Darker days

Of teleports, Ugly Duergar, Bronze Warders, & Bruises.)

The party regain their breath before steeping into the teleportation circle. They appear in a room with smooth unadorned pillars. A rhythmic “clang” can be heard from the sole passageway, fading in and out like something moving back and forth. A sneaky look by Donga reveals a Bronze Warder on guard duty.

Deciding to forgo the animated statue at this time the party open a set of double doors and find a norker and red Duergar and a fight breaks out. The fight initially goes the way of the dwarf’s but the Bronze Warder strides into the combat and strikes Renmar hard. Torgeir breaks off from the Duergar and engages the statue, forcing it back and providing breathing space so other party members can run into the room. The fight is further complicated for the dwarfs as a devil and second Duergar enter the fray. A combined effort by Aisling, Torthal and Donga bring down most of the living foes as Torgeir and Renmar hold the Bronze Warder at bay. Then concentrated fire brings the warden down and the last Duergar.

Renmar heads back into the initial room to a large tank and breaks it open to release a translucent fluid with a Bronze Warder head.

Searching reveals a library with books dedicated to Yurtris, a holding cell with hay, and a runic summoning circle. The party remove part of the circle destroying it and, after Donga fits some rope traps on the teleporters, gain some rest in the holding cell.

During the night Donga hears the familiar zap of a teleporter, and some cursing-like voices, but the party are not disturbed.

Heading through a 2nd teleporter they appear in a room barely large enough to hold the teleporting circle and three doors. Renmar opens a door and spies another Bronze Warder. He casually closes the door and says “Nothing to see here.”

Torgeir tries the second door but finds it locked. A strike with his hammer indicates that the door is under some type of arcane protection.

Donga opens the third door to a large room with three norkers and a hideous Duergar. The Torgeir, Renmar and Aisling enter the room and prepare to engage those there. The Bronze Warder breaks its way through double doors to engage Torgeir, while the norkers seem content to use their slings from a distance. A human comes out from the other side and shoots a bolt of lightning at Renmar and Aisling before heading back the way it came. It reappears via the previously arcanely locked door and strikes at the back of the party. Renmar tries to follow the human around side but is forced to break the door down. He and Torthal are quickly engaged in a close, brutal fight with the human, who has the uncanny ability to disappear before the brother’s eyes. Torthal is forced to grab at the human to hold him in place as Renmar tries to bring him down.

Meanwhile Torgeir stands toe to toe with the Bronze Warder preventing it advancing on the other party members. He is struck several times but manages to hold his own. He is even able to knock the statue prone and force it away for a moment’s respite as the Duergar joins the melee. Combined spell and weapon blows bring the Duergar low as Donga is commanded to help the Runehammer brothers.

Despite the combined efforts of the three dwarfs the injured human knocks out both Renmar and Donga before running into the large room. Warning Aisling that he is about to leave her open to the Bronze Warder Torgeir teleports to the human and crushes its chest. Fortunately for Aisling and Torgeir the Bronze Warder stops moving. Commanding Torthal to see to the fallen Torgeir runs to the remaining two norkers and with the aid of Aisling kill the pair.

Searching the set of rooms and bodies the party find a magical staff, a ritual book, money, a runic symbol of Moradin in the shape of an anvil, a map with a note (“the shield”, “this is not power that holds shield” and “Seek Kararakos”).

The party collect what they want and start the trek back to the 7 Pillar Hall. On the way they collect the two Meiglits and “Wee Piggy”

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The Well of Demons: Blood, Runes, and Boulders

After regaining their breath the party continues further along. They eventually come to a large blood-filled room with a number of platforms. Standing on the two largest platforms are statues of a many-tailed flail wielding Baphomet standing many feet tall. Smaller platforms sit in or near each corner, with a central platform splitting the room into two halves, and a final quartet halfway between the central and corner platforms. On the far small platforms lay a short blade and a hilt. It seems that both items need to be retrieved to obtain the required knife.

Worried about what might be in the blood pool Torgeir has Donga check the depth of the pool who finds it to be about six feet deep. The party devise three plans:
1. Jump across to the large statues and use them to get to the knife parts (despite the fears by most dwarfs that they will animate).
2. Use Tensor’s Floating Disk to transport Torgeir and Torthal across to items with the others to provide ranged support (with the expectation that something unfriendly is in the blood).

