Terrahtrae Codex

Cragmaws Hideout

After a much needed long rest, in the early hours of the morning, moments before the sun rises over the cold forest and begins to replenish life; the wood elf ranger Tasar approaches the refreshed adventurers.

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Tyonis is putting out the fire, tending to nature the way he was taught, to keep it pristine, respecting and cleaning up the area, while the others ready themselves for the day ahead of them.

Not much sleep was to be had by anyone overnight really, what after the ambush and all… although all were able to get the proper refresh required to face whatever might be in that cave.

Time was of the essence.

Gundren Rockseeker and Sildar Hallwinter could be in that cave! Since yesterday, no less!!

The goblin interrogated the day before indicated that ten, maybe twenty goblins and their king, a bugbear named Klarg were here in this direction…

They followed the trail and evaded traps (mostly).

Everyone suspects this cave.

But what is inside?

The only one not quite up and at them that early in the morning, was the soundly sleeping paladin Aladris, who apparently had a secret stash of “holy” water he had perhaps nipped into the night prior, as he was sleeping soundly and snored pleasantly the way only a hungover paladin would be written about in novels. One could only wonder if Aladris had sensed a disturbance in the alignment his new friends have?

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Things are tense as Tasar and Tyonis approach each other.

Maya is also suspicious of the approaching stranger and raises a bow…

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The stranger wood elf draws…

Weapons drawn, weapons lowered, weapons drawn, weapons lowered…

What a shitty way to start the day.

Eventually, Tyonis with a young but firm voice of reason, is able to talk down the situation and Tasar decides to tag along with the group as day was breaking to check out these so called “goblins”.

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Following the goblins’ trail, the party comes across a large cave in a hillside five miles from the scene of the ambush. A shallow stream flows out of the cave mouth, which is screened by dense briar thickets. A narrow dry path leads into the cave on the right-hand side of the stream.

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Maya crosses the 3-foot deep stream and discovers a backpack with 2 potions of healing and 3 old parchments with mysterious drawings and inscriptions on them apparently owned by Octaves Dragonfly.

Maya quickly stashed the potions and the parchment in his pack.

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On the east side of the stream flowing from the cave mouth, a small area in the briar thickets has been hollowed out to form a lookout post or blind.

While the scouts move north toward the cave, goblins are spotted in a blind outside the cavern mouth. As the party approaches the thicket, they gain the surprise on the goblins.

Wooden planks flatten out the briars and provide room for guards to lay hidden and watch the area—including three goblins lurking there right now!

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A skirmish ensues. Yes, this early in the morning.

Gurge does some major damage with his battleaxe, as per the usual.

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Meanwhile, Tyonis enters the cave and tries to get a better look inside. The stench of animal overwhelms him as he approaches and as he edges closer, he notices shadows on the wall, which appear to be more than one four-legged beast, which excites Tyonis in a weird way.

Just inside the cave mouth, a few uneven stone steps lead
up to a small, dank chamber on the east side of the passage.

The cave narrows to what appears to be a steep fissure at the far end, and is filled with the fowl gag of air of garbage, death, fire, piss, shit and blood.

Mmmm. Breakfast.

Savage snarls and the sounds of rattling chains greet Tyonis ears where three wolves and a worg are chained up just inside the opening. Each chain leads to an iron rod driven into the base of a stalagmite.

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Tyonis jumps right into the cage like a brave hero and attempts to subdue the creatures and is eventually successful at subduing the wolves, albeit after the wolves break their chains – wow just in the nick of time!

The rest of the party destroys the goblins in the blind, and start their entrance into the cave where Tyonis is.

Tasar scouts further up the cave entrance… The stream passage continues up beyond another set of uneven steps ahead, bending eastward as it goes.

A waterfall sounds out from a larger cavern somewhere ahead of Tasar to the north west.

A rickety bridge spans the passage, connecting two tunnels that are 20 feet above the stream.

A goblin stands on top of the bridge, smoking a rolled up leaf of some herbs and spices, contemplating life. Staring at the smoke leaving his fat mouth, the goblin murmurs, “fuckin a, Klarg may be a dick but this job is easy.”

Tasar pulls out his bow and shoots…

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The goblin gets an arrow directly through his stupid goblin head and topples haplessly over the bridge. So much for the King Klarg travel and adventure, his boss convinced him off, unless you count his trip over the bridge into the stream below… Poor goblin didn’t even wash out of the cave with the movement of the water. This goblin ends his time on earth wedged between a rock and the edge of the stream gully…

What a loser.

