Deep in the Nashkel Mines

Aegon’s Troupe have descended into the Nashkel Mines, learning that Kobolds have been poisoning the ore. Their motives, however, remain a mystery. The party goes deeper into the dark, hoping only to find answers in the mines.

24 Kythorn 1368

As we descend, I ask Montaron to keep an eye out for traps. He complains that he isn’t very good with traps, poisoned weapons are more his style. Rose spots a ring on the ground near a human corpse riddled with arrows.

Engraved in it is the name “Joseph”. This must be the husband of the woman we met in Nashkel. He was shot in the back, probably killed as he tried to escape. I guess we will have to deliver the bad news. We ready our shields and press on.

We find minecarts containing more contaminated iron. We are lucky enough to find a Potion of Healing hidden amongst the poisoned ore.

It isn’t long before we start running into kobolds.

We start to take them out before they can get to us.

A kobold guard manages to get close and thrusts its sword toward me.

My Mage Armor is little help as the sword slashes my chest. Montaron sends a bullet whizzing past me and knocks the guard to the ground.

The lizard creatures start filling me with arrows. I am getting close to death.

I retreat to heal myself, leaving the others to deal with the onslaught of kobolds.

A commando appears launching Arrows of Fire, so I attempt to put them to Sleep.

The commando falls before I ready my spell, so I save it for later.

There seems to be no end to these creatures.

We think we have them all, when another charges us from behind. They are trying to flank us!

Thankfully only one of them managed to get behind us, but these caves are infested.

It seems we have them wiped out. For now at least. We heal ourselves up and check the kobolds for anything useful. We find nothing but small trinkets.

As expected, we find more yipping lizards to kill as we delve deeper into the mines.

These give us more trouble, hurting and poisoning Rose.

I put most of them to Sleep.

Finch Slows the poison in Rose’s veins and Emily takes down the guard that poisoned Rose.

With the rest of the kobolds asleep, they are easy to finish off.

Finch heals Rose as she fills the Bag of Holding.

We find yet another group of kobolds. They must be behind the poisoned ores, but why are they here in such great numbers? What are they protecting down here?

I open with a Sleep spell while the others focus their attacks on the leader.

It gets close to Rose again, but dies quickly.

After finishing the rest off, Xzar questions the way Emily chooses to live her life.

Emily: Oh, yes, it’s awful to be a genuinely nice person.

Xzar: Foolish harlot, the world is for those who grasp it. Destruction is the force of right.

Emily: This is why we will never be friends. That and your grating mood.

I get it Emily. I don’t like mad wizards either, though Xzar is surprisingly stable for a necromancer.

Around the next corner we spot something strange: Duergar. I know they live underground but I didn’t realise we were that far under. Or are they coming to the surface?

I have another of my visions, vivid as always. We approach the duergar and they surround us. We put up a fight, but they wear us down until they pick us off one by one. I suggest to the others we take a different approach.

We move around the caves, spotting them from different angles. Two clerics, a fighter. Before we can make a plan, another warrior spots us and readies his war hammer.

Aegon: Why is everyone after me? Now I have dirty duergar dwarves hunting me down!

Gorken Bloodaxe: Dirty duergar! I would ‘ave killed ye fer the money only, now we’s gonna kill yer fer the sheer pleasure of it!

Rose brings her spear to bear. Emily loads her crossbow with poisonous Bolts of Biting. Montaron downs an Oil of Speed as the rest of us ready our magic.

Xzar’s drains the duergar’s health, then starts throwing daggers.

I hit him hard with my Magic Missiles. While he is distracted Rose drinks a Potion of Heroism to help her in the fight.

The deep dwarf is poisoned by Emily, while Finch Blesses us.

The duergar calls for help as he smashes Rose with his war hammer. A duergar warrior charges down the mineshaft behind him.

Finch rushes in to heal Rose and I send him some more Magic Missiles.

Finch falls back after healing Rose. Rose takes another blow from the axe, but manages to skewer the deurgar’s leader with her spear.

Xzar tries to Spook the second fighter, but to no effect.

My attempt to Hold him is just as effectless.

The clerics have spotted us now, so I attempt to Silence them.

Montaron tries to charm the fighter with his Ring of Human Influence. I guess it only works well on humans.

The duergar cleric manages to Silence us just as I finish casting my own Silence. They prove more resistant to the spell than we do.

The fighter is heavily wounded and goes berserk, as the second cleric comes around the corner behind us.

We fall back to a better position. Rose keeps the fighter busy as we start launching our missiles at one of the priests.

The cleric is poisoned, and tries to retreat.

Rose impales another fighter and the remaining priest starts swinging their weapon at her.

The fleeing priest succumbs to poison. Only one more left now…

It gets wounded and tries to flee, but we have already won this fight.

Amongst their equipment we find 4 Potions of Healing. Rose drinks a couple to restore her health.

The dwarves had plate mail armour, except for the fighter who was wearing full plate. Finch dons one of the plate mails. It fits quite well.

They had small shields for defense as well as helmets. One of the priests had an enchanted medium shield. They aren’t useful to us right now so into the Bag of Holding they go.

