Guardians of the Past

24th of Tarsakh 1365 Year of the Sword

The group discusses what to do about Baron Agwain as he constantly acts like a lovesick teenager every time he is in the presence of Kyrin Hawkwinter. The party decides to take the Baron back into the mountain and ask the elves to guard Kyrin. Saedellas also casts a defensive prayer on her known as Sacred Guardian.

The adventurers return to the former dwarf complex to find a way to stop the poisonous water from pouring out of a crack and into the valley. Inside the group discovers a room with orc and human bodies scattered about it from a battle. The walls are covered with orcish writings and crude pictographs.

In a nearby chamber that is empty, Nolia does a search and discovers a secret door in the north wall. The ranger opens the hidden passage and finds a set of stairs leading down. The group crosses the bare room to a wooden door on the opposite wall. Silvaris listens at the door and signals that something is on the other side of the portal.

Vilnullas pulls the door open and the party moves into the room forming a defensive position. Across the large hall are two human warriors, a dwarf, a half-orc, and five orc skeletons guarding a ramp that exit up from the area. The humans move to pull out signal horns. The party demands the dwarf and his companions surrender. The half-orc and his companions refuse and a melee ensues. Saedellas casts Charm Person on one of the humans and the priest gets him to turn on his friends. The adventurers dispatch all of the other enemies, including the orcish skeletons.

Saedellas questions his charmed subject. His name is Darfin and he is a follower of Kelthas the Dread, a necromancer. The priest asks Darfin what he knows about the poisoned water. The charmed warrior informs the party that Kelthas used his necromantic magic to poison the dwarves. Corthen asks the man about what dwarves he is talking about. Darfin informs them that a small colony of dwarves has returned to the mountain trying to reclaim their ancestral home from the orcs. Tellazar asks him about the trolls and ogres. The man tells him that the orcs have used gold to retain the larger humanoids in their fight against the dwarves and Kelthas’ forces. Corthen comes up with a plan to send Darfin back to Kelthas with a message claiming that a band of humans and elves wishes to join his forces and that they will return to this chamber at Highsun.

Once the charmed man leaves the hall by means of the ramp, Corthen tells the others that his hope is that the party can either ambush the necromancer or any of his forces when they return to the chamber. The group agrees to return in the morning to prepare for Kelthas. The group travels to the south from the hall and finds a square-pillared hall with wall carvings of armored dwarves. The floor of the hall is covered with refuse and trash.

Traveling a side hall the party is caught off guard when a large reinforced cage falls from the ceiling and snares Corthen, Nolia, and Vilnullas. The party spends several hours trying to free the three members of the Circle of Valor. Eventually, a pair of bars are spread enough for the trio the slip through after removing their armor and gear.

After the party redresses, they return back to the hall where they recently battled the skeletons and the minions of Kelthas. Saedellas uses the Spear of Lochal to speak with the dead half-orc. Saedellas asks the dead half-orc where Kelthas poisoned the water and he is informed that it was done at the cistern. The priest asks where the cistern is located in relation to the hall. The half-orc’s soul tells him that the cistern chamber lies just beyond the western door. Saedellas asks him where Kelthas can usually be found. The reply is that the necromancer resides one level above if the party travels up the ramp.

The party gets into the cistern room, after Silvaris picks the locked door. The chamber is huge with a high ceiling. The cistern pit is 60’ in diameter and 8’ deep with a huge stone pillar rising from the cistern and connecting up to the roof above. A large crack runs through the room, it 3’ wide and at least 12’ deep. The crack runs right through the cistern; green water runs out of the fountain heads around the pillar. The sickly green water flows down into the cistern pool and down into the crevasse. It is clear that the party has reached the source of the bad water killing trees, crops, and wildlife in Laughing Hollow and everywhere downriver.

Examining the pillar the party can see signs that an arched bridge once existed that reached from the floor up to a stone balcony 20’ up above the floor. Silvaris tells the others that he will throw a grappling line up and will climb up and he will need them to secure the other end. The rogue gets a line up and begins climbing the rope up. As he is shimmying up the line two stone gargoyles launch themselves off the balcony and attack him. Baron Agwain and Luthoric are left holding the other end of the rope while the adventurers try hit the gargoyles with spells and missiles. Erith casts several Magic Missiles, Tellazar throws Chromatic Orbs, and others pull bows. Despite learning that the gargoyles are immune to normal weapons, the group finally manages to slay the two flying creatures.

