The Strange Caves

The Strange Caves PNG image

One hex = six miles

I’ve been working hard in my job as a cleaner, working every day of the week except for Saturday. On Saturdays I’ve been drawing or modelling with my art group. Also, I’m still doing my laundry manually using a Ball mobile washer. So I haven’t had the time for much gaming lately. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to complete the latest session of my solo Exemplars & Eidolons campaign.

Solo gaming tools

For this adventure I used the following tools:

  • The Location Crafter from Word Mill, to randomly generate the Strange Caves during play.
  • Sophia Brandt’s Miso game, a minimalist solo roleplaying game available for free on her blog.
  • Rory’s Story Cubes (the basic set, the Voyages set, the Enchanted set, and the Mythic set).
  • The D30 version of DungeonWords from Risus Monkey.
  • The random letters table from Fernewelt (a set of rules for story gaming).
  • Weird & Wild: A Travel Generator (for the weather).

The campaign so far

The warrior Freblun is on a quest to retrieve the Jewel of Athaya, a powerful healing artifact, from the temple of the evil deity Madathak. Athaya is the goddess of healing worshipped in the Drenroth Wilds. In his previous adventure Freblun came to the hamlet of Drothorn in the Drundorn Hills, where he found that 11 youths had recently been abducted by the ogre magi who live in the magical Strange Caves to the northeast of the hamlet. He must reach the Temple of Madathak and acquire the Jewel of Athaya soon, because the plague is slowly advancing towards the town of Bruld. Nevertheless, he felt compelled to help the desperate people of Drothorn. He travelled to the Strange Caves and on the way experienced various adversities which comprised an encounter with giant woodpeckers, the breakage of his backpack, and being rained on throughout last night.

Freblun is a fourth level warrior with six Facts and five Gifts.

What’s the weather like? The thunder storm from last night continues.

Freblun is wakened early in the morning by a deafening thunder crack. He gets up on the flat boulder where he spent the night. Briefly he wonders why he is on top of a boulder instead of on his bedroll in his tent. Then he remembers that the mossy area where he first set up camp the night before was rained on and quickly turned into a bog. He was forced to take refuge on this boulder. It seems that the storm eased off a little in the early hours and allowed him to get a few hours sleep, but now it is back.

Although Freblun slept badly and therefore was not able to restore his maximum number of hit points, I decide that his Gift of Hardy Vigour means that he is not disadvantaged in any other way. For example, he has no penalty to his hit rolls.

His body aches from a night of poor sleep on hard stone. He gets down off the boulder. There is no point trying to make a campfire for breakfast here as the rain is coming down again. He picks up King Othtar’s Shield and the large sack that contains all his equipment and returns to Trenthy Brook, which runs down a gully from the Strange Caves. He makes his way slowly up the gully, taking care not to slip on the wet stones. As he approaches the Strange Caves he reflects grimly that at least he is in a bad enough mood to fight hard against the ogre magi.

I now start using The Location Crafter to generate the Strange Caves.

Location: Expected

Encounter: giant grey ooze

Object: None

Giant grey ooze

Freblun follows Trenthy Brook up into the cave entrance. He takes shelter from the rain just inside the entrance and has a meagre breakfast of dried rations and water. He is careful not to venture too far in. After he has finished his meal he makes his way to the rear of the cave. The cave narrows as he follows Trenthy Brook which flows out of the darkness on his right. King Othtar’s Shield illuminates what appears to be just an ordinary cave; there are a few stalactites and stalagmites here and there but nothing strange or magical about the place.

The giant grey ooze (HD 6 and 2d12 damage) is clinging to the wall further into the cave ready to surprise Freblun. He can make a Wisdom check to spot it and can use his Fact of having survived the dungeon of Gevdrin’s Tower (where he saw a giant gecko clinging to a ceiling and warned his companions). Freblun fails the check and is surprised by the grey ooze.

A huge, amorphous and slimy horror which looks like wet stone detaches itself from the wall on his left and rears up to strike him. This monster is about 20 feet in diameter and 12 inches thick.

The grey ooze fails to wound Freblun.

He jumps back from the monster just in time and it crashes against the floor with a great plopping sound. He throws down his sack and draws his sword. He strikes wildly and hits only the rock of the floor which he had mistaken for the monster’s body. The grey ooze rears up again with surprising speed and slams itself into his body, badly burning him with its acidic slime.

Hit points: 16

He staggers back and then thrusts his sword deep into the monster’s body, badly wounding it.

Freblun uses his Titanic Blow Gift and reduces the grey ooze to 1 HD.

The grey ooze rears up to strike him again but he dodges away from it. He thrusts his sword into it again and kills it. He tends his acid burns with a salve from his healer’s bag and then follows Trenthy Brook further into the darkness.

Hit points: 20

Location: cave of finger fluting

Encounter: ogre magi chief (HD 9) with 1d8+3 youths from Drothorn – seven youths

Object: Ring of Tongues (in the chief’s treasure hoard and additional to any other magic items that may be randomly generated)

Cave of finger fluting

The cave narrows to a tunnel which follows the underground stream. The sound of the rain outside recedes as he makes his way deeper into the Strange Caves. Soon all he can hear is the gurgling of Trenthy Brook, amplified by the rock walls which are festooned with the myriad underground formations of a limestone cave.

He approaches the end of the tunnel and can see the dim light of a fire ahead. Trenthy Brook flows through this cave along the wall to the right. The sound of a loud voice chanting in a strange and guttural language can be heard. Coming to the end of the tunnel he peers carefully around the rock wall into the large cave beyond.

An ogre mage ten feet tall stands in the middle of the cave. He has pale blue skin and blue-green hair. He wears a dark blue robe and a great sword hangs from his belt. He is standing over a huge iron brazier. As he chants he throws the dried leaves of some noxious herb into the flames.

Against the opposite wall is an array of stalactites, stalagmites and columns. Bound to these formations with ropes are seven of the 11 youths who were abducted from Drothorn. They comprise three girls and four boys, aged between about ten and fourteen The walls of the cave bulge with white formations like loathsome boils, the strange substance found in limestone caves known as cave milk. The flatter of these formations have been decorated with drawings made by the fingers of some cave-dwelling race.

The ogre magi chief

Freblun puts down his sack and draws his sword. He advances quietly into the cave. The glow of King Othtar’s Shield fades as he approaches the brazier, and he raises his finger to his lips to signify quiet when the youths see him. The ogre mage is preoccupied with his ritual and Freblun thrusts his sword into his side.

