SESSION 52a: DAY 23 – THE CAVES OF CHAOS – IN SEARCH OF HOBGOBLINS
Lucien rubs his chin as he remembers, “If memory serves, there should be the remnants or evidence of a pile of burned gnoll bodies nearby. We should remember to leverage that when dealing with others here.”
“I vote for scouting the goblin cave, it is known territory for us, and the hobgoblins may be in the process of expanding into the now-vacated goblin tunnels, potentially giving us the element of surprise more so than coming in some "front door" to their main cave, which I suspect is Unknown Cave #1.
“A reasonable suspicion and I agree. Assaulting the front door against an organised enemy, such as the hobgoblins, may not be the best strategy,” says Kord as he rocks back on his heels and looks up at the sky, quite relaxed in his surroundings. He likes the time he gets to spend with the party at the Caves of Chaos. Surrounded by evilness and death it feels like, like home to him.
Lucien adds, “Eventually, we're going to have to verify that ogre (or two, three?) and clear that out also.”
Per agrees with Lucien and Kord. "Your logic is sound," he says. "Far better to explore somewhere we know than heading off into uncharted territory. And, yes, we may well surprise the hobgoblins."
"Exactly what I was thinking,” notes Talmark. “Other denizens may also have attempted to lay claim to the cleared cave, so we may as well ferret them out. Hopefully not the troglodytes though, as they are probably in another cave. Should be easy to find if we follow our noses."
"I wonder just how 'organized' these various groups really are. I mean, if we take down the troglodytes who have supposedly put all of these beasts together maybe whatever form of control they have will fall apart and the groups will go at each other? But somehow I doubt they are quite that under control."
Stamping the butt of his spear in the ground as he reflects on the matter Lucien adds, “Good considerations, though I doubt once the troglodytes were dispatched they would immediately go for one another's throats. We have not the time to allow for rivalries to fester to the point of action.”
Lucien begins ponders the ways to leverage Berowalt once the mission is complete. Tempting as it would be to request or accept offered discounts on weapons and crafting, that might be short-sighted if Berowalt considers the debt paid after a time. With a long-term goal of ruling this area, his continued sense of debt in our favor may be more valuable when that influence on residents is set against detractors that may arise from the Burg's present rulers.
They form up out the front of the goblin caves. Malandir in the van to scout, Talmark and Per in the front rank followed by Kord and Barret, then Lucien and Fremont and finally Clovis as the rear guard. Kord casts Light upon his shield and Fremont strikes up a torch.
As they advance into the cave they initially stay in close contact with Malandir and Kord and Fremont shield their light sources so as to not interfere with his infravision.
Malandir reaches the first intersection. He can go either west, south or east.
He remembers that to the west is where the main tribe was. The party slaughtered the tribe there and ran into some initial hobgoblin resistance, which they were also able to overcome. The south is a dead end, he remembers that clearly. And to the east is where they fought a goblin guard post and over came it but it was also where they fought against the ogre but they had to retreat from a hobgoblin arrow fire.
He comes back to the party. Which way should they go? To the east or the west?