The party ventured into the woods following a trail of broken branches and disturbed shrubs from the side of the road. After following the trail for a couple hours, the party realizes they’ve turned themselves around and have lost the trail. They finally get their sense of direction back when they spot a set of horse tracks and Curzweil climbs a tree and sees a large clearing not too far away.
Mithos casted a ritual to speak with his horse, who was getting excited and was sniffing the tracks they found. The horse confirmed it knew that the horse Mado was riding left the tracks they found.
Hodgins sneaks ahead of the group towards the clearing to find an entrance to a mine with a small trail of smoke coming out of it and a wagon with no rider or horse.
Mithos and Thia find a skeletal horse, that still moves as a horse. Thia yelps, alerting Curzweil and Hodgins that there is something going on. The horse skeleton sees Mithos and Thia. Thia draws his/her weapon and backs away, while Mithos shape shifts into a Boar, and positions himself between the evil dead horse, and the cowering small elf. Hodgins and Curzweil continue to run towards their comrades. The horse attacks the Boar, and Thia simply cowers in her/his boots, afraid of the horse, and a bit taken aback by Mithos’ transformation. Mithos attacks the horse with his Boar form’s tusks, then backs up in an attempt to make a charge attack, but gets hit by an attack of opprotunity by the horse, knocking him out of his boar form. The horse charges at Thia, and rears back to attack with it’s hooves. Thia lashes out with his/her Kama, striking the horse, before getting thoroughly stomped on by the horses hooves. Curzweil arrives, torch blazing, and immediately Eldritch Blasts the skeletal horse, in an attempt to get it away from Thia. The blast connects, moving the horse back, placing it between Mithos and Thia. Hodgins, arriving alongside Curzweil leaps out at the horse, slicing it’s spinal column at the neck as he flips past it. Hodgins lands on his feet, with his second dagger at the ready, then sheaths it, seeing that his first strike sufficiently dispatched the creature.
Of the many branching paths of the mine the party decides to directly follow the smoke trail and eventually Mithos sees a mine cart down the mine shaft. He goes over to investigate, peered over the side of the cart, and a slew of severed hands dive out at him. The hands latch on to his body and face, quickly rendering him unconscious. Curzweil conjures a Mage Hand, and — grabbing one of the disembodied skeletal hands that was lunging towards Mithos’ unconscious body — smashes it to the ground, crushing it. Thia hobbles forward, grabbing a rock, and throws it into the fray. The hand that had latched on to Mithos’ face gets knocked clean off, and killed. Hodgins charges forward, attempting to body slam the hands on Mithos’ body. The hands scatter, and Hodgins body slams Mithos directly, managing to crush one of the hands with his unconscious ally. With Hodgins now on Mithos, the hands once again climb up, and four of them get on top of Hodgins and attack him, rendering him unconscious. As the pile of unconcious friends grows, Curzweil advances and attempts to swing his staff at the hands. His concern for hitting his friends causes him to swing high, causing him to miss the hands entirely. Thia hobbles forward again, throwing one of her/his darts towards the hands, but it clatters against the ground, unable to hit it’s mark. Four of the hands latch on to Curzweil’s staff, making it too unwieldily to swing, and another three attack him directly. Curzweil, thinking quickly, decides to drop his staff, backpedal as fast as he can, and blast it with his Witch Bolt. The electricity splinters parts of the staff, and kills one of the hands, but the others manage to let go in time. Thia hobbles up to Curzweil, and strikes at one of the hands on him with his/her Kama, missing. Thia follows up my shouting and backhandedly slapping one of the hands on Curzweil, destroying it. The two that remained on Curzweil dropped to the ground, then lunge towards his ankles, one of them latching on. The three that are on the ground by the staff charge at Thia, one of them able to latch on and attack her/him.
Curzweil lunges forward with his daggers, stabbing two of the hands on the ground that missed Thia. Thia manages to kill the hand on his/her body, and attempts to strike the one on Curzweil, but misses yet again. Hodgens and Mithos stabilize while Curzweil stabs two of the remaining hands on the ground with his daggers. The lone remaining hand attempts to attack Thia again, but gets swatted away by the small elf. As the hand hits the ground, Curzweil stabs it, ending the last of the severed hands.
Along with the cart that had previously been filled with severed hands, are other discarded remnants of the mine’s more productive days. Smoke is seen coming up from the tunnel that has tracks for the mine cart, and the group decides to follow the smoke in search of any sign of Mado. A dour mood fills the air, as each member silently acknowledges the increasingly likely fact that Mado has fallen victim to the necromancer. Mithos picks up one of the discarded pickaxes and the group continues forward.
