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The Rill's Mouth Mines is an old, abandoned mine in the Dwendalian Empire located a little over an hour and a half to the east of Alfield, and north of the Rillway Road.[1]

The lair's entrance is located among a series of large, rolling hills, topped with broken shale, and surrounded by vibrant green grasses and tall weeds that varies from knee to chest height.[2]

LayoutEdit

Mineshaft Yard Edit

In a barren valley of rock and dirt, this yard contains large, wooden pan tables, broken boxes, pickaxes, the remnants of some rusted lanterns, and the three carts.[3]

Abandoned Shed Edit

Around the corner, hidden among the cluster of hills above the mine, is an old shed that has long been abandoned and locked up.[4]

Mine Entrance Edit

the mine shaft contains a partial barricade as well as the wooden support structure of the interior, made up of piles of broken furniture, dry-rotted pickaxe handles, and wooden beams that are shattered and jammed into each other. Flanking each side of the entrance way, there is only around a three-foot-wide gap that acts as a path into the mine. This shaft is around 35 feet long where only a faint amount of light can bleed in from the entrance, beyond which it quickly became pitch black.[5]

Common Area Edit

40 feet into the mine, the shaft widens into a more open area with sloped ceilings. The space is around 35 feet across and widening even further to around 45–50 feet towards the back of the chamber, before descending into two different pathways.[6]

Both shafts have wooden frames for support and curved in opposite directions downward at a steady 45-degree angle. Neither tunnel shows signs of change in air current or temperature. Both passageways seemed to contain equal amounts of footprints and traffic.[7]

This chamber has a handful of tables, some chairs, sacks of mildewed rice grain, and dry-rotted burlap bags of supplies, strewn about.[8] Additionally, there is an untapped ale and water barrel, a half-full hooded lantern that is partially rusted over, a crowbar, and a slightly rotted sledgehammer. On a small ladder, lays a lightweight rod, approximately the size of a small rung, that has a waxed twine hanging from one end, a "Boom-Boom Stick".[9]

Trap Stretching across the opening of the shaft into the common area there is a rope, which is connected to a large log affixed to the ceiling, set as a swinging trap against intruders.[10]

Left Passage Edit

The left passage descends and curves downward about 15–20 feet, this shaft rapidly curves to the left and then to the right for at least 25 feet. There are no traps in this passage.[11]

Right Passage Edit

Gnoll Lair RShaft 1

Right Passage

This passage curved down to the right and there appears to be a slight depression on the right side of the shaft. In this depression, there is a three and a half foot wide pit that is concealed by a piece of burlap sack. The pit trap takes up only a part of the passage, which is about 10 feet wide. From this trap, the passage continues down in a spiral-like curve for about 40 feet. The tunnel continues 150 feet before it slowly levels out.[12]

Ritual Altar Chamber Edit

This chamber is long and has multiple levels, what once may have looked like a solid mining vein has become strewn with bones and flayed skin that is pinned to the rock walls with scavenged nails. Blood is spattered across them with intent, and a painted jagged smile of sharp teeth adorned four of these flayed hides. A faint source of light in the center platform of this chamber flickers from a small stone altar holding a cluster of candles. The altar has one of these marked, flayed skins stretched over it, as well as several glistening hearts, which are used in a ritual to Yeenoghu.[13]

Y-Intersection Edit

Gnoll Lair Yint 1

Y-section

The shaft beyond the altar chamber curves to the right in a wide spiral before it sharply turns to the right. It straightens out, and the shaft emerges into a chamber of mixed natural rock walls and simple stonework. This room acts as a second common room, two other shafts, heading to the left and right, marked this chamber as a Y-intersection.[14]

Two thick, natural pillars of rock break the space open. They stand as load-bearing portions of the chamber, while a crumpled section of the floor drops into a pit below. This hole is around 50–60 feet deep, and it seems to have been an intentionally created well that has since seen disuse.[15] Similar to the first common area, this chamber contained tables and stools strewn about the area, as well as crates, pickaxes, shovels, and a variety of tools.

