Of All The Caverns In the Known World…

“Blessed Havlav!” Stephan hissed upon seeing the webbed bundles Feldard was lowering to the dank floor. Seeing that the others were attending to the problem of extruding the victims, Stephen, while continually looking up and about for what he deemed to be imminent arachnid attack, set a lantern and torch aflame.

“Hey, this is standard practice against spiders,” he responded to the fowl looks from the infravisioners in the party. “I am compelled to do this till we’re safely out of this sticky mess.” He held the torch aloft as a second sword, his shield afixed to his back. He set the lantern in a clear location on the floor. If needed, it was a ready flame to relight torches or be thrown in desperate retreat.

Maruc rolled the last body off the bedrolls and swiftly started pulling the strands from the face of the first victim, the dwarf. He pressed his fingers against his—no her?—neck searching for a pulse. Weak but alive. “Hasan! Pull this one out into the main cave and remove the webbing as soon as you can! It is constricting proper respatory function.” He quickly went to the next bundle, smaller than the dwarf, he pulled at the threads. A gnome. This one was much colder…poor thing. Miklos you should be able to handle this one. You’re going to need that sharp you have to get through this lot. Don’t dawdle man!”

“Of course! Of course I shall,” gabbled the mage as he hauled the body into the outer chamber. He was lighter than he looked and didn’t smell too good. “You’re all right now my friend!” He said hoping against the worst as he hunted around for his knife. “Aha! here we are.” He set to work on the webbing and pulled as much free as he could. A pale, emotionless face stared sightlessly as he worked on the bindings. “We have you out of this is a trice! Hold on!”

Feldard rubbed at his numbed hands trying to gain back feeling into them after bringing down the last of the cocoons. Nudging this last bundle with his foot roughly, Feldard questioned his own sanity for bringing down the goblin and orc. They would be more trouble set free than if left for the spiders. But maybe they knew something of their leaders overall plans, and could be interrogated for it.

The dwarf glanced over towards Maruc who had already seen to the first two cocoons and was about to free and revive the third—a goblin by the size of it . “Are we sure we want to free them?”

“We’ll worry about that if there is anything to worry about.” It was a glib response but in the priest’s judgment, they were all but corpses and would really put up much of a fight either way.

Feldard nodded, then glanced across the lantern lit cavern to where Stephan and Miklos were still pulling webbing from the dwarf and gnomish victims. “I’ll leave you to that then. I’m going to see if I can help Stephan and Miklos with the miners.”

Hasan dragged the assigned body through the troglodyte’s teeth. He noticed Feldard’s odd enthusiasm for the work of cleaning the webbing off from what clearly appeared to be an orcish head. After the dwarf’s caterwauling throughout the cave system, Hasan would have expected Feldard to focus on the dwarf and gnomish victims. But the logic of dwarf’s was not his to understand, and so the elf returned to his work.

The unusual paralytic webbing frustrated Hasan’s efforts, but he slowly managed to reveal the dwarf’s beard. Then the nose. Then an eye. As the elf was just about to sweep a large hunk of the webbing off the sallow-faced wretch, that eye appeared to flicker. Hasan didn’t trust his eyes in the weak light, but his hand flinched nonetheless.

As the elf reached down to return to his work, the overlarge drowsy pupil clearly began to shrink, revealing a green iris. As the iris jerked toward the elf, Hasan stood and shrieked, “it’s alive! it’s alive! this one is alive!”

Feldard hadn’t forgotten that feeling of familiarity he’d gotten while freeing the first bundle. He made his way over to Hasan to offer his help, but at seeing the face of the other dwarf freed from her webbing—he froze. It was HER!

Hernane could feel herself slowly regaining feeling throughout her body. As the strands were wiped from her eyes, she looked up to see kneeling above her an Elf freeing her from the paralysis strands that had been cocooning her. She wondered what of all things was an Elf doing here in these subterranean caverns rescuing a Dwarf, but she was thankful nonetheless. What joy and elation she felt to be rescued, she had but all given up hope. However she also felt some embarrassment that she had to be rescued at all, especially by an Elf. Slowly she realized she was regaining feeling back in her fingers, toes and limbs and though she was quite weak emotionally and physically, she tried to talk to warn her rescuers of the danger they were all still in.

In Dwarfish she gurgled, “Giant Spider nearby, you are all in danger”! Look to your weapons!

She also looked around for Feldard to gauge his reaction to their reunion, which she knew was going to happen one day, just not she imagined, in the circumstances as she was currently in. Slowly with great difficulty she tried to stand, her pride would not allow her to be seen to be weak in front of her rescues.

Feldard was struck dumb at seeing her here of all places. Her warning about the spider fell on deaf ears. It took several moments for the shock to fade by that time she was already attempting to stand.

