Ye Gilde

The group decided to try and find the bandit camp. Surprisingly they were able to trace the way back to the deserted camp. Counting up the bedrolls revealed that one person was unaccounted for. Sadly there was nothing of value except a partially full 2.5 gallon cask of good wine, some wine skins, and game hanging from the trees. The group decided to take a break and have a picnic before returning to the mission.

A couple hours after entering the bandit camp they cautiously crossed the hummocks between their hill and the densely wooded rise just south of the lizard man marsh. It was filled with briars, rotten logs, vines, and old trees. In 30 minutes, the party crossed the wooded hill to where they could overlook the insect filled marsh. They continued the search for the hermit in a decreasing spiral pattern until they did stumble upon the old man’s hollow tree.

He was cranky and initially unhelpful. A little good wine helped the interaction. He wasn’t the magic user that Afarrah hoped for but but he was someone from another world that years ago accidentally traveled here via caves. He was originally from a “city at the center of the world” named Lankhmar. He ended up joining them and brought along his pet cat, a large black panther. It was late so they decided to return to the safety of the keep for the night and the go to the Caves of Chaos in the morning and search for a way back to their world.

They met Shivs at the Inn and learned a little more about the area. They made an announcement and hired to mercenaries fresh off the farm. The picked up more rumors from the locals then headed to the inn for the night. Tomorrow was their big day at the Caves of Chaos and going home to Absalom.

The next morning Afarrah prayed and received spells! Does that mean Sarenrae is listening? Or where her spells granted by some Lawful force in this universe? She’s no longer able to use the chosen weapon of her god here and had to resort to a club. Nobody has a good answer. Anyway, the party went about some final town business including provisioning the mercenaries, Itchy and Scratchy. Their price was 1 gp or 1 sp per day with provided adventuring gear. So in order to save 9 sp a day the group spent 40 gp on gear for their new hirelings. As they were leaving a man in armor and clerical garb approached them. He asked whether they were the adventurers he has heard about going to the Caves of Chaos. He wanted to join them and fight the good fight against Chaos but he was insulted by Afarrah’s suspicions about his motivation. So he left with his armored companions. With that bit of drama finished the eight of them plus panther hiked out of the keep. There were so many they didn’t notice that Shivs was missing (having overslept) and was being left behind in this strange universe.

Gary and the panther led them on a 2.5 hour hike to the mouth of the box canyon. They still needed to hack their way through the dense woods. It was gloomier here and the thick twisted tree trunks, unnaturally misshapen limbs, writhing roots, clutching and grasping thorns all seemed ward them off. Regardless they pressed on and broke out into a sparsely vegetated box canyon. The steep walls were 100 feet high and dark streaked rock. Clumbs of trees grew in thickets here and there. The ground was littered with rubble, boulders, dead wood, and gleaming bits of bones. A conspiracy of ravens rose, beating their wings. Their croaking sounded loud and horrible. Most importantly, the walls had 7 cave openings at different heights. They had found the Caves of Chaos.

They quickly chose the first cave on the left which was conveniently at ground level. The opening was natural but the passage beyond had obviously been worked. They carefully checked for traps but didn’t find any. All the cave entrances were supposed to be trapped but not this one for some reason. They began exploring and almost immediately encountered 6 goblin guards that attacked immediately. The first two that charged up were cut down by the mercenaries but the others that had stayed back threw spears. One impaled Itchy, killing him immediately. The other wounded Scratchy and he pulled back.

Six more goblins joined the fight and attacked the group from behind. Their spears wounded Gary and his pet. Now there were two fights. The goblins were having some success throwing spears but were suffering lots of casualties. Scratchy ended up being killed by a spear before the goblins were taken out. Only one got away. They checked both directions but decided to continue in the original direction because there were stairs going up.

The stairs led to a door which when opened reveled a room full of hobgoblin familes. They tried to bluff but ended up retreating back down to the goblin guard room with the hobgoblins in pursuit. They cut down or shot the hobgoblins that followed them into the room then climbed back up the stairs. A few females left the common room as the adventurers entered. There wasn’t anything of interest. The hobgoblins (and goblins) all carried their valuables with them and the group had already looted the bodies.

Pugno opened the other door leading out. He met four bolts shot in his direction. There were three hobgoblin guards in chainmail facing them. Behind them were six hobgoblins in leather with crossbows. That fight took a little longer and the injuries were mounting for the adventurers but they defeated the hobgoblins and continued through the lair until coming up on the chieftain and his retinue.

The chief put up a fight but one of his females actually did more damage to Pugno than he did. Meanwhile Afarrah and Gary attacked some of his guards from another doorway. When the chief fell the last of the females tried to escape but all but one were killed right away. The last was shot with an arrow as she tried to work a secret door far down a hall.

The blood thirsty adventurers seemed temporarily satisfied with the hobgoblin tribes savings and the weapons they had taken from the armory.

Basic/Expert D&D XP: 402 + any Prime Requisite bonus – Pugno, Shok, Weiss, Afarrah, Tiffany, Gary

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