As dawn broke on the morning following camping near the Witch’s Tree, the party of adventurers once again set their face towards Blackquartz’s camp. After a few hours of marching, the terrain began to assume a more rocky character and steeper elevation as they passed into the foothills of the Stoneheart Mountains. By mid-afternoon, the party came upon a low rise and could see an excavation site nestled at the base of an impassable and unstable looking rock face. The excavation site appeared to be somewhat protected by a high wooden fence. All around the site, foliage had been cleared.
As the MotU cautiously approached the edge of the clearing, they detected the sounds of small creatures moving behind the fences. Seeing no immediately stealthy approach to the fence, Zanne decided that the best course of gaining surprise was to make a dash across the clearing. As he rounded the fence and noticed a cadre of goblins hiding inside, his catlike reflexes sprung into action and a goblin fell dead as he flung a dagger into the nearest goblin’s chest. The rest of the MotU moved to support Zanne. Jonbon moved up into the clearing and felled another goblin with vicious mockery. From his vantage point he saw three more heavily armored goblins restraining a pair of mangy looking wolves with lengths of chain. Tim Frostbucket moved up in front of all his companions in order to meet the coming onrush of the goblin forces and defend his allies. Scragg made a wild charge around the east side of the fence-line to attack the lone goblin there and to block off any flanking attempts from goblins moving in from the east. With Tim Frostbucket blocking the entrance to the excavation site, the goblin cutter had no choice but to swarm him, cutting at the huge figure with their rusty short swords. Seizing the opportune moment, Tre shifted into his elvish shape and launched a flame seed attack at a goblin fighting Tim. As the attack landed, it consumed the goblin and the adjacent aread burst into flame catching the other goblins on fire but causing no harm to Tim. As the remaining minions fell to Tre’s flame and Scragg’s blade, the party’s attention turned to the remaining three goblin warriors and the two mangy wolves. The skirmish was short and the MotU prevailed with a minimum of cuts, bites and javelin wounds.
Inside the excavation pit, the goblins were guarding a 10’ x 10’ shaft that dropped 20’ to a stone floor below. A sturdy rope ladder hung from the lip of the shaft. Tim Frostbucket boldly descended the ladder. Upon reaching the floor he immediately activated a sunrod to drive back the darkness. The rest of the party climbed down behind Tim. The party stood at the top of a 10’ long staircase that led down to a pile of rubble. Most of the party quickly noticed that the rubble was stained with blood. At the foot of the stairwell, the area opened into a 40’ x 20’ room connecting to a 20’ hallway leading to the north. In the hallway, a large statue of a dwarf warrior in full battle armor was posed in mid-charge. The statue had been heavily defaced and tapestries bearing images of honored dwarven warriors lined the walls. Zanne and Tre sensed the presence of a few figures crouch in the shadows beyond the statue.
The party did battle with four goblin warriors, championed by one goblin skullcleaver armed with a giant miner’s pick. The goblins were led by a goblin hexer. Tre Hoogar, opened the fight with by casting faerie fire on the foes, but left himself open to retaliation and almost fell to the goblins’ attacks. In short order, the rest of MotU moved into the fray making use of the faerie glow that easily marked their targets. Scragg broke through the warrior ranks and charged the rear guard protecting the hexer as everyone else overwhelmed the pick-armed skullcleaver who was swinging vicious blows in his bloodied condition. After several exchanges, the heroes got the better of the goblins, and soon Tim was able to reach Scragg and help him finish the hexer who was calling out warnings down the hall. Jonbon noticed that the warpick that the skullcleaver was wielding had a magic aura about it and Scragg decided that he could put it to good use. Down the adjacent hall, a noise was heard…