Tegel Mines

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Tegel Mines
Type Dungeon
Status Explored October 889 TA
Location Tegel Village
Hex 7208
Campaign Return to Tegel Manor
Adventure # 107

DM's Notes

The dark, twisted passages of the Tegel Mines honeycomb the earth underneath the entire landscape. There are three distinct construction phases to the mines. The upper levels were built by dwarves and laborers under the direct supervision of the dwarves. During this period, the greatest amounts of mithral were mined and sent across the Inner Sea to the dwarven forges for processing. These upper levels are well-constructed and the three largest shafts are still visible today. Once the mines began to play out, the fine dwarven construction gave way to shoddy, more dangerous human and orc construction. Many of these passageways were built under the most dire of circumstances, and it is said that the blood of the whip has brought an evil taint to these mines. It was during this period that the great collapse happened (see the History of Tegel above), cursing the mine and creating the legend of the tommyknockers. During this time, the mines were extended miles in all directions (including down). One branch was even rumored to have come out under the sea. It is also said that the miners were driven too deep, awakening a long-dormant evil.

Finally, the mines were officially closed. Illegal mining has gone on since that time, although no mithral has been hauled to Tegel Village in recent years. A frightened village boy returned most recently from the mine, where he was hoping to find some tools to help his family farm. He told the story of a ghost-like creature, translucent with glowing fangs, that asked him a question in a strange tongue. When the boy couldn’t answer, he was chased from the area, barely escaping with his life. This story was never investigated by the militia.

The Army of the Mines

The orcs have been drawn to this place by the evil radiating from the lake, although the main host of the army will not arrive until mid-Summer. Currently, there are four groups of orcs numbering 200 in the Mines and surrounding environs to Tegel village. These are organized as shown below.

Orc organization.jpg

Entrances to the Tegel Mines

Tegel mines3.jpg

There are six primary entrances to the Tegel Mines, although there are also several holes in the ground that lead into the shafts. The primary entrances are:

  • The Cliff House Entrance
  • Tegel Mine Entrance (common)
  • The Eventide Entrance
  • The Bluestone Dwarf Entrance
  • The Dim Lighthouse Entrance
  • The Tegel Manor Entrance

The Tegel Mines proper are a series of tunnels that interconnect with a number of natural caverns. These are centered around the Lake of Darkness in the center of which the final battle will take place. On the island is the source of the evil that has awoken both the serpent and the snake and is fed by the haunting of Tegel Manor. This cavern has been discovered by the orcs, although none of the scouts that have set out for the island at its center have returned.

There are five blue dragons are “guarding” for the giants (see map), although they are really not interested in fighting and will talk to the party at length. They will not let the party pass, but they will tell them of the goings on (for the right amount of gold). They are a family of five blue dragons who have taken service to the Giant King in return for all the gold in Tegel Village and Manor. They guard key entrances to the cave. They don’t know the big plan, they don’t care. They are really just in it for the gold. The dragons are:

Azall the Elder - She is an elder dragon. She has blue scales and two large horns jutting from her head. She is lazy. Her knowledge of draconic history and culture is superb. Her hoard consists almost entirely of valuable tomes.

Nightwings the Undecievable - He is an elder dragon. He has blue scales and exceptionally large wings. He is surprisingly helpful towards non-draconic races. His senses are extremely powerful. His hoard consists almost entirely of magical weapons and armor.

Stormtearer - She is a mature dragon. She has blue scales and noteably large and vicious claws. She is extremely sadistic. She collects bones of her enemies and gold.

Shieldstrike - He is a young dragon. He has blue scales which are unusually thick. He is very brave. He loves mostly silver coins.

Windwing - She is a young dragon. She has blue scales and exceptionally large wings. She is very mistrustful. She loves copper coins most of all.

The Cliff House Entrance

Map-tegel mines cliffhouse.jpg

Area 1: Guard Room

A narrow passage winds down into the earth. The walls here a slimy and the floor uneven. In places, crude steps, worn uneven and slippery, cross back always moving down. The air becomes tangy with salt after awhile and running water can be heard coming from the walls. Along the wall, iron sconces sit cold and rusted.

As you reach the bottom of the passage, you can see a dim light in the cavern ahead. Low voices can be heard.

