Rose 11, 2721 – 3:00pm
At the news of missing children, Meldiriel, Valadria, and Dernham quickly offered their help in finding the child. Encouraged by this, the town leaders began splitting the town into search parties, quickly deciding to come back later to discuss the sword. Children were far more important. A rolling thunder could be heard in the distance. A storm was brewing.
Content Not Found: sam was assigned to a group searching near the windmill, while the rest of our heroes went to the mine, accompanied by the Constable, Davon Gaskell, and his Deputy, Morton Gimbert. Arriving at the mine, they search the abandoned buildings outside, but it was quickly apparent they were empty. As they approached the entrance to the mine, it began to rain. It began lightly, but soon became quite heavy. The group moved into the mine to look for clues.
Soon after entering, it became apparent to everyone that Tibbers would much prefer to be out in the rain than in a muddy, enclosed space. Secretly agreeing, Valadria instructed Tibbers to wait for them outside the mine. Tibbers left happily.
Valadria, Dernham and Meldiriel discovered a room full of molding straw and rotten stacks of bags and barrels. Dernham thought it must be the old stable for the ponies. Meldirel opened a cask of wine turned vinegar, and Valadria got a face full of moldy oats when a bag ripped open. Dernham thought better about about perusing.
Meanwhile, Traben went around the corner and found a room sporting an iron vault. This was likely where the gold bars were stored after they were smelted. stepping inside to take a closer look, he discovered a recently burned candle and a disturbing message etched in the floor.
P + J
Realizing this explained why the kids were missing, he went back to the group to show them what he found. The constable and deputy asked them to keep looking, while they were going to collect the other search parties and bring them here. Now alone, our heroes continued deeper into the mine.
Rose 11, 2721 – 5:00pm
A little way farther into the mine they found a split in the cart path. the path to the left continued an a normal incline, but the path to the right became very steep. Traben noticed the track was set to direct carts to the right. After backtracking a bit, he noticed marks in front of a blocked up cart, as well as another set of blocks, that suggested there had been another cart in front of it. As it was not here, it must be deeper in the mines. The logical choice was to follow the path to the right.
After another 80 ft or so, they came to a large, square shape vertical shaft. The cart path ended abruptly at the shaft, and the missing cart was there, hanging precariously. To the right, a circular room house a large wheel with places for men or ponies to spin the large wheel. The wheel was connected to a chain moving along the floor and into the wall in the direction of the shaft. Traben realized it must be a lift or elevator of some sort.
Suddenly, a grisly figure rose out of the floor. The semi-transparent man was dressed in traveller’s garb, but his face was contortus in a rictus grin, and a ghastly slash went across his throat from ear to ear. He gave a soft, but frightful moan and pointed at the floor. After a moments hesitation, Meldiriel inspected the cart, thinking there might be something in it, but it was empty. Dernham suggested there could be a body at the bottom of the shaft, belonging to this poor shade. After a few moments, the ghost drifted silently into the floor, and the mine became as silent as it was before.
Deciding that the alternate path could contain a way to the bottom that didn’t involve a vertical drop of unknown height, they decided to investigate the path to the left. After only a few feet, they came to a mined out room sporting the end of the cart track and two frenzied hobgoblins. Meldiriel tried to negotiate with them, but they seemed scared out of their minds. A minute later, the hobgoblins lay dead, and Valadria and Meldiriel were tending to the minor wounds of the party.
Moving back to the shaft, Valadria magically gave the group the ability to climb on any surface, just like a spider. Removing their gloves and boots, they began their long descent into the depths.
Rose 11, 2721 – 6:30pm
After 150 foot climb, they reached the bottom of the shaft, which was flooded. The water was cool, murky, and about knee deep for all but Traben, who was up to his waist. A single opening led away from the shaft.
As she moved to the opening, Meldiriel nearly fell over something in the water. Kneeling to find out what it was, she lifted a badly decomposed body from the water. Valadria started feeling sick. The body beared a stark resemblance to the grisly specter they met earlier. After searching the body and the water around him, they found his badge of office, marking him as a tax collector from the capital city, Saragost. Deciding to come back to bury him later, Valadria cast a spell to slow further decay, and Meldiriel held onto the badge.
As they advanced further down the path, the water got substantially deeper, so that Traben was riding on Durham’s shoulders, and the water was up around everyone’s chest. Soon after, the passage widened, with a small outcropping that was above the water. On this outcropping, there were 3 Hobgoblins as well as a small boy who was hog-tied and gagged. The hobgoblins already had their swords drawn and from the looks on their faces, knew they had the high ground.
“I am Talks-With-Fists”, the largest Hobgoblin began. “We will give you back the human boys only if you bring us gold. Let’s say about,” the hobgoblin made a face as if he were imagining the largest number he could, "2000 gold.
