With the rogue wizard defeated, for now, our heroes took the battered body of Saliman down to the base of the Council’s tower. Gathering up the bits and pieces of his destroyed tent, the party formed a funeral pyre to send the noble wizard off with respect.
Examination of the journal Saliman had been carrying revealed that he had been searching for the other council members for some time now. According to the journal, his trail for Dagda had gone cold; rumors suggested that Alberich had gone to make his home among the people of Avanson; and Sindri has gone back to be with his people.
The party decided that, since the mine is on their way out of the mountains, they would stop to visit the Bronzebottoms in hopes of getting some mithril ore for making more powerful weapons and armor.
On their approach to the mine, the keen elven senses of Amatsu and Kazmira alerted them to the fact that they were being followed. After leading their unknown pursuer ahead for a while, they decided to try to approach his hiding spot. As they did, they saw the figure dashing over the rocks away from them. Tealey took off in a sprint, closing the gap quickly. She caught up to him as he was climbing a rock face to escape. Grabbing him by the ankle, she threw him to the ground, where Amatsu caught him and held him.
After some heavy interrogation (and some finger-breaking by Chopps), the man revealed that he was a scout for Nibleheim, and a detachment of troops was already in route to the mithril mines, with designs of taking it for themselves.
Upon their arrival to the mines Willic Bronzebottom, foreman of the mine, greeted them gratefully. His cousin, Ballow, had spoken highly of the adventurers after their exploits at Elric Monastery. After some discussion on the matter, the heroes agreed to lead the rag-tag group of miners and guards into battle in defense of the mines.
And so as the sun broke over the Dawnforge Mountains the army took to the field of battle. Many brave men died that day in defense of their livelihood. In the end, the heroes of Midwilder led their army to victory. But, alas, brave Chopps was captured.
After their friend was captured, Willic agreed to aid the heroes in a rescue of their ally. Scouts reported that several dwarves were seen being carried to a small, run-down fortress to the north.
The party approached the stronghold silently, getting the jump on the attending guards. Without much trouble, they dispatched of the squadron posted outside and found their dwarven friend bound in chains. Working with careful skill, Tealey picked the locks and freed him and the two other captives. Just at that moment, the group came under heavy fire from enemy archers. Seeing they were greatly outnumbered, they made good their escape. Trogdor grabbed the dwarves and threw one over each shoulder and Willic, transforming into a powerful ram, carried the third away on his back. Before long the group was safely into the surrounding woods.