Chapter Eleven: Digging Deep

Going off a hunch and in need of a lead, Gladbaegol and Associates decide to investigate the mine to determine where Coppergut has vanished to and to determine where all of these missing persons have been kidnapped to.  Traveling west from the Daytown Crossroads, they arrive at the exterior of the Mines.

Daytown Mines
Daytown Mines Exterior Day

The remote mining camp has a pleasant enough look to it, vendors sit outside of the easel offering fantastic vacation packages, and attractive masseuses and masseurs awaited with the purchase of the highest-value package.  Glenn asked if the party had seen anyone suspicious entering the mine — no, no one had seen much suspicious.  A family had passed by recently, excited to explore the mining cart adventure ahead of them, but that was about it.  Oh, the family?  A mother and father, five children, nothing strange. A closer examination of the professionals as they told their story revealed pained expressions and eye twitches.  Bastine, sensing something amiss, cast dispel magic.

Immediately the masseurs began to scream and run away, the horror of what they had been forced to reckon with finally being allowed to be processed.  Glenn talked them down off the ledge — after all, they had the unique power to offer a massage so invigorating it would grant the party the benefits of a long rest, that was not something to squander.  Glenn gave them his business card, asked if they might be interested in a growth opportunity with Gladbaegol and Associates, as he has some openings in the retainers position, and sent them off with a contingent of town guards who were on duty.  They then proceeded to ‘rescue’ all of the remaining gold within the mining outpost.  Because it was probably dirty money, anyway.  Into the mines!

Daytown Mines Entrance
Daytown Mines Entrance

To begin the party is faced with the question: left or right?  They place the mine cart they’ve purchased on the track, most everyone equips mining hard hats that they’ve purchased or ‘acquired’ now that the mining building is abandoned, and they’ve set off for exploration.  They pull the lever on the track and the mining cart begins to start rolling.  Mechanically, between each map is a ‘Theater of the Mind’ transitional period where the group needs to make a check to see if some mishaps comes up between the maps, maybe one side of the track is missing and the party needs to bobsled-lean to one side or another, or there’s a low-hanging wooden beam the party must duck to avoid.

Daytown Mines Junction 3
Daytown Mines Junction 3

The party quickly approaches a spinning junction from the northwest.  Levers determine which way the cart is facing, the group arrives from the west.  There are a number of bats about the cavern, spooky looking bats, and when loud noises disturb the quiet of the area, the party must begin fighting off bats of varying size.  After seeing how quickly the cart rotated after pulling the lever, Glenn lines up a shot with his pistol and uses the mine cart as a weapon, the cart spins with such force that the monstrous bat goes flying into the wall.  Once the bats have been dealt with (including killing some of the fleeing monsters beyond the constraints of the map), the party explores and finds gems worth quite a bit of money.  The party spins the cart to the more northern track facing east, and takes off for parts unknown.

Daytown Mines Cliff
Daytown Mine Dig

The party, finds themselves coming in from the northwest entrance, the cart coming to a stop midway through the track.  A group of miners have struck gold, literally, and a large pile of it sits beneath them.  Glenn, convinced that might makes right, begins to interrogate them for evidence of evil tentacle-monsterousness, or mind control, or anything that would justify slaying them on the spot.  He muses out loud about the ramifications of doing so, and the miners flee, gold in hand.  Gwydgen begins climbing down to investigate the bottom pool while Bastine taunts his footwear, the boots of spider climbing, and stands horizontally while walking straight down the cave wall.

Hopping down, they began to look around and noticed something deep within the lake.  Glenn took off to investigate, and found a pile of bones, 30′ underneath the water.  He also swiveled to see that four half crab, half humanoid monsters had made a home beneath a shelf that extended back out beyond what was visible prior to swimming down and had been lying in wait.  Combat began as Glenn tried escaping topside and his allies fired projectiles into the water.  The crab-monsters ganged up and tried to keep Glenn grappled underwater, continually beating on him.  Leon hopped into the water, determined to save Glenn from a drowning death and had to struggle not to get dragged under himself.  The group make it out of the water, and Leon is determined to continue fighting from the top of the pool, chucking his javelin of lightning, to great effect…until they begin to try to snap it in half.  Leon dived and had to wrestle the crab monster, 30′ underwater, to keep the javelin from being snapped in half.  He succeeded, and the group climbed back up the rocks, and continued on.

