DCC RPG with the Old School Meetup

Betrayal at the Cave of Secrets

The party joins the pilgrims at the feet of Ruprecht's ruined towers.  The pilgrims are grateful, shaken, and upset by the sudden death of one of their number.  One pilgrim takes the lead in speaking to the group, Oswyn the healer.  Oswyn serves a lady Yda in a village, Nag-ford, near Xom Velyn, and says Yda and her family has fallen ill with a sickness he can't cure that causes them to fly into violent rages.  Minnerette the wizard befriends Oswyn, exchanging some gold for a pair of rare recipes to ease pain and swelling.  The pilgrims say that the cave of secrets is in a gully a short distance from Ruprecht's towers, and that there is a squadron of horsemen camped there under Princess Petal's banner.

The band resolves to attack and capture the horsemen's standard.  By night they ambush the horsemen, who are camped near a little stream in the gully, and with the aid of summoned animals they rout the horsemen and kill most of them.  The knight Sir Lulling escapes with a handful of men, but the band has captured his banner, many mail shirts and horses, and one of his fighting men.  The man showed bravery during the battle, tackling Lord Vincent to allow his mate to escape.  He reveals that Sir Lulling was waiting for their commander, Sir Baryl, to return from the Cave of Secrets where he has been for several days.  Sir Baryl took a coffer of treasure into the cave, which he had brought from the imperial palace at Yal Garok, and Sir Lulling was worried for him.  Lord Vincent releases the man, who promises not to take up arms again.

Venturing into the cave, the band meets the madman custodian, Whately.  They ask about Sir Baryl, and Whately tells them he received his answer and departed.  Minnerette ventures to the end of the cave, spotting a railing with an abyss beyond, but returns without looking down.  He gives a princely offering and Whately accepts it, and Minnerette lies down and inhales the vapor of the pale bulbs they burn in the cave, drifting into a vision-filled sleep.  The party heads outside, and waits a day and a night.

When Minnerette doesn't return, they are beginning to worry that Sir Lulling may return with a force to recapture the cave and seek Sir Baryl.  They go into the cave and confront Whately, who says that Minnerette received his answer and departed.  They argue, and Whately strikes Nellis with his staff.  Nellis slaps him, and Whately curses the band and touches an obsidian pillar, vanishing in a black mist that is sucked into the pillar.

The band discovers a dwarf with no eyes comatose in a second chamber.  They investigate the pit and find it very deep and filled with bones and corpses.  Among the corpses is Minnerette!  They strip the horsemen's tents of rope and climb down to the wizard, finding him clinging to life after a long fall.  He's been robbed and thrown into the pit.  Fisk spots a boulder that looks to conceal another passage, but they climb back up.  While the party rests outside the cave, Fisk and the pilgrim Sotor investigate a passage that climbs a short flight of stairs to a sturdy iron gate.  Fisk picks the lock and they find a massive stone door beyond, topped with a carving of a demonic face with three eyes set with emeralds.  Fisk climbs on Sotor's shoulders to pry loose an emerald, but falls victim to a powerful curse that causes his eyes to migrate from his comatose body and slide across the floor!

Sotor is set upon by a monstrous spider, but Vincent is returning with the rest of the party and he slays it before it can inject Sotor with venom.  The session ends with Fisk cursed to a roaming existence of observation only.

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