The World Born Dead
The Closed Shafts
Dwarves and Kobolds dig tunnels deep into the roots of the mountains in an attempt to get access to the veins of gold and mithril that run through the earth’s rocky heart. Particularly deep shafts often yield the best results, so the different teams sometimes have been known to sacrifice a bit of safety to push down as far as possible. Rivalry between the dig teams of the different races is intense and when the mine shafts break through into one another, battles often erupt over mined out territory. Shafts compromised by enemy forces are sometimes boobytrapped by either (or both) of the races, and the maps of the shafts become confused for both sets of foremen. Such was the case in the section now simply called “The Closed Section” by Dwarf and Kobold alike.
Both the Dwarves and Kobolds had been digging into what promised to be an exceptionally rich vein of mithril ore, and had been playing the territorial control game against each other, breaking shafts through into the other’s territory and trapping it. The dangerous, yet not unusual game was upset when the Dwarves hit water, flooding the lower sections and threatening to terminate the entire project. Undaunted, the Dwarves began setting up machinery to pump the water out. Once that started coming online, the Aboleth attacked. Having massively more power than the Dwarven miners, they quickly overwhelmed the lowest worker teams and shut the machines off. The rest of the Dwarves, seeing their compatriots converted into Skum, quickly withdrew.
The Kobolds, seeing the Dwarven presence weaken in the mines (and not knowing about the Aboleth forces), quickly moved in to secure territory, moving throughout the mine and setting up make-shift traps all along the route in order to damage the Dwarves’ ability to move back into position. When they encountered the Aboleth territory, they too were turned into Skum and slaves, and the Kobolds relinquished their claims on the shafts as well.
There’s a lot of mithril down there, but even the partial maps of the shafts that were possessed by the foremen of the Dwarf and Kobold teams have been lost. And now, the Aboleth’s Skum forces are moving up into the other territory. Both the Dwarves and the Kobolds want someone to go down there and overwhelm the hostile forces long enough to get those machines back up and pumping.