SESSION 41a: DAY 17 – CRAGMAW CAVE
As darkness falls the party can hear the calls of the night. Different creatures are coming alive. The hoot of an owl and the howl of packs of wolves communicating can be heard.
Lucien keeps a brave front despite the creeping dread he feels at being out in this wilderness as the sun sets. As he plods on with the group under their load, he consoles himself that they should reach their cave before it gets too dark. And then there is always the possibility that every time they leave the cave, some other person, group or creature could attempt to claim it.
Talmark asks, "Do you think it would be better for us to try to keep our base hidden, or place a sign claiming rights or skull totems or some other way of showing ownership? I am more for keeping it hidden for now, until it can be better fortified and have full-time guards..."
Lucien ponders the suggestion, weighing options as he walks. Finally he speaks, "Maybe I could see if there is an alchemical solution. Something that gives a scent that has a better chance to drive animals or those with discerning scent away. Posting skulls or totems could invite do-gooders trying to do the same we are and send the message the occupants, us, are no better than a savage animal or tribe to be exterminated.”
"Lucien, would your talents and future talents at crafting magical wonders extend to improving weapons? The long history of my family always spoke of my sword as having been imbued with righteous fire, and we had always thought that literal. In all of my years, and my fathers before me, and his fathers before him, none had ever seen these espoused flames. It has been a dream of mine to see Feldrac become its storied self, burning with the light of true flame. Is it possible? Would you be able to do so?"
"Alas, Talmark, the power to imbue weapons requires much effort and study. Asmodeus rewards those worthy of claiming their power by sheer force of will, manifested through force, guile and study. "
Lucien adds, “Kord and I have been discussing and praying on Feldrac. You have mentioned to us all in the past of the sword’s history and legend. It is not unheard of for weapons, items, devices to have hidden magic or powers that require an, “awakening,” of sorts. A ritual or event or exposure that brings forth untapped potential.
I say this now to give you hope, much more discussion and research needs to be done to find out what the catalyst or maybe even series of catalysts are needed, or possible. Feldrac may or may not respond, it has been in your family for many decades and who knows if and how your ancestors have already tried to do this… Kord and I will do our best, though.”
As they approach the cave, some of the party smell a horrible stench.
Per, Talmark, Barret, Kord and Clovis must all make a DC13 Fortitude save or become Sickened which will give a -2 penalty to all Attack, Weapon Damage, Saving Throw, Skill Check and Ability Check rolls.
They roll 5 (Per – fail), 3 (Talmark – fail), 20 (Barret – pass), 1 (Kord – fail), 16 (Clovis – pass).
They are only less than a 100ft from Cragmaw Caves. They think about getting to the safety of the cave but before they can they are confronted by troglodytes.
They are about 5ft tall and weigh about 150 pounds. Malandir knows (because he has some Knowledge Local and Knowledge Dungeoneering) that they are feral cave dwellers in these parts and that they are amongst the most populous denizens of the upper reaches of the endless caverns in the mountains. They are equally at home raiding the settlements of those who dwell above or below ground. They are known from time to time to gather in great numbers but usually they keep their own numbers under control with numerous feuds, cannibalistic raids and bitter civil wars. The troglodyte is one of the oldest of intelligent races, and ruins found in some remote caverns can testify to the fact that their empire was once among the largest in the world. Religion is strong among troglodyte tribes, and their shamans and priests are the highest regarded members of a clan.
Lucien, Freemont and Malandir must also now check to see if they are sickened.
They roll 19 (Lucien – Pass), 15 (Per – Pass) and 18 (Malandir – Pass).
The light is currently low as night approaches and all characters, except Malandir, will suffer -2 to attack unless more light is provided. Should a light source be introduced, such as a torch or a Light spell, then we’ll revert to normal darkness rules and the party will only be able to see 30ft from the light sources as their ‘night vision’ is ruined but they’ll suffer no penalties within that 30ft.
Party initiative = d20 = 14 + 0 = 14
Monsters initiative = d20 = 13 – 1 = 12
The party has the initiative.