SESSION 14: DAY 8 – THE CAVES OF CHAOS
The party prepares to leave on the morning of the 8th. They discuss whether they should leave behind a couple of guard to look after their base but decide it would be best to stick together.
Over the past couple of days Malandir and Lucien had been looking at the snake heads to see how they could extract the venom for use and on that morning they confer over when they should do it.
It’ll be a DC 13 Survival check to remove the poison (ie the same as the Fort Save against the poison) + 1 DC for every day that it’s been since the combat, as the poison will have started to deteriorate. It’s been two days since the snakes were killed so in this instance so it’ll be a DC of 15 (this rule is not intended to punish the PC’s in this instance per sae but rather to put some urgency into future extractions so that the PC’s don’t just walk around with a bag full of monster heads). A roll of 1 will result in the remover being poisoned. It’ll only take a few minutes to remove the poison and store it in a vial. From each of the five heads they’ll be able to extract one dose of poison. A failed extraction roll will mean that the poison has been wasted.
Anyone poisoned will need to make a Fort DC 13 save or suffer 1d2 Con damage. The effect will last for 6 rounds during which time they’ll have a save. If they fail they’ll take another 1d2 Con damage but if they save once they’ll be cured. Applying the poison to a weapon is a standard action (as per page 556 of the Core Rule Book) and there is a 5% chance (ie a roll of 1 on a d20) that the character exposes themselves to the poison). Whenever the character attacks with the weapon there is a 1 in 20 chance that they may poison themselves. The poison is consumed when the weapon strikes a creature.
They decide to extract. Whilst neither are skilled in Survival, Lucien has a Wis of 18 and so will attempt to extract and Malandir will Aid Another. Lucien has two vials of Antitoxin and he places one in ready reach just in case he is poisoned. There is no opportunity for the character Aiding to be poisoned. To Aid Malandir will need a 10 – 2 for Wis = 8. The rolls are done all at once just to make it a bit easier. He rolls 3, 13, 12, 16 and 1 and will provide valuable assistance on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th attempt. Lucien will need a 15 – 4 for Wis = 11 for an un Aided attempt and 9 for an Aided attempt. He rolls 20, 3, 5, 10, 3 and 2 vials of poison are extracted. Looking at the first vial, Lucien and Malandir judge that it’s enough to be two doses (ie the one where Lucien rolled a 20) so they have 3 portions of poison.
They split the vials amongst themselves and join the others to get ready to leave.
Malandir has used some of his time over the past few days to become familiar with the approaches to the cave, scouting 300 feet in each direction cautiously. He has been looking for tracks, animal or human, which might need further consideration or traps in time. Whilst he doesn’t find any specific tracks he does establish that there are only a limited number of normal approaches to the cave. He doesn’t have time now but he makes a mental note of these and will mark them out and discuss with the party further opportunities to make their base safer with traps once they are back from the Caves of Chaos.
They form up and head towards the Caves of Chaos. Due to their base, they are much closer now and are able to get close to the caves within about 4 hours and encounter nothing on the way.
They are not too sure of the location of the Caves and they’ll need to make a Survival check of DC 14 to find the caves. We’re using the ‘Getting Lost’ statistics (p424 of the Core Rule book) to check if the characters find the caves. Every time they don’t they won’t get lost but rather they’ll need to make another Random Encounter check. If they haven’t found the caves after four attempt they can either turn back with enough time to get back to Cragmaw before it gets dark or they can continue to search.
Kord has Survival 6 and Lucien will try to Aid Another. Lucien rolls an 18 and provides valuable assistance. Kord rolls a 17 and together, after an hour or so of searching, they find a faint track that leads them to the Caves.
The Caves are situated in a valley from which the party enters from the eastern end along the valley floor. As they look up the valley, numerous cave mouths are clearly visible, eleven in total. It’s about 11am for they had left at six, spent four hours on the main trail and another one hour searching for the Caves. Tracks come and go from the cave entrances and the bottom of the valley looks like a refuse tip with all types of debris, rubbish and bones of old victims having being discarded there.