Houdyn, Merric, and Fimbultyr are back at Willy’s. They give the moon cow to Willy, and demand payment. “Listen, yoo cin threaten me all yoo want. I won’t give ya a cent if ya do!” Willy recanted. “Looks like we’re stuck working for this goon…” Houdyn whispered to the party.
Marco came up from the basement. “You’re back already! You truly are quick. I’ve determined the next ingredient, however, there’s a problem…”
“What now?” Fimbultyr asked.
“We need the dandruff of a Dwarvern king. The only thing is that, there are no more dwarvern kings. There live in Autocratic societies in the South lands. You may find some ruins in the area however. If my research is correct, Sharntol-ok, the capital of the ancient dwarf kingdom Korce, is located near here. As for the exact location… I could say. It was once the heart of Korce, but it was cursed by the goblins. Now it is empty and forsaken. It should be completely empty. A specimen may be ready for collecting.”
As the group began their search, they thought it would be beneficial to ask a towns person if they knew anything. They met a tall man just outside the town. When asked if he had heard of any ruins, he mumbled some words and pointed East. That’s where the party went.
Inside the Ruins
After a few days, the group stumbled upon a doorway blocked by a stone. Above the door was a scene of dwarves and goblins battling. When they removed the stone, they were greeted by a long dark tunnel. At the end They found that Sharntol-ok was not as deserted as Marco believed. They found their across a hidden bridge to the top of a castle. There they battled a few goblin guards. They were being overpowered by the creatures, and just when they thought hope was lost, a voice shouted, “Don’t lose hope, my friends!”
“How did you find us?” Houdyn asks.
“You leave an easy trail.” Roland replied.
As they entered the next room, they saw that it was a massive spiral stair case. After they descended a while they came to a doorway. Merric tried to sneak inside but tripped and alerted the large goblin inside. He was taken care of quickly, and the party saw a dragonborn tied to the ceiling. “I am Balasar the great golden skinned!” He proclaimed, “Being captured was all apart of my plan, I was about to strike before you arrived.”
The group made him swear on his honor that he would help them, and he agreed. After he was cut down, they continued down the stairs. Finally at the bottom, Balasar pulled a lever, and the ground began to sink. “An elevator!” Merric said.
Down… Into the Bowels
When they reached the bottom, they saw a large room with a nonworking fountain in the center. Banners of a forgotten kingdom hung on the walls. “Looks like the place, now let’s get the dandruff and get out of here.” Roland stated.
They found the kitchen and went into the meat locker. Inside they found their balance challenged by a sheet of ice. While they attempted to regain their balance they were also attacked by undead cooks wielding cleavers. After the battle, Fimbultyr found that the ice was coming from an orb of chill. Merric made sure he was able to grab that.
After that they went into the library. They found many books, most of which were in dwarvish. Fimbultyr did find the ritual, Eye of Alarm. They entered the special selection section, where two corpses were found, one hanging by a noose. A book on the ground read, “Everything is fine”, but Roland saw through the sorcery. The Secret Page ritual, which was located in the room, had been used to hide the true text. It read:
Everyone is killing eachother. I locked Marcia and myself inside for saftey, but when she attacked me I had to kill her. I can’t go on. God’s forgive me.
“This was a truly horrible fate. The goblins that did this were wicked. I hope to one day fight a foe that powerful. I will show him the might of the dragons!” Balasar said.
They entered the book master’s chambers from the library, and met swarms a rats. After dealing with them, a small tunnel was found. Merric volunteered to crawl down it. At the end, he emerged in the guard’s barracks. There were two doors, one of metal and the other wooden. He opened the wooden door to come face to face with a plethora of skeletons guarding the throne. Upon the throne was an old inanimate skeleton of a dwarvern king. However, Merric made a run for it back to the tunnel. The group berated him for not checking the other door.
They found the royal study that contained a pedestal with a chalice upon it. Fimbultyr noticed a magical glyph on the pedestal, but before he could warn him, Balasar stepped forward and grabbed the chalice. As large explosion threw him against the wall. He got up covered in blood, and proclaimed, “This will bring me great honor among my tribesmen!”
Houdyn scorned him for his foolish actions, and began to threaten him. “I do not want to kill you half-elf, take it,” Balasar said as he threw Houdyn the Chalice, “but I get the next treasure!”
They left the study and found themselves in the great hall, just north was the throne room. But they instead tried to enter the feast hall. Upon stepping through the door, Houdyn fell into a chasm. Reached his arm out and Balasar caught him. “Do not do that again, I will not either.” Balasar warned.
Davven and Balasar threw Merric to the other side of the room with a rope tied around him. both sides anchored the rope and one by one they crossed. Balasar jumped and landed on the edge, Davven climbed across and helped him up. Houdyn climbed across as well. Roland walked across the rope. Fimbultyr cut the rope on his side, and swung across. “This way the skeletons can’t follow us.” He said as he jumped. His grip was not tight enough, and he fell into the darkness. His screams echoed until they were too far to hear. The group sat, horrified that they just lost their friend, but they had to keep moving. They enter the chambers which lead to a narrow bridge connecting the main two to a smaller one.
“I’m not going in there. There could be dragons!” Merric states.
“My kin haven’t been seen in thousands of years. Also this is no place for the great race to live. It would be an insult to call this place a dragon home!” Balasar replied.
They walked across the bridge and spotted 2 guards. Roland used his psionic abilities to toss them into the abyss. Upon entering the room, they were attacked by dozens a rats lead by 2 dire rats, and as they fought a female voice screamed, shaking the room and destroying the access bridge. It was the undead Dwarvern Queen. She began to slash at merric and bit him in the shoulder, he passed out from pain. Davven rallied the group around him and they reduced her to a corpse.
“Now what? We’re trapped! We came all this way, killed so many, lost Fimbultyr… only to die in the damned room!” Merric worried.
“I’m sure there’s a way out. we will find it, but in the meantime, let us address our wounds.” Davven said