We fought and killed the rest of the orcs and the ogre in the mine. It turned out to be a relatively easy fight after all. Having a number of them on the lower levels of the mine to start with made it easier to fight them a few at a time.
Unfortunately, we weren’t done – more were coming down the mineshaft toward us, so we weren’t done fighting for our lives. This time almost a dozen orcs and two more ogres were coming. The orcs were relatively easy to dispatch, but the ogres proved a tougher fight. To make things worse, these were followed by handful of barbarian ogres.
These last four ogres proved to be much tougher than the normal ones. We were hard pressed to fight these off, and in the narrow passage it was hard to get into good positioning with Hado.
Our wizard Winna was out of spells with any range to them and it took her a long time to get back around to where the fight was. Ceri was in a similar position and on her way around the mine to get to the fight at the shaft; she got distracted by some movement on the mine floor.
Just about the time Piper cast her final healing spells for the day, we dispatched all but one ogre. The final one fled back down the shaft, and we let him go. I know tactically it was a mistake, but they were much faster than us, and we were all injured too badly to continue the fight, especially if the ogre was going to summon help.
We decided to flee ourselves – back down the shaft we’d come in by.
To add to our complications, Ceri had found a pit in the mine floor with a prisoner inside. She helped him escape – a dwarf named Dolus is now one of our party. He is thin and sickly looking for a dwarf. He says he was a prisoner for a very long time, maybe even months; he’s not even sure himself how long.
First we grabbed the dwarven weapons and armor off the tables of residium deposit that were laid out in the mine area. There was also a beaker there which Dolus took and drank from. The ale inside turned out to be beneficial and he found himself slightly healed.
Giving a cursory search of the mine area we found barrels of alchemist fire makings. Without proper materials and training to make actual flasks of the stuff, we decided to burn it so it couldn’t be used against us. Everyone else retreated to the tunnel and I made a trail of the stuff leading to the barrels. I set the trail on fire and ran. It made quite the series of explosions.
We shored up the rocks at the opening, hoping the orcs and ogres wouldn’t notice they’d been disturbed. We rested up for a day so Piper, WInna and Ceri could recover spells. Piper still had some healing to do the next day, but not enough to deplete her seriously. We fed our new companion Dolus as much as we could without making him sick.
He donned the breastplate from the mine and Piper gave him her spare magical mace. Too bad we don’t have a shield for him too, but he seems to like the idea of wielding the mace with two hands, so maybe he wouldn’t want a shield anyway.
Dolus told us a little of his tale as well. He’s from a dwarven clan far from this area. He’d been hired as a caravan guard for the same group that Fundin’s uncle was part of. He was there when Fundin’s uncle was slain and the clan axe was taken by the orcs. He actually faced what sounded like the leader of the orcs and an orc wizard during the fight to save the caravan. Apparently, he had been knocked out during the fight. When it was over, he and others had been taken prisoner. Dolus is apparently the last remaining prisoner. He wasn’t clear on what happened to the others, only that he was the last of the group.
The next day, after everyone was rested and ready to go back, we removed the rocks again and peered into utter darkness. The mine was abandoned, the lights all extinguished. We crept out and investigated the area. We could hear sounds coming from down the mine shaft, but were unable to make out exactly what those sounds were or what they meant. The bodies of the fallen orcs and ogres were all gone. We should have searched them before we left, but at the moment we were fleeing the mine area, we hadn’t thought we had the time.
We decided to go up the north tunnel from the mine. This was another blocked shaft like the one we came in by. Dolus seemed to think it might lead into the orc tunnels by another route. We decided to trust his dwarven mountain and tunnel sense. The passage led to some unusual worked stone – even Dolus and Fundin seemed a little confused by its workmanship. Ceri and Piper seemed to think magic might have been used to form the walls here.
As we were exploring, following the tunnel along it’s singular direction, we found what looked like a digging off to the side of the passage. While we were passing it by, a spectre came out of this side tunnel. It reached out and touched Piper. She screamed and turned a little grey in the face for a moment… It actually drained her of life force! She tried to send it back to where it came from, but it resisted the power of Pelor. Piper pulled out the mace she’d found in the tomb and swung it, striking the spectre squarely. Now was it’s turn to scream as it seemed to simply dissipate when the mace hit it. We knew the mace had special powers against undead but this was the first time we’d seen it in real action. Spectacular!
Piper didn’t feel so good, but said she was okay to continue on. We started finding bones of dwarves in the passages too… who they might have been we had no idea. The bones were picked completely clean in every case though. We found another chamber with a dwarf skeleton in it… but the room looked shimmery and wet, like it was underwater. Piper stuck the tip of her mace into it to see if it was actually a wall of water like it looked like. She had to fight to get her mace out of the stuff and then it moved… a entire cube of clear water-like jelly – it tried to engulf Piper and we all ran. As we ran, we peppered it with sling bullets, magic missiles and crossbow bolts, the physical projectiles all flaming thanks to Ceri. The thing finally collapsed into a pile of goo on the floor of the tunnel.
We found a bone scroll case and some 40 gold or so in among the goo. Piper says the scroll inside the case contains ‘detect evil’ and ‘obscuring mist’ spells for clerics. Maybe these will turn out to be useful in the future.