When I last left off, we were resting on the staircase in the dwarven fortress, waiting to go down into the basement. After talking with my companions we decided it was best that we send the archers that were following us back to the main area of the fortress to wait for us, that way we could work more swiftly.
We proceded down to the basement and along some long hallways. We came to the end of a hallway with 4 doors. One was slightly open with light coming out of it and we could hear a pair of raspy voices. While Sure Shot snuck into the room to get a better look, we all listened carefully to what the voices were saying. They seemed to be talking about us and how we had come back to the fortress and killed the queen. They talked as though they were deathly afraid of us. They were also talking about an old man who must have found a secret trap door down into a tunnel. I yelled out to the two voices that they needed to drop their weapons and come unarmed into the room so we could see them. We heard their weapons hit the floor and they approached. Once they were in sight, we could tell they were shifters.
The Shifters immediately began telling us how they had no loyalties to Sephatiah and that they were tricked into working for her, being told it was "noble" work. They told us that they would do whatever they wanted but to "please not kill" them. We talked to them and calmed them down, assuring them that we would not kill them if they were being honest, and that there were still 7 humans alive upstairs. After calming them down, we talked to them about leading the humans to Dunesend for us and they themselves going to help out Dunesend. They agreed, but only wanted to stay in the village for a short time before going back to their tribes, which we saw as fine.
After chatting with the shifters, we asked them if they would show us around the basement level and they said yes. They showed us the room they were in, which seemed to be like a prison with 4 cells in it. They told us that one of the cells held an old man that Sephatiah had captured outside the fortress. The old man appereantly had yellow birds that followed him. In his cell there was a missing floor tile with a hole underneath it. The shifters told us that the Trogs would go down in this hole for days and the "leader" of the trogs would come up out of it every few days to report to Sefatiah.
The shifters also showed us the other rooms in the basement. Two of them were rooms that looked like they had never been entered. Their was thick dust and mold everywhere. We did see an old crate in one of the rooms with the dwarven insignia on it, leading us to believe that the mine was possibly down the hole in the prison. The 3rd door, however, the shifters did not want to show us. They said that it was a burial chamber for the Dwarves that used to live here and that it was haunted. According to them, the last person to enter that chamber never came out, and the shifters had heard horrific screams.
We decided it was a good idea to get some rest before we went into the chamber, so we traveled back upstairs. We spent a few minutes trying to open all the doors leading outside, that way the smoke from Sephatiahs tree could vent out. We then went to the bunking quarters and slept. The next morning the smoke was even thicker and the humans and shifters were having a hard time breathing. We told them they could start heading for Dunesend and they were very happy to take the offer. Thom, Gardain and I walked them out of the fortress and I composed a note to Bead, the Baker at Dunesend who had befriended us, telling him that we had sent these people and that they were here to help. I also informed him in the note that Queen Sephatiah was now dead and Dunesend should once again live in peace.
We made our way back down to the burial chamber and entered. Thom told us he could sense some demonic presence in the area, so we were on our toes. We began to check the burial rooms, and found that many of them had been desecrated. about halfway through checking the rooms, a demonic monster broke out from one of the unchecked doors and attaacked Sure Shot. I felt a surge of psionic energy rush through the room and 4 other identical monsters appeared. We fought them off, but we realized that the first one had created 4 more and could transfer any wounds he took to his clones. After a well fought fight, we killed the demonic monster and cleaned up some of the tombs. Thom seemed to feel much more at ease and said that it felt to him like the evil was now gone.
After this, we went to the prison room so we could search the hole in the ground. There was a ladder leading down into the hole, so we all climbed down. We ended up on a platform with a crankshaft. We cranked it and the platform lowered deeper into the hole, almost 100 feet. Once we reached the bottom we were in a dwarven carved room. At last I think we have found the mine. Weve searched this first room and found a lot of mining equipment, but most of it seems to be weathered and rusted. We also found a cart with mined rock in it. After investigating the rock and the red veins going through it, Robbilard was able to tell us that the red veins were raw elemental chaos, usually not stable and very dangerous in this world.
Now I begin to wonder if Bram Ironfeld knew that this mine wasnt mined for gold and diamonds, but rather for this raw elemental chaos. Had he tricked us and used us to find a stash of elements that he could potentially use for evil? Im not sure if I want to tell him we found his mine before interrogating him first. I am beginning to wonder if their is anyone we can trust.
This mine seems very large and I am not sure how long we will be down here. We have around 17 days left before the new moon, the deadline the Ghost Lord gave us to go retrieve his sword from the Garden of Graves. If a few more days pass, we may need to make a decision to follow the mine, or go do the Ghost Lords favor.
I am ready to get these missions accomplished so we can return to see what is happening at Overlook. I also would like to know how Brindol is doing in its rebuilding after the goblin raid. Hopefully we can get more answers to this cave soon and find out what this weird element is being mined for.
Until next time,