25th of Mirtul of the year 1492
After completing their discussion and reviewing of what they found and a tour of the tombs with the constable, the tired party wandered their way back to the Blackbutter Inn. The constable had run off to fetch his deputies to gather in the those involved and start interrogating them on what they had been doing. As they passed near the sinkhole, they could see that most of the crowd had wandered off.
A small barricade had been built around to prevent any more mishaps with additional children falling in. Most of the preventive measures seemed to be set up ten to 15 feet from the sinkhole, obviously fearing more of a collapse.
Arriving at the Blackbutter Inn, they were immediately directed by the server to head to the back by going around the building and to wash off before entering the building. With all the mud attacks, exploding mud devils, and having a corridor explode around them did cause all of them to far dirtier that any sane person would prefer. Gwendolyn Venelli came out with a tray of ale and offered a free meal to the team for their hard work in rescuing the children in the sinkhole.
Quickly washing up and reentering the Inn they all decided it was best to get a meal, especially since it was going to be free. Before eating, they all went to their rooms for quick clothes change. They reconvened in the main room except Dancer who wanted a warm bath in his room. Vladimir seemed a bit jealous of the individual bath and individual room that Dancer had, but he still had warm dreams of large teddy bears. Everyone collected back and ordered food and since Dancer had not come down, Fwoosh being friendly, had ordered a large bowl of clotted cream and a spoon for the Tabaxi. Dancer’s only comment was that he liked meat too.
Vladimir started a discussion about the friends that all had escaped with Fwoosh from the Collector. Fwoosh described their names and their specialties. Which led Dancer to ask about who was Benny. Vladimir explained more about how he knew Benny and as well as a little about the ambush that led him out of the army and eventually to Waterdeep. With the different soul baring stories coming out, ISAC explained a bit more about his awakening and that he believes that his name might be an acronym.
This brought up something that Fogo was interested in, which was if anyone belonged to any factions as he was a member of the Emerald Enclave. Vladimir was a part of the Lord’s Alliance, Angelica was with The Order of the Gauntlet, and Fwoosh was confused if he belonged to the baker’s guild or something else. This caused a lot of Thieves’ finger-talk with Dancer about their relationship with their faction and Dancer convincing Fwoosh to not disclose their relationship with the bakery and their faction.
With Fwoosh talking about his past and his home a clocktower, Avery noticed that there was a small clock on the mantle of the main fireplace. This also led Fwoosh there who seemed fascinated with it. Dancer gave a little more information about his past and the source of his name and everyone shared a bit more with each other. The group was opening a little more and becoming closer to each other.
It seemed that the party had opened enough and felt like they trusted Dancer sufficiently such that they showed him the Golden Statue and some of its capabilities. He was enamored with the fact that once it was about ten feet away from ISAC it would disappear and reappear in ISAC’s hand. It was also mentioned that it seems to be growing in power and was awakening in some way. ISAC also explained that every time they killed an elemental type of creature the statue seemed to absorb something from them upon their death. Dhelosk, the owner of the Blackbutter Inn is a wizard, and had identified the symbols on the statue as the four drow symbols for the elements, and that it was very old, maybe as much as 5,000 or 6,000 years old.
The group continued to talk about some of their previous adventures and opened it up for Dancer to join them. He was very amenable to joining the group and adventure along with them. They did mention a little of some of the odd dreams they had but did not explain much to Dancer. He told them to consider that they had ingested something that might have caused that because it was just crazy.
Moving the discussion along, and ensuring no one was close enough to listen in, they decided to try and decipher the text they found on the door with the dwarven carving. Angelica who had been studying Dwarven in her seminary work was able to figure out the exact words for everyone. Before working on a solution Dancer suggested that they just sell what they knew to the Dwarves and not tempt themselves with the Tomb since it was scary for Dancer since he feared the undead, curses, traps, and all the possible combinations of those.
The conversation went into circles a bit as they tried to figure out what it meant. Fogo pushed that it could represent the four elements and might be related to the other elemental objects they had found, while Angelica suggested they might want to think about what the known attributes of Dwarves are. This seemed to have given them several new ideas. In the next few hours, they were able to come up with a plan and items they needed to purchase the next day to enact what they thought was the solution. With what they thought to be a solid plan everyone headed up for a much-needed rest.
