Scabs, Chester (the gnomish father/son thief pair), Archon (dwarvish priest) and Renault (the fighter) are sent to investigate one of the natural chimneys leaking smoke from the dungeon under the ruined city of greenwood. Chester has a resist fire spell cast on him, and is lowered into a smokey chimney from which regular clanking and puffing emits. Unfortunately we didn't consider the difficulty of breathing in such a noxious environment and rapidly Chester is overcome by the fumes. He is lowered until the rope (soaked in water before hand) goes slack. After a few minutes of no movement the party pulls him back out. He is a long time in waking up, so the group reunites at the slate hill to further consider options.
The next day our group is approaching full health and we decide to risk heading back into the dungeon via the chimney we escaped out of last time. Jane (illusionist) casts see invisible on Jenks who is lowered into the depths. Almost immediately he spots a duergar sentry, as expected, and prepares to cast charm person......but has to wait until he gets to the floor. The sentry on the other hand powers up his enlarge spell, gaining ogre size, and heads over to club poor Jenks. Initiative is in Jenks favour.......but the Duergar saves. The next couple rounds see Jenks get beat down by the sentry and losing a fair number of spells to miscasts. Eventually the party on the surface heads down and Renault saves Jenks just as he's bashed into negative hitpoints. Thankfully the fountain of Jenks blood has identified the (usually) invisible Sentry, whom is quickly dispatched.
After being revived by Archon the group decides to head to the undead area rather than facing more deurgar. As they enter the Cesspit room with the otuygh they are surprised to see some goblins answering natures call (surprising as they had previously done a fairly thorough job cleaning the vermin out). A brief parley has them provide some highly questionable information that the Duergar are good to visit, and that the necromancer is to the Northwest. They take off to the north muttering death threats when Jenks 'accidentally' drops their exorbitant payment into the cesspool.
Chasing after the goblins the group encounters the floating skull guardian, with it's bevy of objects floating beneath it. Jenks begins casting dispel magic and the spirit attacks. As the fighers block it's advance it unleashes a swarm of magic missles before it is rendered inert by Jenks spell. The objects include some finely wrought items including valuable rings, broach, elvish dagger and bracers. A detect magic spell shows none of magical however. As an aside the GM points out this spirit drains the power to nourish itself....a magic battery of sorts. Hence the toll it demands.
Next door Dan uses a hand drill to create a viewing hole and sees a large pit mines that goblins are working with hobgoblin supervisors. The 2 goblins are ratting the group out to the hobgoblins and we see them grabbing weapons and heading over. Dan times it just right and kicks open the door as the hobgoblins arrive send 4 flying over the edge into the depths below. The party quickly finishes off the few survivors who don't flee into the depths. A large number of iron and silver ingots are found, and not a few pocketed.
We investigate the hallways North of the mine for a bit before locating the forge. Once again Dan uses his drill, but this time he sets off a poison gas trap. He keels over foaming at the mouth.....dead. Jane finishes the hole, views the 2 hobgoblin smiths with a half dozen goblin assistants and tiptoes in. She color sprays the smiths, and the battle is joined. The party is fairly hurt by the end. Jenks and Jane barely alive. Dan is dead. Renault is almost killed by another poison trap on the far door. We decide to barricade the forge closed on both doors and escape up the smoke hole. Jenks is able to shape stone to allow sufficient width for all to escape.
A goblin survivor (surrendered) tells the group the poison trap on the far door protected versus the rat swarms in the next area....further on are some scary sounding fire/lava creatures. The silver and large amount of iron equipment is handed over to the duergar for tribute. Once again we have managed to do something to piss the dark dwarves off.
After our escape we pack Dan's body with virtuous herbs and coverings to attempt to preserve it and head with best speed to Shadowdeep. We end up needing to go to the temple of light and law for raise dead services. The temple is amazingly frustrating....it might as well be called the temple of heavy taxation. Due to the length of time Dan has been dead (2 weeks) the high priest himself must cast the spell. 8000gp are needed as "donation". Despite our pointing out Dans devotion to good and fighting evil and offering to take on quests we can't get a price break. The priest is excellent in pointing out the ways of the gods are mysterious, and if Dan were meant to be denied the afterlife then obviously we would be able to lay our hands on such a large sum. Indeed the goodness of the individual is often seen by the large amount of capital they are able to access. All this pious crud is delivered while the man scratches himself with an ivory and gold backscratcher in an opulently appointed private room drinking expensive and rare brandy.
|Gold is the sign of goodness my son|
We manage to cash in the ruby Dan managed to pillage from one of the Duergar, further denude the compliments treasury, and flog the silver we pillaged. A miracle is performed and Dan returns to life, although he requires 2 weeks recover, and we rent a townhouse for the duration.