Silver Pool Campaign, Episode 1.2.3: Please read the first comment (click on View Results) below and THEN choose your preferred action.
Posted by darkstar 12 years ago, closed 12 years ago
Mistress Faye suggests all of you retreat from the cave back into open air. You can decide what to do once you're outside again.
Dan suggests Mistress Faye stay with Martelo where they are to guard the cave entrance. Dan, Aelric and you can take advantage of your momentum to follow the raiders into the tunnel before they can organize a defense.
Aelric suggests remaining inside the cave where you are, defending your position. Rest a while and decide what to do after you've had a chance to consider things a bit more.
You could shout out that the raiders are trapped and surrounded and will be killed if they do not surrender. Urge them to give themselves up.
You could leave Martelo alone as a lookout at the cave entrance. Tell him to shout if anyone approaches the cave. The other four you will head into the cave after the remaining raiders.
Some other creative option? (Please comment, below.)
A Ruse and A Rashness
darkstar: Mistress Faye's suggestion seems a good one. If the raiders have been drinking, then they are likely to need to use the latrine periodically. You might be able to pick one of them off without a fight.  
You decide that Mistress Faye and yourself will be the main part of the ambush, given your ability to stalk and remain silent much better than your other three comrades. Dan, Aelric and Martelo will guard the cave and path. They position themselves midway between the latrine and the cave to signal the approach of any target and to interdict any additional raiders that come out, so you're free to handle the ambush. If anything goes wrong, you can call on their help, too.  
You and Mistress Faye find good positioning on either side of the narrow path leading to the latrine. You agree to try to take this raider alive if possible. Perhaps he has information that could be valuable to your quest to learn who is behind the raids. You decide to construct a snare and conceal it in leaves and other debris on the path. Hopefully it will trap an unsuspecting raider's foot. At a signal, you will both rush the target, Mistress Faye will place a large burlap sack -- taken from the debris in front of the cave -- over his head and you both will pummel him into submission with the butt of your spear. You make ready with twine and rope and commence to set up the trap.  
The afternoon wears on. About an hour later, Aelric gives the signal, a soft "hssst!" to let you know of an approaching target. Your muscles tense as you prepare to spring the trap. A minute later, the raider makes his way down the path toward the latrine. He is a human of medium height. He carries a spear and is wearing a coat of leather armor, but is not wearing a helmet. His brown hair is matted to his filthy face and his beard is caked with something that looks like a mixture of vomit and dirt. The stains trail down his armor coat and onto his filthy leather breeks. As he approaches your hidden trap, you can see him still squinting at the light of the day, his eyes taking a while to adjust after the darkness of the cave. You smile to realize that the man is still drunk.  
The bandit's foot hits the snare perfectly and, as the stout cord goes taut, the raider lurches forward with a loud, surprised cry as he falls on his face in the dirt. Mistress Faye, with cat-like agility, leaps out from the side of the path to place the burlap sack over his head. You are no less quick with the butt of your spear. One thump behind the fallen man's ear is all it takes and his body goes limp with a sigh.  
You make haste with the rope, tying and gagging him securely as he lies there in the path. You begin to make your way back nearer to the cave, hoping that the raider's shout did not alert his other accomplices.  
That hope is dashed when you hear a yell from the cave, "Durk! You okay!?" After a brief pause, he calls out again, "Durk!?"  
As you approach his place of concealment, Martelo suddenly dashes from hiding in front of you and rushes toward the cave opening. In disbelief, you watch as the smith's apprentice draws his shortsword and, with a bloody shout, runs into the cave. Dan gives you an intensely exasperated look and then rushes out toward the cave after Martelo. "Damn fool!" shouts Aelric, who then follows swiftly after his brother. You can hear the clang of metal on metal as sounds of fighting emanate from the cave, Martelo evidently having gotten his wish.  
There's nothing for it but to help your comrades, at this point. You dash across the clearing and into the cave with your spear at the ready, Mistress Faye right behind you with her bow. It takes you a bit longer to get there because of your further distance from the cave and when you enter, you realize the fighting has abruptly stopped. A quick glance tells you the state of affairs.  
Martelo has taken a serious spear thrust to the gut and is lying without movement, bleeding badly --- he is evidently in grave danger. Dan is also wounded with a minor cut to his right arm. A raider is dead beside him, a bloody shortsword beside his corpse. In the dimness, you can see the piggish features that denote the dead raider's half-orc heritage.  
