Gruumsh's Eye Fable

 
Ojet and Tiraon don't look happy about being asked to stay outside in the middle of a torrential downfall with lightning strikes getting closer. They are already shaking their heads and looking for cover as Saslic moves away. She is pretty sure they is no chance that anything she says will get them to just stay still.

Meanwhile whilst she is watching them Banelin takes a tumble and skids and slides a dozen feet down the hillside being stopped from going further by a rather solid boulder that he smashes into.


Saslic feels a bit sorry for the other two, and changes her mind. "Ok guys, follow us to the entrance where you can get some shelter, but please be very careful."

Meanwhile, Banelin swears as he staggers back to his feet, covered in mud. He winces and tests his left leg gingerly before nodding to the others and heading for the cave entrance.


Banelin's limp slows progress down a little as you approach the worn path from above. The cave entrance itself is hewn directly into a small cliff so the party must use the path for at least a dozen feet. That short visit is enough to cause the others to pause and ask worried questions about the obscenely bloated and twisted trees along the way.

Elzem voices their concerns, "What kind of curse is upon this cave that does such to trees?"

As to emphasis his question a loud groan echoes out of the cave.

"I don't know," says Saslic, "we entered here a few days ago and cleared out a nest of zombies. Maybe the undead were corrupting the trees."

"Nothing to worry about!" says Banelin, "There must be treasure in there, and we're going to bring it out." Then he mutters under his breath, "As long as I don't trip over me own feet again..."


Saslic rolls her eyes a bit at Banelin, "We need some preparations before we go in. Cut some strips off this blanket and wrap it around your boots - the halls in here are echo a lot. We need to be quieter." Digging into the bags carried by the others, she pulls out flasks of oil and torches and hands them out to her companions. "In case we run into more zombies, use these. Zombies are slow and burn well, we can safely retreat and not risk hand to hand combat."

"Saslic and I will lead," says Banelin, "We can see pretty well in the dark, so I need two of you carrying torches at the back for the others." He pulls out a handaxe and tosses it in the air experimentally. "We will go in carefully, looking for old treasures, I'm sure there is a fair bit in here. You'll all get your share and a bonus if you do well - which I'm certain you will."

Saslic makes sure that Ojet and Tiraon stay at the entrance. "We will come back this way, but if you hear anything that is not us, make for the trees up the hill and hide. Do not go down into the valley - there are hobgoblins and orcs down there!"

No visible sign of the zombies killed previously is visible as you enter and light torches in the roughly worked passageway however the stench of death and decay is if anything stronger than before.

With but a few grumbles from the soldiers you make it to wide paved north-south hall. With the light from the torches it is now possible to make out some worked designs on the wall. Though crude certain details can be made out, various horrified victims suffering from evil deeds done to them mixed with chaotic patterns stretch along the walls in a thin band at chest height.

Pausing only for a moment to look at the designs, Banelin leads the group to the north.


The wide hall continues north for forty feet before turning to the west where it continues at a slope upwards into the dark. At the corner in front of your are two wooden doors, one on each of the North and East walls. A line of light can be seen under the north door.


Saslic motions for silence from the others. She points one of the men with a torch to stand in the corridor to the west, and one to stand to the south of the doors. She stands near the southern man, looking towards the door with the light behind it.

Banelin takes one of the unlit torches and quietly slides it into the gap under the eastern door, using it like a doorstop to prevent the door from opening. He gives it a firm shove once it is in place, to stop it slipping.
Then he takes out his axe and gets the rest of the man to stand to his left as he prepares to open the northern door. He motions to the men that they are to follow him in.




The door opens and a blast of warm air hits Banelin. It's wonderful. A lantern hangs midway along the twenty foot passage that opens up into a chamber ahead but most of the light comes from a large fire roaring in that room. A young man wearing red robes with a black cowl stands midway along the passage in the midst of collecting some wood from a pile there. When the door opens he reaches to lift the cowl up but when he sees Banelin he pauses and asks "oh, thought you were one of the superiors well get in or out but close that damn door. Freezing us you are. "

"Sure is cold out there." mutters Banelin as he marches into the room.

Saslic whispers, "Go" to the others, and quickly follows Banelin into the room.








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