Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The next morning, the party got up bright and early and formed a plan: they would first investigate the caves in their small spur, making sure nothing inside any of them would either do them harm, try to invade their cave, or contained a lot of treasure or magic. They marched to the east and came upon the first cave, with seemed to smell of dampness and wet. Cadelaine invisibly looked inside, and saw a very low ceilinged natural chamber that was filled with croaking frogs, some very large. Due to low visibility she couldn’t see anything much, and exited to tell the party what she had seen.

As the adventurers stood around trying to decide on a plan of action, a handful of the large frogs hopped out, and immediately began jumping on the adventurers and biting them! After the surprise of the attack, the frogs were killed, and found to have large sharp teeth and claws! Obviously they were going to be a big tougher to destroy than your average amphibian. Sticking his head in, Kal was rewarded by another wave of the deadly frogs. Nadal, Sholo, Alando, Kumar, and even the giant ape Gra Gra wanted nothing to do with crawling in the muddy, dark cave to battle biting frogs! Finally, Cadelaine cast Web inside, trapping most of the frogs, and the web was lit up with fire that burned many of the frogs away. Still, Mongo, Kal, Endefal and Cadelaine ended up having to stab quite a few of the frogs to death as the survivors swarmed in the mouth of the cave to be eventually cut down.

While this was happening, a small group of four wild boars found the party, and attacked in a rage. They were all killed except for one which was charmed and befriended by Kal, and while Gra Gra feasted on one, the other two were butchered and the meat brought back to the Base Cave to be eaten later that night….the fresh meat was great needed now that they were down to dried fruit and flour.

To the adventurer’s disappointment, after the killer frog cave was cleaned out, nothing except for one small gemstone was found inside the muddy cavern. The party wondered if all the caverns would be this much of a waste of time and resources, but still each had to be searched so nothing useful (or deadly to the party) might be left behind.

The second cave looked long abandoned and there were no tracks of anything in front of the overgrown entrance. Throwing a Continual Light rock inside, the light just dimly illuminated a cavern corridor. Suspicious of the feeling they were getting (cold inside with darkness that made even continual light dim), sure enough, reading some of the runes engraved on the walls told them what they feared: this cavern was a area consecrated to the God of Shadow! Much as the Temple of Shadow they had discovered many weeks earlier, this was another outpost to the ancient, evil religion. At this discovery the priests took the lead, and Endefal cautiously made his way forward to a fork in the corridor. Taking the right most passageway, it soon led into a large chamber with a large, shadowy looking being floating in it. At the sight of the party and their continual light rock, it began gliding towards them! Endefal’s turning was completely unsuccessful, and Kal’s magic spear shouted in joy at a chance to take down a shadow, particularly a “shadow wraith” (as the spear called the creature). Talon-Bar struck again and again, even after Kal was struck by the Shadow Wraith and drained of a point of strength. Finally, Kal’s spear seemed to suck up the essence of the shadow, and with a wail it disappeared.
Stopping to rest a minute, the party turned around and went down the other branch, which led to a larger cave. At the other end stood an alcove with what looked like an altar, and two statue to either side. Several flitting shapes were in the room, which the party immediately recognized as shadows. Endefal turned six of the creatures, and the party did battle with the four left, quickly destroying them. The six that were turned had floated to the altar, between the angry looking stone statues (which resembled aspects of Shadow). The room was searched, and a long dead, desiccated body was found (at the body’s disturbance one of the shadows seem much agitated, so the party assumed it might be the form of the dead body).

Determined to get at the treasure on the altar (which contained some swords, a set of bracers, and ivory tusks), yet equally sure the stone statues would come to life, Endefal and Kal came up with a plan: they carefully approached the statues, then suddenly each darted at a statue’s feet, and stone shaped them to the floor! Each was struck by the suddenly animated statue, but in both cases the stone statues were welded to the floor, unable to move! Now with their way clear, the party investigated the treasure (Endefal turning the shadows again, and they flew to the shadowrath’s old lair). Using Detect Magic and Detect Evil, they found the weapons, a golden container, and the bracer detected as magic….but one of the weapons (a longsword) detected as evil! Carefully handling the longsword, they dumped it into a sack with plans to dispose of it later. The other weapon (a morning star) might have been more useful, but a decision was made to hold on to it for awhile. The container held two potions, after testing were found to be useful, so they were put aside. Some gold and gems were also gathered, after which Endefal poured holy water on the altar and desecrated it. With a wail, the party heard the shadows from the other room disappear, and they made certain to take the bones within the chamber for a proper burial. Deciding to destroy the trapped statues, they struck from behind where the statue’s reach was difficult, and soon both guardians lay on the ground in stony pieces.
After desecrating the altar, the room seemed less cold and dark, and the party left satisfied they had ruined one more stronghold of the god of Shadow.

Another cave, this time against the south cliffside wall of the spur, showed only a small open area, then a pool of fresh water. Kal asked the Boar about the cave, and the wild boar told him that something nasty waited inside the pool, to leap out and grab anyone who drank at the water. Deciding to lure the creature out of the water, some wild boar guts (from the animals gutted earlier) were thrown in the water, attracting a large, clawed, slimy creature…a freshwater troll! Endefal, Mongo and Cadelaine quickly cut him down, as well as another that followed behind him, and dragged their bodies to be burnt. Conferring among themselves, the party decided that an underwater lair must be here, so Water Breathing was cast on Endefal, Kumar, Cadelaine and Mongo, and they swam in the dark depths to find the lair.

In the twisting, dark underwater passageways (lit by the continual light torch) they fought and killed another two scrags, and found a large heavy rusted chest covered in chains. Bringing it back to the surface (along with the bodies of the scrags, which were also burnt) they broke open the chains holding the swollen chest closed and found some gems and rusted silver within.
Calling it a day (as most if not all the spells of the mages and priests were gone), the party headed back in the growing darkness to their base cave. A giant meal of roast boar was prepared, a good change from the recent fare, and the party made plans to search the last two caves the next day, and then investigate further into the swamp to see what lay within. While resting that night, Endefal disposed of the evil longsword by stone shaping an opening in the rock wall of the cavern, dumping the sword inside, then closing the opening back up my sealing the stone wall...making recovery of the sword by any malign beings very difficult if not impossible.

Using his innate priestly power of identification, Alando handled the bracers and declared them Bracers of Regeneration....a highly valuable prize! After discussing it, the group decided they should go to Mongo....being in combat the most often he would benefit the most from the healing jewelry. The morning star, while apparently of good alignment and having powers, was put aside (as none of the party members had proficiency in it's use, and all had weapons they were comfortable with). After the meal and discussion, the party set watch so they could arise on the next day and finish exploration of the small spur valley, after which the swamp itself awaited.

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