Suddenly, you come across a cavern. From the shape of the stone, it seems to have been carved by water. The floor is slightly bowl shaped, with the center and western edge of room being lower than the rest. Six passages lead out of the room. A pool of water is in western corner of the room. The water in the pool seems to be moving. On the eastern end of the room, a large wooden table has four large chairs around it. Sitting at the table are two large giants. A bear is near the table, apparently asleep.

Two giants move to attack. Each one has a copper whistle that they blow to alert others.

These guards are to let only Ruang Rump pass. They are not clever but could be tricked. The pool is salt water, seeped in from the sea. Two other giants are patrolling the area. They will return every half hour, play cards for a few minutes and then start the patrol again. There is a 1 in 6 chance they will go down each passage.

Area 2: Beholder

At the intersection of several passageways, a side niche in the cave is filled with bones, mostly human-sized although there are some deer and bear bones here as well. They appear to be well gnawed.

From here, the giants run up to the northwest and then up to the northeast as far as the spiders. They know that the beholder is here, and they don’t want to mess with it.

Clever adventurers will notice that the footprints are further apart here.

Area 3: Spider Webs

The passageway ahead appears to be blocked by spiderwebs. You notice that the walls have old iron sconces in them, now long in disrepair.

Area 4: Spider Chasm

The passageway stops broken by a 15 foot wide chasm. It apparently continues on the far side. You see what looks like a dead pig on the far side. The chasm appears to narrow above and below you. There are spiderwebs at both ends of the chasm.

This room is the lair of a monstrous spider. Her eight children are in the webs in this room and in the chasm. They are relatively well fed. They will attack if provoked. The spider has a key to Tegel Manor door, taken many years ago off of a poor unfortunate that was heading between the Cliff House and the Manor House.

Area 5: The Merfolk Cave

This passage ends at a vertical shaft falling 60 feet onto some jagged rocks below. Across from you, over a gap of ten feet is a waterfall. The spray is salty and the room is filled with a briny mist.

Jumping through the waterfall brings the party to a small natural cavern. The cavern radiates an aura of ancient good and peace. On the walls of the cave are pictures of colossal battle of two tribes of merfolk. One of the tribes are dressed in gold mail. The others are dressed in black with a sinister countenance. Several show the defeat of the golden merfolk and the crowning of a monstrous octopus-bodied king. Others seem to show a rebellion, ending the in the defeat and banishment of the tentacled king and the crowning of a merfolk queen, resplendent in her gold vestiges.

In the center of the room a large fossilized clam shell sits closed on a floor of white sand.

Touching the shell causes the following words to echo throughout the chamber:

If you are faithful, you may rest here in peace.
If you are in need, prove your worth and take

A schooner is sailing in the Great Sea when some crewmen spot a sailor on a tiny island waving frantically. They send a lifeboat and bring him back to the ship. He says his small sailboat had capsized in a storm, his father drowned, and he washed up on that island. The Captain rushes down from the bridge, sees the sailor, and shouts, "My son, you have rescued my son!" Those who are wise will say how this is so.

In one of the pictures, the golden merfolk are attacking a giant sea serpent carrying a number of the black merfolk on its back. A lone merfolk hero stands poised with a giant harpoon, ready to strike at the serpent.

Solving the riddle causes the shell to open, revealing a glowing harpoon within. It can be taken by the party to defeat Rump’s Hump.

Area 6: The Giant’s Quarters

A makeshift wooden barricade has been made across the southern wall of this passage. While crude, it is very sturdy. A single large door appears to be unlocked.

Four large mats have been laid out at the far end of this room. A cooking pit and pot sit along the eastern wall. The western wall contains several barrels of fresh water and adventuring rations. There are several rabbit hung up along the walls as well. The room is plain but very tidy by giant standards.

Area 7: Small Cavern

A deep hole at the end of the passageway drops 40 feet into this oddly shaped cavern.

A mining shaft intersects this cavern at one end. The shaft is made of old wood and seems poorly supported. The workmanship is clearly inferior.

Area 8: Blue Dragon Guard

Where the mineshaft joins a massive natural cavern beyond, you see what at first appears to be a large boulder sitting in the middle of path. By chance, you see the boulder move, and in the flickering torchlight of the sconces near the beast, the form a giant blue dragon. The creature is clearly awake and looking into the passage.

