Clearing the Caves

Hasan pushed forward anxiously, leading the group to the mine. He planned to head directly to the spider’s chamber. He aimed to push into the corridor from where the spider-orcs first emerged.

Expecting more orc trouble, Feldard strode alongside the elf at the forefront of the party as they approached the corridor that the orcs first emerged.

He glanced back towards the humans. Likely the mage would rather they go back to the chamber with the statuettes. “Let’s clear out as much of the cavern as possible before we attempt the chamber past the midden pit again.” He planned to take an orc captive this time. It could help gain them access past the jackal-headed statues.

Stephan followed the elf and dwarf into the mine. He kept and eye on the towed goblin as the group made progress through rock and choking dust.

“Aye,” Stephan said, sotto voce. “This gob may not last long being drug like this.” He surveyed the goblin. “Aye, but these have more fight in ‘em then you’d guess. He’ll last, I reckon.” He continued into the mine.

“Very good, then,” encouraged Hasan. “Let us go. No orc shall stand in our way. Let us find whatever it is they hide.” And the elf pressed on, almost giddy with his excitement at searching the dungeon that lay ahead.

Hernane was happy to take the rear guard, the days events had taken quite a toll on her. She wondered what they would do with their prisoner, as much as she hated their kind, she knew she could not kill them in cold blood, still she thought Feldard would have an idea, his leadership with this group was plain to see, the group obviously looked to him for guidance and direction.

The priest offered to lead the goblin. He rechecked the bindings were secure and followed Stephan.

His mind wandered as he threated his way after the warrior. The mage was following equally lost in thought. “So what were they supposed to do when they found them? The statues would have torn them to shreds had they tried to move them. Begs a few questions eh?”

Miklos picked himself up refusing the hand and eye’d the warrior with a long cool look. What in the Duchy did he think he was going to do with the damn trinket? He spoke not a word, spun on his heel and stalked away.

It took five paces to work out that he’d already been reaching for the idol as he asked the question. It could have been taken for rudeness, and he did offer to pick him up. He stopped, turned and offered an apology. “Forgive my borish behaviour Stephan it was inexcusable. My mind was racing toward theories and conclusions and was far from thoughts of etiquette.” Not wishing to labour the point he continued to prepare for the return to the dark.

The goblins words were intriguing. The yellow robed man, a noble? a merchant? a mage? He hoisted his pack up and followed the priest who trailled the trussed goblin. The tower token they’d found earlier suggested a mage…

* * * * *

Night came, and then the day. The group emerged from the caves. Many of them had sustained wounds in their battles with the orcs, the most serious of which had been healed by the priest as they spent the night recuperating. As the others spent the night resting, Miklos had been studying. The mage had made a breakthrogh, allowing him to master spells that had been vexing him for years.

Two dwarves accompanied the group on their way out of the mine. They had been hiding from the orcs in a small hidden cavern. Now, the orcs were no more. Between steel and sorcery, they had been eradicated. Their numbers and morale were already quite depleted by the previous encounters with the party, and thus could not mount a sufficient defense.

Tekaryon was most grateful to the party. Not only had they cleared the caves of orcs, they had rescued two of his workers. Now, he would be able to return with them to High Forge and recruit some new workers for his mining operation. Once again, he rewarded them in gold for their efforts. Between that and the coinage and gemstones they took from the orcs, this side journey to investigate the mysterious smoke at the foot of the mountains had paid off quite handsomely.

Unfortunately, their return to the statuette chamber had yielded nothing. The cave-in had sealed whatever laid beyond. And the rest of the cave system was made up entirely of the orc’s lair. So, it appeared their only way forward was to find the Wolfskull lair and Vlaak.

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8 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

8 responses to “Clearing the Caves

  1. Feldard -4hp
    Hasan -1hp
    Maruc -2hp
    Stephan -3hp
    Miklos -2 hp +1 level +4hp

    Maruc: 10xp +200xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp+200xp
    Feldard: 10xp+200xp
    Hasan: 10xp+5xp+200xp
    Stephan: 10xp+200xp

    Total treasure from caves:
    +1600 gp
    + gems/jewelry (600 gp)
    (Note: I added a group treasure tally to right sidebar)

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 20,005/24000
    Miklos: 20,100/20000
    Feldard: 20,080/34000
    Hasan: 19,260/32000
    Stephan: 19,065/32000

  2. Hernane

    Hernane was afraid. Afraid of what she would become if she continued with this group. Eaten by some spider, choking to death on her own blood after having her throat slit by an Orcish blade, or something worse. The thought made her sick. She knew that this was not the life for her and wanted to be home to see her family, to be safe and not hear or see in her dreams the faces of the lives she had ended.

