Into Wave Echo Cave
The adventurers celebrated their recent victory at Tresendar Manor with a night of drinking at Stonehill Inn. Many of the town’s notable residents were there, some of whom gratefully thanked the party for ridding the town of the Redbrands.
Harbin, the town master, reiterated that he would richly reward anyone who could rid Desolin Valley of a troop of maurauding orcs. Gundren, still hobbling and tender from his recent captivity with the Cragmaw, begged the party to continue the search for his brothers, reminding them that they now knew the location of Wave Echo Cave. Sister Gareele asked Rhoque if he still possessed the special comb, and still intended to seek out the banshee. The old soldier Doron Edermath once again muttered about dangerous magic at Old Owl Well.
The party debated about which task was most worthy of their next attention. During their deliberations, the inrepid bounty-hunter Granite related a fascinating story about Wave Echo Cave that he’d gleaned from a Dwarven journal he’d picked up in Tresendar. Their minds cloudy from the ale, few details of Gran’s story were remembered, except that it was a great story, and that it involved dwarves, orcs, a forge that could create magic items, and a cave-in.
After hearing the well-told tale, the party was unanimous that their next destination should be a search for the Spell Forge. Now that they had a plan for the next day, they happily drank themselves into such stupors that they didn’t wake up until very late the next day.
The party decided to bring some pick-axes should they need to clear any cave-ins that blocked important areas of Wave Echo Cave. For some reason, Mac and Dresden seemed uncomfortable with seeking the tools at the Miner’s Guild, so they instead went on a shopping spree at Barthen’s Provisions. In case they uncovered too much loot to carry themselves, the party also decided to rent a donkey for the journey, at the price of 5 gold.
Dresden consulted Gundren’s map. “Head toward that tall peak,” he concluded, pointing at a craggy mountaintop in the far-off mountains, “and we’ll find it near the foothills.” The five brave adventurers and one leery donkey headed off into the wilderness.
Dead Dwarf, Nice Boots
After a dusty march and some searching, they spied what appeard to be a likely entrance to the cave. The cautiously went inside, and found a large cavern, with a section on one side sunk into a long, narrow pit. They also spied the dead body of a dwarf, along with camping and mining supplies that would be used by a prospector.
Searching the body, they concluded it was none other than Nundren, one of Gundren’s brothers. There were no visible wounds that could explain his death. One item in his possession that seemed unusual was a pair of boots, which Mac reported had some magical property.
“What’s the proper way to honor a dead dwarf?” one of the adventurers asked. They all looked at Gran. “Well,” he said slowly, “I was raised by wolves, so I’m not sure. Let’s stick him in a bag and leave him by the donkey for now.” Everyone thought that sounded like a fine way to honor the dead, so Gran and Mac hauled the corpse to the donkey while the others searched the rest of the cavern.
Dresden found a lantern and oil amongst Nundren’s belongings. The resulting light source helped his human eyes, as well as that of the party’s dragonborn paladin, see in the otherwise dark caverns.
Pits and Hallways and Stirges
Erevan investigated the collapsed section of the cave. After about a 20 foot drop, the pit actually opened into two cooridors, one at each end. The drow’s darkvision enabled him to see that the passageway to the right led to further corridors. The group scambled effortlessly into the chasm.
Every couple of minutes, the stone passageways echoed with an eerie rushing sound, as if a wave were crashing on a beach, or a huge giant was taking a breath. The party concentrated but couldn’t identify the cause, but did suspect that the sound was likely eminating from somewhere toward the northeeast, so the party headed that direction.
Beyond the apparent cave-in, the passageway was clearly dwarven construction rather than natural cave. Boldly, the team marched into a larger passageway. Suddenly, vile stirges dropped from the ceiling above, surprising everyone.
The vicious beasts sunk their piercing beaks into multiple people, sucking blood. Almost everyone bravely fought them off, killing most of them, although two escaped through the front cave entrance after snacking heartily on Mac.
Once cleared of the stirges, the party found themselves in a series of passageways. While they felt the “whooshing” noise was still coming from the northeast, they decided to investigate two closed doors along a side passage. Erevan checked for traps at one door, and finding none, the party entered.
They saw piles of humanoid bones; a mix of orc and dwarf, which the group assumed were some o fthe remains of the battle that Gran had described in his story. Rhoquar prepared to sense for the presence of undead, but that proved unnecessary as the bones suddenly assembled themselves into a troop of 9 warriors. The fight commenced.
As the skeletons charged, Erevan realized they could close the door and possibly trap the undead inside without a fight. One by one the party members made fighting withdrawls back into the cooridor, after which Erevan slammed the stone door to a close.
Feeling unsatisfied without a good fight, the party decided to try quickly opening the door and blasting the skeletons in masse with a spell. They swung the door open and Mac cast Thunderwave, but the spell only pushed back a couple of the enemy. Dresden (or was it Gran or Roque) pulled the druid back out, and once again they slammed the door shut.
Their next plan was to make the doorway a killing zone, so they stood back about fifteen feet, ranged weapons at the ready. The skeletons opened the door and began to emerge, and the party began attacking. Most of the undead hung back, using bows to attack from range, and they scored a number of hits. Finally, the party rushed forward in melee, and after suffering many wounds, restored the piles of bones to a pile of bones.
Licking their injuries, the party discovered nothing of value within the room. However, Rhoquar concluded that their first encounters in Wave Echo were a success: “Today was a great day. I did nothing evil.”