He shook himself out of his stupor and strode forward and gruffly helped to steady her where she stood. “Are you alright, Hernane?” Feldard questioned in dwarven, while looking her over in concern. Seeing nothing serious, he continued on, “I don’t know what you were thinking, leaving as you did, but we will talk—later.”

Hernane nodded at Feldard’s comments. Feeling as weak as she did, she was in no mood to discuss sensitive topics that were better left to a more benign environment. After her ordeal, she was still quite wary of what the cavern might hide, and needed time to collect her thoughts and strength.

“Thank you Feldard, for your timely rescue”, she replied in Dwarven, “yes I agree we need to talk. But first, can you introduce me to your companions? I would like to formally thank them for the risk they have taken in venturing into these cavens. May ask what has led you and them to here”?

Hernane looking around for the first time then noticed the other survivors. Cursing in her native tongue she exclaimed, “What curses that the beast has seen fit to preserve these foul Orcs and Goblins. They have been the cause of much death, we should kill them all now to avenge the deaths of my friends”.



Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

11 responses to “Of All The Caverns In the Known World…

  1. Note: Hernane is a temporary PC for now, so no need to track XP. Paul will be running a new PC once we get to a good spot.

    Great posts everybody.

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp

    Maruc: 18,785/24000
    Miklos: 18,880/20000
    Feldard: 18,875/34000
    Hasan: 17,965/32000
    Stephan: 17,810/32000

  2. Maruc

    Maruc finished the ministrations on the final body. He could tell that Feldard wanted little to do with the goblins or the orc. But Maruc was morally oblidged to see if they were alive. As his old abbot constantly reminded him ‘the fact that society shuns you for your creed or perhaps race – judge not until you are in a position to judge. Have you not noticed that certain Traladanians view our order contempt? Especially the bigots of the Church themselves. What makes us different from them is that we see the truth and we care enough to allow those who cross our paths the chance to prove themselves.’ Wise words.

    And what was interesting was that Feldard had taken just as much care lowering all the bundles. Maruc doubted he would have given them a second glance three months ago. Small but important steps.

    It was too late for one of the goblins. Its pale scaley face scarred and pitted with years of abuse and battle looked almost serine. Almost. He went to the next goblin. This one hadn’t been under the inflence of the poison for so long and there was a flicker of life in it, a labouring pulse it was severly dehydrated and starving. Not much and without some serious attention wouldn’t last until the morning. The orc was alive. Maruc could tell it had been envenomed several times to keep it docile but even now realising it was free of the web was starting to struggle against its bindings. Maruc glanced up to the ceiling and wondered if the spider had been concussed buy Miklos’s magic.

    Now he understood the condition of the victims he turned to Stephan. “Pull the Orc through to the main chamber I’ll pull this one.”

    Stephan, looked quzzically at the priest then returned he gaze to the web-laden roof. “They are not the chosen of Halav. Why aid them?”

    “That is what makes us different from them.” explained Maruc. “I can give you more reasons but for now lets get them out of here before she wakes up?” Maruc grinned.

    “She who? Ah, the spider..” Stephan stowed his blade and showing impressive strength hauled the body back out into the main chamber with one arm. The other not leting go of the burning brand and not for one minute did his experienced eyes stop scanning for movement above.

    Maruc hauled his burden to one side and checking once more to see if it was not getting significantly worse turned an registered the strange conversation that was happening behind him. He didn’t understand a word of it, but that wasn’t what struck him. It was the fact that the dwarf was up and about. Amazing creatures, dwarves he thought.

  3. miklosdostevar

    Miklos pulled the reminance of the webbing from the poor gnomish miner. “There you are my friend.” He proffered his water skin which the gnome took gratefully and gulpped at. “Lucky we popped by eh?” The gnomes eyes swivelled toward the spiders chamber radiating fear. “Ah, its unconcious, don’t worry we have dispatched one or two spiders in our adventures.” You don’t speak much do you. I’m Miklos.” the mage introduced the others. “…and that fine dwarven warrior is the redoubtable Feldard.” At these last words a flicker of recognition crossed his face. “Ah, you know Feldard? No. Heard his name before….. from…” the gnomes eyes betrayed his dwarf companion. “…from her. Interesting.”

  4. miklosdostevar

    Miklos looked over to the Dwarves engaged in a hushed and urgent conversation. “How timely and delightful! One might almost believe in fate, or religion eh Maruc?”

    The priest shook his head. He let the the mages’ jibe go.

    “You know who it is don’t you.” insisted the mage barely keeping his excitement down. “We wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for her.”

  5. Maruc

    “You mean this is Feldards ‘friend’? Ah, I see your thinking. The quick side journey to Highforge.” he said without rancor. “Well bless me. Halav truely guides our steps. What more proof do you need Miklos! Join us. Forget all those dusty books and arcanca and embrace the love of Halav. Rejoice! Rejoice!”