Daytown Mines Pun Level
Daytown Mines Pun Level

The next stage was a bit surreal — they arrived at a theater, deep within the mine, where two actors had long worn out their welcome and were receiving BOOs from a crowd of agitated miners who complained they had already seen the play being performed 10x over.  Looking over a group of interesting folks coming in behind them, they asked if they knew any stories or songs, and what happened next was truly magical.  The entire party, minus Kraw, who preferred to watch from the crowd, began The Tale of Leon, a three-act play that introduced Glenn, portraying an villainous competitor to his woman’s affection, Leon, the hero of the story, Gwydgen was in charge of the instruments, Bridget was in charge of pyrotechnics and Bastine’s role changed throughout the acts, changing from a minor villain for Leon to overcome to an excited audience member as the performance wore on.  The performance will be one the miners speak of for many years — roses, gold and underwear were all thrown on the stage as the party gathered for a standing ovation.  One of the thespians who had been outclassed acknowledged that they had been bested and gave up their Cowl of the Thespian (+2 to Cha), which Gwydgen quickly and graciously accepted.

Leaving out the other side, the mine cart is pulled north quite a great distance, and they end up back where they came from, on the same track in the entryway to the mines.  On the other track as it leaves is a mine cart with a Kraken Priest, a member of The Tentacled, and a captive and unconscious Dick Orangeson, the insurance investigator they had met before in the sewers.  The party recognized a man in trouble and chased after him in their own mining cart.  What followed was a chase between the group who needed to make a series of quick reactions — collectively hopping a hole in the tracks, and then dodging a low hanging beam.  The ground opened up below the track and below them stood beautiful women, singing songs of longing which proved to be too much for the party to resist — when it came time to dodge the next hole in the track they found that they could not, and fell into a pool of water below.

Daytown Mines Cart Drop
Daytown Mines Cart Drop

Being in such a hurry, there didn’t appear to be much in the room beyond the floating carts, so the party charged ahead!

Daytown Mines Dig Area
Daytown Mines Dig Area

The group entered a deeper dig site that was being managed by a group of Coppergut’s goons and had to fight their way through.  One tried hopping on a cart advancing north out of the room but was fought off by Bastine, who was determined to secure all the kills.  The party took a brief moment to explore the room, and noticed some rotting fish and sleeping bags in the corner.  Knowing they didn’t have much time, Gladbaegol and Associates did as they had done so many times before, and hopped on the mining cart, pulling the lever.

The mine cart travels down at a thirty degree angle, the cart gains more and more speed.  As you look around, you begin to notice the walls of the mines begin to appear wet, a slime seems to be covering the walls and track.  You travel for about five minutes when you reach a leveling out point. The cart comes to a stop at and you find yourself in a room overlooking a large underground lake next to an ancient stone gate, adorned by Eldritch runes.  The ground is covered in slime, and is considered difficult terrain.

Daytown Mines Ruined Pool
Daytown Mines Ruined Pool

The party also noticed after entering that they were flanked on both sides by four undead miners and a large slime golem.  It was difficult to even move around in the slime, and as all of the melee left to attack miners on the north end of the cliff, the slime golem traveled surprisingly quickly and grappled with Gwydgen, desperately attempting to engulf him.  Through a series of quick actions, Glenn dropped his saber, pulled out a bear trap he had picked up in the woods mere hours before, and in a feat of pure athleticism, attached a bear trap on the face of the slime golem as the flipped over it, protecting his little green friend from being eaten.  Leon and Bastine finished up the remaining miners, slew the slime golem and that seemed to be the end of it.  Afterwards, it grew quiet, and Gwydgen asked, “Did anyone else…hear anything?”

No one responded in the affirmative, so Gwydgen kept going.  “I heard a voice in my head that tried to convince me to join it.  Troubling.”

Inspecting the remains, Gwydgen found a circular piece of smoothed stone, with eldritch markings on it, covered in slime.  The party hopped into the water and swam to the door, placing the stone against a pedestal, and the whirring of machinery could be heard from behind the door, it would progress to a point, and then stop, closing again.  No light could be seen beyond the door, and it wouldn’t open far enough to comfortably fit through.  The party decided to try to rest for the night, returning topside and finding an alternate path that led directly up to the entrance.