The dying orc’s cry for an alarm, though noticed, didn’t quite work out the way it was intended; hearing the scuffle of battle nearby, Krosh split from the main group into a side chamber to see what the commotion was. It would seem the orc’s back up had already found trouble in a mysterious Elf who’s quick reflexes, bravado and guns were more than enough to keep the enemies at bay. Attempting to assist, Krosh was quickly overwhelmed by a few well place hits, and had to withdraw momentarily to bind his wounds and stop a ferocious bleeding that threatened to leave him dying in an unknown, nondescript piece of land; a tomb of unreknown… no one would ever know of his disappearance.
Not one to let a couple of battle wounds stop him, he was right back in the fray, running full speed to finish the orc who had stuck him good, only to come to a surprise halt, in both his run and trash talking, as he rounded the corner and found his enemy lying in a pool of his own, with bone remnants and gore plastered into the wall behind him.
Having seen the effectiveness of the androgynous elf, the remaining goblins tucked tail and ran into a side passage. Wanting to continue on, but not wanting to leave the party, Krosh decided that he and his newfound companion were better off regrouping to try and heal up some wounds.
Using the last “pilfered” potion of cure light wounds, Krosh was able to get himself well enough to continue on. In this chamber, were the group was successfully able to silence the alarm, the group took quick stock of their surroundings.
In this chamber were four large piles of rubble and rock, no doubt debris from a mining operations that once took part in this immediate area. It didn’t look to have been disturbed in what seemed like ages; as a thick layer of dust had settled, and the air was thick and stale. Off in the distance, faint drums could be heard, but its origin was unknown. Pressing on ahead with Alexander leading the way, the troupe came into another chamber, smaller, with six tables stacked of mined ore. Not quite mithral, but more than silver, this ore was likely the unfinished product that the dwarves would refine into their goods, trade, weapons and armor. This also looked to have been undisturbed, almost as if the various clans of beastmen had no use for such metals.
Slowly working their way forward the group slipped into a narrow corridor with what seemed to be furnaces of varying sizes, the spot where the ore was likely melted into ingots, in preparation for whatever the final shape the ore took before hitting markets. There was a cold feeling to this area. If this was indeed a mine, and part of what looked to be the underbelly of the Halls of the Dwarven Mines, where were the dwarves? The walls were more deliberate in their nature, and less natural. Where the walls before had been almost constructed through natural and/or magical means, these were clearly mineshafts in construction.
As they made their way through the corridor, chiseled into the rock in Dwarven was a warning.
“The mines be cursed.”
The same warning that Blythe, Alexander and Maximillion had seen in their separate travels at what would be a road leading into the “Entrance” up on the surface.
The corridor them opened up into a rather large chamber, where placed on solid rock tables were long 2 × 4 ingots. Heavy as it was, each one looked to weight roughly about 50 pounds. and each table was stacked 6 feet high. This was very clearly the refined product of the smelters from the corridor before. Taking his hand and running it along a length of one of the ingots, revealed decades of dust, and even that quick run, revealed the silvery sheen underneath. It was in this room, that the drums could clearly be heard coming from the next chamber over.
Carefully, Krosh peeked around the corner to find something that wasn’t very common. In this room was a large bonfire, and dancing around the bonfire where untold numbers of goblins, kobolds, and orcs; each race clearly keeping to its own, but no doubt enjoying a festivity of some sort. Stealthily making his way back to the others, to tell them of what he saw, the group quietly managed to move the ingots into a position that would barricade the hallway.
Krosh and Pat, the elf, then went back to look at this strange gathering. With some quick thinking, Krosh fired a couple of the Goblin made arrows into the foray, and yelled out in Goblin a version of “Viva la Revolucion” One of the arrows found its mark in the throat of an orc, and an all scale riot broke out between the three subspecies. Wanting to wait it out, one of the orcs heard the sound of gunpowder. Gathering two of its allies, they made their way through the bloodbath of what was once a party of sorts, and launched an attack. Using guerilla tactics, the group hid behind the barricade, and peppered the attackers. During a run to gather reinforcements, Pat and Krosh were able to pick off two of the runners, with a third finally making it back.
From somewhere in the chaos came a loud voice, strong, sure and well spoken that called for, “Enough.”
After some assurances that they would not be harmed, the group agreed that Krosh and Pat should attempt to parley their way through. There was much discussion as to why these surface dwellers would invade their home unprovoked. Despite an attempt of bravado and flattery by Pat that did nothing, the leader, Cleaver, by name challenged Krosh and Pat to honorable combat.
If they win, Cleaver would answer their questions and allow them to pass through the chamber unharmed, however, wading through a mine full of goblins, kobolds and orcs, after instigating a fight that resulted in deaths of many, was not the most intelligent of decisions. Fail, and they would be cut down where they stood.
Krosh and Pat accepted the challenge. The battle was fierce, surrounded by many creatures, chanting and banging sword to shield against the orange glow coming from the bonfire in the background, and both sides took many vicious hits. A well placed shot by Pat dropped Cleaver to his knees, to which he grinned cockily, calling Krosh and Pat fools.
The stunned silence, deteriorated quickly into an all out brawl when the orcs standing behind Cleaver, finished him off by beheading him, no doubt trying to assume his place as leader of the clans. A quick rummage through his headless body produced a medium size pouch, and the group was able to navigate through the chaos, taking minor hits, but it seemed as though the beastmen wanted nothing to do with the group. Making it to the other side of the chamber, the group managed to get a metal door shut and barred, preventing any would be marauder from following. The sounds of battle, the dead and the dying, could be heard from the other side.