Note: in Exemplars & Eidolons, as in Scarlet Heroes, heroes always act first in combat unless they have been surprised.

Freblun uses Titanic Blow, reducing the ogre mage to 5 HD.

The ogre mage staggers back, bellowing with fury. He raises one hand and a cone of freezing mist emerges from his palm.

Freblun fails the Mystic saving throw against the cone of cold. He must use his Force of Destiny Gift, committing a point of Effort to succeed at it. The Effort point remains committed until he can sleep.. As he has succeeded at the saving throw he takes only half damage from the cone of cold.

Hit points: 16

The mist chills Freblun to his bones but he thrusts his sword at the ogre mage again.

Freblun uses Titanic Blow a second time.

His sword pierces the ogre mage’s chest and he falls down dead. Freblun fetches his sack of equipment and takes a gourd containing a simple healing tonic – not a magical potion of Healing – from his healer’s bag. Drinking the tonic removes the effect of the cone of cold.

Normally this tonic would only restore 2 points of damage, not 1d6+1 points like a potion of Healing. As Freblun has the Gift of Hardy Vigour he may restore 4 points of damage.

Hit points: 20

He takes a gold ring from the finger of the dead ogre mage. It is inscribed with magical glyphs and he puts it on. The ring glows warm on his finger and the glyphs are illuminated with a faint, fiery light. Suddenly he can read the magical script, albeit with some difficulty.

Freblun has an Intelligence of 7 (below average). He has a partial ability to read and write.

The script reads thus:

Whoever wears the Ring of Tongues may understand any tongue and any script.

The youths from Drothorn

He wastes no more time and goes to the seven youths, using his dagger to cut the ropes binding them. With tears in their eyes the youths thank him for rescuing them. He asks them if they know what happened to the other four youths.

I’ve already decided that any youths not found as prisoners of the ogre magi chief have been sold to the cultists of Madathak, to be kept as prisoners for future sacrifices. It gives a sense of connectivity to the campaign and I like the idea of alliances between different evil powers.

I use the treasure table from Labyrinth Lord to determine the treasure of the ogre magi, so that I know how the cultists paid for the youths.

The oldest youth, a boy of about 14 years, replies that the ogre mage sold them to a man who came to the cave. He was very ugly with leathery skin and bright red eyes. He was accompanied by other men of a similar appearance. He spoke with the ogre mage in a language that the youths could not understand. It was not the Common tongue but did not seem to be the language of the ogre magi either. The man and the ogre mage argued and it seemed that they were about to fight. But then the man handed the ogre mage a small pouch. The ogre mage seemed satisfied with this payment and the youths were taken away in the direction of the cave entrance.

Freblun groans to himself. It appears that the other four youths have been sold to the cultists of Madathak and taken to his temple for sacrifice. But he remembers that sacrifices to Madathak usually only take place when Urkothan, the moon, is full; the youths may still be alive.

He stretches out his arms and tells the youths to take a firm hold on them, as he is going to use his magical shield to return them to Drothorn. Freblun and the youths float in darkness for a short moment, and then they are standing beneath the ancient oak tree on the green of Drothorn, next to the statue of Athaya the goddess of healing. Freblun tells them that he will return to the Strange Caves to kill the rest of the ogre magi, so that they will never trouble Drothorn again. The youths thank him again and then run through the heavy rain back to their cottages. Freblun does not wait for the villagers’ thanks but returns straight away to the cave. Gelri, the Wise Woman of Drothorn, seems to be familiar with Madathak and his cultists, and she can be the bearer of bad news with regards to the plight of the other four youths.

Treasure

First he rests and has a meal of hardtack biscuits and water. Then he searches the cave for anything of value. In a natural alcove there are five sacks bound with rope. He finds that all of the sacks contain silver coins.

The sacks contain a total of 3,000 silver pieces, part of the treasure hoard of the ogre magi.

Underneath the sacks at the back of the alcove is a shining hauberk of chain armour. It is obviously made of the same metal as King Othtar’s Shield; the magical torgunan metal from Urkothan. He takes off his own suit of plate armour and puts on the hauberk. It is very light and comfortable. He leaves his old suit of armour in the alcove.

The hauberk is armour of Ease +2. The wearer never feels any discomfort from the temperature of the surrounding environment, remains clean, and can also sleep and swim while wearing the armour. Freblun still has an Armour Class of 0 as King Othtar’s Shield is +2.

In a small alcove that has been carved out of the moon milk he finds a scroll, three gourds and a pouch. The pouch contains ten gemstones, including a black star sapphire that is smaller than the one he found in the hill giants’ treasure hoard.

Gemstones:

  1. A blue sapphire worth 1,000 gp
  2. A blue topaz worth 500 gp
  3. A milky bluish opal worth 500 gp
  4. A watery gold amber stone worth 130 gp
  5. A red jasper stone worth 50 gp
  6. A black star sapphire worth 1,000 gp
  7. A rich gold amber stone worth 200 gp
  8. A black pearl worth 500 gp
  9. An aquamarine stone worth 350 gp
  10. A cordierite stone worth 75 gp.

The gourds contain one dose of a potion of Invulnerability and two doses of a potion of Animal Control (mammals).

The scroll is a treasure map. The map shows the location of another cave to the southeast of the Strange Caves, up a brook which flows down to the Trossal River. There is a crude drawing of a dragon next to the cave. Scribbled notes on the map read:

Follow Sarlond Brook from the Trossal River up to a cave, the lair of a green dragon. This fiend destroyed the village of Lothvur on the Trossal. His hoard of treasure includes many gold coins.

The map shows Sarlond Brook flowing into the Trossal just east of Lothvur.

He stows all of the items from the small alcove in his sack, storing the treasure map carefully in his map case. He decides not to bother with the silver coins as he already has more than 8,000 gold pieces stored in the vault of the temple of Dronlan in Bruld. He only takes one silver coin which is as much as his belt pouch can carry.

Money: 43 gp and 7 sp

His attention is drawn to another natural alcove, this one larger than the first. The walls are covered with cave milk and have more of the strange designs drawn onto them.

Descriptor: Loosely Large

Action: Change Normal

Fernewelt: QAO means queen and oppressor.

Story Cubes: bag, flower, stoned face, vortex

DungeonWords: arcana, contagion

The Queen of the Deep Elves

On one particularly flat expanse of cave milk is a drawing of a bare-breasted woman sitting on a throne. She is attended by a crowd of other beings. Those on her left look like human-sized bipedal ants, and those on her right appear to be elves; they have pointed ears which have been drawn out of proportion to the rest of their bodies, as if to proudly indicate that they are definitely not humans. The queen, if that is what she is, has been drawn much larger than the other figures, suggesting that she is either a giant or is considered to be vastly superior to her subjects.

