SESSION 53s: DAY 23 – THE CAVES OF CHAOS
Lucien's mind prioritizes... Humans, save. Goblin, kill. Orcs and kobolds, save for now, interrogate and kill later, or leverage as hostages against their own tribes...
Talmark says, “First priority is find out who the humans are, then question all about what we don't know about the caves and this warren.”
“We can keep the kobolds if possible, or at least use them as barter to get the loyalty of their tribe. The goblins are useless, and the orcs are dangerous if not even more useless. Either kill the later 2 or enslave them in a big way. Depending upon who these humans are enslaving may not be a good idea to do in front of them. Maybe take them back to our cave and turn them into undead guards?”
Kord likes this idea of turning the useless humanoids into undead guards but he know he doesn’t have the power…..yet. He thinks of some different ways to interrogate the humanoids like falsely befriending them or killing one or two of their fellows in front of them to incentivize their fellows to talk.
Per says, “I agree that the humans must be saved. I care nothing for the fate of the other captives and will go along with whatever the group thinks is best for them - rescue or slaughter.”
One of the orcs visibly cringes at the word slaughter.
Lucien speaks to the others, “My vote is we unlock the humans first, then one kobold and one orc, rebinding them for control, lead them all out and kill the other prisoners.”
"We only need one kobold and one orc for information. I am of the opinion it is best to get out of here quickly when we have liabilities like this and question the prisoners outside, away from the caves instead of delaying here where there are few options."
“Takez mez” says one of the orcs, “Iz speakz goodz commonz.”
Talmark begins unfastening the humans while leaving monsters to the others. "I am Talmark Feldrac," he says quietly to the humans, "our party is headed back to the Burg. You are welcome to accompany us. Who might you be?"
As Talmark begins to release the humans the man speaks first, “Oh thank you my sires. I’ve been trapped here for over two weeks and I was sure that I was next. I am Mandel of Burg Liechenstein. I am a tailor and was set to join Dearg, the proprietor of Valor Trading, to work in the Burg but I was captured by these awful beasts.”
“And I am Geneve, betrothed to Berowalt of the Minotaur Blacksmithery at the Burg.” Talmark is shocked. Geneve is so emaciated she looks nothing like the description provided by Berowalt only a few days ago (the party last spoke to Berowalt about Geneve on day 21 in session 44).
“How did you come here?” Talmark enquires.
“I was captured by Hobgoblins whilst in a caravan traveling to Cettigne to procure some tools for Berowalt and the smithery. We were surprised as they had laid in ambush. They killed about half of us and the rest were taken prisoner. They took us back to their cave and they started eating us one by one. Then one day they grabbed me and a few of the other prisoners and they dragged me out and they gave us to these bugbears. It’s no better here. The bugbears torture us mercilessly. They don’t want information or goods they just want to accrue fear.”
“Where are the others?” asks Talmark.
“They’re all gone,” the maiden replies, “I’m the last one left.” She starts to weep as she begins to realise that her ordeal maybe over. She looks up at Talmark with tears whimpering down her face, “Please can we get out of here before the bugbears come. Can you please take me back to the Berowalt and the Burg?”
“Shhh it’s alright,” Talmark reassures her. “We’ll get you back to the Burg, here come with me.”
Talmark leads Geneve and Mandel out of the room.
Lucien calls to the Men at Arms, “Fremont, untie and bind one of the kobolds and one of the orcs.”
As Fremont begins to untie one of the monsters they all start scrambling to be let free. A wail of begging ensures. Kord turns to Lucien and says, “Lead the party a safe distance, Fremont and I will gather the two prisoners you desire.”
Lucien ushers the rest of the party from the room and back to the guard room. A few moments later he faintly feels the wraith of Asmodeus.
Fremont and Kord emerge from the chamber with their two bound prisoners in tow. Kord has a broad smile on his face and another ½ dozen sets of ears in his hands. “We’ll that’s the easiest bounty we’ll ever collect,” he wryly remarks.