26th of Mirtul of the year 1492
After rising in the morning, they found Constable Harburk Tuthmarillar waiting for them already drinking some ale. He complained that he had not yet gotten to bed while working on the investigation and there were already issues. It seems that someone had murdered Baragustas Harbuckler last night by dismembering him, pinning the parts on a wall, and gouging out his eyes and replacing them with some small stones. Sometime while the sinkhole was being explored by the party, Marlandro Gaelkur had closed his shop and ran off somewhere. This morning Elak Dornen stole all his business’s coins and valuables and snuck away leaving his very angry wife and several children behind. The town is concerned that she will have some difficulty in being able to keep the business running without the gold to pay the workers.
Albaeri Mellikho was arguing that she had nothing to do with it, Ilmeth Waelvur was stinking drunk and acting overly belligerent, and Ulhro Luruth was just hiding in his shop. When asked about Braelen Hatherhand and his father, Harburk explained that Rotharr had been kicked out of his house by his wife. He had come into town, drank a bunch, and then swore vengeance on the those that did this to him before departing for parts unknown.
All the elders implicated that were still in town were attempting to blame Baragustas for everything, but there was little evidence except a lot of finger pointing. While Aerego Bethendur had been implicated, there was even less evidence about him participating. What was interesting was that Aerego started helping the constable with finding some evidence and reporting in on what he knew to prove the guiltiness of the other elders.
While the Harburk was explaining, Dancer and Fwoosh decided that they needed to run to the bakery for some bear claws. Continuing to explain what had been happening, he finally got to Grund who just seemed guilty of being bullied into helping. Grund was released but did not seem to be normal happy-go-luck attitude and in fact was no longer tolerating anyone stealing his pickles and had even beaten two men this morning when they came by. ISAC was curious if any of the bodies or the suspects had any tattoos, ones that matched any of the drow elemental symbols.
Arriving at the bakery and looking for Jepos, it turned out that only Mangobarl Lorren was there while Jepos was out doing something. Not waiting around, they ran back to the Blackbutter Inn.
As the party described the things, they had found such as bandits having castles, the possibility of there being different four elemental cultists, that the bandits and the cultists organizations and that they might be working together, and that the elders might even be involved in all of this since the earth symbol was found in the tombs too. Going for a stronger drink, Harburk fortified himself before asking clarifying questions about all of that. Before Harburk could depart, Vladimir suggested that the constable reach out to the military commander in Amphail. Leaving less happy than he arrived, the constable left to search for tattoos and anything else.
Jumping in, Avery went over to talk to Dhelosk before getting riled up by Fogo shortly. He purchased a spell and a lot of magic ink to allow him to copy spells into his spellbook and therefore making himself more universally useful. Once completed, it was Fogo’s turn who took advantage of Dhelosk’s kindness by getting a bunch of items identified and priced, although for some reason not the dagger with the dried blood they had found in the tombs. Dhelosk was happy to help, especially when Fogo brought out the Lantern of Equivalent Exchange and his Ring of Free Action. The wizard was very interested in purchasing both, but Fogo was not selling anything except a cheap magic mace, and then headed back to the table and leaving the disgruntled Dhelosk behind.
After a small discussion with the rest of the group Fogo came back and asked about purchasing some Bags of Holding. After admitting there were a couple available at a now premium price, Fogo relented and sold the lantern to help cover the cost of buying those useful bags.
Deciding to visit many places in parallel the party split up visiting different locations. Fogo went to the smithy to fetch his newly made knives. That proved to be a quick jaunt and then joined Angelica and Avery at the Allfaith’s Shrine to pick up some healing potions and fondle the dead body of Baragustas’s body to look for tattoos. Dancer, Fwoosh, ISAC, and Vladimir visited Ironhead Arms to sell all the excess arms and amor they had collected.
