After finding and defeating Mulahey, the half-orc behind the poisoning of the Nashel Mines, the Troupe now makes their way out of the mines. Hoping to find another way out, they make their way through the kobold tunnels that were used to infiltrate the mines.
25 Kythorn 1368
As soon as we leave Mulahey’s lair, we find a kobold fleeing through the tunnels.
Azzik: Nobody knows that I have iron! Iron, yessss, cunning Azzik! Will sell it and get rich!
What?! Who’s there?! Azzik smells someone! Come out, now! Azzik has his magic bow!
Emily impales it on a crossbow bolt before it can ready his magic bow.
We take the magic bow that couldn’t save it. It has a simple enchantment.
Searching the corpse we find that it did indeed have an untainted lump of iron. They might have use for this at the Thunderhammer Smithy.
While we search the corpse, Xan takes a moment to appreciate the return of his Moonblade.
Xan: Are we waiting for more of Mulahey’s cronies to come along? Let us be away from these gruesome caves…
He’s right, we need to start moving. If the kobolds dug these tunnels there’s probably another way out. Emily leads the way as we follow the cavern around the underground lake.
As we follow the path we come across one of Mur’Neth’s kin. It must have been hunting kobolds. Now, it sees us as a potential meal.
It is easily destroyed with a few well placed missiles. I wonder what Mur’Neth thinks of us taking out another ooze.
We find a second ooze. It is just as easy to destroy.
At the end of the tunnel we see light. We climb through the tunnels, small as they are. They were built for kobolds who are small creatures, but Mulahey must have made it down here somehow so we press on. Eventually we come to an entrance and we see the sun once again.
Aegon: Wait a minute. There were oozes in there that attacked us, even though we were with you! Why?
Mur’Neth: These are lesser creatures, not possessed by intellect. They saw us as food and tried to consume us. Although they too are Ghuanadaur’s servants, they are largely mindless.
And as we prevailed, clearly such was Ghuanadaur’s will…
Aegon: Well, you’d have thought your deity would take more care. Anyway, let’s move.
As we take in our surroundings, Xan expresses concerns about the future.
Aegon: What isn’t going to end well?
Xan: An unexperienced young adventurer turns up, and I am offering him my services. At the time, it seemed natural, but… Seldarine, don’t you see it? We are doomed.
We’re facing a war, and your crown achievement so far has been dispatching a pack of kobolds. I must have gone mad.
Aegon: We liberated the mine. We saved you. And we are still alive.
Xan: Yes, but.
You are still young, Aegon. Painfully so. Literally painfully so – my latest injuries are still sore. And you are going to stop the iron crisis – to stop the war?
Aegon: With the help of my companions. With your help.
Xan: Very well. On your head be it.
Despite his sword and his magic, his gloomy outlook belies a lack of confidence. Let us hope it doesn’t get us killed.
We move through the valley and find a pack of wild dogs. At least we thought they were wild. It turns out they are trained war dogs.
One becomes aggressive, but when it is killed the other dogs flee.
Later one of the dogs tries to get its revenge. It doesn’t go well for the dog.
To the south we find a tunnel into the rocks, with a group of skeletons guarding it.
We destroy one almost immediately. Cat rushes in to distract them while Finch attempts to turn them.
Fighting like this, the skeletons are easily destroyed.
As soon as the last one falls we are approached by rather excited elf.
Xan: I like the sound of it not at all! Aegon, if I were a leader of this tragically weak company, I would have quoted a previous engagement to get us out of witnessing and, Corellon forbid, participating in any kind of experiments set by mad mages.
He has a point. We’ve encountered our fair share of insane wizards on the Sword Coast. Still…
Aegon: What kind of experiment are you attempting?
Narcillicus Harwilliger Neen: I believe I have developed a spell to empathically control any gelatinous creature and bend it to your will. Slimes, jellies, oozes, all of these things that foul the cook’s cellar and the adventurer’s dungeon can now be controlled and eradicated with an ease and efficacy never before seen in the history of the realms. It takes an entire hour to gain such control, but that time will be minimized with further experimentation, I am sure. In moments, that hour will be up for a small number of mustard jellies that I have released into the nearby woods. We shall soon bear witness to the results of my endeavor.
The master will be delighted when he hears of my progress!
Xan was right. Another mad and dangerous wizard.
Aegon: Are you mad, experimenting on creatures and then releasing them into the wild before witnessing the spell’s true effect?!
Narcillicus Harwilliger Neen: Rest your fears. I prepared thoroughly for the casting and could not have made a single mistake, unless… oh my… The wording… the wording, I got it wrong! Rather than controlling them, I fear I have transformed them into a far greater menace: the dreaded green slime. Stay and fight them if you will but, whatever you do, do not let them touch you!
Xan: This… does not fill me with confidence, au contraire… O, Corellon, but the stench of it… and the appearance…
I think I am going to be sick.
Narcillicus Harwilliger Neen: Behold!
Don’t let them touch you… I order Cat to fall back as we raise our weapons.
Our weapons do no damage to the slimes. Emily draws Mirthal and charges them.
I summon some gibberlings to help her fight. Rose sings songs of encouragement.
With the slimes distracted, we draw our melee weapons and charge. One of the green slimes is cut to pieces.
We cut through the rest with ease.
The mad mage fled while we took care of the slimes. He spoke of a master. Is there another pulling the strings on the mages in the area? Could they also be connected to the bandits and the mines?
We return to the cave that was guarded by the skeletons. Finch and I raise our holy symbols as we enter the structure.
The stench in this place is nauseating. These ghasts must have been here a long time. Emily holds them at bay, while the rest of us attack with our ranged weapons.
One of the ghasts moves behind Emily and attacks Mur’Neth. He switches to his dagger.
