Having dealt with the strange giant worm that attacked us we regrouped and checked out the entrance to the mine. It didn’t take long to realize that the mine entrance had been recently excavated again. What surprised me was whatever type of trap someone had set so that when we had entered no more than 15 feet into the shaft a flash of light burst out and the roof collapsed upon me. I knew that all I needed to do was lay still and conserve my strength, I just hoped my companions knew they needed to dig me out. Lucky for me they did, but now our way was blocked, so we quickly made our way down the wormhole instead, and to what we were assuming was a lower portion of the mines.
After setting pitons and rope into the walls of the descending tunnels so that we could escape later if needed, we quickly checked out the first chamber. Not much to it. It looked mostly like the worm had carved out this large chamber. There were only two things of note, a ledge about 30 feet high to the west and a hallway leading to the south. I was pretty sure that the ledge to the west would lead us closer to the main entrance above so we began our ascent of that. Unfortunately along the way we discovered that while we ascended this section of naturally occurring terraces we had to contend with what I believe were Piercers. I had heard stories of this strange creatures from old miners, but never truly believed them. Who could think that some creature could look so much like a stalactite and cling to the cavern ceilings, dropping themselves upon hapless victims below. Well, there are creatures like that, and I despise the damned things. The worst part was to find out that when we finally got past the area of piercer infestation we discovered that the next giant cavern was infested with albino crickets the size of sheep, as well as thousands bats. Lots of bats. Worse than the bats was the guano that covered the floor. It was at least a foot thick and deeper in other places. Finding nothing of interest we also noticed a large ten-foot long leathery sack hanging from the ceiling. We had significant doubts about this chamber, and Jacare decided that we should skirt along the edge of the massive chamber in order to check out the hallway to the south, but we soon discovered the passage was blocked by an old cave-in. We had to return to the bottom of the thirty-foot cliff we has ascended earlier.
I’ve seen a lot of interesting mines and different doors and locks to keep their treasures within, but the dwarven door that barred our entrance in the next hallway stumped even me. The name of dwarven kings were engraved on the door, and it seemed you could depress any combination of 1 letter from each of the names of 6 different kings. After several of our members bantered about as to what words to try they started pressing buttons and trying to get it open. They just kept pressing buttons and trying words. Words, buttons, buttons, words, aarghgh, just let me smash the damned thing!
“UNLOCK”, why didn’t I think of that. Finally we gained entrance into a small room, no more than 30 foot by 30 foot. Within the room was a carved throne with an old dusty skeleton sitting upon it. It’s when the skeleton turned to us and asked, “Why have you come?”, that I shook my head and began to unsheathe my sword. But no one attacked. Jacare began to parley with the creature. They bantered for a while, I must admit I lost interest in the conversation and began inspecting the stone work of the doorway again. When I looked back I saw Benus kneeling before the skeleton and a beam of some sort of energy shoot out from the skeletons hand, hitting Benus squarely in the chest. And then Benus simply vanished, a pile of dust settling to the floor where he once stood. Jacare was enraged and he charged in to attack the skeleton. Before I could join him the skeleton said something else about a griffin and a hippopotamus on fire, and just as quickly a large secret door opened up on the south side of the room and a green dragon appeared, stuffed into the small area. Then it burst out and charged us!
I don’t like dragons breathing acid on me, and I really don’t like dragons spitting gas clouds into small rooms and mine shafts that I am in. Apparently neither does anyone else because I have not seen my companions charge in and take down enemies as quickly as we just did. Perhaps the sudden loss of Benus had enraged them all. But it didn’t take long and we stood victorious over a large dead dragon, and skeletal pile of bones. There was also a pile of treasure that we could now see to the east, behind a now open secret panel. And shockingly enough, Benus. He came out of a passage that was hidden behind the stone throne, intact and unhurt. What an odd mine this was proving to be. Regardless, we decided this was a good place to get a good amount of rest, so we set up watch and I went to sleep.
What a terrible night. Nothing happened. It was actually quite eerily quiet. It was the feeling of unease that started to creep into my bones throughout the night. And then the nightmares. I haven’t had nightmares since I was a kid. Worse yet I felt horrible. It’s as if I hadn’t even slept, worse it’s as if I had marched for 3 days, eaten maggoty bread and then got stuck on latrine duty for the rest of the night. By the looks of my companions, they felt the same. What in the world is going on in this mysterious mine?…