As their search of the lost mine continued, Skram came across what appeared to be a small tunnel that sloped sharply downwards. Having just passed through a chamber filled with exquisite blue crystals, he immediately slithered down the tight passage he’d discovered and emerged in a wider area of another level. Vridich and Dremnin soon followed him down the passage and the light of Dremnin’s lantern showed another wide open area split by a deep crevice. On the other side of the crevice were two, very large gray-skinned humanoid creatures with clubs. They had seen the Unchained and let out a roar. They looked ready to move in to attack, but Skram moved more quickly using the Air Dance talent again for the third time today, and immediately used the Hammer of Upandaal to strike the ground and knock both creatures off their feet. The battle with these degenerate Cave Trolls was over quickly, having been beaten and bested in two quick successive series of attacks by the Unchained. A search of their lair yielded some more simple Windling items, and the heroes moved out to explore this new level.
Skram was a blur of exploration, moving quickly around the maze of passages, looking into cul de sacs and rooms, down passages and checking interesting spots on the mine walls. He located a patch of Elemental Earth and scooped up a sack full, while Dremnin discovered a patch of True Crystals on a section of wall. Vridich and Dremnin went about their searches more slowly paced and thorough, stopping to explore among other things a pool of beautiful, clear water that investigation proved contained cornels of Elemental Water! Having successfully bottled some of it to take back to the ship, they looked around and found they had lost track of Skram. They immediately hurried off to locate him, as no one should ever explore a dangerous site on their own, due to unknown dangers that could lurk around every corner. Dremnin used his Tracking skills to easily identify and follow Skram’s path through this level, where the inquisitive T’Skrang has just located an oven containing a cornel of Elemental Fire as a heating source. The remnants of the Windling miners were everywhere, and the trio of explorers recovered them to sell at a later time.
As they closed in on Skram’s location, Vridich and Dremnin saw some huge mushrooms which were tall enough to stand under. Off in the distance, they saw a bright light coming from another chamber where Skram’s tracks clearly led. Suddenly they heard a loud, beastly roar of anger and heard Skram issue a challenge. As the pair rounded the corner, there stood Skram with hammer poised to fight a huge humanoid figure that was rising out of a pit of lava. Dremnin readied his warbow and Vridich took position to hurl another Astral Spear at this new threat. Vridich used his knowledge skills to try and identify the creature prior to taking action, as it was like nothing the Unchained had ever seen before. It turned out to be a Magma Beast!
Before it cleared the pool of lava, the Magma Beast caused a spout of lava to spurt up and tried to hit Skram with it. By the luck of the Passions, he evaded the firey blast of lava as it impacted the wall of the chamber, and he swung the great hammer in to strike a solid blow on the creature. As he pulled the hammer back after landing the blow, the end of his great hammer had turned red from the heat of the impact. The creature tried repeatedly to claw and bite Skram, but he was just too quick for it. Dremnin used his great warbow to shoot an arrow into it, and would have done it great harm, but instead of impacting the creature in a vital spot the arrow simply vaporized just before impact. Stunned by this turn of events, the Scout swallowed a Booster Potion to heal his battle damage, then pulled his mareka and charged in to stand beside Skram, trying to turn its attention from Skram and thus soak up some of the beast’s blows. Vridich, however, landed yet another Astral Spear into it, causing it great pain and damage. Thus with well-placed blows from magic and the great hammer, the battle was eventually won.
With the Magma Beast vanquished, Vridich used a vial of Elemental Water to cool off the creature’s lair, allowing the Nethermancer to harvest several cornels of Elemental Fire from the cooling lava pool. In the meantime, Dremnin and Skram collected the blood of the Magma Beast for use in elemental magics, using pots and pans from the kitchen and eventually collecting a few gallons of this rare and pricey substance. Dremnin also took the creature’s claws, teeth and horns as trophies. Loaded with booty and a fine tale for the long house, as well as having rediscovered an invaluable source of crystal and elemental substances, the tired group marked the location of the mine, covered it up again, then headed back to the Reach.
Questor of Astendar