13. Grum

Hinnerk looked around the dark cavern and thought the party needed to press on. He wanted to make further headway and not lose the progress they had gained in the mine. The party wanted to rest but they’d already been attacked here. The cave with its three exits felt too exposed for him. He shuffled around while the party debated what to do and kicked one of the dead Bugbears. In doing so he dislodged a ball that rolled from the corpse over the stone floor. He picked it up. It was about 8’ in diameter, smooth and black. It had a white circle with the symbol for infinity on it and on the opposite end a small circular window that seemed to be filled with fog. He’d heard of these decision maker balls before. They were said to be able to tell the future with a largely successful degree of accuracy.

“Is it safe to rest here?” he thought to himself. The fog in the window condensed to spell out, ‘Ask again later.’ Deflated, he followed the party as they explored the mine. They decided to rest in the next cavern which was even less defensible than the last one. Hinnerk despaired but at least Leofric partially sealed up two of the exits while caltrops were also laid down. Luckily the rest was largely uneventful except for Leofric and Xanthe spotting a Kobold spying on them. It disappeared down the corridor and Leofric added more earth to his barricade.

The party then went to a room Leofric had found but not yet entered. Darry was about to pick the lock when Og decided to speak to one of the centipedes she was carrying and send it in as a scout. It worked but it turned out centipedes were pretty thick and it didn’t make for a good scout. Darry picked the lock. The room inside had been previously occupied but was now empty.

Further on, they found a hall supported by columns with a statue of a Dwarf at its far end. The eyes of the Dwarf were very expensive looking emeralds that Hinnerk immediately considered taking. One of the party identified the statue as Dumathoin, the Dwarven god of Mining. There was discussion about the statue perhaps being trapped so they left it alone. Hinnerk had made a mental note to perhaps return and take the jewels should the opportunity arise. Estimating their worth at about 2000gp each, Hinnerk started to imagine all the things he could buy with that amount of gold. Before he knew it he’d followed the party to the door the Kobold was assumed to have gone in to. Leofric was banging on the door telling the Kobold he would let them leave peacefully and even give them a gold piece to be on their way. Hinnerk couldn’t believe it when the door actually opened and the Kobold all left without a fight.

Inside the room it seemed the Kobold had some sort of small ballista that they had hastily mounted and pointed at the door. At the other end of the room was another door but it was blocked by a barricade made from the remains of a wooden table. There was also a goblin hiding under a bed which was dragged out and questioned. It told them that the Black Spider had not been pleased at the lack of progress in clearing the cavern and had taken matters into her own hands. The Kobold had been hired at great expense from a Dragon called Venomfang. The goblin, Grum, pleaded for its life and explained it the Black Spider would kill it for betraying her to the party but it couldn’t leave the cave alone as it was too weak to survive. It begged to stay with the party and agreed to do any dangerous tasks the party had for it.

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