The drawing appears to be growing before him, no he is actually being pulled towards it by an unseen force. He finds himself standing in a huge cavern, facing the queen of the drawing who sits on a crude throne of stone. She is an elf and an albino, as are the other elves who sit or stand on her right. The elves number at least three dozen. The queen is very beautiful and wears only a skirt that comes down to her knees, made of the dark hide of some kind of beast. The other elves, both male and female, are similarly dressed.

To the left of the queen is a crowd of the ant-beings. They look far stranger in reality than they did in the drawing. They appear to be made of translucent crystals and it is difficult to discern how many of them there are as they are difficult to see and their bodies blend into the darkness of the cavern behind them. He can see the beings close to the queen quite well and they have two wickedly sharp spikes on the ends of appendages that protrude from their torsos.

Clouds of smoke drift through the air, coming from pits in the floor in which some kind of heady incense burns.. Inhaling the smoke he feels light-headed, and when the queen tells him to approach her and bow he obeys her meekly. He can understand her language as he is wearing the Ring of Tongues.

He looks up at her and she smiles, and speaks:

“I am Jathara, the queen of the Underworld. Queen of the Ulthuyend, the deep elves, and queen of the ixkrinax, the crystal beings. Today is my birthday and I am 385 years old. How old are you, human?”

Freblun replies that he about 20 years old. The queen smiles again, this time rather mockingly. She speaks again:

“Well, no matter if you don’t know your actual age. I am far older than you anyway. I thank you for killing that foul ogre mage who was desecrating my shrine. But I would like you to do something else for me. I would like you to get me a birthday present. I want you to pick me a flower from Temthylla’s garden. She was a deep elf and a great sorceress, who could grow flowers beneath the earth that were as beautiful as those that grow in the woods of your world. But she experimented with evil sorcery and created a plague that warped and maddened her servants. They overwhelmed her and devoured her. Now all the deep elves shun her realm. Only the ixkrinax enter it as they are immune to the plague. Would you do this for me, brave hero? I will reward you with a bag of gems.”

Freblun’s courage has returned, now that he has become used to the effect of the incense. He replies that he will not, as he is on a quest to save people from a plague in his own world. The queen stands up and for the first time she looks truly dangerous. But she only smiles again and says that if he refuses then he will face the combined wrath of the deep elves and the ixkrinax. She makes a gesture with both hands and, like puppets, the deep elves and the ixkrinax begin to close in around him.

Freblun hastily apologises and agrees to fetch her a flower from Temthylla’s garden. The queen sits down again and points in the direction of a dark tunnel entrance beyond the crowd of ixkrinax. Freblun sets off down the tunnel, which spirals down deep into the earth.

I use The Location Crafter to generate Temthylla’s realm as a mini-region within the Strange Caves; each of the three Categories (Locations, Encounters and Objects) has only six potential Elements.

Location: Random (Descriptor: Violently Flawless; Action: Overindulge Peace)

Encounter: None

Object: None

Beautiful drapery

The tunnel opens out into a cave. There is evidence that a great number of cave formations once existed here, but most of them have been blasted away from the rock as if by some mighty sorcery. Only one huge piece of flowstone drapery remains, a curtain of thin rock terminating in slender tendrils that hangs down from the ceiling. The drapery is a rich golden colour and is stunningly beautiful. It seems to have been preserved as an icon of pure beauty by the sorceress Temthylla, while the other formations were unworthy of her admiration and so were destroyed. Perhaps the drapery itself was her work. He stares at it and finds its beauty hypnotic. In the light of King Othtar’s Shield it seems to shimmer and grow before his eyes.

Freblun succeeds on the Mystic saving throw to stop staring at the drapery.

After a while he comes to his senses again. How long has he been staring at the drapery. A few minutes? A few hours? He leaves the cave and travels down deeper into the earth.

Location: Complete

Encounter: None

Object: Random (Descriptor: Anxiously Glorious)

Temthylla’s garden

He passes through empty caves, with no sign of any warped deep elves. Perhaps the dangers of the place have been exaggerated by Jathara. He comes to a small cave with no other exit. The ceiling is domed and smooth, and the rock shines with a soft light like the afternoon sun of a summer day. Small flowers with white petals grow up from a patch of soil in the centre of the floor. It is a strange and beautiful sight so far underground. He picks a bunch of the flowers, so as to be sure to satisfy Jathara, and returns to the spiral tunnel.

I use Miso. Option A: he is attacked by warped deep elves (d20). Option B: he is not attacked (d6). He is attacked.

Warped deep elves

As he passes through the cave of the beautiful drapery he hears hideous cries echoing through the darkness behind him. Six deep elves enter the cave. Their bodies bulge with oozing boils and their eyes are bloodshot. Freblun quickly drops his sack and draws his sword, clutching his precious bunch of flowers tightly behind King Othtar’s Shield.

I’ve just remembered that Freblun has a Toughness saving throw of 20 and is therefore immune to any disease. I make a few rolls on the Sample Monstrous Special Abilities table from the Scarlet Heroes rulebook. Two of the deep elves can cast spells. To keep the action going quickly I decide that both can cast Magic Missile. All of them have a Morale of 12.

Freblun uses Titanic Blow to kill two elves with his Fray die.

Two of the deep elves fall beneath his sword. Two of the four remaining elves stretch out their hands and fire magical bolts which bend around King Othtar’s Shield and slam into his body.

Hit points: 17

Freblun uses Titanic Blow again to kill the remaining elves.

He quickly kills the remaining elves. He can hear more of them coming, so he does not pause to treat his wounds. Moving as fast as he can, he makes his way back up the spiral tunnel to Jathara’s cavern. As he enters the cavern the ixkrinax rush past him and he hears them killing the warped deep elves down in the tunnel.

Jathara’s reward

Freblun goes to Jathara and gives her the bunch of flowers. He tells her of what he found in Temthylla’s realm and she is delighted with his story, remarking that the sorceress was even more mad and gifted than she thought. Freblun is fed delicious edible fungi by the elves, and his wounds are treated with a healing salve by an elven woman who seems friendlier than most of them.

The salve acts as a potion of Healing. Freblun heals 1d6+1 points of damage, plus an extra point due to his Gift of Hardy Vigour. Unfortunately he still only heals 3 points of damage.

