SESSION 13: DAY 6-8 – CRAGMAW CAVES
They man pack the lumber and all their equipment with them towards the caves. As they get closer Kord and Malandir scout forward to make sure nothing has moved in whilst they have been away. They confirm that the cave is still empty and the party proceeds to lug their heavy loads to the cave.
That evening they labour hard. Whilst no one is skilled in carpentry or engineering, between the 9 of them they are able to build a serviceable barrier. The barrier won’t stop anyone but it’ll slow them down. They effectively build a 10ft high wall reaching from side to side of the cave and close to the roof. They cannot get it to fit exactly due to the rough shape of the cave system and their lack of knowledge and limited tools. None the less only a Small sized creature or less would be able to squeeze through the gaps and they would be very vulnerable whilst they do so. [DM’s Note: We’ll treat the door as a Simple Wooden door from Table 13-2, page 413 of the Core Rule Book. It cannot be locked per sae but a rudimentary bar has been fitted. The door can only be ‘locked’ from the inside and it’ll have a Break DC of 13. If the characters want better then they’ll need to get more equipment, materials and skilled labour involved.]
In choosing their site for the barrier they place it 20ft within the cave system to enable it to be somewhat hidden from the outside. This means that the haven’t sealed off the goblin dog cave but they figure that it’s more important to keep their base hidden then 100% shut off. Also they rationalize that if they are ever invaded they could potentially escape through the gap between the bugbears room and the goblin dog cave. Also if they were being ‘sieged’, an archer, such as Malandir, could fire arrows through that gap at the besiegers. That gap is about 10ft high and thus it’s very difficult to climb from the goblin dog room up into the bugbear leaders lair and it’s a very defendable position from which to repel anyone seeking to do so.
They want to move some of the shrubs to mask the cave entrance but don’t have time that evening.
[DM’s Note: Residing inside the cave instead of being outside will mean that the party will only be exposed to one random encounter check at night and none during the day and they’ll also have the benefit of the defensive structure. The combination of the front of the cave entrance being obscured by the shrubs and by setting the barrier inside the cave, rather than at the front, will provide the bonus that the lawlessness will be increased by one die.
On the first night there is a 1 in 6 chance of a random encounter (shrubs aren’t in play yet). The party are Fatigued from their labour and hence if they are attacked they’ll suffer a -2 to Str and Dex and could become Exhausted and suffer -6 to Str and Dex if they fight for long enough (say 4 rounds). See rules for Fatigue and Exhaustion are on page 567.
A 2 is rolled and there is no random encounter on the first night.]
They sleep for a few hours and the next day, the 7th, they start work on the shrubs. It is another fatiguing day as they don’t really have the proper equipment and the work is made much harder digging using sticks and their bare hands. They could try to use their weapons but they don’t want to damage them.
During the night of the 7th the party rest. During the past two days Kord has gathered the bodies of the slain goblins and the hobgoblin and has one by one started to cast Decompose Corpse upon the dead monsters bodies which turns them into clean skeletons. He is able to do so at the rate of 2 bodies a day. Over the two days he decomposes the hobgoblin and 3 goblin bodies. The rest are buried by the men at arms in shallow graves towards the back of the cave structure as the bodies are starting to decompose naturally and may attract a hungry monster and may fester disease.
On the night of the 7th Malandir takes from a bag the heads of the 5 snakes that they had killed on the way to the cave. He studies the heads and tries to work out how to extract the poison for his use. Lucien takes interest and together they ponder how to do it.
Two guards are posted on the night of the 7th. One at the door and the other at the chimney. If they are attacked they’ll be fore warned of the assault and will be able to respond accordingly.
During the 7th night the team is again Fatigued and a 6 is rolled on a d8 and there is no random encounter.
The next morning, the morning of the 8th, they wake and are fresh for action.