Hasan pushed forward anxiously, leading the group to the mine. He planned to head directly to the spider’s chamber. He aimed to push into the corridor from where the spider-orcs first emerged.
Expecting more orc trouble, Feldard strode alongside the elf at the forefront of the party as they approached the corridor that the orcs first emerged.
He glanced back towards the humans. Likely the mage would rather they go back to the chamber with the statuettes. “Let’s clear out as much of the cavern as possible before we attempt the chamber past the midden pit again.” He planned to take an orc captive this time. It could help gain them access past the jackal-headed statues.
Stephan followed the elf and dwarf into the mine. He kept and eye on the towed goblin as the group made progress through rock and choking dust.
“Aye,” Stephan said, sotto voce. “This gob may not last long being drug like this.” He surveyed the goblin. “Aye, but these have more fight in ‘em then you’d guess. He’ll last, I reckon.” He continued into the mine.
“Very good, then,” encouraged Hasan. “Let us go. No orc shall stand in our way. Let us find whatever it is they hide.” And the elf pressed on, almost giddy with his excitement at searching the dungeon that lay ahead.
Hernane was happy to take the rear guard, the days events had taken quite a toll on her. She wondered what they would do with their prisoner, as much as she hated their kind, she knew she could not kill them in cold blood, still she thought Feldard would have an idea, his leadership with this group was plain to see, the group obviously looked to him for guidance and direction.
The priest offered to lead the goblin. He rechecked the bindings were secure and followed Stephan.
His mind wandered as he threated his way after the warrior. The mage was following equally lost in thought. “So what were they supposed to do when they found them? The statues would have torn them to shreds had they tried to move them. Begs a few questions eh?”
Miklos picked himself up refusing the hand and eye’d the warrior with a long cool look. What in the Duchy did he think he was going to do with the damn trinket? He spoke not a word, spun on his heel and stalked away.
It took five paces to work out that he’d already been reaching for the idol as he asked the question. It could have been taken for rudeness, and he did offer to pick him up. He stopped, turned and offered an apology. “Forgive my borish behaviour Stephan it was inexcusable. My mind was racing toward theories and conclusions and was far from thoughts of etiquette.” Not wishing to labour the point he continued to prepare for the return to the dark.
The goblins words were intriguing. The yellow robed man, a noble? a merchant? a mage? He hoisted his pack up and followed the priest who trailled the trussed goblin. The tower token they’d found earlier suggested a mage…
* * * * *
Night came, and then the day. The group emerged from the caves. Many of them had sustained wounds in their battles with the orcs, the most serious of which had been healed by the priest as they spent the night recuperating. As the others spent the night resting, Miklos had been studying. The mage had made a breakthrogh, allowing him to master spells that had been vexing him for years.
Two dwarves accompanied the group on their way out of the mine. They had been hiding from the orcs in a small hidden cavern. Now, the orcs were no more. Between steel and sorcery, they had been eradicated. Their numbers and morale were already quite depleted by the previous encounters with the party, and thus could not mount a sufficient defense.
Tekaryon was most grateful to the party. Not only had they cleared the caves of orcs, they had rescued two of his workers. Now, he would be able to return with them to High Forge and recruit some new workers for his mining operation. Once again, he rewarded them in gold for their efforts. Between that and the coinage and gemstones they took from the orcs, this side journey to investigate the mysterious smoke at the foot of the mountains had paid off quite handsomely.
Unfortunately, their return to the statuette chamber had yielded nothing. The cave-in had sealed whatever laid beyond. And the rest of the cave system was made up entirely of the orc’s lair. So, it appeared their only way forward was to find the Wolfskull lair and Vlaak.