Cold Front

The Second Day
It Went Better Today!

The dawn of the third day saw the party setting out towards the mine. It was relatively easy going, with the aid of their Boots of the Winterlands. After only a few hours, they arrived at the mine entrance to find two Human men arguing angrily. One wore the grungy clothing of a miner, and was introduced as the foreman and the other as Blare, the high priest of the Sun Goddess’s temple. The foreman stormed off towards the nearby group of shacks, fuming and yelling about how everyone else seemed to know better than he did.

Blare apologized for his friend’s behavior and offered what little information about the mines that was known; a vein of rubies had been dug up, and small creatures of fire and stone had attacked, and driven off the miners. Reports of the numbers ranged from three or four to several dozen, and some even claimed to have seen a large stone creature shambling around as well. When asked for help, the cleric stated that he wasn’t really trained for combat, but offered several potions of healing and fire resistance to assist.

When they entered, with Thomas scouting, they soon found the mine more or less empty until they reached the last chamber before the shaft that led down to the last dig site… There, he encountered a pair of magmin, carrying what looked like several fist sized rubies, quietly discussing something in ignan. The group approached, and took up concealed positions, except for Jack, who was, perhaps, not the most quiet of individuals. Hearing the spellsword walking towards them, the Magmin set down the gems and called out in their hissing language. When Jack didn’t reply in anything they understood, the creatures rushed him.

Arak didn’t take kindly to that, and shot one of the creatures squarely in the upper chest while Thomas whipped a dagger ineffectively at the other. Jack and Jayne joined the fight moments later, both with considerable success, using cold magic and brute force, respectively. With only the two elementals, and surprised at that, the combat didn’t last long. The rogue, finding his daggers ineffective, skulked among the stalagmites and grabbed a few of the rubies while the Magmin were distracted.

With hostilities concluded, and two pools of dead magmin rapidly cooling, they set about to examining the rubies they’d acquired. Now, assuming standard values, four raw uncut rubies, each the size of a large fist, with excellent color, in a well populated urban center, would fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,800 gold pieces. The value on the eggs that the miners had mistaken for rubies that the adventurers were holding? If you found a buyer, maybe 150 gp each. To complicate issues further, the group was divided about what to actually do about the elementals. On one hand, it would seem that the miners had disturbed their lair, but on the other, they were hired by the recognized owner of the mine to clear monsters out of it. Deciding to try a diplomatic solution, they returned to the surface to see about a Comprehend Language or Tongues spell so they could talk with the creatures. Fortunately, Blare had them covered, and cast the spell once for free, and sold a scroll casting to Thomas.

So equipped, they returned to the mine. They didn’t have far to travel though, and when they returned to the cavern where the fight had taken place, they were greeted by four more Magmin. Contact was made, and greetings cautiously exchanged. The elementals were clearly upset by the deaths of two of their own, but some information was gleaned by the heroes. Yes, the rubies were, in fact, Magmin eggs, and yes, the miners had infiltrated their territory when digging the new mineshaft. To add to the confusion, the Magmin kept demanding to know if they were in league with the little people or the big rock. Acting on a whim, Jack began describing the common appearance of a kobold, which the Magmin readily seemed to agree with. Attempting to confirm the theory, Thomas used his hat to assume the appearance of a kobold.

Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.

The Magmin attacked, and this fight was slightly more difficult for the party. Arak, in particular, was not thrilled when he tried to get some distance from the fight, and found a charging earth elemental come barreling right out of the wall to clobber him aside to charge the Magmin that Jayne was fighting. That short creature, probably weighing in at 200 pounds of molten stone stood its ground against a nine foot tall mass of stone that had to weigh several tons. It stood its goddamn ground and held against potentially the least fair Bullrush ever. Of course, after one round of exulting in its improbable victory, the earth elemental simply punched it into paste. Arak took several shots at the large stone creature, but the rest of the heroes simply stayed out of its way as it went about crushing the Magmin to death. Jack attempted to talk with the elemental after the last Magmin was killed, but it seemed less than interested in conversation. It departed by simply sinking into the ground.

The party took the opportunity to heal and talk among themselves for a few minutes before deciding to check out the lowest level of the mine. Halfway down the winding tunnel though, they heard a short scream in Ignan, cut off by the vicious sound of stone crashing together. Unsurprisingly, they found a large open cavern, full of magma pools, smashed Magmin eggs, and one very squashed adult Magmin. Surprisingly though, were the skeletons of several badly burned Kobolds, one of which Jayne identified as having goblinoid features. It only took Jayne a few short moments to notice the tell-tale signs of kobold tracks leading into a series of dried out lava tubes.