Gargoyles

Once Silvaris reaches the balcony, he secures the rope and checks the areas above for traps before giving the all clear. Luthoric pulls out his own rope and tosses one end into the poisonous green water to see the result. Nothing happens. Corthen, Uldred, Nolia, and Erith take turns climbing the rope up to join Silvaris. There the thief has opened a door into the pillar. Inside is a small room with four large switches, one on each wall. The north switch is down, the others are in the up position. Nolia notices some booted prints in the dust that were recently left here. There is a bronze door off of this small switch room. Silvaris examines the door and says that he can hear a grinding sound from the other side. Corthen opens the door. On the other side is 10’ square room with a large 8’ wide and 6’ high bronze framed box. There are two lids on the top of the box. There is also a large empty glass jar with a label. Erith reads and tells the others that it says Necrotic Slime. Corthen examines the lids and discovers that they both contain green water and moving metal parts that seem to be pumping the water out into the cistern pool below from the fountains that spray from the pillar.

The rest of the party has remained on the main floor keeping watch for orcs or Kelthas minions, except for Luthoric. He has knelt down of the floor and seems to be in deep prayer to his patron god. In the pillar, the others have returned to the switch room. They agree that they must go ahead and try the switches to see if they can stop the flow. Silvaris pulls the eastern switch down and nothing seems to change. He pulls the southern switch down and Uldred informs him that the grinding sounds from the bronze box have changed. Silvaris moves the western switch down and the learn from Nolia on the ledge that the water has stopped flowing from the pillar fountains. Finally, the rogue moves the northern switch up and they find out that fresh pure water is flowing from the fountains.

The group is excited and happy about being able to stop the poisonous water. The two groups decide to wait in place for a while to see if Kelthas the Dread sends a force to try and regain control of the cistern fountain. While the groups wait, Luthoric tries to proselytize Baron Agwain into worshipping Tyr and ask for mercy for his recent crimes. After two hours, the group decides to move on.

Corthen finds a secret door off of the cistern room. Behind the door is a shaft with carved handholds that rises up into darkness. The party carefully climbs up the shaft which goes up 140’ to small room above. There are no exits from this chamber. Rehs finds a hidden catch in the wall and a secret door opens. The group passes through the opened passage and are suddenly beset by a stone statue of an armored dwarf. The animated statue strikes Nolia, she is affected by the strike and seems to be under a Slow spell. Fighting the stone guardian, some of the heroes learn that even some of their enchanted weapons are useless in fighting it. Vilnullas engages the stone dwarf with the Flame of the North. He strikes it several times. Along with a few other attacks from the heroes that manage to connect, the dwarf statue finally breaks and topples to the floor.

Saedellas finds a secret door in the chamber during a search of the room. The cell beyond has another shaft descending down to another level. The group decides to finish searching the passages of this level before exploring the new shaft. The group moves down a short hall and finds three stone doors. Behind the first door the party finds a weapons rack and a suit of dwarven plate. Tellazar casts a detect magic in the room and several weapons, the armor, a helm, and a pair of gauntlets all radiate magical energy.

The party finds a chest, cloak, and a crown in the neighboring room. Inside the chest Silvaris finds a fine suit of dwarven bronze plate armor with numerous gems worked into the suit. Uldred tells the others that the suit also bears runes that read “Thane of Illefarn Mountain”. Saedellas does a casting and informs the group that the cloak, crown, and king’s armor are all magical.

The last room is mostly empty. There is a pool of clear water that dominates the room. A shelf contains a pair of gauntlets and a helm. Corthen decides to investigate the pool. He removes his gear and dons the gloves and helm and takes his sword as he dives into the water. The treasure hunter discovers the pool is fed from below and he dives down deep. The helm gives him the ability to breathe underwater and he swims far down until he realizes this cavern full of water exits down into the pumps that feed the cistern. Corthen returns to his friends and informs them of his discovery.