Aisling casts a Hand Of Fate spell seeking the best way and the blue hand gives option two the better choice.

Floating across the surface the dwarf pair are attacked by zombies in the blood. Torgeir guards Torthal, allowing him to proceed towards the knife hilt. Once in range he uses his Mage Hand spell to retrieve the hilt. The back statue animates and starts whirling its flail around. Because the party was half expecting such an occurrence, it is only able to hit Torgeir once. A moment of concern occurs when the dwarfs realise that the zombies heal when in contact with the blood, but the party manage to down the remaining zombies on the central platform.

Running down the centre of the central platform Torthal again performs Mage Hand to obtain the blade. The party fit the two pieces together ad continue their search for the book.

A corridor echoes the quiet talk of two people, and a quietly advancing Donga spies two tiefling guards talking in a bored manner. Donga shoots one and they both react by disappearing and striking Donga from behind. A voice from behind a door calls out the alarm and a gnoll enters the corridor behind Torthal and Renmar. Standing between the two ends Aisling is confronted with another barlgura bursting out from a central door. Quickly she uses her magic to push the demon back through the broken doors. Torgeir calls on the brothers to finish the gnoll, Aisling and Donga to deal with the tieflings as he moves to block the Barlgura. Each group is able to overcome their respective foes without too many more cuts and the party put the barlgura to rest.

From the room the barlgura appeared from the party find an alter holding a black leather book. After locating money, jewellery, gems and magical gloves the party return to the rune area.

Using the sound of a bell magiced up by Torthal the party place the four items in the four runes. A roar echoes through the ruins and they hear the sound of beating wings. Running towards the others Torgeir is set apon by a rolling ball. With warning the other dwarfs either dodge or move out of the ball’s way. Coming up from the dark hole appears a green dragon.

Torthal and Renmar are the first to face the beast, who tries to drag them closer. Aisling and Donga start peppering it with arrows and magic as Renmar goes toe to toe with it. From the rear Torgeir teleports in to land a solid blow. The fight remains tight and fierce as Torgeir and Renmar strike blows as the others cast spells and shoot arrows, while the green dragon flails about and breaths hurt. Finally the dwarfs defeat the dragon.

Heading to the only door they haven’t gone through the party are grabbed by skeletons pinned to the floor, but at a command from Aisling the desist. The dwarfs ready themselves to go through the doors.

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The Well of Demons

Continuing through double door the party travel along a fair length of passage. Donga listens and hears snorting. Going through door reveals wall paintings of Minotaurs fighting with their natural weapons against demons. In a large cage a raging dire boar with several arrows stuck in it prowls, surrounded by four hyenas. At the far end, not initially seen behind the hay ails are four gnolls. They quickly open fire on the dwarfs with bows as the hyenas attack. Skirting around the cage the Dwarfs kill the hyenas then concentrate on bringing the gnolls down.

Renmar, eventually helped by several others, tries to calm the boar down but fail to do so. They decide that leaving the berserk animal where it is, allowing it to calm down, is a better idea than letting it out now. Leaving some basic food with the boar the party head further on in search of the missing slaves.

A room with blood trails and chilly environment appears empty until 3 ghostly figures rise out of the blood with hands raised in greeting.
1. A male black bearded human wearing ripped apart chainmail.
2. A male dwarf in ripped plate armour.
3. A female elf in green robes and holding a staff.

The talk of the evil deity Baphoment, God of the minatours, and of three items to the north, west and south of this place. A Knife, Mask, Bell, and Book need to be located, and placed on four runes all at the same time. They inform the party that the fourth item lays to the east, outside of the area with the runes.

Heading east the party come across a light curtain behind which is a large “L” shaped room with several mirrored pillars. The one closest to the leading Torgeir burns him with necrotic energy. Moving forward Aisling sees herself in a mirror and disappears, reappearing at the other end of the L-shaped room in front of a curtain. Passing through the curtain she spies an altar flanked by two statues flanking and two skeletons.

Renmar is the next to disappear after approaching a separate pillar, reappearing in a separate room with a crazed, slobbering gnoll. Donga advances and is moved to stand beside Renmar.

