Down into the hole again went Erijay, Lomar (with Guy), Kern (with Bjorn) and Jasper. Khoog choose to stay and guard camp for some inexplicably barbarian reason. The party first followed the plume of smoke, and soon found it's source in a large room just below the surface. A blazing fire burned at the bottom the stairs which descended into the chamber. Close investigation by Lomar however, showed it to be decidedly un-flamelike. It radiated no heat, did not burn his hand when placed in the flames, and made no sounds. Erijay crawled behind the flames to search for secret doors (none found) and used a charge from the Wand of Detect Magic to look for any magical clues. Apart from the obviously magical flame and all their magic items, nothing was revealed.
Meanwhile the rest of the party had searched the room, and debated stripping the tapestries as treasure. All activity ceased when Jasper, standing guard at the door, shouted a warning of 'flying monkey things' and the party prepared for battle. Kern went invisible with his cloak, and dropped to the floor so Jasper could shoot over his head (unfortunately, no hits scored). Erijay and Bjorn loosed magic missiles, and followed with web spells to trap the remaining flying apes. These were dispatched quickly and easily, and the bodies cut down and pushed out of the way. After a short discussion, the party decided to go deeper to search for the Cerebral Shield. They headed towards the long stairs Lomar and Erijau had investigated the day before, and first checked out the gorilla-spider nest room. It seemed deserted, but Lomar cautiously sent his new zombie ("Herbert") across first. Which was good, as two of the foul monkey things emerged hooting from the nests and tore the poor Herbert limb from limb. The creatures then fell on the party clustered in the entryway, but not before Jasper was able to lob a flask of oil at one. A quick spark cantrip from Bjorn and the thing went up in flames, but both it and it's companion tore into the front rank. More magic missiles flew (but Erijay lost hers when hit by a gorilla claw), and weapons swung. Meanwhile, the highly combustible nesting material began to burn, and the battle was ended in a cloud of smoke with two crisped and killed gorilla-spiders lying on the floor.