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Caves of Chaos is a 5e introductory adventure based on the classic Keep of the Borderlands Basic D&D module, run by GamerAim for people who do not need introduced to D&D. The goal is to show people a good old time from when D&D wasn't about all this railroading high-adventure pre-plotted stuff: the players and the DM make the story by making choices, and Keep on the Borderlands was a locale that enabled that to happen. It is a story that will be molded by the choices we make and their consequences. This is Dungeons & Dragons. Welcome to the Caves of Chaos.

When you post your actions, start with your character's name in bold. Don't use a header and don't sign the post (I trust you not to pose as someone else's character :)

Player Characters

NPC Henchmen

  • Gerald: Human acolyte cleric (death domain) 1. STR 15 (+2), DEX 9 (-1), CON 13 (+1), INT 11 (+0), WIS 17 (+3), CHA 13 (+1). AC 14, HP 9/9. History +2, Insight +5, Medicine +5, Religion +2. Mace, scale mail, shield, priest's pack, light crossbow and 20 bolts, potion of fire resistance. light, mending, guidance, chill touch, 1st: false life, ray of sickness, detect evil and good, purity food and drink, bless, protection from evil and good Slots 2.

The World

The world is similar to most other generic fantasy worlds, with elves and gods and magic, but with one notable difference: there are no stars. But there are some who believe in stars and join what are known as Star Cults. Most such cults are harmless, if stigmatized by mainstream society, but others are more dangerous. Navigation across distances has historically been guided by magic rather than the stars, though roads are maintained to assist in travel even at night. I don't really know how navigation works, but just assume it does.

The keep, as you'll read below, is on the borderlands of a moderately-sized empire comprised largely of humans and elves (plus half-elves). To the west are older elven, dwarven and gnomish nations in various states of stability, though travel to the west is restricted by travel over either mountains or water, and the northern and western coasts of the empire have a healthy sea trade. To the east and south are lands yet to be fully tamed; the south mainly plains and jungle far as anyone knows, and the east is wooded and mountainous. It is a distance from the base of the mountains to the east, in the hilly and forested borderlands on the edge of the empire that the game takes place. A mid-level fighter known as Lord Dyson, an ally of the Empress who was gifted some land in the past few years, holds rule over this region with his Magist Freeman, the innkeep Olaf, and Matriarch Stapledon of the local Church of the Ancestral Gods — all once a party of adventurers like yourselves.

Player Maps

NPCs

  • Lord Dyson: Lord of the keep and close friend of the Empress Gaelerion-Concord VII.
  • Magist Freeman: Former member of Dyson's adventuring group and current court magician at Dyson's Keep.
  • Olaf: Proprietor of the Traveler's Inn & Tavern. Former member of Dyson's adventuring group.

Rumors

  • Never trust an altar.
  • Be wary of your party members.
  • Dog-headed men dwell in the caves.
  • A kidnapped princess is being held in the caves.

The Game (Archive)

The Dice Room

Introduction

From the eastern reaches of the Empire of Gaelerion, sitting atop the borderlands between law and chaos, the noble Lord of Dyson Keep has sent out a call to arms to all doughty adventurers to seek out the monsters and brigands who have been raiding the wilderlands, where already few traders and settlers dear tread. To expand his influence and that of the Empress Gaelerion-Concord VII, he requests the aid of such brave peoples to venture eastward of his keep into the Forsaken Vale to locate and exterminate the threats, that you may be rewarded for your efforts with riches and experience. But beware: rumors tell of members of an evil Star Cult or worse making their homes in the caves said to house those you seek. You may well discover why they're called...the Caves of Chaos.

Day 4, October 14th/712, 2:50:18 PM

This is where I will keep track of daily things, like living expenses, healing, etc. The header will keep track of the day, date, year and time.

Storm will arrive around Day 4, October 14th/712 at 4:30:00 PM.

  • Jack Living Expenses: Free
  • Wfoz Living Expenses: Poor (1 gp, 4 sp Day 1-7)
  • In'Za Living Expenses: Poor (1 gp, 4 sp Day 1-7)
  • Decca Living Expenses: Poor (1 gp, 4 sp Day 1-7)

Combat: Round 0

This is where I will keep track of combat things, like initiative, effects, etc.

Initiative:

Death Saves (Bad/Good): Jack N/A, In'Za N/A, Wfoz N/A, Decca N/A, Stella N/A, Remei N/A, Gerald N/A

Day 4

The Caves of Chaos

DM. (90 XP for returning the ogre's head.) Nog leads you to the other end of the valley, down a worn path switching back and forth up the steep slope to a cave mouth, near which the trees are bloated and twisted. The cave opens into a deathly still corridor with high, vaulted ceilings. Red strata interlaced with black veins run through the hewn rock walls. You hear sporadic groaning and shrill piping from within. Nog himself remains a safe distance from the mouth, but points inside to affirm that you've arrived at the proper location.

