Grunkh climbed higher into the Cloudscape Mountains, traveling parallel to the trail but never upon it. When he saw the trail widen and become well-traveled, he climbed over a nearby ridge to see where it led and discovered he had found the Old Dwarf Mine.
The goblins had an established base camp here and Grunkh saw bugbears, worgs, hobgoblins, goblins and even one or two human cutthroats, going about among the crude, ramshackle construction. One building in particular stood out among the rest as its crumbling wood walls had been scorched by many fires and acrid smoke continuously bellowed from a chimney. Grunkh could not see the mine entrance itself and so moved to a better position.
Having found a lower ledge, Grunkh was able to see the mine entrance nearby. As he watched, a bedraggled human female in chains weakly pushed a wheelbarrow out of the mine entrance to dump rocks. She paused to look up at the sky with squinting eyes, earning a devastating crack from the hobgoblin taskmaster’s whip causing her to fall to the ground. The hobgoblin drew out a rod and approached the woman with dark purpose…
Grunkh cursed as he lifted Aecris over his head, “Nine hells if you’ll ever beat anyone again dog!” Jumping down from the ledge, Grunkh’s greatsword sank deep into the taskmaster, cleaving flesh, cracking bone and spilling his life onto the dirt. The hobgoblin’s body crashed to the ground in a heap beside the cringing woman and she looked up in disbelief to see a giant of a man whose hand was held out to her – “Get up girl, if you value your life!”