Torthal advances towards the pillar Aisling appeared in and is teleported to the other curtain.

Torgeir on a call from his allies stays where he is while the two separate battles start up. Noticing a hand like imprint in the altar Torthal tries placing his hand there. Renmar and Donga are teleported back to the room entrance, but the just deceased gnoll is not.
At a call from Torthal Torgeir moves to the mirror pillar but is not teleported so he starts running towards the fight. Torthal rips part of the initial curtain of and slowly advances forward under the safety of a “security blanket.” Torgeir is teleported o the battle and together the three bring the skeletons down, despite Torgeir again being teleported away.

With the battle over a search of the alter reveals the blackwood fashioned Mask.

Retracing their steps the party explore the area of the magical runes. They encounter a chamber of black rock and pillars of bodies, which move and moan. Two figures, Evistro Demons move forward. Smaller Carnage demons appear out of the pillars to also attack, before a big red Barlgura demon advances. The nearest pillar screams causing Renmar to disappear followed closely by Torgeir. They both end up further in the room although out of sit of the party. The pair are attacked by Carnage Demons and a returning Barlgura. Seeing a bell on another altar, Renmar runs to it and picks it up. Spikes shoot out and pierce him. Thinking quickly he rings the bell, causing all nearby combatants, friend or foe, to be affected by rage. The fight is bloody with Renmar being hard pressed until the other three dwarfs, having killed their demonic foes are able to concentrate their powers and skills on the Barlgura. IT goes down, and a concerted effort of the dwarfs manages to finish off the remaining Carnage demons.

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Surely not an ambush? The Well of Demons

The party and freed slaves return to the 7 Pillared hall, where they are able to un-exsanguinate Donga.

While waiting the other dwarfs are met by a derelict kobold messenger to deliver missive from a potential defector of the slavers. Despite assuming it is a trap the party decide to go anyway and see what they can discover.

At the meeting site they discover three tieflings and a large animated bronze statue. Illusionary snakes affect Torgeir as the bronze statue starts hitting dwarfs hard. The statue entices Torgeir and Renmar forward then jumps amongst the party to flail at every dwarf within reach. Bolts of burning black spellfire coming from two tieflings rendering Renmar unconscious.

After destroying the statue the tieflings prove to be less formidable and the party manage to both secure Renmar and bring their foes down.

The tiefling bodies yield up a sealed note that the dwarfs decide to open back at the Hall. Rundarr is able to open the note that proves to be from a Paldevar ordering the demise of the dwarf party and allowing the tieflings to take one of the Bronze Wardens. Also within the note is a map showing the location of the Well of Demons and referencing the Gnolls.

Once restocked the dwarfs venture out to the Well Of Demons.

The trip there proves uneventful, but once arrived Donga smells blood. They enter a large room with fanged minotaurs carved on them. Written on a wall in Dwarf is the word “Welcome”
Donga smells blood: large room, columns with leering fanged monitaurs carved on them. Ghouls attack the party as Torgeir is grabbed by the throat from a Choker hanging on one of the columns. A Phalagar, a many tentacled mushroom with a mouth appears and grabs Donga. The ghouls suffer from Aisling’s radiance and are dealt with, while Torgeir is able to pull his chocker of the pillar and kill it. However Donga becomes a stress squeeze ball between the remaining chocker and phalagar.
As the party gang up on the remaining two foes the chocker runs and escapes through a hole in the wall. The phalagar proves a bit more elusive and resilient, hiding under the floor before resurfacing but it is finally despatched.

The next room contains bones, some fresh that show signs is being thoroughly searched. Another set of double doors lead to an increased stench of rotting food.

Bark-like laughter is heard ahead and Donga has sneaky look.. A number of gnolls are spotted in a side room and the party quickly attack. From further up the corridor more gnolls and four hyenas come to the aid of their allies. With some tactical wok and heavy hitting the gnolls and hyenas are killed.

Looting provides money and magical cloak.

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The Horned Hall, across the bridge

The group bars the doors leading across the bridge before they take a rest. Despite measures taken there is no apparent activity from across the bridge. After preparing themselves the party head across the bridge but are only half way there when they come under crossbow fire. Renmar becomes the main target of the crossbowers, with an arcanist using wide spreading fires to harm the party. With effort they push their way into the building and the fight continues in semi close quarters.

