Saturday, January 14, 2012

Session 48: Let's Buy A Mine!

This session took place Thursday 12/8/11 and starred PCs Innominus (Clr-6), Yor (Dwf-6), Uncle Junkal (Rodian Bard-5), and Hazel (Ftr-4 / MU-4).* NPC Gorgo (Dwf-4, Innominus' follower) was also onboard this time.

The group began the session by assessing their long-term options and raising once again the subject of purchasing the Frigglestone Brothers' Mine outside Farn Junction. Innominus noted that moving operations to the Frigglestone Mine would put the party closer to Prince Arkus, who was currently attempting to cure the Dark Plague infesting Farn Junction, Minoch's largest city. And Yor astutely noted that the price of the mine might be extremely negotiable given the occurrence of the Farn Junction Plague.

So on the morning of Day 166 of their Arandish adventures, the party departed Arkus' Country Manor (leaving Grand Vizier Krock in charge) and headed into Fortinbras. It snowed lightly, as it would do steadily for the next three days. After making a few minor purchases in town,** the PCs set off along the northbound road toward Farn Junction, three days' journey. The trip was uneventful, and the party veered off west cross-country three miles short of the city walls. [Their route took them from Fortinbras, in hex 2116, northwest through hexes 2015 to 1916 to 1815.]

Some road chatter:

YOR: We could be walking into death.

INNOMINUS: We're always walking into death! So what?

YOR: Exactly.

They marched another half day uphill into the mountains, due west, reaching the Frigglestone Brothers Mine on the afternoon of Day 169 of their Arandish adventures.

The place was a bit run-down generally, there were signs of scuffle (even dried blood) around the front gates, and no one was in sight around the main gate nor around the two-story log-cabin style main office. Yor called out:


To which there were two responses:

(1) Uphill and to the north, several hundred yards away, in what appeared to be a mine entrance a dwarfish-looking figure emerged out of the dark entrance and waved down at the party, and

(2) The main office door opened and a friendly, burly, middle-aged dwarf came out and greeted the party, introducing himself as Frake Frigglestone.

The party introduced themselves to Frake, and Yor identified himself as the dwarf interested in buying the mine. Frake reiterated that the mine had been closed down for several weeks, and that he and his remaining staff had been unsuccessful in solving the mystery of the three missing miners. Yor asked Frake some questions:

YOR: What would happen to you if this mine were to fail completely?

FRAKE: I would go to work for the Rockstone Mining Company, a day's travel further west -- I've had offers to work for them before.

YOR: Well, my friends and I could help you by taking this failing investment off your hands . . .

FRAKE:  Hmm. . . .

INNOMINUS: Frake, what actually caused those disappearances?  Was any strange, arcane, or out-of-the-ordinary stuff found near where the miners disappeared?

FRAKE: Now that you mention it . . . [yelling through office door] Warren!

WARREN: [a deep, grizzled voice from inside the office] Yes?

FRAKE: Who was the supervisor in the North Tunnel Operation the week of the disappearances?

WARREN: That would be Taggart. I heard he moved back in with some relations of his in Farn Junction after the mine closed.

This exchange concluded with Frake promising to track down the supervisor who had been around the day of the disappearances, and then suggesting that the party descend into the mine forthwith to meet up with Darvey, who was onsite at Yor's behest.

The PCs ascended the steep, rocky slope to the mine entrance, where they were greeted by a crusty, grey-bearded old dwarf named Hakler. Hakler, after complaining about how the Mining company would no longer let him go down into the mines with the work crews, led the party back to a mule-powered elevator and urged them onto it. They climbed aboard, Hakler whipped the mules, pulleys creaked, and the elevator descended.

They went down just over 200' to the bottom-most level of the mine. There they were greeted by Darvey and three other miners named Ron, Tolak, and Zarb.  Innominus asked if Darvey smelled right (i.e., dwarven, alive, etc.) to Beastarr the Bobcat -- he did.

Darvey and Co. led the party back hundreds of feet northwest down the tunnel, then due north down a 600' passage into what the miners called the "Satellite Chamber," now just a disused storeroom.  The missing miners had vanished near here.

The various party members searched the Satellite Chamber, in time finding a small etching of three pips like this:

Calling upon Endra to help him detect magic and evil, Innominus learned that the triple etching was not magic in any way, but did radiate evil.  Uncle Junkal was able to call upon his folkloric knowledge to identify the triple pips as the symbol of The Ghost Tribunal, a trio of malign spirits believed to roam the mountains of central Minoch.***  Local superstition had it that the Ghost Tribunal were, in life, powerful adventurers who died horribly at an evil wizard's tower, and now haunt the mountains, feeding on mortal people's souls.

Inspecting the north-south tunnel connecting the Satellite Chamber to the main area of the Frigglestone Mine, Innominus found, at a spot about 200' north of the main tunnel, traces of residual magical energy encircling the whole passage.  This was the very spot where some of the missing miners' clothing was found.  Innominus and Dak speculated that something had gated into the mine tunnel at this point, abducted the dwarven miners, and re-gated away.

Satisfied with these preliminary investigations, the party, plus Darvey and co., ascended the mule-elevator and exited the mine.  Yor went immediately to Frake and offered him 3,000 gp for the Frigglestone Mine.  With some help from the ever-persuasive Uncle Junkal, Yor was able to get him to accept the offer.  The party thereby obtained the rights to the Frigglestone Silver Mine.

At about this point, Hazel's player arrived, and, spurred by Hazel's thirst for action, the group became eager for some blood and violence.  So they headed north into the treacherous, snowy, monster-infested mountains of Minoch hoping some dangerous creature would attack them.

Within a couple of hours, they had their fight: four large, six-legged, reptilian creatures with long, barbed tails and tiger-like faces stalked out of the woods and swiftly attacked the party.  Innominus cast prayer, the group all leaped into the fray, and shortly all the phase tigers lay butchered in the snow.

And that is where the session ended.
* Due to real-world obligations, Hazel's player joined us somewhat late in the session.
** Gorgo bought +1 Plate Mail from local Enchanters, and Uncle Junkal upgraded to +2 studded leather armor.
*** Semantics Note: Innominus' player mentioned during play that it seemed strange that the Ghost Tribunal was called a "tribunal" and not a "triumvirate" or the like.  I assured him that the name is deliberate.

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