The party spent a stressful six hours resting the old barracks structure on the west shelf of the first large cavern in the Crethblaine mines, trying to sleep over the sounds of construction from the opposite shelf; their pursuers were preparing for a long wait. When Orlov poked his head through the door, it was nearly shot off by archers behind protective barricades on the opposite shelf. What’s more, a mine cart had mysteriously positioned itself near the barracks door, right by the edge of the cliff. Orlov considered jumping in the shelf, but it’s well he didn’t; when he and Brandr used a broken table as mobile cover to approach the cart, a tiny fat man with wings popped his head out, psychically blasted Brandr, and pushed the cart over the edge of the cliff. Had Orlov been inside, he would have surely been killed by the fall.
As it happened, Brandr was wounded and dazed by the attack, and the pair struggled to retreat to the safety of a deeper tunnel. After an exchange of psychic fire with the man-thing, in which Orlov’s mental defenses proved too strong to overcome, the pair managed to retreat with only minor injuries from arrow fire across the way. They could hear the half-elf apprentice’s frustrated command to cease fire from the darkness within the tunnel.
Xanros, who had invisibly moved to safety during the shooting, lit a sunstick, and the party found themselves in another mined out set of tunnels. Continuing deeper into the mine, they discovered a dead dwarf and a riding lizard. After dealling with the scavengers feasting on the unexpected meal, they discovered that the dwarf bore an unfamiliar seal, but was almost certainly an assimilated dwarf from Cymria. The riding lizard was mostly eaten by rats, but its tackle was mysteriously absent, even though the dwarf’s equipment was untouched. Orlov took the dwarf’s cloak of distortion, but packed it away for safekeeping until they could learn more about the item’s owner. Brandr and Xanros took the dwarf’s adventuring kit, waraxe and shield (both of which bore the unfamiliar seal), then helped Orlov create a rough stone cairn for the dwarf; a gesture of respect in the absence of the ability to provide a proper cremation.
Moving on, the party came to another large vault, split by a cliff face running through the middle. Here, human construction gave way to dwarven, as evidence by a well built mine cart, crane, and split stairway. Orlov lit another sunstick and threw it to the cavern floor below, trying to get a better look. He did. A colony of stirges swarmed in reaction to the light, and began a diving attack on the party below, who must now defend themselves against this new threat.
XP: 342 each
- An adventurer’s kit
- A dwarven waraxe
- A heavy steel shield
- 20 crossbow bolts
- A cloak of distortion +1