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CC: A Tale of Two Caverns

Seen here: An anthropomorphised bandicoot and a racist Native American mask . . .
When you ask your DND group to pose for a picture . . .

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a group lacking wisdom, full of foolishness. It was the season of . . . you know what? We were in a cave what did seasons matter?

As you'll recall, at the end of last session the Cupcakes had been press-ganged into working a dwarven mine. Okay, so the dwarves asked, and said they could keep what they found. But it doesn't sound nearly as bad when you put it that way . . .

Each that had chosen the way of hard labor (all) had ended up with enough mithril for one piece of equipment. And once that quota had been reached the foreman of the mine returned with the information they needed to continue their quest. Quite convenient, that.

The group followed the directions to the escaped bandicoot first. Why? Because you always do the side-quest first. Don't you know anything? Now stop interrupting.

The trail led to a sort of obstacle course that started with a hop over a chasm. As soon as Velora (as a random, nonspecific sacrifice) made the leap, a bolder fell down behind her, and proceeded to chase said Werebat past obstacles (simulated via a series of Reflex and Acrobatics checks) until they made the other side. Of course, Velora failed.

The group barely had time to think the worst before she'd respawned back in their midst. No, not by falling from the sky. They were in a cave, remember. That would hurt. She just materialized next to the group.

Then a voice (one sounding very much like our DM's) told the group to use the scroll the quest giver had given them. As they read it they found that they'd all gained a +5 DM's bonus to their reflex saves and Acrobatics checks.

{Player's Note: It was at this point that I reminded said DM of my particular flavor of luck. I tried to tell him that no amount of tries would amount to me making it through that gauntlet of checks, even with a deific +5. Surprisingly he did not believe me. Like the last three years weren't a thing, right?}

After the reading of the scroll, anytime someone jumped they would spin about like a grocery cart wheel. All of the group made it past that particular nauseating endeavor in one or two tries. All that is except Feorge. You know, my character. After two attempts a mysterious mask covered his face, giving him another +5 bonus. (Fortunately, DM bonuses stack). Then he literally could not fail (barely) the course.

That led to a round cavern filled with boxes spaced evenly about. At the other end, their quarry. Feorge stepped forward and used burning hands to clear a good chunk of the boxes. Sadly, some of them were filled with substances that reacted quite a lot to sudden infusions of heat: they exploded.

{Note to self: be sure of what you're burning from now on.}

Between resistances, evasion, and just plain distance, those explosions did far less damage to the party than the DM had hoped. At least I assumed that's what he'd hoped, based on his forlorn expression.

Now that Feorge knew what was in the boxes . . . he did it again, clearing another section.

It was at this point that the bandicoot attempted to flee in a clockwise manner. Most of the group met him half way while Feorge and Gred circled around to block him. Once surrounded they had no trouble stuffing the annoying critter back in it's cage. A quick survey of the room showed that not all of the boxes had contained things that go BOOM! in the night. Everyone walked away with a few Goodberries for their trouble.

The other cavern was quite a bit easier to get to. Almost as if the Gnolls using it needed more unwilling volunteers, really. Actually that wouldn't have been surprising at all, as two of the five Gnolls in the center of the lava filled natural room were dead of self inflicted wounds. The other three were chanting.

Yep, despite taking the minor nuisance quest first, said Gnolls still hadn't finished their ritual. Apparently, the work ethic of the Hyena-kin wasn't all it was touted for. Kind of worked out for the best since I'd think the deceased two would have put up more of a fight if we'd arrived earlier.

The fight started out predictably enough. Then, as the first Gnoll attacked Gred, disaster. The DM rolled a Nat 1. His card? Normal damage to your target, crit damage to self! It dropped to the ground, bleeding out. Best we can figure is that, when it swiped at Gred, it managed to slice its own wrist on the Tiefling's horns.

The rest of the fight went as you'd expect, despite the Gnoll running the ritual's ridiculous AC. (The barbarian had to roll a 19 to hit! While raging!) Feorge had a hell of a time keeping any allies falling unconscious, but Gred only had to help with his healing bombs once.

The group returned to the Dwarves to find the crazy old coot that had hired them in the possession of said Dwarves. Literally, they had him tied up on the floor. Several of them were surrounding him as he rolled around trying to free himself, as if they weren't sure what to do with him. Probably muttering about rabies or some some such.

At sight of the group he began to struggle greater. He also added shouting to his repertoire as he demanded if they'd found his prize pet. The group revealed that they had. And once their reward was produced the handoff was made. The Dwarves then let the crazy bastard leave. The Cupcakes did much the same, heading back to the city and their other rewards. (Don't you love when you let your completed quests stack up?)

But, as it turned out, no reward was complete without a little responsibility. While they were gone the good people of the caravan had apparently decided they were competent enough to mentor some less competent people. That's right! The interns have interns! What could possibly go wrong? (We each chose a new class to build from a list. What? Building our replacements? Whatever would give you that idea?!) #CaravanOfChaos #CC

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