    Taking Feldard to one side, “Feldard it is time for me to depart, I intend to take Tekaryon home so he can recruit new workers for his mine. Once home I will see your father and tell him your shame is mine, that you were not to blame for me leaving. I will tell him of your courage in battle and one day I hope that you and I can be friends for you will always carry a most special place in heart. Thank you for coming to my rescue, be safe”.

    Hernane thanks each of the group in turn and collecting her backpack she leads Tekaryon and the two other Dwarfs on the path to home and the next step in her life. She pauses at the top of the path, waves to the group and idly wonders if they will all be safe. She sends them a prayer to keep them all safe for she knows that they travel on the path of danger.

  3. Feldard

    At Hernane’s announcement, Feldard was torn between feeling disappointment and relief. He doubted his father would understand his not returning with her but he had committed himself to this group and this endeavour and he couldn’t in good faith leave them now to take her home, and perhaps she was right – perhaps, in time he might forgive her and his brother. But for now his pride was too strong for him to face either without outrage.

    But to ensure she made it home safely, Feldard had one of the dwarven miners the group had rescued, swear to see her home. When it came time for her to leave, Feldard made himself absent, keeping watch on the goblin and questioning him on where Vlaak could be found.

  4. Hasan

    The prospect of plunging back into the forest pleased Hasan. “Unless that goblin comes up with anything, let’s leave him with Tekaryon. We’re better off exploring without him, as he’ll only take us on known ways that are bound to be watched. Rather, we should head back to the river, I believe, and then straight south, into the heart of the forest.”

  5. Stephan

    Stephan offered his farewells to Hernane and her travelling companions. He then looked around to see how Feldard would deliver his goodbyes but the dwarf was nowhere to be seen.

    Rubbing his neck, Stephan nodded at Hasan’s words. “This sounds very well with me, Prince Hasan. Your woodland skills will guide us true.”

    Stephan eyed the skies, noting the direction of cloud drift and general atmospheric conditions. Sniffing, he said “Aye. There’s a good chance some rain will catch us soon. Let’s set foot on dry ground whilst we can!”

    Before leaving the mine area for good, Stephan took one last look around noting the environs. He felt his jackal statuette in his neck pouch and felt not a little disappointment at not solving the riddle of it.

    “Do not worry!”, he thought to himself. “It is Halav’s Will. My little statue, perhaps, has another role to play. Or not! The ways of Halav are odd.”

    But Stephan studied with care the lay of the land around the mine, thinking that one day he’d return to see if more could be learned from the strange chamber filled with similar statues.

  6. Maruc

    The priest smiled warmly at Hernane. “Good luck my dear. May your hands flow with gold.” He bade farewell to the other miners and waved goodbye as they strode away.

    “Well Feldard, I’m surprised you didn’t take that opportunity to travel to Highforge. It is afterall the reason we travelled this way. Albeit we now have many more reasons. I for one am glad you have chosen to accomany us instead.” Maruc was tired. He sighed heavily as he pressed life into his calloused hands. He caught sight of Miklos.

    “Hey, what do you make of the Yellow garb’d man story?”

  7. miklosdostevar

    “Well.” replied the mage, “It is my opinion that he is likely to be one of the masterminds behind this alliance. Robes are usually worn by aristocrats and scholars, although this too could be a deception. The fact that he was spotted by this mere footsolider means he was not trying to remain unnoticed. Certainly not in yellow at least! Shall we assume the worst? If so he is a Mage or a Lord, bent on the overthrow of the local govenment. He is stirring trouble, agitating the goblinoid races. If I were him I’d be setting other fires of unrest to stretch the Dukes forces and empty Specularum. Noting the tower token we retrieved at Sukyskin and the general power this man has over the goblins my mind is erring toward a black warlock. Perhaps even a follower of the Son’s of Night?”

    He shrugged, “Its too earily to tell.” he waved over to Hasan. “From their direction of travel so far they have followed the river eastward. From my memory of the maps of this land the river forks over yonder one arm stretching to the north and the other piercing the heart of the forrest. I agree, we would make better pace following the bank.”

  8. Maruc

    “Very well. We strike out as soon as Feldard has finished with our little friend then trust in Halav to guide us.” Maruc grinned. “After all, he sent us Hasan!”

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