Jack. I sighed, "Priests. They'd do anything for their god and just irrate me," I look over at Nog and, in a tone that seems less menacing that before, even kind, say, "Vinxa. Yth kashor dout letoclo .(Thank you. We appreciate your help.)"

In'Za. In'Za draws his sword. "Perhaps we should send in a scout? Remei seems like a good option."

Remei. "Happy to. The entrance is not guarded, no reason a weary traveller might not enter out of sheer curiosity". I take off my scale mail and dagger and hand them to Stella for safekeeping "can you look after these for me, my friend?" I cast an eye around the group, checking all are happy with the plan. "Anything in particular you think I need to be looking out for, apart from obvious hostage Princesses?"

Wfoz. Looking at the corridor, and what the priests have built in this dangerous environment, Wfoz's spine becomes jittery. "Thiz will be dazngerouz. They capttured the prenzezz, so why not you too, Remei? I guezz we have to try it, zince we do not have an altterznateve plan... I wanzted to say we were workkeng with the koboldz, but that will not work without the kking. Try to get more enformattiozn about their relattionz with the koboldz if you can."

Jack. "I would go with you, if you'll have me. I have something I wish to know and it is safer. I am not known as the Forest Phantom for no reason, after all. I can keep an eye out for any... situations and stay out of sight."

In'Za. "Decca, perhaps you should go with them. Having a spellcaster along would be useful."

Remei. "My main advantage as a scout is that I am as good a fighter unarmed as not, and able to outrun or out-climb opponents rather than fight, as few can match my speed. If I go unarmed, alone, then I can gather what information I may and leave quickly if things go wrong. Jack, your stealth probably outstrips mine, but if cornered I expect you would fight... Would you want me to make good my escape and fetch the others to our aid? The same would go for Decca. Alone I know my responsibility: to save my own hide. In a group I think our strategies will diverge and had best be thought through beforehand." Having finished this uncharacteristically long speech, Remei folks her paws neatly under her chin in a contemplative way, and looks enquiringly at her fellow adventurers.

Stella "I couldn't agree more! Remei's a perfect scout to send in, no loud hooves to give ya away. Also Remei we've known each other for some time now so if there's anything ya need ta say to me just say so" She laughs to herself

Jack. I nod slowly, considering Remei's words, "True... Hmm. Very well, what say ye to me leading? If we are discovered, I could intervene while ye flee and get help. Me stature would likely draw any attacks and it is possible that these priests are capable of magic. If I have learned anything about magic from me brother and sister, as well as me own kind, its that magic is far reaching. Be best if they have something to focus on," I consider my eords before, "But run quick if we do this, even dragons can be overwhelmed, as yesterday reminded me."

Wfoz. "Bee safe, Remei and Jackk. We will wait a little ways backk, away from the corridor." After wishing the scouts success, Wfoz turns back around with the rest of the party the way we came. After a good number of yards, Wfoz begins to setup a small campsite among the trees and boulders.

Remei. Smiles broadly and wiggles her ears at Stella, and nods acknowledgement to Wfoz and Jack, and follows Jack into the cave.

In'Za. In'Za follows Wfoz and helps him set up camp.

Jack. I tuck my pouch into by backpack, then set it to the side of the entrance. Pointing to it, I say, "Move it if ye want, but do not touch anything inside," With that, I enter the cave, followed by Remei.

DM. Gerald glares at Jack, but remains quiet. While Decca, Gerald, Wfoz, Stella and In'Za stand guard outside and build a campfire, Jack and Remei scout the inside of the cave. However, roughly 20 feet inside the well-hewn cave (notably better-carved than the primitive kobold cave), the path intersects a long corridor 20 feet wide. 60 feet to the north, you barely make out a couple of doors to the north and east, with a 90 degree turn to the west. Approximately 60 feet to the south, the corridor turns diagonally to the southwest. The faint stench of death seems to emanate from the south.

Remei. I nod slightly down the north corridor and raise my eyes questioningly at Jack...

Jack. I narrow my eyes and glare down the south corridor, but glance at Remei and nod, slowly heading north. Stealth check?: 1d20; 7+4=11

Remei. I follow Jack. Stealth check 1d20+3=14. When we get to the doors I will take time to listen and smell outside each one, before cautiously looking around the corner down the corridor to the SW.

DM. From the north door, Remei hears conversations discussing demons, but nothing from the east door. (I'm assuming you mean the west passage, because Jack and the doors are to the north.) The western passage slopes noticeable upwards before splitting north and south again, but Remei can make out a distant, faint groaning from around the southern bend. She also smells a faint whiff of...rotting flesh?

