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GREYHAWK 2000 - Stories
ADVENTURE 4 - The Caves of Chaos

A short distance from Kendalll Keep is a large complex of caves known as the caves of chaos. It was rumored that these caves harbored evil monsters and fabulous treasure. We decided to find out for ourselves, hoping to find more fabulous treasure and less evil monsters. I'm afraid we were not so lucky.

  • 12/3/591 Kendall Keep - On our first trip to the Caves of Chaos we found a valley with about 12 caves. In the first cave that we entered we found bandits, both human and halfling. After slaying these we discovered a secret door leading into strange tunnels that did not appear to be part of the original construction of the caves. We left those for the time being and focused on ridding the first cave of all its inhabitants. I cast my first web spell in the battle with the bandits. No sooner was it up then Cob began hacking away at it. I think he enjoyed it. After the long and hard battle with the bandits we decided to head into the secret caves.

    The relative ease of the battle against the bandits was soon overshadowed by what we would discover in the secret tunnels. The tunnels seemed to form a labyrinthine maze that extended below all of the caves of chaos. We had not explored far when we ran across a terrible denizen of this foul warren. The creature was huge. He towered over even Feanor the elf. And his hulking mass was even more impressive. The creature had the body of a man (albeit a huge and misshapened man) and the head of a bull. The great axe it carried was gore covered, rusty, and dull. We fell upon this beast with all of our might. It took many blows, and a volley of magic missiles but we were able to fell the terrible beast. After catching our breath we decided to track it back to its lair, a decision that almost led to our deaths.

    Deeper in the dark maze we were ambushed by four more man-bulls, yes four! They came at us from both sides. They quickly forced all of us back into a small circle of death. Feanor, Zensun, Cob, and Damoni were fighting for their lives. Hanna and I stood in the middle and cast every spell we had left. I quickly ran out of spells and the monsters were still coming at us. When Hanna reached the end of her spells, she stepped forward to aid the faltering fighters. By this time the fighters had felled all but two of the man-bulls, however, all of our fighters were badly injured, some within inches of their lives. By this time I was sure that I was going to die in this dark dungeon of death. A man-bull swung an axe at Hanna with a speed and power she did not anticipate. The blade cut deep into her side, knocking her to the floor and unconscious. I must confess that I do not know who struck the final killing blows on the two remaining man-bulls as my whole being was overcome by fear of the death that I would suffer at the hands of these foul monsters. I could see them tearing apart my flesh and feasting on my still warm body. Someone was shaking me. Only when I was sure it was not one of the man-bulls did I open my eyes.

    We gathered everyone together and quickly exited the Caves of Chaos. Later, my companions told me how Damoni had saved us by putting one of the last man-bulls to sleep with his wand of sleep. I was pretty sure I was ready to give up adventuring after that close call.

  • 12/6/591 Kendall Keep - After spending several days at Kendall Keep we had recovered. Cob decided he did not want to keep adventuring with us (Cob was not so dumb after all). We met a warrior new to the keep named Virgil. We invited him to join our party and he accepted. A couple of days of rest and hearing rumors about mystic goings on at the Caves of Chaos helped me to muster my courage to return with the party.

    Returning to the Caves of Chaos we decided to head back to the same cave we cleared out during our first visit. When we got there we found that a band of gnolls had moved in. We went in and we were able to slay all of those brutish foes. With that cave cleared out. We went back and explored the maze below the caves. I was leery of this, fearing there might be more man-bulls but there were none. We decided to return to Kendall Keep for the night.

    On our way back to the keep we had a strange encounter. We thought we heard Cob calling us from behind some trees (hep me! hep me!). When we got to were we thought he was there was a strange and evil monster instead. This thing had the body of a huge stag (7' tall at the shoulder) with a head that resembled a huge badger. This thing attacked us immediately and the sharp bony ridges that filled its mouth did terrible damage. After slaying it we continued on to Kendall Keep.

