Wiki Gaming:Caves of Chaos

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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, 2:41:50 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 3

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

Initiative: Rat 1 (20), Rat 5 (20), Rat 9 (19), Wfoz (18), Rat 11 (18), Rat 15 (18), Decca (16), Rat 10 (16), Rat 14 (16), Rat 2 (13), Rat 13 (12), Gerald (12), Remei (11), Stella (9), In'Za (9), Rat 7 (9), Rat 6 (7), Jack (6), Kobold (6), Rat 8 (6), Rat 4 (4), Rat 3 (2)

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 Keep

DM. (25 XP for Wfoz, In'Za and Jack) Decca senses that the Corporal's attitude is driven largely by common racism and distrust of strange races. Decca notices an engraving on Corporal Sterling's shoulder that signifies her as coming from the Broken Realms of the Janisary, a small province in south Gaelerion known for its vocal xenophobic tendencies and frequent attacks by humanoids. Considering their tendencies, it is surprising that the Corporal is as polite as she is about her racism. She scoffs at Decca's reply, but says nothing further.

You spend the rest of the day and the next gathering information in the keep and the surrounding homesteads.

  • The locals know little about the dog-headed beasts except that they occasionally work with larger creatures in raiding caravans and some outlying farms, but as they've only been seen at night, no one has gotten a good glimpse. Decca hears from one merchant that Lord Dyson once referred to them as "kobolds" when talking with his Magist. Rumors tell of a larger species of dog-men living very high in the caves, though you can find no one who has survived a direct encounter with them.
  • Local gossip suggests that dozens of kobolds live in the caves and are the largest population of humanoids therein.
  • The kobolds have inhabited the caves for at least a couple of years, as they were there prior to the establishment of the keep.
  • The people look away uneasily when asked to theorize as to what the kobolds might be doing to the princess. One frowns and shakes his head, while others reiterate that the kobolds have mainly raided farmsteads for livestock and caravans for food and water and the occasional hoard of shiny goods and arms and armor.
  • The locals are quite clear that there are multiple entrances to the caves, with most estimates being between 8 and 11. One hunter reports that, while in the area, he came across an opening not far from the valley where the caves are located. He says he walked down it some ways, before turning back when he heard strange sounds of moaning and shrill piping coming from deep within.
  • In'Za is able to attract Gerald, a cleric of Theokahrm, patron god of guilds/guildmasters. While normally devoted to the guild, he is willing to accompany you to keep the guild safe from incursions, as well as allow it to spread its influence. In exchange for 25% of the riches, of course. Do you agree to his terms?
  • The guild is primarily a den of opportunistic rogues, chartered by the taverner Olaf, who serves as its guildmaster. However, instead of operating as a thieves guild, it is more of a mercantile/artisans guild taking advantage of the trouble in the area — after all, who needs a protection racket when there's bandits out there to rough up caravans for you? As such, the guild houses and protects most merchants and craftsmen in exchange for a percentage of their goods.

Decca finds work as a performer at the tavern the night of the 13th at 8 PM until 2 AM the next day, making 4 GP.

In'Za. In'Za tells Gerald he will consult with the rest of his party (which he does), and return with an answer.

Wfoz. I rest for a good portion of the days, talking to people at the Inn, showing them the map, and inquiring about answers to our question. Once we have spent one night at the Inn, and the next is approaching, Wfoz gathers around the rest of the party at one of the many tables in the Inn. As we discuss our answers, and the sun sets over the bar counter and through Wfoz's spine, I voice my concern.

"Itt zeemzz likke thezre are lottz more kkoboldz thezn we inttended. Thezre couldd be whole cavve nettworkz thezre. I wizh we could get thhe informattiozn aboutt how the prinncezz is beinng held captivve, and how we can eezilyy gett to her. Meyybe, we could capturre a kkobold? If we gett the right one, it could givve us the informattiozn we need."

Wfoz is againt hiring help, since he is of the opinion that we need concrete information before making a rescue attempt again.

(In'Za is also against hiring him btw. 2 against, 0 for so far)

Decca. Decca is already playing at the tavern by the time In'Za and Wfoz come in. Between sets she makes quick conversation, "Good, sounds like we found some useful information. As for Gerald, of course we should hire him—I'm not sure why you two are opposed. Even if the fellow can barely swing a mace, any cleric would be helpful if we're fighting dozens of them, and those rates don't seem too bad."

