Grundbar had recently won a contract to operate a silver mine in the nearby hills. He has one problem, though: A tribe of primitive goblins was already mining his claim. Locals knew the goblins as the Glintblades because they used the silver from the mine to make the points of their arrows and spears. Grundbar’s contract stipulated that he had to find a way to parlay with the goblins or remove them from the mine. As Grundbar couldn’t imagine working with the “filthy savages,” he instead decided to hire adventurers to clear it out.
The short journey to the mine outside of Tehlu’s Crossing was uneventful, and the mine seemed curiously devoid of activity, even once the Bards got inside. A little way into the mine, their keen observational skills spotted a hidden doorway, leading them to a small room with a man dead from starvation, and his bag of everlasting provisions. A small journal beside him revealed that the delirium of a fever had led to him arguing with the patently unliving bag of provisions, and refusing to use it, he died a few days later. The party decided that it would serve them better, and hoped to maintain a more cordial relationship with it.
A little further into the mine, they encountered the first signs of goblin occupation, followed shortly by a trio of goblins, guarding the entrance to some larger cavern. After dispatching the guards, they entered the cavern to find a larger group of goblins, and their leader. The leader sneered at them, correctly assuming they had come there to remove the goblins. He taunted them, saying that even the three of them together could not beat the tribe’s champion; Ironjaw. The three accepted the challenge, unafraid of any goblin the tribe might muster. They were somewhat shocked to see Ironjaw when he came out though. Easily the size of four goblins, with a muscled frame and the frightful metal jaw that gave him his name, Ironjaw was not a foe to be taken lightly.
The goblins formed a circle around the combatants, jeering and pushing the Bards if they should come too close to them. The three used teamwork, tactics, and skilful fighting, and eventually they were able to fell the intimidating brute. Upon seeing this, most of the goblins fled, terror clear in their glittering black eyes. The chieftain however charged them, hoping to capitulate on their tired state. He ws unable to however, and was instead rather spectacularly cleaved in twain. The Bards took his now bisected head-dress as a trophy of sorts, as well as the iron jaw of Ironjaw.
Grundbar came out from the entranceway to the cavern, revealing he had followed the bards, and was suitably impressed at their prowess. Upon looking around the remainder of the mine however, some troubling news came to light. The goblins had done some heavy excavation, and not in a direction that held any minerals worth the effort. In fact, the tunnel seemed to be headed straight for Tehlu’s Crossing! They took a short rest, before setting out along the tunnel, on their guard, to see what awaited them at the other end…Behind the Scenes
The dead body with the provisions and the journal was something of a tribute to the Elder Scrolls games, which have a habit of putting dead bodies with journals lying nearby.
Ironjaw is named after Irontooth; a goblin who serves as a significant encounter in the Keep on the Shadowfell adventure module for 4e D&D. Ironjaw is somewhat bigger than Irontooth though. Irontooth is the stronger of the two though, as he is intended as an adversary for higher level players than Ironjaw was.
The chieftain was originally supposed to attack with a few other goblins, and pose more of a threat. However, after the battle with Ironjaw, the PCs were fairly weakened. At this point, the GM hadn’t yet run enough sessions to be able to accurately judge such things. As a result, some encounters were scaled up or down accordingly in the earlier stages of the campaign.
The GM still regrets not putting a mine-cart section in. Everybody knows mine based levels should have a mine-cart ride in them.