The 5 day trip to Skelt passed quickly and quietely except for the last day out of the city -
Encountering 2 dwarven merchants, Stron Hammerguard and his companion Sesk, who were assaulted by a Forest Drake, the party was able to slay the drake as well as the two Assassin Vines that had taken up residence near the cart path towards Skelt.
Hidden in the drake’s lair a bit off the path, the party found gems worth ????.
Once in Skelt, the party quickly was sucked into the Guild Council’s debate over what to do about the lost miners and newly discovered tunnels. After being promised 1000 gold each by Mirianna Weathervane, a human from a wealthy merchant family in town, the party was able to scare off an assailant that attacked Mirianna and her rich boyfriend.
Finding out that Semanash, the patriarch of the Tombbreaker’s Guild was also missing, the PCs agreed to explore the tunnels below Skelt.
The Council gave the PCs a Bag of Holding Type I, a Masterwork Backpack (4 lbs, treat Str as Str +1 for purpose of determining encumbrance), a Potion of Neutralize Poison, a Scroll of Comprehend Languages, a Scroll of Lesser Restoration. 3475 gold worth of items
They soon encountered a group of bugbears lead by some sort of serpent-man. The PCs quickly dispatched 3 of the 4 bugbears, but the serpent-men were able to escape.
3 silver and platinum snake armbands; 300 each, 900 gold total
The PCs then followed the path most likely taken by the retreating snake-men and encountered an odd extra-dimensional maze of rooms. After exploring the area, they were able to figure out the pattern and escape, but not before doing battle with a pair of mimics that had taken up residence in one of the chambers and not before fleeing from an angry mutant troll that had somehow also ended up trapped in the maze.
one of the mimics had an emerald worth 500 gold as well.
The PCs then encountered a room with only doors on the left but directions to take the door on the right. One door led into only darkness, which the PCs wisely avoided. The last door on the left (also the first door on the right) opened into a fountain chamber. The fountain was actually filled with beer, but after the PCs closed the door, they were given a puzzle to solve using 2 giant tankards of ale as the fountain started to overflow and fill the room with beer. Before the beer could get too high up their boots, the PCs rapidly figured out the puzzle and stopped the flow of beer as well as opened 2 hidden doors on the back wall of the chamber.
The chamber behind the fountain is a large square chamber with 2 large double doors on the left and right walls. There are four large pedastals in the room, one in each corner. The once closest to the left entrance was of a warrior, but has been knocked off the pedastal and broken on the floor. The other 3 statues are of a dwarven mage or scholar, a dwarven king, and a dwarven peasant. There is a large ornate mosaic of Torag’s Warhammer on the floor of the chamber. Each of the statues has an inscription on the base that seem like quotes from the various members of the society detailing how they were forced to flee due to a darkness and corruption that was overtaking the ancient dwarven city.
Laura Silverstream’s nephew contacts the party through the Sending Stone and starts to detail the prison chamber he is in when all of a sudden they hear a scream and the stone goes silent. Just at that point a violent earthquake rocks the room, knocking the PCs down and one of the other statues narrowly misses a PC as it falls. The double doors to the right violently shake as the room behind begins to collapse. As the PCs pull themselves to their feet they hear bugbears in the collapsed room trying to dig themselves out of the rubble. As the PCs sneak up on them, they turn and melee begins. The PCs then here more crashing noises from the other door, and suddenly an angry minotaur throws open the double doors and launches itself at the party.
The PCs can see more movement in the prison chamber the minotaur came from, and they realize there is a serpentfolk unlocking some of the cells and herding more bugbears and a massive troll at the party. The party’s fighter, Whitaker, goes toe-to-toe with the troll and manages to slay it despite it’s regenerative properties. The serpentfolk closes on Garret and after poisoning him tries to close in on Whitaker but gets her head sliced clean off instead.
As the PCs exam the serpentfolk they find an ornate dagger, the amethyst gem stolen from Lady Weathervane, and some dust of disappearance that must have aided the thief. The PCs also find that each of the statues contains one ornate item that was encased in stone. The warrior has a pristine mithral shield, the king a necklace of golden orbs, the mage a wand, and the peasant bracers.
The room beyond is a prison chamber and laboratory. Mutated and mutilated bugbears, ogres, and dwarves lay in some of the cells. The PCs find a sending stone among the possessions of one of the bodies and a ghostly figure forms over the dead dwarf, thanks the PCs, asks that they get revenge on those responsible, and then fades from view. The PCs realize these bodies have been deceased since before the entered the tunnels, and come to realize they have been talking to the ghost of Silverstream’s nephew the whole time.
At this point the PCs have enough XP for level 7, and due to their concerns about retracing their steps through the tunnels, they barricade themselves into this room and rest. When they start exploring again they follow a long tunnel to a spiral staircase the descends further into the mountain. The come eventually to a huge underground chamber where the sounds of a pitched battle echo in the distance. The PCs creep forward to find a battle between the serpentfolk and their mutated allies fighting a group of yuan-ti like serpentfolk who are battling with stone clubs and bone weapons against the more modernly armed serpentfolk. A massive quake strikes then, disrupting the battle and dropping part of the enormous ceiling onto the battle. When the dust clears the PCs examine the combatants and end up parlaying with the more tribal, degenerate serpentfolk only to find out that the newer serpentfolk have been enslaving and experimenting on the degenerate serpentfolk after initially pretending to befriend them.
The tribal serpentfolk are concerned that their betrayer, a more powerful snake-man caster is at the root of this problem, causing the quakes and potentially un-earthing more evil that lays at the heart of the mountain. The PCs agree to help the tribe and lead an assault on a prison chamber to free many of the captured degenerate serpents. After freeing the prisoners, the tribal snake-men lead a revolt to distract the rest of the serpentfolk while the PCs delve deeper into the mountain to try to stop the evil that is at work and find the missing dwarven elder.
The PCs find a temple like area guarded by giant snake constructs made of stone and mithral that due their hardness are very difficult to destroy and take their toll on the party. Then the Heroes push on, interrupting a ritual in which the serpentfolk leader is trying to summon a giant aspect of Lamashtu, a monsterous demon unseen in this world, from the dark parts of the Abyss. The summoner reveals himself to be none other than Semanash who was using magic to infiltrate the city of Skelt and the Tomebreakers Guild. The party is able to neutralize a lot of the wizard’s attacks by covering most of the chamber in sleet and ice and the wizard and his imp are forced to join melee where the PCs numbers quickly bring about the destruction of the wizard. However, with his dying breath he attempts to complete the summoning ritual and only by rescuing some of the sacrificial victims are the PCs able to prevent the aspect of Lamashtu from crossing over into this plane of existence.