As the battle wound down and the cleanup began the group split up for a few different actions.
Dok and Silver took their leave of the group, at least for now, and headed back to Botkinburg. They would bring the Twins along with them.
Thaoran went a little way up the gulley (Assumed far enough for privacy but not all the way to the cave entrance.) to perform his ritual with his weapons. He sat peacefully for a while and once the bonding was done, got up and rejoined the group.
Gerdar, meanwhile, headed downstream a bit to see if there were more goblins to collect. Most seemed to have been far enough midstream that they were carried well along by the current, but it wasn’t far before he found a pair of corpses tangled in the branches of a tree that had fallen into the water. Scanning the water carefully for signs of danger he waded out a bit and dragged them to the shore. Between them they only carried 8 silver pieces, but they did have full sets of ears. He trimmed the ears and left the bodies. (This was vague – if you want to bring them back to be burned tell me what exactly you are doing. Also, if you wish to do anything with the other bodies you saw that were further out or on the other side of the river.)
The rest of the group spent about an hour continuing to burn the bodies of the goblins and gnolls. The smell was awful, and a black smear of smoke towered upwards. When Thaoran and Gerdar returned from their tasks everything wasn’t yet burnt, the stack of bodies was too large, but it was at least burned down a bit.
At that point everyone left (Thaoran, Hornet, Uthal, Gerdar, Fenris, Soledad – did I miss anyone?) prepared to enter the cave. It was late in the afternoon, almost evening, and the group passed back up the gulley they had fled down the day before. Signs of their previous battle were everywhere: broken arrows, broken branches, dark stains on the ground, a few dropped weapons and torn up earth. When they reached the entrance the ashes of their original fire (to smoke out the goblins) had been scattered by countless feet but smoke stains remained on the back wall of the gulley over the entrance where the door hung open.
The caves had clearly been abandoned in a hurry. As the group moved through it some things became quickly obvious. First, the place was fairly large and could probably have held twice as many goblins as you had yet seen. As expected, it was an older garrison site from the age of the Horned One. These rooms were fairly well made – clearly carved and shaped and not simply natural. Second, They had been abandoned and anything of significant value had been taken. Yet a fair amount remained. There was one ox cart near the main entrance (but no oxen) and you could easily locate enough stolen trade goods (cloth, food stuff, tools and cooking implements and such) to fill it a couple of times over. There is also some furniture – although none of it is in great shape. Third, the throne room contained a few surprises. Fourth, there appears to be a natural area further in.
The throne room is fairly large and holds a large slate throne. The floor was a checkerboard of colored tiles – a row of black down the middle and blue and red alternating along the sides. The group discovered quickly that the black tiles were safe, but anyone stepping on the red or black tiles suffered various negative effects. Temporary paralysis was the most common effect, but illness (temporary) and small injuries also happened. But once they realized that the black tiles were safe the room was easy to search. There was nothing there but a secret passage to what was likely a side temple.
That left the deeper region of the caves. Having gone to the furthest back of the rooms there was a large iron door that opened (with a loud creak) to what seemed like a guard room. There was a spot for a small cooking fire, a couple of spears and a few stools in this room. Nobody remained to guard it. On the far side of the room a natural (meaning not carved and shaped by miners) passage went about twenty feet and then opened into a chamber about 60’ across. It was likely that wide as well, but a part of the room to the right (East) was hidden from view as the room bent around a corner. But the main feature of the room was water – A large pool filled almost the entire room. There was a small dry area on the near side of the pool and a small area on the far side, but no way around without getting very wet. On the far side a tunnel extended into the darkness.
I can provide details of the main caves if desired, but since the goblins had abandoned the place, it didn’t seem worth taking months to go through. However, this back cave looks different and requires you to decide if you want to cross the water to keep going and thus it requires your input. It is also worth noting that there is no light in the caves if anyone in the group is lacking darkvision.