After a bit of exploring (and setting off a few traps), the heroes managed to find their way out of the House of Despair.
They traveled through the Underdark shallows for a while, and saw some strange stuff, but nothing terribly threatening.
Then they started getting a bit deeper into the Underdark.
They stumbled across one of the “King’s Highways” (tunnels carved out of the Underdark by Torog, the crawling god)
Later, they came to a fork in the path. The map wasn’t any help.
One way sloped down, and was slightly warmer. The other way sloped upwards.
The heroes chose down.
After another hour or 2, they came to the source of the heat: A room full of lava and boiling mud.
In the lava, were Magma Brutes (large, fiery, elemental type creatures), which attacked as soon as the heroes entered their area.
Joining them shortly afterwards was a Beholder! A Beholder Eye of Flame to be exact (one of the lesser varieties of Beholder…less eyes and less deadly powers).
After being submerged in the lava by Nef, the Beholder flew above the combat, firing random eye beams at people. He kept tossing Hogar into lava, but Hogar has a lot of movement abilities and managed to keep jumping/flying/teleporting out of the lava and back to solid ground (fortunately).
The beholder also kept making people vulnerable to fire, and lighting people on fire, and making people run away in fear.
The Magma Brutes weren’t tricky at all. They just pummeled on anyone close to them.
After the heroes took down the Beholder, the 2 remaining brutes ran away (or melted into the lava?).
After searching the beholder’s den, they found a portable hole, with some treasure in it. They also decided that a beholder’s den in the middle of a lava pool was probably about as safe a spot as they were going to find in the Underdark, so they decided to rest there.