Having procured much information from Gundren Rockseeker, as well as the all-important map, the heroes set out to rescue the dwarf’s brothers, after convincing the miner to stay behind.
Pushing their horses a bit, the pair managed to reach the tunnel leading into the ancient mines by lunchtime. Their first discovery was an unfortunate one; a recently deceased dwarf, apparently one of the Rockseeker brothers murdered by the Black Spider. Face with a tunnel leading northwest and east, the pair decided to go east, Draco taking the lead. In a large cavern with many tunnels leading off of it, the pair had their first encounter with a flock of stirges. Though quickly dealt with, the voracious beasts left the duo tired and in pain, so they decided to rest for a spell. Unfortunately, their rest was interrupted by a trio of wandering skeletons, but once these undead were violently laid to rest, the pair managed to get a peaceful break.
Continuing to follow tunnels heading east, the adventurers pushed past a cloud of poisonous spores released by a carpet of glowing mushrooms, and entered a fantastic cavern, the ceiling glittering from the torchlight. Within this spacious cavern, two masonry buildings had been erected centuries ago, and the walls and floor were scorched with evidence of the spell battle fought equally long ago. The floor was littered with the desiccated remains of the slain combatants.
Finding a hostile wraith inhabiting one building, the pair left the spirit alone, and entered the second building. There, a floating creature with four eyestalks and one central eye greeted them telepathically, and it didn’t take long for the adventurers to realize the creature was an insane guardian. Unable to get the location of the Black Spider from the orb-creature, they returned to the wraith, where it agreed to help them if they slew or drove off the Spectator guarding the Forge of Spells. With more than a bit of regret in their hearts, the pair slew the beast, lugging its corpse to Mormesk the wraith. Upholding his side of the bargain, the wraith informed them where they could find the black spider, as well as rewarding them with the coins and gems from his chest. perusing the magically preserved books, Draco and Joswin found a dwarven tome with a map sewn into the lining, which they also took.
Following Mormesk’s instructions, the pair entered an ancient smelting room, and were immediately set upon by a cackling flameskull and a pair of zombies. Though the fight left the pair blackened and bruised, they successfully slayed the undead.
To be continued…