In the morning we decided to head down the other cavern, while Chen stayed to watch the mouth of the tunnel.
Priest lit up my sword and I lead the way through the tunnel, squatting down like one of those filthy dwarves. After a hike that was about as long as the other we came upon a partially buried dwarf. Jared went to slice off his fingers, and noticed the body was burned. Rand then noticed there were scorch marks just outside our radius of light.
I continued on, but we came to a dead end. The cavern widened out to about 20 feet across. Three duergar were scattered through the room, all of them burnt badly. There was an entrance that had been since covered with stone. Jared sat down to prepare a potion that would help him detect secret doors. Rand scavenged up some lumps of gold and silver from the bodies, probably coins at one time.
I waited with Jared while he prepared his potion. Rand did a bit more sleuthing to attempt to determine what had caused the fire. Jared’s potion revealed nothing.
After the fact finding, I decided to kick down the rocks. Beyond it, I saw a dim flickering glow. I kicked down more rocks, enough to get a better look at what was in the tunnel.
The room beyond was similar to the room the hydra was in. The room held a globe of fire, with scorched walls all about it. Rand attempted to detect magic, and saw the globe was radiating powerful magics. Priest tried to plumb his knowledge for something useful, but didn’t come up with anything. I got tired of the scholars attempting to deduce things from it, so I chucked a rock at it. The rock passed right through it and came out scorched on the other side.
We then decided to make our way in, so I knocked enough of the rocks down to get in. I stepped in and didn’t blow up.
Rand and Priest started doing their magic thing.
After some time Rand said, “I thought these were myths, but this appears to be a living spell.”
Jared tossed a duergar finger at it. The fireball consumed it and attacked us!
“No fireball, we’re not here to hurt you!” Jared shouted as Rand and I beat it to embers.
Jared tossed me a resist elements potion, which allowed me to stand in the fireball without being hurt too badly. The ball enlarged as it fed off the combustible parts of our clothing.
We battled on and the creature got it hooks into Priest. I charged it from behind and killed it. As it died it exploded, leaving Priest in a serious amount of pain.
I wiped the ashes off my sword and we headed back out and into town.
We met with our contact at the mayor’s office.
“You’re back again. Have you taken care of the problem?”
Jared threw the duergar fingers at the assistant. He handed over the bounty for taking care of the duergar.
– Several Weeks Pass –
During the intervening weeks, Rand and I started tracking down information on Widesman again while Jared and Priest stayed in town and researched and did charitable deeds respectively.
After returning to Olfden, we were relaxing at the inn. The mayor’s aid, Alderson, burst into the tavern and made his way to us immediately imploring for our assistance. We followed him to city hall to meet with the mayor.
The mayor, a very handsome and charming man, spoke in a slightly worried voice which was odd for such a charismatic man.
“Excellent. You have come,” he said as we entered.
Alderson brought in refreshments and we seated ourselves in the office.
“I know you have done services for the town in the past. This request is not just for the town, but for me personally. Two days ago, my daughter was kidnapped and taken to an encampment in the Norgotha Peaks. I have received a ransom note from a war chief, Maal,” he told us.
The mayor handed over a hand written note with Maal’s signature on it.
“If you want your young one alive, then vacate your town,” was written on the note.
“I sent two squads of Eagle Knights after the war chief, but only two men returned,” the mayor went on.
The war band was composed of goblins and hobgoblins. The knights reported seeing something large, perhaps an ogre, but they weren’t positive. The mayor was unable to send more men due to the goblin warrens as the goblins would wipe out the men he sends into their territory. Since we have experience with fighting in the caves, he thought we might be able to do it.
We were outfitted with provisions the town could provide; rations and a handful of curing potions.
– Days pass –
We made our way to the foothills and quickly realized we were in the right spot when we came upon the crucified bodies of ten Eagle Knights.
I made my way to the top of the hill to take down the bodies. I was able to see into the valley from the vantage point. About 100 yards from the hill there was an entrance to the warrens. There were a handful of goblinoid creatures milling about the entrance.
We decided to wait until nightfall before making our approach.
We made our way to about two hundred feet from the entrance when I decided to just head in. Rand held me back while he prepared for the attack. Once he was ready I stood up and brandished my sword.
I started charging the goblins, screaming on the way as I headed in. They started firing upon me, but I brushed the incoming missiles away. Rand launched magic missiles past me at the goblins.
Metal screeched against bone and I lopped the head off the closest goblin, but the sneaky little bastards sprang out of the shadows behind us and attacked Jared and Priest.
I soaked up a handful of goblins as one of the hobgoblins ran off into the warrens. Rand stepped up to intervene on Priest’s behalf, and Jared swatted two down quickly.
Rand struggled to fend off the goblins, but Jared was quick to rip the hobgoblin apart before it harried him too much. The oracle came under fire from the straggling hobgoblin, while I started cutting down the goblins that had surrounded me.
Rand backed up further, closer to Priest, and blasted the goblins with his burning hands. One of the goblins perished in the fire, but the other barely survived the hit. Jared let loose with everything, but the hobgoblin was able to parry each of the blows. I cut down another goblin, and continued to back up toward the rest of the pary.
Priest started channeling energy to keep the rest of the party alive. Jared bore down on the hobgoblin, crushing his shield between his horrible mutated jaws. I cut down the remaining goblin and backed up closer to the party only to have the hobgoblin next to me spit an insult at my seeming cowardice. Rand melted a goblin, leaving a hobgoblin staring him down. The numbers were looking better, but we still had some work to do.
Jared was in dire straits, but Priest was able to get next to him and unleash his new moderate curing spell. One more swing put the hobgoblin in the grave, and I ran over to assist Priest.
Jared finally got over his funk and bit through the last hobgoblin’s leg.
We made our way into the warrens, and were welcomed by a much larger cavern than the dwarven ones we had gone through. We saw a bright flickering light ahead, and the cavern opened up ahead of us. We figured the best way to spring the trap was to just head on in, and we were greeted by two enormous ogres.
I waded in, thinking about eating Jared’s Puke Potion, but not knowing what it might do I decided to just stick an ogre. Jared then stepped in and showed me how the the disgusting thing worked. We stood toe to toe with the ogres and I did my best to deflect the blows they attempted to rain upon Jared.
Unfortunately, the ogres bashed Jared in the face and he went down, but the swarm fought on. Priest was able to heal Jared, then put a sanctuary around him. Rand cut one of the ogres down, and the other rounded on me and nearly put me into the ground.
Jared got back into the fight and finished off the ogre when I was unable to completely gut it.
We searched the room, finding treasure and two tunnels leading away from where we were.