Tagavorner Haykakan

Slime Gonna Get You Sucka

Caves of Chaos, part 3

The as-yet unnamed party:

Arxire Coilbone, tiefling warlock (Rory)
Erdan Thistleborn, elf cleric (Michael G.)
Gogh, half-elf rogue (Brian)
-Esh, his donkey
Mathis, human monk (Zach)
Misty, elf paladin (Allie)
Naivara, elf druid (Janine)

RIP:
Kiko, Naivara’s ferret
Lichen, drow warlock
Tyriel Morlane, half-elf ranger

Upon discovering a room full of goblin females and younglings, Gogh quietly snuck back to camp, recruited the ranger Tyriel, and returned to the noncombatants. Tyriel, who spoke goblin, translated Gogh’s message, which was “You have two options: Option 1: You tell us what you know about these caves, we give you 42 silver pieces, and you walk out of here; Option 2: We slaughter you.” The goblins took the shinies and told the assassin and the ranger a bit about the leader of the Burndog goblin clan—a large goblin who could apparently summon fire from nothing—and the surrounding area. The goblins then took their silver and their leave—all but two, who volunteered to show Gogh and Tyriel their storeroom and kennel. Once in the storeroom, the goblins lit their remaining three hounds on fire and leapt to attack. Filthy, tricky, lying buggers.

One of the beasts turned on the goblins, but the other two sprang toward Gogh and Tyriel—especially Tyriel, who managed to trip and fall on top of two wolves that had managed to trip and fall over themselves. They put both creatures out of their misery, but were savagely bitten and burned in the process. They began retreating out of the cave, which was quickly filling with smoke as the remaining wolf thrashed about and the crates and barrels in the storeroom caught fire. Still hoping to salvage a bit of treasure, the Tyriel braved the smoke, killed the final wolf, and discovered a small keg of very expensive brandy amongst the refuse.

Back in the ogre cave, where the rest of the party was encamped, Lichen and Erdan caught sight of the Burndog females and younglings slinking past the back door of the cavern, toward the goblin’s cave mouth. They remained vigilant but did not impede them. Ouside the cavern, Naivara spotted three orc scouts making their way across the canyon toward them. Upon hearing this, Lichen boomed out a few terrifying phrases in the demonic tongue, which caused the orcs to give the ogre cave a wide berth during their scouting foray. Though offput by Lichen’s deception, the orcs were delighted to discover several dozen Burndog goblin noncombatants attempting to sneak out of their cave, and they commenced hacking, slashing, raping, biting, puncturing, violating, and doing other awful orc things to them.

Elves are no friends to goblins, as everyone knows, but the elf priest Erdan could not abide such wanton slaughter, and he charged into the fray, his holy symbol held aloft. Inspired by his bravery, the rest of the party (all except for Lichen, who wanted nothing to do with this engagement) joined the battle. Naivara caused the very roots to spring from the earth and entangle one orc, while the monk Mathis came hurtling down from the tree he’d been meditating in like some terrible bird of prey with elbows and fists instead of feathers. Two of the orcs fell beneath his furious assault, and the third soon joined them.

After the skirmish, most of the party retired once again to the ogre cave in the hopes of snatching a few winks of much needed sleep. But Mathis and Tyriel inspected the orcs and discovered that these were, in fact, members of the Severed Eye tribe, a particularly ruthless and fearsome tribe that paid homage to their god of slaughter Gruumsh by gouging out one of their own eyes.

As it turned out, Arxire and Lichen were more interested in exploration than rest, so the two warlocks set out to the west, deeper into the canyon. They came across a cave mouth that reeked of dead things. The ground outside the entrance was overgrown and forbidding. Hoping to discover an abandoned cave that might serve as a goblin- and orc-free campsite, the two ventured inside. Lichen approached a stagnant pool, but when he stooped to examine it, he was set upon by three ravenous grey blobs of acid. The drow’s demonic patron attempted to come to his aid, but the mindless creatures overwhelmed him almost immediately. Horrified, Arxire retreated to the cave mouth and in desperation fired a bolt of energy into the sky and screamed for help. Mathis, Tyriel, and Naivara charged out to help. Erdan stayed behind to tend the wounds of Misty, who’d been savagely hacked apart by the orc scouts. Gogh, well, no one was entirely sure what Gogh did.

When the three reinforcements arrived, they walked into an utter horrorshow. Lichen was unconscious and being dissolved and dragged back into murky pool. Arxire had likewise succombed to his wounds and was being dissolved by the other two oozes. Mathis bravely charged in, punching and kicking to little avail. The creatures seemed to be immune or resistant to almost every form of attack. But Tyriel drew upon his ranger knowledge and surmised that alcohol might be an effective deterrent. He ripped the top off of the brandy keg, soaked his hempen rope in the alcohol, and whipped the creatures like a lion tamer. His ingenuity paid off and one of the oozes dissolved under the alcohol lashes of Tyriel and relentless punching of Mathis.

Mathis dashed forward, ripped Arxire from an ooze’s grip, and carried him to safety outside the cave. Hoping to somehow rescue Lichen, who’d been dragged beneath the surface of the pool by the first ooze, Tyriel continued to drive the other ooze back. He grabbed the keg and flung what was left of the brandy at the creatures, killing one. But one remained, and that one burst from the pool, laying the ranger low. Themselves grievously wonded, Mathis and Naivara struggled to free Tyriel with a lasso, but in the end, he was beyond help or hope. As the oozed disappeared beneath the water’s surface with Tyriel’s body in its acidic grip, Mathis and Naivara staggered out of the cave, gathered up Arxire’s unconscious body, and retreated back to the camp, while hideous laughter and javelins rained down from the darkness above.

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