Hit points: 20

True to her word, Jathara gives Freblun a bag with a drawstring that she says is full of precious stones.

I decide to use the Fernewelt letters table to randomly generate cheap gemstones. There will be 1d6 of each type. OHZ means opal, hematite and zircon:

  1. One onyx stone with bands of black and white worth 100 gp
  2. Two grey-black hematite stones worth 10 gp and 20 gp
  3. Four pale blue-green zircon stones, one worth 100 gp and the others worth 50 gp each.

He opens the bag and finds that it contains only seven stones, none of which appear to be worth more than 100 gold pieces.

I still haven’t demonstrated that Jathara is a truly oppressive queen. I decide to use Fernewelt and The Location Crafter again.

Fernewelt: LEX means lady exploited.

The Location Crafter: Action – Excitement Misfortune

Darhalnae Olomoira

The ixkrinax return from the spiral tunnel and speak to Jathara in a strange language that they make by clicking their mandibles. As he wears the Ring of Tongues Freblun learns that two dozen of the warped deep elves of Temthylla’s realm have been killed by them.

Jathara rises from her throne and says that the warped ones must surely no longer pose any threat. Addressing the elven woman who healed Freblun, she says:

“Darhalnae Olomoira, your clan is no longer of any importance and you have defied me too many times. I command you to go down to Temthylla’s garden and pick me the rest of her flowers.”

Freblun is angry. Darhalnae’s name reminds him of Lenhalna, the half-elven cleric of Athaya who was killed exploring the dungeon of Gevdrin’s Tower with him. She also looks a lot like her. He cannot allow her to venture down into Temthylla’s realm, possibly falling victim to the enchantment of the beautiful drapery and warped deep elves or other monsters.

Uneasy murmuring can he heard throughout the crowd of deep elves, and two other members of the Olomoira clan protest angrily. Darhalnae tells them to hold their peace, and walks away down the spiral tunnel after glancing angrily at Jathara.

Freblun uses King Othtar’s Shield to teleport to the cave of the beautiful drapery. When Darhalnae enters the cave she looks at him with wonder. He tells her that he can save her from Jathara’s tyranny. His magical shield can transport him and whoever he is holding to any location that he has visited before. He asks Darhalnae to come with him to the cave of Jathara’s shrine, the cave where he killed the ogre mage. He can protect her and in return she can be his guide in the Strange Caves.

Freblun’s Fact of having a grim countenance, the appearance of a fearsome warrior, allows him to add +4 to the Charisma check. He has an additional +2 bonus as he is offering to help Darhalnae. He succeeds on the Charisma check.

Darhalnae accepts Freblun’s offer with some hesitation; he is after all a male human stranger who is taking her away from her clan, and she is also bare-breasted. He takes her into his arms and tells King Othtar’s Shield to return them to the cave of the ogre mage.

I decide that King Othtar’s Shield may malfunction if it is used repeatedly within a short space of time. Freblun and Darhalnae may become trapped in a dangerous plane of existence for a short period of time, or transported to a random location in Keorden, the planet where the Drenroth Wilds are located.

Miso: D12 – they return to the cave of the ogre mage. D6 – they are transported somewhere else. They return to the cave of the ogre mage.

Back to the cave of the ogre mage

Freblun and Darhalnae find themselves back in the cave of the ogre mage. Darhalnae quickly frees himself from Freblun’s embrace. But she thanks him and tells hm that Jathara Beltharon is a tyrant who demands to be worshipped as a goddess; both the Ulthuyend and the ixkrinax only serve her because they fear her so much.

Freblun finds that he is no longer as hungry as he was before, having been fed by the deep elves. But he is very tired. He must have spent a whole day adventuring in this strange place where day and night do not exist. One alcove of the cave is occupied by the ogre mage’s bed and he will not sleep there, nor in the alcove that was once Jathara’s shrine.

He takes the sacks of silver coins and his old suit of plate armour out of the third alcove and lays out his bedroll there. Darhalnae looks at him uneasily. He tries to put her at ease by telling her that he once went on an adventure with a beautiful half-elf who looked a lot like her, but at the mention of half-elves she seems to become even more distrustful of him. But she also will not sleep on the ogre mage’s bed and after a while she lies down on his bedroll. Freblun finds that his new suit of magical armour is comfortable enough for him to sleep in it, and to Darhalnae’s relief he does not take it off.

Freblun has five Effort points again.

Hit points: 28

Freblun wakes up before Darhalnae. It occurs to him that it is strange that the corpse of the ogre mage is still lying where he was slain, and that his sacks of silver coins have not been taken by the other ogre magi. Perhaps they fear him, even in death.

He wakes Darhalnae. Using the ogre mage’s store of wood he cooks some rations, sharing his food with his new companion.

Rations: 3

After breakfast they leave the cave together, with Darhalnae casting a nervous glance at Jathara’s shrine.

Location: Special – a Random Location that may possibly be entered again later (Descriptor: Frighteningly Bizarre).

Fernewelt: VIO means violent orgy.

Encounter: ixkrinax (two)

I roll on the Labyrinth Lord Monster Reaction Table: the ixkrinax are unfriendly and may attack.

Object: None

Cave of visions

The tunnel out of the cave leaves Trenthy Brook, which disappears underground. The tunnel leads to another large cave where the walls are covered with cave milk. Two ixkrinax are studying the cave milk on one wall and clicking their mandibles excitedly. Freblun hears one of them say “look, the images change again.”

The cave milk melts and changes, forming an image of deep elves slaughtering ixkrinax while Jathara looks on. The two ixkrinax turn around and see Freblun and Darhalnae. They advance to attack them with their fearsome spikes. Freblun throws down his sack and draws his sword, and Darhalnae draws a dagger.

Darhalnae has the Minion statistics from the Scarlet Heroes rulebook.

Ixkrinax

No. Enc. 1d6 (4d6)

Alignment: Neutral

Movement: 60′ (20′)

Armour Class: 3

Hit Dice: 6

Attacks: 2 spikes +6

Damage: 1d8/1d8

Skill bonus: +2

Morale: 8

Hoard Class: XI

Freblun uses Titanic Blow do kill one ixkrinax, and uses it again to wound the other with his Fray die, reducing it to 4 HD.

Freblun kills one of the ixkrinax with a mighty swing of his sword. It shatters into myriad crystal pieces. With another blow he wounds the other ixkrinax, but Darhalnae’s dagger glances off it. One of the spikes of the wounded ixkrinax punctures Freblun’s arm, but only causes a mild wound.

Hit points: 27

Freblun wounds the ixkrinax again and uses Titanic Blow a third time to destroy it.