Tegel Mines Main Entrance

Map-tegel mines main.jpg

A muddy road leads up to a large ledge carved into the dark hillside outside of Tegel Village. Deep ruts in the road are now covered with grass, as it appears to have been years since the ore carts have used the track. Three gaping holes have been cut into the hillside, and each has been carefully boarded up. Between the middle and south entrances, a number of large crates and several ore carts have been discarded. They look overgrown and weathered. However, signs of recent activity are evident in the central cave, as the boards appear to be of newer construction.

When approached, a ghost will come from the North Entrance. If it is daytime, the ghost will appear in the first dark passageway encountered.

The ghost is that of a dwarven miner, with two picks – one on each arm. These appear as fangs. He asks the party, “Will you help my brethren. There are sixteen of them trapped in the north shaft. Hurry.” If the party agrees, then the ghost will leave – to sit by the rubble and wait. If they refuse or don’t answer, he will attempt to chase them away – evil interlopers that they are.

The orcs have learned the dwarven word for “yes” to get by the ghost.

North Entrance

The boards here are weathered but still solid. A sloppy skull and crossbones has been drawn on the boards – also faded with time.

The boards give way to a mine shaft that leads precariously down away from the other shafts. The support timbers here are poorly made.

The tunnel extends for about 400 feet and ends in a small cavern. The roof of the cavern has collapsed filling the center and rear of the room with rubble. Sticking out from under the stones, one can see human bones.

This is the site of one of the collapses and the source of the tommyknockers. To help them, the rubble must be cleared and all sixteen bodies recovered and buried.

South Entrance

Again, the boards here are weathered.

Careful examination will show that the boards are actually just leaning up against the cliff. The smell of rotting food can be detected.

Behind these are three hill giants guards. One of them has a bronze whistle about its neck. The entrance room is small, just wide enough to store an ore cart – now filled with refuse.

The tunnel behind the entrance goes about 200 feet down and ends at a fissure which connects it to the center shaft. There are footprints here as this is the means by which the guards get to their post.

Middle Entrance

This moderately large cavern is lined with the implements of mining. Coils of rope, picks, buckets, and shovels of all varieties are propped up against the walls here. Two ore cars are in the north and south of the room, and the shaft leading from the east has a rusted mechanical pully system. Torch brackets show recent use and the support beams are of ancient and excellent craftsmanship. There have clearly been many recent visitors to the Mines, as footprints are abundant here. The room appears to be empty.

A double-wide mineshaft leads down into the hills, twisting after several hundred yards. Just before the twist, a fissure cuts the shaft. Carefully repaired with rubble and quite passable, the fissure heads to the northeast and southwest.

Other Tegel Mines Entrances

Dim Lighthouse Entrance

Eventide Entrance

See Eventide and the Dark Tower.

Bluestone Dwarf Entrance

See Bluestone Dwarf Ruins.

Dim Lighthouse Entrance

Description lost.

Tegel Manor Entrance

Description lost.

Tegel Mines

Room 1: Center of Evil

This impossibly large cavern stretches as far as the eye can see. A narrow shelf of rock forms a lip around the northern and western edges of a large lake. The lake is mostly obscured by a dense fog the boils from its center. The lake itself appears to be contaminated with a black oily substance which forms tendrils of darkness in the otherwise clear water. Even standing away from the edge of the lake, you feel an overwhelming sense of necromantic evil radiating from it.

On the western edge of the lake, six bedraggled horses are being used to operate a bizarre wooden contraption that looks like a cross between a water wheel and a catapult. As you watch, the horses move backwards lowering a set of buckets into the black fetid water. Then, driven by several orcs, the horses pull forward raising the buckets high into the air before dumping them into a stone basin in the shape of a massive serpent. This process repeats over and over again. Nearby, six more horses are tied to a stake. Several hay bales and a water trough is nearby. Two more orcs are sleeping on the hay bales.

Along the edge of the lake, a makeshift set of camps have been constructed. There are sputtering fires set in old ore carts, rusty drums and stone basins. Pennants fly from makeshift flagpoles and are draped about. A number of figures can be seen wandering amongst the camp.

Four pennants are: Red Hand, Blue Eye, Green Ear, and Brown Foot.