Once the warrior has redressed in his armor, the party takes the second shaft down to another room about 100’ below. The group enters a room that has been untouched for some time. Layers of dust cover the floor. Six gold and platinum statuettes of dwarven deities stand along the east wall. On a ledge above them are piles of precious medallions, sceptres, and pendants. A large glass mirror as tall as a man stands in the corner along with a digging shovel and a smooth stone the size of two fists. Uldred examines the stone and finds a holy symbol of Moradin Soulforger, Father of Dwarves, lightly worked into dark stone. The group agrees to not disturb the room since it contains religious items. They agree that should they find the dwarf colony they can show them the room.

The group searches the room for secret doors. During the search, Rehs is captured in a large cage similar to one that had ensnared his friends during the morning. While trying to free Rehs from the trap, Silvaris trips another trap next to the cage and he narrowly avoids falling into the stake lined 10’ deep pit. Corthen bends the bars on the cage and the toymaker from High Dale is free. Nolia detects a door hidden in the stonework and gets the door to pivot open. The group moves into the next chamber. The room’s vaulted ceiling is 30’ high and the room stretches out 40′ × 70′. The walls are covered with paintings and carvings of dwarves. Uldred looks about and informs the group that they are in a temple to Moradin. The dwarven priest of Gorm tells the others that the altar is missing, but some of the intentional damage done to the paintings and carvings has recently been restored.

Suddenly seven armored dwarves rush into the temple with axes and hammers shouting battle cries. The adventurers realize they are about to be attacked and they actually drop swords and bows they are holding. Uldred speaks to the hostile dwarves and tells them that everyone present are friendly to their cause. He shows them his holy symbol and tells them that he and his friends have been killing orcs and the minions of the necromancer for the last few days. Vilnullas slowly pulls out the medallion given to him by Dervin Stonecarver.

One of the dwarves ask him where he found the medallion. Vilnullas explains that it was given to him by Dervin Stonecarver after he rescued the dwarf and his two sons from a collapsed building on the night the earthquake hit Waterdeep. The dwarves lower their weapons and relax. The eldest dwarf introduces himself as Kain, High Old One of Moradin. Everyone introduces themselves. Corthen and Uldred show the dwarves of the hidden room off of the temple. The dwarves are suprised that all of the gold items are still present. Corthen divulges that there are some other relics that the party found on a small hidden level that the adventurers wish to present to the dwarves. He shows Kain the crown and the Thane’s armor. He tells of all the other items recovered. Kain and the other dwarves are excited and pick up the crown and armor. The dwarven priest informs the group that they are to come with the dwarves now.

The dwarves escort the heroes down two flights of long steep steps into a room. The group discovers that the dwarves do something to the wall near the stairs and inform the party that it is safe to cross the room. Silvaris whispers to the others that it must be a safety to disarm traps hidden in the room. The party is taken through several passages before being led into a room where several armored dwarves sit. Kain walks over and talks to a noble looking dwarf. They talk for several minutes before the priest has the armor and crown brough over to the seated dwarf. The seated dwarf seems shocked by the items. Once he breaks his gaze from the crown he stares at the party of humans, elves, and a dwarf standing cross the chamber.

The noble dwarf springs up from his stone chair and walks straight to the party. He introduces himself. “I am Korin Ironaxe, son of Cerdwin Ironaxe. May I welcome you to the halls of my ancestors, Illefarn Under the Mountain.” He then shakes hands with the adventurers in dwarven fashion, grasping their forearm firmly and shaking. Korin explains that he led an expedition of dwarves and gnomes to Illefarn Mountain three years ago to reclaim the halls from the orcs. He says that the necromancer showed up roughly a year ago and began to fight both the orcs and the dwarves. Korin thanks the party for recovering the crown and armor of his ancestor, Thane Devin. The dwarves looks over several other items the party picked up and inform them they may keep those items. Korin also informs the group they may expect a just reward once he is able to reclaim the halls from his enemies. The party offers to aid the dwarves against the other factions. The dwarves are pleased and accept their offer of aid. The dwarves suggest that the party rest for a night in a nearby chamber since it is late and the group looks weary. The party thanks the dwarves and go to sleep for the night.

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ErithTalvera

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