Etceter Crag Mines

I’m not sure if it was the fireweed ale, the lure of phenomenal cosmic power or the fact Alley said she would protect and pick me up out of the dirt, but plans were made to visit the Pillar of Dust, kick him in the naughty bits and make off with his book. I’m not sure what Dravropos wants with this book, and I hope my turning it over to him doesn’t open some sort of portal that will make me regret my decision making paradigm. But if Alley was going to keep me safe, then off to antagonize a Lich we shall go.

The first task is of course the Crag Foothills. Then we traveled down into the mine. No surprise, Thugs were there to meet us. But alas, they weren’t bearing a festive meat and cheese tray as I had hoped. I tried to explain we weren’t there for the gold, but they insisted on trying to stab us. This was not received well and we reserved the right to cut them off at the knees. Which we did.

As Dravropos instructed, we moved down further into the depths and soon found the swirling cauldron of death that was home to Lich. I offered that perhaps we should just head back to the pub and make up a few stories about how we showed up, but the Lich wasn’t home, therefore no smiting, and therefore no book.

Alley disagreed with my plan. I disagreed with her disagreeing with me, but ultimately lost the debate.

I found you simply can’t spring upon the Lich and take him by surprise. First, he has a confederate skulking about in there with him. Second, there is some sort of ghostly vapor that blocks entry. After searching around, we found some notes that indicated this was indeed a desperate place, death loomed in the shadows, these miners missed their families and I was most likely going to ruin yet another pair of leggings. That last part wasn’t specifically written in the notes we found, but if you read between the lines, it was implied.

After we gathered up these final messages of gloom, the chamber mysteriously opened so we rushed headlong to destiny. It proved a great deal more difficult than we originally planned. While the events remain blurry, I believe we defeated one of the Lich, but as we concentrated our efforts on the other, he reappeared as though no harm had been done. I found that to be in rather poor sportsmanship, but there is no arguing with a Lich.

We were defeated in the first round, and we might not have been victorious in the second, but our third volley was full of fury on Alley’s part and wild flailing on mine. The Lich sought refuge in one of the side chambers, but that merely isolated him from his companion, and we went in to strike the death knell.

He may have been on his own, but he remained a stalwart combatant. I nearly lost my head on a couple of occasions, but we kept at it, wearing him down slowly, striking true, and unleashing a fierce barrage of attacks.

Our combined efforts were ultimately victorious and as Dravropos predicted, Nyrond left behind some magical tome I was at a complete loss to comprehend. But it was not for me to understand, so with great haste I collected the book and bade a hasty retreat.

By the time we made it back to the camp of Dravropos, I had achieved enough mastery in Death Magic to take on learning this final skill. While he was surprised to see me, not only so soon, but still alive, we were once again offered the warmth of his fire. At least he didn’t cackle when he took the book from me and in short order I achieved enlightenment. With my teacher standing by in case something went awry, I mixed my reagents, focused my powers and summoned a powerful Lich into existence.

I then ran and hid in bushes. Normally when a Lich appears, bad things happen and my instinct is to seek shelter under the danger goes away. But Dravropos encouraged me to come out of hiding and said there was nothing to fear. This was my creation and the Lich merely stood by waiting to unleash his powers on those who seek to shiv me in the kidney.

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So you’re saying we have to go into the creepy room shrouded in some sort of ghostly mist and do battle with whatever dwells within? You sure a trip to the pub wouldn’t be more fun?

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All I wanted was a book. You could have just handed it over, I could have made a copy and we could both be on our way. Why do you evil-doers always have to make these things so difficult?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

With the kobold mask now added to my collection, it was time to sneak inside and see what the Crag Mines had to offer. I figure there should be a few leftover nuggets of copper that Alley and I could make use of. And if nothing else, who doesn’t want to go exploring into old mines shafts that have been abandoned and shut down. Who knows what those Thug types are up to down there, perhaps we could disrupt their nefarious plans. What could possibly go wrong?

Our exploration was slightly put on hold as we scouted a ferry tucked away on the coast from our previous visit. I had to ask the age old question, where does this rowboat lead to? Elysium according to the sign next to it.

We jumped aboard and soon found ourselves in the new town of Port Phoenix and who should be there to meet us but Kayzn Phoenixfyre, the governor of said town. A good evening to you! I’m flattered but you didn’t have to go to all this trouble just because I was stopping by. But I shant turn down any offerings of food you may be so inclined to dole out.

And with that, Kayzn took it upon himself to give us a tour of his fine city. It’s actually a city by the marsh which sprawls off into the distance. We arrived on the dock and what should we find in front of us, but Wody’s Bar relocated and rebuilt. If you recall, Wody and the others of Port Phoenix were set up in Kingsport, but have since moved into their own territory.

As expected, the bar was a fine set up and would well suit an ale drinking crowd. I believe there was some sort of stage in the center where you could stand and serenade the onlookers with your musical stylings. I believe a sufficient quantity of ale would be needed for such musings.