Freblun kills the ixkrinax and tends his wound while Darhalnae studies the strange cave milk.

Hit points: 28

Freblun hears a loud cry of dismay from Darhalnae. She points at the cave milk, which is changing again. The scene now shows deep elves led by Jathara slaughtering and enslaving other deep elves. The images are detailed enough to show the faces of the individual elves, and Darhalnae tells Freblun that the victims of the violence are her clan of the Olomoira. With tears in her eyes she says that she cannot possibly go home now. She can only hope to accompany Freblun deeper into the Strange Caves. She hopes that she will meet other deep elves who may give her a new home.

Location: another cave of finger fluting (Descriptor: Naturally Lame)

Fernewelt: TEA means terrible action and KUQ means killing Ulthuyend queen.

Encounter: gaseous lanterns (60) from the Creature Compendium from New Big Dragon

Object: strange crystal (Action: Create Emotions)

Gaseous lanterns

Beyond the cave of visions is a huge cavern where the walls are lined with stalactites, stalagmites, and more cave milk. The cave milk is covered with designs similar to those of the ogre mage’s cave, but first their attention is drawn to a multitude of about 60 strange, glowing creatures that float in the air of the cave. They have the appearance of veiny and fleshy spheres two feet in diameter, with multiple tentacles about eight inches long dangling from their undersides. At the sight of these remarkable creatures even Darhalnae is amazed and briefly forgets her sorrow. With awe in her voice she tells Freblun that she has never seen so many of them in one place. She explains that they are quite harmless and feed on lichen, but if they come into contact with flames then they will explode. Fortunately King Othtar’s Shield glows with magical light and cannot ignite them.

The slaying of Kavrala Olomoira

They study the drawings on the cave milk. They depict the cruel past of the deep elves. In one drawing a woman leaning on crutches is slain by two other women armed with daggers. Darhalnae identifies her as a distant ancestor of hers, an ancient queen named Kavrala Olomoira. She was a wise and just queen but unfortunately she was born lame and her enemies were able to slay her with ease. She tells Freblun that the history of her people has been marred by many such acts of bloody treachery. No doubt this disunity is the reason why they were driven down to the deepest of the caves by orcs and other enemies.

Strange purple crystal

What emotions are created by the crystal? I roll on the traits of tavern patrons from the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion and get the result of “drunken.” The crystal removes any sense of social responsibility from whoever handles it. Fortunately Freblun succeeds on the Mystic saving throw to resist the effect of the crystal, without even having to use his Gift of Force of Destiny.

At the far end of the cavern Freblun finds a large purple crystal lying on the ground. He picks it up and admires its beauty. Darhalnae steps up to him and he finds himself intoxicated by her beauty, and filled with a strong urge to touch her. He reaches out to her., and she backs away fearfully and draws her dagger. Freblun masters himself and apologises, saying that the crystal possesses some form of evil sorcery. He throws it away and they leave the cavern.

Location: great gallery

Encounter: Special – Going Deeper (three instead of one Progress Points are added to the Encounter Category).

Object: Random (Descriptor: Anxiously Heavy, Action: Excitement Innocent)

I decide that the object is a large gemstone.

Beyond the cavern of the gaseous lanterns a tunnel spirals downwards and opens out into another huge cavern, a maze of cave formations. The sound of dripping water echoes through the air. Here there are stalactites and stalagmites, massive columns, and beautiful sheets of white and golden-brown drapery. Freblun and Darhalnae are dwarfed by a huge splattermite that looks like a stack of stone plates from a giant’s dinner table.

Splattermite

Freblun finds a large cut gemstone, an amethyst coloured a rich purple. Unlike the purple crystal he found in the previous cavern, this gemstone possesses no strange effects. He stows it in the bag that he received from Jathara, which he is using to store his growing collection of gems.

Location: Special – Barely There. This is a Random Location that is very small or barely there in some other way. I roll on the Descriptor table and get the result of Bleakly Bizarre. I decide that the Location is a magical trap.

Encounter: None

Object: Special – This is Bad. This is a Random Object (Descriptor: Neatly Dirty, Action: Take Liberty). I decide that it is a potentially dangerous magical robe.

Vast pit

The great gallery has multiple exits. They chose a tunnel that slopes down and then opens out into a huge cavern dominated by a vast pit. The light of King Othtar’s Shield is not sufficient to illuminate the bottom. A rough ledge, possibly the work of deep elves in ancient times, winds around the side of the pit.

Robe of Binding

On the ledge a grey robe has been discarded. Darhalnae picks it up. It is a robe of fine craftsmanship and embroidered with black glyphs, but it is quite dirty. Darhalnae starts to put the robe on, telling Freblun that she wants to hide her body from his gaze. Freblun can read the glyphs using his Ring of Tongues, and warns her that the robe is a magical robe of Binding that will trap the wearer. Darhalnae glares at him but nevertheless she throws down the robe. Freblun puts it into his sack, considering that he may find a use for it sometime.

Fading ledge

The ledge narrows and they make their way along it cautiously, with Freblun in front. Ahead they can see the opening of another tunnel, but then holes start appearing in the ledge; it isn’t crumbling, just starting to fade away as if by magic.

Using his Fact of being experienced in dungeon exploration, Freblun succeeds on the Evasion saving throw to escape the trap.

With a leap Freblun makes it into the tunnel as the ledge fades away behind him. He throws down his sack and turns around to see if Darhalnae has made it.

I decide that Darhalnae has a Dexterity of 16, so she has a +2 bonus for a simple Dexterity check to survive the trap. She succeeds on the check.

Darhalnae also leaps into the tunnel just as the ledge fades away into nothingness behind them.

Location: Random (Descriptor: Enthusiastically Cute; Action: Adversity Weather)

Fernewelt: JAM means jailed monster.

Encounter: ixkrinax (five)

Labyrinth Lord Monster Reaction Table: the ixkrinax are indifferent to Freblun and Darhalnae.

Object: None

Ixkrinax shrine

The tunnel leads to a huge cave. A great mound of ice about forty feet in diameter occupies the centre of the floor and radiates cold throughout the cave. Darhalnae shivers and wraps her arms around her bare torso, but Freblun in his magical chain hauberk cannot feel the cold The ice encases a huge monster, an amorphous pile of jelly which is coloured a dull amethyst purple. The monster is still and is perhaps dead or in a state of hibernation.

