NEXUS: THE MINES

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Gardain Glimmerstone is a cleric of Dumathoin, Dwarf god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. Gardain began his priestly duties by working in the mines, and worked his way up to being a supervisor of mine safety. During this time, he served the dual purpose of tending to the dead who often result in mining expeditions. Gardain volunteered for the trip to Nexus because he wished to accompany the Dwarves who were assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. He knew that in this strange new environment his services would be needed to help the souls of the dying find peace in the afterlife.

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Nexus Expedition, Unknown Date. The Mines. 

COMPANY ROSTER:

  1. Gardain Glimmerstone:  Priest
  2. Fanrael Malwesal: Mage
  3. Krell: Barbarian
  4. Thoven Serpenthelm: Ranger
  5. Eilora Arroway: Druid
  6. Aeranthalus: Ranger
  7. Falion: Paladin
  8. Dray: Assassin

Ψ   It took some time to secure the Ant Farm, but it was worth it. Although we were unable to secure the city, we now have something to show for our efforts. I have asked Thoven and Eilora to oversee the Farm for now, assuming that their skills will prove fruitful. Krell and his golem warriors have worked at exploring the rest of the Farm complex. Aeranthalus and Falion have been in charge of the ship, making sure that everything remains organized and disciplined.  Meanwhile, I have decided to explore the Mine we spotted while sailing towards Spire. I have decided to ask one of my Kith, to go with me. Dray is a devout follower of Dumathoin, and makes his living as an assassin. I will need his expertise on this expedition.

dray
Dray, Dwarven Assassin

Dray and I used the skiff to sail along the mountains back towards Spire. Along the way we spied packs of Elk being tracked by hunting parties of Trolls. Whenever the Trolls would see our skiff, they would shy away and hide. Along the way, Dray took notes and mapped the area as best he could to add to the information collected previously by Aeranthalus. 

The Mine entrance was partially covered by snow and ice.
The Mine entrance was partly covered by snow and ice.

We arrived at the Mine, and Dray scouted ahead while I positioned the skiff out of easy sight. When I joined my companion, he pointed out fresh footprints near the Mine. Clearly, we were not lucky enough to find the Mine abandoned. It make matters worse, Dray showed me a tuft of hair that he’d found near the Mine opening: Gnoll fur. So the Mine was not only inhabited but likely a den to foul Gnolls. Wonderful.

“Gnolls,” I whispered to Dray as we slowly entered the Mine. “They are hyena-headed creatures that wander in loose tribes. Most have dirty yellow or reddish-brown fur.  The beasts are about 7-1/2 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds.”  I paused, and smiled at Dray. “That stink – that is them. Wet dog mixed with skunk.”

“Priests and their tale-telling. Bah.” Dray didn’t say much more about it. He just gave me a look like he wasn’t concerned. He hurried on ahead of me to continue scouting, using his expert stealth to our best advantage. I followed him to a wye junction where he pointed out a Gnoll guarding a door. I waited while Dray dealt with the guard, and then bypassed the mechanisms locking the door. 

Beyond the door we discovered a Gnoll village where we liberated several Dwarven slaves from captivity. It took great cunning, stealth, and a good measure of grace from Dumathoin to get the job done. We set a trap for them, and ambushed them outside of the village. After rescuing the Dwarves, they explained to us that several more of their kin where being forced to work the forges nearby. They also told us that their leader was being held captive in the village. To top things of, they explained how a Vampire was the Master of the entire mine which apparently had ben converted into a Temple to worship him. 

Gnolls
Gnolls

Discussing the issue, I sent word through the Silver Wand to Fanrael to bring the Spire Loot Ship to the mines. I explained that we had some Dwarf refugees to pick up, but I did not mention the Vampire … for now. After that task was done, Dray and I talked about our next course of action. While we talked, I noticed that one of the Dwarves was pale and sickly looking … enough to suggest that he might have had contact with the Vampire or some of its thralls. We decided to keep a close eye on that one.

Once we had Company back together, I promised myself to hunt down the Vampire. It would take more than Dray and myself to destroy such a foul beast.

We decided to march to the Forges. I called on Dumathoin to raise two of the Gnolls from the dead. They stirred and slowly lifted their frames, staring at me with hungry, dead eyes. These two zombies led the way to the Forges, hopefully giving the impression that they were still acting as guards to the Dwarf slaves. We followed behind the zombies, Dray and I keeping the sickly Dwarf near us. The other Dwarves followed trailed behind us. Before long, Dray split from the group and moved on ahead, using his speed and stealth to his advantage.

The Battle at the Forges went as expected. We managed to get very close before the Gnolls suspected anything. Once they became curious of their companions failing to acknowledge their calls, we were close enough to spring into action. I sent the two Zombie Gnolls our enemies. The creatures lumbered forward, hungry for the flesh of their former compatriots. Meanwhile, Dray struck from behind, his rapier and dagger striking throats and piercing brainpans. Calling upon Dumathoin, I channeled a gout of flame to consume the Gnolls nearest me. In the end, we rescued several more of the Mountain Dwarves. But their loyalty was powerful. All of them asked about their leader that was still being held in the village. It was obvious that we would have to mount an attack to free him.

I explained to the Mountain Dwarves that I was exhausted from channeling the might of Dumathoin. I would need to rest, and then pray to recover. They took us to a safe place where we could rest, and even offered us some food and drink. It wasn’t long before I was thoughtfully in prayer, and then later … blissfully asleep.

I awoke to the chattering of the Mountain Dwarves. I startled awake, assuming that the next watch of Gnolls had arrived early from the village! Clutching my mace, I stepped out to see some of the Dwarves helping Dray to sit down. The Assasin was in terrible shape, bloody and beaten. It was clear that he had gone off by himself to try to rescue the Mountain Dwarf Elder. 

I grabbed my Healing Kit, and walked towards Dray. “Well,” I said gruffly. “Seems like you’ve had some fun while I slept. Go on then, tell your story…” I sat down, opening my Kit while Dray began to tell his tale of slaying the Gnoll King.

Gardain Glimmerstone

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