We traveled to the assumed location of Echo Cave based on a map we managed to buy off a Goblin King. We were laughed at many times in mentioning this forgotten place, many believed it were naught but old legends of a place long gone, but we proved them wrong. Pulled by a trusty mule in a covered wagon, we rested ourselves and waited to see if indeed the legends were true.
As we tumbled along the well-overgrown trail we came upon an old, crumbling mine entrance densely surrounded by brush and trees. Aligning well with the provided map, we assumed this was the destination. Wagon hidden and mule hobbled a short distance away, we entered the cave, our dwarven companion remaining outside to avoid any actual fighting that may take place. Sylas moved ahead of us in shadow, scanning the area for ancient traps or lurking monsters, when suddenly a gap of light opened up in a sloped ravine, spitting upon the ground the hulking form a half-orc in strange clothing and a lightly lit green orb. The Half-orc, disoriented but awake, catches sight of the glowing object and reaches out a hand to grab it.
Surprised and confused by the creature’s appearance, Sylas returns to his companions to tell them what has happened, while the creature inside sits up, equally confused, and inspects the orb and a little of his dark surroundings. The rest of the group enter the cave warily but openly, not wanting to surprise or be surprised by the stranger. Going by the name Greg, the party, minus Sylas, finds him trustworthy and Snarki invites him to help us on our quest, to which he easily agrees. He seems simple, but kind.
It isn’t long before we are fighting monsters of all kinds, Vahn fighting valiantly, Greg having a bit of trouble, perhaps still disoriented, and Sylas teaming with Moirin to whack and backstab, while Snarki shoots magic over their heads. Greg manages to use some sort of tracking ability to sense more ghouls nearby, and we are thankful for the knowledge, but in the next fight we almost lose him. The battles here were more difficult than many we had faced before, and it feels as if our party is at odds. Some members have moved on, and now a new companion whom we know little of, is making for a poor team.
In an open room where many ghouls were killed we attempt to rest as we are fully exhausted after just a couple fights. Moirin stands watch as the others sleep, but as the others are snoozing she notices a bugbear wander into the room. She breaks trance to attack him, and in a few well-placed hits, he’s down. She returns to her meditation only to be interrupted a second time as an oozy blob slimes his way into the cave. Again she breaks trance to deal with the new intruder, managing to take him out without taking a hit as well, and returns to her sleep, hoping this time she will get some rest. Alas, dirges appear but by now Sylas has joined her watch, and after alerting him to the issue he takes on the mosquito-bats alone and manages to take them out, albeit with a few oversized bug bites.
After a fighting off a flaming skull and some more undead, the party finds an ancient Forge that once made the magical weapons this cave was so famous for. A great victory, and a promise that this is, indeed, the cave they had been searching for. A room full of bugbears is their next fight, and the party blockades themselves in the room to rest. As they are preparing to leave a small group of bugbears come a-knocking, but this time they are ready. Setting up an ambush, they open the door and attack, taking out the bugbears as a team.
The next room is a more natural-style cavern with a pool of water. After spending a lot of time throwing glowing objects into the pool and trying to see inside, most of the party gives up and moves on, but Greg, curiosity winning over foresight, jumps into the pool to get a closer look. He manages to find a skeleton at the bottom of the water and brings it out of the water with him. Two platinum rings adorn his fingers and a wand grasped in his bony hand. Still curious, he tries to swim again, but flounders and almost drowns. By now the party is up the hallway, and has no knowledge of his dilemma. Barely making it out of the water, he pulls himself up on the dirt. Greg looks around and finds that he is still alone, and looks down at the skeleton, conflicted by his urge to properly bury this man and his worrying that he doesn’t know where he is or where is new companions may be. Deciding the risk too great, Greg lays down the skeleton gently at the edge of the water and turns to find the party.
Ahead, Sylas and Moirin have found a doorway into an unexplored room with a depiction of an angel and a hammer upon the door. After waiting for the rest of the party, they positioned themselves to be ready to go inside. Opening the doors they find four giant spiders clinging to the ceiling, two bugbears standing guard, and The Spider himself, a drow in black leather armor with a spider-carved staff. Vahn, seeing his path clear to the dark elf, charges into the room, narrowly ducking the spiders, taking a swing from a bugbear, but managing to attack the Spider directly. Seeing him already hurt and alone on the other side of the room, Moirin dashes in after, avoiding attacks and taking up a position beside the drow to attack. After a few attacks, the Spider falls, but the party is split and his minions are now on the offensive. Snarki throws a cloud of fog and Vahn attempts to run across the room to get to the party but falls on the way. Moirin manages to skirt the edges, rejoining her companions for the fight. One of the slain bugbears falls upon Vahn, making attempts to save him more difficult and Moirin falls, severely wounded. Within a few moments the rest are defeated and the party is revived.
(TO BE CONTINUED – any inconsistencies you see just tell me. I’m doing this all from memory!)