Session 10, Part 2

  By Shamus   Dec 10, 2006   22 comments

Eomer talks to the captain in charge of this mining camp. Eomer bluffs his way though this, making the captain think that the players were sent from Fol Thron to deal with the rioting and work stoppage. This is made easier by the fact that they do have papers proclaiming them to be in service on the Queen, and the fact that the captain would really rather let someone else handle this. They get a lot of license for how they want to handle the problem.

The players have already decided they want the slaves free. Now they need to figure out how to pull it off.


There isn’t much in the way of fences. The prisoners are kept in place by keeping them on the edge of starvation. If they escaped, where would they go? It would be a long, hard trip north with no food and no supplies if they just ran off. They would need to stay hidden, and find some way to cross the river without using the bridge. So, their hungry bellies keep them from running off. Also, there is the very real threat of reprisals against their fellow slaves. If someone runs off, everyone else gets punished. These two facts keep the slaves in the camp.

Enoch and Thordek head up the hill to the mines themselves. They journey inward. There are mine carts and some crude tracks at the entrance. Inside, the tunnel heads downward for a while before leveling off into several branching paths. Enoch is able to detect the evil auras of gravewalkers nearby. They head back outside and explain their findings to the others.

Sigh.

I had a nice big dungeon all ready for them. It was a maze of mine tunnels sprinkled with a bit of raw loot (gold and gems) and a few grave walkers. Sadly, they didn’t bite. It happens.

They come up with a plan.

Eomer gathers up a group of twelve slaves, which they learn is the size of a normal shift of workers. They lead these slaves up the mountain to the mine entrance. The guards stay at the camp. They trust Eomer to handle the slaves without allowing any of them to escape.

At the entrance, the slaves flat-out refuse to go inside. Eomer explains that they don’t have to. The party then hands over all of their food. The slaves take a few pickaxes from the tools nearby, which seems better than leaving empty-handed. The slaves have no knowledge of how the war went or where they might seek refuge. Skeeve shows them a map of where they are, and where the Alidian guards have their choke points on the road. They suggest to the slaves that Joland Village is a good place to go. Since their young men are gone, the slaves would be most welcome. The Alidians didn’t bother to leave forces in the little village, so it will be a safe place for them to hide out.

The slaves thank them and head down the northern slopes as fast as they dare.

Having freed the slaves, all the party has to do now is conceal their crime. They take the remaining tools, drop them into the mining carts, and roll them down into the mines. Then they wait for twelve hours, and head back down to the mining camp.

Eomer explains to the captain that the slaves went in and never came back out. He reports that their cleric has sensed some sort of evil creatures inside. The guards can only conclude that the creatures killed all the slaves.

They could continue to run the camp with a high casualty count, but running it with a casualty rate of 100% is pointless. The captain is pretty scared now, since he is forced to report to his masters that he can’t get anything out of the mines at this point.

Nice solution. They freed twelve slaves, and the rest won’t have to work the mines until Fol Thron sends a detatchment of soldiers to clean out the mines. The players didn’t even have to kill anyone. Bonus XP for everyone. I think they got more than they would have if they had gone in and hacked their way through the grave walkers. The name of the game is being clever and thinking in-character, and that is just what they did here.
Continued in Part 3…
20222 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.


  1. Lon says:

    Thanks, Shamus. I know how hard it is to make one’s own gaming sessions as exiting to others as they are to us, and you pull it off. Thanks for all the effort.

  2. ShadoStahker says:

    Eomer, eh? :P

    In the player’s backstory, isn’t it Eomier?

    Yeah, yeah, nitpicky, I know.

  3. -Chipper says:

    Thanks for resuming the log of this adventure.

    I’m curious – you said the mines were sprinkled with treasure – are these different from the mines of the cursed mountain? If the adventurers had gone in & taken some treasure, wouldn’t they now be under a curse?

  4. Shamus says:

    You are correct, if they took any gold or gems they would be cursed. That isn’t why they skipped it, though. In this case they were just avoiding a fight that seemed pointless. Later in the adventure they run into potential cursed treasure again, so you’ll see them deal with it eventually.

