Somehow this damnable wilderness continues to attract outsiders from across the realm, despite its horrific mortality rate. I joined a new adventuring troupe this week in an attempt to plumb the depths of the Dwarven mines. Prior to the expedition’s departure, we hashed over the recent news about the marshal’s parlay with the goblin king out by the abandoned monastery. It held little significance for us, as we were all fairly new to the eastern wilderness, so we made plans to head out to the mines at first light.
During our preparations, we found a companion in Anya, a fighting-woman of considerable renown in Enonia. She hinted obliquely at some previous expeditions she’d been part of that had only marginal success in the mines; we were determined to secure even greater wealth for our fledgling party.
Alas, it was not to be. We found the mines without incident, following a route that was by now familiar to both me and Anya. But a party of kobolds harried us as we plunged into a new, as-yet-unexplored entrance.
Once inside the cool stone dungeon, we set to work exploring the ruins. We fought several different types of dungeon vermin, and our littleling druid surprised everyone by charming a huge carnivorous black beetle, eventually taming the beast to serve as his gallant steed. The layout of this portion of the tunnels indicated that we were close to the mines themselves; we found a room full of digging tools and assorted equipment.
We encountered several traps, and these bled the party of its much-needed resources. The time we spent dealing with them no doubt alerted the dungeon’s denizens to our presence, and our progress was further retarded with subsequent encounters. I myself took a bad spill in a pit trap, injuring my holy person mightily. At that point, running low on critical supplies, we decided to head back to town.
Our return trip brought us into the clutches of the same kobolds that had stalked us earlier in the day. This time, confrontation was inevitable, and we clashed with them in a flurry of sword blows, hammer falls and sling shots. We triumphed and continued our journey home to Enonia, having secured the equivalent of 1.02 gold pieces in assorted copper coins—hardly enough to pay for our two hirelings, who had demanded 10 gold pieces each before accompanying us into the wilderness.