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Book of Dio - Autumn - 1393DR - Page 2

Page history last edited by Jon Goranson 3 months, 4 weeks ago

As we stand in the clearing looking at the massive entrance in the cliffside, I turn to Olva and ask her, “What are we looking at and why are you so concerned?” Absently, she looks off in the distance, “I have never seen it opened before.” “What is it?” I ask again. “It’s a tomb. This area is called the Dwarven Graveyard. There are tombs scattered all over the area.” Olva snaps back and shouts out, “Scouts, go ahead.” From near the lake to our left, Rolen and Gorstag notice something. We all head cautiously towards the trees around the lake. As Gorstag approaches, 2 goblins jump out and mutter something. Rolen steps forward and says, “They do not want to fight us.” The goblins start to back away, still talking, Rolen translates, “Their leader says they are not to fight us.” As we start to let our guard down, 5 goblins sneak up on us from behind.

 

With a swift movement, Rolen turns and fires an arrow at the goblin he was speaking with. We hear the thump and then the battle cry of the goblins. Olva casts a blessing upon us as we engage the 7 goblins. They fashion nothing but crude weapons except the one who is clearly the leader. Kaji fires a fire bolt at the nearest goblin to him, scorching his flesh. The first 2 goblins step up to Gorstag but can’t seem to hit him through the reach of his glaive, at least nothing significant. Goblins step up and hit Rolen and Kaji as I move closer to Kaji. Tristan fires a spell, severely hurting a goblin, making it double-over in pain. Gorstag screams as he rages but his rage makes his hits miss the 2 goblins. Rolen draws his short sword, skewering the goblin in front of him and just as quickly returns it to its scabbard. I slam my hammer onto the nearest goblin, smashing it to the ground, unmoving. As I turn to face the others, Kaji releases a torrent of fire from his hands that roasts the four goblins in front of him. As he releases the power, Kaji slumps to the ground, breathing heavily. The leader, seeing his comrades fall, rushes up to the prone Kaji and drives his scimitar deep into his shoulder. Tristan misses the leader with a spell, Gorstag cleaves one of the goblins in twain. Rolen yells something in goblin as he fires an arrow through its back, protruding through its abdomen. Olva heals the wounded party as Kaji tries to stand. Tristan fires lightning at the leader, dropping him and I turn to the last goblin. I swing my hammer, distracting it as Rolen fires an all too familiar arrow over my shoulder through the goblins neck. The goblins are down.

 

Olva heals all of us and I use the blessings of Moradin to heal myself and Gorstag as Olva commands, “Quickly, continue to the opening.” As we enter the cave, I notice the entrance and the walls are intricately carved. Battle scenes of great dwarven victories against giants, ogres and dragons. The corridor slopes down to a stone door. The door is carved with an anvil handle and more unknown dwarven around the frame are seen. I notice that the stonework is old, probably from the Delzoun era.

 

Rolen inspects the door and says there are no traps or locks but looks nervous to open it. I move towards the door, say a prayer to Moradin and move the anvil handle. The door opens to a small anti-chamber with an urn and another door in it. The dust on the floor shows that there hasn’t been anyone here in a long time. The elements have seeped in and washed away some of the carvings on these walls and carved a small channel in the stone floor but other than that, no one has seen this room in several generations. On the far wall in dwarvish is written:

                                Here lies King Bulger ….shield, the Exiled (could be Oath or Oak)
                                Foolish he may be, for trusting? The Harbinger
                                Treasures he ……. guarded from or for Xothol

Xothol…..Xothol….why does that ring a bell? Kaji and I notice the urn is about half full of coin. “Everyone must pay tribute,” Olva says, dropping a gold into the urn. We all drop a collection of silvers and coppers as well. “What’s the story of the Harbinger?” Tristan asks nervously. “I rather not speak of it in this place,” I reply. “Might be helpful,” Kaji says convincingly. I relent and open my Book of the Hammers and recite the story of the Harbinger.

