Ruke uses his superior survival skill to predict that there will be a severe thunderstorm tonight. The group decides to head West and try to find a cave to hole up in for the night. Gudrod predicts the group is unlikely to find a cave which is not already inhabited.
Gudrod and Ruke forage as they walk westwards, and they manage to find food and water to last the group the evening. After about an hour they find the opening to what appears to be a sizeable cave. Ruke stealth’s in making full use of his affinity with caves, and he perceives something strange about a puddle of water near the entrance, and decides to avoid it. Ruke sees a small earth elemental camouflaged against a pillar of stone just inside the cave entrance. It is clear this is a summoned guardian of some sort.. but being an Oread it is one of Ruke’s ancestors. Ruke does not want to have to attack this elemental but it soon becomes clear this will not be an option.
Once combat commences Ruke warns Gudrod and Teneth to avoid the puddle, and both successfully avoid it using their acrobatics skills. Gudrod makes short work of the earth elemental with his Greatsword while Ruke struggles to damage one of his kindred.
Although they now have shelter in the entrance of the cave – the group decides that they need to fully explore it to be safe for the night. The group notices various mushrooms and patches of green slime throughout the cave. Ruke is familiar with this mushroom and knows it to release spoors that cause hallucination if you get too close. The slime is jsut best avoided everyone decides. One large patch of slime is difficult to sneak around, and Gudrod does not quite have the acrobatic skills required and slips and falls into contact with the smelly green substance. Almost immediately Gudrod seems ‘sickened’, although a quick heal spell from Teneth removes the poison are replenishes the fighters health.
Ruke has a brainwave and suggests Teneth float a mushroom ahead of them as they explore the cave. Hopefully it will release spores if any enemies are nearby and give them an advantage.
The group soon encounters a ‘Choker’ slinking around the main cavern. The floating mushroom reveals the stealthy cave dweller, and the spores released clearly have an immediate effect. The group easily manage to dispatch the halucinating, flailing Choker before it can get its hands around anyone’s neck. There is a cache of food and supplies hidden in a small alcove and the group decides to come back and make a thorough search after the cave system is clear of danger.
Exploring a northern passage the group sees a small chamber at its end with a large, evil looking plant growing there. There is a cache of gold this plant is obviously guarding. Ruke suggests that the plant is probably very slow and Teneth should take it out with her crossbow while he improvises projectiles and a sling from a broad leafed yet robust grassy reed he gathered at the cave entrance.
Once engaged the Yellow Musk Creeper attempts to spray pollen at the group but noone is hit. The group realises they need a little more distance and move back to the entrance of the passageway. Gudrod looks extremely bored as Teneth and Ruke whittle down the creeper with ranged attacks as it attempts to close the distance. This strategy proves successful in the end, and the guardian is defeated with no injury, and the group divides up the gold it was guarding.
The group heads back to the entrance and proceeds south into a broad chamber, floating another magic mushroom ahead. A group of Goblins are encountered and once hallucinating from mushroom spoors are easily dealt with by the group. There remains one passageway left which leads South West. Unfortunately the cave is too narrow to maneuver the remaining mushroom past the group without effecting them.
As Ruke stealth’s down the passageway a small chamber containing various equipment and weapons is revealed. There is another group of Goblins guarding this area. The group moves in to dispatch the Goblins – but are surprised by a powerful Worg that was hiding stealthily in a corner.
The groups most challenging battle yet commences. The Worg is not easy to damage and the multiple Goblins are a constant hindrance. Eventually after using a few healing potions the group manages victory.
They now search the empty cave network for anything of use, and find food rations, sleeping gear, flint and steel and various weapons. There is still about an hour until sunset, it is time to start to think about preparing for the night so everyone can get enough rest to avoid fatigue.