44 days to go
We headed down towards Wyrmheart Mine via the old ore cart tracks, my unseen servant pushing us, with occasional use of the alchemy jug to oil up the wheels. We had with us a heavy dwarven lantern gifted to us by the dwarves, and also a strange fireproof suit they made, which we’ve delegated to Dragonbait to wear when the time comes for the fight (living up to his name, hmm?)
Sleep tonight was uneventful. Only a large, gross centipede triggered the alarm spell, but it ran away.
43 days to go
As we continued down the tracks, the webs in the corners thickened until we were finally attacked by their creators. It was a hard fight, with both our tabaxi going down, paralyzed by their poisons. They were much tougher than normal spiders, and seemed well past normal animal state. We were able to finish them, and after a short rest Flask and River shook off the poison’s effect. I found some dwarven skeletons soon after and animated them to join us in reclaiming the mine.
Then we reached the great cavern of Wyrmheart Mine… to find it empty. The pit style mine under the peak of a mountain had rails going in a spiral all around, leading up 250 feet, and down another 25ft. There was a pool and a waterfall on the level we were on, which we stuck close to, to hide our footsteps, as we explored further. There were many exits, and far up in the cavern Artus pointed out a dim shaft of light which may be the way out.
No one seemed to be hiding and waiting for us as we explored further. In fact, it looked as if there had been a battle quite recently. A 5ft diameter stone sphere was embedded in the wall, some sort of defense mechanism perhaps which had rolled or fallen down off the tracks below. There were many kobold corpses, and some discarded weaponry of gigantic proportions.
Hugo took a quick moment to augur and see if going downstairs would be safe, where there were signs of dragon habitation. But the augury said all would be well, so we did. The dragon was gone. Only signs of a great struggle, and few stray pieces of its hoard remained. Both dragon and hoard had been taken!
One happy thing we found was a magic axe Sithi has asked us to return if we found. When Artus read the runes on it, he laughed. The axe was called Bob, and it can float on water. We took it to return later.
Further up we found more exits to caverns, uninhabited, and signs of a kobold civilization, including ritual masks and costumes. We traverse the rails higher up, with the help of ropes at times when things got unsafe. But finally, when we were about 150 feet up the shaft, we heard noise from a side tunnel. There were kobolds holding a meeting, and from what Artus, Dragonbait and I (needing magic aid of course) could hear, they were in a panic about how their mine had been destroyed. I asked Dragonbait if he thought we should help them, and he and Artus had a brief argument, until Dragonbait won him over and nodded at me. We walked in.
We caused a brief chaos as kobolds panicked and ran away. One particularly brave female ran up to us, crying ‘You’ll never take us alive’ and threw a small cage of bees at me (which did neither me nor the bees any harm). Finally, when Dragonbait was able to calm them and speak to him, they hailed him as our leader (I’ll let it pass, in this context) and Theeka, the one with the bees, spoke to us. It had been giants after all, about a week ago. They were large, white giants. When the kobolds fled to their dragon, their god, at the start of the invasion, the giants simply came and stole the dragon!
And then they asked the inevitable question: would we please save their god?
Artus looks worried at what we’re about to do. I understand, naturally. What are we doing? Well, at the very least we have the beekeeper, Theeka, coming along with us as a guide. What could possibly go wrong?
1. Spoilers for the character Artus Cimber, please ignore if you don’t want to know, and highlight to see the faint text better if you do: The reason why Artus is worried about the giants isn’t because of the dragon necessarily, but because (as you may know from Storm King’s Thunder, and as Genora would know!) he knows the frost giants are looking for his ring of winter, which Priscilla still doesn’t know about!
2. James has truly outdone himself this time. All week long he was saying to me not to look at the character sheet he was writing, and mentioned extreme multi-classing. Theeka is a PC now, I have a character sheet for her. She is level one in bard (as the colony storyteller), inventor (her thing with the bees and other stuff I’m sure will reveal itself over time), ranger (you have to be pretty much to survive Chult), rogue (cos you have to be to survive being a kobold!) and sorceror (as a (very lowly) descendant of dragons). Because of course kobolds would not be good enough at any one thing! I can’t wait to see how terribly this goes!