"Capturing a kobold seems like a very good idea, Wfoz." She glances to the side, "I do have some experience with interrogation, so I could of help in that department. You might be surprised how persuasive a deku scrub can be."

Decca is sure to only briefly engage in conversation or planning between her sets. She doesn't want to make a bad impression—this is a pretty good gig, after all.

Wfoz mentions that 25% is more than our share, but agrees that it is urgent enough to enlist the help of a cleric. Wfoz approaches the cleric, and informs him of the party's choice to ask for his assistance in saving the princess. After dancing and singing into the night to Decca's performance, Wfoz falls asleep in the common quarters. As the morning comes, Wfoz puts his armor on and gathers his possessions, ready to rescue the princess again. He gathers the party and the cleric together, and leaves together to meet Jack.

Decca. Assuming In'Za has no need of Decca for the rest of the night and nothing else eventful happens, after the end of her work she'll get a quick dinner, finish a long rest in the common room, and get a light breakfast in the morning. Of course, she will fetch her mule from the stable. (While outside of a keep or other populated settlement, Decca can generally be expected to be riding her mule unless stated otherwise — lest these giants would outpace her again.)

As the four of them head off to find Jack, she introduces herself to acquaints herself with the human(?) cleric. She'd like to make an Wisdom (Insight) check to determine how this cleric feels about the party, especially if he shows any behavior suggesting nefarious intent.

Jack. (Am I right in assuming Jack found enough food while foraging/hunting to replace the lost rations?)

DM. Jack finds 5 pounds of food and 8 gallons of water, enough to last any member of the party 5 days and 8 days, respectively.

In'Za. After taking a long rest, In'Za gathers his equipment and heads to the keep gates to meet with Decca and Wfoz.

The Caves of Chaos

DM. Decca converses with Gerald, who seems more open to the idea of plant-people than others in the keep, and thanks In'Za for the opportunity to be here. He relates that him and his sister were born into a convent, though his mother died some years ago, and his great-great-grandfather died in the Battle of Castle Morningstar. He shows you his left hand, which is missing its ring finger, and he explains that its removal was a rite of passage in the convent. Decca cannot make out his intentions, but she has no reason to believe that he is dishonest in his loyalties. The trek takes just over an hour, as before, and you arrive some time after noon. There is a light wind blowing through the valley, and you can see dark clouds in the distance with several lightning bolts raining down. Jack intuits that the storm will not be here for at least a couple of hours.

(Note: Gerald is here at your behest, so he will generally only do what he is asked to do. I can control him in combat unless you have orders to give him, but he will otherwise follow you and do nothing unless otherwise asked.)

Jack. I watch as the group approaches before leaving the forest to greet them, "So ye found someone," I turn to Gerald and say, "A priest, ugh. Just don't touch me or talk to me about yer gods and I don't care what ye do." I then inquire about Wfoz's and In'Za's provisions (which I am aware of are none) and hand them both a 1 lb bundle each of meat and berries wrapped in curious leaves, "The leaf should keep them good for a while. Now let's go. Tell me anything new on the way." As I begin to start walking, I call over my shoulder, "I don't make fires, so the meat is raw." On the way, I tell them that I don't remember the names of the creatures we encountered, but I do know that I saw them serving a dragon.

(Just so you know, Jack's appearance is startling. He looks normal at a glance, but, while his face is expressionless as normal, his eyes sport a forlorn look. Despite towering over his companions, he seems to lack presence, like you'd miss him if you didn't look for him. Finally, his voice sounds weak and incomplete without the arrogant and proud ring it used to carry. Will explain in talk page.)

??? From an area not too far from where Jack emerged emerges several squirrels. It seems fairly evident they were drawn by the scent of food, as they seem to be carrying...well, something? It doesn't seem immediately apparent what exactly they're carrying. But the little animals do seem to be quite interested in where the scent led them to.

Decca. (Are we at the Caves of ChaosTM, or are we still near the keep?) "Oh, look!" Decca dismounts, her voice a tiny bit excited, "I love squirrels. I can talk to them, you know," she casually mentions to no one in particular, "With a bit of preparation, anyway. You might surprised what kind of information little rodents and birds have stored away in their brains." That said, she carefully slips towards the squirrel in an attempt to be non-threatening. She speaks softly, trying not to scare it away, "It looks like it's holding something... which.. you know... is weird for a squirrel... maybe it's an animal messenger meant for one of us?" (I'm not sure if it would be Animal Handling or Insight, but Decca would like to try to spend a moment to figure out the squirrel's intentions—or at least what it is holding.)

