The party continued their exploration of the abandoned mine. Less than a dozen yards north of the secret chamber, they came upon a guard post with four goblins on duty. The group killed the goblin guards with little difficulty and pressed on along the passage, which led them to a small chamber that was apparently used as a meeting room. Not far from the meeting room was a small armory. Although most of the weapons do not seem very serviceable, Rena discovered a masterwork quality shortspear that was given to Zaryn.
To the east of the armory, the party opened a door to a room filled with magical darkness that their torchlight could not penetrate. A pack of dire rats charged from the darkness. One delivered a particularly nasty bite to Chayna before she could kill it. Unable to defeat the darkness enchantment, the party continued south, then east where the passage ended in a couple of rooms that served some apparent religious purpose. The first seemed to be a sleeping chamber, but the stench of death permeated the room, and humanoid skulls hung from the ceiling by steel chains. The gory remains of a gnome were crucified to the south wall. The room next door was a shrine to some sort of rat god, a stone statue rested on a small altar. The shrine was guarded by a pair of dire rats, and after the party dispatched them, they searched the room and took the statue with them.
Backtracking and continuing down another passage east and south, the party found a larger shrine to a rat god featuring a large green marble statue with two brilliant rubies for eyes. While Zaryn pried out the ruby eyes of the statue, Chayna perused the numerous scrolls scattered around the altar. Most were written in Sylvan and seemed to indicate the rat god being worshiped was Mazgurar, but none in the party had any familiarity with that deity, as it was not a god typically worshiped by goblins. After acquiring the ruby eyes, the party destroyed the shrine and continued their exploration.
The passage to the south ended at a door that opened into a bedchamber basked in an odd blue light from black candles. The room was decorated with a collection of trophies from numerous noble families. Searching the room, Cyril found a wooden box containing a couple dozen of the strange black candles. The party also took with them the large shield from above the bed with a crest of a black falcon grasping a pick and shovel in its talons. Backtracking again to another passage leading south, the party enters a large audience chamber to be greeted by the large goblin chieftain, Rez-zomar, seated upon a high-backed wooden chair and flanked by two bodyguards. He challenged the party in Common, declaring:
I smell the blood of my tribe on you! Now you will learn why Rolann put me in charge!
To the party’s surprise, the chieftain and his bodyguards transformed into wererats before assaulting the party. More disturbing was the discovery that the wererats were resistant to the party’s attacks. The magical silvered longsword proved most effective in Cyril’s hands, and after a brutal battle the party defeated the chieftain and his bodyguards. Following the battle, Zaryn cast detect magic, noticing the chieftain’s black studded leather armor and a grate behind the large high-backed wooden chair. The studded leather armor was given to Chayna. Inspection of the grate showed bars constructed of black-tarnished silver with strange runes inscribed upon them. The runes were meaningless to the party members. The grate was also locked, but Chayna was confident that she could unlock it. The party decided instead to first return to Silverton before proceeding to the lower level of the mine.