Where There’s Muck, There’s Money
*22/23 Mirtul, The Year of the Trusted Covenant (1479 DR)
Flushed with the success of their intervention in the hellish goings on in the abandoned mine, the party feel confident enough to engage in a bit of banter with the bound cambion, Balol – the sort of devil (and devil, mind you – not demon – something completely different) you could imagine being quite a hit at the more sophisticated supper clubs in Neverwinter, had not his origins played quite so heavily against him.
Eventually fatigue and a desire to move things along a bit overcome the thirst for knowledge of Asmodeus and the Nine Hells and the party move off to rest for the night before investigating the strange hammering sounds heard deeper in the mines.
The party awake refreshed and continue to creep down the tunnel, the air becoming hotter with each step while the tapping sounds become clearer. The heated atmosphere also reeks of rot and decomposition, or, to such hardy souls as Kierke and Mani, brought up in less civilised environs – the sweet smell of home cooking.
Frustrated in his hopes to practice his training against undead creatures, Paelias seems to lapse into a strange trance, just as the party enter another dusty gallery, in the centre of which is a deep pit, the source of the stench, where some twenty feet below lies a rippling mass of decomposing bodies, liquefied entrails and some shiny things.
Despite losing his breakfast, Malus is soon shinning down this hellish well to reach the treasure, which turns out to be the rod of some less fortunate soul who had trod a similar path. Before Malus is able to chirp about his gains, however, those above ground are attacked by bloodsucking stirges, followed up by a wave of dustwalking dwarf zombies, one with a bucket obviously keen to pull up some of the nourishment from below.
Faced at last with the undead foes he so craved, Paelias can only stand and stare vacantly, his mind lost in some eladrin time warp, while the undead horrors attempt to drag and throw the heroes into the well to add to the meat store. A few go down for a most disgusting swim while a deep thunderous rumbling sound echoes down the tunnel behind them, but eventually the zombies are pulverised, the bats dispatched and party ready to go on to uncover the secrets of Karadhan’s mine.