From there we had a look at all the vast and fine assortment of goods available from their vendor, had a quick demonstration of Gustball at their new arena, took a look at their business offices and even had a quick word with their Town Crier. I’m a bit fearful of that chap. It seems he’s got a bit of a dark cloud over his head as well as a curse. He’s part of the undead and has to work off some penance by being the Town Crier. Well, good luck with that. I would offer you a snifter of this ale, but it appears you’ve already fallen face down in the street.

Overall, it was a fine tour and Kayzn was a very gracious host. Not only did he give us a lay of the land, but gave us a bit of the history and legend of his town. They are in full swing of putting their town together and mapping out the complex.

Kayzn had other pressing business to attend, so Alley and I took our leave and decided now was as good a time as any to risk our lives at whatever might be lurking in the Crag Mines.

To be honest, one mine really looks like any other with poorly laid out track and the remains of workers who were either treated badly, worked to death, or were treated badly then worked to death. I hate that crunching sound they make when you kick them out of the way.

With the path cleared, we followed the tracks to see where they might lead. They lead down, but only for so long and it was soon revealed that this mine had plenty of secrets hidden within. There are many side tunnels overlooked by the original miners quite rich with copper. Good thing I don’t leave home without my trusty pickaxe!

As we worked our way down the tunnels, we kept finding side rooms loaded with ore. Why the devil did these silly workers not stick around and keep working? Clearly they have no idea how to search for this stuff. Lazy devils, no wonder they got the business end of the lash.

And it wasn’t just copper we found. Indeed we found a few stores of what I will say are stolen antiquities. Alley and I uncovered quite a few statues, paintings and vases. It may be that this whole mining operation is nothing more than a front for stolen loot. New Britannia is just riddled with all sorts of black market dealings. It’s quite shameful really. Perhaps we will liberate these on the way back to the surface.

We continued further down and soon hit the end of the line. Literally. The tracks ran out and it looks like there might have been a cave in. But no, not a cave in, a cover up! Leave it to Alley to clear away this faux debris and reveal one of the most rickety and dangerous ladders I have ever seen!

No, no need to go any further Alley, I’m sure there’s nothing down in that bleak pit of despair that we would be interested in. How about we go for Bark Bread? I’m buying!

Alas, that was not enough to dissuade Alley from venturing further. Curse her and her need for intrepid exploration!

Well, I suppose someone will eventually miss us and come looking, so sure, let’s head down into the creepy tunnel. This opened up into a much larger series of tunnels and what do you know, more copper. Copper that was quickly mined and added to the stash I admit.

But this wasn’t the only life threatening downward facing shaft in this cavern, there was indeed another. Since we’d come this far, no reason for common sense to kick in and keep us from going further. So down we went and soon a grim discovery was made.

I should have known something was wrong from all the bones scattered about the mineshaft floor. When the bodies start piling up, it’s a reasonable assumption something disagreeable is afoot.

Then we discovered the journal and made note of the final entry. From the scribbling it noted that foul beasts lurk further down in these caverns and for their own safety they collapsed the tunnels.

Steady on now, what does this mean? Is there something evil lying in wait just around this corner? As soon as the comment was made, the Fire and Earth Elementals made their debut intent on shaking my bowels and setting my hair on fire. Oh the horror!

Through cunning and strategy we survived their attack, but all was not safe. The entire chamber rocked and echoed as the ground rumbled ferociously. The entire place was woefully unstable and we were tossed about violently. Even though there was certain and immanent death, that didn’t deter me from grabbing some of those sparkling crystals. These crystals will cover the cost of the fountain I want to buy!

But living to pickaxe another day became a necessity and we darted out before things really got bad. There is no need to worry about a fate worse than death, death is bad enough.

Back up the ladders we climbed to safer ground. Good thing too, as there was more copper to mine. And by mine, I mean mine. I’m taking this stuff with me.

I have to say we did indeed fill our pockets with loot, but there is some nasty business calling those old mineshafts home. I’m not entirely sure I want to go out there again, it’s a touch dangerous. But that is a concern for another day, the immediate problem was unloading all this copper. My pockets, leggings and satchel were full of the stuff so I stashed it in my super secret vault of holding located just inside my house in Braemar.

I can make copper ingots a plenty, I just need something to do with them. But before we got onto that, Bark Bread?

 

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Whoa! Look at this dock! Smells like wood!

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Well hello there your governorship, sweet bar! I see you are a man of taste and refinement.

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Nice gustball arena you have here. That is quite a keen tornado you have going there.

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Kayzn my good man, you have quite a pleasing view from your office up here. I must compliment you on your bridge.

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Well now, seems this mine had some shady dealings. Stolen arts and treasures?

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I knew it! Stolen carrots. The depravity of some people.

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You want me to go down there? You know it’s a death trap right? What if I slip and fall and lose my hat?

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Quite a cavern we have down here. I like their waterfall. Wait, glowing plants? Something about this seems strange.

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Wahoo! Copper!

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Oh dear, what a mess we have here. I’m going to go out on a limb and say something bad happened.

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I see you over there wicked elemental. Make no mistake, I’m a crack shot and will shoot you in the backside from here!

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Gadzooks! Crystals! And bowel shaking tremors! But more importantly, crystals!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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