiLee shows them the dragon teeth they collected from the green dragon guardian in Thunderspire. Satisfied, they agree to let the party combat the gnolls. They say any treasure they get from the gnolls is theirs to keep, but all else belongs to the the minotaurs.
The party proceeds to the next room where a horrible scene stands before them. A monstrous Minotaur sits on one end of a table, sitting opposite two demonic gnolls. Between then sits an amalgamation of the two races, something between gnoll and Minotaur that beckons them with a goblet full of blood. Warily, Tim takes a bite of an apple, and almost immediately falls unconscious.
Bloody combat ensues. The chaos seems to break whatever control the oni had on his di Ned guests, and as the gnolls attack the party, the Minotaur enrages, and picks up a gnoll and repeatedly slams it on its horns. At the end of the fight, the fallen oni is reduced to dust, and anyone that was within twenty feet of the Minotaur is splattered with gore.
Seemingly on the same side as the minotaurs, they clear out the Vaults of any and all gnolls. In one of the rooms, they find the adamantine rod, one of the items Aleera asked Izaak to find. Upon closer inspection, the rod was covered in te sigils of Asmodeus. The party circles back to the beginning, finding minotaurs worshipping a demon. After much discussion, the party hatches a plan to betray the minotaurs and wipe them out, as well.
Though the party tossed around the idea of making the dragon work against the minotaurs, the party went with a sneakier route. Dawn and Tim double back and lure the minotaurs to one of the gnoll chambers, claiming they found a hidden shrine to Baphomet. Several of the minotaurs follow, and the party took them out before they even had a chance to respond.
Self-assured, they barreled into the last remaining room, and slew the minotaurs and their demon ally. In this room, they found the adamantine dagger, also with symbols of Asmodeus.
Still going strong, and seeing no reason to slow down, the party enters the dragon’s lair. What was once a throne room of some kind, a large dragon sprawled in a corner, asleep on a like of gold as its kobold minions scampered around it. One by one, the kobolds fell, yelling for their most glorious master to awaken. Not until one jumped on it did Mekkaleth wake up. With a rising fury, he breathed flame, clawed, and bit the party. Cornered and weakened, he tried to flee, but he was immobilized by Tim, and fought till the bitter end.
As is appropriate, after slaying a dragon, the hoard was looted. Aside from a pile of gold, the party also found a magical cup, the Chalice of the Dragon, one of the items needed to perform the cleansing ritual with Sir Oakley. They also find five baby kobolds, none of them yet imprinted on anything. Their small scales were a dull gray, not yet attuned to any dragon, element, of patron. Adrie takes them back to town so the party can continue onward, but not after Dawn bonds with one of them, as a small patch of scales turns silver.
With that, the party rests in the temple, having cleared out the Vaults.