Mysteries of the Nentir Vale

The Gauntlet and Beyond

The Scions of Saruun Khel brave the Grimmerzhul Mine

A newly-reinvigorated group of adventurers continue into the Grimmerzhul Mine complex. Having cleared out the entry chamber, and with the rest of the mine’s occupants alerted to their presence, the party pauses momentarily. Suddenly, a commotion behind the adventurers draws their attention. A man runs through the entrance, followed by a few arrows and the sounds of pursuit.

“Orcs.” says the stranger, jerking a thumb to point behind himself. The man later introduces himself as Wil, a former slave of the Drow with a burning desire for violent revenge.

Bellowing war-cries from the mine turn the ruffians minds back to the task at hand: finding this so-called Deep Copper. First, though, the party has to wade into a bitter melee against duergar, orc and ogre foes.
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Arrows rain down from orc archers positioned both on the floor of the mine and on an upper tier. Duergar scouts appear from side-chambers as ogres close in to strike at the party with their vicious greatclubs. Grevious wounds are dealt and received by both sides. From the upper tier, an ogre dumps a cart full of rocks, which thunder down on top of the beleagured protagonists.

Duergar reinforcements soon supplement the enemy’s forces on the skirmish line. An infernal duergar bloodmage cuts and gouges his own flesh—fueling sinister magic that blinds the rampaging human barbarian Onyx Soulcave. Also advancing is Saamish, commander of the duergar shock troopers. He didn’t land too many blows with his massive maul, but when he did, the victim felt it. Tangarth Saruun bravely scaled a ladder to the upper tier to deal with the ogre threat from above.

The tide of battle began to solidly turn in the party’s favor when Onyx delivered a massive strike which toppled the bloodmage, a shock trooper and Saamish—albeit momentarily. Two ogres jumped down from the upper tier, disregarding minor injuries from the effort. They were quickly surrounded and, although the heroes took several massive wounds, the ogres were killed.

Finally, Saamish relented. The party proceeded to interrogate the commander in order to locate the deep copper, but they failed to get the exact location of the ore before the duergar tired of the questions and threatened suicide, such was his annoyance at the predicament.

Large, stone double doors were opened easily by Minoan‘s savage power. The Scions soon discovered a slave pen and set about freeing them from bondage. The slaves quickly began to part for one of their own. A dimunitive, but loquacious svirfneblin named Belwar Jokulhaups approached the party and promised them, when asked, to help them find the mine where the deep copper was—on one condition: the party would have to let him come. Despite Minoan’s protests, Benn Slouthestryder voiced his desire to bring him along. The rest of the companions quickly agreed.

Belwar led the party down several passages, stealthily avoiding duergar patrols until he brought them to a passageway containing two large ore carts on a track. The svirfneblin urged the party onto the cart. Wil quickly grabbed control of the cart and sped forward. A duergar and orc patrol entered the chamber in pursuit and jumped on their own cart. The party easily outran their pursuer—who ended up crashing the cart at a high rate of speed.

The Scions began frantic efforts to slow down their cart. They actually did manage to slow it down, but not enough to prevent a crash that left Onyx down the tunnel and the rest of the party scattered throughout a large chamber.

The chamber was inhabited by several warped duergar. The veil between the natural world and the hideous dimension known as the Far Realm was particularly thin in this area. All of the duergar were discolored and no longer possessed arms, but tentacles! Gone were their infernal quills, replaced with writhing worms. Even more horrifying, a warped, two-headed ogred, apparently named Zah-Gah appeared in their midst. With a body more suited to a gelatinous cube and pseudopods in place of arms, the massive abomination surged forward.

The warped duergar smacked Wil and Benn with their tentacles while Belwar Jokulhaups was engulfed by Zah-Gah. The weird emanations from the Far Realm granted strange new abilities to the Scions. Immediately, Benn used the power of his mind to detonate a warped duergar—also doing severe damage to Wil. Other weird effects manifested throughout the battle. The party nearly fell, but for their collective tenacity and advanced battle prowess. In the end, though, the Scions of Saruun Khel defeated the remaining warped duergar and Zah-Gah himself, when Minoan (who’d been engulfed inside him) tore him apart from the inside out.

After scouring the adjoining chamber, a hunk of deep copper was recovered by the battered deep gnome. Apparently, the party’s foes ceased their pursuit and they’ve decided to take a healthy rest in the inner chamber.

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