After returning Sildar’s humiliatingly-confiscated arms, and receiving our 500 gp reward (as promised on the 23rd of Kythorn) for conquering Cragmaw and rescuing Gundren, our fellowship purchased fresh gear as needed, and headed out toward Wave Echo Cave, 15 miles east of Phandalin.
Arriving at the long lost cave, we entered through a narrow tunnel, which opened into a natural cavern. There, among stalagmites and a heap of mundane supplies, lay the bloated, beetle and maggot-ridden corpse of Gundren’s missing brother, Tharden Rockseeker. Tolarin pragmatically relieved the rapidly decomposing dwarf of his much more sturdy boots but, being a hobbit, couldn’t bring himself to try them on. Walking unshod is a proud halfling custom. Ornately tooled with a deer motif, the boots appeared to be fit more for elvish feet than those of their previous owner, so I suggested that Tegan try them on. Sure enough, they fit him like a second skin.
Descending into a pit with passageways at either end, we let chance decide our path forward, and after a coin flip, headed east. Through a tunnel of worked stone, the monk brothers and Jorad lead us through a tall cavern carved with reliefs, with unlit brass lanterns on the walls and the remains of ancient battle-dead littering the floor. Suddenly, a fluttering storm of bloodthirsty stirges descended upon us. As the cunts flailed about at the airborne beasts latching onto them, I wisely sprayed acid to deadly effect from a distance; incidentally, I may have damaged Brick’s jacket… and put some holes in Tegan’s coat… and Tolarin’s tunic. All in all, a small price to pay for a battle swiftly won.
After a short rest, Gunx lead the way to an intersection, and a pair of doors. Brick opened one, to a ruined bunk-room with more ancient remains, and as we followed him in, the skeletons sprang to animation! Beshaba has blessed me with new abilities to control the undead. Although I was not entirely successful on this first attempt, I did manage to turn the weaker willed ones. Needless to say, though the skeletons fought with mindless fury, my fellows and I destroyed them all in short order. After a brief repose, we crossed the hall to the other door: an administrator’s office, where Tegan found a heavy strongbox. The lock appeared to be rusted shut, resisting my attempts to pick it open, so Brick unboxed the contents using simple physics: 600cp, 180 sp, 90 ep, and 60 gp.
Continuing east, we came to a large cavern lit by luminescent fungi. Dazzled by the exotic beauty of this spectacle, Tegan charged heedlessly in, stirring up a noxious cloud of spores. As he retreated from the billowing miasma, I tried to burn the offending matter, but the sodden mass was inflammable. We retired to a defensible storeroom for a long rest to recover from our exploits. Beshaba has blessed us all today, as we are all still alive… klaatu barada nikto amen.