The first time the Red Hand, the nameless half-orc and Lug had any idea that they were being played with was the moment that a gigantic jackal headed beast came form the corridor behind them and knocked Jermias out cold with a single blow. The beast was felled with some effort, and the Thugs were pissed. They hatched a plan to bum-rush the elephant and crocodile-headed beasts in a full frontal assault.
After a few minutes of planning they sprinted down the corridor in tight formation. Ninety feet of tense nerves awaiting battle, and a final burst around the corner to find: nothing. Their opponents had seemingly fled.
A door on the right contained suspended platform, some temple or shrine to an evil god, and an armored man pinned to the back wall in mid-air, wearing full plate mail yet run through with five swords. The thugs closed the door on this room for now.
The next room contained an elaborate mechanism that could be figured out to access two chests. This was forced open with brute strength and the bounty withdrawn. After some deft lock-picking interspersed with reckless opening of smaller caskets within Lug’s face was the worse for wear with acid burns and Red Hand had been severely poisoned.
The thugs were done for, they needed to escape with what they had gotten post haste. The last thing on their mind was combat, images of the surface and Chad counting up the valuables swam in their thoughts. However, when they opened the door to the room again they were faced with the monstrous animal-headed beasts, who had seemingly returned while the Thugs looted the room.
The fury of a Thug wounded and backed into a corner is not to be underestimated. Beasts were ripped limb from limb, by blade and magic alike. Red Hand bore his superior firepower against the green scales of our crocodile foe, felling him with ease. Cat creatures were torn from the rafters to face judgement under the two glaives of the nameless half-orc and Lulu. Then. in the final showdown with the Elephantine cleric the combined strength of Lug and Jeremias barely prevent the nameless half-orc from throwing himself into the abyss at the beck of evil magics. The thugs were on death’s door, but if such a door exists then they had at least kicked the evil cleric through it with harsh finality.
The temple room was ransacked and the crew made their flight, leaving behind the corpses of an elephant-headed priest, a crocodile-headed cleric, and about a half-dozen other beasts with visages of jackals, cats and eagles. Victory was hard fought and coughed up in blood, but the risks they had taken were repaid in glory and loot. The thug life was lived that day.