Back to Meigle
The trip back to the seven pillared hall is quick via the teleporters. The dark light embraces you as you clamber back through the tunnels you have learnt about over the past few days. You minds wander back to the town of Meigle and the implied threats in the notes from Paldemar. The notes speak of the protection that the three runes of Moradin will give or not give depending on who the holder is, but still implies that there is a hidden threat growing nearby. Your steps quicken as these thoughts start to drive you home.
The trip back is slow, too slow with the group of Dwarves you are now shepherding back through the tunnels and into the upper mines. The upper mines are quiet and signs of battle lie everywhere. No bodies can be found however. Scorch marks are visible along the walls in some locations, but the piles of ashen remains look centuries old, not from folk who may be battling fire wielding foes. Still, the painfully obvious reminder that there are foul forces at play are everywhere and you hasten back as quickly as you dare with the others.
On arriving at Meigle, the township has seen better days. The walls are blackened on one edge, chunks are missing from the other edge. It looks as though two fronts are fighting. The graveyard outside the town walls is empty, very empty with mounds of dirt piled carelessly around forlorn looking holes of Dwarven size. It looks grim indeed.
After a quick challenge and the surprise that something is alive outside the gates, you are rushed in. The town gathers, looking beaten and worn, hushed voices talking and hoping that you bring a large force to reinforce the township. Their eyes grow mournful at the sight of the missing Dwarves, with the odd cry out as families are united.
You find out later that Meigle is a town on the edge. They are constantly bombarded by undead and from assaults of Duergar. What intelligence they have is scant but they know some force is driving the undead from afar, and any captured Duergar speak of a holy war against the ‘sun-kissed’ slaves of Moradin and soon die of starvation.
You also find that Mackay Dordrien (explorer guildmaster) lies gravely wounded and resists healing, the clerics of Moradin are stretched almost beyond their limit shoring up the township. One twist you expected is that the mage Anerin MacBlain has gone missing and was last seen leaving with a goblin.
You make quick work of settling back into the township. The clerics who can spare time are interested in the circle and help Torthal to complete the ritual. However, despite all efforts to the contrary, the portal looks like a one way trip and another way back will need to be found. You start the ritual and as you finish the final trigger words, things attack from the walls hissing “Death to those who oppose Karavakos”!