“…Now remember as I said – the dark is not your enemy nor your ally, but by gods the beasts it bares are rarely your friend. The old shafts will get cobbled in mostly as a safety precaution to wandering younglet like you lot, but also because the mines make great homes for spiders, bugbears and packs of dogs closer to the surface. If you see silken thread, and you haven’t got more’n five men with you, run like hell and Dont. Touch. The Web. You have been warned. Now, here’s the staff room…” - Veteran miner, showing the new recruits to the mines.
Squad 16 charged into the roughly cut tunnel in the mines. Making their way as quickly as possible over the uneven rock floor, they rounded the corner and were confronted with two miners. A female was sitting in a corner with a collapsed male miner in her care.
Warily, Content Not Found: fiona approached the couple, and attemped to console her, whilst assessing the nature of the injury of the male miner.
“I’m Julia,” said the miner “and this is Rob. We were attacked out of the darkness, just before the explosion.”
Julia had begun to cry.
Meanwhile, Grokduul carefully began to remove the shirt and mantle from Rob. Beneath he saw many puncture wounds, at least two score. Grokduul focused his divine powers and with a healing touch ejected shrapnel from Rob’s body and closed the wounds. Rob’s breathing eased noticeably. Grokduul cleverly searched for any potential wound where they may have found another of the Golden Diamons, but it was in vain. He roused Rob from unconsciousness.
Fiona had continuned to talk to Julia whilst Seven and Kuri kept watch. The miners told the story of how they were just starting on shift when they had been attacked in the dark by militants who must have come from deeper within the mine. She had taken Rob and bought him here and hidden – they only other thing she remembered was the explosion
Grokduul asked Julia if there was a way down into the mines, and Julia told them of an old abandoned passage, which would lead them to the base of the mine shaft. It had been sealed for years. Kuri found the entrance and broke open the sealed cobble. They walked in to the old tunnel.
Upon progressing, Fiona’s sunrod spread light into the tunnel, and the reflection of thousands of threads of spiderweb shone back at them. Testing the web, Fiona threw a rock, and the whole tunnel tremored. Squad 16 advanced with care. Kuri began to hear the tittering and growls of some creatures further down the tunnel.
Quickly they descended the old passage, working their way into thicker webbing. All of a sudden, Kalee disappeared, diving into the tunnel wall as 4 large scaled spiders burrowed through webbing into the tunnel, both infront and behind them.
Cornered, the squad bunched up and fought back. Grokduul hammered away at the spiders; Tevach split one clean in two. Kuri focused his psychic powers, and Fiona helped him bring one down. Seven poured arrows into anything with more than two legs. After the gruelling battle the squad licked their wounds and proceeded. The sounds of the spiders were still loud around them – perhaps they had only encountered the guards!
The squad round the corner, and a few meters decent into this new passage, there is a tearing sound from behind them. The Tunnel is collapsing! Grokduul swings his hammer against the wall of the web tunnel to try and brace himself against the collapse of the tunnel. His effort was in vain – his Hammer sailed through the web wall, and beyond he could see only open black space. The ripping sounds intensified behind them, and all of a sudden the tube of web they were in separated from the tunnel behind it and began to slide down the old mine at breakneck speed.
Grokduul, his balance already askew from his near miss with the wall, was thrown off his feet and felt every rock on the way down. The other soldiers kept their footing and rode it out. There was a crash as they broke through some rock face or another and they were all thrown forward when the sliding web tube stopped against the wall of a man-made mine.
They carefully exited the webbing to discover they were at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Behind them a decrepit mine with crude stairs led back up to the surface. In front of them a staff room and a few collapsed tunnels. The squad busted into the staff room, flattening most of the contents with the door in the process. They scavenged some food and a lamp or two, but nothing else much of use.
Entering the least damaged of the remaining tunnels, they turn a corner to find a bunch of cocooned bodies – must be 4 or 5 dozen! From amongst the bodies more giant spiders leapt from the ceiling and attacked!
The fight was a close and near battle – Tevach, Grokduul and Kuri were all knocked unconscious at some point or another. They pulled through, only just ending the onslaught of the final spider’s attack. Worn out, bloodied and otherwise exhausted, Squad 16 turned their eyes upward to see if they can help the civilians.