Once again our noble group was approached by Helissa of the Knightly Conclave. She wanted us to travel to the Lortimere Mines which she believed might have more Deep Pearls, and secure the rights to more Deep Pearls should they be found, or at least the opportunity to purchase more should the miners discover any.
The mines are located in Veluna, a theocracy of Rao the God of Peace. We are told to be discrete, as relationships with Veluna and Furyondy are somewhat strained. Prince Thrommel, King Belvor’s son and heir was betrothed to a Velunese to help strengthen the ties between the nations, but went missing before the marriage could happen. Grumblings in Furyondy point to some in Veluna for maybe not wanting the match as much as their rulers did.
Someone in Veluna requested our aid in the mines. Helissa sent us out after making sure we had enough Luna (Velunese currency) to cover our travel expenses. She tells us to meet a caravan master by the name of Rawlish and also reminds us to be discrete and on our guards.
The trip to Veluna itself is rather boring with nothing of import occurring.
We arrive in a small town, ramshackle buildings and less than prosperous merchants greet us. A quick search of the town leads us to the High Roads Trading Company post. Inside we pose as miners until “Sharp Eye” Jaga decides to mention the name of a fairly well known member of the Knightly Conclave having sent us (Must look into itching powder for his sheets).
The proprietor hurries the other customers out of the building before laying into our party for our lack of discretion. After eventually calming him down, we discover he is our contact Rawlish. He seems distrustful of everyone, including the locals and Helissa (and us by association). He is clearly stressed over a missing caravan that should have delivered Ore from the mines almost a week ago.
As most of us talked with Rawlish about the mines and their import, Cazador decided to get a drink in the local tavern “Chug ’n Lug”. They had a rather dim view of his dark elf parentage and refused him service and after someone took a swing at him he retaliated, laying his foe out in one blow and making sure that his chances of being discrete were destroyed as well. (Need an idea for something worse than itching powder for this)
Cazador fled the bar as the rest of us were heading over. Eventually Neril and Cazador re-enter the bar while Jaga and I remain outside and Ansibelle goes to see a man about a horse (and comes back with a race horse named Beth). Neril manages to work his way into some games of chance as Cazador earns himself a follower by displaying his divine patronage. After confronting his opponent for cheating, Neril had his hand pinned to the table by a dagger as a ghoul attacked from upstairs.
Short work was made of the ghoul, however Ansibelle ran afoul of a horde of rotted zombies! Thankfully her race horse managed to outpace them. Unfortunately the citizens of this town were not so lucky. We quickly dispatch them and while the rest of the group enjoys the fame, I do my best to avoid any adoring fans. (Why Helissa trusts my compatriots to subtlety is beyond me).
The next morning Rawlish sends us off to the mines with a cart and driver. On our way Jaga notices a man following us but keeping his distance (I suppose this has spared him from the itching powder). Jaga and I decide to split up and herd the man between us until we succeed in detaining him. His name is Pratchett and he was a member of the caravan that was lost. He tells us how when it arrived at the mines, a horde of zombies swarmed over it killing almost all of them. He fled into the woods where he became lost. After giving him some meager supplies we sent him back to the town, and in gratitude he made a crude map of the mines for us.
As we arrive at the mines I scouted ahead guarded by Ansibelle and Jaga, before bringing the rest of the group and descending into the mines.
Almost immediately we were beset by a group of six ghouls. Neril smote four in the name of Pelor before they could so much as scream and the other two were quickly dispatched. Further in we came to a door for a staging area, with cots and the like which had been almost completely destroyed. Pausing to catch our breath, we soon continued into the bowls of these blood soaked mines.
Further on we came to a large crevasse, but thanks to some preparation by myself and Neril and some fine marksmanship by Jaga in hitting some boards across the way we soon managed to cross without falling into the deadly river below.
Deeper we went until we came to a crossroads where we were attacked by another ghoul and a much larger zombie than before, which incapacitated Cazador with a single mighty blow. Thankfully Neril was on hand to quickly get him back on his feet and a fight of atrition began before the bugbear zombie was killed, with the ghoul and another zombie horde soon following its destruction.
Eventually we found a much smaller tunnel that had been excavated, and as I was scouting it, I discovered it was also trapped! I managed to disarm the traps and save the supply of poison gas that it held. Experiments will be forthcoming.
On the other side of the small tunnel was a large chamber. It appeared to be some temple of ancient evil and dedicated to Nerull God of Death. We quickly dealt with a man in chainmail as well as more of his undead servants, however a woman escaped. After the fight, we noticed a strange altar in the middle of the room that we suspect and fear the Deep Pearl might have been taken from.
As we returned from the mines we encountered a woodsman named Darren Silverwood. I don’t trust him. Rawlish paid us a reward of 175 Luna each for allowing the mines to be reopened and for not stealing the raw ore we discovered.