Freblun and Darhalnae make their way around the mound of ice. Alcoves cut into the walls of the cave display a multitude of small crystal figurines. Examining them Freblun and Darhalnae find that they are skillful depictions of ixkrinax. Some of them are unusually tall or possess extra limbs. Five ixkrinax stand around walls at some distance from each other. They are absorbed in meditating before the crystal figurines and ignore Freblun and Darhalnae, who leave the cave by an exit on the far side of the mound of ice.

Location: Random (Descriptor: Yieldingly Feeble; Action: Abandon Benefits)

Fernewelt: WEX means woman exits.

Encounter: Random (Descriptor: Hopelessly Heavy; Action: Attach Illusions)

I decide that this is one of the ogre magi who will use an illusion.

Object: None (other than the treasure of the ogre mage).

Flowstone

Beyond the ixkrinax shrine is another maze of stalactites and stalagmites. At the end of the cave is another great pit. On one wall of the pit there is a huge flowstone drapery, formed when water once flowed down the wall of the pit. It seems that the only way to go forward is to climb up or down the flowstone. Freblun takes hold of a flowstone tendril and it breaks off in his hand. Darhalnae glares at him again, and seems to be thinking that a great clumsy barbarian like himself has no place in the Strange Caves. Freblun says that the flowstone will probably not support his weight, and furthermore he cannot climb on it while bearing King Othtar’s Shield and holding his sack.

Darhalnae says that she will leave him here and go down into the pit alone. She thanks him again for rescuing him from Jathara, and wishes him luck in his quest to find the Jewel of Athaya in the Temple of Madathak. She herself hopes that she will meet more deep elves down in the pit, and forge an alliance against Jathara with them. She climbs nimbly down the flowstone and soon disappears into the darkness.

I forgot that Freblun obtained a potion of Levitation in the dungeon of Gevdrin’s Tower, which he could have used to follow Darhalnae down into the pit. But never mind, I decide that Freblun also forgot about it.

Freblun is sad to see Darhalnae go, but reflects that she did not seem to be comfortable around him anyway. He retraces his steps, but finds himself lost in the stalactite maze. He hears a soft female voice calling his name, coming from the bottom of a smaller pit. Peering into the pit he can see Darhalnae at the bottom. She tells him that she regrets leaving him, and asks him to climb down into the pit to be with her. She lifts up her skirt, revealing a milky white thigh.

An invisible ogre mage (HD 6) has been following Freblun and Darhalnae. He is at the bottom of the pit and is using this illusion in an attempt to surprise Freblun and pull him into the pit. But Freblun succeeds on the Mystic saving throw to see through the illusion.

Ogre mage

The illusion of Darhalnae disappears and in her place he can see an ogre mage, a huge brute with pale green skin and dark brown hair. He wears a dark green robe. Freblun steps back from the edge of the pit, drops his sack and draws his sword. The ogre mage flies up out of the pit, and down to attack Freblun with his sword.. Freblun thrusts his own sword at the monster.

Freblun wounds the ogre mage and uses Titanic Blow to kill him.

Freblun plunges his sword through the monster’s throat and kills him.

He pours out the contents of the ogre mage’s belt pouch, which comprise two gemstones – a large black jasper stone and a small rosy quartz with a star in the centre – and forty silver pieces. He leaves the silver coins but takes the two gemstones.

The jasper stone is worth 100 gp. The rose quartz is worth 50 gp.

A gourd that was hanging on a string around the ogre mage’s neck contains some kind of potion which he stows in his sack.

The gourd contains a dose of the Sweet Water potion.

He has King Othtar’s Shield return him to the great gallery where he found the amethyst gemstone. He takes another exit from the gallery.

Location: Expected

Encounter: Expected (one ogre mage with 6 HD)

Object: Special – a Random Object (Descriptor: Interestingly Good; Action: Adjourn Power).

I decide that the object is a magical scroll of Warding against Magic (from Labyrinth Lord).

Another ogre mage

A tunnel leads to an ordinary cave where the walls are lined with stalactites, stalagmites and columns. In the light of King Othtar’s Shield he catches a brief glimpse of an ogre mage with pale blue skin, lurking in the darkness in a grey robe. The monster suddenly vanishes. Freblun throws down his sack and draws his sword. The ogre mage suddenly appears before him and stares into his eyes with a hypnotic gaze.

Freblun succeeds on the Mystic saving throw against the ogre mage’s Charm Person power.

Freblun lowers his sword, deceiving the ogre mage into believing that his evil power is working. The ogre mage smiles triumphantly, and then Freblun suddenly thrusts his sword at him. But the ogre mage darts to one side and his sword finds only air. The body of the ogre mage assumes a translucent, gaseous consistency and he floats around the cave, taunting Freblun. He returns to a solid form in a dark recess which the light of King Othtar’s Shield cannot penetrate. While Freblun whirls around in confusion, the ogre mage casts Sleep.

Freblun succeeds on the Mystic saving throw against the effect of the spell.

Freblun feels drowsy for a brief moment but then comes to his senses. He calls for the ogre mage to come out and fight. The ogre mage emerges from the recess and raises his hand, using a cone of freezing mist to attack Freblun as did the ogre magi chief.

Freblun succeeds on the Mystic saving throw against the cone of cold and takes only half damage from it.

Hit points: 24

The ogre mage snarls with fury as he sees that the mist has little effect on Freblun. The warrior thrusts his sword at the ogre mage but he sidesteps his blade again. At last the ogre mage draws his own sword. He strikes at Freblun but his blade only clangs uselessly against King Othtar’s Shield. But again Freblun fails to wound him also.

It seems that the ogre mage has exhausted his magical powers, for he continues to fight with his blade. The combatants succeed in wounding each other.

Freblun uses Titanic Blow to double the damage. The ogre mage is reduced to 4 HD.

Hit points: 22

Freblun uses Titanic Blow again to kill the ogre mage.

The ogre mage fails to land a blow, and then Freblun’s sword finds his heart and he falls down dead. Freblun tends his wounds.

Hit points: 26

It seems that this cave was the ogre mage’s lair, as the natural alcove in which he hid contains a mattress and four sacks of silver coins. Beneath the mattress Freblun finds a gourd containing a potion, a scroll, two turquoise gemstones, and a beautiful smoky topaz gemstone. He ignores the coins but takes the gourd, the scroll and the gemstones.

The gourd contains a potion of Invisibility.

The turquoise gemstones are worth 13 and 14 gp. The smoky topaz is worth 1,000 gp.

His Ring of Tongues allows him to read the glyphs on the scroll. It is a scroll of Warding against Magic which may be used by anyone, not just a wizard or a sorceress. If the glyphs are read aloud then a temporary barrier is created against all spells or spell-like effects from devices or monsters.

