Into the Mine
While Throp, Gideon, and Edmos set about questioning and trying the captured orcs, Jolly, Gurny, Talathel, Morgrym, and Hödekin became restless. Throp found them guilty beyond question, as did the others, but Throp’s sentence of immediate death by hanging rubbed some of the more liberal and compassionate the wrong way. More debate ensued and with a lifted brow and an ever so slight tilting of the head, Jolly and the others made their way to the mine entrance, ‘Just to have a look.’ Hödekin silently picked the lock with ease, so much so that it caught them by surprise. Well, they couldn’t just leave an unlocked beckoning door closed, so they pushed forward into the dark. Surprisingly the door opened without more than a low muffled groan, so a little scouting was determined to be needed—to plan for an assault later with the rest of the group. However, not far in rattling skeletons made their presence known and before he could stop his instincts, Gurny had dispatched a couple with two thunderous booms in the echoing mine. So much for stealth! “In for a penny, in for a pound,” seemed to be the battle cry for the day, so they pressed on.
Making their way through the twists and turns of this obviously active mine they came across more undead sentries and dispatched them with little difficulty. As if guided from above, at a crossroads they turned left and easily found the den of an evil orc necromancer named Kurjan. Surrounded by a motley group of undead, trolls, dire rats, and zombies, Kurjan held his own for about 24 seconds or so before some of the Eight laid them down for good. Morgrym was hurt pretty bad by the troll, but Jolly’s channeled positive energy laid waste to the undead rather handedly, healed his mates, and allowed Morgrym to dazzle one of the trolls with a mesmerizing rainbow light display that flashed from his dandy axe. When the troll came back to his senses he was being hammered into the ground like a nail. Deader than, actually.
Jolly was quite familiar with this particular mine as his family had worked it for many generations for the Lord of the Keep, but the area that the necromancer had been using was new to him—but seemed altogether old at the same time. It seems that Kurjan had opened up a section of the mine long forgotten. The altar to Wee Jas was still emanating a hum of evil energy as Jolly and Gurny went to work purging the area and rendering the altar broken and remade holy to his deity. The place began to smell more and more like a brewery then a cemetery by the time he got finished and there was no more hum of evil. In thoroughly searching the area and corpses, Hödekin found a note on the dead evil cleric. See the note following this entry.
In searching the scattered notes and items on the dead cleric’s desk, Talathel found 1500gp worth of uncut gems—obvious signs of the activity of this particular mine. Also, Kurjan’s obsession with the dead was abundantly clear from his scattered scrolls and notes as well. As Jolly made his way sanctifying the area and cleansing this newly reopened area of the mine, he discovered, under the cleric’s bed, etched in the stone eons ago, his family crest. Is this mine and its gems rightfully his family’s claim? It would seem so, but he would have to give it some thought. Jolly’s stone sense made it clear that there was much more to discover deeper in the underdark…but, that’s probably a consideration for another day—although the ache and pull of deep dark caverns called to him strongly. “Another day, another day,” he whispered to himself.
When Hödekin and Talathel made their way back outside to the courtyard of the Keep, they find the winter wolves slain with their pelts neatly drying on wooden racks, and their steaks sizzling and grilling on the fire for the slaves. So much for deciding what to do with them. The human slaves were fed and tended to by Jolly’s curative ale and soon sent on their way. The jabbering kobold pleaded with Hödekin to make him his apprentice, but alas the group was known as the Eight not the Nine so he was dismissed back into the wilds with no small glare from Gurny. “Steady, Gurny. Steady,” Hödekin hissed to his friend quietly. Sometimes old habits are hard to break.
Treasure collected by those in the mine include: various practically worthless scimitars, clubs, and rotting bows from the skeletons. Kuran the now dead orc cleric of Wee Jas was carrying a +1 Greataxe, +1 Half Plate, and a wand of magic missle (3rd level) with 15 charges—you could tell just by looking at the charge bar on the side, by the way. Not to mention the 1500gp worth of uncut gems presumably from the mine itself.
In a moment of slight weakness, Gurny feels a bit dirty for butchering the winter wolves and may have taken a tick towards the dark side (+1 dark side point).
Throp had won his case and the sentence was carried out with the remaining orcs swinging from the gallows to the cheers of the freed slaves. The orcs had reported that there was an evil orc cleric in the mine, who rarely left the mine and was consumed with thoughts and deeds of necromancy. They urge that caution should be taken when assaulting his lair. Crows lazily pecked out the eyes of the lolling orcs as a beautiful sky filled the bracing mountain air. It was good day for killing baddies, and Throp was pleased that justice had been done—except for the six charred human bodies found in the burned out building. Opps, sometimes you gotta break some eggs to make an omelet, as the old saying goes.
Upon seeing the note recovered from the mine, Edmos recognized that South Spur most likely was referring to an area in his hometown of Brindinford as there is a week long festival kicking off not many days from now. Talathel could tell from the notes scattered on Kuran’s desk that it appeared an apprentice had indeed left several days prior to the Eight’s arrival with the allotted undead in tow for delivery. The sole surviving kobold slave confirmed that he had not seen Kuran’s underling for several days. He was described as a hunched orc with one eye and a nasty and gassy demeanor. Edmos was very adamant about returning home to protect his family and home town.
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