The PCs regrouped after having defeated the fomorian ogre brother which turned the tide in the battle for Coir Dun. Everyone survived the battle relatively unharmed. However, Lucifan was found leaning against a building and unresponsive. He let himself be lead to a first aid tent, but did not speak and did not acknowledge anyone’s presence. The PCs decided to leave him there while they attempted to rescue the miners held captive in the East Mine by the Bloody Grin Clan.
Before leaving, the PCs met again with Kurset. He had them find one of the dwarven priests at a first aid tent. He lead a ritual that allowed some dwarven volunteers to give some of their vitality to the PCs, refreshing their abilities and allowing them to continue on.
After the ritual, the PCs went to Kurset’s manor to meet with him again. He had retrieved some old maps of the mining tunnels and told the PCs their options. According to his scouts, there was a large group of Bloody Grin warriors at the entrance to the East Mine. And with their defensible position it would be a tough battle to break through into the mines. And Kurset would only be able to spare a handful of dwarves to join the PCs, because he was worried their would be another assault on the city.
But he told them of another option. When the main shaft of the East Mine was initially dug, an access tunnel was created that led to one of the tunnels in the Old Mine. This was to be used as a back exit from the East Mine in case of a collapse or other emergency. However, due to rumors of hauntings in the Old Mine, the tunnel was hardly used and knowledge of it was limited.
The PCs opted to brave the Old Mine, rumored to be haunted by the dwarves that had been slain there. Terred, the rider that the PCs had rescued upon arriving at Coir Dun, offered to lead them through the mountain pass and through the Old Mine, using Kurset’s maps and directions as a guide. The PCs readily agreed to his help.
The group left town after gathering some horses and other supplies. The travel to the entrance of the Old Mine was uneventful, though they did have to abandon their horses once they were on the older path which was treacherous because of disuse.
The Old Mines were basically as they had been left after the battle of the Endless Winter over a century ago. The PCs walked past the signs of battle, as well as the skeletons of dwarves that fell to the foul blades of orcs and ogres.
The PCs came to a larger chamber in the tunnels, and dread grew in their hearts. They heard low moans and noticed an eerie mist gathering about them. Suddenly, dwarven ghosts materialized about them, and started to attack. The PCs defended themselves while trying to convince the ghosts that they were not enemies. Eventually the ghosts saw that the PCs spoke the truth, and agreed to leave them be, and ensure their save passage through the abandoned tunnels.
The PCs continued through the Old Mine and finally found the access tunnel and gained entrance to the East Mine. The sounds of furious digging could be heard toward the end of the main tunnel. Sariel scouted ahead and found the other fomorian ogre brother, this one dressed in arcane robes, leading a group of hobgoblins digging at the end of the tunnel.
Since no prisoners were seen with the ogre, the PCs explored in the other direction, and found the prisoners bound and gagged at the end of another tunnel. The prisoners were badly abused and most were unconscious. The PCs untied them and revived them after a few minutes. Most were able to walk and could help the others that were more badly hurt. Terred agreed to lead the prisoners through the access tunnel and back to Coir Dun. Meanwhile, the PCs would finish off the other ogre brother and put an end to this madness.
As the PCs made their way back down the tunnel with the prisoners, they noticed that something was off. Sariel noticed that one of the prisoners had a tatoo that was strangely familiar. She eventually realized that it was a symbol of the assassins that had been aligned with the Grim Visage guild when she had worked for them. The other PCs notice a couple of the prisoners were drawing concealed weapons! Assassins from the Grim Visage had been hiding out amongst the prisoners. There was a human swordsman, a human monk, a brutish human wielding an improvised club, and a halfling thief.
The PCs fought them and slew all but the large oafish human. They questioned him, and he traded what he knew in exchange for his freedom. What the oaf knew knew was that his boss had referred to doing the job for “the revenant”. The only revenant that the PCs knew about was the wizard revenant that was a member of the Red Spire. Was he in league with their enemies? The only other thing the oaf revealed was that the Bloody Grin ogre had met with his boss, so the two groups were aware of one another.
The PCs left Terred and moved back to the end of the tunnel, finding the ogre brother where they had left him. They easily snuck up on him as he was distracted by screaming at one of the hobgoblins that had slumped over from exhaustion. The battle was tough, with the ogre brother wielding powerful magics in addition to a giant sword. The ogre ordered the hobgoblins to keep digging while he fought off the PCs, but they were killed in the crossfire. The ogre eventually fell as well, leaving the PCs exhausted and with most of their power drained.
The PCs explored the chamber, and found that the hobgoblins had broken through the end of the tunnel and into a chamber of finished stone. Rohak could tell that the stonework was dwarven, but of a style that predated even him. Helmirion and Rosalina noticed that the walls of the chamber were inlaid with the same red glass that lined the Red Spire wizard tower, as well as the monolith that Rosalina saw in her vision.
The PCs debated their options for a bit. They could explore these dwarven ruins. However, they should also head back to Frostwatch and investigate the evidence of the revenant wizard Heris working for the enemy. They could also continue to press their advantage on the Bloody Grin, and perhaps finally end the clans influence in the area.
The PCs eventually decided that the most pressing matter was to explore the dwarven ruins. Obviously, the attack on the mines had been focused on getting access to the ruins, and if they left them now, they would probably find them well defended by the Bloody Grin when they returned. Better to figure out now what purpose these ruins served and then determine their next moves.
With some effort, the PCs moved the bodies of the hobgoblins and the fomorian ogre to another location in the mines. Then, they made a hasty camp outside the dwarven ruins. Once they had rested and recovered their powers, they would head inside…