Icehammer Dwarves: Session 5

Icehammer Dwarves in Mountain's Toe Goldmine
Once we arrived at the mine, we searched the bodies of our dead enemies. Then, the three of us took a short rest in a room to the northwest, which was filled with food and drink.

After our rest, we explored around the mine for a while and found many rooms, some of which were empty and some of which had crates of supplies in them. We also found two sacks. One was filled with 10 clumps of gold ore and the other contained 82 silver coins, 450 copper coins, and a set of goggles.

I tried on the goggles and found that they allowed me to see more clearly.

At one dead end, we found a human corpse. It looked like it had been killed by both swords and teeth.

At one dead end, we found a human corpse. After examining it, I deduced it had been killed by both swords and teeth.

We continued on and eventually came to a door that wouldn’t open at first. Berreck rammed into the door and went stumbling through as he pushed the door open and the things that had been barricading it across the floor. A group of dwarves charged at us.
Icehammer Dwarves rescue the Mountain's Toe Goldmine miners
At first, it looked like they were going to attack, but they stopped when they saw him. We explained that we had killed the wererats and were rescuing them. They expressed their thanks and told us about how they were the miners and when the rats invaded the mine, they holed up in here because they didn’t want to abandon their post. They did have an escape route through the back of the mine.

We led them back the way we came and left them to eat in the room where we had rested. Don-Jon stayed with them so he could get to know them, as they would work for him. Berreck and I went back to exploring.

Icehammer Dwarves slay the Mountain's Toe Goldmine monster
We went down one tunnel, which was sloping down and had grimy water all throughout the lower parts. At the end, we could see a set of stairs going up. As we made our way through, something grazed past Berreck’s leg.

Mere seconds later, a giant eel jumped up at him! It attacked him multiple times, but we were ultimately able to kill it.

We continued up the stairs and found an office, where there were papers everywhere. The only thing we found besides a desk and paper was a sock. Inside the sock was a small pouch, which contained a set of teeth.

We found a couple more rooms and journeyed back to the room that the others were in. We asked the miners about the worm and they said that it devoured their trash. They were disappointed that we had killed it but understood since it had attacked us. They did not know anything about the teeth.

Eventually, we departed and headed back to Phandalin. We arrived uneventfully and went to the Townmaster’s Hall. Harbin Wester ended up giving us 200 gold pieces for our work, from both the Mountain’s Toe Gold Mine and Butterskull Ranch.

We also decided that, out of the quests on the notice board, we were going to do the one that read, “Within a mountain fifteen miles south of Phandalin stands the ancient dwarven fortress of Axeholm, which has been sealed for years. If a dragon attack is imminent, the people of Phandalin might need to evacuate and take refuge in Axeholm. To that end, someone needs to open the fortress and make it safe for habitation. Once you accomplish these tasks, return to Townmaster Wester to collect a reward of 250 gold coins.

We asked around and wound up going to see Halia Thornton at the Miner’s Exchange to see if she would buy some of the gold ore. She was out of town at the moment, and wouldn’t be back until later tomorrow, so we figured we would try again when we were done with whichever adventure we did next.

Then we went to the temple to see if they were interested in the bell. We talked to Rowan again and he went to go get another guy, who asked us a couple questions about where it was from. I said that it was from an abandoned temple in the area, but said that I didn’t know who the temple was devoted to instead of saying it was a shrine of Savras. He seemed to know I was lying but offered me a second chance.

Berreck revealed that it was a shine of Savras, and I said that it had slipped my mind. He didn’t seem to believe me but said that he would buy it for 500 gold coins. We took the deal, although Berreck seemed reluctant. They went to get the money and we exchanged.

As we were walking away, Berreck ran back all of the sudden. He shouted at Rowan and the other guy, who was apparently named Broward, about overcharging. He said that they had been talking about how the bell was worth 5 times what we had paid for it, and had lied to us.

Broward said something about how he had not lied because he didn’t say what the market price was, he just said what they would buy it for. He also pointed out that the temple didn’t have to buy the bell. Berreck still seemed indignant, but I managed to calm him down.

As we walked away for the second time, Berreck muttered something about Rowan saying that he would have given us free healing if I wouldn’t have lied.

We also went to the Lionshield Coster and sold the 3 hand crossbows I had picked up from the wererats, in addition to my old chain mail.

We went to the inn and rested.

* * *

The next day, we set out early. We reached Axeholm by early afternoon and scoped it out. The entrance was blocked by a tall portcullis that we couldn’t lift.
Axeholm gates closed
There were a bunch of chimneys on the roof, so we tried those. Only two were clear enough of dirt and rocks for us to squeeze through. We climbed down a rope into the one to the east, and Berreck left his rope. As soon as we entered, we noticed a foul stench in the air.

The room had two doors. We went through the one to the south and found another largely empty room. There was a small tunnel to the southeast, which we decided to come back to later.

We went back into the original room and through the other door, which was to the west. It was a large oddly shaped room. In the center of the room were four columns. There seemed to be some type of rope wrapped around them. I went up to investigate. As I neared it, I realized what the rope was.

However, I was too late in noticing it, because a giant spider, who was on the web, shot a web at me. Luckily, it missed.

Berreck and I fought the spiders for a while. There were at least 5 of them. Both of us were pinned to a column by a web at one point, but we managed to escape and kill the spiders.

In the square between the columns were four holes in the floor that were each next to a cauldron. Looking down, I could tell that we were directly above the area just past the portcullis, so I assumed that these were murder holes.

The northeast and northwest corners had small spaces in them, and they had arrow slits looking out in front of the portcullis. There were two sets of stairs, one on each side of the main section of the room, and each set of stairs was next to a fireplace, but both fireplaces looked too filled with debris to be climbed.

We decided to take an hour rest in the northeast section. Our rest was uneventful.

We went through the door to the west. It led into a room that was identical to the one we had first come in from, save that it was missing a door to the south, and I assumed that the fireplace was the other one we could have come in through.

Hanging from a hook above the fireplace was a shield bearing the symbol of Axeholm: a dwarven gauntlet holding a handaxe. I took the shield, which looked better made than my current one.

I cast detect magic and discovered that the shield had an aura of abjuration magic. Nothing else in an area we had explored appeared magical.

We went down the western stairs and saw seven ballistae pointing out of the various arrow slits. There was also a winch, which lined up to where the portcullis should be on the other side of the wall.

From out the arrow slits to the west we smelled the rotten odor that encompassed the hold even stronger than we had before. It looked like a narrow corridor.

We walked through the door on the west into a long corridor. We went down the corridor and noticed that the floor was strewn with bits of armor and gnawed bones.

I looked around at the bones, which looked dwarven. I looked up to see two dwarven zombies chewing on more bones.

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