As the smoke clears, a fine ash dances in the arc of Alexei Johnnys torchlight. Scanning the room the dimensions of this room become clear.
The room, as already known, is about 40 foot wide, with two rows of
columns ,carved directly from the surrounding rock, running running up the middle.
About two thirds the way down the room, on each side, is an opening, with the back wall of what appears to be a corridor visible.
The back of the room is at the edge of the range of Johnnys bulls eye lantern setting of his gauntlet, but from here you are unable to see a wall or end of any kind, though you can see that the room does taper and narrow slightly.
“If there’s anything down here it knows we’re here now. This calls for a subtle blend of stealth and extreme violence.”
With that Ihsahn advances up to just in the edge of the field of light, sword firmly clenched.
Ihsahn’s footsteps echo off of the cold stone walls as he moves cautiously down the room. twice he has to step over the remains of what appears to be s a smallish humanoid, charred by the fires, but still retaining a recognisable drow frame.
As he nears to pair of openings further up the room, he is ablw to see what lays behind them.On both sides, a short passage way, no more then 20 or 30 feet, open out to a strange shaped room, The meagre light that reaches here from johhnys lamp show that the walls seems to have etchings or carvings on them.
As his eyes becoming more accustomed to the gloom, Ihsahn is also able to see towards the back of this room too. Much like on the left and right hand side, the back of this room opens out into another oddly shaped room.
Two figures can be seen in the dimly lit room ahead, but not well enough to actually make out well. Neither seem to be moving.
The party moves up without incident, Johnnys torch illuminating the three rooms that surround the junction. The rooms on the left and right are empty, but seem to contain frescoes of various scenes, people, landscapes, wildspace scenes and various others. The contents of the room in front of you are thus:-
The first figure causes a momentary jump around the party, as the shape of an extremely large, spindly legged spider comes into view, sitting on top of a large stone construction, which is very obviously a sarcophagus, a figure of a dwarf at rest can be seen on the lid. A quick double take reveals that it is merely the desiccated husk of a long dead spider, and a Tomb Spider if Ben Shadow is to be believed.
The second figure is that of another large statue of a Dwarf, also in full battle gear, this one standing more at ease than the one above ground, and this seems to be a carving more of a generic ‘dwarf’ more than someone specific. It is covered in a reasonable layer of dust and spiderwebs, though a strange peice of paper is attached to it’s chest. You also swear that in the stone eyes of the statue you see……something.
Thul, the closer you get to the statue, the more you are sure that your initial impression is right, the statue seems to slightly vibrate with some internal energy.
The paper attached to it’s chest catches you attention. It is written in the same scratchy, scrawly, spidery script you saw inscribed on the church before you came to this realm, and tattoed on the hand that started this damned journey, and the spell book Ben Shadow acquired. With your new found understanding of the drow language and script, you start to pick out words among the message "…..you move………cursed…..defile for eternity………you guard’
Ihsahn looks confused “Why would they leave a note to a population they’ve already annihilated? Who did they think would find it? Regardless whatever they’re looking for I’d wager they’ve found it, the Drow could afford to throw a hundred hundred men down those stairs until they got what they came here for”
The detect magic shows that the note itself is magic, not magical. The statue has a magical aura, though more reminiscent of a summoned creature more than a magical construct. There also appears to be a source of ambient magical energy behind a wall behind the sarcophagus.
Thul places himself on the ground infront of the statue, and motions shadow to sit beside him. He reaches into a small satchel attached to his belt and, almost without watching, takes out various icons and insence, arranging them around them. While he does this, he explains to Shadow ‘what i need you to be doin’ is this. Look deep inside, i want you think about whatever it is ya do whenever you cast a spell. Not the.words, or the movements or whatever, they be different for each, but there is sonething you do every tine you cast a spell, so ingrained in you that you may not even realise you do it. This focus you use, whatever it is, i need you to harness it, get a hold of it, and when you find it, instead of casting a spell, i need you to reach out and pass it on to me, can ye do that?’
Shadow nods solemnly, and Thul starts to focus inward himself, reaching back through his memory to unlock past spells. Unlocking the one he needs, he prepares it, and waits. Shadows hand falls on his shoulder, and Thul feels a surge of energy through him, and he begins to cast his spell.
Dual energies flow into the paper ward, and the script glows on the page, slowly increasing in strength, untill the words themselves light the room. Sweat starts to drip from Thuls brow as he struggles to overcome the magics, and shadows brow is deeply furrowed, his eyes off into the distance in concentration.