Scattered amongst the human-sized tents, there are nine very large tents, proportioned for giants. These have stone piled around the perimeters to give them a more solid appearance.

A small tent is almost impossible to see in the darkness. Making it more difficult, the tents appear to shimmer and resist being looked at staright on. Grey shadows flit around the perimeter of this darkened site.

The water from Tegel Village and the swamp are normal. The “dreck” is being created at the center of the cavern.

In the center of the lake is a small rocky island. The island, shrouded in darkness and bitter cold, holds an ancient looking altar – clearly dating from the First or Second Age. The top of the altar is cracked slightly most like due to a pile of strange metal boxes which have falled on top of it. The rest of the island is likewise piled with these strange metal boxes, some of which are perched precariously close to the edge of the small outcropping. The entire island radiates the most massive emanation of evil.

The crack is what started this whole mess in the first place. It allowed the mind of the Crawling Evil to come out, touching the Immortal One, the Snake Demon, the ghosts of Tegel, before finally taking over some local orcs. The blue dragons have also been affected. The Crawling Evil requires mass death to make its escape back into the Realm. The orcs have been summoned to destroy Tegel Village to create wholesale death.

If it looks like the orcs are going to fail, then it will start working on the party to do its bidding. If it is let out, then good luck.

The boxes are filled with mithril which is used to absorb evil eminations from the altar. Over time, they have become tainted – which is why they are there. Some have fallen into the lake, causing the dreck. New COPPER boxes can be made and filled with mithril and be good for another thousand years.

The Crawling Evil appears as a great amphorous shape – hovering like a cloud of living smoke.

When at rest, this creature seems a mere pool of utterly opaque black liquid that gives off a fetid odor reminiscent of some primal swamp. When roused, it extrudes a menacing head with gaping maw and great luminous eyes. It can extend or retract its pseudopods at will, grow dozens of legs, or indeed assume any form it pleases. Whatever its form, it retains its shiny blackness, like liquid obsidian. It can attack opponents up to 20 feet away, and its yielding surface makes is immune to all weapon damage – mundane and magical – but spells, fire, chemicals and acide affect it normally.

Room 2: The Mine Office

Once the mine office of the dwarves, four stone desks can be found in the corners of this room. The desks have long since been discarded from their usual purpose. The wooden chairs, paperwork and other combustible items from the room sit in a heap of ashes near the northern entrance to the room. The bonfire has long been extinguished. In corner leans a 12 foot long saw, its blade glints keenly. In the center of the room is large dragon, somewhat cramped facing the main entrance. It appears to be sleeping. It appears as if the dragon could squeeze through any of the four entrances to this room, but barely.

In the corner leans the dwarven magical saw.

Room 3: Hall of the Six Kings

A series of six magnificent stalagmites sit along this winding subterrainian passage. Each is almost 30 feet high, although clearly natural in nature. As you enter this room, it echoes with the dripping of numerous streams of water. The effect is like that of a line of drummers.

Room 4: Rain Forests

This cavern slopes down precariously from the two passages at one end. The room is warm and incredibly humid as water drips from thousands of soda straws hanging from the ceiling. A slick green moss covers the floors and subterranean ferns seem to be growing here, seemingly without light.

Room 5

This room is filled with rubble as it appears the ceiling has almost completely collapsed. A number of picks and shovels can be seen protruding from the rubble. The damage seems to have been done very recently.

Room 6

This room appears to be unnaturally cold. The floor, unlike most of the cave, seems to be a pool of water several inches deep. A glint of gold can be seen in the center of the pool. Several dead orcs lie nearby, crushed. The room has a distinctive musty smell like that of mildew or swamp water.

Room 7

The roof of this cave disappears from sight. The smell of bat guano is strong here.

Random Encounters

  • A pool of seething fluid piles up on itself, forming an undulant mass of four large tentacles joined to a central mound of thick, syrupy liquid. This creature is 10 feet wide with 10 foot long tentacles. It weighs 12,000 pounds. This is the Shaboath.
  • The doombat yips can be heard long before it arrives. It is a large black bat with a 10-foot wingspan.
  • Crystalline Horror. This creature appears to be made of crystal or glass. Its body is jagged and sharp. It has no mouth, eyes, ears, etc.