Ann Arbor Adventure

Cave Sidetrack: Part I

in which a damsel is rescued from distress

So in the end, everyone follows Kai into the cave.  They soon come to a door, which is set into a side tunnel.  Kai immediately tries it, but finds it stuck.  He proceeds to throw his shoulder into the door, and it soon splinters into fragments of rotted wood.  The room appears to have once been a place of storage, which is currently occupied by rotted boxes and moulding bags of grain.  Believing there to be some potential salvage, Kai and Branwyn hurry into the recesses of the room, only to find they have stirred up a nest of some kind of cave crawler, which bites.  The party makes a hasty retreat, and at Kai's insistence, moves deeper into the cave.

They eventually come to a larger path, and as they walk through it, Murphy notices that there was once a set of double doors set into the wall, which have long since turned to mildewed dust.  They begin to enter what appears to be a rather large cavern, when the torches reflect off what seem to be two sets of eight eyes in the distance.  In the concerned silence that follows, the party hears a rattling sort of hiss, and the octets of eyes move toward them.  Kai and Braenwyn stand in the passage, providing protection for the rest of their companions.  In the ensuing fight, Kai strains his arm, and in his zeal to hack the monster to pieces, becomes covered in the slimy green ichor that the scorpion-like creature seems to use for blood.  Branwyn emerges clean and intact, having had some assistance from both Owain (who was ineffective, but distracting) and Kai (once the other monster had been hacked to pieces).  Murphy, endeavoring to be helpful, tosses some holy water in the direction of the creatures, but only succeeds in sprinkling the fighters with it.  Eventually the vile things are slain, and the group proceeds to expore the cavern.  Chava heads directly toward the monster carcasses, intent on gathering potentially useful materials from them (as Murphy looks on in disgust, she calmly retrieves an egg sac and two glands that look like they produce some kind of poison).  When she has wrapped her prizes carefully and tucked them in her bag, Chava does a small magic to remove the crusted green slime from her hands.  Kai is not so lucky, and immediately begins to complain about how itchy the green stuff is.

Branwyn and Owain stumble upon the half-eaten carcass of a horse, and make free with the contents of the saddle bags (some women's jewelry and money was salvageable; the clothing and food was disgusting enough that they let it be).

Kai finds three wooden trap doors set into the floor, and proceeds to heave them open, one at a time.  In the first he spies a skeleton, which he leaves be, but in the second a beautiful young lady is chained.  She calls up in Welsh for help, and Kai (ignoring the fact that the pit is deep and his arm is strained) hops down to save her.  She is fastened to the wall by iron manacles, so Kai promptly grabs one of them and yanks it out of the wall.  He further injures his arm in doing so, and is unable to pull out the other chain.  By this time the rest of the adventurers have appeared, and Owain chastises Kai for being silly.  He then hops down into the hole to help Kai get out.  Kai has no intention of leaving, however, but it forced into it when Chava orders him out.  Owain gives Kai a leg up, and Chava drops down.  She rubs some spit onto one of the manacles, wraps a handkerchief around it, and starts saying something in a language no one else understands.  When she pulls the handkerchief off, the entire chain disintegrates.  Chava then turns to the second chain, but the spell goes awry, and she is unable to do any more casting.  Owain helps her out, and Branwyn pulls her up from the top.  The lady in the hole is now free, although she has a four foot length of chain dangling from a manacle on one of her wrists, and so Owain also gives her a leg up.  Kai then pulls Owain out.

Kai checks the last wooden trap door, to be certain no one else is stuck there, and sees something shining in the dirt.  He immediately hops down to get it, and finds a silver bracelet with an intricate pattern of celtic knots on it.  In order to get Kai out of the hole, Owain again has to hop down to give him a leg up and then be pulled out by Kai.  Having done all this, Kai finally decides to take the time to heal his arm.  Meanwhile, Branwyn has investigated the first hole, seen something shiny, and dropped in herself.  She finds a cloak pin in copper with red stones set into it, and heaves herself out of the hole all on her own.

While Chava, Murphy, and Owain now all want to return to camp, in the interest of getting some food and clothing (she is currently only dressed in a meager and very dirty shift) for the young woman they have rescued, Kai and Branwyn are determined to continue exploring the cave, just in case there are other people trapped in it.

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