Torgeir teleports to caster and hits him hard but he goes down under repeated blows from the enemy. Again the dwarfs seem affected by strange magics that deny them solid (or any kind of) hits on their Duergar foes, while they do not have such trouble.
With his allies starting to fall around him the caster commands one of the others to warn the boss, but he is taken down before he can do so. Finally hitting their foes the party defeat the Duergar with the caster being the last to fall. A quick search of the room provides coins and gems.

Further into the fortress Donga hears rough voices, leading to a room occupied by four orcs and a collared ogre. Moving quickly Torgeir attacks the ogre and knocks it down as one orc is felled by ranged magic and arrows. The orcs reply with battle axes and throwing axes, but within moments two more of them are down. Donga aids Torgeir finish the ogre as the others kill the remaining orc.

Continuing the search again Donga hears someone ranting and group decides to violently introduce themselves. Inside what appears to be a mess hall/throne room they find 3 average Duergar plus another Duergar in black plate mail holding an enormous maul. This, the party assume is Murkelmor Grimmerzhul.
Battle is quickly joined, and Torgeir finds out how hard Murkelmor can hit. Once again the Duergar grow large when they receive wounds but the dwarfs manage to cut them down. As befits a leader Murkelmor is harder to defeat. With several cuts bleeding he runs to the fireplace and through a hidden door.

Following quickly the party enter what obviously the slave area with several pits holding many slaves. Three more orcs, plus four spiked flying Spine Devils guard the slaves and immediately attack the dwarfs. The spined devils shoot spined at the dwarfs and the orcs attack as Murkelmor starts moving towards the rear. Despite killing a couple of orcs and devils wounds force the party to retreat; Aisling, Torthal, and Renmar through the fireplace, while Torgeir and Donga move through double doors some orcs used earlier to circle around. Donga arrows Murkelmor to death before retreating. His triumph is short lived though as the remaining orcs cut Donga down and the dwarf bleeds out. Enraged at the loss of a companion the dwarfs are finally able to land solid blows of their foes and the remaining orcs and devils are dispatched. Finally get act together and start hitting orcs and devils and bring them down.

Wrapping the exsanguinated Donga up in cloak the surviving dwarfs also release the slaves in the pit and take stock of the orcs’ possessions. Taking count of the slaves they discover that two Meigle slaves are missing, sold to the gnolls earlier.

The group then head back to the seven Pillared Hall.

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The Horned Hall

June 17

The journey to the Horned Hall proves uneventful until the party nears the Hall, located on the edge of a canyon wall. Donga sneaks ahead and spies orcs guards behind a portcullis. After describing what he has seen Renmar decides to try and bluff his way in. Advancing as a duergar he claims to have slaves to sell and food carried by said slaves. The gate like portcullis is opened and a couple of the orc guards come out to see the slaves.

The ruse quickly discovered the two groups attack each other. Torthal proves to be part pincushion as several arrows get stuck on his armour. Donga enters the area behind the portcullis top engage the orc leader, as the other guards are quickly overpowered. Renmar orders the bodies to be dropped down the canyon side after looting is completed and the party advance into the hall.

As they move ahead they hear the sound of a working forge. Entering the many doored forge room alerts the duergar and orc. Allowing the duergar to promptly disappear as the party enters. The largish orc attacks Torgeir as poisonous gas fills the area from a previously unseen robe wearing duergar. With the combined efforts of Torgeir and Aisling the orc and robe wearing duergar are dispatched. However the other duergar prove more troublesome as they repeatedly disappear, only to reappear when attacking. One manages to move around and leaves via the doors the party entered by, before circling around and attacking the party from another direction. Before he can be taken care of he runs out through another door. A late arriving duergar also attacks, but on being injured runs away with a bow wielding Donga chasing. When the survivor disappears Donga aims down the corridor towards the double doors, only to receive a glancing blow from the duergar is he runs past him towards the doors. Both Donga and a rushing Torgeir are finally able to bring him down.

As the party search for useful items Donga checks the door the surviving duergar fled through and spies a bridge across the chasm to another fort like structure. Not wanting to allow easy access to the party’s rear he rigs a crossbow trap for anyone coming through the door. The party find money, weapons and a scull-topped sceptre, which Torgeir throws into the forge.