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But alas, Just as the goblin is hit by Tasar’s arrow, a second goblin on the south side of the bridge yells “ARGAHEJEWWW” and the passage is suddenly filled with a mighty roar, as a huge surge of rushing water pours down from above, knocking out Tasar and Aladris.

The flood of water knocks Aladris off guard and sweeps him outside the cave back towards the blind he faced death merely moments ago.

Although the flood bashes him, Tasar barely manages to keep his footing on the side of the cavern wall.

Little did they know, the goblins ahead had setup a flood trap. When Tasar shot the goblin on the bridge, a second goblin yelled for the trap for the dam to be pulled, thus washing out anyone in the way…

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Meanwhile, just inside the cave entrance, the rest of the adventurers have their hands full with the worg…

The worg suddenly breaks loose from its chain and was biting anyone in sight. The wolves, although broken and free from their chains, remain subdued by Tyonis’s animal handling skills.

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Tasar sees this as an opportunity to forge ahead up the cave stream. Tasar runs up a half flight of stairs towards the bridge and leaps onto the bridge where he scares another goblin and guess what…

The goblin yells "yells “ARGAHEJEWWW” and the passage is suddenly filled with a mighty roar, as a huge surge of rushing water pours down from above, knocking out Aladris.

“Fool me once, shame on you”, Aladris thinks to himself, as he holds his ground as the flood gushes pass him and quickly hops into the cave with the worg to help the others who are struggling.

In the cave with the the worg, things are deadly and just plain bad. The worg seems to be taking out the heroes left and right.

Struggle… The stronger move to attack and the weaker cast spells…

The party seems to play its prayers to the gods right and succeed at killing the worg.

The final blow takes down the worg and at that time the wolves went berserk and were no longer subdued by Tyonis. The wolves snap and snarl at Tyonis and the others at the loss of their friend and leader, the worg.

Blood and guts are everywhere… Those with magic cast healing healing and the party.

Tyonis is able to subdue the last wolf… He pleas for someone close with strength to break the wolf free.

“Have you bloody fucking lost your mine son?”, is heard… No one places who said it.

Tyonis pleas and as he is looking the wolf in the eye, the chain is busted free. The wolf nods to Tyonis and dashes outside the cave. Gurge appears disappointed.

Bo and Maya have their turn scooting up the natural chimney and peer through a peephole to another part of the cave, where it appears there are sacks and crates of looted provisions are piled up in the south end of this large cave. To the west, the floor slopes toward a narrow opening that descends into darkness. A larger opening leads north down a set of natural stone steps, the roar of falling water echoing from beyond. In the middle of the cavern, the coals of a large fire smolder.

Contemplating teleportation, Maya decides to scoot down and follow the party.

After everyone recovers from the encounter, they continue up the cave stream towards where Tasar was last seen heading towards the inner cave following the water source…

As the party moved deeper into the bowels of the cave, Bo Jingles finds another passage to the west…

He peeks…

More goblins…

Bo resists his urge for mockery and decides to scoot down the escarpment and catch up with the rest of the adventurers and warn them of what lurks to the west.

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Back on the bridge, Tasar is wondering why he followed the others into this cave as he plays hide and seek with two goblins…

Arrow here, arrow there, Tasar considers. “I have read this book before.”

On the either side of the bridge, goblins manage to flank the rest of the heroes from both sides as they approach. As the goblins attack, Tyonis is thrown by Gurge onto the bridge to cast healing spells.

What a shit show.

The cat and mouse game continues.

Yet….

Through bravery, strategy and pure luck of the gods, the heroes manage to push the goblins back and climb even deeper into the cave and onto an escarpment into the cave and the northwest and the two natural pools, now empty, used for the flood trap.

A narrow waterfall high in the eastern wall feeds the pool, which drains out the western end of the chamber to form the stream that flows out of the cave mouth below.

Low field stone walls serve as the dams holding the water in that just rushed our party. A wide exit stands to the south, while two smaller passages lead west where the party is coming from.

The sound of the waterfall echoes through the cavern, making it difficult to hear.

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Thank insert your deity here these asshole goblins didn’t hear these brave inexperienced adventures earlier.

They would have been dead by now for sure.

Just when they thought they could take a short rest and regroup, more goblins are spotted rushing from the south, more goblins…

and a bugbear,

and another wolf!

“Holy Holy Holy”, the paladin exclaims, just barely hanging on at this point.

(what do you expect, its a goblin cave…)

Miraculously and tactfully the heroes fight gallantly and finally destroy the enemies…

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The stress must have triggered something in the air as a sense of madness swept in and Bo Jingles withdraws his dagger and shouts “Tasar must die!”

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The party looks at each other in confusion….

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