Jack. I turn to be greeted by a handful of squirrels chasing after me, "I knew something was following me, but squirrels? I can't even get a predator to follow me, instead I get squirrels... Great..." I mutter before watching Decca, "Animal messengers, eh? I think they just want food. Hmm," I gaze around before approaching and starting to climb a nearby tree, "Should be some nuts up here, give me a moment." I am going to climb the tree.

Wfoz. "Ohh, we arre beizng followed byy squirellz. Jackk, lett me clemb thhe ttzree! I agrree, theze squirellz wazntt tto ttell uz zometthizng." Wfoz uses his wings to flutter upwards, and arms to grapple the tree and make his way up to the nuts. Strength check with advantage, 2d20, 3, 6, is 6 + 1 = 7. Wfoz cannot manage to get his arms around the tree, and his thin wings do not seem to get him anywhere.

Jack. I watch Wfoz's attempt and call out, "Ye suffer from the same thing all creatures with wings do. Ye think that yer the master of high places. Me brother once found out the hard way that is far from true." Athletics check: 1d20; 19+4=23. I grab hold of the tree. My claws make for easy work of climbing it and in moments I am among its branches, picking out nuts, "Squirrels. I am a dracon, basically a dragon. Anything made of meat in these woods should at least be wary of me, if not fear me, but these squirrels just follow me as if nothing is wrong. Am I right? Am I really not but a bunch of lucky scales? I can climb a tree, but I cannot make even squirrels fear me..." I mutter. (Since it is October, aka Autumn, I assume that collecting nuts is easy). I then make my way back down the tree (I am not sure if this counts as one check, so I will make another just in case) Athletics check: 1d20; 6+4=10. (I'll leave this part to the DM, but regardless of how I get down, I kneel next to Decca and set the nuts down in a small pile near the squirrels and wait, whispering to Decca, "It's Autumn. They are likely collecting food for the winter. I would be, normally. Know what it is ye are dealing with and dealing with them is easy."

DM. While Wfoz cannot manage the climb, Jack does so with apparent ease and recovers some acorns from the brightly-colored orange trees by the roadside. Decca cannot discern the motivations of the squirrels, but as they run towards the pile of acorns to hoard them for the winter, they drop what looks to be an amulet comprised of a large arrowhead around fine cord. It looks to be of some value. After the squirrels scurry off into the forest, nothing else eventful happens along the path to the Caves of Chaos, and you arrive as described above, left to pursue whatever course of action you had intended.

Jack. I gaze at the clouds and state, "Storm's coming. Good one, too. Couple hours away."

Decca. "Bless you, furry things," Decca mutters before foolishly sliding the cursed amulet around her neck. Laughing softly, she looks to Jack, "Fetching, isn't it? Probably the only part of my outfit with more than a copper... I wonder why they had something like this, though?"

After riding her mule to keep up with the others, the deku scrub dismounts again shortly after arrival. "As I think was mentioned," she turns to Gerald, "The others have been here before, but I barely caught a glimpse before coming across what I at first thought were corpses..." She looks to the others, "We should prepare as much as possible. There's tons of entrances, right? So looking for a hidden one could catch them off-guard. As long as no one objects, however, I'm going to summon an unseen servant just in case we need it. I need to focus for about ten minutes to do so, but it lasts for an hour after that, and it could save our skin. The invisible servant can spring traps for us, among other little things like that. I'm not sure if any of you other folks--Gerald?--can cast rituals, but if you can feel free to join me." If no one else needs Decca for the moment, she and her mule will be a safe distance away from the apparent caves, and she will spend 10 minutes to ritual cast unseen servant.

Jack. (Are the dead kobolds still there?) I look away from Decca's amulet and point to entrance A, "The... kobolds were guarding that entrance, so that is likely either the main entrance or the entrance closest to something valuable." I take care speak softly. I walk past Wfoz and whisper, "That amulet looks nice, but keep an eye on Decca. Ye never know..." I begin to search to bones to see if I find anything and to see if I can identify any of them.

