Andromeda and Blegrim find themselves in the court of King Lorkay Longtoes, ruler of the Varks, a race of lesser dwarves who despite being marginally degenerate are still excellent miners with vast underground quarries. Gold seems to be a readily available commodity in the underground city of Varkon.
However, the Varks have a problem. Zinjo the troll has recently invaded their caverns, killing many of their kinfolk and has asked for two gold bars to be delivered each day, otherwise it will go on another rampage. Unlike regular dwarves the Varks are not a warlike people and ask Andromeda and Blegrim to kill the troll; if they succeed they will be given three gold bars and an escort to the above.
Our adventurers agree and after resting are taken to the cavern where the gold offering takes place. Hiding at the back of the cave they watch the troll and see that he appears subdued by a collar. Suspicions already raised after Andromeda recalls that trolls do not value gold, they follow Zinjo and discover that he is controlled by a group of humans; in some way iron collar allows them to overcome the Zinjo’s free will. While deciding how to handle the situation Blegrim charges in, Leroy Jenkins style (again) and soon finds himself in too deep. The leader of the group, a conjurer, casts a Web spell to stop Blegrim moving then blasts him with a series of Magic Missiles. Despite decapitating one of the other humans, he is taken out of action*.
Wisely Andromeda hangs back during this encounter, but before Blegrim is dispatched permanently, approaches the group who she discovers are explorers from the Guardians of Antiquity, an organisation sworn to recover and protect ancient relics, but not averse to acquiring wealth through devious means to fund it’s expeditions. Andromeda tells their tale to the leader, Jens Abram (with small amendments to the truth). Blegrim awakes, it turns out he was only knocked out, and now the leader of the Guardians needs to decide what to do with them.
* The Black Hack rules state if a character is reduced to 0 hit points in combat they are ‘Out of Action’ and not yet dead. After the combat they roll on the Out of Action table with results ranging from ‘Just knocked out’ to ‘Not alive anymore’.