We headed back to the mine to finish rescueing any remaining prisoners. When we arrive, the place appeared abandoned. There were no sentries, and all the lanterns had guttered out. We still proceeded cautiously deeper in, and found signs of a hurried ransacking. Weapons and a large quantity of foodstuffs were gone, and several pieces of furniture were overturned. Since the place appeared to be desserted Abdullah wanted to make a more detailed search of the secret passage we had found on our previous trip. There wasn’t much to explore, but we did find a bolthole to the surface. I’m sure that will come in very handy if we have to assault the place again. Or to escape from. The more I explore the place, the more it seems like it would be a good operation to start up with willing workings from the town. Since we found so much copper and silver ore, I figure it’d be much more profitable than the tin mine.
With all of our hired help, we were easily lowered to down on the elevator. I just wished someone thought to oil the mechanism before we tried. With every squeal of the chain, I winced for the warning we were giving them. No immediate foes were waiting for us, but the direction we should head was obvious. All the other passages were cold and dark, only the Southern one was lit. The first door we came, Abdullah was able to detect sounds of moaning. He said they sounded like good moans, but I wasn’t so sure. He tried the keys we had recovered, but had to resort to picking the lock and then picking the lock again and then picking the lock for a third time. Once he finally finished fumbling with the dooor like a young boy trying to get a corset unlaced, we were able to open the door. we find the prisowners locked in a room. At first they were suspicious of us, unsurprisingly, but quickly saw their freedom. The prisoners seem to be battered and hungry, but none were severaly injured. While Bila and I moved among them looking for serious injuries, Abdullah worked on their shackles.
When we have Abdullah and Khalid with us, theres just no such thing as stealth. We could have picked through the large door. Or scouted for another entrance. Instead, the door was kicked in and we were greeted by a volley of javelins. When everyone rushed into the room I began thinking we overextended ourselves. Luckily the goblins didn’t try to surround us. The dynamic duo was able to begin whittling them down, and Welyn’s dogs proved their value. I did my part by absorbing some of the damage meant for others, and proved to be an able target for the goblins and hobgoblins in the back ranks. My companions actually needed little of my magical assistance which was good because I was busy healing myself. With one final might thrust Abdullah downed their leader Hrulgrek. For a few brief breaths I thought we the battle was assured. But a blood curdling scream sounded from the side door. Moments later, a large hobgoblin and a decanus barged in from either side. With nothing between me and the racing Decanus I had to react quickly. I unleashed one of my newly acquired spells and prayed to Boccob that it would be enough to save me. My prayer must have been heard, because the hobgoblin froze in his tracks. Side stepping a measly goblin that stepped up to defend his leader, I took great pleasure in seeing how deeply crossbow bolts to penetrate when fired at point blank range. I actually think they may have had less momentum, but the increased accuracy still made them deadly.
Once the battle was done, it was surprising to see the freed highlanders stuck around. We let them take as much mundate equipment and foodstuffs as they wanted and they departed. There remained a hobgoblin girl, an alluring half-elven woman, and several townsfolk we escorted back out to safety.