Note: Boots's player is once again on a month long work excursion, so... let's say Boots is just studying in the dwarven study or somethin'...
* * *
Our brave adventurers then headed out of the doorway past the dead shrieker and back into the great forge hall. They crossed the expansive chamber and through the double doors on the east wall. These doors opened into a long corridor lined with doors (3 on the north, 2 on the south) and ending in a set of double doors.
Sitting in front of the doors at the far end of the corridor was a strange contraption of kobold-make: a frame of wood and iron holding several tubes of iron, with several leather bellows' at the rear, and copper wires running down into the floor—obviously a devious trap of some sort.
So Audrey and Grabby immediately stepped into the hall.
This immediately caused the contraption to shudder and a bellows compress, launching a dart at Audrey, striking her in the arm and causing her to become poisoned. At this point they decided to be more cautious. Taking Broak's shield for cover, Grabby dashed down the hall towards the strange device, with the occasional dart flying out to harmlessly hit the shield. Once behind the device he set about dismantling it, only to discover all of its ammunition had been fired.
With the hall now safe, the rest of the group moved in and they began systematically checking the doors for traps and seeing what lay on the other side. The 3 doors to the north led to the remains of ancient dwarf dormitories containing nothing of value.
The first door to the south was another dormitory, but this one was the resting place for several dwarf corpses. Broak said a little prayer.
The final door led to yet another dormitory, but this one had been mostly cleared of debris. In the center of the floor, drawn with soot, was a large dragon skull encircled by several unlit candles. On the south wall the kobolds had also drawn an image of a dragon in a strange and alien-looking city-scape in a mixture of soot and dried blood. The party couldn't make anything of it. Partly because of the crudeness of the drawings, partly because of bad rolls.
Not seeing anything of value, they decided to press on towards the double doors to the east. At this point Grabby stayed behind in the room and drew mustaches on the two dragon images with
his Ander's chalk when everyone had left.
Grabby caught up with the others as they entered the room beyond the double doors. Here they found the mine's mess hall and kitchen. A small compliment of iron cookware was scattered about (obviously used by the kobolds) and in the center of the room was a small cooking pit, with two giant rats on spits cooking over red hot coals. Doors to the north and south led out of the room.
Beyond the doors to the south the sound of kobolds could be heard, but it sounded as if they were attempting to be quiet. The group moved into position and Audrey moved to open the door... Before she could get any closer a door swung open and a she-kobold leapt out brandishing a cleaver, waving wildly at Audrey.
She quickly dispatched the creature and moved into the room. Within they found a cask room filled with broken and smashed ale casks. In one corner another she-kobold stood in front of a huddled group of 4 kobold whelps. Ander quickly notched an arrow and struck the she-kobold in the neck, killing her outright in front of the (kobold) children.
Not wanting to kill the whelps (and Grabby not being pleased with Ander's willingness to kill them) Audrey and Grabby moved in to try and subdue the whelps by grappling them with bedrolls. Naturally the creatures would have none of it, and carried on quite loudly, which of course atracted more kobolds to the area. Soon 3 kobold warriors were entering the room through holes in the walls.
The party managed to fend off the small attack force, killing 2 of the kobolds, but not before Audrey fell to a few well coordinated attacks from the kobolds. Bloo the war dog rushed in to subdue a kobold whelp (but wound up snapping its neck) and Broak grabbed a whelp with his shield hand while Grabby escaped the melee to the mess hall with Ander after seeing Audrey fall unconscious.
The last kobold warrior scurried off back into his tunnel seeing he was outmatched, with 2 of the whelps following soon after. Broak, still holding the screaming, clawing whelp, let it go as not to draw any further attention to their location.
Rousing Audrey and letting her consume a healing potion, the group moved into the room to the north—the mine's larder. This room was now be used by the kobolds to store their food stuffs: skinned rat carcasses hanging from meat hooks, jars filled with writing worms, and sealed vessels of animal blood. With nothing of interest to be found they moved out of the area and back into the great forge hall, and continues through the last set of double doors in the south-east.
They entered a long, wide hall with a long slope in its middle. A breeze of wilderness air could be felt coming from down the hall, as well as the sound of chain swaying in the breeze.
The ramp seemed to be coated in a thick layer of animal fat—obviously a time-consuming process for the kobolds. This made traversing the ramp down very treacherous. The jagged iron spikes planted at the base of the ramp made it even more treacherous. Helping Grabby move carefully down the ramp with a rope, he attempted to remove a section of the spikes to no avail. This led to Audrey descending the ramp to smash away at the jagged iron with her sledgehammer. Eventually she cleared away a small portion to allow a safer descent down.
At the bottom of the ramp were to statues of Moradin looking over a vast expanse of blackness. A rough-hewn staircase spiraled down to the west into the darkness below as chains dangled from above.
* * *
After a long descent down the party found themselves at the bottom of a deep pit. The ruin of mine carts and equipment lay scattered all about. A large pile of rubble—the remains of smelters—lay to the south of the room. To the west a roughly carved (but well lit) cavern extended to the south and a storage chamber for equipment lay to the north.
The storage room held nothing but the long dead remains of 20 or so dwarves.
The party carefully made their way down the cavern hall to the west, coming across an opening that they could see several kobolds within, and hear even more around the corner. They decided to try and sneak past, but they had a noisy dwarf in chain mail with them...