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2/2/13

So it was that a Hobgoblin and three Half Elves found their way to the south gate of the last trade city before the wilds that separate Darr from Gensou. At the gate was a fairly standard assortment of guards; bored and cold looking Humans, Dwarfs, and one token Elf. They looked substantially less bored as they noticed the adventuring party contained a Hobgoblin, without any sort of restraint or signs of being a prisoner. Fortunately, Thomas was able to talk them up, calm them down, and get the group past the gate and into town. [[I promise to keep rhyming to a minimum henceforth.]] Still, the guards were less than thrilled about having a monster loose in town, and called for the Guard Captain, a Halfling named Cruschev. Their first meeting was… Somewhat strained. The Halfling was clearly none too keen on the idea of having a Hobgoblin in his city, but Arak, fortunately, kept this mouth shut and simply grumbled during the Captain’s tirade. A few more carefully honeyed words earned them a stern warning of “I’m watching you,” and permission to stay in town. When asked about work, the party was directed to talk with Tep at Rat and a Pot or Mack at Mack’s.

Figuring that they were safe in town, the group split up; Jack and Jayne heading into the shadier part of town to visit Rat and a Pot, while Arak and Thomas went to investigate Mack’s.

The twins had little trouble finding the tavern, and discovered that the bar was aptly named when they met the proprietor and bartender; a ratkin who introduced himself as Tep. They spoke with the rat for a short while, but found his abrasive nature off-putting. Tep seemed to share the sentiment when Jaynce made an off-handed remark about him being an animal. Still, he seemed moderately fascinated by the adventurers, and offered a minor job; locate a family’s whereabouts and report back. The Mothrips, settled in the foothills to the east hadn’t been heard from in a while, and Tep was growing concerned. Jack was advised to find the family, unless they seemed to want to vanish, and assist them if they were in trouble. It was cryptic, and more than a bit odd, so the pair decided to hold off on agreeing until they spoke with the rest of the party.

Arak and Thomas, hit the nice side of town and attracted no small amount of attention; they quickly became aware of a small group of dwarves tailing them. Deciding on discretion, rather than valor, they ducked into the run-down temple to the sun goddess. Much to the Hobgoblin’s chagrin, the desk cleric was a Dwarven woman who immediately scowled at him. Thomas, being the naturally charming bastard that he is, was able to quickly sway the woman into their good graces. She introduced herself as Marisa Goldshield, and asked what services they were in need of. The rogue and gunslinger, thinking quickly, offered to make a donation to the church. Marisa smiled and led them into the main hall, where numerous curtained off areas concealed… Something. Regardless of what they might have found, had they checked, the amount of blood put Arak in mind of the battlefield surgical tents from back home. Noting their unease, or morbid curiosity, the cleric waved towards the stalls and explained that they offered free medical services to the less fortunate, including many of the homeless that had taken up residence in the sewers. Upon their donation, they were blessed, had their names posted on a donator’s wall, and sent on their way.

Mack’s was, fortunately, across the public square, and the dwarven pursuers were nowhere in sight. Keeping a close watch on their backs, they made their way to the inn. Inside, the bar was far nicer than either expected, and they were quickly greeted by a Half Elf woman named Mack. Silvervine had a sneaking suspicion that he’d met the woman before, but couldn’t pin the identity down. Small talk and pleasantries were exchanged, and when asked about work, Mack directed them to ask for Garon Thorn, the Gnomish owner of a nearby mine that seems to be having trouble with monsters. Unfortunately, the Gnome was apparently very intoxicated, and the twins didn’t want to wake him up, despite Mack’s recommendation that he’d want to speak with them immediately. Instead, they opted to get the entire party back together and, after they paid for a few rooms, left to rejoin the twins.

Meanwhile, as the brothers were having a drink at Rat-and-a-Pot, a group of cloaked Dwarves all but stormed in and began to confer with Tep in low tones. The bartender’s eyes immediately snapped to Jack and Jayne, and he all but snarled at them. In no uncertain terms, he advised them to stay away from the temple, but refused to elaborate further. Shortly thereafter, Arak and Thomas entered and began to exchange information with Jack and Jayne. Oddly enough, Tep seemed to sniff the air and then glare at Thomas. The two exchanged harsh words in a language no one else in the party recognized. Whatever was said, it was plainly apparent that the rogue wasn’t welcome in the bar, and the group left to reconvene at Mack’s.

There, they found that Mack had seen fit to wake up Garon herself, and the group discussed the mine situation with him. Apparently, some manner of fire and stone creatures had driven the miners away from the greatest vein of rubies they had ever encountered. The owner wanted the creatures driven out, or, failing that, the gems recovered above all else. The mine owner wasted no effort lying or attempting to conceal his disregard for the lives of his workers, but he did offer to negotiate an appropriate reward after the job was done. The party agreed to head out first thing in the morning, and milled out the bar for a short while before heading off to their room to sleep. Mack seemed to enjoy talking with Jack and Jayne in particular.

Barely one day in town, and they’ve already acquired a job, the animosity of one local business owner, and generally avoided making a terrible mess of things. All in all, a good first day.

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