Day 58 Gnolls and Cursed Swords

Arden and Company leave the Keep and travel to the Caves of Chaos. They encounter no creatures and make camp at Overlook Hill. The night passes and nothing disturbs their slumber.

Day 59~After a hot breakfast of eggs and sausages, the company makes their way toward the caves. They tie off the horses on the east side of the road. Egg stays behind with three archers to guard the horses.

Sgt. Tenning and eight archers accompany the adventurers.

Question–Do the hobgoblins return to their lair? Roll the FU die=result is 2. No, the hobgoblins have pulled up stakes and moved elsewhere. It won’t be long before the caves are filled again.

The company looks at some of the other unexplored caves. [I randomly choose a new cave for their exploration and result is cave J]

Arden and Thane approach a cave entrance higher up the hillside. Two gnolls come out and shoot arrows at them but miss. The company archers return fire, riddling the gnolls with arrows, killing them.

Arden and Thane move into the cave and are attacked by two more gnoll guards. The guards put up a fight, but are quickly cut down. Thane finds 17sp and 24cp on them. The rest of the company joins them as Sgt Tenning and his archers stand watch outside.

The cave tunnel continues as a long corridor with a flight of stairs going down. Thane moves first down the stairs and into an intersection. He attracts arrow fire from more gnolls. [Thane has the combat manuever “Cover” which keeps him from being hit by missile fire as long as he does not attack. His movement is limited to 10′ per round while using this.]

Thane moves back up the stairs, luring the gnolls. Three gnolls rush forward and are met by arrow fire from Goat and Meklin at the top of the stairs. Two gnolls are wounded.

Arden and Thane defend the top of the stairs. [I give them a tactical advantage for this, +1 to hit.] They cut down many gnolls but man and dwarf are injured in the battle. The corridor is only 10′ at this point and I rule that Arden does not have room to swing a greatsword with Thane beside him. Arden has switched to spear for this fight.]

The gnoll chieftain, his two sons, and four more gnolls rush the stairs. Martin heals Arden while he is in battle. Even so, Arden has to pull back and let Meklin fight in his stead. Thane injures one of the sons and Meklin kills the chieftain! The other gnolls retreat back to their common room to make a last stand.

During the battle, Thane had rolled two critical misses! I roll on the critical miss chart and it shows that his magic handaxe is sundered. Since it is magical, I roll a save. It passes the first save, but fails the second time. I rule that the axe is not completely broken, but loses its +1 to hit. It will still return upon throwing it. Thane will have to have the magic restored somehow. That will make for another adventure sometime.

Martin gives healing herbs to Arden, Thane, and Meklin. [Each are restored one hit point.] They find two silver armbands on the chieftain. [50sp each] and 37sp in a pouch. The company stands guard near the common room. The gnolls stay put, preferring to defend the room. Martin, Thane, and Meklin move into the chieftain’s room to loot it. They find no treasure. [They also fail to spot the secret door and the treasure within. Boots of Elvenkind!]

In another guard room, they find a sable cloak among the furs. It needs cleaning but is very valuable. [450sp]. They also find a locked door which Thane prys open using his crowbar. Inside is a cache of weapons…7 shields, a suit of dwarven chain, 12 handaxes, 3 longbows, 5 quivers of arrows [100 total], and a fine longsword. [This is a cursed weapon, -1 to hit.] Thane finds a keg leaking ale. It is good ale and he takes some long pulls on it. [He gains another hit point but makes his save vs drunkeness!]

The company leaves the caves, taking the gnoll weapons cache with them. They hide these in the forest nearby, along with the other weapons they had recovered from the hobgoblins. Arden will need to bring a wagon to cart this haul back to the Keep sometime soon.

The company makes camp at Overlook Hill again. [No encounters] and make it safely back to the Keep the evening of Day 60.

Notes~With treasure and monsters slain, the company earns about 500xp for this trip. Corwin gains a new level. He is now a 4th level magician. The cursed sword is an interesting development…

More to come…

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