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The Caves of Chaos

Session 10

Leaving a cluster of defeated zombies behind them, the adventurers continued exploring south. They came across an audience chamber of sorts, with a throne upon a dais, a quartet of garnets inset into it. The room was lined with armoured skeletons, which shambled into unlife when Allard touched one the throne.

The party retreated into the bottleneck of the hallway and Spanky used his scroll of Protection from Undead. With the skeletons largely unable to penetrate this magical defence, the adventurers were free to dispatch the skeletons with ranged attacks while [[:big kev]] and Ruellen held the front line. Spanky demonstrated his growing mastery of his clerical domain, summoning the power of Pelor, instantly destroying eight of the twelve attackers.

The skeletons defeated, the party were free to recover the gems. Moving west, they investigated what appeared to be a collapsed tunnel, evidently further shored up after the collapse had occurred. Ruellen quickly ascertained that removing the blockage would take days; Spanky postulated that there was perhaps something on the other side that needed to be kept out.

Moving to a room to a few feet to the north, the party discovered the remains of a long-disused guard room. Various scraps of paperwork suggested that some evil had subtly overcome the cave’s previous occupants; the increasingly concerned scribblings of Erasmus Jones and Isaac Hayes, the last two guards, was testament to this.

The party continued north, back up the passage to where it turned to the west, with doors in north and east walls. Spanky heard noises coming from the northernmost door and, listening, overhead a muted conversation in Common. Abandoning subtlety, they burst into the room, quickly disarming the four dark acolytes inside. The party showed no opposition to physically and mentally torturing their captives into releasing what information they had, but soon found the acolytes were only recently initiated and, not being from Freeside, were unfamiliar with Nykis or his whereabouts.

In a startling show of compassion, the adventurers released three of the acolytes, kicking them out of the cave before binding the fourth and demanding he show them where the leader of the cult was. In between beatings, the acolyte revealed the evil cult was devoted to some figure called Content Not Found: Belanzor, although the nature of this being was unknown.

En route to the cult leader, the party encountered a pair of doors that, according to the acolyte, was the entrances to the adepts quarters. Big Kev and Spanky, having secured their prisoner, attempted to kick in the northernmost door, but found it blocked from the other side. After laying into it with his axe, Kev saw a pair of heavily armoured acolytes pushing a pair of crates up against the upturned table that blocked the way.

While Kev and Spanky attempted to brute force their way into the room, the rest of the party snuck in via the southern door. They found another pair of acolytes waiting for them, and these cultists didn’t hesitate to use their magic to command Ruellen to flee the battlefield, albeit briefly. The battle was intense, with the acolytes using every trick they had to repel the interlopers. In the end, however, they were defeated.

XP Gained
x12 zombies – 1500
x4 dark acolytes – 500
x4 dark adepts – 700

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Session 09

With some measure of success achieved, the party took their new charges as they searched the Bleeding Knees’ former home for their confiscated possessions and any other valuables they could find.

As they did this, the party questioned Finn and the others on how they had come to be prisoners and what they knew of their captors, their intentions, or the nature of the evil that suffused the cave networks.

The rescued Finn and Anara Meridian, as well as their elven bodyguards Shara and Vindil and Maccarn the dwarf voiced objection to being dragged about a dank orc cave when they were so weak and malnourished from their recent imprisonment. These objections were only heightened when they saw how their rescuers treated the other captives that had been released with Finn and his retinue: a pair of kobolds and a goblin. Upon seeing [[:big kev]] interrogate, torture and kill these feeble, captive creatures with his bare hands, Finn and Anara especially felt that perhaps a return to Freeside and civilisation was in order.

The adventurers refused, going so far as to magically silence Anara’s objections (courtesy of Ruellen), and physically knock her unconscious. Deciding that physically assaulting a severely malnourished woman was about all they could stand of their rescuers ‘altruism’, Finn gathered his retinue and left, setting out for Freeside on their own.

Their charges gone, their valuables located and the orc cave looted, the adventurers decided it was time to root out the evil of the caves once and for all. They found their way to the Lair of Evil and were immediately struck by its otherworldly nature; a deep crimson ore comprised the majority of the cave walls, with black veins running through it and delicate pavers lining the ground. Ruellen identified the work as that of the Venetian Stonemasons of the West Meashmarsh Region.

The party delved into the cave, heading south. They had not gone far before their progress attracted a group of zombies.

