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 :)
- In'Za, Slate Cyk'n Paladin
- Wfoz Herametz, Islander Rakshia Pirate
- Jack of the Forest, Scaled Dracon Monk
- Decca, the Deku Bard
- Stella Argnon, Stub Horned Mitocabra Fighter
- Remei, Stoatlet Runner
- 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 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 map of the keep.
- Player map of the area.
- Player map of the ravine. Scale: 10 feet per square.
- Battle map. Scale: 5 feet per square.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
DM. Regardless of whether Jack wakes up the others for their shifts, the night passes uneventfully. Nothing but the cool autumnal winds and the sounds of wildlife join you in the woods tonight, as if the gods themselves were rewarding your struggles against chaos with blissful rest. As the sun comes up next morning, it is clear that the clouds have since moved east and the trek back to the keep should be dry. The princess and the others awaken when the light hits their eyes. After some chattering, the princess suggests that you continue back to the keep, as the former captives have transitioned from overwhelming exhaustion to a strong hunger.
Jack. I don't bother to wake my companions. My night passes restlessly, as I cannot sleep through my thoughts. Come morning, I agree with the princess, "We should move quickly. Food is not exactly plentiful in the forest. Not unless ye can hunt well. Besides," I heft the bodied of Decca and Gerald, "If we take too long, these two will start rotting. I doubt the priests at the fortress would like the return of a rotting member of their order."
Remei. Moving towards the front of the party I keep a close eye on Stella's tracks before they get trampled by the party. I take the opportunity to talk to any of the former prisoners who seem willing, finding out how they were captured, and about their experiences with the priestly cult.
Wfoz. Awake, and very worried, I try to hurry the group along as we get ready. As soon as we are ready to leave, I take the back of the party to keep a watch over stragglers and keep my eyes open for anything.
DM. Remei finds that, once the party returns to the road, Stella's tracks return — albeit hard to discern after last night's rain. The accounts of the former prisoners are mostly similar: farmers, entrepreneurs and homesteaders from nearby kingdoms who set out to the frontier only to be ambushed and captured. They saw many prisoners die at the hands of the cultists. Though many were in shock from the ordeal, some prisoners recall bits of chatter suggesting that the cultists were making sacrifices to some dark god in return for information. All they remember of note is a name: Alistair. The diminished strength of the prisoners means that the trip takes longer than it otherwise might, but it is uneventful before you see the keep on the horizon. Though nothing attacks you, you feel uneasy even as you venture further from the Caves of Chaos. Rustling of leaves made by ordinary birds nonetheless gives an otherworldly feeling, as if some unseen but malignant force watches you.
The walk up the steep trail to the keep is the hardest on the malnourished prisoners, but they succeed in making it to the keep gate. Corporal Sterling greets you from the bastion once more, "Welcome back, travelers! I'd thought you dead, but I see you bring with you bedraggled peasants? Enter and tell me what's going on." She disappears from view, then reappears behind the gate and orders it opened for you.
Jack. At the forest's edge, I stop, "This is where we part ways, for now. Me task is finished, me home is safe," I set down Decca and Gerald and hand 4 silver pieces each to In'Za, Wfoz, and Remei, "Yer parts from the kobolds. Make sure Gerald make it back to his order. Do with Decca as ye feel is fitting."
I turn to leave, then add, over my shoulder, "In'Za, Foz, Remei. It is hard to earn me trust, but ye all have certainly earned me respect. Should ye ever need me, come to Fellgrim Forest and call out, 'Lumenosk,' If I can hear ye, I'll come," with that, I vanish into the forest like the ghost I am called.
Wfoz. As Jack says his goodbyes, I take my share of the weight from him, letting him know "Jackk, wetthoutt you we would havve faeledd, zo thankk you zo much. Onnze we arre backk en youzr fozrezt, we juzt need to cazll outt Lumenozkk, and we will waet for our mozt emporttant dzragon!"
Telling the prisoners to keep moving, we get to the gate. As soon as I see the face of Corporal Sterling opening the gate, I let her know whats been going on. "Korporazl, we rreturzn. We havve newz, farmerzz, entzrepzreneurz, homeztteaderz, deadd, and mozt emportanztly, the prenzcezz! We need to meet with hiz heghnezz, Geraldz orzderr, and the keepz mageztarr. Iff there iz a zoldierr overrzeeinzg the culteztz, we need to zee hem too."
Jack. As I leave, I hear Wfoz's word and grant him a faint nod.
Remei. I nod my thanks to Jack as he hands me the silver. I ask the guard if a mitocabra has entered the city in the last day or two.
DM. Sterling replies to Wfoz, clearly surprised and troubled by the events hurriedly described, "The situation is dire indeed. Please, go to the inn and tell the innkeep I sent you, then get everyone washed up - especially the princess. I will return soon to pay the innkeep and lead you to Lord Dyson. I'm sure he'll be interested in hearing more." She turns to Remei, "A...mitocabra? Yes, I believe she arrived last night, but as for where she is now, I cannot say. Now, if you'll excuse me." She motions for the gate to be closed once all the prisoners are within the keep and orders a guard to escort you until she returns. She also has two other guards drag Gerald's and Decca's corpses away, unless you object.
A few hours later, Sterling finds you and the princess and requests that you follow her to meet Lord Dyson.
Wfoz.. I thank Sterling for her troubles, and follow her lead.
