Dispatched by General Six, the heroes assembled to visit a long-abandoned mine from which sounds and mysterious traffic had been seen lately.
“Strange…” Chaedi said as they all boarded the dropship.
“What’s that?” Garrick responded.
“After all this time… why would people start using the mine now?” It’s not like there’s any material wealth there, that’s why it was abandoned in the first place, wasn’t it?”
“Maybe there’s storing something there they don’t want to be found easily..” Isak offered as he ducked low to allow the massive glaive strapped to his back to fit up the ramp.
“I can’t wait to see!” piped in Tana, already comfortably seated in the hull of the ship.
The shared glance of the rest of the heroes was enough to suggest they all liked the young one’s exuberance.
Venturing deep into the once-abandoned mine, the heroes were set upon by a throng of bugbears, hulking goblinoids who seemed to be guarding the cavern mouth itself. Creeping ahead with shadow-like stealth, Chaedi was able to execute a handful of bugbears almost before they knew they were set upon.
To the surprise of the heroes and just as the ranks of the bugbears were thinning, several drow came to the bugbears’ assistance. Wielding their poisoned blades and casting dark magic, the drow said nothing but acted in almost perfect synchronicity.
Garrick and Isak corralled the drow and bugbears and neatly sliced through them with a mix of magic and steel. Chaedi turned another three bugbears into pincushions, and Ardnthas brought the wrath of his god to bear on the evil creatures.
Once the quiet of the cavern had been restored, the heroes moved on to discover a drow wizard boasting the head of Duke Szeffrin! To the heroes’ amazement, the drow tossed at them an emaciated head, and then set upon them a massive Iron Golem.
Sensing the bigger threat, Chaedi sprinted into action and with a flurry of arrows was able to kill the drow wizard before he finished his taunting. Focusing then on the golem, the Knights were able to damage it enough to quell the threat, its iron limbs cast about the tiny cavern.
Staring at the decapitated head before them, each of the heroes then turned to each other; no one speaking, but all thinking the same thing: “Is this really the head of the evil Duke? It was rumoured that none had even seen Szeffrin in a decade, but the long arm of his terrible grasp was constantly suffered by many.
Without any alternative, Kaelis reluctantly wrapped the head in some scrap cloth he removed from his Bag of Holding, and quickly threw the head back into the extra-dimensional space to attend to later.
Ensuring the rest of the mines were uninhabited, the heroes found no other sign of why the bugbears and drow chose to take up a position in the mines, nor any sign of what they were doing here.
The flight back was quiet but for Tana‘s cheerful chatter and her many wild theories of what had transpired and why.
Kaelis was not looking forward to the inquiries that the heroes’ new treasure demanded…