To Rise from the Ashes

Into the mine

...and back into history

The miners were glad that the armed men returned, and even more relieved to learn that the hobgoblin menace was not to be – a trade agreement had been signed, and it seemed that there would be peace and profit. Prince Oargev’s cachet increased along with that of Roget and Amarack at the news.

After taking a look at the collapsed mine shaft and the massive tree covering it, Luc decided that a few arcane thunder claps might loosen the dirt, which they did. After further thought Allyn and Randro made the call to work on opening the entry the next morning, with the whole team pitching in.
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An uneventful and restful night followed, with breakfast followed by digging at the hole, enlarging it to the point that Amarack, Deaton, and Luc could climb in to rid the area of what were believed to be more spiders, given the quantity of webs found earlier by the miners. Some 20 feet into the hillside the tunnel opened into a chamber, festooned with web, where the three men were immediately attacked by two giant spiders. Placing himself in harm’s way, Amarack sought to block the movement of one of the beasts toward the unarmored Luc. The quick movements of one of the spiders enabled it to close with the cleric and bite him, knocking him unconscious with it’s poison. Deaton and Luc fought bravely, using sword, bow, and spell to chase off the other, follow it, and finally kill it. Hours would pass before Amarack would wake up, groggy and sore, but alive.

After mid-day, the team headed back into the mine, clearing more tunnels of leftover web and ensuring that no other threats existed. The main tunnel made a few turns, but overall headed back into the mountains, straight south, with numerous small side chambers where digging and mineral extraction had taken place long ago. A hundred or so yards into the mountain the tunnel opened into the first large chamber they’d found, and in it they found the animated skeletal remains of two men-at-arms, still eager for a fight. Replenished and ready for a scrap, the three Cyrans dispatched them in short order, and discovered on one of them an intact waist bag, in which was discovered a single scroll – of Halt Undead.

Along the eastern wall was the only way out, although it was buried in a collapsed pile of rocks. Enlisting the help of the miners, Amarack began removing the rocks, and when there was enough space to look into the next chamber Luc floated the lantern-wielding Mage Hand in…and had it jumped at by some angry figure. Quickly thereafter they removed more rocks, and out tried to jump a single ghoul, wearing the tattered clothes of a miner from long ago.
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Deaton shot it, then moved in to swing at it after it raked Amarack with its claws. A few blows later it was dead, this time for good.

Exploring the new chamber yielded an ever-burning miner’s lamp and a magic ring on the ghoul, later determined to be a Ring of Know Direction.

The three men decided that a night’s rest to recuperate and plan for their next moves was probably the best course of action, and the miners were relieved again to know that they’d have some added muscle to help keep them safe as they mapped the mine and assessed the possibility of resuming extraction work there.

A lingering question fueled conversation over dinner that night: why had the mine been abandoned? It made sense that various creatures would make their homes there…but the undead? What had resulted in them being there in the first place? Unsettling questions, indeed. And yet the lure of wealth for New Cyre, and the prosperity it could bring the people was more than enough to drive the men forward.


Meta
We can move the story forward some during the week if you’d like. The chambers and tunnels you cleared are being fully surveyed by the miners, and the connection to the ventilation tunnel has also been fully cleared. I’m okay with dispensing with low-level encounters via OP – say, if you run across a swarm of rats or the like – and planning your delve here. I think that’d help us, actually, because it’d keep the story going and would give me – through your comments – a stronger sense of what you’d like to experience and how, so I can plan next week’s session accordingly.

Comments

Have the miners been able to shore up the cracks in the next chamber for us to proceed?

Into the mine
 

They will work on them, putting in what they consider to be what’s needed. The most important thing on their minds is surveying the limits of whatever exists down there. That, and take mineral samples, which they are as they move along in your wake.

Into the mine
 

I’m for moving forward, what say you guys?

Into the mine
 

Onward, I say!

Into the mine
 

So, with Amarack, or not, we’re going in. What else do we find?

Into the mine
 

Amarack’s still sore from the spider sting, and decides to stay outside for a bit with some of the miners. Of the 7, 5 go underground with Luc and Deaton, while the other two work on improving the entry to the mine. With Amarack’s help they’re able to make good progress over the span of a day, shoring up the area around the old tree.

I’ll post more a little later detailing what’s found below during that day.

Into the mine
 

There are a few chambers and a goodly number of tunnels beyond the area where the ghoul was found and cave-in had been. The miners point out that this area is pretty well tapped-out, although there is still some low-value ore accessible here and there. These upper chambers are probably the older ones, while the newer areas are likely deeper in the mountain. Some equipment and improvements are here and there, but it’s all been here for a century or two, by how rotted it looks and the styles used.