At the shrine Angelica and Avery purchased a large pile of healing potions and convinced Imdarr and Lymmura to allow them to go through and inspect Baragustas’s body. Before their search, they inquired about having Imdarr perform a remove curse if they encountered one when attempting to identify the magic dagger they had found in the tombs. They were instructed to head in the back with their discission on whether Avery would identify the dagger or not and that they should take the box with the body parts to the back of the building for their searching. Once the search was completed, the three of them headed back to the Blackbutter Inn to wait for the rest except Avery who went to his room to start copying spells.
At Ironhead Arms, the four of them sold a pile of armor and a few weapons while Dancer filled up his almost empty quivers and Fwoosh picked up some daggers. Finishing up their business they headed back to the Sundries store.
At the Sundries store Fwoosh was surrounded by children all looking for more sweets, especially those bear claws, but they were all disappointed when all Fwoosh delivered was a pair of sourdough bread loafs. It was disappointment all the way around. Purchasing some charcoal and checking in on some better-quality rope, they were able to buy everything except the non-hemp rope. Fwoosh was able to pick up an interesting toy top that was spun using a string. Just before departing, Vladimir bought some blank books, a couple of Dwarvish books, as well getting one of the romance books (The Bard and the Rising Tower) secretly from Endrith while no one was looking.
Seeking some fine wood, Dancer convinced them to head to Thelorn’s Safe Journeys so he could acquire some higher quality wood for his carving fetish. Meeting Thorsk, a large and scarred man, Dancer had a nice set of selections to choose from. Vladimir attempted to convince Thorsk to take care of his horses and wagon but was continually rebuffed. Dancer suggested they use the farm of the old woman they had rescued, but it was not something Thorsk knew about.
Finished with their business and shopping the last of the wayward group headed to the Blackbutter Inn and meet up with the rest. Going over their tomb raiding plan once again, they started checking to make sure they had everything that was needed. Vladimir picked up a cask of Dwarven Ale and remembering that they still needed some tobacco and a pipe, everyone except Avery ran back to the Sundries store to fetch those.
After collecting Avery, the party headed out to the northern quarry to gain access to the Dwarven Tombs and finish looting the spaces they had not done previously. Getting the name of the old woman they saved before heading down, the group all headed into the Tombs. They made their way to the locked Dwarven door and got ready to execute their plan on opening it. Reviewing the plan once again they began executing what they thought was the solution.
Starting off with putting the coals in the eyes caused an immediate reaction which almost caused Vladimir to fall over. A loud chunking noise started coming from the door with the loud sound occurring once a second. In a more of a panic mode, they lit the coals on fire, poured ale into the saucer, dropped a gold piece into the slot, and with the lit pipe blew smoke into the mouth. A different noise started from within the door, and it unlocked and opened itself. Their careful planning and discussions of the solution had paid off. The door was open.
Stone Door with Dwarf
Description of the door: The door is a dark grey granite that still has remains of faded paint upon it. The stone dwarven warrior stare outward at those in the hallway. Its eyes are holes large enough to fit a small hand while there is a hole leading into the mouth, the left hand is holding a stone saucer with a small hole on the bottom of it, and finally the right hand is held out as if waiting to hold something. It is at an angle that will cause whatever is in the palm to slide into what appears to be a pouch that has a slot on the top of it.
Surrounding the carving in Dwarven on the door is the following:
Aundra e eth hallanaryr wundstr avor corruption
Jert eth vjakr avor ljef
Grasp eth murmal avor temptation
Ynsta eth aldrorz anzjon
Which translated to:
Breath in the heavenly air of corruption
Drink the water of life.
Grasp the metal of temptation.
Feel the burning sight.
Wandering down the steep ramp and a turn, they came to a large domed room that had another large floating glowing stone in the middle and the room was filled with some sort of mist that obscured the vision. When attempting to see magic, the mist blocked all of it. Going into the room, they found three 20-foot-tall statues of Dwarves. Each of the Dwarves had a different symbol in front of them.
Symbol of the Northern Dwarf Statue
Symbol of the Western Dwarf Statue
Symbol of the Southern Dwarf Statue
Angelica was not able to discern what gods they might have been from but speculated that these might be very old representations of the Dwarven gods. Wandering around and looking for magic more closely, the floating rock was radiating as well as all three statues, but nothing more could be discovered. She was able to determine that this room must be some sort of shrine to the Dwarven gods.