Right Passage Edit

This passage has collapsed and is no longer usable.[16]

Left Passage Edit

Along this branch, there are two closed doors. It continued deeper into the mine at a moderate grade for about 60 to 70 feet, before it levels off and turns upward for another 20 to 30 feet leading to stairs.[17]

Prisoner CellsEdit

The left passage contained latched doors to prison cells. Behind the doors there is a strong smell of decay emerging from four dead bodies that are in pieces and pushed to the back of the room.[18]

Stair Passage Edit

Gnoll Lair Stair 1

Stairs passage

Other than the large, 40-foot deep pit in the upper portion of this tunnel where part of the floor has collapsed, this passage is marked by rough stairs that rise for about 6 feet.[19]

These stairs lead to a short tunnel that sharply curves to the left toward a large 8- to 10-foot wide archway, where a set of double doors seemed to have once been but has long since been broken off their hinges. Beyond this broken doorway, the tunnel grows rougher and continues to snake for 100 feet through 10- to 15-foot wide tunnels, before opening up.[20]

The deeper down this passage, the more smell resembles a faint mixture of urine and citrus replaces the general smell of decaying earth and dust that permeate the remainder of the mine.[21]

Last Chamber Edit

Opening up to a large rocky alcove, this chamber is filled with stalactites, which hang from an uneven ceiling that ranged from 15 to 20 feet above the floor. A rough slope descends from the immediate entrance of this tunnel and hit a short wall before rising past it to a small platform at about 70 to 80 feet in, where this chamber and the mine ended.

Marked by signs of abandonment, with broken digging equipment lying in the corners of this chamber and walls, this chamber appeared to have been the deepest portion the miners has dug to before having given up hope when the veins became scarce.[22]

Gallery Edit

History Edit

In 835 PD, the mine served as the lair from which a group of gnolls coordinated an attack on Alfield. After the attack on Alfield the gnoll where smart and cautious of being followed, and they hid their lair's entrance by deliberately sweeping and dusting their tracks around the mineshaft yard with dirt. To further hide the location of the entrance, on an eastern hill within this valley, the gnolls has created a 12×12-foot blanket of interwoven grasses to cover it over.

The party that would become the Mighty Nein ventured into the mines to eliminate the gnolls.

"The Howling Mines" (2x06) Edit

When the Mighty Nein followed the gnolls to their lair they found three carts that the gnolls had used to haul captives and spoils back to their lair from Alfield in the mineshaft yard. Gathered around and licking the dried blood splatter that has soaked into the wood of the carts were three hyenas guards.

That's the alchemical term.
– 
Nott, referring to the dynamite as a "boom-boom stick"[23]
[!h]

In the Common Area Nott failed to notice a trap and sprung it, which caused a log to loudly slam against the rock wall of the shaft and thus alerted the gnolls deeper in the mine. After defeating two gnolls Jester searched the room and found a "Boom-Boom Stick" and a sledgehammer.

Nott partially explored the left passage and found no traps, so the party chose to further explore the right passage with the expectation that the more important sections of the lair would be trapped.

The hunger will be fed—ours and hers.
– 
the Yeenoghu priest near Alfield[24]
[!h]

When the party entered the Ritual Altar Chamber there were six gnolls gathered around the altar, along with a priest of their god Yeenoghu. As the gnolls were conducting a ceremony to Yeenoghu, the priest placed several hearts onto an altar and gave small, muffled barks and yipping sounds. After saying a prayer in broken common, the gnolls around them yipped in unison and then tore into and devoured the hearts. The priest thought that a manticore was a boon from Yeenoghu, and that by feeding and growing one, a manticore would provide strength to the pack and thus more meat and power in the future.

After the ritual to Yeenoghu, the priest left, along with two of the gnolls and the now visible pack leader. The party killed two gnolls before the creatures had a chance to act. When the remainder did react, two hyenas were immediately killed by Fjord's Armor of Agathys. Fjord and Molly carved through the third gnoll while Jester and Beau took out the fourth, and Molly and Fjord killed the last two hyenas as they were attempting to flee. Nott used Hideous Laughter to prevent the last gnoll from leaving the room before finishing it off with her short sword. The party found a Medicinal supplies chest in this room, in this chest were:[25]

  • 2 healer's kits
  • disinfectant herbs and fungi (enough for two uses)
    • When applied topically, the herbs and fungi could remove poisons if quickly applied to the wound that was poisoned.
  • a small, leather hand pack that contained 4 glass vials
    • 3 vials were shattered, and the last vial contained a greater healing potion.


After hearing a muffled explosion in the distance and what seemed to be some sort of low vocalization, cackling, and eventually the scream of a woman saying, 'No, my baby!', the party gave chase.

