On October 19th, Year 5, a low level party finally gets around to going out in search of remaining spiders from the spider queen’s brood. They have heard that Jacob Pharoe’s men have dealt with most of them near Confluence and Iron Fields, but they plan to head out nearer to her nest in search of them.
- Malcom (HuS): Level 2 Human Cleric of the Empty Tomb
- Jeff (JaH): Level 1 Elf Magic-user (Fire and Wind)
- Zak (BrH): Level 1 Human Hunter
A thunderstorm most of the day Monday causes the party to delay their departure until the 20th. They leave early, pressing on through Iron Fields to make camp at the prison where Peter and Loamie greet them. During his watch, Zak thinks he hears some thunder. He wakes Jeff for his watch, but soon into his watch Jeff determines that the sound is explosions surrounding the prison. He wakes the others and they go to investigate.
The explosions are quiet by the time they head out, but they do hear a different sound, a kind of mechanical chugging. They head toward it and find two gnomes guarding a fresh hole from which the sound emanates. One gnome claims that it’s a mining operation, but it’s pretty clear to them that he’s lying. A voice from one of their belts gives an order in gnomish and they attack, severely wounding Malcom. They quickly bring them both down as the drilling machine emerges from the hole.
While Malcom hacks at the pilot cage from atop it and Tom tries to take out a tread, Jeff unleashes a fire gout that nearly kills the pilot and Zak finishes him with an arrow through the damaged grate. While the machine runs rampant, it crashes partly into the hole. Malcom, frustrated with the latch, is about to hack his way in when Jeff opens the door and gets the driller stopped.
They loot and Jeff figures out the controls. While Zak searches down the hole, more gnomes start to arrive at the site. They quickly take these out as well through a confusion tactic. They seem to be less capable than the other three and these four pose little threat. With all the gnomes dealt with, they return to the prison with the machine. They finish out the night and head back to Citadel where they sell the gnome weapons and armor and sell the drill to the quarry master.
They divide loot and Jeff levels up.
I’m so glad they decided to make camp at the prison rather than in Iron Fields. The spiders were destined to be just a series of meaningless fights and a lot of hunting at this stage in the timeline. The gnomes, however, were due to try a prison break any day.