At long last, the adventurers came to the opening of the Bloodanvil mines. Boldly did they plunge into the open maw of earth and stone, leaving the sun and sky behind them. Though the journey was long and most monotonous, ever vigilant Arsinoe did notice an irregularity in an otherwise unremarkable section of the tunnel. The party quickly investigated and surmised that the entrance to some ancient escape route must be concealed behind clever dwarven workmanship. Not wishing to attract undue attention to themselves, they marked the location and continued on their way.
After many hours of travel in the confined spaces of the mine shaft, the brave adventurers happened upon the wreckage of an ancient battle. Great holes were evident in all surfaces, leading to some trepidation about the structural integrity of the entire area. While our heroes did seek for signs of weakness in the walls, they were set upon on a swarm of gelatinous abominations left over from the magical energies of that long ago conflict.
The ooze was tenacious and immune to normal weapons. The noble paladin did attempt to contain the foul creatures and make of himself a target for his comrades to attack the globs of magical muck. The swarm attacked instead the lady Arsinoe, who had steadfastly remained by the Paladin’s side to provide succor and aid. Fearing not for her own safety, did Arsinoe call for the sorceress, Nymeria, to bathe her in acid and thus dispatch the foul beasts. So great was the trust Nymeria had in Arsinoe that she did straightaway cast a spell of magical acid upon the cleric and cleared the tunnel of the ooze.
At long last, the footsore travelers came to what were once the great gates of Bloodanvil Hall. Those gates lay upon the stone floor, as they have these many years, stricken in the final assault that saw the end of Bloodanvil as a ruling Clan. Searching through the kitchen and into the dining hall, the mighty adventurers were faced with the unholy spectacle of three dwarven skeletons rising from the ground and bursting into flames. Once again, the brave paladin put himself between his companions and danger. Underestimated did he, however, the strength of the undead and soon would have perished, if not for the quick action of Miro and Tbur. Aggrieved at the paladin’s harm, Arsinoe did call upon the primal force of goodness itself to banish the evil that animated the remains of the valiant dwarves who had died in this place. Once the dead were at rest once more, the band of heroes delved ever further into the Hall.
In the course of their investigation of the ruins, the adventurers encountered vermin of gigantic proportions, and sadly more dwarves denies their proper rest. Though they came across the Hall of Kings where have lain the nobility and royalty of the Bloodanvil Clan since time immemorial, the heroes did not even allow themselves more than a cursory investigation to ensure that all who were laid there rested still. As the rigors of the day began to wear upon them, the stout warriors were faced with yet another challenge. Upon discovering the true entrance to the Bloodanvil mines, they were set upon by rogues most foul. Skulking in the darkness and striking from the shadows, the fiends attempted to lay Miro low. Like the very walls of the mine in which they stood, however, Miro stood fast and deprived of their accustomed surprise the brigands were soon dispatched.
Finally, all but overcome with weariness, did our heroes take their rest in the very den of the thieves who had attacked them. Though they vigilantly kept watch through the night, nothing disturbed their rest and after a time the went once more into the Hall. As they were traversing the corridors, a scream echoed from far away, but not so far that help might not arrive in time to aid or avenge the one from whom it had been elicited. Stopping only to ensure that they left no enemies behind them, these brothers and sisters in arms came to the one-time throne room.
The throne room of Bloodanvil Hall, once a glory of the dwarven realm lay in ruin. And to further insult the memories of those who had sat in court there, in place of the thrones a dark altar had been erected. Upon that altar lay the body of a woman, dead and mutilated by the man standing over her. Seeing his death writ upon the faces what must have seemed avenging angels, this villain did summon to his aid a great skeleton. His powers availed him naught, and soon was his creature destroyed, his altar tumbled and himself captured and rendered powerless. Bound and gagged though he was, the evil minion of a dark goddess had one last trick to strike at his foes.
As the heroes set about attempting to cleanse the evil from the room, their prisoner fell dead of the plague. Acting with swift decisiveness, they did purify his body with fire and exited through a hidden door into the royal bedchamber. Knowing no shame, he who had usurped the throne room had also laid claim to the residence of the Kings of Bloodanvil. Careful though he was, Tbur was unable to stop a magical trap from depriving the heroes of the ability to search the contents of one of the man’s chests. The heroes were able to salvage letters written in the tongue of demons laying out the time and manner of certain ritual slayings, including the one which they had recently interrupted.
With their surmise regarding an organized effort of evil beings thus confirmed, the party was determined to return to Firinwillow. They found a secret passage leading back to the mine shaft, which terminated at the place they had marked upon entering. Though they had certainly earned a peaceful journey, it was not to be. In the darkness of night did a giant Mantis come upon them. Though they quickly dispatched the verminous beast, the Paladin had taken great hurt and once again was tended by the cleric.
Upon their return to Firinwillow, the mighty adventurers were greeted with the joyous news that the disease which had been effecting the city’s traveler’s district had miraculously disappeared. As a result, many of the merchants had reopened their doors, and the prices at the Stoned Gnome had decreased dramatically. Seeking to give thanks to dashing Brand, the party asked after him only to be informed that he, his companion and indeed the entire dwelling in which they lived had disappeared, leaving only bare ground behind.
In an effort to assist with the stimulating the renewed commerce of the city, Alistair and Arsinoe traveled into the traveler’s district and brought goods for sale to the Hammer and Tome. Perhaps swayed by the beauty and allure of Arsinoe, the proprietor cut his profit margin to nearly nothing in his purchase of their wares. The party divided the spoils of their encounters and began to equip themselves for their next journey.