After our first near disastrous foray into the Caves of Chaos, we decided to try the caves on the right side of the hill this time rather than the goblin lair on the left. Shortly after entering the cave we were greeted by a grisly site – there was a hallway filled with niches at about head height in which were placed the skulls of various humans and humanoids in various stages of decay. One of them was even an orc skull – we found out later it was actually a guard pretending to be dead orc head and keeping watch on the hallway from a watch post on the other side! Of course he sounded the alarm and we were attacked by a group of 4 orcs that came out of a hallway further into the complex! To make matters worse, four more orcs appeared out of the right hand corridor to hit us from the right side! A fierce but brief battle ensued in which most of the orcs were slain but a few were driven back to the left hallway further into their lair. The group gave chase into a banquet hall and was greeted by more orc warriors streaming out of another passage on the far side of the room to engage us in melee.
The adventurers of the brotherhood held their ground and pelted them with magic missile and bow fire and killed the remaining orcs in the room. There were two hallways at the opposite end of the room, one of which the other orcs had come from, and we cautiously entered through the hallway on the right and were met by a huge group of orc women and children and another group of male orc warriors! Their numbers, including the women and young totaled more than 30 orcs and it was clear that we were about to be in for a tough fight as we had stumbled into the main common area of the lair! Our fighters in the front including Viktor the Thugee fighter, Sulethri the Fighter Cleric, Fauna the Ranger and Rollo the Dwarvish Fighter Cleric foolishly rushed into the room and were quickly surrounded by the mass of orcs! The women in particular may have been small and weak but they were incensed by the fact that we had killed so many of their male warriors and attacked us with rolling pins, cleavers, clubs, hammers, knives and whatever other weapons they could get their hands on, and even the young that could fight got into the fray. To make matters worse, the remaining orcs that weren't engaged in melee filed past the pressed front line group and quickly had Amul the Monk, Lorinar the Elvish wizard, Illundria the gnome illusionist and Ragnar the Thugee war wizard backed into the corner fighting for their lives with no fighters to protect them! The two groups were cut off from each other and the front line group was completely surrounded!
Things were getting desperate and Lorinar and Amul, seeing that there were only three of their number left standing and that there was little hope of rescuing the surrounded Rollo, decided that discretion was the better part of valor and withdrew from the combat while they still could, before they too were surrounded by the vengeful orc females and dragged down. Meanwhile, Rollo was still battling away and managed to keep on fighting, and the orc’s numbers were below half so they had to make a morale check – and they failed! The remaining orcs fled the room leaving the triumphant Dwarven warrior alone with a pile of bloody orc bodies and a number of gravely wounded friends strewn around him. Hearing the route of the orcs behind them, Lorinar and Amul returned to the room to assist Rollo and the rest of their wounded comrades. We started checking on them to see see if they were still alive and to make the dreaded Death and Dismemberment Table rolls. Amazingly none of them were dead or wounded too badly – Sulethri and Viktor had just been knocked unconscious, Ragnar and Illundria were merely dazed and stunned and Fauna was just bruised and battered and had been knocked off of her feet (we got really lucky on the rolls). Rollo and Sulethri did what they could to heal everyone’s wounds, and the beaten and battered party of adventurers limped back to the keep at Orcwald to rest and recuperate.
A few days later we returned to the caves and the orc lair and found and defeated their leader, a big burly orc and his two female mates who fought fiercely to protect him but to no avail. We searched the complex thoroughly and found a small chamber in the back of the leader’s quarters which contained a cache of treasure and weapons and even a number of magic items. We even found a secret door in the leader’s chamber but the monk couldn’t figure out how to open it, so we left with our loot and decided to take a little break from the caves for a while and enjoy some of our newfound loot at the keep.
TO BE CONTINUED…