Wfoz. "Jackk, we dozntt need theirr boznez, we need to capttuzre and entterrogatte a Kkobold!", Wfoz stresed to Jack as he rolls around on the dirt and throws a few leaves over his head. Stealth, 1d20, 15 + 5 = 20. Wfoz jumps between the rocks along the cliffs, hiding and running between the stones, as he makes his way towards the cave entrance. Are there any Kobolds lurking around away from the others? Perception 1d20, 12 + 3 = 15.

Jack. I gaze after Wfoz and mutter, "Goes throough the effort of hiding himself and then runs... What happened to patience?" (Additional questions regarding the bones. How many are there and how many appear fresh? Anything interesting about them, like them being scorched, broken, melted, etc.?)

In'Za. (Sorry about not being very active, my conputer is being repaired and my phone is extremely temperamental.) May In'Za make a Arcana or Investigation check to inspect the amulet? "Decca, may I see that amulet?" If so, 1d20, 15 + 3 (Arcana) or 1 (Investigation), 18 or 16. After investigating, In'Za comments: "I agree with Wfoz. We should move onward." In'Za will follow Wfoz in a more ordered manner. Stealth (Disadvantage): 1d20 18, 18 + 0 = 18. Perception: 1d20 7 - 1 = 6.

DM. (I assume Jack is looking at the bones described in the first description of the Caves of Chaos valley?) Gerald participates in the casting of the ritual, informing Decca that as a cleric, he is more than suited for the task. The bones appear to be a mixture of humanoid and animal skills, femurs, rib cages, etc. None from a humanoid of medium size or larger. Jack cannot positively identify any of them, but does not find anything out of the ordinary about them, though he does notices some bite marks and possibly beak marks - it looks as though the bones were picked apart by animals.

In'Za does not believe the amulet to be magical, though the craftsmanship of the large arrowhead is as exquisite as the cord tied through it. The remains of the kobolds are gone, though their blood still stains the ground where they fell. They appear to have been dragged in the direction of cave E, the trail punctuated by large 4-toed footprints. Wfoz and In'Za do not notice any kobolds in the trees or around the entrance of cave A.

(Am I forgetting anything? I suggest the party wait until Decca finishes her spell before moving into a cave.)

Jack. (About how many bones are there and about how many of them are fresh?) I hiss at Wfoz and In'Za, "Get over here! Do you want to leave Decca behind? She said 10 minutes for her to do her ritual summoning that unseen servant." I turn back to the bones and continue to ponder them. (Jack is trying to determine if these are the remain of the kobold's meals, and if so, he will attempt to guess at the number of kobold from them.)

Decca is presumably too busy ritual casting to reply to In'Za, but doesn't stop him from inspecting the amulet. (If no one objects, let's just skip ahead ~9 minutes and have the unseen servant appear. I'm not really sure how ritual casting works in a PbP, but in live games it isn't a big deal.)

Wfoz. Wfoz will wait where he is, looking for Kobolds, until Decca is done.

In'Za. In'Za does the same.

DM. There is approximately 1-2 dozen bones varying 2 weeks to 2 months in age. Decca's spell goes off without a hitch. Nothing of note happens.

Decca. "Alright, hold this, Buddy." Decca directs her unseen servant to hold one of her four signal whistles. "I expect that is a simple enough object for you to manipulate. Carry it and follow me."

She does what she can to gather the others, "It doesn't seem like they've spotted us yet. Wfoz, you look like you're ready to ambush them alrready... We could try to draw them out again to fight them in the open, which would give us a terrain advantage—we could blow a whistle or make some kind of commotion they would want to inspect. We would likely lose our element of surprise in exchange for that, though. It would be the safer option for the moment, but perhaps the more difficult one in the long run." She glances towards Wfoz again, "Or we can continue searching for any alternative exits," then towards Jack, "Or any kobolds that are out foraging. I doubt creatures like that never leave their caves to hunt." (Intelligence check to see if she would know how often kobolds would leave their caves: 9 (no modifiers). If it would be an Insight check instead, a +3 bonus would instead make it 12.)

"Whatever we decide, I just want to be on the same page this time."

(At this point, assume Decca used the rope to tie her mule to a tree in a relatively secluded location she assumed to be a safe distance away from the caves.)