The rest of the party convinced Angelica to cast Gust of Wind in the room to attempt to get rid of the mist, but it had no effect that they could see. They next all surrounded the floating stone and started turning in a circle clockwise and back to see if that changed anything, but again, nothing seemed to change or happen.
Wondering what to do, Fwoosh stepped forward to the northern statue and offered his Pick mask as an offering. The mask vanished and a small tattoo of a mask appeared on his hand. Excited to partake of any boons, Vladimir tried by sacrificing his old personal battle axe to the northern statue, and it too was accepted. Vladimir felt he was stronger if he faced certain types of creatures.
Now everyone else was in a bit of a frenzy and did not want to be left out of anything special happening. But anything they placed on the third statue’s base caught fire and turned into ashes. Maybe they should not have started with Grund’s old grungy and beaten and bloody studded leather. They tried a couple of other items but all of those caught fire and turned into ashes. Thinking they needed something more expensive; Dancer ran back into town to buy back one of the armors they had sold as well as a side jaunt to pick up a couple romance books (A Fairy and his Paramour and The Dragon Mounting the Knight) that attracted his attention. But when placed at the base of the statue, the chainmail also went up into flames and then ashes.
They were going to continue when Avery offered some advice. He stated that if this was really a shrine that gave boons, they would be very limited and if you pushed too hard, you would very likely get an anti-boon. Deciding that a new curse would be bad, they moved on to the rooms where the sarcophaguses were, but leaving Fwoosh and ISAC behind so Fwoosh could keep copying the runes on the floating stone.
Deciding that they should first using Fogo’s Detect Trap since this was a tomb, and according to Dancer, everything was probably trapped. Moving to one end to see as many of the coffins as possible he cast his spell. While he did notice one of the coffins trapped, it also seemed that casting the spell in a firm loud voice also awoke something they were not expecting. In the alcove at the very end, the top was tossed off and a medium sized skeleton looking much like a dead bearded dwarf holding a pair of axes leaped out and glared at them.
Dwarven Skeleton Champion
And this is where the session ended.
This is David Bourgh-Ettin bringing you history from around Faerûn. Today we will be continuing form last week covering more of the history of the Savage Frontier.
This week we will start talking about Dessarin Valley. While most of the current west coast scholars and cities call this the savage frontier, it is equally ancient as any other area on the Sword Coast. There are many stories of Drow, Dwarves, Orcs, and the Uthgardt. There are many ruins and old buried secrets there, most of which we still have not found, mostly due to the danger involved with the different barbaric folks that inhabit the valley.
The earliest known inhabitants are the drow who had created an underground city and temples sometime around minus 52nd century Dalereckoning, usually shorten to DR. Not much is known about them since any records are buried very deeply in those hills, and most likely into the Underdark. It was not until about the minus 43rd century that we finally have more written records, although even those are somewhat sparse from the subsequent orc invasions.
The dwarves built a magnificent metropolis and fortifications all under the Sumber Hills called Tyar-Besil. It was said to not only completely cover the underground of the Sumber Hills, but all the way to the Sword Mountains and the High Forest. It was a crowning achievement for the dwarves and said to have been something so stunning with its engineering and construction that artisans came from thousands of miles to see it. It is unfortunate that it only lasted a mere two hundred some years. Their king Torhild Flametongue was killed in one of the many battles with giants and trolls, who both still infest the Sumber Hills to this day.
We can still find many fortifications and old ruins around the valley, but these are not usually part of Tyar-Besil. These instead belong to a much later generation of dwarf and explorers. In the 9th century Dalereckoning a group of adventurers settled in the valley building several strongholds. They managed to entice several groups of dwarves at the same time who also then build different settlements and defensive works to help them old out against the constant invasions of orcs and other creatures.
Some elders ran, some are sticking it out, and at least has been murdered. The party heads back down into the tombs to try and finish off what they found before Dwarves show up and take the party’s soon to be well earned loot. The Dwarven Shrine was a nice find a couple of boons might be helpful later. Waking the Dwarven Skeleton Champion? That was just a bonus.