Back at the keep Orrick the Dwarf joins the group as a replacement for the fallen fighter (lost to an Ochre Jelly last session) while Skullduggery II digs into his spellbook and does some magical detecting on the treasure discovered so far. He realizes that he has been carrying a wand of paralyzation ever since the encounter with the evil magic-user back in Session 1! He also determined that the Eagle shield found by Horus was a +1 magical shield. He also takes Charm Person as his second spell, having levelled up to 2nd. Fortified, they now decide to head back to the Caves of Chaos instead of facing the horror that lurks inside Quasqueton.
Reaching the caves the party decides to see where their onetime orc companion lives and enter that cave. They pass a wall decorated with the heads of former enemies of these orcs and enter a guardroom. As fighting breaks out a second wave of orcs crashes in from behind, but the heroes are victorious nonetheless. Exploring further, they end up pinned in a large storage room with a large number of orcs and the orc chieftain bottling them up. Sensing his moment, Skullduggery casts Charm Person at the pig-faced leader.
Smiling, the orc chief walks in, arms wide, and greets his new old friend. Weapons are sheathed, backs are slapped, but language is a problem as no one in the party speaks orcish! The party moves to leave but not before Skullduggery is gifted with an ogre head and a solid, almost mournful handshake from the chief. The group makes camp up the road a ways and discusses what to do next.
The next morning the band heads for a different cave covered by a small wooded area. They move in but as they come to a T intersection several things happen:
-The two dwarves at the front of the party disappear from view as they fall into a covered pit trap which promptly closes again, leaving them cut off from the group
-A group of small doglike reptile things pops up in front of the party and begins throwing javelins at them
-Another group of the things drops out of the trees and charges the party from behind
This is a terrible tactical situation as the party is reduced to 4 members -Elf, Halfling, Thief, and Mage. Combat lasts a long time and numerous weapons are dropped, bowstrings snapped, as general unluck seems to have taken over the battlefield. The Elf is badly wounded, as is the mage, but the halfling and the thief fnally finish off the kobolds, even dropping one who attempts to flee. The wounded are patched up while the dwarves are freed from the pit and the whole group heads back towards the keep.
The apprentices were not at all interested in going back to B1 this time so they decided to check out the orc lair instead. They ended up cut off in the storeroom with about a dozen orcs outside who called for the chief. Fortunately the MU remembered that he had Charm Person and was eager to try it out and this led to the realization after it worked that no one had taken the orc language. This was pretty funny and worked out nicely in the end.
They decided to try a different cave and ended up in the nasty kobold ambush in about as bad a situation as they could be in with their two heaviest melee hitters unable to contribute, but they survived with no losses. This did show them that non-fighters could do alright at fighting though, which is probably a good thing for the long run.
I took time at the beginning of the session to remind the M-U player that he had other spells besides magic missile that might be useful at the keep. He had forgotten some of this so it helped to have a refresher as he leveled up to 2nd. Hopefully he will start using his spells more from now on - he certainly did better in this session.
Overall I am happy with the campaign so far - we're starting to see some leveling-up and some good instincts develop through both common sense and hard experience. Everyone is having a good time so we plan to continue for a good long while.