Jack. I nod at Decca, "Aye. Remember, I did say animals avoid here. However, they either leave the remains of past meals in the caves or elsewhere," I gesture at the bones, "There is not enough here to be from meals and I doubt creatures like them eat plants alone." I pause and shake my head, "But I also doubt that we will find any foraging. I may not have been to the caves for a few years, but I have been in this part of the forest and never found any." I then mutter, " Well, maybe I have and I'm just too pathetic to notice." I gaze off for a moment, then without looking at anyone, I speak once more, "When we enter the caves, I shall lead. The darkness does not bar me and if anything, trap or otherwise, waits hidden in our path, I will find it. Also, we will have to go without light, that could give us away, as such, if yer eyes can pierce the darkness, I'd like ye to watch our backs... As well, if we fight the kobolds again, try to kill them instantly or knock them unconscious if ye can. They fight as a pack, like wolves, each supporting the other... Now, make yer decision and let us go." (Woo. New phone and a lot less problems. Also, question for everyone. Do you feel as if I am causing problems or am just being annoying? Feel free to say whatever, I won't bite or flame anyone.)

Decca points to her faintly glowing orange eyes, "I too can see in the darkness, so I can do as suggested and keep up the rear. I walk slower then you all, anyway..." She gestures towards the signal whistle floating in mid-air, "Speaking of traps—that invisible force can press against the ground at my telepathic command, which could help us to trigger pressure plates hidden along the ground. Generally it can interact with any simple object, albeit only with a tiny bit of strength. When I've done, hm, similar endeavors before, I instruct it to press against the ground ahead of me every few steps. It's been an easy task to recast it ever hour or so."

She sighs slightly, "It's understandable if you all aren't that patient, though. That kind of progress might take a while. When you're someone like me you learn to be perhaps overly cautious."

(I think you've been fine, Agrith. I've generally enjoyed your posts so far.)

Wfoz. Wfoz leaves the cliffs where he was hiding to rejoin the rest of the party, with leaves still stuck in his spine and dirt on his thoarax. "Metz, cavvez arre wzherre I am really att home. I cann zee in the darrk and climb in cavvez. Haha, nott likke how I climbed tthatt ttree tthouugh." Wfoz will take the second position in the marching order.

In'Za. "You also lived underground?" In'Za takes last position.

Jack. I gaze at my companions before turning to Gerald, "Priest, ye will travel between Foz and whoever Decca and In'Za decide will not go last. If ye know the light spell, do not cast it unless we meet something to fight." I turn to Decca and say, "Ye cannot stalk a deer if yer in a hurry. (Modified quote from Christopher Paolini's book, Eldest.) Patience is a must here." Finally, I look to Wfoz and In'Za, "I once lived in a cave. But that was a long time ago. That is not important. What is important is whether we will seek a kobold in the caves or wait to ambush one." I let me companions decide while head over to investigate the drag marks and the odd footprints. I am going to see if I notice anything about the area before seeing what I learn from the marks and if I can identify the footprints.

Decca shrugs and files in second to last, instead of her original insinuation. "Seems like you're eager for it, In'Za." With that, it seems like the marching order will be from back to front: In'Za -> Decca -> Gerald -> Wfoz -> Jack. Unless someone stops her, Decca will be using her unseen servant to interact with the ground about five paces in front of Jack with every step he advances. (Specifically, the servant will be quietly but firmly pressing against the ground.)

DM. (The tunnel is actually 10 feet wide, so you could easily do something like In'Za/Decca -> Gerald -> Wfoz/Jack) Gerald looks at Jack, somewhat bewildered, "I cannot see in the dark as you demis can, but I suppose I can just hug the wall, dragonborn." Jack isn't proficient enough to make out anything about the footprints other than that they are large and four-toed, the foot and and toes both very round, and seem to follow the drag marks towards the cave on the other side of the valley, the sharp-heels of the kobolds making a clear cutting stroke through the soft and fertile dirt.

The interior of the cave is dark, and though that poses no issue to any of you, Gerald clings uneasily to the right side of the rough-hewn tunnel from which you hear intermittent high-pitched talk. Jack sees that the tunnel diverges ahead, offering two different paths, and sees several planks poke out of a pocket chamber to the northeast. However, he fails to notice the pit trap just ahead, only being alerted to its presence after Decca's unseen servant presses down on the lid and plummets downwards before the lid snaps back shut, trapping it within. From both directions, you hear excited chatter and movement from creatures preparing to attack. (PC map updated. Also, I'm thinking of setting up a Roll20 campaign or something mostly for my own use, to keep track of location on the map. If I do, I'll share it.)

Meanwhile, Stella and Remei, having met on the road awhile back and felt their similar worldviews would befit their journeying together, have just arrived at the valley of the Caves of Chaos to witness what looks like an armored figure enter cave A.

