The Darkening of Mirkwood

Dis Connected

After they had questioned and released their prisoner the group made camp near the cave, leaving infiltration of the bandits until the next the morning. During the night Pytr and Olo parted from Telearel and Omund to investigate the area around the cave. But while they crept toward the cave there came a sound like the fluttering of many wings and they saw a large amorphous black cloud ascend into the sky over the cave. The cloud then dived toward Olo and Pytr’s positions while a dark shadow peeled away toward Telearel and Omund. Telearel and Omund took deadly aim at the foe, but not before it raked its claws across the Elf, and then letting out a bone chilling screech as it fled into the night. Cutting it closer than they meant to, Olo and Pytr also managed to beat off their furry winged attackers (sorry, no scales here).

Following the attack the group stole upon the mouth of the cave and made swift work of the outer guards. Slinking into the cave, the group also quickly took down a group of men with a wolf in the first large chamber they come across. Looking around the room, the group noticed a part of the wall that turned out a be a boulder blocking the passageway with a gap between the top of the rock and the roof. Olo jumped over the rock and the damp cave behind stank of an unclean odor and the oppression of a palpable darkness. Deciding to take a less odious route, the team continued down the other hallway and came to a kennel housing a number of the wolves. The group managed to take out all of the wolves, but not before the leader of the pack raised the alarm. Within moments other bandits came down a hall that led deeper into the earth and the group was beaten back to the mouth of cave by ceaseless arrow fire.
Taking up camp right outside the mouth of the cave, the group kept an eye on the movements of the bandits while taking some time to lick their wounds. Near the bottom of the hill to the other side of the cave the group then located a stream with some small plants growing around it that Pytr recognized as a healing herb, which they sorely needed. Further investigation of the stream showed that it came from a cave which was big enough to allow in a human-sized person. Olo took the challenge of determining where the water came from and if it was an alternate pathway into the bandits’ hideout. After passing by a couple of sources of light which turned out to be well openings into the bandits’ cave, Olo led the group to a large cave where they could climb out of the subterranean waterway.
The cave ran across the stream both toward and away from the general direction of the outlaws’ lair, so the team decided to take their chances by heading away. The passage then forked, and after finding a stairway with a locked door at the end of the right hand passage the group went to the left. That passage ended in a large cavern that extended beyond the extent of the torch light strewn with bones smaller than human sized. The team soon heard shuffling and out of the darkness came three large reptiles, just like the one they had seen being transported through Mirkwood by a team of trolls and goblins a few months before. All three monsters are put down, but not before the group was attacked with a cloud of poison spat from the mouth of one of the beasts. Fortunately Pytr managed to brew a concoction for the group that allowed them to overcome the effects of the poison.
After some resting up the group decided to re-investigate a door at the end of the other passage Olo managed to pick the lock and after silently opening the door, they saw the shape of a large man silhouetted against the light of an oil lamp. Unaware of their presence, the group attacked the man thinking he was the leader of the bandits. He put up a strong fight, but the team finally took him down, and unceremoniously executed him after they could not extract any information out of him. In a recess behind the door there were also stored piles of armor of dwarven make, but all of which were man-sized and bore the arms of Dale. Around the room they also found scattered letters and maps of the region, all written in the Black Speech and bearing the mark of a sword splitting the image of a broken bow. Telearel’s expertise in the matter only allowed him to discern the names of the author Turumarth and his ancient realm of Angmar. They collected the letters and took them with him.
By following the other door in the room, the group traveled down the passage and eventually found the prison housing the dwarven prisoners. Unfortunately only 12 dwarves remained of the 40 that set out from the Blue Mountains, Dis among them. After a lengthy discussion, the dwarves agreed that the party was not allied with their captors, and agreed to follow them out. After some stealthy scouting by Olo, the team decided to leave the caves by the same way they came in, with the hopes that they could steal away unawares. Fortunately no pursuit followed the them and the group found refuge in the settlement of Shieldwall.
Help and re-enforcements from Dale and the Mountain arrived at the settlement after news of the prisoners’ release reached them and there was a celebration when the sister of the King Under the Mountain finally came into her new home. After the party brought back news of armor bearing the arms of Dale found in the cave, King Bard made an inquiry of his armories and discovered that there were many more sets of imitation arms and armor in his stores than could be accounted for by the group’s report.News had also come to Dale from the Woodland Realm indicating that Gandalf made progress in his search through Thranduil’s libraries of lore, but that the team needed to join him soon.
However, before the team made ready to leave for Mirkwood an emissary from the Mountain came with thanks for the deliverance of their people. At the behest of Dis, some gifts from the Blue Mountains were given as her personal token of thanks. To Telearel, as a recognition of a common purpose of both peoples, arrows forged in the Blue Mountains for the slaying of orc kind. To Omund, arrows for the slaying of Trolls, meant as a gift to match the size of his legendary prowess in archery. For Olo, a shield to adequately protect one his size, yet light as a wisp of cloud. For Pytr, a dagger said to be forged by the Master smith Telchar which prior warriors said had always given them strength.
After these final blessings from the King Under the Mountain, the team set their sights to the West with the next step in finding the Green Keep and helping Pytr keep his oath…

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