  5. Dr-Online says:

    I find it depressing that I read over the entire campaign last night.

  6. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    I personally would like to thank everyone reading this campaign. I love that all of you are taking such interest in what our characters did. I myself take the group rather seriously and am glad to hear that all appreciate the hard work we put into making it a fun and genuine story.

    As a side note I am not usually this mushy and nice, but I just had surgery and the Doc has me on strong pain killers. So I am kind of at peace with the universe. Whatever universe I may be in at that moment.

  7. Shamus says:

    Wow. Whatever the doc gave you… I call dibs on the leftovers.

  8. Deoxy says:

    Having read Skeeve’s other comments on this blog… um, dude, that’s some good s—!

    And thanks for restarting the log, Shamus!

  9. DMDonPablo says:

    Regarding the treasure and the curse of the mountain, I’m curious. Since Enoch accepted the 5,000 gp reward for translating the text… isn’t that money minted from the mountain and by accepting it he’s cursed?

  10. Daviot44 says:

    Also the treasure that they took from the Lich’s prison – wouldn’t that have been from the mountain as well?
    On second thought, if it was built as a prison, why would anyone have put any treasure inside?

  11. Shamus says:

    The treasure in the prison was there to encourage any would-be treasure hunters to take the loot and leave the Orb alone. It was a sort of last line of defense, if anyone managed to overcome all of the other challenges and make it into the inner chamber. It was a bit of misdirection. Look! Loot! Ignore the worthless stone sphere! Take the Gold!

    I didn’t think about where that treasure came from, but the place was designed by Forwinol, who never touched the treasure of the mountain. I guess he imported the treasure from his home island.

  12. Shamus says:

    DonPablo: I never really answered this question. How far removed from the mountain does treasure need to be, how many times can it change hands, before it is no longer cursed?

    This can get really complicated really quick, so to keep it simple I made the curse only apply to treasure directly removed from the mountain. If you dug it up, you were cursed. If you minted the gold into coins, you were cursed. If you accepted the minted coins as payment for some goods, you were NOT cursed.

    Still sort of abstract, and it leaves the DM a lot of wiggle room for deciding who is cursed and to what degree.

  13. DMDonPablo says:

    Thanks for replying and good point… keep it simple. We as DMs already have too much to keep track of/remember.

  14. MH says:

    Har, nice solution. Think outside the box.

  15. Ghede says:

    Now that’s some clever thinking.

  16. Other 16 says:

    Glad that was cleared up, I was kind of wondering at the inconsistency but you had it covered. Yet again another brilliant loop hole for the GM to ignore any absolute rule.

  17. Seve says:

    As said earlier those grave walkers had already killed and thus been able to reawaken 1/3 of those poor sods mining so wouldn’t there be considerably more gravewalkers and reawaken dead lurking in mines already? I would quess that even if that was small mining camp there would be dozens of them dead down there allready let alone if that mining camp was big with thousands or so slaves…

  18. Seve says:

    And them heroes not warning them freed slaves that north was taken by that evil lich king and directing them to that Joland village certainly overrun by undead by time they make it there is quite evil act.

  19. Lord of Kobolds says:

    If they work in groups of twelve I would have to assume it is a rather large group. If the gravewalkers were to emerge, the countryside would be overrun rather quickly.

  20. Tosscobble says:

    Actually Shamus, this is one of the best thought-out (and played) campaigns I have ever heard of…. Gratz on the way yours guys handled the mine!

    Wo0t… 20!

  21. gi says:

    My players are going to be offered this little side quest tomorrow. I’m guessing they will hack their way through it. :) FYI: I took Shamus’s campaign and remade it into my own. It is interesting to see how different groups handle the same situation. In my use of this setting, Joland Village was burned to the ground. Thank you Shamus for the content!

  22. Hisako Koncan says:

    good goodthis post deserves nothing :( hahaha just joking :P nice post :P

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