Part 1 The Hobgoblin's Lair
After the initial encounter with the goblins, we continued searching their lair and eventually found the chief’s quarters where we fought their leader, several guards and several female goblins and managed to kill them all. We found a tapestry woven with silver and gold threads that was worth a fair sum of gold and a pewter bowl and some additional coinage as well. In the next room we found a store room which was guarded by four more goblins and managed to slay them in a brief but fierce melee. The room mostly contained ordinary supplies of no great worth.
Once we collected our rewards and equipped our new men at arms, we returned to the Caves of Chaos once again to resume the exploration. This time, we entered the next cave entrance up higher on the hill past the hidden entrance to the Ogre’s lair. There was a closed door at this entrance with a sign on it written in common which said “Come in, we’d like to have you for dinner!” Amul the monk examined the locked door and found a hidden latch on the outside that slid the bolt open to allow entry into the hallway beyond. The group went down the right hand corridor since the areas to the left looked familiar - we had explored these other areas previously including the torture chamber/prison and the room connecting to the Goblin’s lair. As we walked down the hall, the group was attacked by a group of six guards in a room off of the hallway. A brief but fierce melee ensued and the six hobgoblins were dispatched without too much difficulty. And that’s where we ended the session.
Part 2 The Bugbear’s Lair
So we fell back further so that we would at least be able to escape back out the way we came if things got bad and things started going south shortly thereafter. Fauna went down on the front line of the group to the left and about six bugbears showed up in the hallway on the right and threw their spears at the two mercenaries covering our rear. One of them went down with a spear in his chest (he was dead) and that left one 1st level mercenary between the bugbears and the wizards! He didn't last long and went down as well and then they were on Illundria and Ragnar. Lorinar and the Monk retreated out the hallway (the Monk was carrying the fallen Fauna) and beckoned the others to follow while they still had a chance since it was looking like we could lose the entire party at this point if we stayed to fight. But Illundria and Skjeorn opted to stay and to try and cast spells to cover the retreat or make a heroic last stand. Skjeorn cast hold person on the leader who failed his save and Sulethri the half orc warrior managed to kill him. The group had only killed about four Bugbears at this point out of eleven or twelve. Illundria got hit and lost her spell and Ragnar got hit and was hurt badly but was still standing at the end of the round. Lorinar yelled “get out while you still can, I'll cover your retreat!” And the others attempted to run. Sulethri was hit as he attempted to flee and went down as was Illundria and she fell as well. Lorinar cast stinking cloud in the cave mouth to prevent them from following us and we waited about an hour but the others never emerged. The DM told us afterwards that they both rolled 3’s on their Death and Dismemberment rolls and were finished.
Death and Dismemberment roll and lost her arm! It could have been worse, she could have died but fortunately made her saving throw against death. On the way back we encountered a group of four ogres blocking the way along the road who tried to attack us but we successfully evaded them and made it back to the keep.
It was an exciting but brutal session. The decision made by Illundria and Skjeorn to stay and fight in such a hopeless situation ended up being a bad call but it inspired Sulethri to stand with them and it cost two of the three dearly. The group had been fairly lucky in the caves so far with only one loss, but our luck clearly ran out during this session. The decision to walk right into the trap was what led up to the disaster in the first place though and was not very well thought out but luck was not with the Brotherhood of the Black Crowes that day. First we were surprised by the Bugbears, then we lost initiative five times in a row (talk about unlucky!) and then only got two simultaneous initiative rolls at the end using B/X group initiative. Group initiative works fine except when you have abhorrent luck like that. When you can’t win initiative things can get ugly real fast as they did in this session. So in that entire combat, we never won a single initiative and paid the price! That was the difference right there since Illundria lost her Color Spray spell when she got hit. Also, we have had many characters go down previously but had been very lucky with the Death and Dismemberment rolls, but that luck ran out as well during this session. This was what you call the classic low level funnel to weed out the weak and unfit so that only the strongest survive - three characters and two NPC henchmen were lost in the RPG Cuisinart of doom known as the CAVES OF CHAOS!!!
TO BE CONTINUED…