A sine whisp of smoke starts to trail up from one corner of the note, the paper brginning to crinkle and darken. It begins to curl, and a small flame begins to lick at the paper. Thul and Shadow grunt in unison, and flames ungulf the paper, burning it up in a flash of pure, white light, and the ashes scatter to the floor.
Thul Breaks wind.
The large stone dwarves knees straiten, slowly at first, to the accompanying noise of stone grinding over stone. The noise continues, as his shield is brought up in front of him, then his mace brought back as if ready to strike, the speed of his movements gathering momentum already. His head begins to turn towards the group, the rest of his body quickly following until he is face-on with the group. His gaze sweeps you all, stopping on Thul.
A voice reverberating from deep within the stone carcass escapes from between granite lips.
‘ A son of Morradin, thank the forge. What are you doing here, I have not seen a dwarf in Millenia. Only those accused elves’
The memory seems to trigger something, and an anguished yell escaped him, a war cry like Mountains colliding.
‘Tell me of the elves, and the outside.’
You slept for a long time, possibly as long as I. My name is Thul Urak’Dorn, cleric to the 4 gods. I estimate a possible 450 years ago we lost everything. Moradins forge has been taken over by a foul race far worse than the orcs. Mindflayers, and Eldorado compleatly ravaged by the Drow! Yes now you have a name for your hatred. Im on a mission of vengeance and these are my brothers in arms. I seek to reclaim whats ours and bring justice to the countless dwarven souls lost, and …I need your help. Will you aid us great Ancestor?
Both anger and torment can be felt in what passes for the stone dwarfs voice.
‘The dwarves are gone? El Dorado lost? Moradins Forge in others hands? Enslaved by the Illithid? What madness has become outside this tomb? and only 500 years you say, i swear millenia has passes as i stood, unable to move.’
he pauses for a second, as if in thought.
Drow? that is a name i remember, hearing stories of them from my childhood, but they were savages, an embarassment to the elves, how did they defeat the dwarves, and here of all places?
I myself cannot aid you, part of my deal of returning from Morradins side, to watch my blood-brother here, was that if i was ever to leave this tome, i would return to my own.
Thuls shoulders noticeably drop. His hands raises to his forehead and down his face in frustration.
“Could I have made a mistake! I spoke with Clandeggin him self he said do not waver. Along this path, near at hand, you will find a tribute to the one whose legacy you defended. Within it is his blood, set in stone. Free his blood and an edge will be found and then a vision of Moridan telling me that a gift he gave to one more righteous than I would pass to me. I thought you would be the edge. I have…I have failed.”
he pauses a beat.
We move on brothers let us not linger a moment longer, we cleansed this tomb and that is good. I feel its time we took the fight to the drow. The grudge bringer yearns for foul skuls to crack."
‘No, wait, you misunderstand me brother!’ the dwarf splutters, ‘I myself cannot leave this tomb to help you, but that is different to me not helping you at all.’
‘Hadley Forge-fire was the greatest dwarf i ever met, one i was proud to call my blood-brother. This is why i chose to come back from Moradins side to……’ he trails off sadly. ’His battle regalia was atop his tomb, but those acursed elves took it before my helpless eyes…bit they did not get all of his belongings.
He points to a scarred and damaged section of wall behind the sarcophagus. ’Hadley travelled across the spheres,breaking new ground on a dozen new planets, including this one. He collected items from all around wildspace that would help him on his journeys. Those items, i had puto be with him to continue his journeys forever. ’
Thul looks where the stone dwarf points.Its where he could see the ambient magic coming from. Also, among the scrathes and damage, he can see a series of intricate of knobs and dials,.all hidden in and among the rockwork. ’ These items can only be removed by a living child of Morradin. Take them, and do what is right’.
Thul holds back manly dwarven tears and walks to the wall.
Thuls walks u to the wall, and deftly manipulates the natural instinct about the cunningness of stone, and the wall to the secret compartment rolls aside
On a set of shelves behind the wall are the following items , which Thul takes down one by one, and, after kicking the dried husk of the Tomb spider out the way, lays them on top of Hadleys sarcophagus.
- A set of knee high boots, e.ch made from what looks like a single rabbit skin
-A belt braided out of some kind of hair, with three large white pearls woven into the front
-A leather woven necklace, adorned with a single peice of black quatrz
- a long tomahawk, with a wooden haft and a chiselled stoen head, tied with leather bindings
- a cloak made from a tapestry of many different types of skins and hides
-a medium sized leather sack
Thul, maybe your edge is among these, or all of these, i do not know. This, to me, sounds what Clandeggin was referencing. What the Forge-father told you, i do not know, maybe that is further down your road.