Having gone back to the ruins, things went badly for Ipsil the thief when a giant tick launched itself from it's hiding place in a fire place and immediately sank its teeth into him. He managed to survive the initial attack, but fumbled and dropped his short sword in an attempt to attack/cut it off. It proceeded to suck a goodly amount of blood out of him (a certain amount of poetic justice was noted). With aid from the rest of the party, it was distracted and made to lose contact with Ipsil, but before it died it managed to penetrate his leather armor yet again, and sucked another pint or so, dropping him. The critter was then killed on the end of Narmain's halberd if I recall correctly (sending both it and Ipsil's blood spattering over a large portion of the floor - Ipsil might have been glad to have been unconscious at this point and not seen this). He made his saving throw against death, and was hauled back to the church in town for some major recuperation time, taking him out of the game for a bit.
Someone suggested that the militia might loan them an extra man, and Francis took the opportunity to request his leave from them. The militia is extending haz duty pay to its members if they agree to join the party in clearing out any baddies from the ruins, but they are growing slightly uneasy now that the party has returned several times and two of the four men the militia has loaned them have come back dead (at least one grieving family was compensated with a half year's wages of their departed). Two young and green militiamen agreed to join, one of whom had a long sword which some in the party looked at with a small amount of envy.
Spending the night at the inn, they spotted an adventuring-looking pair down the hall from the common room where they were staying, and entreated them to join the party the following morning if they were looking for work. They agreed, and Eluxen made known that they needed to stop off at the church before setting out to the ruins, but this seemed to not be heard, or was ignored.
The next morning, there was some grumbling from Torgu, apparently some kind of cleric or fighter, that he wasn't interested in entering anyone's church, nor visiting with priests. His comrade Qubert, an absolutely ripped fighter, said he had no problems with chatting up some priests (I suspect Nick was hoping the clerics at the church would cast Detect Alignment on these two, as they had to Agnal, which had outed him as an evil-doer). Eluxen seemed to tire of the grousing, and then came up with the idea of introducing them to the local druid of the grove, with whom they were in good standing (perhaps again to vet these two newcomers). Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be found, so the group set off in the direction of the keep, which was also on the way to the ruins, in order to join the new militiamen recruits.
Once there and joined, Eluxen asked to speak with the head honcho there about the new recruits from the inn, but Eustace and Chuck (the newest men-at-arms) told him that he had left on business and was rumored to be meeting somewhere with the local druid. At this news, Eluxen asked Qubert and Torgu to stay at the keep and wait for their return, for permission to join the rest of the party. They both bristled at this, and Qubert said that as he knew where the ruins were, they could just go there themselves and take any loot that they found before Eluxen and the others got there, if that's how they wanted it. There was some debate in the party, with Narmain being fine if they came along without first asking a village leader, but the others were ambivalent, and followed Eluxen's lead. Finally, Qubert and Torgu set off on their own, a bit huffily. After waiting a while, the rest of the party set off to the ruins as well.
Once there, they searched a few apparently empty rooms before entering a larger room that was obviously a barracks at one time. In this room was a giant lizard - in the ensuing battle, the new recruit Chuck dropped his long sword, Eluxen's fumbled his arrow, another got a large piece of wood stuck on the end of his battleaxe, and Narmain managed to completely break the shaft of his halberd. Despite this comedy of errors, noone was killed, although Bob was left on the brink of death, and quite quickly donned the scale mail they found shortly after without asking anyone else about it first. As the party searched the room, a large section of the roof collapsed on several members, leaving another badly injured now as well. With Bob cursing the small number of silver coins found in the debris and in the sole unbroken chest in the room, the party exited back into the hall from which they'd came. There they saw two figures which stepped into the light twenty feet away or so, revealing themselves to be Torgu and Qubert.
These two exclaimed how rotten the party looked first, and then went on to say how they'd only had a chance to explore a small bit of the ruins to the southeast. They'd discovered a large, rotten carcass of a snake (previously slain by the party) as well as a number of dead giants rats. They said they'd heard the battle from the other end of the ruins but had been reluctant to enter the chamber because of the sheer noise of the commotion and concerns that they might be seriously outnumbered. A conversation ensued and it was decided that they should join the party for their mutual benefit, given the injured members and the safety in numbers.
Whereupon there was again an argument, this time over marching order, with Eluxen wanting the two of them to be at the front, Qubert and Torgu wanting to not have their backs to strangers, and finally it settling when Qubert agreed to join an uninjured man-at-arms at the front, and Torgu would follow in the rear, "shielding the injured militiamen" from any surprise attack.
After this, the party found the stairs down to the dungeon, and descended them, with no sign of any further green slime this time. They found a door to an empty chamber, went through it to another door on the other side, and entering that one were horrified to discover an ogre waiting - not having all entered the room, Eluxen yelled for retreat, and they were all able to pull back without injury, the ogre missing Qubert with a polearm. Eluxen readied his Sleep spell, but the ogre did not enter the room they'd fled into - with the door still open, they couldn't see where he'd gone there and wondered if the ogre was waiting just off to the side of the door. They threw a jar of lit pitch into the room, but still couldn't see where the ogre had gone to...
(uh...Qubert & Chuck? I know, silly. I get the odd chuckle in when I can in this game - "You won initiative. Chuck's up!")