Cora entered the "Wet Trout" after a disturbing conversation with a man who claimed to be the master of the druids circle in the dale. The evening was starting to turn sour for her. The idea of going off to battle goblins in a mine did not appeal to her nature. She was considering her situation when her companions to be entered the tavern.
Regilaraen was a druid of no small stature among her circle. She was quiet and competent. It sat well with her that the Arch Druid sent her on this task. Destroy the goblins of Durncrag before they ruined the rivers and fouled the lakes with their rough craft. She was not familiar with her companions but the Ranger would be well trusted. After all, they were allies.
Jerimia entered the bar last. He was sent by the ranger Hornfell to assist the Arch Druid in clearing the goblin chieftain from the Durncrag mine. He was the ranger who discovered the incident along with the dwarf cleric Arifal. It made him the logical choice to lead this mission, though he was surprised to find the young druid had been placed in command. He would do his duty.
The three companions met and introduced themselves. It was awkward at first but they soon warmed up to each other, knowing the peril they were walking into. The quest would be brutal though mercifully short. They had but to get to the pass and up into the Durncrag mine, find the chieftain and slay him. What could possibly go wrong?
The journey to Silverstreams pass was swift , Jerimia led the way down the same river valley that he and Arifal had been earlier. The old abandoned homes still sat quiet and empty, the heroes used them for shelter. Pressing on they came towards the pass itself, at the very threshold of the Spine of the World mountains. The pass was quiet, only the sound of the river pouring down the pass was heard.
It was enough for the druid to send Jerimia out to scout. Cora was concerned as well. There concerns were well founded as a goblin ambush was sprung. It would be a short and sharp fight. The Druid Regilaeran cast an entangle that put several of the little beasts out of action. Cora and Jerimia were swift and ruthless in their attacks and the goblins were soon all slain.
Walking through the ruins of goblinkind, the heroes checked them for tribe markings and discovered that these goblins were far from home. It would seem that someone or something had brought them so far for a purpose. It had to be something more sinister than simply pouring mine runoff into a stream. Jerimia was concerned with this. Cora looked bored with the lack of excitement.
Walking through the narrow paths in the foothills, they finally came upon the gates to the Durncrag mines. The entrance was near a cold and fast waterfall with merely a narrow stone bridge leading to its yawning gate. Cautiously they entered. Moving like flitting wraiths they passed down carved corridors. Looking to the right of their path they saw the ice cold river pass by. Somewhere in the heart of this mountain the source of the stream bursts from rock.
They came at last upon a junction with Cora deciding that it was best to turn off from the main corridor. The ground seemed higher and drier the course she chose and Jerimia could not fault her thinking. They pressed on until they came to a large cavern. The cavern seemed only part natural, the rest being cut and carved by miners picks. The room had a great set of double doors on the other end.
They moved cautiously through the chamber and approached the heavy doors. Cora checked for traps and picked the lock, displaying the skills that made her so valuable to Regilaraen to begin with. The druid then took the lead, making a gentle light glow from her hand. The tunnel beyond was more natural than worked save for the rails for mine carts on the ground. She pressed on with her companions following shortly behind.
The corridor seemed to go on forever until they came to a great crevasse where only the rails formed a bridge of wood and iron across the gulf. Quietly they pressed yet again. Hoping that they had still gone quite unnoticed. It was not to be, at halfway across a great cloud of bats erupted from the depths and tried to swarm them off the span. Regilaraen quickly raised her hand to the sky and barked out a simple spell, but it was enough! A mighty shockwave shattered the fragile vermin's ears and caused them to fall back into the abyss. The druid's quick thinking and near as quick actions had saved them from disaster.
They continued across the span until hard ground returned under their feet. The next chamber opened before them to reveal a great delving. Many mine carts and several shacks lay scattered about the cavern. There was indications that a great vein of silver still rested here in the dark. They had little time to marvel at it as need propelled them forward. Driving a grueling pace Jerimia knew it merely a matter of time before the goblins became suspicious of the silence of their sentries.
The corridor they trod at last came to an end in a wide chamber that overlooked yet another abyss. below them they could hear fast moving water and could feel the chill coming up. Looking around they thought at first a dead end, until Cora noticed a ladder going down into the darkness. It appeared that goblins had used this even recently as Jerimia found tracks. The druid considered their options before she decided that they would go down into the abyss.
The climb went on for over 200 feet. until they hit the cold shallow water below. The chill went right to the bone. they followed the current in the dark. Allowing the natural phosphorescence to light their path. It would seem their intuition was correct as up ahead the water though a bit deeper was losing a lot of its force. They entered a large water filled cavern with a massive wooden platform in the center.
On the platform they saw a roaring fire and goblins from the tribe about it. And there in the center the goblin chieftain stood amongst his minions. Their target was now within reach and most of his tribe was away. The heroes slowly crept forward to attack. Jerimia knocked an arrow and prepared to loose as Regilaraen slowly began casting her spell of entanglement. Cora had seemingly disappeared but her companions knew she was merely looking for way to attack from some hidden way.
Taking a deep breath, Jerimia drew and fired. the lead goblin was slain instantly, while the others let out surprised howls as vines and creepers came from nowhere to entangle them. Cora leapt from the shadows and quickly dispatched a goblin archer as her companions rushed to the attack. To his credit the great goblin did not flee, he instead rushed into the fight with his man-bane scimitar. He tried to take Jerimia face to face and for a moment seemed as though he would be a match for the ranger. A swift dagger to the back ended his pretensions and he slumped quietly into death.
Looking around at the now silent cavern Regilaraen realized that now with their quarry slain, the remaining goblins would soon depart. That would do them no good if caught down here in the depths. They fled swiftly back the way they came. Cora's uncanny dungeoneering skills kept them from any harm in the dark corridors and caves of the mine. Once outside it was for Jerimia and Regilaraen to guide them safely back to Easthaven.
All the way back Cora thought of a nice hot spiced rum and warm fire, the trip had been somewhat profitable after all. Regilaraen split off first, headed to the ancient grove where the Arch Druid Bromstead waited for her report. Jerimia went to find the dwarf Arifal to let him know what had occurred. The surly old priest would then carry the word to Dain Stokeley. Things were now in motion that could not be stopped. It was only a matter of time now before the enemy revealed itself. …………..