Stella. I wake up in the inn next to the bed where my new love Alisa Grennhammerhamendrob sleeps peacefully. Thankfully her last name is now Argnon since we decided it was easier to pronounce. With a long stretch I say "Ayyyyee wut a busy 24ours, got marreed, loved me new wifey and settled down fer a wee nap I did. Well time ta go I spose" I wake Alisa and make sure she heads off to work. "Now then. Ifeel like I was rite on the cusp of sumthin important....Oh well im sure itll come ta me as I stroll." I start my day. (Cotsus back baby)
DM. As Wfoz and gang follow Sterling, Remei sees Stella strolling around the keep in blissful ignorance. Walking up to the main bastion of the keep, two guards push open the large wooden doors to the interior. Inside, the main hall is well-lit by torches set into the carefully-carved stone support pillars, as well as chandeliers hanging from the high roof above by strong steel chains. It is lavishly furnished with all manner of exotic animal-hide rubs, tapestries, wooden furnishings and even lively plants about the place. A servant, one of many seen bustling around the hall, greets you. "Welcome, Corporal Sterling," she says politely, "And welcome, newcomers. My Lord awaits you up ahead in the grand hall. Please allow me to escort you."
Up ahead, you see a large wooden table covered in maps, journals and notes of all sorts. Standing around the table is Lord Dyson himself, currently forgoing his massive suit of armor in lieu of a lighter but elegant suit clearly sewn of fine fabrics but retaining the modest sensibility Lord Dyson is known for. Standing across from him is his court mage, robed in simple loose fabrics and sporting a pointed wizard's hat. They're speaking too quietly to be heard even in this echo chamber of a hall. As soon as he sees you, Dyson's deep voice seems to boom around the room, "Ah yes, I've been expecting you. Please, sit down and tell us what you found."
Jack. I'm wandering the forest, especially around the caves, keeping an eye out for the cultists, just in case. (Welcome back, Cotsu! I was hoping we'd see more of Stella. Why she fled with be an interesting thing to find out.)
Wfoz I walk closer to Lord Dyson, and make a slight bow. "Lorrd Dyzon, we zaved yozr daughtterr juzt in time!" I make a sweeping gesture to the princess. "Yourr highznezz, once you arre rreadzy we would likke to anzwer and azk you zome queztions." I graciously accept his initial invitation and sit down along the long wooden table.
DM. Lord Dyson looks quizzically at Wfoz, "My dau-?" Then his eyes light up as he sees the princess, "That's not my daughter; that's Princess Gelnne, daughter of King Eldwn! The Empress instructed me to open trade negotiations with his kingdom, but when the envoy failed to show, I assumed he'd backed out." He snaps his fingers, calling servants to him, "Servants, please take this young woman to my quarters and see to it that she is properly bathed, then have her fitted at the tailor." He bows before the princess, who blushes in turn, "Please ma'am, go with my servants. I promise they will provide you with whatever you ask providing it is within my power. When I have finished my immediate business, I will personally check on you and arrange for private quarters until I can see you safely delivered to your father's lands." The princess thanks you and Lord Dyson, promising that you will all be rewarded once she returns home, then follows Dyson's servants.
Returning his attention back to you, Lord Dyson speaks graciously, "Thank you for your service. You have performed a miracle today, and I promise that neither I nor the Empress will forget this." He smiles, "You're making powerful friends, newcomers." Suddenly remember why you were here, his face becomes more somber and he remains standing as he speaks, "But back to the business at hand. If you have any questions, the least I can do is answer them first. Otherwise, I would know what you found during your rescue of Princess Gelnne."
Remei Remei bows her head graciously and tells all she can remember about the cultists caves, the altar and the high priest, and what Jack said to them.
Stella Walks over and inserts herself into the conversation. "Remei and Wfoz goo' ta see ya again mates, but where be the others?" she looks over to lord DYson "And a fine hello to you too milord"
Wfoz.. "Stellez, itz greazt to zee you! Jackk iz backk home, but we are all thatz remainz from ourr fightz with the cultiztz". I tell our story of the kobolds, their king, and the cultists to everyone. I then pose a few questions to Lord Dyson. "Whatt relationzhip do you have witth the kkoboldz"? Whatt allianziaz do the koboldz havve? When waz the firzt time the cultiztz became a problem? Whatt waz in the cavves where the cultiztz are beforre them? Havve you hearrd anything from the prinzezz? Havve the cultiztz done more damage to yourr subjectzt since we were looking for the prinzezz"?
DM. Dyson is confused at Stella wandering in, wondering how she got inside his great hall, but rests easy when he sees that she's with the group. Dyson tries his best to answer Wfoz' questions, "The kobolds were here when we arrived a few years ago to build this keep. What was there before them, if anyone, is unknown to me. At the time, it was a simple matter to protect ourselves from them, while they cowered in their caves and fought among the other beasts of the valley. Caravans needed only minor protection to keep away the denizens of the caves. The...cultists are another problem altogether. We had heard rumors in recent months, sightings of strange priests around the forest and the valley. Then the kidnappings began, perpetrated by the humanoids of the borderlands, and we suspected a connection, but we did not have the resources to investigate, nor the cause to raise such resources." He looks over the cluttered table and to his nearby magist, then back to you, "We believe these cultists to be of a sect we encountered before, many years ago, before this keep was constructed. But when we killed their leader, we hunted down the last of their sect. Or, so we thought. But these caves, they're cleared now? The cultists and their pawns have been removed?"