Ashtad has sharp eyes and gives fair warning of the cave; it is still a good ways ahead. Dhren is taking no chances and quietly makes himself inconspicuous off the edge of the trail, while Demond/Mondes approaches nearer the cave, looking for signs that anyone else may have come this way... Dorgan--still feeling off colour--remains on the path with Ashtad, and prepares a torch in case they are needed for an entry into some darker recess of the cave...
The referee dices for the encounter distance to the cave; 2d6=7 so 70 feet (assuming the dungeon scale now). It's a safe distance.
Now Desmond/Mondes moves ahead, nearer to the secret entry and--with one set of eyes on the ground and the other looking about--spots what he sought; here in the ground are fresh boot prints, and big ones. Not Man-big, but bigger. A big set of hob-nailed boots might have been tramping around here all morning! And look there--that could be a barefoot print... maybe... but it matters not! From where he stands, perhaps 30ft from the cave Demond clearly hears talking inside!
"Nooo, ya daft dolt," growls a voice in a rustic Iliberal, "da other one!"
Desmond's searching about throw: 1d6=6.
the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern
; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch