Friday Forays – The Sunken Mineshaft

My last inaugural category post for the week. (Phew! Though, the day after tomorrow (which is next week), I’ll be debuting Society Sundays, so maybe this is my penultimate inaugural category post for now.) Welcome to Friday Forays. Friday Forays will be my chance to wrap it all up, everything I’ve covered in the week, into something more cohesive. (Though I make no promises that it will be cohesive – it could be off-the-wall.)

Friday Forays are going to go one of a few ways.

  • Sometimes, like today, I’ll offer you something akin to the Five Room Dungeon. Written descriptions of rooms and the threats you’ll find within, meant to be dropped into or in between your other adventures.
  • Other times, it’ll be a single encounter, but with the maps that come with it. I just bought myself Dundjinni for Christmas, so, give me a week or two to get familiar with it. I’m not used to having to share my encounter maps with the world, so I’ve got to figure that out.
  • Some combination of the above, plus more, as part of an over-arching adventure. That’s right – something resembling a complete module, over the course of a few weeks, here on The Consummate DM.

Hopefully, this’ll be the most fun, with the possible exception of Monster Mondays. I like bookending the week with awesomeness. Now all I have to do is make it awesome.

The Setup

Verbort Cairnsmasher, a dwarven prospector, has heard rumors that there’s an untapped node of mirror crystal down a certain fork in the Mirror Mines of Belness. He offers to PCs 100gp for verification of these rumors. He wants a shard of the crystal and a drawing of the room and the node.

The rumors are true, a tiny (but valuable to a solitary prospector like Verbort) node of mirror crystal. Unfortunately, it’s currently in use. The War Chieftain of the Bloodspear Goblins has sent a group of magic-users to tap into the mirror crystal in the hopes of opening a portal to Magdib (a ritual far beyond the pale of the goblins’ power, unbeknownst to them).

The PCs are given a map by Verbort, which only leads them as far into the mines as Encounter E1. The PCs must explore beyond that on their own.

(E1) Natural Guardians

The room here is home to XXX. The goblins get into the chamber by either sneaking by when the XXX are out hunting, or run past and dive into the water below (described in E2). Getting out is a matter of patience, waiting until the XXX are gone.

(E2) The Double Ambush

The mine goes from a tunnel in section E1, to a downward shaft, going about thirty feet down to a flooded tunnel, with a ladder along the wall. The water is about three feet deep and functions as difficult terrain. The lower chamber is about fifteen feet tall, and about twenty feet wide, and from the ladder to the other end is about sixty feet.

At the far end, there’s about ten feet of dry land. On that wall, there’s a door. The door appears to have been added later, along with the wall. The goblins have turned a retaining support into a full wall, with ten foot wide double doors. The doors are barred, but not well, and only require a DC 15 Strength Check to push open.
Hidden along one of the two long walls is a small alcove, within are X goblin archers (where X = party size – 2), who start shooting the PCs when they are about ten to fifteen feet away from the ladder. There’s no ladder or easy way up to the alcove. Getting up there requires a DC 15 Athletics or Acrobatics roll and a full round action. Using Athletics provokes attacks of opportunity from all the goblin archers, using Acrobatics only provokes an opportunity from one goblin.
Hidden in the wall behind the ladder (to the side of the ladder) is a small alcove, with a false wall made of woven grass and mud. Behind that are two GOBLIN LURKERS. They wait for the PCs to respond to the archers, then strike.

(E3) Goblin Warren

Unless the PCs somehow sneak past the goblins in (E2), the goblins behind the barred door are prepared. Three GOBLIN BRUTES, four GOBLIN RANGED MINIONS, and a GOBLIN SKIRMISHER wait within. They’re armed, and ready. The RANGED MINIONS have a called action against the first PC to cross through the door.
The room is a large circular room, about fifty feet in diameter. The room is smoky, though not enough to grant concealment – there is a deep fire pit in the center of the room (hazardous terrain), and the goblins haven’t thought much about ventilation. The floor is littered with sleeping bundles. From the warren are doors to two rooms, each with cheap goblin walls constructed.

(E4) The Blue Room

There is a second room here, where the blue goblins sent by the War Chieftain hide to get away from the gibbering mental voices of the other goblins. They are likely to hide (unless the PCs completely rout the goblins in encounter (E3), in which case the DM can have them come out and attack the PCs. The room is just another small warren, with some psionically oriented magic item that the DM wants the PCs to have. Inside are a three Blue Goblin Battleminds, a Blue Goblin Psion and a Blue Goblin Ardent (see Monday’s post).

(E5) Node to a Goblin Urn

Within this room are two Goblin Hexers, and Gibbergrin the Mad, the leader of this band of goblins. The room is quite large (sixty feet in diameter), and painted with runes in chalk and blood, with candles and bones arranged throughout. In the center of the room is the large node of which Verbort spoke. Ten feet tall and as big around, a giant shimmering piece of mirror crystal shooting out of the ground. There are other (much smaller) chunks of mirror crystal around the room – about five; these all function just like the mirror crystal described in the second DMG.


On Gibbergrin’s person is another magical item that the DM wants to give the PCs. I recommend FANCY MAGIC ITEM, but go with your gut. Verbort makes good on his promise if the PCs bring him a sketch of the node, though the PCs can probably leverage knowledge of that node to another miner for something else that they want more than 100 gp.

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