XP Gained
x8 zombies – 1000

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Session 08

The showdown commences. The party convinced the bugbears to return to their cave to debrief and consider their next move. During that period Allard and his sneaky bugbear buddy were sent to reconnoitre the Bleeding Knees’ cave. While they found evidence of the archers who shot Ugslag, they saw no actual orcs at all. Unwilling to go inside the cave proper, they returned to the bugbear cave.

En route, they noticed, and were noticed by, a veritable army of orcs gathering in the scrubland just outside the now-empty [[Kobold Cave]. The orcs gave chase; Allard and the bugbear made it back to their companions with just seconds to spare. The party and the bugbears took defensive positions and met the orcs as they came.

Three waves of orcs beset the defenders, but they were effectively repelled each time with minimal casualties, due largely to the superior ground occupied by the defenders, and also to the fact that the orcs attacked with only melee weapons and so were severely weakened by ranged attacks by the time they actually reached the bugbear cave entrance. A final wave of elite orcs, led by Ogfang the Gutted himself, charged in from the east and were met in force by [[:Big Kev]], Ruellen, and a party of bugbears.

When the smoke finally cleared, the orcs had been defeated; almost fifty of their corpses littered the slope leading to the bugbear cave. The bugbears, victorious, set about collecting what they could from the corpses and the party were given their promised reward: a captive goblin, two kobolds, a pair of elven bodyguards, a dwarf and the humans Finn and Anara Meridian.

XP Gained
x30 orcs – 3750
x10 elite orcs – 2000
x1 orc chief (Ogfang) – 250

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Session 07

The party went with Gat’d’s assault force to lay siege to the cave of the Severed Heads. Seeing no immediate opposition, the bugbears formed ranks outside the cave. The party scouted the cave entrance, setting traps for the orcs they knew were inside. They set fire to a pile of debris inside the cave, seeking to smoke the opposition out.

It worked, and the Severed Heads streamed forth from the cave, only to be quickly dispatched by the force of nineteen bugbears waiting for them outside. In the end, some seventeen orcs were defeated, including Ugslag the Bloody’s own elite guard, and only five bugbears were lost. Ugslag himself emerged, only to break through the bugbear lines and charge straight towards the cave housing the Bleeding Knees. Spanky and Big Kev pursued him, only to see him killed in a hail of arrows, ostensibly coming from his destination. The party concluded that Ogfang had led a successful coup against his former master, hence why Ugslag was left to defend his home with substantially fewer troops that he previously commanded.

The battle concluded, the party stuck a series of severed orc heads on spikes outside the cave entrance as a warning to the others.

XP Gained
x10 orcs – 1250
x6 elite orcs – 1200
x1 orc chief (Ugslag) – 250

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Session 06

Party rested and claimed the treasure from the minotaur’s cave, though not before Allard set off the trap on the largest chest in the minotaur’s room, resulting in the walls of the entire cave complex moving. The party struggled to escape the cave, and finally did when they stumbled across the secret entrance to lair of Gat’d, the bugbear chieftain, fighting their way through a nest of fire beetles in the process.

After successfully convincing Gat’d they were not weak – by means of Big Kev defeating him in fisticuffs – the party were shown around the bugbear cave. Gat’d revealed his desire to be made human and showed off the military prowess of the bugbears and the spoils they had gained – the capture of three goblinoids and the humans Finn and Anara Meridian and their travelling companions. Though the bugbears had every intention of eating these ‘weak ones’, the party successfully negotiated the prisoners’ release, on condition that they would assist the bugbears in defeating the orcs of the Bleeding Knees and Severed Heads tribes.

XP Gained
x5 fire beetles – 500
NPC interaction -

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Session 05

Party confronts kobold chief and his five lackeys in his lair. One of the kobolds throws powder in the fire-pit, filling the room with smoke (unable to see >10ft ahead, 50% chance to hit). In the confusion, kobolds threw a dirty blanket over Big Kev and hit him while he was unable to retaliate. Kobold chief also called reinforcements from the common room. Party barred the door, preventing their entry, defeated the chief and his lackeys, then killing the kobolds on the other side of the door.

The returned to the minotaur cave and successfully navigated past the stirges, confronting the minotaur in the heart of the cave. Very tough battle ensued, complete with half the party being knocked unconscious (and, in Allard’s case, being rubbed on the mintaur’s crotch and tossed across the room).

The minotaur was finally brought down when it backed off to try to charge and gore the party and Big Kev charged it first, sliding underneath and disembowelling it.