"The other one was pulling a spear out of the lad when we got here," says Dan, breathlessly, trying to stanch the flow of blood from Martelo's stomach. "He ran off down the tunnel as we were arriving. This one here," he says, jerking his head toward the dead raider, "cut me, but Aelric finished him off quick." Dan casts an appreciative look at his brother who wipes blood off the tip of his spear onto the dead raider's tunic.  
Faye swiftly kneels beside Martelo and Dan backs off. Setting her bow on the ground next to him, she lays hands on the unconscious young man and offers a prayer to the Goddess Aldrya. After a tense moment, Martelo begins to stir, groaning and coughing up blood. "Well thank the gods for that, at least," says Aelric, with a sigh. "Damn fool."  
Faye completes her prayers and sits back, wiping the beads of perspiration that dot her forehead from intense concentration. "He's no longer losing blood and the wound itself is knitted shut. I've healed some additional damage, too, but he's still seriously wounded. He will need rest or significantly more healing to recover fully. He wont be fighting any more today."  
You take quick stock of your situation: you are about 25' inside the cave. At this point, it's about 7' wide and 9' tall, but narrows and the height decreases ahead. There is enough light from the entrance to see now, but about 20' ahead, the tunnel turns to the left, probably cutting off a lot of the light from the deeper parts of the cave.  
Somewhere, up ahead, is at least one raider, armed, who knows you're here. There may be more...  
darkstar: Previous episodes and character sheet for the Silver Pool campaign can be found here.  
All are welcome to participate in the voting, even if you haven't taken part in earlier polls! :)
Use tracking skills to try to determine how many raiders remain alive and in the cave. Search the dead raider to see if any information or useful equipment can be gained. Make sure somebody's watching both the entrance to the cave and the tunnel into the rest of the cave. Scout within shouting distance into the cave, being careful to let your eyes adjust to the lower light. Huck some rocks back into the cave to see how far it goes.  
Does the tunnel go up or down? Does the air flow in or out? If conditions are right, maybe we can smoke 'em out.
darkstar: Observations that don't take you more than a quick moment:  
Tracking isn't able to determine number of raiders currently in the cave, since there are myriad prints in the floor from frequent recent passage back and forth over the past few days.  
The tunnel floor is fairly flat here. From your limited knowledge of these things, it appears to have been graded rather than simply being a natural cave floor.  
The air current is fairly still. From your knowledge of nature, you know that air currents in caves can shift depending on the time of day, though. Your nature knowledge does not delve deeply into underground lore, however, so beyond the general statement, you can't say how this particular cave is likely to behave.  
A quick glance at the dead raider shows he's wearing a leather jerkin, no helmet, no backpack, but he is wearing a leather beltpouch. A few seconds of examination of the beltpouch shows a flint and steel, about a dozen coins (most of them copper and a couple of silver) and a small, well-worn and crudely carved wooden figurine of a horse.  
Fluffy: well crap.
build a huge ass fire inside the cave
pdxpogo: Smoke em out or asphyxiate em. Either way you don't want to confront them directly. You have a man down already now is not the time to battle recklessly.  
The fire might not do anything but it will not hurt to try. We used it in WWII for Japanese who holed up in caves.
FoolProof: Do our current surroundings look like they may have been home to the dozen or so raiders that occupied it with Bardo the first time we were here? Is it likely, based on that, that the cave would have much larger chambers deeper inside - large enough to accomodate that many brigands? What are the contents of the cave that are currently visible?
FoolProof: Don't forget, also, that we have a prisoner outside the cave. We can... er... convince him to provide us with a little info.  
darkstar: The space you're in currently appears to be a tunnel, rather than where the raiders would have slept. This tunnel is about 45' long and you're roughly in the middle of it: 25' inside the entrance, and 20' away from a leftward turn in the tunnel.  
Nothing in particular is around you except for the unnaturally flat, hard dirt floor (plenty of tracks back and forth visible), the stone walls and ceiling. The walls appear to have been smoothed and discolored in a line at about 3-4" high by regular rubbing of hands over time. The ceiling appears to have many years of accumulated torch soot on it.  
As for the layout of the place, you recall that your earlier interrogation of the defecting raider Ralf provided some insight into the size and structure of the cave. From that interrogation you recall his brief description mentioned that it has two small chambers, one of which Bardo kept for himself. In the back of a third, larger chamber was a small pool of drinkable water.
pneum0nic: Don't go into the tunnel--ITSA TRAP, I TELLSYA!!!
darkstar: Heyyyyy, Charlie! Wake uuup!
Schauspieler: Gooooood-byeeeee Charrrrlieeeee!