Further explorations find the party returning to the forge room where Donga notices that his trap has been triggered. However the bolt appears to have only hurt the ceiling. Moving along the almost fled duergar’s path leads the party to doors behind which talking can be heard. Once voice is explaining that dwarfs have entered the fort, calling out a name that the party recognises as one given by the girl during the slave taking attack: Rundarr.

After a quick moment to ready themselves, the dwarfs burst into the room. The dining hall contains a chair located at the other end behind two tables with benches for seats. The occupants of the room, the duergar the party recognises from the forge talking to a large chunky duergar, and five other warriors. Standing on the near side of the tables a battered dwarf in tattered robes holding a tray of food and drink.

The party charges with Renmar trying to position himself to protect the dwarf slave as the duergar move forward. Torgeir, Donga, and Renmar find striking their foes hard going at first, as if some force redirects their blows away from the enemies. Before they can adjust adequately the three are bloody from blows and Torthal once again starts to resemble a pincushion. Meanwhile the duergar have received only minor scratches, mainly from Aisling and Torthal magics. In a matter of moments the fight ends up in a close and vicious melee as a couple of duergar archer support their comrades. The tide turns in favour of the dwarfs when, gasping deeply Torgeir brings frost to bear in the area, dazing and immobilising foes, followed by strong strikes by Donga and Renmar. Rundarr falls to several well-placed blows by various party members and the surviving duergar falls back to his allies. Donga then Torgeir hurl themselves at the remaining duergar and the fights ends up with the combatants manoeuvring to gain advantage over their enemies. Again the disappearing antics cause problems, allowing them grind Donga into unconsciousness. Renmar and Torgeir manage to hold and violently subdue the remaining duergar before they can finish Donga. Renmar then is able to bring Donga to consciousness.

Rundarr is found to hold an iron key

The slave, after taking no part in the battle calls himself Aaron. He informs the party that two other slaves, Bessa and Kaldot are in the kitchen. None of the dwarfs are from Meigle. With promises of helping the slave dwarfs to escape Torthal learns that other slaves are probably located across the bridge.

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The Chamber of Eyes & A Failure to Trade

June 10

Donga checks out what is behind a door leading to an unexplored part of the Chamber and sees a couple of hobgoblins in a large room. Devising a quick plan Donga and Aisling stay where they are as Torthal, Renmar and Torgeir head to the unopened double doors. Once beside the double doors Torgeir hears the sound of a large animal growling.

At the single the party opens both doors and enter the room. They see that the floor of the room has many chains lying empty, a statue of a horrible dwarf like figure on a balcony at the far end, three hobgoblins with longbows aimed at the three dwarfs, and a massively large wolf waiting to pounce. Torgeir charges in to handle the dire wolf with Renmar in support as the others engage the hobgoblins. Torthal finds himself in his own dagger cloud as Torgeir is shot and bitten. Donga engages a hobgoblin in melee while Aisling magics another one to death. As Torgeir finishes the wolf Renmar and Donga close in on the last hobgoblin standing beside the statue and bring him down.

Finding a trapdoor the dwarfs head down continue exploring via secret doors. They find a group of hobgoblins, men and goblins in a supply/dining room. The party attacks gaining an early upper hand. Tight quarters and spread out foes allows the slavers to split Donga from the rest of the party, forcing Torgeir to leave Renmar and the others to teleport himself next to Donga. With the party now able to strike on two fronts while offering limited openings they manage to put the slavers down.

While they find no more foes or any slaves, they do manage to find a fancy scimitar, some gems and some money.

After an extended rest the dwarfs have an uneventful trip back to the 7 Pillared Hall. Torthal spots a dwarf’s family crest on a building side, a hammer with a twisted haft. Rendel greets the party warmly and they relate the deaths of many a Bloodreaver and what they have learned to him. Torthal asks about the family symbol and Rendel replies that is where Geheral Grimmerzhul, a trader lives and sells his wares. Noting the name the dwarfs decide to pay the trading post a visit.