Jack. Outside caves I give a sigh. The track were unfamilar. That never boded well. I give a low laugh at Gerald's response, "If we use light, we will be obvious, especially with me green scales against gray rock." I approach the entrance and call out, "Cave's wider than we thought," before entering.

Inside caves I hiss when the pit fall trap is triggered, "Great... I miss a-" I cut myself off when I here the telltale sounds of creatures. I crouch and press myself against the right wall, whispering for my companions to do the same. As I do, I also slowly back away from the trap.

Decca was pleased her servant was of use, only to jolt suddenly at the sound of foreign beings. She follows Jack's lead and hugs the wall; her hand firmly but quietly guides Gerald to do the same. She will ready an action: If a kobold-like creature she can see comes within 20 feet of her, she will make a seed shot attack against it.

Stella "Oi me furry friend. Think e's up to sumtin? Cause i shur do." Stella says kicking her back legs. She then suggests that we should wait a moment to see if he comes right back out and if he doesn't that we should follow him in to see what he's up to. She also takes a moment to examine the surround to ensure they're not being watched (Perception roll 4+2= 6). If she doesnt see anyone she will remain adamant about her first plan and wait for 20 minutes or so for him.

Wfoz.. Wfoz follows his companions, hugging the wall and searching with his antennae for kobolds. He takes a ready action to attack the first kobold he sees with his crossbow, darkvision 60ft., blindsight 15ft.

Remei. "Hmmmmmm. Stay here and keep watch, I want to see what's happening". I dart silently roll 8+3=11 to the cave entrance and peer inside (Darkvison 60ft) perception check roll 12+1=13

In'Za. In'Za presses himself against a wall and readies an action to attack any approaching kobolds with a javelin (darkvison 120ft). He peers outside Roll: 3 - 1 = 2 he sees nothing.

Jack. Remembering our earlier conflict, I ready a dodge if anything attacks me. Stealth ckeck to avoid being spotted immediately: 1d20; 7+4=11

Stella "Good plan me freind! just holler if you need me to com' a rushin' in" Stella will then ready an action that if Remei yells for her she will take a Dash action into the cave. She is currently armed with her shield and battleaxe. Other than that she will continue to stand guard outside until her friend returns (Passive Perception= 12).

Remei. I turn my head briefly and nod once to Stella, whilst dipping my ear tips rapidly twice in acknowledgement. Whilst this is a common enough gesture of silent agreement in Stoatese, I don't expect my new friend to pick up on it yet without these unsubtle human gestures to reinforce them. My left paw is ready on the hilt of dagger, just in case of sudden attack.

DM. Remei spots the rest of the party press themselves up against the wall and hears the scurrying of little feet and shrill voices echo from within the cave. As soon as the kobolds leave their alcove to the northeast, Wfoz, In'Za and Decca attack. Wfoz and Decca hit, but In'Za's javelin flies over the heads of the kobolds. Wfoz strikes down one of the kobolds while Decca seriously injuries another one. Jack and Wfoz see a large rat leading some smaller rats down the western tunnel, coming in at about 15-20 feet away. (Round 1 of combat, initiative has been rolled and time has been set.)

DM. (Current battle map here. Battle map not required for play, but I'm sharing it for those who want it. I made it for my own use. Kobolds and rats are named. Frog is Jack, bugbear is Wfoz, green guy is In'Za, armored guy is Gerald, plant is Decca, goat is Remei, centaur is Stella. Sorry, but those were the most appropriate tokens I could find on such short notice. Line of sight is cut off from being around the corner.)

Jack. I am going to slam my foot on the space in front of me, in hopes of triggering the trap again (I am not trying to enter the space). (If that did not use my action, I am going to attack whatever kobold is in front of me (2 attacks with bonus action). Attack 1: 1d20; 2+4=6 Second attack: 1d20; 13+4=17

Stella Rolls a perception check (1+2=3) to see if she has noticed the sounds of battle yet considering she probably hasn't she calls out to her new friend impatiently to see if he has seen the man yet. "Oi! You see anything yet."

Remei I lean back out of line of sight of the cave, twisting to face my unsubtle friend and gesture wildly, miming frantic stabbing movements and chattering my teeth like rodents in a rather desperate attempt at mime...