His sack is now very heavy so he reluctantly takes out the grappling hook that he bought from Tegron, the blacksmith of Drothorn, and leaves it in the cave. He eats some rations.

Rations: 2

At the rear of the cave he finds a tunnel.

Location: frostwork cave

Encounter: Special – a Random Encounter (Descriptor: Helpfully Strong; Action: Adversity Power).

This has been a great adventure but it has dragged on for a bit too long. I decide to use this Encounter to bring the adventure to a conclusion.

Object: Special – Barely There. I roll again on the Object Category list and get the result of a backpack of Holding. I decide that the backpack needs repairing.

Frostwork cave

The tunnel leads to a long, narrow cave where the walls are coated with the needle-like cave formations known as frostwork.

Broken Backpack of Holding

On the floor of the cave he finds a leather backpack with broken straps. It is heavy and holds many silver and copper coins. He pours out the coins to see if the backpack contains anything else. To his astonishment many thousands of coins, all of them silver or copper, pour out of the backpack. Clearly the backpack is magical and is capable of holding far more material than an ordinary backpack, but nevertheless someone has overloaded it with coins and so torn the straps. He puts the empty backpack in his sack, intending to have it repaired in Bruld.

The Mind Warrior

The cave bends to the left. At the end of the cave is a lone ixkrinax who looks badly wounded, with chunks torn from its crystalline body. The ixkrinax communicates with Freblun using telepathy. It calls itself the Mind Warrior and says that it is the oldest of the ixkrinax. It knows that Freblun is searching for the last three ogre magi and it has been to their cave, where it was attacked and badly injured. The Mind Warrior has developed mighty powers of the mind, including the ability to teleport through space. If Freblun is willing, then it will merge its mind with him and use its powers to transport him and itself to the lair of the ogre magi.

Freblun agrees to be teleported and the Mind Warrior approaches him. Freblun feels dizzy and drops his sack, clutching his head. He has visions of the ancient history of the ixkrinax, stretching back millennia within the Strange Caves. Blurred and incomprehensible images slowly become clearer. He sees the ixkrinax shrine that he and Darhalnae entered; the amorphous purple monster is being encased in ice to serve as the shrine’s guardian, to be awakened when the shrine is desecrated.

He comes to his senses and picks up his sack. Then he finds himself floating in darkness with the Mind Warrior, and then standing in a cave where the last three ogre magi are lurking.

Lair of the ogre magi

Descriptor: Anxiously Horrible

The walls of the cave are adorned with the remains of the victims of the ogre magi; skulls of deep elves and humans in niches and the rusting remains of armour and weapons.

Miso: D20 – the Mind Warrior is killed by the effort of teleporting itself and Freblun. D10 – the Mind Warrior survives with 1 HD. The Mind Warrior is killed.

The Mind Warrior falls to the floor of the cave, clicking its mandibles weakly. Freblun hears a faint mental message, wishing him victory in his fight against the ogre magi. Then it is dead. The last three ogre magi approach Freblun and the dead ixkrinax and laugh. Freblun draws his sword.

Freblun wounds an ogre mage and uses Titanic Blow to reduce it to 2 HD.

He thrusts his sword into the nearest ogre mage, wounding him badly. The other two ogre magi speak to each other in their own language in then both of them raise their palms and use cones of freezing mist to try to destroy him.

Freblun must make two Mystic saving throws. He succeeds on one and halves the damage from one cone of cold. He fails the other saving throw and must use his Force of Destiny Gift to succeed on it and half the damage. He now has three Effort points left.

Hit points: 18

The wounded ogre mage has now regenerated 1 HD and is now 3 HD.

The chilling mist saps Freblun’s strength but he goes on fighting. With a great swipe of his sword he beheads the wounded ogre mage and wounds another.

The wounded ogre mage has been reduced to 5 HD.

The wounded ogre mage becomes invisible. The other ogre mage casts Charm Person.

Freblun succeeds on the Mystic saving throw against Charm Person.

Freblun shrugs off the effect of the spell. The invisible ogre mage becomes visible again when he casts Sleep on Freblun.

Freblun fails the Mystic saving thrown against the spell and must use his Force of Destiny Gift again. He now has only two Effort points left.

Freblun does not fall asleep, but neither does he succeed in wounding either ogre mage.

The wounded ogre mage has now regenerated and is a 6 HD monster again.

Both ogre magi now attack Freblun with their swords; one sword finds Freblun’s torso and wounds him, while the other is deflected by King Othtar’s Shield.

Hit points: 16

Freblun uses Titanic Blow again in the next round. He now has only one point of Effort left.

With another great swipe of his sword Freblun disembowels one of the ogre magi, who drops to the floor dead, and wounds the other.

The last remaining ogre mage has been reduced to 4 HD. I test his morale and he will fight to the death.

The last remaining ogre mage wounds Freblun with his sword.

Hit points: 15

Freblun fails to wound his foe.

The wounded ogre mage has now regenerated to 5 HD. Freblun wounds the ogre mage again and uses Titanic Blow and his last remaining point of Effort to kill him.

Freblun thrusts his sword into the ogre mage’s chest and kills him. Drothorn is now safe! He rests and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 19

Treasure

He searches the lair for treasure. He finds twelve sacks of silver coins (which he ignores), three gourds containing potions, and eight gemstones including a beautiful blue star sapphire.

The gourds contain a potion of Fire Resistance, a potion of Plant Control, and a Polymorph potion.

Gemstones:

  1. A clear zircon stone worth 50 gp
  2. A blue star sapphire worth 1,200 gp
  3. A cordierite stone worth 25 gp
  4. An amber stone worth 200 gp
  5. Two blue sapphires worth 1,000 gp each
  6. A black pearl worth 500 gp
  7. A diamond worth 5,,000 gp.

Return to Drothorn

Freblun puts the potions and gemstones into his sack. Before he uses King Othtar’s Shield to teleport back to Drothon, he pauses by the corpse of Mind Warrior and wonders at the change that seems to have come over his own mind since he merged it with that of the ixkrinax.

I decide that Freblun has spent another whole day in the Strange Caves, so it is now night in Drothorn. What’s the weather like? It is very hot.

He uses King Othtar’s Shield to return to the small shrine of Athaya beneath the oak tree on the green of Drothorn. He feels the stifling hot air of a summer night on his face, but the heat has no effect on him in his hauberk of magical chain armour. After his journey through the Strange Caves The Black Basilisk inn and the stone cottages of Drothorn seem so ordinary, even if some of the cottages allegedly contain stone from the petrified body of a legendary basilisk.

