IN WHICH: A party of adventurers hear some rumors, make some interesting discoveries and explore a cave
Upon arriving in Sooton, the adventurers Jim Baggins, Giles Corey, Orin Copperhead and Quinn Quimby delivered their errand (receiving 10 gp each for the trouble) and sold their captured bandit gear (for 150 gp).
They heard three rumors about town: A child had been attacked by a giant bat in Ashford town a few days ago; strange things were found floating down the Soot river; and bandits were a trouble along the High Bridge Road.
Since they were in Sooton, they decided to look into the strange things floating down the Soot river.
Seeking answers, they headed towards the riverside and looked for a tavern frequented by fishermen. They found The Hole (aka Fishin’ Hole), a tavern that catered to the fishermen of the town.
Entering the tavern, they failed to impress the locals in a rather spectacular way, leading them to quickly retreat. However, a local lad, named Ty, met them around the side of the tavern and was greatly impressed by their social gaffes.
Ty told them that they had found some odd fish and other items floating down the river and he showed them to the party. A 3.5 foot long fish, with no eyes and silvery-blue scales that glowed in the dark was hanging near the tavern, and Ty also showed them an odd-looking helmet, that would fit a weirdly-shaped human head, oval with a pointed conish top and no eye slits. Giles said that this was no elvish made helmet and Orin knew it wasn’t dwarf made.
The party decided to explore along the river and Ty offered his boat but they chose to stay on land and see if they could find where these strange things were coming from.
So they left Sooton and crossed the ford. Traveling up the Tradetown-Sooton road, they soon exhausted daylight and so set up camp at a well-used campsite. The night passed uneventfully except during Giles’ watch, they heard elvish singing – and a group of wood elves, glowing in the night with magical lights and lanterns, traveled past them but did not stop or talk nor seem inclined to do so.
Giles pointed out the watching elvish archers that were ready for any action the party made and guessed that the elves leaving this area was probably due to some danger than had recently come to the area.
The next morning, they climbed the hills off the road and came to the Soot river rapids, where they spotted several caves close to the water level. Down 100’ or more of cliffside, they made it to one of the caves and went in, descending deep into the Earth. They encountered a pit, which they won past easily but a second pit, hidden in the stairs, nearly claimed Orin and Quinn.
They found themselves in a 50′ × 50′ room with a fountain in the center and exits in the center of each wall and were attacked by degenerate humans with pale white skin, pale blond hair and wearing rough white tunics. These creatures wielded ancient swords and the party killed three of them and the remaining creature surrendered.
After binding the prisoner, they searched the room and examined the fountain. A statue missing a head stood in the center of a brackish pool. Orin searched the pool and found the statue’s head and reached in to remove it, barely escaping being attacked by some monster in the water. Leaping to the statue, Orin placed the head back on and the stone knit together. A magical process occurred, refreshing the water (killing the monster within) and cleaned the room – removing the blood and dead bodies.
The party continued exploring, taking a 20’ long side passage down to a 30’ by 50’ room, which turned out to be the degenerate humans’ barracks. There they found a valuable gem and avoided some cursed fetishes set up on an altar.
Another 20’ long side passage entered a similar 30’ by 50’ room but the room was unstable, dropping parts of the roof into the room. It seemed that the degenerate humans’ used this room for a trash room.
Before they could explore further, they heard the sound of running water coming down the stairs and Orin figured that a mechanism closed off the lower portion of the stairs so the fountain room would not flood. If they stayed, they’d be trapped for a while but if they risked leaving now, they might get out.
On the way out, Giles fell into the first pit but was saved by the climbing gear they used then Jim fell in the second pit and was wounded but saved by the party. On the last set of stairs up to the cave entrance, both Jim and Quinn slipped in the rushing water and Jim was badly wounded.
Soon they were at the cave entrance and the water, up to their thighs (and waist for the dwarf), threatened to push them down the stairs into a water grave. Climbing back up the 100’ plus cliff, they escaped!
Giles went around and healed the wounded as best he could and the party camped on the cliff top for the night because it was too far to get to town before nightfall.