Lost in the Mines

After helping the wood elves (Silent Forest), the party stays with them for a few weeks for some training. Then they head south for the Edder Gap to cross the Teeth of the World mountains and finally return to the Kingdom. In the pass, they find goblin tracks ahead of them. The next day, they are attacked by six hill giants who apparently were covered by an Invisibility spell. The battle is hard, the party is severely injured, Aldur, Giric and Rhiann are severely wounded and almost killed. As the priests are healing the party, they hear a goblin warhorn ahead of them in the pass. They decide to take cover up a side valley. Moving into the valley, Jacques finds a tailing pile from a mine and they spot the remains of a wood cart bridge. It leads them to an abandoned gnomish mine. Aldur says he has heard tales of it, the gnomes ran into monsters and fled from the mine. The party hides in the entrance and sets guards at the opening and the rear.
The next morning, Hiro spots goblins coming. Jacques casts a Mirage cantrip to cover the door, but isn't awake enough yet and loses concentration, then recasts it. The pursuers are a dozen goblins, ten moredhel and a grey cloaked figure on a horse. When the goblins approach, they open fire with bows and Greywind uses Call Lightning and tries to form a barrier by bringing down a rockfall. The arrow exchange escalates as the moredhel try to provide cover fire for the goblins rushing the cave. Then the grey cloaked rider shoots an arrow carrying a Fireball spell which strikes outside the cave mouth. The party is wounded by the shockwave and Hiro passes out. They flee down into the mines. Jacques uses his Monster Summoning wand to make monsters to delay the enemy
After much arguing, they realize they have to abandon their horses to go into the mines. Most of the party sends the horses stampeding outside, hopefully they will escape to freedom. Aldur refuses to allow his horse to possibly be captured by the moredhel and kills it. The party gathers supplies and heads off into the mine, relying on Jacques and Yurten's skills. Travelling through the mines, they find a large cavern with an underground lake and are attacked by giant cave crabs. They travel deeper, trying to stay on a southerly heading. They camp in the mine overnight and continue their journey in the morning, or what they believe is morning. They come to an intersection of passages and discover a battleground of sorts; human, gnomish and dwarven bodies, left to rot where they fell decades ago. The party loots some treasure and magic items, but notices there are no enemy corpses…
The party continues on and is attacked by a group of volts. Jacques and Greywind harvest their tails and flight glands for spells. The passage narrows and descends. Yurten is sure this is the right way, Jacques wants to go on. The priests pray for guidance and decide to follow Yurten's instincts. After a couple hours, the passage climbs and widens into a small cavern filled with fungi. Suddenly, some of the piles of fungus begin to move, the party is attacked by three giant boring beetles who live in the cave and tend the fungus. The beetles are slain and the party finds two corpses under the fungus, they find a pair of fine gauntlets abracers and some coinage on the bodies. Travelling further, finally encountering the threat that scared the gnomes from their mines: a beholder. Thinking Giric is mage, it shines its anti-magic ray on him. Rhiann shoots it with three arrows and Hiro cuts it twice with his katana. Aldur throws daggers from the rear of the party and Yurten attacks with sword and hammer. The beholder Charms Rhiann, puts Hiro to Sleep and Petrifies Yurten into stone… Jacques throws his bolas and tangles two of the eye stalks. The rest of the party fights desperately while Adolphus tries to Dispel the effects on Rhiann and Hiro. Greywind attacks with his saber and a Wood Sword spell, Jacques uses his wand to Summon four myconids who attack and poison the beholder. Adolphus breaks the spells holding Rhiann and Hiro and the party slays the beholder. Jacques takes its small eyes, Greywind tries to remove its main eye and botches.
With Yurten out of commission, they have to rely on Jacques to get them to safety. They rig a sling to carry the dwarf's statue. On the morning of the fourth day, they emerge onto the southern mountainside; they have reached the Kingdom. They travel on foot out of the hills and reach the trade road heading for Eldpoint, a couple of days later they meet a merchant and pay him to carry Yurten in his wagon.
Exhausted, they arrive in Eldpoint. Adolphus declares three days of rest and gets supplies and horses for the last leg of the journey to Sarth. He gets a wagon and a few horses and they travel to Sarth. There, the commission is over. Adolphus pays them and buys them new horses to replace the ones lost on the north side of the mountains. The party spends a few weeks resting, training and buying new equipment. And trying to find someone who can restore Yurten.

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Jim made John laugh uncontrollably with an old story about a player whose mage had a bat familiar. Whenever the mage needed a guano ball for the Fireball spell, he would grab the bat and tell it to poop in his hand…

Mike "Are there any proficiencies that would improve my character's honor?"
Jim "Etiquette, diplomacy…Neither of which you can learn from the wood elves"
Kevin "Ballroom dancing"

The party is looking at the enemy's tracks:
Jim "Just goblins"
Kevin "Except for this one elephant"

One of the hill giants spent almost the entire battle on fire:
John "He thinks he's a Fire giant"

The party has been sorely wounded, except for the gnome thief/illusionist who has been staying back:
Matt "I have 27 <hp left>"
Kevin "I'm going to shoot you with my crossbow"

The monk drinks a healing potion and Kevin rolls well, bringing his mortally wounded character almost to full health:
Kevin "Its like drinking meth."

Mike "DMs are the only people who can get away with beating their friends each week"

The party is looking for shelter:
JoAnne "I don't suppose anyone has the Leomund's Secure Shelter spell yet?"
John "Or Leomund's Bed and Breakfast?

Jim "The mine is gnomish"
John "That's why I didn't recognize it; inferior work"

The players interrupt Jim's description of the mines:
Jim "You interrupted the flavor text"
JoAnne "The text has a flavor?"

Talking about the mine's ceilings may be too low for humans, but these aren't since there needs to be room for ore carts, etc:
Matt "We can make them taller, we use a stepladder. Because our real ladder left us…"

Mike's samurai can't use regular, western style arrows:
Mike "My arrows were made using the metric system"

Konrad "Can we give the goblins smallpox blankets?"

The party encounters a group of volts; unpleasant, flying, blood draining, electric shocking, fungus monsters:
Matt "It begins with a 'v' and ends with an 'oh, fuck…'"

Matt texts Jim that he forgot to pick up Konrad and messed up Jim's chain of thought:
Jim "Matt texted me that he's an idiot and interrupted me"

Since Mike and John couldn't make it and Matt and Konrad were late, other people were rolling for them:
Michael "Am I rolling for Mike?"
Jim "Yes…"
Michael "Nine!!"

Konrad "Is that a monk ability? Self-immolation? What, too soon?"

The myconids spew spores at the beholder:
Matt "I don't know how scary a beholder is on LSD, we're going to find out"
Someone asked what beholders were afraid of…
Matt "Their wives. Have you ever seen a beholder with lipstick?"
Michael "Its afraid of pinkeye"

Yurten the dwarf was turned to stone by the beholder. Michael kept wanting to cast Stone Shape on him to make his feet into wheels for easy transport