An hour or two into the mine, the group finds deserted miners’ quarters. The party continues to follow the smoke further into the mine itself. Thia joins Mithos in the front of the party, and using their darkvision, they lead the party deeper and deeper into the belly of the mine. Mithos hears a dinging sound of metal hitting something hard, and the sound of moving earth. Mithos and Thia tell Curzweil and Hodgins to ditch the torches, as they stealth forward. As they approach, the sound of shovels and pickaxes stops. Thia immediately backpedals, and both Thia and Mithos get back to the others. The two update Curzweil and Hodgins, and, fearing an ambush, the group deliberates about what to do next. Thia suggests baiting the miners to come to them, and setting up an ambush of their own. Mithos makes a dense fog within the tunnel, and Curzweil summons an unseen servant, who uses another discarded pickaxe to make noises, in an attempt to draw the miners’ attention.
Thia ventures forward into the fog, and disappears.
The unseen servant performs it’s task, and the sounds begin coming closer, and closer, louder and louder. 6 skeletons burst through the fog. Mithos throws a pickaxe at one of them, but misses it. Curzweil uses a thundrous blast on one of them, and misses as well. Hodgins takes out his two swords, lops off one of the skeleton’s arms, and then decapitates it. Thia hobbles out of the fog, and attacks the closest skeleton to him/her from behind. Hodgins decides to attempt a feat of daring do, and tries to convince one of the skeltons that it isn’t worth fighting the party anymore. He shouts “Skeleton man! this isn’t worth it! Remember who you were!” The seemingly unphased skeleton turns towards Hodgins with it’s pickaxe raised. Curzweil attempts to Eldritch Blast the skeleton approaching Hodgins, managing to push the skeleton to the side, but the skeleton seems undamaged by the blast. It does however result in the skeleton missing it’s attack against Hodgins. The skeletons attackThia and Curzweil, and all three miss their targets.
Mithos’ sickle manages to slip between the ribs of a skeleton, inflicting no damage. Thia strikes out with his/her Kama, splitting the skeleton before her/him in two, destroying each of the bones in the spine and ribs. The skeleton is left simply with legs standing, then they too fall. Thia then hobbles forward and attempts to punch one of the skeletons attacking Curzweil, but misses. Hodgeins strikes out at his skeletal foe, but despite striking true, he is unable to fell the beast. Curzweil attacks one of the skeletons in front of him with his dagger, but finds nothing with his staff. The two skeletons attempt to attack Curzweil simultaneously, but one’s pickaxe collides with the others’ shovel, and as metal clashes upon metal, both tools miss their mark, and strike the ground. Hodgins’ skeletal nemesis manages to land a blow, and he falls unconscious. Mithos attacks one of the skeletons in front of Curzweil with his sickle, snapping the brittle bones of the skeletons’ arms. Thia strikes the same skeleton with his Kama, killing it, and then reaches out to punch the other skeleton attacking Curzweil. S/He punches it right in the hips, destroying it, and each leg falls separately, followed by the body of the now re-deceased skeleton.
The party moves on and comes across an opening where the skeletal miners were working. The silver vein in this area is just about dry but the party hears the skittering noises of more severed hands in three mine carts that are close by. Rather than confront them, the party rushes past this area to find a door similar to the one they saw by an abandoned worker’s quarters with smoke coming out of it.
Mithos transforms into a rat to get a closer look. Upon looking in the room he sees a fire burning in the middle and the back of a elf with white hair lying on a cot and not moving. The stench of rot is heavy in the air, especially to his little rat nose.
The party steps into the room and sees scratch mark writings on the wall saying things like “Long Live Emperor Doom!”, “For the glory of Karraq Doom!”, and “Down with Emperor Azrmiir!”. The elf on the cot also begins to stir.
With a better look at the elf the party notices that his left leg and left arm have no flesh on them. And a good part of his jaw is exposed as well. Much of his body is rotting, mostly the parts closest to his exposed bones. He raises his boned hand and lets out a moan as Mithos quickly begins to slash at him. The elf tries to claw back but fails and ultimately meets his end when a burning piece of wood is plunged into him.
The party then confirms that the elf is Mado when they find a small scroll with instructions on the elf’s mission signed by Straiglic the Silver. Mithos sets the cot alight so to burn the remains of the elf.
Upon leaving the room, the party hears skittering noises again and sees upwards of 30 of the severed hands working their way towards the room. Mithos brings forth grasping weeds and vines which entangle the majority of the hands. The few that manage to work their way to the party are quickly dealt with as the party sprints through the horde and starts their full retreat out of the mine.