The earth shook and the world changed. In Waterdeep, the temors were no worse than a mild shaking but in the Sword Mountains, evil things were stirring. A few days after the major earthquake, reports came in that villages were being attacked by evil beings. These vile things are coming out of the Sword Mountains and Neverwind cannot be bothered with the issues of the ransacked villages. It has fallen upon the Lords of Waterdeep to defend these villages. The call went out across the countryside. Since then adventurers have been arriving to assist in the cleanup or suppression efforts. As they arrive, Adventurers are divided into groups and sent to the villages according to the reported need.
A report comes in about a cave in the Sword Mountains that didn’t exist before the earthquakes. Three adventurers are dispatched to investigate this potential lead into where the vile things are coming from. Milo Hilltopple, a male halfing rogue; Jacob Bail, a male human fighter; and Naivara Liadon, a female high elf wizard leave Waterdeep on a brightly lit day. The group travels along the road and are attacked by a scouting party of Orcs. The Orcs nearly defeat the party until two weary travelers assist them in their plight. Samirus Mezeluth XXIII, a male dragonborn fighter, and his companion, Chunch, a female half orc barbarian finish off the Orcs swiftly and with little mercy. Sam and Chunch are heading to the town of Womford because an orc scout informed them of the pending attack. Jacob tells Sam and Chunch of the other vile things coming out of the Sword Mountains. After a brief session of grunts and gestures between Sam and Chunch, the duo agrees to assist these three travelers with their mission.
The group camps for the night near the entrance to the cave. In the morning as the group packs up for the exploration, Chunch starts to gesture at Sam indicating a group of kobolds moving swiftly towards the cave entrance with a giant size chain shirt. They notice a man the size of a galleon decomposing next a cave opening. The body has no armor, no weapon and a large number of notes piled near him. There is a screech from inside the cave interrupting the group’s search of the area. Jacob starts to run towards the danger first, lighting a torch. He was followed by the rest of the group. They rush through the cave that winds through the earth until they reach a worked stone floor.
This stone room is well built and the last of the kobolds pull the chain shirt through the northern door. Jacob starts towards the door when Naivara stops him. She states that she could sense magic around the door and that they should prepare themselves before entering. Jacob makes sure his supplies are packed well in the hand cart. Sam notices that he has supplies for a 20 day journey instead of the predicted 3 day journey. Before Sam can ask any questions about the extreme overstocking issue, Naivara screams. She has stuck her hand through the doorway and she cannot pull herself back through.
After a battle to retrieve Naivara’s hand and arm, the party decides to take the leap into the unknown through the door. The torches cast eerie shadows on the room. Chunch sees two doors directly ahead of them and hears a fluttering of wings coming towards them. Sam and Milo glance back at the doorway from where they came. No light from the torch will penetrate the doorway and when Milo attempts to return to the first room, he cannot pass through the barrier of shadows.
Chunch signals to Sam that something is approaching from the east. The party readies for battle as they round the corner of the L shaped room. Twelve horrid creatures start flooding out from the first door on this side of the room. The creatures are a mix between a bat and a large mosquito. Naivara identifies them as striges. Milo reacts first by using the shadows to attack and kill one of the stirge. Naivara casts a blue white light beam from her hand and knock down another one of the stirge. Five of the stirge strike the Naivara by flying over her and stinging her from behind. The other five attack at Jacob, Chunch and Samirus corralling them towards the door the stirge came from and separating them from Naivara who whimpers her last breath. Chunch smashes another stirge fighting towards their falling comrade. Sam slashed at one cutting it in half. Jacob moved towards the second door on this wall and opens the door. He pushes the hand cart in the door. Milo stabs and misses at another stirge then moves towards the second open door. The remaining eight came towards the adventurers attempting to surround them. Chunch notices the sound of more fluttering coming from first open door as she swings her hammer at a stirge and misses. Samirus swing his long sword at a stirge and misses. Jacob yells for a retreat to the second open door. Milo enters the room quickly as ten more stirge enter from the first open door. The eight original stirge are still attacking and corralling the party. Chunch attacks at the stirge once more as Sam rushes her into the second open door. Jacob quickly closes the door as eighteen strige strike.
After the door is closed, the party notices the stench of this room. Chunch and Sam keep their senses about them but Jacob and Milo become nauseated by the stench. While Sam holds the door closed, Chunch searches around the room for another exit. Grass is strewn around the room like a tornado went through a meadow. She finds a gold coin, ceremonial dagger, and a toad-lizard idol. As she searches near the northern wall, Chunch finds a door made of the same material as the wall that pivots on a vertical axis. Jacob and Milo make their way to the other room as Sam and Chunch grab the hand cart to follow the others.
