SESSION 24: DAY 10-13 – CRAGMAW CAVES
"Malandir! Please do a quick scout of the area, they may not have come alone," Talmark remarks as he spins quickly and quietly and says, "Kord! Stay your hand a moment, we need to find out who their friends are, who knows where they have were going, and what their plan was. We need all of the information we can muster, as it is too early in our task to have strong foes aligned against us. Tell the other men that they were trying to sneak attack us and the fight was justified."
Kord briefly joins Talmark. Standing by his side he dispassionately, he watches as the life blood pools around the unconscious body of Adalgar. The mans wounds stabilise and he stops bleeding (at -2 hit points). Talmark notes a look of disappointment emerging on Kord’s face. Like the opportunity to study the leaving of the life force of the cleric had been taken away from him. Kord turns and goes to find Clovis and Fremont and to tell them of the attack, as instructed by Talmark.
Talmark turns back to the Torag. "Well, Brunhild. Your lack of tact and gruffness seems to have gotten you into a spot of trouble, thinking you could just bull your way in and attack any whom you wished. It appears your compatriot may not survive your folly. But I am not a man without mercy, and this may all be just a mistake on your part. So tell me: did you get what you came for?"
Malandir darts around the inside of the cave back to Talmark. “Nice armour”, he thinks as he moves past the clerics to scout the area outside the cave. “Quiet and easy does it, no need to rush” he says to himself as he silently slips out into the darkness of the night. He lays up in the bushes outside of the cave. Squatting silently in the bushes his eyes re-adjust to the star lite night and he uses his infravision to scan the perimeter of their base. Nothing stirs. It appears that the men are along. “So bold” he thinks. He waits, just to make sure.
Lucien steps forward and compliments Per on his quick and decisive actions, "I'm thinking you are deserving of a bonus, Per. Found a gap in both their armor right quick, didn't you? Well done."
“I was thinking master Lucien, that you and the party have treated me well. That your faith is so strong. Could I learn under your tutelage? Become a warrior of Asmodeus. Like Talmark,” Per asks. Lucien searches Per’s face to see if he is genuine. Using all his skills in Sense Motive he can tell that Per is genuine. He’s turning evil, Lawful Evil in fact.
Kord finds Clovis and Fremont and tells them that their base had been invaded but that the intruders had been dealt with. Talmark and Per have the matter in hand and there is no need to rush to don their armour however they should rest for soon they’ll need to take the watch over from Talmark, Per and Barret.
Talmark menacingly taps Brunhild with the flat of Felldrac’s blade. “Well, what to it. What were you doing here?”
The holy man explains that they had come from Canorate via Cettigne. Patriarch Nikolaus, the senior cleric of Torag, had, in his sermons, told them of the lawless Cragmaw pass and he and his companion, Adalgar, had pilgrimaged here to bring law, good and protection to the land. They had come here on their own to prove themselves in the forge of battle.
As Barret joins them at the door Lucien studies his face. He is dispassionate (Barret is true Lawful Neutral with tendencies neither to good nor evil). Talmark orders Barret and Per to take Adalgar inside and to keep watch over him.
Brunhild notices that Talmark is distracted but for just one moment. And just one moment is all he needs. He Channels Positive Energy (which doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity) and instantly heals himself and Adalgar by 3pts of damage. Adalgar’s eyes open as he returns to consciousness.
Initiative is rolled, Party Roll = 13 + 0 = 13, Clerics Roll = 5 + 2 = 7.
Dropping the body of Adalgar, Per, Barret and Lucien stab wildly at the clearly heavily wounded but still dangerous Adalgar. The prone cleric can do little to protect himself from such an onslaught and he his wounded twice. Once by Per for 9pts of damage and once by Lucien for 6pts of damage which takes him from +1 to -14pts hit points. He instantly dies in the scuffle.
Talmark brings down the blade of Felldrac upon the prone and shieldless Brunhild. He hits the acolyte of Torag in the stomach. The big blade effortlessly cuts through Brunhild’s armour and he suffers 18pts of damage, taking him from +3 to -15 hit points and he too dies quickly. Clearly Talmark has no half standard when he hits someone.
They take the bodies of the two priests inside and search and strip them of their valuables. They find 6 and 18 gp respectively upon them together with their scale mail armour (2), heavy shields (2), warhammers (2), two scrolls of cure light wounds (2) and a Scroll of Bless Water (1). They are worth 200xp each.
With the bodies taken care and Cragmaw Caves is once again secure and the party settles into their routine.
Talmark pulls Kord aside. He has a thought. “Maybe we should keep one of their bodies for the “collection” and crush the other slightly and advance its decay so we could take him back to the Burg and say we found his corpse and ogre tracks, then followed and killed the ogre.” Talmark points to the earless ogres head which he had taken from the beast. He continues talking to Kord, “Maybe present both shields and say that there may have been another man with him, but the gory scene left us no doubt he'd been devoured or worse.”
Kord smiles. He likes the idea. “Let’s discuss this with Malandir and Lucien and see how they want to play our next move.”
Days 11 and 12 are eventless and Kord and Lucien craft 8 cure light wound scrolls between them (ie 2 a day each over the 2 days).
On the morning of the 13th they wake and are ready.
DM’s observations. The lawless of the lands has now, with the defeat of the two clerics, ironically increased 8 and hence the chance of a random encounter in the hidden Cragmaw Cave has increased to a one in ten chance once a day.
The two clerics where a random encounter. There could have been between 1 and 8 of them. Their alignment and god was also random. I shudder to think what would have happened if there had been 8 of them.