Start Date: 21 Ches 1493 (5:00pm)
Aftermath of the Orc Attack
The party regroups after the “Battle of Nightstone”. The survivors of the Ear Seeker Orcs have fled the battlefield, leaving the bodies of 9 of their brethren, 6 human bandits and 2 horses behind. Zarn talks to the last bandit left alive, a human by the name of Xolkin Alassandar. Suspicious and brash, Xolkin believes the party has kidnapped his friend Kella Darkhope. Kella sets Xolkin straight, telling him the party RESCUED her from the goblins. After some pointed conversation between the two, Xolkin eventually calms down. However, as the party gathers up the horses from his band, Xolkin makes sure the party understands the horses are his property.
After gathering the weapons of the slain, cutting off the ears of the dead Orc war chief and then mounting his head on a pike outside the drawbridge, everyone retires back to the safety of the wooden palisades of Nightstone. The party finds Gum-Gum and Bait have hidden in the barn, but Aaron brings them back out.
Kella comes clean to Eleindar that the parchment message he found in the Inn was from Xolkin intended for her. Unsure if the party was trustworthy and unable to discern how they might react to a group of bandits riding into the village, she felt she needed time to see if the group‘s motives were transparent.
Everyone takes up residence in the damaged Nightstone Inn for the night. The group establishes a standard watch order, not including Kella or Xolkin, who they don’t fully trust.
- Hours 1-2 Erky Timbers Elaindar*
- Hours 3-4 Houblon Elaindar*
- Hours 5-6 Zarn Galadhon*
- Hours 7-8 Aaron Galadhon*
* As High Elves, Elaindar and Galadhon can use Trance ability, requiring only 4 hours of sleep a night.
During the evening the goblins sneak out and hide in the barn, but the group lets them stay there as the drawbridge is up and the group guards the gate.
To the Dripping Caves
The morning comes cloudy and chilly. Kella cooks a hearty breakfast for everyone. She is unwilling to travel to the caves as she is not a fighter, and Xolkin will not leave her behind. During the conversation over the morning meal, Eleindar suspects Xolkin and Kella are part of the Zentarim, a shadowy group also known as “The Black Network”. Shrouded in secrecy, little is known about the Zentrum’s goals other than they prize both personal wealth and power. Sensing Eleindar is aware of his allegiance, Xolkin quietly recruits him as a future member.
While this is going on, Aaron casts a Find Familiar spell for an owl, and the night’s long rest granted him a boon from his celestial patron, a new spellbook. Zarn talks to the guards in the keep to see if they will help rescue the villagers from the caves. The guards believe their place is guarding the keep and the village. The guards provide simple directions to the caves, which are only a mile from Nightstone. Leaving the goblins behind, the party heads off to find out what happened to the villagers.
With Galadhon tracking the goblins (and footprints of some much larger creatures), the entrance of the cave is easy to discover. The Harbright sun made the cave especially dark.
Galadhon, Eleindar, and Aaron quietly move into the mouth of the cave. Once inside, the cave opens into a large cavern. Stalagmites and stalactites crowd the large cavern room and the air is moist with the sounds of dripping water. All at once a huge ogre bursts from a muddy pool in the room, grabs his club and roars to attack. Five goblin guards hiding in the shadows open fire on the party with short bows.
Joining the ogre bearing down on Aaron is his mate, hiding in the nearby stalagmites. While strong, the ogres are large and unarmored, making them easy targets. Galaldhon and Eleindar fire arrows into the giant creatures while Aaron casts Eldritch blast and Zarn closes for melee combat. Houblin charges up the rocks to get at the goblin archers, dispatching them with ruthless efficiency. The fight is brutal but brief. Within a minute all the monsters lie dead.
The group explores the damp passageways and crevices leading out from the main cavern. One of the first areas they explore is a series of narrow rooms filled with bones and offal. The group thinks this is where the goblin families live. In Goblin, Aaron tells anyone hiding in these caves that if they want to live, don’t come out for some time. The response (also in Goblin), “We stay here, no want fighting.”
Houblin and Zarn find a natural chamber with 30 villagers, sitting very still and afraid, covered with guano, as thousands of bats perch nervously overhead. Galadhon, Eleindar, and Aaron move stealthfully into the room to avoid disturbing the bats. After deciding that killing the bats would not be successful, they pull the leader of the villagers, the dwarf Morak Ur’gray out of the room. With him to keep the villagers calm, they devise a plan to move the villagers out in ones and twos, with the party stationed along the way to lead them outside of the caves. In this way, they lead all the villagers left alive to the relative safety outside the dripping caves. Once the villagers are safe and heading back to Nightstone, they continue to explore.
More examinations of side passages from the main cavern yields no encounters. Finally, they happen upon a 10 foot-high cave with a large goblin and two goblin guards gleefully watching a pack of giant rats feed on the corpse of a slain villager. The group moves forcefully to stop this disgusting spectacle.
End of Session.
End Date: 22 Ches 1493 (1:00pm)
Characters are 4th level.