 

As I’m finishing, Kaji moves over to the other door and opens it and that sets Olva and me to attention, “No Kaji, we will go no further. No one has disturbed these crypts in a long time, and we will not be the ones to change that.” Kaji protests, “But there is probably some good treasure.  We should probably see if there is something here we can use.” At this, Olva steps to Kaji with a finger in his chest, “You work for me and I say no!” An argument ensues and quickly escalates, “I guess I’m not working for you anymore then,” Kaji yells. “Then go about your way!” Olva screams. Rolen and I step between the two and calm everyone down. We convince Kaji to to stay the course but he’s reluctant at best to continue. “I need to hear him say he’s still part of the party.” Olva demands. This makes Kaji visibly upset but he mutters under his breath that he is still with us. We all turn to exit the crypt and as we step back out into the fading daylight, there is a 20ft Frost Giant standing in front of us. I grab my shield and hammer and start towards the giant when Rolen grabs my shoulder, stopping me.

 

Rolen speaks to the frost giant and discover he wants us to go through the tomb and retrieve the Ice Spear for him. Apparently, his goddess, Auril, told him it was in there and that he’d like it back. After much discussion, we decide it’s better for us to go in then to let the giant. We head back into the crypt, through the first chamber and down the corridor that the argument provoked. At the end of the corridor was another stone door with the same anvil. I move to it an open this one too. In this room is another urn, a statue of a demon and door to the right. The ceiling in this room is a 25ft barrel ceiling of stone. Reliefs are carved on every wall as well. As we inspect the door and statue, we all drop more coinage into the urn. On the wall behind the statue it says:

                                Keep Charcoal at bay”

What is that supposed to mean? As we find no other doors, we head through the new door. Another corridor, another door. This time after opening the door, it opens into a huge chamber with 3 intricately carved sarcophagi. I can feel the blessings of Moradin in this room. The sarcophagi look to be the King and 2 guards. Olva and I inspect the King’s tomb as the other look around the room and guard crypts. As I am inspecting the King’s sarcophagus, I notice several inconsistencies and errors. No dwarf would ever do that. Something in the back of my memory something clicks. “This isn’t the right one. Many times King’s burials have hidden chambers to thwart grave robbers.” Quickly we inspect this room and find nothing. “Maybe there is something in the other room,” Kaji says. We all move back into the chamber with the demon statue and inspect the walls. As we are inspecting, Gorstag unknowingly pushes on one of the anvil carvings, hears a click and a portion of the wall moves aside, revealing another corridor.

 

"Let me check it out,” Rolen says, stepping forward. He points to the floor, “There is a pressure plate here. Can we mark it with something?” “I can,” Tristan calls from behind everyone. We all turn to look at him and he steps forward, mutters an incantation and grass springs up around the pressure plate. “Well done,” Kaji says, clapping him on the back. As Rolen steps back into the corridor, he triggers the same plate! We hear a click and thud as a giant stone smashes down onto the ground that Rolen just occupied. “I’m all right,” we hear from the other side. We all release the breaths we were unaware we were holding. “I’ll find a release.” As we wait, we hear another large THUMP……then another….

As we all look at each other, not knowing the fate of Rolen, we hear a clicking of gears and grinding stone and the stones recede back into the ceiling. At the far end is Rolen with his hand on the release lever. “Found it.” He says blankly. “How are we going to get across,” Kaji wonders aloud. “I can help with that too,” Tristan says. As he speaks, he steps gingerly across the pressure plate, sits down and closes his eyes. After about 10 minutes., a floating disc appears and hovers about 2 feet above the ground. In turn, we all ride the disc from one end of the corridor to the other.

 

This room has one large sarcophagus and another statue. This is of a dwarf guard with ax and shield. The sarcophagus and statue are so intricately carved, they almost look life-like. As I am inspecting the statue, I hear Kaji exclaim, “I found it!” In his hands, a 9ft darkwood haft with an ice blue spear tip that’s almost 2ft long. This has to be it. We quickly ride the disc back over and head out of the crypt.

 

Waiting outside is Moleck and the giant. Laughing like old drinking buddies. Kaji hands the spear to the giant. “Thanks,” he says, “Auril will be proud. Now that we have this we can foster and early winter to Sundabar.” As he moves off, we all wonder what exactly that means. “We should probably warn Sundabar,” Rolen states. “Probably the Citadels as well,” Olva adds. Before we head back to Alaster’s, Olva and I return to the cave entrance and cast the ritual to seal it once again.

 

We head back to Alaster’s mansion and share news and a meal with Willam and James. They seem all too excited to hear the news. Alaster and Olva move off to the study again and speak in private. As we are discussing the events with James and Willam, Rolen mentions he has a shortsword created by Firebrand, a famous maker from Auvandell. As we all head to bed, I relive I need have a long conversation with Olva…..

 

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