After closing the secret door, Jacob and Milo start to recover. The room is covered in dust and has several rough tables and chairs scattered throughout the room. This L shaped room has a door in the middle of the eastern wall. Milo cautions that the door may be trapped because of the dried blood on the floor near the door. After a short rest, Chunch finds a deck of cards with odd suits (sword, whip, fireball, and spider) and gold ring inlay with opal. Milo disarms a scythe blade trap on the door and the group enter the next room searching for an exit. Chunks of rock make this long room almost mountainous terrain. The party must decide what to do in order to carry forward.
Everyone gathers the supplies from the hand cart into the backpacks. Jacob offers to lead the way though this difficult terrain. Milo follows behind Jacob and Chunch behind him. Samirus is last in the marching order. As Jacob makes it to the end of the room he sees an open door leading to a hallway. Chunch signals to Sam and he reports that there are some creatures approaching from the North. The party drops the extra weight burden and sets up an ambush.
Milo lures the kobolds and their giant hyena into the room. Chunch hits the hyena and it whimpers. Sam and Jacob each take out one of the kobolds. Milo strikes the hyena with a calculated blow that brings the beast down. The group salvages the weapons and ammo of the kobolds and continues into the hallway heading south then east. At the end of the hall, there was an open door leading to a large square room with another open door on the north wall. The top of a censer peeks out from the rubble in this otherwise empty room. Milo remarks that the censer would be worth something but it looks too heavy to drag to an exit. The party decides to close the door to the hallway and take a long rest.
During the last watch, Milo decides to look through the door into the next room. Milo screams about being blinded by the door. Sam and Jacob look over to Milo and laugh because he is covered with a bright and colorful light. After a little while the color fades, Milo reexamines the door and disables the trap. Although the next room was covered with dust and rubble like all the others, the party can make out images on the walls. The party notices an opening in the wall sealed with spikes. While Sam, Jacob and Chunch work on opening the “secret” door sealed with spikes, Milo finds a crushed golden goblet.
After an hour of struggling, the secret door moved freely and a swarm of rats moves towards the party. The skeletal rust-red rodents scurry towards Jacob. Chunch grabs her hammer and smashes down on the swarm killing a few rats. Samirus and Jacob slash at the swarm as Milo grabs a flask of oil and lights the swarm on fire. The group battles down the swarm until they are broken and destroyed. As the group enters the room through the secret door, they notice two doors on the north and south walls. The damage in this room seems to be somewhat less than in the others, although there is still a substantial amount of rubble on the floor.
The doors are opened and the group moves towards the south hoping for an exit. This room also seems only slightly damaged. There are still two relatively intact beds and small table to be seen. The party notices a secret door on the east wall partially destroyed but it might be possible to squeeze through. The beds, really just pallets with legs, are rubble covered and one is cracked. The small table is intact. Milo heads north to the previous room and scouts out the northern door. It opens to a series of hallways.
The group takes a rest to establish a course of action in the room with the beds, table and the unexplored secret door. They plot out a rough map of the area in the dust and dirt from the rubble. After a few hours, the group decides to back track and make sure they have cleared the areas behind before moving forward. Milo looks into the secret door just before another earthquake hits causing the secret door to collapse onto him. Milo mumbles something to Jacob as he dies. Jacob takes a moment to mourn his friend then he picks up Milo’s gear and readies himself for travelling.
Chunch, Jacob and Samirus start moving towards the previous secret door and back through the rubble until they reach the original hallway. The group moves west back towards where they left the hand cart. Jacob notices another open door to the north before they head back towards the hand cart. Chunch and Samirus take up flanking positions on either side of the door and Jacob moves in. Like the other rooms in this area, rubble covers the floor and spills out into the hallway. A partially collapsed archway across from the door appears to give access to a further room.
The party moves through the knee high rubble towards the archway. This room is slightly less damaged than the previous one and Chunch can still see portions of what must have been a bed peek out from under one of the rubble piles. As the group searches the room, Chunch and Samirus hear the scratching of rats, large ones. The group prepares for a battle as 3 dire rats come in through the door to the south. Jacob takes a nasty hit at the beginning and is knock unconscious. Chunch goes into a rage and slaughters 2 of the rats. Samirus kills the last one with a vicious strike. The group decides to close the door to the hall and rest after Jacob is stabilized allowing him to heal.
Jacob wakes Chunch and Samirus to continue their search. Jacob opens the door to the hallway and see a faint going through the door to the west. Chunch, Jacob, and Samirus follow cautiously down the hall until the light disappears and they hear a growl behind them. 3 more dire rats came down towards the party. Jacob charges forward and hits one of the rats. Each of the dire rats attacks and hits Jacob knocking him unconscious. Chunch runs towards one rat and smashes at it. Samirus slashes at another and they slowly knock down the rats. After one rat dies, the others scamper away leaving Chunch and Samirus alone with Jacob’s body. Chunch and Samirus split up his belongings between them and decide how to proceed.