Traben, still riding on Dernham’s shoulders, asked, “Where is the other boy?”
“He is further in the mine with the rest of my men.” Traben did not believe him, and said so.
After some further conversation, the group told the hobgoblins that Traben and Meldiriel would go back to the town and collect the money, while the others stayed to ensure the boys were not harmed. However, after helping Traben back to the shaft, Meldiriel crept back to behind the group, out of sight of the hobgoblins.
Traben climbed the chain to the top of the shaft with relative ease, but at the top, he felt like he had forgotten just how far away the edge was from the chain. He leapt for it, came up short, but managed to catch the mine-cart hanging precariously over the edge. Though it wobbled ominously, Traben was able to pull himself to safety.
Going outside the mine, he met the villagers waiting for news. After recounting his story (including the tax collectors body) to the mayor, priest, and some others nearby, the mayor decided to start a collection from among the town. The leaders went about starting this process, leaving Traben to ponder if he should have revealed the body at this point.
Meanwhile, Meldiriel was trying to decide what to do. Deciding a frontal assault was too much risk, she look at the water. Murky as it was with sill, she should be able to swim under the surface without being noticed. She submerged herself and swam. When she surfaced, she found herself past where the hobgoblins were out of their sight. Though her friends heard and saw her, the hobgoblins remained unaware.
Before her she saw 2 passages, 1 straight ahead, and the other to the right. The small current in the water was definitely moving to the right, and it quickly came to an area that looked weak and cragged. The other also seemed to end quickly, but as Meldiriel got closer, it seemed the path turned down sharply, becoming submerged. She swam into it, keeping her hands on the ceiling, and it rose back up letting her into a room with stale air and absolutely no light. She climbed out of the water and walked slowly forward in the blackness. After only a few steps, she found a wall with a small boy curled up. The boy seemed petrified with fear. Meldiriel knelt to comfort the boy, and though he seemed eager for her company, he was not willing to go anywhere.
Traben and the villagers had managed to put together only 300 gold pieces. Traben was trying to put it in many sacks to make it look like more. While he was working, Father Bronson arrived with a chest with another 400 gold. These were the combined offerings of the village to help pay for the repair of the church. He would rather worship in the rain than lose these 2 boys.
The constable and his deputy would carry the gold down the mine, Traben guiding them. Some men from the village would operate the lift for them. Traben left instructions not to operate the lift for anyone but him or his party. With these ominous words, they decended back into the flooded mine.
Rose 11, 2721 – 8:00 pm
After reaching the bottom of the shaft, Traben and the Constables met up with the rest of the party near the Hobgoblins. The Hobgoblins directed them to place the chest on the dry ground. The other hobgoblins looked ready for a deception, but Talks-with-Fists was only interested in the chest. He opened it and made a show of trying to count it. However, despite the chest only containing a little over 700 Gold, He proudly accepted that it was all here.
Talks-With-Fists said that they could have the boy once he and his men were safely outside the mine with the Gold. Though Dernham put up some resistance, Traben stopped him, know that nearly the whole town was waiting outside. The Constables were to carry the gold up to make the exchange. The hobgoblins entered the water with weapons drawn, holding the boy barely above water. Shortly after the group started heading back towards the lift, a loud crash came from ahead, and a wall of water appeared rushing towards them. The group was quickly overtaken and lost track of where they were in the rushing tide of water.
Meldiriel heard the crash, a rumbling, then another crash, followed by a gurgling from the water in front of her. Eventually, some light came from ahead of her, and her elvish night vision let her see the room she was in. It was a small room, with the only entrance being the rapidly lowering water that she had swam in initially. Deciding to investigate, she magically bolstered Jed’s courage, and instructed him to follow her directions.
They left the room, noticed the light coming from the previously blocked passage to the left, and saw the party, the Hobgoblins, and the Constables slowly getting to their feet, all soaking wet. The Party and Constables drew their weapons, but the Hobgoblins had no weapons to draw, they had been holding them during the rush of water. After a short attempt from the Hobgoblins to flee and grab their weapons, they surrendered. After entrusting the gold and the boys to the Constables and helping them to the lift, Meldiriel and Dernham executed the Hobgoblins.
Dernham and Valadria then began to explore the room they had been washed into. Valadria found a gate leading to a wide staircase that looked as if it might lead to the surface. Dernham found a letter on a nearby podium. The letter was in undercommon, and only he could read it.
Realizing that this was bigger than they could handle, the group decided to go back to the Golden Nugget and explain the letter and the room they found to the mayor. He called a town meeting asking the town what they wanted to do, and the group made several recommendations to flee for the capital. After some back and forth bickering, the mayor took the group aside and offered them horses to go and warn Saragost of the invasion and any other towns they could along the way. Deciding to wait until the morning when they were rested, the group turned in for the night, reflecting on the strange circumstances that put them in the current situation.