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.