On closer viewing the crest turns out to be a hammer with manacles wrapped around the haft. Inside the party meet two duergar behind a sales bench. Hoping to find more information Torgeir tries to pass themselves off as working for Murkelmor but the bluff fails. Torgeir tries to jump onto the bench but only manages to land prone on the bench as the two duergar call for aid. Two doors open showing more duergar. As one harasses Aisling and Torthal, two more join the initial two fighting Torgeir and Donga, and Renmar is forced to meet an arcane menace behind a previously hidden door and viewing portal. Renmar removes the caster with Torthal’s help as Torgeir and Donga whittle down the main duergar group. Aisling manages to hold of her attacker until aid comes and remove the threat. The last duergar starts moving to the exit in a bid to escape, but the combined efforts block him and bring him down.

Ransacking the trading post locates money in the form of gems and coin, plus three sheets of paper in a desk:
· A mud map of the labyrinth
· The location of the Horned Hold
· A note signed by Murkelmor asking Kandera for more provisions for their merchandise.

Believing that the enslaved dwarfs are at the Horned Hall they party determine that is where they will go next.

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The 7 Pillar Hall & Chamber of Eyes

June 3

The party head out towards the Labyrinth. Their travels are uneventful until they hear raised voices coming from ahead; slavers claiming that they can get 10gp for the halfling and the reply that he is worth 20. Bringing 30gp with him Renmar enters the barrel filled room to see Bloodreaver hobgoblins menacing a tied up halfling. Renmar offers the 30gp but negotiations do not go well. As Torgeir and Donga face the hobgoblins Renmar climbs the barrels and tries to push the barrels on their foes. He is only partially successful, blocking some access but failing to land a barrel on a hobgoblin.

The just released halfling names himself Rundel Halfmoon and he offer to take the party to the Halfmoon Inn in the 7 Pillared Hall. Once there, the party enjoy some holy water and seek information on their destination. From Rundel and others they hear about the chamber of eyes and determine to find the place in the morning. Rundel offers to show them the way. While talking to the locals a surface dwarf, Ulthand, cleric of Moradan bemoans the loss of his “wee piggy”, a dire boar, to gnolls to the Well of Dreams. While willing to help the return of Wee Piggy, the party decide that finding the taken dwarfs has precedent.

True to his word Rundel joins the party in the morning and leads them towards the Chamber. Also true to his word Rundel points out the direction to the chamber and leaves the party while mentioning that he was never going to enter the chamber.

Locating the Chamber of eyes from Rundel’s directions the party cautiously enters with Donga in the lead. He hears raspy voices behind a set of double doors. The party head over and climb a balcony to another door. Behind the door and along the corridor the party spot a bugbear and several goblins in what appears to be something of a barracks. As Renmar watches another corridor the party attacks. The goblins shoot hand crossbows as they on call the bugbear Krand to kill the dwarfs. Donga goes down under blows from Krand and goblins. Torgeir calls out to Renmar for help but is able to prevent further injuries to him and the party. Renmar chases a fleeing goblin and a slices him apart with his warhammer.

After allowing Donga to recover from brief sleep the part advance down a side corridor before entering a room occupied by two pasty, red eyed dwarfs, duergar. Calling out for aid they attack the party. A fierce battle erupts as the dwarfs enter the room and a spell caster and a big hobglin from opposite doors reinforce the duergar. Renmar, Torgeir and Donga all suffer injuries from their opponents but manage to defeat them by splitting them apart and waling on the separated foes.

Quickly grabbing the hobgoblin and easily collected items the party head to the room where Renmar spotted the hobgoblin coming from. Looting and examination reveals some gems and money, magical (hobgoblin) chainmail and a letter.

Written in common the letter offers to purchase the Meigle dwarf slaves for 1000gp, singed by Murkelmor Grimmerzhul and dated two days ago.

The party prepares themselves to further investigate the Chamber of Eyes.

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Destroy the slavers!
party quests
Interlude

It is the dark phase in Meigle, the lights are dimmed and all good Dwarven folk rest. Not all rest, as there is holy water to be drunk, luminous mushrooms to explore and there is a steady beat in the town that resembles a mothers heart, pounding in the darkness. Something stops the heart and brings chaos.

