Othwic, Maud Balliol, Jarl The Lame, Hob The Bastard, Konrad, Alys and Baine
Current Date: May, 1012TR

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Chapter Six - The Trollstone Caverns

Following Lemunda's map, the party - including their new recruit Wu Bao, travelled for two days along the main road before branching off into dense woodland and shrub and soon found themselves standing before the entrance of a cave.

The cave ran back into the hill for about forty feet and was then blocked by a strange iron door, with an eye carved in the top, a mouth carved in the bottom and an arm extending out of the centre, bent upwards at a right angle. Approaching the door, the party all felt a momentary giddy feeling as though they had lost their balance, but that soon past.

Reaching the door, they made out some dwarvish runes which Wu Bao read aloud. They spelt words in orcish which Gregor, the half-orc druid, translated as "This door yields to gold or force, nothing else".

Gregor, the muscles of the group, strode forward and grasped the arm in an arm-wrestling style and with some effort bent it down, causing the door to swing open. The party entered the cavern system beyond and were almost immediately met by a small band of goblins who were quickly dismissed.

Retracing the direction they imagined the goblins had come from, the group were led down a sloping corridor into a bowl-cave, filled with black water. Red bravely felt his way round the edge to the exit corridor opposite and, because of the slippery nature of the footing, suggested the others come one at time and that Gregor rope them to himself in case any fell. Wu Bao made it round safely, but Clodius had almost reached Red when he slipped under and emerging from under the water discovered he had lost his sight!

Concerned, Gregor wrapped cloth around his eyes and carried his badger, Billy, under one arm. Even led by the rope, he still lost his footing and plunged into a sink hole in the centre of the dark water - even though he had time to throw Billy to safety. Keeping his eyes closed as tighter a he could swam for the 'shore' and crawling out he found that his makeshift blindfold had miraculously worked.

Wu Bao volunteered his services as a "seeing-eye dwarf" for Clodius, who rested one hand on his shoulder as Red (now carrying Clodius' lantern) and Gregor (mapping) led the way to a T-junction in the cave system.

Heading south they discovered a stone door which swung open and revealed a large cavern... and two slavering wargs which attacked Gregor and Red. A brutal battled ensued with both the ranger and the druid taking severe bite wounds and being pulled to the ground. Red managed to dispatch his one from a prone position before rising to help Gregor defeat the other.

While the group scouted the cave, looking for other exits, Clodius began to get his sight back... and made out the blurry image of an orc charging towards him. Although Wu Bao managed to get off a wild crossbow bolt at the orc, it was Clodius that killed it with a single mighty blow.

Gregor continued his exploration of the cave until the group was disturbed by the sudden appearance of another ferocious warg; which Clodius again dispatched with a single blow. However, by this stage the group had decided enough was enough and they headed back out to the corridor where they turned right and made their way to a cave where they caught a glint of silver.

Distracted by the prospects of hundreds of nuggets of silver, Gregor and Wu Bao was surprised by the freezing breath of a giant silver snake which then slithered towards Wu Bao. Clodius, however, stepped up and smacked the snake so hard, he almost took its head right off and Red jabbed it with his spear and slew it.

Red proceeded to skin the snake while the others counted the nuggets of treasure and searched through the pile of bones the snake had been resting on. Realising there was more treasure than they could carry, the group decided to leave it where it was and come back for it later.

The adventurers then retraced their steps and headed north towards a fork in the path. Turning east they followed a path round to where a twenty foot cube blocked their path. On top of the cube sat a massive beast with the body of a lion, the head of a ram and large feathered wings. Between its paws rested an obsidian carving of a troll. The creature was very pleasant, although not one for small talk, and after answering a couple of questions explained it was the "guardian of the trollstone, which would allow access to the 'final chamber'". To get the trollstone they had to answer a riddle. One riddle per person.

The first riddle was asked. The party huddled together and conferred, then chose Wu Bao to answer. It was correct! The beast handed the stone to Wu Bao who slotted it into a hole at the front of the stone cube, which caused a secret door to swing open. Wu Bao jumped through as the door started to close.

The door slammed shut and the party realised that the trollstone was back at the beast's feet.

"Who wishes to answer my next riddle?" it asked.

To be continued...

Interlude And Aftermath...

The town of Portown was almost razed to the ground, barring the tavern, during the great Battle Of Portown.

The once proud fishing community has now transformed into a small tented community huddled around The Green Dragon. A few families have actually taken to living in the inn at the moment.

Funeral services were held for the dead - including Lemunda - and memorials for the missing - including Feng Ying. People have started to trickle in from outlying communuties to aid with the restoration of the fishing town.

While going through Lemunda's possessions, to see what should be buried with her, Red discovered a partial fragment of a map.

It showed a section of the route west to the border town of Grosker in the neighboring kingdom of Sudland, with an interesting note pointing to an off-road site marked: BEWARE HIGH MAGIC. Next to this, in a different hand, was written HIGH MAGIC = BIG REWARD.

The treasure hunters in the group declared: "How better to remember the fallen, than to investigate this site?"

During this time of reconstruction and mourning, outsiders and drifters came through the town, either to help or hinder, and among these stragglers was a dwarvish wanderer from the Deng Fang mountains, by the name of Wu Bao, who said he was an old "drinking partner" of Feng Ying...
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