"Hush" (2x07) Edit

The party follow the mineshaft tunnel downwards towards the woman's voice they has heard. They eventually find a second large chamber containing two hyenas, a skeletal gnoll, and two regular gnolls bickering over a small human child. An explosion from nearby makes the group pause before Nott, Fjord, Jester, and Molly initiate an ambush. Just as they are firing off their first attacks, a loud boom shook the interior of the chamber, causing dust and rocks to fall from the ceiling. A cloud of dust and smoke came billowing out of the right passage, followed shortly by a new figure entering the room: the cleric Shakäste, who has also come to help rescue villagers.

Together, they investigate the room. Alongside another “Boom-Boom Stick and a number of bodies they find a woman, Herma, who turns out to be the mother of the young boy, Jules; and a half-elven man, Petrov. They bring both the living and seven of the dead back to the surface, to where Shakäste has a shelter with four more survivors.

Stephen-oakley-crit-role-gnollcaptain (1)

Fan art of Gnoll pack lord, by Stephen Oakley.[art 1]

Shakäste sends his familiar, a hummingbird called the Duchess, ahead to scout the tunnel beyond the second chamber. Learning that there are more gnolls, Nott and Fjord take point, sneaking ahead. He and Nott kill it quickly, but not before it can signal the rest of its pack.

Three more gnolls come to investigate, prompting another scuffle. They are shortly joined by their pack leader, which charges ahead to kick Beau into a well in the floor. Shakäste holds the leader at bay with so that Jester and Nott can take him down. Beau climbs out of the well. With the largest threat eliminated, the remaining gnolls go down quickly. Jester fond 13 gold and tree silver pieces with a two-handed glaive on the gnoll pack lord.

Stephen-oakley-crit-role-manticore (1)

Fan art of Manticore and cub, by Stephen Oakley.[art 2]

The next, and final, chamber of the mines contained two bound, human captives and some manner of humanoid priest wearing gnoll bones and a mother manticore and her newborn cub. The manticore consumes the human captive before anything can be done.

Nott tries to sneak in and free the captives, but before Nott can finish untying the captives the manticore sees them entering the cavern, and combat is joined. A single strike from Nott's sword kills the cub and attracts the mother's full wrath.

Beau runs in to drag Nott out of the manticore's range, although a final parting bite puts Nott unconscious. Meanwhile, the priest takes Jester out, Shakäste breaks the priest's concentration on the spell paralyzing Fjord. This allows Fjord to use a healing potion to revive Jester, who in turn revives Nott. Nott then uses Hideous Laughter to momentarily incapacitate the manticore.

While the manticore is helpless with laughter, the party focus damage on the priest. Caleb strikes the killing blow with a Fire Bolt, and the sight of the priest's burning head triggers a flood of memories that make him withdraw into himself. Shakäste lands two final blows on the badly hurt manticore, finally killing it with a bolt of radiant flame down its throat.

The Mighty Nein found the following loot in its nest:

  • A skeletal hand that has been mostly chewed through, though on a single fleshy finger it held a beautiful silver ring with a blue gem. Caleb later identified it as a Ring of Water Walking.
  • A refined and well-carved stick, which Caleb later identified as a Wand of Smiles.
  • Large chains, attached to a set of unlocked manacles. Made up of four identical loops of a little over a foot in diameter, the loops are all attached via chains to a larger loop that is about four or five feet in diameter.

References Edit

  1. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 0:46:26.
  2. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 1:21:13.
  3. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 1:27:12.
  4. See "Hush" (2x07) at 1:08:53.
  5. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 1:47:49.
  6. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 1:55:58.
  7. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 2:06:23.
  8. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 1:51:53.
  9. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 2:07:36.
  10. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 1:54:17.
  11. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 2:15:04.
  12. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 2:16:44.
  13. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 2:34:14.
  14. See "Hush" (2x07) at 0:10:34.
  15. See "Hush" (2x07) at 0:11:26.
  16. See "Hush" (2x07) at 1:02:01.
  17. See "Hush" (2x07) at 0:12:01.
  18. See "Hush" (2x07) at 0:56:54.
  19. See "Hush" (2x07) at 1:14:30.
  20. See "Hush" (2x07) at 1:15:40.
  21. See "Hush" (2x07) at 2:42:29.
  22. See "Hush" (2x07) at 2:46:35.
  23. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 2:11:35.
  24. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 2:38:41.
  25. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) from 3:39:29 through 3:42:09.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Gnoll pack lord, by Stephen Oakley (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Manticore and cub, by Stephen Oakley (source).  Used with permission.
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