Rise of the Ra'Dakhaan

Chapter 3: Wandering the Caverns

Don't you know, you never split the party...

After slaying the spiders, our valiant spelunkers head off to explore the other passage they saw earlier that lead off from the east side of the cavern. After several twists and turns, they arrive at a steep ten-foot slope in the tunnel. Tristan, having been leading the way, attempts to slide smoothly down and instead falls flat on his face. (Perhaps the side effects of drinking stolen wine while trying to adventure through a cave.) Mervin likes the idea and also falls flat on his face. Meanwhile the trio of half elves decide that caution is best and descend in a manner that allows them to avoid falling flat on their faces. 
Before Mervin can even get to his feet, the party is attacked out of the darkness by fearsome giant fire beetles. Their most dangerous foes yet, these belligerent bugs actually manage to get through Tristan's AC (well,  at least once, any ways). Saerwyn, after restraining Mervin from charging blindly into combat, takes the frontlines with Tristan and halts the advance of the vermin (at the cost of a fair amount of HP). Katria attempts to throw some daggers at the worrisome weevils while Shay, also trapped behind melee line, strikes up a wonderfully inspiring song to fill the hearts of the adventurers with courage as the face off against the scary scarabs. Mervin dances around behind them, flailing his dagger. (Well, not literally dancing… I think.) 
After squishing the bugs, and nearly losing Saerwyn in the process, the party heads deeper into the caverns, because why not. The caves turn dusty and dry, and slope gently downwards. They emerge out into another large cavern, and as they round a bend, a small pack of kobolds lash out at Tristan's face from atop a rock formation. Again by the miracles of incompetence, Tristan is unscathed, and, while Katria rushes forward screaming some remarkably eloquent negotiations in Draconic, Tristan cleaves a kobold in two in retaliation, and thus the negotiations end. 
Shay is still somewhat persistent for a peaceful resolution, but Tristan and Mervin surge forth and attempt to climb up the ledge, while Katria soon gives up and begins throwing her daggers. Mervin and Tristan take clean spear wounds to their arms and shoulders, and neither succeeds in actually climbing the ledge. After the kobolds are slain, the Katria retrieves her daggers and discovers that the scaly lizard-kin had just killed another group of demonic fire beetles, that, like the ones encountered earlier, have two small glowing humanoid skulls just above their eyes. They head off to explore the rest of the cavern, where they initially discover two passageways that lead off deeper into the complex of tunnels. One of them has and artificial rock barrier blocking it some ways in, while the other leads up to a obviously artificial, carved tunnel which ends in a great stone door covered in strange markings and carvings. Mervin attempts to cast a spell to read magic writing on the door, but the language is so strange and foreign that it still cannot be understood. Turning back, Tristan insists that they clear out the rubble blocking the other passageway, while Shay, Saerwyn, and Katria decide to explore the rest of the cavern to see if they can find anything. Mervin stays behind to assist Tristan, and Tristan teaches him some old marching songs and the hum happily along as they engage in the wonderfully mindless work. The women leave them in search of something meaningful.
The trio, in searching the northern end of the cavern, discovers a narrow crawl space that opens into a wide cave with rather low clearance. Near the wall where the ceiling meets the floor, they discover an old chest half-sunk in the floor. They open it to discover quite a nice hoard: piles of coins, several scrolls, and several other finely crafted items, including a three-armed brass candlestick. The trove is very nice, at least until it turns nasty and the candlestick boxes Saerwyn's jaw. An hourglass, a stone idol, and an ornate dagger all join the fray in viciously attacking (this half of) the party. After getting stabbed nearly through the hand, Katria slams the lid of the chest, shattering the hourglass and catching the middle of the candlestick, which Saerwyn promptly smashes into smithereens. 
The adventurers ready their weapons and throw the lid open, fiercely striking (with little effect) at the remaining two objects. Katria throws the dagger into the chest lid, hoping to keep it stuck there for a short while so they can focus on the stone idol. Shay, unaware of this scheme, pulls the dagger out and throws it back at the idol and, as a result, Saerwyn and Katria. Eventually, after some near-death experiences, they grab the objects and smash the senseless against the stone floor. They haul the chest off and explore the other passage leading out of the cave, which turns out to be a great big loop that leads back to a certain tunnel that had been blocked by a barricade of rocks and rubble, through which some singing can be heard. Tristan, upon hearing the approaching adventurers, flees from what he believes are the talking stones, and Mervin has to go back and calm him down. Meanwhile on the other side, Saerwyn discovers a hidden treasure cache.


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