Stella "I've got yer back friendo. Here I come!" Im going to use my Burst of Speed ability to take a Dash action as a bonus to run up next to Remei. I should also note that i do not have darkvision and therefore will only run up to my companion and not into the cave.

(It isn't your turn, you can't move or take actions. You can usually talk and stuff (if DM says so), but I don't think you can move except on your turn.)

Jack. (Stella is in the initiative list. I would assume she moves on her turn, after almost everything else. I mean, so far, anytime we've said we do some action, it is assumed we did it on our turn.)

Wfoz. I move 3 diagonal squares to the top left, and begin dueling kobold 3. 1d20, 9 + 5 = 14.. Hit. 1d8 + 1d6 + 3 = 3 + 2 + 3 = 8, for 8 points of damage. "Metz! Thezre arre otherr advveznturrez herre!" Wfoz yells back to the party, after looking down the tunnel.

Jack. (3 spaces diagonally to the top left puts you near the rats, but not close enough to attack one. Kobold 3 is far out of reach of melee attacks unless you head to the right onto the pit fall trap.)

In'Za. In'Za rushes to the front lines next to Jack and throws a javelin at one of the dire rats (keeping his shield drawn). Roll: 7 + 3 = 10. Damage: 2 + 1 = 3

Wfoz. (Wfoz is using his crossbow. Is the figure in the top left a monster or not? It does not have a HP bar on the grid.)

Jack. (If I am right, the figures in the top left are a rat and the dire rat and I forgot Wfoz had a crossbow.)

Decca moves 5 feet northwest and 5 feet north, putting her right behind In'Za and Jack. From this vantage point, she will make a seed shot attack if she can get a clear shot at a kobold; the most damaged one if there are several.

Seed shot attack: 1d20, 20 + 5 = 25. Critical hit! Bludgeoning damage: 2d4+3, 2 + 4 + 3 = 9.

She shouts towards the human, "Gerald, cast that chill touch!" Decca will use her bonus action to inspire Jack, saying something like, "Rip out its throat, Jack!" After saying that, though, she will retreat 15 feet due south.

Remei.As the passageway ahead is already filled with fighters, I stay at the cave entrance, updating Stella what's happening within: "rats and strange dog-dragon creatures are attacking them!" (I assume I don't necessarily recognise kobolds). I appraise the rocks around the cave entrance to see if I could quickly scramble above the entrance, to find a place where I could still see into the cave, and be ready to drop down onto any kobolds that get past the main party and out of the cave. To Stella: "think we could climb up there? Drop on any that escape?"

DM. (The figure in the top left is a rat, but the line of sight block is obscuring the health bar. If you pay close attention, I think you can see the bottom of the bar.) Wfoz jumps over the trapdoor and spins on his insectoid heel-equivalent to face the kobolds, letting off a crossbow bolt that pierces its flesh and sends it hitting the floor. Rat 12 comes up from behind Wfoz and bites through his leather armor for 1 damage, while Rat 11 is unable to chew through it. In'Za skewers the dire rat, and more rats move in from behind. Kobold 5 climbs over his companion's corpse and swings at Jack, but misses. Jack's strength is insufficient to smash open the trapdoor with his foot, but is more than sufficient to knock Kobold 5 dead in one punch, and piles on top of the first corpse. Decca moves in for the kill and blasts a small hole through the already-injured kobold 2 and he slumps to the ground. Gerald moves forward and closes his eyes, reaching outwards with his left hand to project a ghastly skeletal hand which snakes around the corner and grabs the neck of kobold 6, turning its skin a deathly grey before dropping it like a sack of stones. Kobold 4 runs off further down the tunnel, leading you to fend for yourselves against the rats.

Remei thinks the rocks around the cave mouth could be easily climbed, and makes out what looks like the marks of claws climbing it many times over.

Jack. "I can do more than that!" I sar, looking at Decca. I laugh and follow Wfoz, leaping over the trap. I then roar, intending on driving off the rats. Intimidation check: 1d20; 18+1=19.

In'Za. "Don't let the kobold get away!" In'Za runs to the retreating kobold and attempts to grapple it with his free hand. (he's still holding his shield). Roll: 1 + 3 = 4

Stella "A'course we can! Climin's a specialty of the Mitocabra. Lead the way friendo. Jus remember i don see to well in the dark!" When it comes to my turn I will follow Remei to climb the cave walls and will attack any enemy i stop within range of with my battleaxe (Attack Roll 16+4= 20) (Damage 2+2= 4 Slashing)

Decca follows the lead of In'Za and considers giving chase.