First there is fire, one of the town’s outer huts bursts into flames, almost of it’s own accord. Screams can be heard, pitched and dispairing in the gloomy dark that is under Faerun. A child stares out from behind a mushroom, looking in horror and hoping not to be seen. Hobgoblins! Dwarves with Hobgoblins! Stealing other kin! The childs mind reels with the concept, now shaken to his very core. The fire lights up as it hits a particularly flammable section, the light almost causes a shadow of the child to appear, and unfriendly eyes gaze in her direction. The flash of light illuminates the Dwarven kin revealing gray almost sooty skin, fiery amber eyes and white stiff beards. One of them glares in her direction and reaches into his beard, pulling out something that looks sharp. Harsh words are spoken almost in a language she cannot understand. ‘Rundarr! Rundarr! We are going back to the seven pillared hall!’ the warrior Rundarr looks once more in her direction, she shrinks back and out of sight, then collapses and sees no more. The screams of her cousins ringing in her ears as consciousness eludes her.

On the summons to the explorers guild.

Mackay and Torin Dordrin summon the young Dwarves to their presence after a few days R&R. Their faces grim and desperate.
“Lads, lass” They acknowlege almost simultaneously. “Well done I hear about the closing down of that damnable portal and getting rid of that half-orc peskie. It bewilders us why he would want to pursue such a course of action. However, there are again pressing matters to be heard. The Duergar, damn their infernal souls, are making trouble from some outpost nearby. A child who saw the event, has finally talked to us and mentioned he overheard that they were ‘beyond the Seven Pillared Hall’ whatever that means. The child also mentioned he saw hobgoblins as well as strange looking kin. I believe that these kin are Duergar and are to be held responsible for their misdeed. You must aid the town in this time of need.”

“Gather your things. Find this Seven Pillared Hall, find our people and destroy this nest of evil.”

Mackay gives the party a bag. “Here is a magic bag and some provisions, I hope they will get you through this.”

(the bag is a bag of holding, it contains food and water for 5 for at least 10 days, plus 5 potions of healing).

You approach Aneirin MacBain, local sage for advice. After a few unpleasant moments of Aneirin complaining about not being paid for his services, he admits you in and you begin to discuss the seven pillared hall. He describes the location of the hall (beyond thunder rift, in an unused tunnel from the upper mines), it sits at the start of a Labryrinth which used to house minotaurs in the past but has been occupied by others since. Aneiring reads from a relatively fresh scroll, describing that the place is inhabited by many different races, is commanded by the Mages of Saruun, and is an outpost which deals with the surface more than us deep folk. He admits to not knowing much more.

You make last minute purchases, gather your things, say farewells to loved ones and leave into the night. As you travel towards the Labyrinth, your mind wanders back to the encounter leaving the complex…

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The Complex: To Close the Portal

May 27

After cleaning and drying themselves the party takes rest back in the portcullis room. They continue past the statue room into one containing the smell of rotting meat, the source being dwarf and other bodies. Donga throws a glowing sunrod forward and it hits a wall before bouncing back towards the party. A strong smell of blood emanates from a side door but any investigation is halted by the appearance of rotting bodies advancing on the party, along with a small gargoyle like homunculus scampering towards the blood smell filled corridor. With Torgeir holding one corridor and the others cutting through the advancing zombies the party discovers another undead creature, a wiry, undead with long fingernail claws later identified as a ghoul. It strikes and immobilises Donga to the spot, albeit for a short period.

As most of the undead fall Renmar runs to the now open double doors the gargoyle scampered through. Through the doors he sees several streams of blood draining away through a central grate. Four green columns, one fallen but still lit, light the room and illuminating the room’s inhabitants; a pair of gold dwarfs and a halforc with a deathlike pallor calling out to Yurturus. Renmar pulls the doors close and calls for help. Donga tosses a spike to him before he and the others try finishing of the ghoul.

Once it is destroyed Torgeir runs down to try and help Renmar keep the doors closed. They are only partially successful, only allowing the party to ready themselves for a fight before the doors are battered open. The two alien dwarfs attack the party, frothing their rage as they take hits from the party. Putting the two down the party advances into the room of blood and walls. More undead appear as the halforc cries out to Gruumsh, informing that the dwarfs will die to bolster his undead army. Again Torgeir blocks one route to the party as the others engage the undead. Renmar manages to spot and warn about a small shadowy form approaching the party before it disappears in the darkness. The undead close in and Torgeir learns the hard way that they thrash in a frenzy of claws as they die. Donga hides, seeking to ambush newcomers as the others battle the undead. Aisling manages to spot the shadowy form and strike it with magic before it materialises as a halfling. It attacks the party, as a wall climbing undead and the halforc priest close in. Renmar places a fatal blow on the halfling, which promptly explodes into dust blinding Renmar. With its allies or minions collapsing around it the halforc retreats, following the gargoyle down the grate.

