SESSION 19: DAY 8 – THE CAVES OF CHAOS
Surveying the carnage Lucien says “It is time to get out. Everyone is currently stabilized, we should frugally get as many as we can up to their own power with our cure light wounds scrolls and potions. If we have any curing resources remaining after everyone is under their own power, it should go to Talmark, then Malandir, then Clovis.
That Shield of Faith lasts one minute, we should make HASTE, drag our lost comrades back to the group, get everyone up, and get the heck out. Capitalize on the fear of the retreating goblins”.
Turning to Malandir, Lucien compliments the elf on finding the orge's mark again and again.
Malandir nods to Lucien. "I said I would prove my worth to you, I am glad the sting of my arrows could bring down the beast. But now we are in a perilous situation....I agree, withdrawal is sensible. I will cover our rear, in case those hobgoblins venture out."
Nodding, Kord agrees with Lucien. "I think we're done here for today" he adds "let us get as many up as we can and then get back to Cave Cragmaw and rest up for a few days. If we have too, I'm fully prepared to leave some of the merc's. Priority should go to getting Talmark back up and as functional as soon as possible. If we get attacked on the way back to Cragmaw we could be in real trouble."
Kord goes on, "We've got four cure light wounds between us. I say we put two to three on Talmark, one to two on Clovis. Barret and Fremont are too heavily wounded. We'll just have to drag them back with us as best we can. Keep Talmarks two potions of cure light wounds for emergencies."
Nodding, Lucien and Kord both cast cure light wounds upon Talmark healing him by 6 and 8pts taking him from -6 to 8 (out of a total of 12).
Talmark groans in residual pain as he wakes and Kord leans down over his prostrate body and greets him with "Welcome back brother. Perhaps you were right to counsel us on caution. It would have been nasty to have been fighting those hobgoblins and the ogre at the same time.” Standing back upright Kord adds, “The ogre is down and the goblins have fled but there is not time to waste. Pick up Felldrac and be ready brother. We’ll need to leave as soon as we can.” Kord offers his hand to help the warrior of Asmodeus back to his feet.
Turning his attention, Kord casts cure light wounds upon Clovis and heals him back 3pts. It’s not enough to get him back to consciousness and Lucien repeats the treatment and heals back the guard by a further 5pts. Clovis has been healed from -4 to 4 (out of a total of 12).
Malandir and Kord go to find the others down the southern passage as Lucien updates Talmark and Clovis on the outcomes of the battle. Talmark slashes the ears off the ogre and then he thinks more of it and hacks off the brutes head as well. He stuffs the head into a sack and ties it to his belt.
Lucien, Clovis and Talmark look down at Fremont and Barret. They’ll have to carried or dragged out. No doubt about that.
As Malandir and Kord run down the southern passage they see Per crouched and hiding. An arrow is protruding from his stomach although it doesn’t look too deep.
Just beyond him, Stein is lifeless on the ground. The combination of his previous wounds and an arrow in his left shoulder have left him unconscious. He lays in a position that is exposed to arrow fire from the hobgoblins. Kord leans in close to Lucien so that Per cannot hear and whispers “Let’s leave him. It’s not worth the risk.”
Using his charisma and diplomatic skills Kord turns to Per, “Per get up. The ogre and goblins have been defeated and the others are waiting for you back in the room. Come with me and we’ll go back to them. We need to get out of here and cannot delay.” Kord offers his forearm to help the wounded man up.
Per doesn’t need to be asked twice. He grabs the wall and Kord’s forearm and lifts himself to his feet and they travel up the passageway together.
Once they have left the passage turns to darkness again. Malandir welcomes the inky blackness although he knows that it’ll give him no cover against the infravision of the hobgoblins and goblins.
He looks down at Stein and then over his shoulder to make sure the others have left. He doesn’t look too wounded but he agrees with Kord’s assessment. The goblin archery has proved to be too accurate to attempt a recovery. As he turns he considers though for a moment that leaving Stein to the hobgoblins might give away their camp location. He draws back on his bow and fires and arrow into Stien’s body. The arrow pierces his chest and whilst he isn’t dead he starts to bleed out. Three more arrows follow and Stien’s body begins to stiffen in death.
Quickly ducking his head around the corner he checks that the hobgoblins aren’t following them and then the trots off to the north to join his companions.
As he enters the room Per asks “Where is Stein?”
“He has died from archery and his previous wounds” Malandir truthfully responds (and thus avoiding a Bluff check).
Lucien taps Talmark on the shoulder “Let us out of here.”
Lucien places himself second in the formation behind Talmark, ready to back up the warrior, and softly intones an invocation "Asmodeus, with hearts burning we implore your infernal blessings. Further pronounce your merciless will on the unworthy denizens herein. Lend your faithful, Talmark, your steely might and lend your chosen speakers your cold will. That we all prove worthy of enacting your goals of eradicating disorder and lawlessness."
In formation they being to move.
Talmark and Kord are in front and are followed by Lucien in the second rank. Clovis and Per are dragging Barret and Fremont in the third rank. Malandir is bringing up the rear. Talmark holds aloft a torch in his left hand which he’ll drop if they encounter anything on the way out. There is still light emitting from Kord’s Light spell which he had cast upon his shield.
They head up the north western passage and then to the main exit. As they turn to the north. Sweet natural daylight greets them and they are safe (relatively).
Looking behind him Lucien makes a mental note what they have explored so far. He’ll update his rudimentary map when he gets back to Cragmaw Cave.
As they exit the cave Malandir can hear that the goblins are starting to rally. He urges the party on.
Dragging Barret and Fremont costs them time as they are only able to move at a half rate. At that pace it’ll be dark before they reach Cragmaw Caves (and they’ll have to take 3 random encounter checks). Kord considers voicing his opinion that they perhaps should have left Barret to die in the caves as well, thereby freeing Per and Clovis to carry Fremont out between them but he thinks better of it. Killing off Barret now will just destabilise the men at arms belief in the parties wiliness to consider their wellbeing.
He resigns himself that he and Talmark, as the stronger members of the party, will have to help carry the guards back to Cragmaw Caves.
Smiling he approaches Per and says “Dear Per let me help thee” as he picks up the feet of Fremont.
Similarly Talmark helps Clovis with Barret.
Similarly Talmark helps Clovis with Barret.
Making better time now they reach Cragmaw Caves before nightfall. They encounter nothing on the way.
[DM’s Note: Next session will be basically some admin where I’ll work through expenses, experience points etc. Let me know what scrolls etc you’d like to draft (I’ll assume that we’d previously purchased the parchment and inks etc) and what other matters you’d want to do whilst we’re at the caves, or indeed if you want to go back to the Burg.]