  • If her movement (25 feet) can put her within 30 feet of the kobold, Decca will chase the kobold with all her speed and attempt to cast minor illusion in front of it in an attempt to halt or at least slow its movement. The image she would select is a 5-foot wall layered with spikes, designed to look like some magic wall manifestation the kobold couldn't move through.
  • If this movement wouldn't put her within 30 feet of the kobold, Decca abandons the idea of chasing it, and instead casts vicious mockery on one of the rats (Wisdom saving throw DC 13).

Remei I quickly scale the wall, finding a position where I can see into the cave but am largely hidden from those within. (I'm assuming with the outside light dazzling anyone looking out I'd now be difficult to spot for a casual observer). I admire the "nifty hoof work!" of Stella as she joins me, and in a low voice narrate whatever I can see going on. I'm assuming over the sounds of battle we could carry out a low conversation without being too obvious? (DM, are we just curious travellers watching this strange party fighting or have we also been busy given the back information and accepted the quest?) If we came to these caves in the same quest as the others, I'll suggest to Stella we go and help them mop up the rats, but if not, I think I'd rather sit out this battle and discuss with Stella whether we join this motley crew.

Jack. (At the moment, the rats and Wfoz are around a corner. I don't think you can see them.)

DM. (I'm assuming Stella and Remei are above the mouth opening, staring upside-down until the mouth cave? They can't see the rats, but they can still hear fighting. And yes, Remei and Stella are also here to clear the caves :) But you spent this round climbing up a wall, so you can suggest helping, but can't help yet.) Remei successfully climbs above and looks through, observing as the battle rages on and Decca runs down the corridor out of sight. Decca chases after the kobold and casts an illusion of a wall in front of him. Jack leaps over to scare the rats, but they are unfazed by his display. Rat 12 bites through Wfoz's armor for 2 damage, but rat 11 misses Jack. In'Za hurries down the stone hallway, still out of reach of the kobold.

(Just waiting on Wfoz. And I noticed I forgot to roll kobold initiative this round, so he'll go last.)

In'Za (If In'Za is still out of reach of the kobold, can I take the Dash action to move ahead of it instead of the Attack action?)

DM. I will allow it.

Wfoz. I begin dueling the nearest rat with my rapier. 1d20, 5 + 5 = 10. I swing my rapier into the rat's flesh, dealing 1d8 + 1d6 + 3, 5 + 3 + 3 = 11 points of damage.

DM. Wfoz skewers rat 12 with his rapier, and rat 1 moves in to take its place, but it fails to damage Wfoz. The remaining kobold stops in front of In'Za and looks at him in the wall, then back at Decca, and drops his weapons and falls to his knees and starts whimpering. He points back down the tunnel, "Raks sab." he makes a stabbing motion and points at himself, "Raks sab?"

Rat 1 bites clean through Wfoz's armor, damaging him for 2 points.

Decca lets In'Za deal with that kobold. Standing her ground, she turns to the rats and casts vicious mockery on one of them (DC 13 Wisdom saving throw).

In'Za. In'Za steps out of the wall and readies an action to grab the kobold if it tries to escape.

Jack. I snarl at the rat in front of me. "That was a good roar!" I attempt to stomp on it, 1st attack: 1d20; 15+4=19 Hit. 1d4; 2+2=4 bludeoning damage. "And you act as if nothing happened!" I slash at the next rat, 2nd attack: 1d20; 1+4=5, Critical Fail. (Jack is a litfle annoyed at the moment and he stepped on the first rat.)

Stella hollers into the cave. "If yer wantin help from me. Youll ave to gimme a light cause i cant see in the dark!" She then turns to Remei and explains that it goes against her moral code to not help those in need.

Remei. I tell Stella that two of them have disappeared down the right hand passage and the rest seem busy on the left..."Haven't got any light for you though. Better wait for some and watch your step, there's a trapdoor just before the corridor splits" I leap down and dash down the corridor and over the trapdoor and I will scoot to the right hand side and past Decca to join In'Za. (I'm not sure how far down the corridor In'Za now is but with dash I can cover 80ft climbing/running in one round I believe).

Decca whips out her rapier and nearly makes a stab at the weird lanky creature as it apparently sprints through the chamber, but in her confusion hesitates just long enough for the weirdo to pass by.

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