After quickly looting the bodies the party advance on the grate, finding chains slick with blood the only apparent egress down. Despite trying not too Aisling falls to the floor below as the others manage to traverse the obstacle. They find themselves in a room with streams of blood feeding a nightmare portal of moving darkness dominating the north part of the room with a magic circle lying in front of it. To the south stands a large Gruumsh statue reaching towards the portal; a raised area to the east; and a dais on another raised area to the west. Standing near the dais, behind two skeletal bodyguards the halforc again threatens that the party’s bodies will be used in his army. As Aisling starts to stand Renmar charges the halforc.

The blood-covered floor proves difficult to remain upright in and several of the party fall trying to follow Renmar. With a massive effort Renmar reaches the halforc and lays into him with his hammer. The two skeletal warriors, the gargoyle homunculus and the halforc surround Renmar and start slicing his hide open. From the south another undead form launches immobilising black rays against the party but they ignore it to meet the greater threat and their friend. Renmar succumbs to his aid and Torgeir is forced to charge forward with his shield to push the skeletons away. Standing over his fallen comrade Torgeir trades blows with his foes as the rest of the party advance and engage the three. Receiving succour Renmar is able to re-enter the fray and the combined actions of the group brings the three down.

Once the battle against the priest looks to favour the dwarfs, Donga changes his focus to the undead at the opposite side of the room. He is slowed by the bloody floor and the black rays. After dispatching the priest and skeletons the rest of the party split. Torgeir runs to meet the undead with Donga, while the other three start checking out the room. Approaching the portal a claw emerges and strikes Renmar. As Torgeir and Donga finish off the last undead and Renmar is struck again, Torthal and Aisling discover five small holes spaced around the circle. Remembering the statues taken with Sir Corgan’s blessing they party place them in the holes and the portal turns to stone.

Behinf Closed Doors (June 3 “flashback”)
Trying to ensure that no remnants of Kalarel’s forces remain or have a chance gaining power from the complex the party decide to break into the unexplored section behind the “CLOSED” doors.

Donga advances cautiously into the uncommonly clean corridor and turns right out of sight. As the rest of the party advance a large cube of clear rubbery flesh advances from the left blocking access to Donga. Torgeir and Renmar charge the form only for Torgeir to be engulfed by the cube. Renmar and Torgeir battle the cube, either trying to escape from engulfment or the pseudopods it strikes with while returning blows of their own. Meanwhile rotting, foul smelling corpses move in on Donga, immobilising him. Torgeir, Renmar, Torthal and Aisling manage to force the cube back to open up access to Donga. Being able to reorganise themselves Torgeir with Aisling and Torthal’s help reduce the cube to fleshy rubble as Renmar and Donga gain the upper hand against the foul smelling corpses. With the entire party’s focus the corruption corpses quickly fall.

Searching through the remainder of the complex the party finds what ends up being a children’s bedroom. Within which they find Clothes, a medal (with Drystan Corgan engraved), a bracelet (Leinwein Corgan), magical amulet, and hairbrush.

After resting the party heads back to the upper reaches of the complex. Despite trying to find Sir Corgan’s ghost the party fail to return the items to him and they decide to head back to Meigle.

Once back in town, the first thing you notice is the palpable fear amongst the community. On quizzing, the presence of Duegar raiders has been felt with some of the populace been taken by slavers. The local militia is struggling to cope and there are words flying about for the need to do something about it quickly. The elders meet constantly, raise and reject options. Something needs to be done.

One of the priests Dumathoin quizzes you over the presence of Yurturus or Orcus in the complex. He finds your descriptions confusing. Much as he finds the descriptions of Deep Duerra being brought back, also confusing since the Dwarven crusades and the destruction of the dark Dwarven pantheon nearly 150 years ago. He wishes to know more if you can find it.

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