After cleaning up in the stream below the dam Tirla and Smudge spar a bit with short swords so Tirla can get a feel for her Mithral blade and what fighting techniques would work best with it. Soon after they start a gnome and two dwarfs appear in the opening to the mines eyeing them suspiciously. After exchanging greetings the party explains their situation and the Gnome, Vissaron welcomes them into the caves. After exchanging pleasantries they discuss their serch for the goblins in the “forest of stone” and Vissaron explains he has been to a place matching that description. He also explains the problems they have been having in the mine with orcs and now missing miners and seems clearly upset when he explains that his brother has gone missing as well. It seems that everyone can help each other and the party agrees to search the mines and he will give them detailed directions to the “forest of stone”.
After resting the night in the mines Berric helps build crude wooden tower shields for Smudge and Helstrom and leads them deeper into the mountain. Making their way though the dwarf passages takes a few minutes. Berric explains that their digging broke an existing passage that looks old. The passage is much smaller, five to seven feet wide and four to five feet high. It is damp and musky with mold growing in spots and water dripping from the ceiling and down the walls in places to form small slimy puddles and patches of mud. Ancient support timbers line the walls at ten to twenty foot intervals although they are rotten and worn by time. The dwarf leads them a bit farther to where the miners had already explored leaving them with directions to a room on the left and a large natural cavern to the right.
Smudge took up the lead behind his crude shield and started traveling through the cramped passageways sticking to the left whenever possible to avoid getting lost. They arrived at the room described by Berric and exited through the passageway on the left. Moving around some webs along the wall Smudge triggered a small collapse in the passage and was struck by a large rock in the neck and back. Continuing around the rubble and going left at a three-way junction Smudge followed a passage that curved left till he found himself at another T-junction after moving past another passage on the right. First he tried left but when it quickly lead to a collapsed tunnel he retraced his steps and took the right passage instead. A few steps down this passage the unstable roof again collapsed striking Smudge in the head with a large rock and Tirla in the knee. Helstorm called upon his healing magic to relieve Smudge’s pain before Smudge continued ahead to a four-way intersection. Here Smudge once again went left which lead into a irregular shaped room with a large twenty foot wide passage way leading out of it on the opposite wall which has collapsed and was now filled with two giant stone slabs and piles of rock and dirt. The room once had decorated plaster covered wall and ceiling but the plaster has cracked and fallen way leaving broken pieces went and molding scattered across the floor. Along both walls lie stone benches which hold half a dozen small silver statues that appear untouched by time. They are about a foot tall and look like robed jackal headed humanoids. Also in the room are three skeletons scatted across the floor which look to be Human or Orc. Their skeletal hands still grasping rusted swords and rotten ax shafts. Partially buried among their rotten clothing are three decaying pouches containing a total of 26gp. After Smudge and Tirla scan the room and collect the gold coins they decide to stay away from the silver statues and continue their search for the missing miners.
Moving back to the four-way intersection they again go left which only leads to a dead end so they return and go left again (which is right from where they first entered the intersection) but stop suddenly when Smudge notices a huge patch of mold covering the next twenty feet of floor. Tirla moves up to try and burn it but when she touches the torch to the mold spored explode from it filling the passage way. She stumbles back coughing up blood and feeling weakened. Quick thinking by Helstorm saves her more internal injuries when he makes her hold her breath for the next minute and a half to prevent the spores from growing inside her. Using torch and oil Tirla burns the mold in front of them and they carefully continue through the passage way. Ahead they pass a collapsed passage to the left and a open on to the right which appears to lead back towards on of the previous ways they passed through. Continuing forward Smudge nearly falls into a small crevasse as the floor collapsed in front of him but he reacted quickly dropping to a knee and rolling back away from the open floor. Around the collapsed floor the tunnel zigged to the left and then opened up at a T where the tunnel widened to the left and appeared more like a natural cavern and continued to the right getting smaller again. Smudge spotted what looked like a body wrapped in web in a small alcove formed by a old collapsed passage. As Smudge moved past the body to watch for danger while Tirla investigated it Helstorm was just backing his way out of the previous passage. As he turned a streak of web shot past him and caught Tirla in the back. She spun away wiping the web against the wall and off her back. A numbing sensation covered her back but she she was otherwise unaffected. As the Helstorm and Smudge scrambled to engage the huge spider that rushed them from the darkness Tirla managed to throw a dagger but it passed by the spider harmlessly. As the spider scrambled along the wall towards Helstorm he brought up his crude wooden shield to meet it. The spider being the quicker placed two arms on the shield holding it down as it shot forward sinking it’s fangs into Helstorm’s neck. As he staggered backward his body stiffened and he fell to the floor ridged rigid as the shield he held. Smudge rushed forward and slashed the spider across its right side leaving a large wound in its abdomen and cephalothorax (head). Tirla focusing her mind on past experiences released a bolt of energy which jolted the spider backward blackening one of its eyes and the side of its head. As she did it rushed forward again piercing smudges leg with its fangs. Smudge unyielding to the venom slashed again with his great sword, this time striking the wall as the spider leapt from the wall to the celiing and then to the floor. As Tirla rushed it with her sword the spider darted forward biting Tirla in the leg as it ducked under her blade. As it did energy surged from Tirla into the spider stunning it for only a fraction of a second which was also the rest of it’s life as Smudge steped to the side of the spider into the more open passage way he brought his great sword in a high arch over his head. As the spider reeled from the Tirla’s shock his sword caught it at the base of its abdomen and cephalothorax severing several legs and separating its head from its body!