The party returned to Auslaug, turned in the various kobold and ogre (for so the big things proved to be) heads for their just reward. The strange blue paste and the two-handed sword carried by one of the ogres proved to be magic. Raúguey the slightly dim fighter claimed the sword, and while practicing with it has noticed it emits a strange buzzing / humming sound. No one has figured out what the paste is, so that's being left alone for now. Most of the loot is converted to coin and divided up, and various people buy additional gear. The party decides to head back to the Caves as quickly as possible, and leaves a few rumors that there were other horrors to be found there to dissuade any other adventurers. They make a hasty trip back and arrive back at the burned out farmstead late in the evening. The next morning they head back in, and that's where the turn begins...
Start Date: June 23, Year of the Badger, dawn
Start Status: The Return
Start Location: At the Cold Caves
After discussing the plan laid out by Rawon, the party heads to the Caves to begin their third foray into the depths. The only change to the lineup being a switch between Durego and Dagmarten, Dag being more of a sling-swinger than a melee-type. This also spreads the lantern wealth, since Durego can provide light for Raúguey too. Ingvild wonders briefly at the wisdom of a six-wide column going into five foot wide cave, but is quickly shushed by his brother.
When the party reaches the Cave entrance they discover that nothing has really changed. There are no signs of life at the cave mouth, so the group beings to filter in, left flank, right flank, center front, center mid, center rear, rear rear... It's a conga line of adventurers! They make their way to the first large room (C), and the right flank, Durego and Maro, split off to check the refuse pit while the others secure the room. There are no signs of life in the pit, though Maro notes that there seem to be a few kobold corpses missing from the pile. Once again there are faint, indistinct sounds coming from the darkness beyond and below the refuse pile, but neither adventurer is thrilled with the thought of climbing down into the stench-filled pit to check them out.
Back in (C), Rawon points out that the door leading further in (to G) is now open. He's pretty sure someone closed it when you were leaving on your last trip. Someone else has been here perhaps? With a shrug Grit takes point and heads into (G), and the rest of the party follows in close order. Maro immediately points to the inner door, which is also open. Someone's definitely been through here. There's still no sign of immediate threats though.
Raúguey and Rawon take a look around (F), but they don't take long, it's empty. Prompted by Durego's earlier question about the pools of water, they peer into the depths, noting that the water is clear and cold, and that there is an irregular layer of muck on the bottom. Perhaps it's covering something useful, but there's time for that later. For now, it's enough that the room is secure.
The group realigns themselves and head into (H). They're immediately assailed by the stench of rotting flesh. Rats (the mundane sort) gnaw the remains of the ogres and kobolds that still lay where they fell. Grit tosses a rock at the nearest corpse and the feasters scatter into the darkness, squeaking and chittering. Both Urúvion and Ohwatoo turn pale, then green at the horrific odor. A quick look around the room shows that door (1) is still closed and barred, but doors (2) and (3) are open. Moving carefully around the slippery pool, Durego and Maro move forward with Grit to check (2), while Raúguey, shiny new sword in hand, and Rawon move up to check (3). The others filter in to provide cover and watch door (1).
Raúguey is feeling bold. He walks into the next room (J), then stops just inside when he realizes it's very very dark. There's no sign of movement, and no sound other than rats scurrying for cover. He can barely make out the water pools, a single table, and some chairs.
Durego, Grit, and Maro get a good look at the other room (I). The two nests were obviously used by the ogres as beds, but they've been attacked by someone or something that's kicked the loose leaves, branches and grass all over the place, and faint marks show where something fairly bulky was dragged through the mess and out the door. Beyond, there's a big iron chest with a heavy lock. A dead kobold is sprawled next to the chest. The entire southwestern quadrant of the room (including the chest and kobold corpse) is covered in a fine greenish dust.
Note that I've removed the corpses in room H for clarity. The two ogres and various kobold bodies are still piled where they fell. It really smells terrible in here.
End Date: June 23, Year of the Badger, dawn
End Status: Don't touch nothin'
End Location: In the Cold Caves