The miners do wonder, however, why the place was abandoned – that’s what it seems. There’s not much equipment left behind, so it doesn’t look like the place was quit in a hurry. It is, however, odd that a mine that still seemed to be productive would be left to sit, and would have at least two cave-ins that seemed intentional (the one around the entrance and the one before the ghoul.

Over the period of one day of exploration, Deaton and Luc kill some rat swarms, avoid some treacherous tunnels, and help the miners map the tunnels and shore up a few junctions. There are two tunnels, to the west and east, that seem to head deeper into the mountain. The eastern one goes back into the mountain while the western one clearly goes lower into the depths. Those are beyond the scope of a day’s exploration.

Into the mine
 

OK, so we go back out and rest for the Evening, then see if Amarack is up to going back in.

Go West bound and down, or East bound into the mountain?

Into the mine
 

The eastern tunnel – the generally horizontal one – was uncovered by you and the miners, creating a smallish opening, which then enabled you to see the tunnel with your lanterns. The cave-in seems to have been deliberate.

The western tunnel actually comes to an end at an almost vertical shaft. A support structure built around it and attached to the walls and ceiling once suspended an elevator of some sort – nothing huge; probably a small platform or bucket – but that’s long gone. The miners are confident that the structure is secure enough to support the weight of a person or two using a rope attached to it. It looks like the chain (you can tell due to the hardware) either broke, was cut, or was removed. Whatever the bucket or platform was, it’s either gone or sitting at the bottom of the shaft, which is too deep to see the bottom of with your lanterns. A dropped rock leads the miners to estimate that it’s probably 80-100 feet to the bottom.

And finally, this shaft is partially natural – it’s a cave that was expanded.

Into the mine
 

I say we take the Eastern Tunnel first.

Into the mine
 

I’ll just throw this out there, I do have a 50’ rope.

But, I guess the path of least resistance is likely to the way to go. Eastern Tunnel sounds good to me.

Into the mine
 

I’ve got 50’ of rope as well, so we have 100’ of rope:-)

Into the mine
 

You guess that you could probably get about 90 feet of rope, at the most, after you tie the two together securely and to the existing structure.

Into the mine
 

Alright, Eastern tunnel first, we’ll deal with tying ropes together later. Amarack is busy doing something else I guess.

Into the mine
 

Meanwhile, outside the mine…

“Yeah….no, definitely…yeah….right,” Tawd stated, glancing away at nothing while he did. The cleric had been droning on about the Host for hours, and his ear was starting to ache.

“Dol Arrah will provide…we know this, and it is true; take a measure of confidence from that, my friend,” the cleric stated in an earnest tone, following up with what he probably thought was a friendly clap on Tawd’s shoulder.

‘If he does that one more time I think I will scream,’ thought Tawd. He felt bad about being annoyed, but the sermon just had to end. Tawd was a follower…he’d always been, and had always been pretty calm about the whole affair of faith. It seemed, however, that no measure of subtle hints and his attempts to steer the conversation anywhere else would work. Even leaving for a bit to relieve himself and coming back with a lame story about some deer didn’t help.

‘Please…please come out soon,’ he thought to himself, wishing the others out from below. Surely they would add some new dimension to the conversation.

Into the mine
 

The priest blissfully carried on his tales of the Host while Tawd braced himself for what he thought would be another long recitation of a story already well known to the miner. But then something was different. It was quiet – too quiet. Thinking he’d missed a nod or another “uh huh”, he quickly glanced up.
Amarack was listening intently and looking up the path. Just then, several goblins shuffled from a bush to a rock to a tree, thinking themselves quite stealthy.
That’s when the priest ‘resumed’ his story, “Dol Arrah wishes you, Tawd, to continue to sit there in a very bored posture and not look over your right shoulder at the pair of goblins infiltrating our food supplies.”
After a combination of intimidation and diplomacy the two groups managed to trade some dried fish for some broken dragon shards, which the goblins called ‘meoluuk’, meaning sparkle splinters.
Feeling much refreshed, the priest offered a quick prayer, stretched and headed back into the mine. “You are a good man, Tawd, thank you for participating in my prayer ritual while I overcame the poisons in my system.”

Into the mine
 

Tawd shook his head slightly, a half-smile drawing across his reddening face.

“Praise and thanks to the Host,” he said quietly.

Into the mine
Lyle

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