Jack. I kneel close to the north door to see what I can hear, while gesturing for Remei to keep watch.

DM. Jack can make out the sounds of 5 or so people talking on the other side of the door, but can only discern a couple intermittent, the most notable of which are "demons," "sacrifice" and "altar," but can't understand any particular phrases or sentences.

Jack. I glance at Remei and hold up 5 finger, but held up my other hand, constantly changing the number of finger on that hand. After that, I pantomime stabbing someone laying down and gesture to the south with a questioning look.

Remei. I shrug and nod and set off to the south to investigate. Stealth check 1d20+3=14

Jack. I make what passes for a frown, but take the lead. Stealth check. 1d20; 9+4=13

DM. Jack and Remei sneak down the corridor some 130 feet until they reach a stretch of corridor some 60 feet long, boulders, rocks, sand, and sandbags blocking the south end. To the west, Jack sees red-streaked stone that contains black veins forming the walls of a chamber, from which he and Remei can hear an occasional groaning. To the southeast is a hall which appears to be an audience chamber, but it is deathly still, though Remei can make out some armor-clad statues against the southeastern wall.

Remei. I glance at Jack and raise my eyebrows questioningly, whilst moving slightly toward the sound of groaning. (Stealth check 1d20+3=7) My attention on Jack, I stumble slightly on a loose stone beneath my feet...

Jack. I freeze and began listening, my eyes sweeping the area to see if we were detected. Perception check. 1d20; 15+1=16 If I don't find anything, I move to the wall and begin studying the wall, trying to find snything about it (Not sureif this is Investgation or Perception, so here are rolls for both) Investigation check. 1d20; 14 Perception check. 1d20 (advantage); 10+1=11

Remei. I whisper to Jack "this seems too easy, too unguarded..."

DM. Remei and Jack attempt to sneak into the western chamber with its walls of red-streaked, black-veined walls. However, as they enter the room, they immediately see the source of the groaning — to the north and south walls are lined 4 zombies each, all clad in filthy red-and-black striped uniforms and several of them carrying cleaver-like battleaxes. Jack doesn't have much time to investigate the walls before the begin to shamble before Remei. (They're still far enough away that even if you lost initiative, you could outrun them. So unless you plan to fight 8 zombies alone, I won't make you roll for initiative.)

Remei. "Time to go" I say quietly to Jack. I sprint at my full speed (take dash action 80ft/round running or climbing) back the way we came towards the cave entrance, assessing the cave walls as I go, ready to switch to climbing if it will get me out without fighting. (Stealth roll if allowed 1d20+3=11)

Jack. I follow Remei's example and begin sprinting for the cave entrance (60ft as a dash). I keep watching straight ahead, just in case somethings there.

DM. Though Jack and Remei's escape to the cave mouth is quick, the sound of their running audibly echos through the hall, the increasingly agitated moaning of zombies trailing behind them. The rest of the group, having spent just a few minutes working on building a campfire, sees the rushing Jack and Remei exit the cave. (At last, the party is reunited!)

Remei. "Eight zombies behind us, likely another five priests alerted, maybe more" I gasp as I reach the others a little way ahead of Jack. (What is the terrain like around the cave mouth? Do we have a better option than everyone just picking up weapons and fighting at the cave entrance? Any high ground, cover for those with ranged attacks, places we could draw zombies out to (perhaps by leaving only Jack and I to draw them on, as if alone?) How far behind us are they now- surely our speed has gained us a few heartbeats of thinking time?)

DM. The valley slopes roughly 25 feet above the mouth of the cave before leveling off. Though there are no trees right around the cave, there are a few decently-sized rocks that could be used for cover. Remei estimates that the zombies could be here in a minute or so, assuming they didn't lose track of you.

In'Za. In'Za stands and draws his weapons, moving close to the cave and readying the Dodge action for when the zombies emerge. "I'll take the first wave of the zombies' attacks. Everyone else, get behind me and be ready to attack."

Jack. I move to position myself next to In'Za, readying to Attack with my claws at the first enemy in reach, "I knew something was happening. Zombies and demons, those priests will taste my claws, each and every one," I vow, glaring at the cave.

Wfoz. I jump up from the campfire at the sight of the returning scouts. After hearing Jack and Remei mentioning the zombies, I hide behind one of the big boulders and ready my crossbow bolt to fire at the first sight of a zombie. Shakily I say, "I guezz thiz meanz that you did not find anytthing. Maybe the koboldz have the princezz after all?"

Remei. I'll scramble above the mouth of the cave so I'm out of sight but in position to drop down on anyone emerging/ fighting In'Za and Jack in the cave entrance.

Jack. I give a rueful laugh at W'foz's words, "Sure, unless the words altar, sacrifice, and demon means nothing."

DM. Not too long afterwards, you all begin to hear the groans of shambling undead stumbling towards the mouth of the cave. The size of the entrance is such that only two may emerge at a time. As two of them approach, Jack slashes at one with his claws for 9 damage. Wfoz shoots the same zombie as Jack hit, dealing 8 damage. Remei tackles the same zombie for 7 damage, killing it and placing herself at the forefront of the melee as well.

In retaliation, the zombies attack with their axes, scoring two critical strikes against Remei for 22 total damage, bringing her to within an inch of death. The zombie besides Remei slashes at Jack for 3 damage.

In'Za. In'Za puts a healing hand on Remei's shoulder, restoring 5 hit points. "Remei, get back!"

Jack. (Remei's unconscious, she has 8 hit points at max) I grunt as the axe hits, causing me to lose scales. I grab Remei and attempt to pull her out of the cluster (if I cab't actually do that, I will make two attacks on the zombie between me and Remei. 1st attack. 1d20; 4+4=8 Second attack. 1d20; 15+4=19. Hit. 1d4; 2+2=4 slashing damage.

(She's not Ko'd anymore, I just healed her)

Remei. Coming round, I disengage and crawl to the nearest cover.

DM. In'Za helps Remei disengage the zombies, while Jack slashes the zombie. Another one moves in, but neither hits Jack or In'Za.--GamerAim Chatmod.png (talk) 09:07, 31 October 2017 (MDT)

Jack. I, none too happy about my lost scales, make two attacks to disarm the zombies (can I use my bonus action that way?) 1st attack. 1d20; 16+4=20 2nd attack. 1d20; 14+4=18

Wfoz. I strike at a zombie, keeping behind the large boulder, choosing to duel it. 4 + 5 = 9. My arrow flies off the crossbow, aiming right for a tree.

In'Za. In'Za discards his shield and makes a two-handed strike against the zombie closest to Remei. Attack: 18 Damage: 6

DM. Jack disarms two zombies whom Wfoz and In'Za both hit. The zombies attempt to slam against In'Za and Jack, but miss.

(What is the initiative order?)

DM. (It's basically zombies then everyone else. The zombies are stuck at the entrance to the tunnel, so it doesn't really matter.)

In'Za. In'Za slashes at the zombie again. Attack: 10 Damage: 3

Wfoz. I align my crossbow to another zombie, choosing to duel it. 1d20, 9 + 5 = 14. The bolt flies into it for 1d8 + 1d6 + 3 = 1 + 5 + 3 = 9 damage.

Jack. I attack the zombie Wfoz hit (if it is dead, I go for the one In'Za is fighting) 1st attack: 1d20; 8+4=12 Hit. 1d4; 2+2=4 slashing damage. Second attack: 1d20; 7+4=11 Hit. 1d4; 3+2=5 slashing damage.

Remei.Shaking a little, I stand to test my strength, and then attack the closest zombie (attack 7, damage 5)

DM. Two more zombies are downed and two more line up to the slaughter, missing both of their attacks.

Wfoz. I notch my crossbow. The bolt flies at the zombie I am duelling 1d20, 4 + 5 = 9, for 1d8 + 1d6 + 3 = 3 + 6 + 3 = 12 points of damage.

Remei. Retreating a few steps as I'm still weaker than I would like, I fling my dagger at the nearest zombie 1d20+5=12, damage 1d4+3=7

DM. Remei and Wfoz down another zombie, bringing the total down to 4 as another one lines up and both miss.--GamerAim Chatmod.png (talk) 08:22, 20 November 2017 (MST)

In'Za. In'Za slashes at a zombie. Attack: 14 Damage: 11

Jack. I attempt to grapple with one of the zombies. 1d20; 2+4=6 (I think I failed). "I hate zombies!" I growl at one.

DM. In'Za kills another zombie, but the other one rebukes Jack's advances. Another zombie lines up and slashes In'Za for 8 points of damage.

In'Za. In'Za roars in anger and attacks the zombie. Attack: 8 Damage: 11

Remei.I attack the closest zombie with my bare paws double attack:9,18 Damage: 7,7)

DM. In'Za and Remei kill two more zombies, but the last one moves in and hits In'Za for 8 damage, knocking him unconscious.

Jack. I make two attacks on the zombie using my claws. 1st attack 1d20; 3+4=7 2nd attack 1d20; 17+4=21 Hit. 1d4; 4+2=6 slashing damage

Remei. Seeing In'Za fall, I'm suddenly really angry and focussed. I attack the remaining zombie with my double bare-paw attack 1d20+5=25 critical hit!!! 1d20+5=19 (for 4 and 7 damage respectively)

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