The next morning, the delvers received reinforcements in the form of a dwarven cleric named Terrafina
. Terrafina was a servant of Pelor, god of the sun, and sustainer of life for all good folk. Priests were few in Evergreen Vale
, so Terrafina spent much of the year driving her cart from settlement to settlement, providing services and officiating on holy days. Her regular route had taken her to Poshkazyr
. When she arrived in town and heard of the trouble at the mine, the burn-scarred, vigorous dwarf of 76 years hefted her trusty warhammer and made her way into the depths to join the other adventurers.
Following the recently dug shaft down which the goblin ambushers had fled, the heroes found the point where the dwarves had broken into the ruins. There were still broken tools, weapons, and blood stains from the brief battle that had forced the dwarves to flee. Crossing into the ruins, they discovered a vast complex of tunnels, expertly cut with sharp angles, brooding gargoyles, and recurring web and spider motifs. The tunnels were dimly lit by flickering green and red witchfire.
Glancing around warily, Pele announced that the ruins had been built by her and Helo’s dark cousins, the drow. During the War of Falling Stars, the Drow Slave Empire had built many fortresses close to the surface to facilitate their raids and domination of the surface. One had been here, when Eladrin warriors led by the great archmage, Taurn Templa blasted an enormous gash in the peak, exposing the drow to the light of day, and charged in to destroy them. Apparently the goblins had discovered a way into the tunnels in more recent times, and struck when the dwarven mining operation had the misfortune to cross the ruins.
Continuing to the north, the heroes discovered a few trinkets and relics in partially collapsed siderooms, but continued more carefully when they felt the touch of moving air on their faces, and saw a point of daylight ahead of them. The tunnel opened on a vast subterranean courtyard, with many tunnels and stairways leading out of it. The great cleft blasted by the ancient warmage allowed light to stream into the chamber, revealing that the magic had torn through the floor, creating a treacherous chasm through the center. The walls of the room were affixed with cruel, rusty blades left by the treacherous drow. Several ropes dangled from the opening of the cleft, down which the goblins had descended to gain access to the ruins.
The goblins themselves were camped on the far side of the chasm, bickering and complaining to their chieftan, a large goblin named Skarsnik. Their sniveling and whining revealed that they were escaped slaves from the Bronze Kingdoms, who had wormed their way through the Greyspine Mountains to set themselves up as bandits. Now, with their victims striking back, they were frightened and angry, and Skarsnik was bullying them to maintain order. Beyond the eight quarrelling goblins was a crude cage made of blades broken off of the wall and lashed together. Inside was the miserable dwarf captive, Rockhelm Stonebreaker.
Seeing their foes, and the subject of their rescue mission, the heroes drew their weapons and charged into the chamber, shouting battlecries.