Here is the second installment of the Keep PBEM game.
After spending almost two hours on the road you enter the ravine the priest told you about. Within another 30 minutes you find the trails. Following them the trails becomes more overgrown.
The forest you have been passing through has been getting more dense, tangled, and gloomier than before. The thick, twisted tree trunks, unnaturally misshapen limbs, writhing roots, clutching and grasping thorns and briars all seem to warn and ward you off, but you have forced and hacked your way through regardless. Now the strange growth has suddenly ended - you have stepped out of the thicket into a ravine-like area. The walls rise rather steeply to either side to a height of about 100' or so - dark, streaked rock mingled with earth. Clumps of trees grow here and there, both on the floor of the ravine and up the sloping walls of the canyon. The opening you stand in is about 200' wide. The ravine runs atleast 400' west to where the eastern end rises in a steep slope. Here and there, at varying heights on all sides of the ravine, you can see the black mouths of cave-like openings in the rock walls. The sunlight is dim, the air dank, there is an oppressive feeling here - as if something evil is watching and waiting to pounce upon you. There are bare, dead trees here and there, and upon one a vulture perches and gazes hungrily at you. A flock of ravens rise croaking from the ground, the beat of their wings and their cries magnified by the terrain to sound loud and horrible. Amongst the litter and rubble, boulders, and dead wood scattered about the ravine floor, you can see bits of gleaming ivory and white - closer inspection reveals that these are bones and skulls of men, animals, and other things.
You know that you have certainly discovered the Caves of Chaos.
"I propose that a fighter and I go into the cave a bit and investigate, then we'll report to you. Hey, any elves her," asks Zoltan?
"I think it maybe best if we stick together so that we are not divided and surprised when we are weaker, but if you insist on a scouting party, a mailed warrior such as myself may ruin your stealthy approach." says Durin.
While your party discusses what to do, Corran notices a cave to the south of you at the bottom of the ravine. All other visible caves are higher up in the ravine. Although there may be some shrouded in the denser growths of foliage.
"Well my friends, we're here. Now which cave should we enter first? Or do you want to spend the night here, and enter the caves at first light," asks Corran?
Ereptor speaks, "it is probably best to spend the night here and in the morning enter the caves."
"I propose we make a camp, get situated, and travel at first light," says Zoltan
"I think it would be a mistake to make camp here and waste the day away because orcs and such like to attack at night. I vote we enter the caves closest to the bottom and work our way up like the priest suggested. If we all agree then lets go before the day is wasted." So speaks Durin.
"Let's go guys, pick a cave," says Corran, "I say we all go in together, Thief up front, warrior behind, me in the middle, and the other two at the rear, we are stronger that way."
" We are going to start at the bottom, remember," asks Zoltan? Zoltan leads the way, to the mouth of the first, closest cave.
The party enters the cave spotted by Corran. A passage leads in about thirty feet before ending in a small chamber with exits to the west, south and southeast. It is quite dark in here and the light from outside is barely enough to see by.
Durin the warrior asks, "Could someone light a lantern or torch. In my over zealousness it must have slipped my mind to buy one. And I guess Zoltan you should guide us because you are so intelligent."
"Alright, who has a torch," asks Zoltan?
From out of the darkness of the right (or is it the left?) passage comes a guttural scream of "Bree yark!" followed by the sound of many feet.
Your party still stands in half-light. A sort of gray light which filters in from the cave mouth... very dim though...
Grendel draws his sword, glaring into the darkness, trying to pin point the exact direction the patting of running feet is coming from, "something comes this way" warns Grendel as he prepares to engage a possible enemy.
Ereptor speaks, "I don't like it here if there comes any enemies I don't see very good in this dark place and neither do u I think If someone is coming we must have some light or it will be very difficult."
"Umm. Why don't we go back and get some torches, right now." says an uneasy Zoltan.
"Let them come where we can see and where the scavengers can make use of the carrion we shall provide," whispers Durin as he backs to the light of the entrance anxiously gripping his battle-axe with a slight smile on his face.
" Alright I happen to know that one of you has a torch and another one of you has a lantern. One of you better have a good explanation as to why you're holding out on the rest of us". Zoltan eyes the party as he steps away from the cave entrance, sword drawn. "You're crazy! You can't fight in the dark" Zoltan climbs above the mouth of the cave.
" Now someone please light a torch and draw that creature out here," whispers Zoltan from above the cave opening.