They were also armed with enchanted weapons: a war hammer and an axe. The third weapon was more interesting. I recognise it as a morning star named Thorgensons Mace. Emily says she can make use of the weapon, it’s magic is strong enough to replace her lack of skill.

Their leader’s body lays further down the mine shaft. Rose approaches it to see what equipment the duergar was carrying. She finds 5 more Potions of Healing, 4 Oils of Speed, and a Potion of Fire Giant Strength.

The duergar’s armour is something else. The enchanted plate mail of a dwarven king. Somehow Emily fits herself into this armour.

He also carries the axe of the same king, another powerful artefact. Emily tries it out, but she prefers the mace so we stash it in the Bag of Holding.

We continue down the mineshaft and we hear the screaming of another duergar. We didn’t get all of them!

Emily is poisoned, and two skeletons march around the corner. The clerics must have summoned them!

I managed to turn one of the skeletons, and we engage the other.

I also get hit with a poisonous arrow. Emily and I start drinking Potions of Healing to keep ourselves alive.

Emily charges the thief as the rest of us try to destroy the skeleton.

The thief is crushed by Emily’s new mace and turns back to help us with the skeleton.

It is destroyed by Montaron. The poison wears off on both myself and Emily. I drink another Potion of Healing to restore myself.

Our experience with the thief brings out Emily’s feelings toward Montaron.

Montaron: Shut it and keep your distance, goody archer. Your only use to the party is a packmule.

Emily: That’s a good way to speak to not make friends, Montaron.

Montaron: Just leave me be, unless you want trouble.

I politely suggest that Emily checks the corpse of the duergar thief so we can move on. The skeleton I turned returns before she can do so.

Montaron saves her life with a bullet.

The thief has some more Bolts of Biting, as well as an enchanted light crossbow. Emily and Rose both prefer their heavy crossbows, as they pack more of a punch.

The deep dwarf was wearing some enchanted studded leather. Montaron says that it should fit him and that he deserves it for saving her life. Emily reluctantly hands it over.

It isn’t long after this encounter that we find ourselves face to face with kobolds again.

Only one this time?

Of course not.

We kill a couple, then end up fleeing from a commando’s flame arrows.

Emily holds them back as the rest of us support her.

She cuts down the kobold and readies her crossbow.

Rose takes out the commando.

As we loot the bodies we find more of the lizards.

These ones don’t give us too much trouble.

We find the usual coins and gems on their corpses, but nothing too interesting.

We come to a large chasm with a stone bridge spanning across it. Wind howls through the tunnels here. It would almost seem like a natural feature, were it not for the smooth flat surface.

Of course, the bridge is guarded.

Emily kills one of the commandos instantly.

After the second goes down, their minions are easily picked off.

We are about to cross the bridge to check the bodies when Montaron yells at us to stop. He says there are traps on the bridge.

He says he can try to disarm the traps, but as he moves closer another kobold archer spots us.

We pull back away from the trap, but the kobold must know about them as well. They probably put them here themselves, kobolds are known for using them.

Montaron manages to disarm the trap, but he says there is another one.

He disarms the second trap, and hurls a stone at the kobold, killing it instantly.

Montaron insists on checking the rest of the bridge for traps before we cross. Emily covers him with her crossbow as he does so. They may not like each other, but they work well together.

He gives the all clear and we follow him across. There are more kobolds on the other side.

Rose is poisoned by a Gnome Stikka. Emily throws her last healing potion to her.

Rose keeps getting hurt so she retreats. These kobolds are close to overrunning us.

We manage to kill the sword-wielding kobolds and Emily introduces the archers to her new mace.

She takes one out with it then swings her crossbow at the other and lands a perfect shot.

Rose is badly hurt and we have no healing. We need to be careful. Perhaps we should rest before we continue further into the mines. We decide it would be safer to do so on the surface, and make our way back up. On our way Rose triggers a trap and almost dies.

When we reach the surface we check in with Emerson.

We set up camp and Montaron sets up cooking gear by the fire. He gets annoyed when I approach him.

Aegon: I must admit that you surprise me. Cooking isn’t a talent I’d have associated with someone of your temperament.

Montaron: I likes eatin’ and I don’t trust none other wit’ me stummick, is all.

Aegon: Hmmm. Reserving to yourself the rights to nightshade distribution, I suppose?

Montaron: As they’s only the one cookin’ pot and it’s all-share-all, I’d suffer it, too, which me stummick’d mislike. ‘Sides, if I had somethin’ like that in mind, ye’d know of it long ‘fore dinner time.

Aegon: So you have the knowledge of poisons, then.

Montaron: If’n I didn’t, I’d be a fool… or dead, more like. But ye needn’t be worryin’. None o’ ye’re worth such slickery out here.

Aegon: You sound as though you don’t approve.

Montaron: Well, if they’s *no* other way… but I never knew a feller as used ’em regular, what didn’t get sloppy in his habits and neglectful o’ his skills.

Maybe I should talk to Emily anyway, just in case. I still have a Slow Poison memorised either way.

25 Kythorn 1368

We awaken in the middle of the night. I prepare my Mage Armor, while Finch heals Rose.

Refreshed we turn to the entrance again. It’s time for a second expedition. Time to see what really lies beneath these cursed mines.

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