Finch turns one of the ghasts, but it claws Emily in the back before it moves away.
Finch turns another ghast, leaving us with only one to fight for now.
It tears chunks into Emily, but eventually falls to Mur’Neth’s crossbow.
Finch forces them to the back of the crypt with her turning. We stay at range and use them for target practice.
They are slain, but the stench remains here. We find some gold and necklaces on the corpses. I ask Cat and Mur’Neth to check the tomb for traps.
They say it looks safe, so Emily checks the tombs for any treasures.
One of the tombs contains some enchanted chain mail a Potion of Frost Giant Strength, and some arrows we can’t identify.
The second contains a greenstone ring, though this one doesn’t bear the name Joseph.
The last tomb contains a necklace and a ring. I can sense they are magical in nature, but I cannot identify their enchantments.
We leave the tomb and it’s stench. A strong wind has picked up and it is raining heavily now. A blessing in disguise, clearing away any latent smells from the ghasts.
As we wander the valley, Xan expresses his frustrations.
Aegon: Just like one enjoys other activities, I suppose.
Xan: You know what I mean. My hair is dirty. My throat is dry. My clothes are… well, let’s not dwell here.
Not that I can’t survive without comfort, but is a bath and a bed every night too much to ask?
Aegon: What do you suggest?
Xan: Ah. That’s the hard part.
They say that complaining about something brings people together much faster. Whether newly met allies, or close friends after a quarrel, or…
But never mind. I see that I have failed miserably.
Was he… trying to make a connection? Did he fail, or did I? My summoned gibberling returns to the Weave as we move onward.
Within the valleys we come across a small group of gnolls. They don’t smell as bad as the ghasts, and should die easier.
The battle is swift. We are used to fighting these things now.
Unfortunately we are to face a much tougher battle. Emily spots it and tells us to stop. I can’t see what she’s looking at. Then I hear the scraping of chitin and see the antennae squirming out of the ground.
A man runs by us, screaming, as the giant green bug emerges from the ground.
Hentold: AHHH! Who are you?! Don’t kill me! Please! I’m so sorry! I’ll give it back, just don’t kill me!
Xan: If I am not mistaken, we are about to be burdened with the accursed bloodied dagger this maniac has in his hands. Take it, Aegon, if you wish to seal our doom. Otherwise let us… just slowly back away from this man.
Aegon: Yeah! You had better… give it back. Right quick too!
Hentold: Here! Take it! Just get out of my dreams so I can rest! I swear I’ll never go grave robbing down there again! Blast the southern sun for leading me there in the first place! I swear I’ll no do it again!
He thrusts the dagger at me as he flees. I let it drop as I turn back to the fight. Emily is in close with Mirthal.
It bites her in half.
Rose distracts it with her spear, and Cat manages to leap on its back and sever its neck.
Emily is dead. We need to get out of this valley and back to Nashkel so we can revive her now. Xan gathers her things to hold onto for now.
I look at the dagger Hentold gave me. It is magical, but I cannot see what it does. Something tells me we should return the dagger before we leave the valley.
Rose says we should take the Ankheg’s carapace. it can be a useful material in the right hands, an at least Emily won’t have died for naught.
The frightened man was a grave robber. Perhaps there is a tomb nearby. The rain turns into a thunder storm as we search. I can understand why Xan is complaining. Through the storm we find the tomb.
We go inside…
An animated corpse lurches toward us. It starts to moan, and that moan turns into speech.
Aegon: Take the dagger and leave us alone, cursed undead!
Revenant: At last… the dagger…
It takes the dagger in its hand, which turns to dust. The revenant starts to scream as it falls apart and is no more.
Xan thinks this is ample opportunity to talk about his own weapon.
Aegon: All right. Xan, why does a mage carry a sword around?
Xan: I knew that I would have no peace until I explained it to everyone. That, no doubt, will make my throat sore, and a mage with a sore throat is a dead mage…
Aegon: Go on, Xan. Tell me about your sword.
Xan: The sword is one of the Moonblades, given to the elves by the Seldarine. These sentinel weapons bond themselves to their wielders, no matter if they walk the path of a fighter, or the path of a sage. Moonblades belong to chosen leaders among the Elves, those who can protect the Elvendom from goblins, orcs, drow and our other ancient enemies.
They are passed from a worthy person to a worthy person in a family, and no man or woman of unclean spirit can wield one. The blade will kill a corrupted owner who misused its power.
Aegon: So, the Moonblades choose heroes worthy to wield it? You are maybe a walking and talking collection of lamentations, but your heart must be noble and pure, then. I am honored to have you as my companion.
Xan: You are a man of honor and some leadership skill. Be our circumstances not quite so grave, I would have forecast that our fellowship is bound to survive for at least a fortnight.
Both Cat and Mur’Neth give the all clear, so Rose checks to see what Hentold left behind. Rose finds some coins and a Potion of Invisibility.
There is also a magical ring that I can’t identify. In a second tomb she finds more gold and a Potion of Freedom.
We leave the tomb and make our way back toward Nashkel. Along the way we find another tomb guarded by skeletons.
Finch turns the skeletons and they retreat into the valley.
She tells us they will be back. We chase some of them down and destroy them.
We take the opportunity to enter the tomb while they are gone. This one is small, occupied by a single ghoul. It attacks and hurts Mur’Neth, but its nature as an ooze protects it from any harm.
Cat kills the ghoul while it is distracted by the ooze.
There isn’t much in this tomb except for some coins. Perhaps Hentold has been here already.
We leave and continue on our way out of this valley of tombs. There isn’t much left in the valley except for some wandering packs of dogs.
We will make our way back to Nashkel so we can resurrect Emily, and tell the mayor what we have discovered about the mines.