SESSION 53b: DAY 23 – THE CAVES OF CHAOS
As the party runs after Fremont and Clovis the men at arms disappear into the caves with the hobgoblins.
Talmark says, "As crazy as it sounds, I am of a mind to assault in as quickly as we can before they can organize, hopefully get our men back before they are taken too deeply into the complex. I am amazed that they were even out and about during the day!"
"Seconded," Lucien agrees, "we should do this quickly and decisively. If we don’t see the bugbears negotiate or bypass some form of trap while in view, we should make haste”. The evil cleric downs a Shield of Faith potion while in motion, and has Murderous Command (in goblin) in mind if things go sour for front liners.
Per agrees. “Let us attack now whilst we have numbers and possibly, surprise on our side”.
“The enemy are strong, but burdened by their captives and unaware of the group” replies Malandir. He stays ahead of the party, easily outpacing them as they are burdened by their armour. He wishes he’d gotten close enough to have fired a shot but Fremont and Clovis had disappeared well before he was able to do so. “Still,” he thinks to himself, “I should be able to get to them before they get too deep into the cave.”
Malandir reaches the cave in advance of the party. He cautiously peers inside. His infravision gives him an excellent impression of the entrance hall to the system. After only 10ft the cave bifurcates into an eastern and western passage.
The rest of the party quickly catches up. Malandir quietens and slows them down, motioning them to stop whist he peers into the cave. Then he turns to them, with his finger to his mouth to signal for them to be quiet, he whispers, “The cave splits quickly into an eastern and a western passage but I can hear that they’ve gone down the western passage. There are a number of male and female bugbears down there, probably four of them in total”.
“Let’s form up and get in there,” Talmark exclaims. “Battle formation. Per and myself in front, Kord and Barret next and Malandir and Lucien to the rear.”
The party gets into formation and Talmark motions for them to advance. Barret strikes up the parties last torch to help light the way and Kord casts Light upon his shield. As they enter the cave, Kord notices a strange sign, which he’d almost missed in the commotion. It reads “Safety, security and repose for all humanoids who enter – WELCOME! Come in and report to the first guard on the left for a hot meal and bed assignment.” He smirks to himself at the blazen nature of the sign.
As they sneak into the cave they can see that the western passage splits with one passage going north and a room opening up to the west. They can hear the sounds of jeering, laughing and whimpering emanating from the room.
As they get a little closer, Talmark can see a blazing fire and then as they approach the room he slows the party down just a little.
Creeping forward the scene opens up before them. They see a 30ft by 30ft room with a fire in the north western corner and some stools around it. In the south eastern corner there are two cots. On the western wall there is a large gong and in the south western corner there is Fremont and Clovis surrounded by four huge male bugbears and two female bugbears.
The males easily stand 7ft tall and are over 400 pounds. Almost twice the bulk of Talmark or Per. The females are impressive in themselves, standing approximately 6ft tall and weighing in at 250 pounds. They are poking and torturing the hapless men at arms. One of the bugbears has a spear with which he has penetrated Clovis’s thigh. He is twisting it to enhance the suffering of the poor human.
They are totally unaware of the party’s presence as they are so preoccupied with their new toys.