NAVAH: The Cave of the Winter Wolves

Ian, Josette, and Ignar hunted the last of the winter wolves, assisted by Brendan, a hunter who had arrived too late for the main fight. Brendan was poorly equipped with leather armor for legs and arms, but he did have a visored bascinet and jacke armor for his body. He was accompanied by Erin, his wolfhound. Ian brought his last hunting dog, Sergei. Josette was followed by her fire elemental, the naked Lystdogga, and Fiona the Selkie.

The party tracked the wolves to a cave, where they made short work of the remaining three wolves, who were normal enough. They discovered a chimney heading up and an underground stream with three feet of air above it. They crawled down the stream until it connected with a second cavern system, which had a passage heading down and a puzzling set of depressions in the wall. They solved the puzzle of the depressions and a secret door in the stone appeared and opened. They left Ignar behind to keep the door opened and entered. They found a series of caverns decorated with snake and lizard motifs, and filled with deadly traps. Two humans had entered a thousand years before and paid the price.

The party avoided several traps, found numerous examples of art featuring snake-headed humanoids, perhaps the lost race of the Seveysas, known more commonly as “The Snakes.” At the end of a passage, they found a stone sarcophagus, but as they moved closer they felt warmth in the cavern, then a warm gentle breeze and the smell of orchids.

Turning, they found the tunnel behind them had been replaced by a dense tropical jungle, from which issued six man-sized lizards with pointed teeth, a razor sharp 10 inch claw on each foot, and evil dispositions (Velociraptors). They launched themselves angrily on the rear of the party with flying kicks with their toe claws. The mage was hit in head and leg and was knocked unconscious immediately, bleeding copiously. Sergei was cut in half, and Erin was ripped open in the hindquarters and fell whimpering to the floor. Lystdogga immediately ran to hide behind the sarcophagus, while Brendan and Ian readied their shields and moved forward to combat. The fire elemental, its master unconscious, floated motionless above them, illuminating the battle. Brendan’s new jacke armor saved him from several nasty strikes to the abdomen, but his leather armor did little to protect his leg. Ian was in half-plate, and as the best melee fighter in the party, he managed to evade every blow. The two men slashed the lizards to the floor, and Brendan then cut their throats while Ian wrapped the mage’s wounds. He failed to do so for poor Erin, so he called Brendan to assist. Brendan could do no better, but tenderly held Erin and wept as she slowly bled to death.

A velociraptor lunging to the right.

The Lystdogga chose this moment to leap out and shout, “Yay, we got them!” A moment later, he said, “oh, too soon?” and crept back to his hiding place. Brendan and Ian looked at each other and agreed silently. Ian took one of the lizard legs that had been cut off, and approached the Lystdogga. The small naked creature, sensing the malice directed at him, tried to grapple the leg away, but Ian swung the leg and its attached razor sharp claw down into the Lystodogga’s backside for a grisly wound that slew him instantly. They later told Josette that the Lystdogga had been killed by the lizards.

After skinning the lizards, they took the mage and skins back to the entrance of the cave, then built a fire and melted the snow enough to bury their two dogs. They spent the rest of the night there, and in the morning returned to the village, where Josette was healed by the village witch. The party sold their pelts, but the trader refused to buy the razor sharp toe claws that Ian had brought, claiming that they were demon claws.

The party returned to open the sarcophagus, and found both gold and jade worth about 4,000 s., a great haul indeed. As they left, Josette mentioned seeing a depression in one of the walls, of the kind that had opened the initial secret door. The party ended for the night, uncertain if they wanted to return to the caverns.


About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
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