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Melora drew and read the card carefully. Death itself started coldly back at her from her hand and a dread wraith appeared and instantly struck at Melora. Akira rushed in to protect her while everyone in the bar cleared out. Niether his armor nor Melora’s Luckblade had any effect on this force of pure, cackling evil. It made its final attack against Melora and struck true. Melora fell to the bar floor, her blood quickly leaving her body. The dread wraith, its job complete, disappeared as quickly as it had manifested itself. Everyone rushed in to help Melora. By some divine power, a healing potion and a lot of luck Kelgor and Plakos stabilized her and brought her and Jenius upstairs to rest a bit.

Melora awoke and came downstairs to join the group a little later just as a rather thin, beardless dwarf walked into the bar. His slouch hat was almost as noticeable as his pronounced stammer that made it hard for him to say anything at all. He poured himself a pint of ale, gulped it all down, and stated his business. He introduced himself as Braxton the Bold, co-owner and manager of a successful mining business in Tarrasque. He and his brother, Argriff the Bold, ran the business together, and usually business is pretty good, but they’ve been having difficulty with one of their mines lately. Someone had recognized the “Heroes of Demper’s Ferry” and alerted the brothers to the group’s presence in town. Braxton explained how desperate he was to clear out an orc infestation that halted the work on this particular mine. He ran as fast as he could to the Rusty Spigot and he was very happy he could catch the group in time.

Melora, although a little weak from her night, had gold in her eyes. Without hesitation, she asked how much they would be willing to pay since it seems like it was a pretty big problem. Braxton invited them to follow him back to the company’s office so they could discuss the specifics. Plakos was a little worried Melora, but he was happy M.A.P. was getting some recognition. They decided to follow the dwarf and see if the job was worth their time.

Braxton made little conversation as he led the others through town. They came to an unpaved road near the edge of town that descended into a large area of land that had clearly been leveled by years of mine work. As they made their way to the main office, a rather small building near the end of the sloping path, they saw a couple large buildings to the right where men and dwarves were loading and unloading various equipment and tools. “It’s right up here,” Braxton said he led them up to the little building. A swinging sign with the words “D&B Mining” impressed on it swung slightly in the breeze. Braxton took the lead and went inside motioning the others inside. The small, single-roomed shack was lined with mining tools and maps. A couple tables and one desk in the back had a few chairs around them. It was evident that Braxton and his brother took their livelihood seriously.

A large man, long hair and strong physique, stood behind the desk at the back of the room, his hands taking notes on the map he was currently looking working on. As soon as he looked up he quickly walked over and greeted the group with firm handshakes. His calm voice didn’t fit his design, and his vocabulary was a little rough, but it was clear he meant business. He went over the situation in detail. One of their mines had recently become the home to a tribe of orcs and the spoils inside are untouchable until the orcs are taken care of. He bluntly stated that he would be sure to reward the completion of this task with gold and even offered to pay half upfront. Plakos nodded at the suggestion while Kelgor, the newest member of the group, kept to himself. They discussed the details of the task at hand and ultimately decided there was very little risk involved. After all, what are a few orcs to the “Heroes of Demper’s Ferry”? Argriff gladly paid them and arranged to have a guide bring them to the correct mine the following morning. This allowed the group to get some more rest, something Melora still needed. So they returned to the Rusty Spigot which had regained its patrons and staff and rested in preparation for upcoming challenge.

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