XP Earned
x9 kobolds – 675
x1 kobold chief – 250
x1 minotaur – 450

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Session 04

Following a rough night sheltering in the Shunned Cavern the party decided it would be prudent to return to Freeside to ensure the orc’s prisoners safe return and to re-equip themselves before venturing further into the caves.

While in town a local merchant promised them discounted merchandise as his daughter was amongst those rescued. They haggled with the local smith who gave them very generous deals on trading in the weapons they took from the orcs in payment for the safe return of the townsfolk (plus him getting first dibs on any loot they return with). Spanky questioned Karl’s acolyte Brother Jenkins regarding his behaviour of late, who advised the party that Karl had been concerned for his flock’s safety and was increasingly interested in Pelor’s more militant aspects. Jenkins also said Nykis had been investigating disappearances before disappearing himself.

Conversations had at the local pub that night, the Cow & Plough seemed to confirm this; many people had disappeared from the town despite the raiding parties never being seen actually near the city limits.

The party returned to the caves the next day, armed and armoured and went straight to the kobold cave, defeating all kobolds they encountered and successfully avoiding the many pit and crossbow traps inside the cave.

The session ended with the dragonshield kobolds in room 4 having been defeated.

XP Earned
x14 kobolds – 1050
x3 elite kobolds – 375
x18 cave rats – 450
x1 dire rat – 100
NPC interaction –
traps disarmed -

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Session 03

Letter from Big Kev to Cousin Runi

Dear Cousin

I have been adventuring for a few months now and felt that I would share my thoughts on the lifestyle and adventuring in a party.

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Session 02

Opened on a battle between the party and the orcs of cave C they alerted in the previous session. The party spread out across the slope outside the cave mouth and engaged the orcs as they came out.

The orcs emerged from the cave in groups of four. All of the combatants had to deal with the loose dirt that made up a large portion of the landscape, making DEX saves to avoid falling prone. The party wisely moved behind a large portion of this dirt, forcing many of the orcs to cross in order to engage them.

Allard was separated and kept to the side of the map. Big Kev, the dwarven fighter had his moment in the sun when he smacked an orc across the face with his shield and slid down the loose gravel on in in one smooth movement, careening into another orc as he slid and knocking the creature unconscious.

Partyway through the battle, the party noticed a disheveled, unarmoured dwarf emerge from the cave mouth, assess the battle, and return inside the cave.

After dispatching some 12 orcs their leader, Ofgang, emerged from the cave and commanded his orcs to take the party alive. This didn’t work out, as in the next round the wizard put all but two orcs on the battlefield to sleep, including Ogfang. His mooks dragged the unconscious Ogfang inside and the party dispatched the remaining orcs before leaving the area.

The party, still licking their wounds, went to investigate cave I (the Minotaur cave). The feeling of disorientation that overcame them as the entered, plus the sound of squeaking coming from inside the cave, was so off-putting that they left. Instead they went to the gnoll cave (J). They killed three of the four guards in room 46, but the last guard escaped to alert his companions, who were prepared for the party as the entered room 47. Big Kev and Spanky were defeated in battle, and Allard and the wizard were knocked unconscious.

XP Earned
x13 orcs – 1625
x6 gnolls – 750

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Session 01

Began with entreaty by mayor of Freeside for party to rescue Finn Meridian and Nykis from the caves. Party haggled (esp. Big Kev) endlessly, before settling on 250gp each (?) and a keg of beer. Scout presented party with a map, identified the orc cavern (B) and goblin cave. Led the party to the outskirts of the town, then returned.

Party pressed on, caught a deer(!) for dinner and made camp. Camp attracted six goblins, who attacked during the wizard’s watch. They were defeated. Spanky attempted to interrogate the goblin, but he didn’t speak common, so the best he could do was helplessly mime their actions while the fighter physically abused him. The goblin was dispatched after it was determined he would be of no help.

Party made it to the caves the next morning, first inspected the shunned cavern (G). They dealt with the rats with little trouble and proceeded to freeze the owlbear with ray of frost while the remaining party peppered it with ranged attacks until it died. Spanky found the scroll. The party found the grey oozes but decided to avoid them.

They went to cave C next, and managed to sneak past the guards in room 14, turning right to the orc common room, room 15. Allard attempted to sneak into the room for recon, but was discovered.

Session ended with party having been discovered by orcs in Cave C, room 15. They ran, also alerting orcs from the common room in 14. Currently some 20ft outside the cave entrance to cave C, pursued by up to 18 orcs.

XP Earned
x6 goblins – 600
x7 cave rats – 175
x1 owlbear – 400

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