  • 12/9/591 Kendall Keep - We return to the Caves of Chaos. The next cave we explored turned out to be the heart of the caves. It was home to a strange temple full of evil priests and rotting undead. All the floors and walls and pillars were red and black. We ran across a shrine were there was a statue of a beautiful woman sitting on a throne. Standing around this shrine were 13 black and red robed skeletons. The statue had strange magical powers and enthralled most of our party. Luckily a few of us escaped its effects (not me) and were able to pull the other characters out of there.

    Hanna informed us that she believed this place was a temple of Erishkigal and Nergal. Ancient and obscure male and female gods of death. Next we ran across a male and female priest. They attacked us on sight and very nearly killed several of us. They were assisted by a strange black incorporeal undead. After that battle we decided to return to Kendall Keep to recuperate.

  • 12/12/591 Kendall Keep - As we were leaving Kendall Keep we noticed a strange band of adventurers who looked like they were preparing to head out also (donning armor, weapons, etc.). There was a Half-elf named Acromane who was their leader, a mean looking dwarf, a dark and savage looking male barbarian, and a waif of a woman wearing huge and heavy armor. We hastened all the more to beat them to the caves.

    At the caves we waited for this other adventuring party to show up but they never did. We did not spend any time in the caves and decided to head back to Kendall Keep.

    Something was wrong at Kendall Keep. Smoke was rising from the town. Buildings were on fire. Coming closer we could see that the walls were manned by skeletons! We retreated, unseen, back into the forest. There we ran across "mouse", a halfling merchant who escaped Kendall Keep. He told us that soon after we had left, the party of four adventurers led by Acromane killed the guards at the gate and then a great army of undead began to pour through the gate before anyone knew what was happening and soon had control of much of the Keep.

    Mouse described how he escaped through a secret tunnel. We decided to use the tunnel to sneak back in and try to find this evil band of adventurers.

    Inside the walls of the keep we found that the evil adventuring party had taken up residence in a tower in the center of the town. We made a couple of forays against this tower and were able to defeat the evil adventurers. That did not stop the assault however.

    We joined the last defenses of the keep in the Fortress. The undead armies were erecting siege engines in the courtyard of the keep. We sent Cob and Jess to Longspear to get help.

  • 12/17/591 Fortress of Kendall Keep - The morning dawned cold, dreary, and wet. Grey clouds seem to smother the Keep and the surrounding lands. That morning we attended a warroom meeting with Devereau and his lieutenants. We decided to make an assault on the front gate in an attempt to draw out the leaders. We had to act fast before the undead finished their siege engines. We set out for the gatehouse. On the way we were attacked by black cloaked ghoul-like figures. The wounds these things inflicted did not heal normally and the wounds we inflicted on them bled black ichor. We were successful in dropping and disabling the portcullis but we did not draw out the leaders.

    Our next move was to attack the tower where we thought the leaders were staying. First we overcame 22 skeletons of humans, orcs, and gnolls in order to get in. Inside we found 4 bugbear zombies, 2 wights, and the skeletal master of the armies. After a viscous fight we killed the master. The armies all stoped and just milled around. We toke the skeletal head of the master back to Devereau. The following day was spent recovering.

  • 12/18/591 Fortress of Kendall Keep - The priest Kyvos arrived. He healed our unholy wounds.

  • 12/19/591 Kendall Keep - Kyvos cleansed the keep of all the undead within it, seeming to burn them with the power of the Sun. The Sun was warm on our shoulders as we headed toward the mines where the true leaders of these undead were said to dwell. Inside the mines we found a long tunnel that connected to the Caves of Chaos; back to the cave where the priests that we had killed earlier lived.

    Within this cave we found two more powerful priests, a demoness, and an old necromancer. We killed all of them except the demoness (who escaped).
I think there is still much to explore inside the Caves of Chaos, but I also think that we found all the fabulous treasure that there was.

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