Shadows Rising

The Cave

It looks safe in there...let's go explore it!

The cave looked innocent enough, at least from the outside. However, as they ventured further in, the situation became more perilous. Alatir was poisoned by a flying dart, although he was healed by a potion the group found on the bodies of two corpses (most likely the two friends that Caruvial was talking about.) After being forced further into the cave (several doorways would become blocked by fast growing vines as they all passed through them), they were attacked by a group of giant ants. After battling their way through them with relatively ease, they approached a narrow hallway covered in spiderwebs. Rushing through the hallway, they entered a large room covered in thick webs.

After searching the room for an exit, Branan discovered that the narrow hallway they had just exited wasn’t just filled with spiderwebs—it was lined with pulsating egg sacs. Using his reliable burning hands spell, he dispatched the egg sacs with a great fireball—unfortunately, this attracted the attention of their protective mother, who came down on top of the group just as the last bit of fire in the hallway was going out.

Surprisingly, this great beast could speak—it was understandably upset about the killing of her young, and, after summoning additional giant ants, engaged them in a fierce battle. This was a rather difficult battle for the group—Branan, Marduke, and Serine were all knocked unconscious at one point, but fortunately Nerryn was there to help stabilize them. Even Alatir had difficulty at times, especially when it came to fighting off the poison of the great spider.

Eventually, the group defeated the great spider and the giant ants, although many recoveries had to be used to finish the battle. As they were rummaging about the wreckage of the fight, a loud, disembodied voice began to speak at them. Alatir, recognizing the language as elven, translated for everyone else. The voice lamented the destruction of his creatures living in the dungeon, and warned them that an even greater evil was lurking beneath the depths. The voice warned them never to return to this place again, unless they desired meeting death.

At that, they turned back and left the way they came in. They remembered activating a pressure plate that had caused a rumbling noise off in the distance. As they traversed the paths and rooms that had been blocked by the overgrown vines, they realized that the rumbling noise had opened those pathways up for them. They exited the cave in the late afternoon sun—they decided not to waste any more time, and hiked all night and the next day, arriving at Glitterhaegen around dusk.

Comments

From the log of Branan the Bard:
“True, we were trespassing in the beasts’ lair. A pity they did not try to reason with us before all the bloodshed. Though once it had begun, it is perfectly understandable they should not wish to enter negotiations. As I slew the largest of the creatures in spectacular fashion – fire bursting from each hand to end the work my comrades had started – I felt a grim sense of…was it regret? No. More like sadness at the inevitability of things.”

The Cave
 

“I could not make out the language, though Alatir provided a translation. Most likely a Dark Elf. Odd that the creature should lament the death of the spiders and threaten deeper evils in the same breath. In my experience, those who are truly evil rarely ever think of themselves as such.”

The Cave
 

“When we arrived back at the Merchant’s Inn, Alex was his typical self. Which is to say he tried to renegotiate the terms of our agreement. But since we repaid him for the supplies, I’m not actually sure why he would be getting a sixth of our profits anyway. I have resolved to send him a letter.

He did also mention the High Druid was trying to get in contact with me – which would involve a trip south to the woods. That will have to wait for another time."

The Cave
 

A Letter from Branan to Alex, sent care of a passing caravan returning to Glitterhagen:

Dear Alex,
Upon reexamining the initial terms of our agreement, you were to receive a sixth of the proceeds – an equal share with every other member of the party. This was in payment for your sponsorship – in the form of supplies. Since we have repaid you for the supplies, I’m actually not sure for what reason you would be getting a share of the proceeds. Am I forgetting something, or we can consider ourselves square?
Your friend,
Branan

The Cave
 

From the Diary of Serine Callings…

Day 5 (continued): Why do these guys love caves so much?

Granted we agreed to assist Narryn’s friend in finding their lost comrades, and granted we have found them, but this group seems very keen on flinging themselves below ground and into danger, and only ONE of them is a dwarf. This cave seems to be alive and very unhappy that we have intruded. Not that I blame it the way that Bard keeps torching everything in sight. Is it any wonder that nature herself is angry at the wanton destruction?
On the plus side, there are all manner of potion components that can be made from Spider venom. This could turn out to be a profitable side trip after all.

The Cave
 

Alatir’s notes:

There was something unsettling about that voice. The speaker was obviously very, very old. (well, obvious to me, and maybe Branan, he seems to know of things he shouldn’t)

And by “old” I don’t mean a few centuries. I have been around for four centuries myself, and I am but an infant compared to this being.

It makes one wonder, if this entity has survived for so long, how can we possibly hope to thwart it, much less slay it? So, we departed.

This giant spider’s spinneret will surely be worth something, though.

The Cave
 

Diary/journal/thing:

You’d think I’d be used to the odd, large, venomous, and fanged by now, having traveled with my troupe as much as I did, and growing up two tents down from our small but impressive menagerie. Heck, Ásgeirr, our orphaned owl-bear, was arguably my dearest childhood friend. I really miss curling up with him in his nest while learning my letters from Zomi’s musty books. All things chitinous, though…

But I suppose I should start where we left off; we found a cave approximately where Caruvial described her friends/employees/miscreants going missing. We also found their bodies (not wanting to be gruesome, I collected their heraldry rather than their heads), some odd documents, some antivenin, and a whole HEAP of trouble.

It seems we wandered into what the others called a “living dungeon;” I’ll hazard a new, more apt name: “living nightmare of hellish, chitinous beast.” A bit longer on the tongue, but a better warning. As I’d rather not relive it, let’s just say that I have an extreme reaction to any bug too large to dispatch with a well-placed boot. I am all to glad to be quit of the place.

I hope to meet you again, someday, Zomi, and that you see fit not to slit my throat, that I might relate to you what a burdensome thing my quest for a better life has become.

-Nerryn

The Cave
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