He enters The Black Basilisk just as Greglun the innkeeper is about to lock the door for the night. Greglun stares with awe at his shining hauberk of magical torgunan mail. Freblun enters the common room and slumps down at a table. Greglun brings him a pint of beer and some leftovers from the kitchen, and Freblun tells him of his adventure in the Strange Caves.  He tells Greglun that he will go to the Temple of Madathak and rescue the other four youths from Drothorn as soon as he can. He does not tell him that first he intends to deal with the green dragon that destroyed the villlage of Lothvur and which may pose a threat to Drothorn.

Freblun pays the innkeeper five silver pieces for the stabling of his horse; he previously paid in advance for stabling for three more days but four days have now passed since he left Drothorn to travel to the Strange Caves. He pays another five silver pieces for his room.

Money: 42 gp and 7 sp

He goes up to his room and stretches out on the straw mattress. The room is as hot as an oven but he can sleep easily in his magical hauberk.

Hit points: 28

Return to Bruld

What’s the weather like? It is pleasantly sunny.

The next morning it is not so hot as it was the night before. Freblun goes down to the common room to have breakfast and a pint of beer.

Money: 42 gp, 3 sp and 5 cp

Then he goes to the stables and has King Othtar’s Shield teleport both himself and his horse to Trossal Wood outside Bruld. He rides into the town and goes to The Wizard’s Garden where he pays one gold piece for a good room and for stabling for his horse. He has a pint of ale.

Money; 41 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

He then goes to a leatherworker’s shop, where he pays six silver pieces to have the broken straps of his magical backpack of Holding repaired. The leatherworker knows who Freblun is and, mindful of his quest for Bruld, he tells him that the backpack will be repaired before the end of the day.

Money: 40 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

He then goes to a tailor’s shop where he buys a new pair of heavy trousers and a leather-patched shirt.

Money: 39 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

He returns to The Wizard’s Garden where he has a bath in his room. He dresses in his new clothes. Then he takes his travel-stained clothes, his bedroll, and his magical robe of Binding, which is quite dirty, to a washerwoman. She charges two silver pieces to wash the items, which is double the normal fee but otherwise she will not even touch the robe.

Money: 39 gp and 5 cp

He goes to a chandlery where he buys a large sack, so that he can withdraw gold pieces from the vault of the temple of Dronlan, and then he returns to The Wizard’s Garden for lunch and a pint of beer.

Money: 38 gp and 3 sp

The Temple of Dronlan

After lunch Freblun goes to the temple of Dronlan, the god of merchants and adventurers. In the altar hall of the temple he meets Medornae, the high priestess, and informs her of his progress so far. Medornae congratulates him for his heroism in helping the people of Drothorn, and for having obtained a hauberk of magical armour, but she warns him that he must go to the Temple of Madathak and retrieve the Jewel of Athaya as soon as he can; the plague has now reached the city of Thentull to the north of the Drenroth Wilds and Bruld will soon be in peril.

Medornae says that there is a minor shrine within the temple, which has not been used much since Chonthar, the former high priest, and 13 other clerics of Dronlan were killed by the sorcerous trap in the shrine of Madathak in Bruld. She says that Freblun may use King Othtar’s Shield to teleport to the shrine whenever he wants, and she will tell the other clerics that it is now to be used only by him. She takes him to the shrine where a man-sized stone statue of the god, of rather average artistry, stands behind an altar between two small arched windows of stained glass.

Freblun knows that he needs to pay Marthus the alchemist 400 gold pieces for the identification of the eight potions that he obtained from the ogre magi in the Strange Caves. He wonders at the ease with which he made the calculation, and again thinks back to the time when his mind was merged with that of the heroic ixkrinax named the Mind Warrior. He withdraws 400 gold pieces from his trove in the vault of the temple. He already has a black star sapphire worth 5,000 gold pieces, that he took from the hill giants’ treasure hoard, stored in the vault. He stores the 31 gemstones that he looted from the Strange Caves in the vault, considering that he does not have the time to take them to Ludron the fence to be sold.

Money: 438 gp and 3 sp

Treasure in the vault: 7,950 gp and 32 gemstones

Marthus

He goes to the house of Marthus the alchemist. His laboratory is cluttered with all manner of items; an alembic for distilling, a cauldron, a mortar and pestle, bunches of dried herbs; beakers, bowls, and vials. Freblun gives Marthus the eight gourds full of potions that he obtained from the ogre magi. Marthus says that he is aware of the urgency of Freblun’s quest, but he adds that he will need more than one afternoon to identify eight potions.

I consult Miso. Marthus requires:

  • D6 – one day
  • D10 – two days
  • D20 – three days.

Marthus examines the gourds and says that he will work hard and have them all identifed after three whole days. Freblun thanks him and hands over 400 gold pieces, thinking that he can now easily teleport to the temple of Dronlan from the Drundorn Hills and collect the potions.

Money: 38 gp and 3 sp

He returns to leatherworker’s shop to collect his repaired backbpack of Holding. Then he returns to The Wizard’s Garden for dinner and a bottle of good wine. Tomorrow morning he will use King Othtar’s Shield to teleport himself and his horse to the confluence of the Trossal River and Trenthy Brook, and then follow the Trossal down to the ruined village of Lothvur and Sarlond Brook. He will follow Sarlond Brook up to the cave of the green dragon and make sure that that monster will never pose a threat to Drothorn or Lenthir.

Money: 35 gp and 6 sp

I decide that Freblun’s exploration of the Strange Caves and his defeat of the ogre magi counts as the achievement of a medium goal, according to the advancement rules of Exemplars & Eidolons, so Freblun gains four experience points for his adventure. He now has 15 experience points and is a fifth level warrior with 34 maximum hit points and six Effort points.

As he has gained a level he gains a new Gift. I give him the Natural Gift from the list of General Gifts available to any of hte three classes of Exemplars & Eidolons. This Gift raises one attribute to 18 and does not require Effort points to be spent. He now has an Intelligence of 18, which is the result of his having merged his mind with that of the Mind Warrior. Previously his Intelligence was 7, or below average. His Mystic saving throw, used against magical effects, is now also 18. Now his only attribure that is below average is his Charisma of 8.

He also gains a new Fact; he is now more resistant to magic as a result of his having resisted the magic of the ogre magi. This Fact can be used to add +4 to his Intelligence when making a Mystic saving throw.

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