    Miklos recoiled, “Err Maruc, I think you’ve been on the communion wine, old chap.” then Miklos noticed the grin. “Ha-ha, very funny.”

    It was petty, but worth it just to see Miklos’s expression. “You have any idea what they’re going on about?” Maruc asked.

    “Not a clue.” replied the mage.

  6. Feldard

    Feldard nodded at Hernane’s request and turned towards the rest of the group, only to find Miklos and Maruc watching, him and Hernane in amused interest. Feldard gave the pair of humans one of his infamous scowls before proceeding with introductions. “Hernane of Rockhome,” he stated simply in answer to the questioning looks from his companions.

    “Maruc, devote follower of Halav – and a priestly healer. Miklos – our groups record-keeper and mage. Hasan, of the Elyan elves.” Feldard pointed toward each as he introduced them. “And Stephan – a local of the Sukiska clan whose brothers homestead was attacked not that long ago by these same goblins. It is their trail that brought us here.”

    Feldard looked over towards the awakening orc and grimaced. “Despite my similar desire to see these beasts killed outright… we need to question them first. “

  7. Maruc

    “Pleased to meet you Hernane of Rockhome!” said Maruc and made a prefunctory bow. “Doubtless you will not wish to be administered to, however like Master Feldard here, you don’t get a choice. Say Ahhh. Good, eyes…clear. Excellent. You look a little pale my dear. But plenty of water a good meal and sunshine will cure that. How do you feel? No. Don’t answer that, you’d probably say something like ‘stop fussing you irritating human’.” Maruc grinned wolfishly. “Good, well you’ll live. Whats the name of your silent friend over there?” Maruc could feel the ‘why don’t you ask him’ coming from a mile away….

  8. miklosdostevar

    “Likewise, Miss Hernane.” added Miklos, “Master Feldard here has been most tenatious in his attempts to locate you. I’m glad I could help in my small way! But my chief concern is the nest of spiders. How many are there that you are aware of and what are their markings? We must see to our safety first. I’d suggest a small conflagration and since Stephan is already there with a burning brand this should take too long.”

  9. Hernane

    Hernane nods to each in turn and haltingly states after giving Feldard a quizzical look, “I give you my thanks for your timely intervention and rescue of my Gnomish friend and I”. “As Feldard has already confirmed I am Hernane of Rockhome, Feldard and I am kinsman, his clan and mine have a long and lasting friendship“, looking at Feldard as if reconfirming this statement.

    “I will let my Gnomish friend introduce himself”

    “If you want to torch what you can in the cavern feel free, but I am now unsure if the beast is even here and I suspect it will do little good. Personally I suggest we move on as quickly as possible“. “I suspect the beast will soon return and I am in no mood to face it a second time. I am surprised that it has not already shown its presence“. “I also suggest that if you have to question the Orc and Goblin that we do it a bit later and we all move to a safer environment, for me I would rather just be rid of their foul stench once and for all“. Their kind has killed many of my new friends and has caused much suffering“.

    I am surprised that the ‘green skins’ found the mine, we took great care to keep its presence as low key as possible, and this part of the forest is off the beaten path. Still I suppose it was inevitable, but I wonder what has led them here. Sadly they were many in number and did not care of the losses and damage we inflicted upon them. When we began to become to be overwhelmed we were forced to retreat into the mine and inadvertently freed the creature. It was indeed a sad day when these green skins stumbled upon the mine.

    Stephen is it? I am sorry for your loss that these creatures have wrought on you and your family, they are heartless and pitiless creatures, and you have my deepest sympathies. I will gladly aid you in hunting down any survivors for I too have a score to settle with them. As Feldard can confirm, I have a strong arm and stout heart and it will be my pleasure in helping you in hunt down these foul creatures. Plus I do need to discuss some personal matters with Feldard. Feldard, once again you have my thanks and gratitude for your timely intervention, I will never forget your loyalty and devotion to duty. Your Father will know of your courage.

  10. Stephan

    Stephan stabbed a nod at Hernane but kept scanning the cavern roof. “Pleased to meet you. I agree, let’s get out. The green skins will be more pliable in the sunlight. No need to torch if we can just get out.”

    The fighter, for all his strength, seemed uneased by by webs and what they may conceal in the lofty shadows. He glanced about to ensure their exit route was clear.

    “Leave the greenies bundled in the web. We’ll drag them out.”

  11. Hasan

    Hasan nodded with gravity at the new dwarf and her story of retreat and fear. He headed to the southeast tunnel, ready to move on from the grand cavern. Still, despite the horror of the tale, the elf could not fail to remark to himself at the wonder of the two dwarfs finding one another. It appeared that the world beyond his Radlebb home was smaller in some ways than it seemed.

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