Leaving the emptied Temple of the Black Bloods, the party returns to the relative safety of the walled town of Langmuir. The delegation from Silvergrove no longer stands in the town, the local magistrate assumes they had snuck away during the time you were assaulting the temple. The authorities had no good reason to search for the missing delegation, as they had not broken any laws and were actually helpful bringing much needed supplies to the beleagured area. Inconsistencies in the stories and culture of the delegation lead you to believe that they were not aligned with Silvergrove at all and were probably related to the situation with Whitescar.
The party now turns its attention to its empty pockets. Disruptions from two local mines have stopped the inflow of cash to the Orcskull Mining Consortium. Choosing the closest mine, the party heads out to investigate.
Axebolt Mine The Iomic crystals that come from this mine have long been used for scrying and protections spells. Recently they have turned up more simply as jewlery and have been increasingly popular with the upper class in Dem-Dem’Aras. Investigating the mine leads to the uncovering of aberrations. Like this: “Two large beasts appear… they are clearly dragon shaped, but their forms are an amorphous mass of scales, mouths, fangs, and reptilian eyes. Their bodies roil with different colors, seeming to change shape and size from moment to moment.” And this: “A worm-like creature with thick, rubbery skin slithers along the tunnel. Its mouth resembles a huge beak surrounded by four long tentacles, each of which is tipped with a vicious looking spike” and this “an ooze-like creature covered with eyes and mouths floats ont he surface of the water. The ground around it seems to warp and buckle, as the monstrosity’s endless gibbering of nonsensical noises and phrases seems to undermine the very fabric of reality around it.”
The very bottom of the mine houses a corrupted pillar of Iomic crystal which is attuned to the Far Realm. First destroying the Grell and Grick guardians, the companions sever the connection and make safe the mine for use.
Hellspike Mine This mine, owned and operating shortly before your arrival was already in danger of closing due to low production and several recent accidents caused by unstable earth in the area. Word of a more disturbing incident has left this local siver mine empty and the surviving workers narrowly escaped with their lives. Rumors of strange creatures reach your ears and Thorgar Axebolt has agreed to pay you for investigating the threat and doing whatever it takes to make the mine safe. Some of the miners may still be trapped, and any still alive should be your top priority.
As your party approaches the mine, you spot one of the Duergar workers cowering in the shadows to the side of the entrance. Khoryn( a miner) nervously explains that he’s waiting for four other miners who have gone inside to deal with the beasts who attached earlier.
Entering the mine, you hear the sounds of combat and locate two of the armed miners standing against a mass of foulspawn. The party valiantly rushes to the aid of the miners when a second wave of enemies emerges including a displacer beast and a bulette. Crashing through the wall in a cascade of debris the bulette latches onto the An, the warforged bard and drags her down. Unable to reach the bard in time and unable to retreat and unable to save their fallen comrade, the party regroups to make a final stand against the unholy beasts.
From above, Thorgar (the owner of the mine) and a dark elf priestess emerge to turn the tide in the combat, destroying the foulspawn and routing the beasts.
Driven and determined, the Priestess of Lolth assumes leadership of the companions and charges into the destroyed heart of the mine. Littered ruined forges, braziers, and other instruments of metalwork, the entire section has been reduced to rubble. Only a solid black obsidian anvil stands. Drow soldiers, lurkers, mages all stand ready around Xul’Riina Gambhir, rival priestess of Lolth. Engaging and destroying these forces, the party accumulates further wealth for themselves(a new cloak for the priestess, a minor elemental, and that nifty anvil) and for the Orcskull Mining Consortium.