I had a second set of notes that didn't make it to the Dargan Folly books stowed down here in the Temple of Thor. This level is 104 different planned encounter areas and obviously many more rooms and locations (they just are window dressing) so I had to admit I was pretty damned pleased that the group actually went to the Temple of Thor and opened it - without knowing what was inside or that these notes (to help them) were in here.
We’ve spent the better part of three weeks working back and forth over these Warrens and so far the consensus between the majority of us is that this is beyond any of us.
I know Sir Dargan is inordinately proud and considers himself the sole architect of all that we’ve looked at and encountered and built, but the truth is that there have been some very talented people working down here as well as at Caer Dargan above who have made this happen.
And none of us, not a single one, could hold a candle to the skill and acumen the ancient dwarves had performed in this their city.
We’ve encountered ancient bakeries, where the ovens can still grow warm. Smiths and metal shops with cast off leavings and discarded dross that is either denser steel than anything our own metallurgists can forge or containing such detail and attention it would put the best etchers in Cymbarton to shame.
The majority of the buildings on the eastern side of the Warrens are shops and places of business – a mercantile locale. A number of the doors do not open, and are marked with a large bas relief of a set of triangles facing each other. Bragthar informs us that it is a dwarven rune for “D”.
Whatever it is, doors that bear these symbols bar our way, much to Sir Dargan’s ire. We’ve looked for a runekey to match this symbology in order to open the doorways (since all our attempts up to and including hexcraft and wizardry have met with naught) but to date have been unlucky.
With Odin’s blessing we hope to find a key soon.
Unless the departing dwarves took the runekey with them.
Plantmonth 11th, 126 of the 30th Age
The strangest creature I’ve ever seen just ate the chain leggings off Sir Belvidus’ body – and left the surprised man at arms completely unscathed!
We were poking around near the fountain when a curious cross between an oversized beetle, a skulking wolf, and some sort of drunken bard’s wild nightmare trundled up and tried to push its way to what we thought was the fountain to take a drink.
However, as we moved aside, it suddenly shifted direction and whipped a pair of its antenna forward to slap against Sir Belvidus’ armor, and so help me Sif the damned chain links turned to rust and clattered away like spilt nails. And the strange creature proceeded to slurp up the rusted metal with noisy gusto.
We drove it away in time but not before losing four spear heads, two shields, and the business end of Quint Ungar’s prod-bar to the creatures’ touch.
Couple that with the other oversized monsters and strange beasties we’ve seen glaring at us from beyond the torch light and I can tell you, I have no interest in being stuck down here alone for any length of time.
Plantmonth 29th, 126 of the 30th Age
Sir Dargan Cooperson is furious. And I for one can’t blame him.
While a number of tusked orcs assaulted the walls of Caer Dargan above, perhaps a sixty count of the hulking brutes, at what I learned later to be the same time, an assault of lanky goblins attacked the artisans and engineers down here in the Warrens from across the bridge!
They ranged in number anywhere from twenty-five to eighty, depending on the frightened report of whatever man or woman was that much closer to the “battle-line” and their frantic remembrances. Armed with either simple weaponry, curved swords, or sharpened teeth and gore slathered talons (this last was from Dulgar who suffered a number of cuts to his face and neck and has been blubbering about the attack non-stop for almost 4 hours now), they came into the torch light and tried to break past our men and make their way towards the head of the great hall.
Sir Dargan is convinced that they were going to link up with the orcs above and most likely force the great gates open. He has been calling for an expulsion of the traitor who was working with the orcs and goblins and demands to see them swing from the barbican by nightfall.
Goblins…they are not a friend of orcs and the two races do not get along. Plus, how would they even communicate with one another if one is far over ground and approaching from the north and west – and the other has been in the lightless deep for some time and could not make it to the surface anyway?
When trying to present these facts to Sir Dargan I was sure that my words were falling on deaf ears. He has been too occupied with his books and his grasp on the current situation sometimes is lightly held if at all.
Birthmonth 15th, 126 of the 30th Age
Korvalis Ungar happens to speak a little goblin tongue, where the pipeweed chewing miscreant learned the guttural tongue, I’m not asking.
However, we’ve been using his little known skill to help us question a number of the rotten buggers we’ve found wandering around what we’ve come to call the Temple to Thor (I mean it’s a distinctly bearded fellow with a hammer and a lightning bolt – who in Hel is it supposed to be?). There is a door in the back covered in one of the “D” runes and we asked (or at least had Korvalis ask for us) the snaggle toothed backstabber if he’s seen the same marking either over the bridge on what we’ve called the goblin side of the Warren…OR a device with that symbol on it.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but the green skinned goblin waxed long and wildly about it. Apparently there is some sort of throne room (Korvalis called it a Thane room, but I think he’s mispronouncing it) on the other side of the Warrens. And in this room there is this symbol in reverse on a hexagonal stone plate.
And it’s guarded by a 11’ tall golden hammer.
Supposedly, this hammer whirls around and smashes anyone who tries to get the rune thingie. Its become a sort of “last chance for redemption” challenge amongst the goblin tribe and their subalterns to send convicted members into the room to get the disk. The assumption is if you can get the stone, you’re not guilty and can come back to the clan.
I don’t know what Sir Dargan thinks of all this, but I’ll be dipped in molasses and rolled on a fireant hill if he thinks I’m going to chance taking the disk.
Birthmonth 24th, 126 of the 30th Age
We are supposed to mount a force to go to the Undercity, the layer below the Warrens where Sir Dargan has his vault.
There are goblins down here, and we’ve tangled with them often enough these last weeks to make me hate the vile sight of them. They invade and infect every spare crack and crevice like roaches, scurrying back and forth in the darkness with their greasy hands clutching knives and clubs and spears, waiting, waiting.
The chant a lot. Never knew that about goblins, but they are big on chanting. Rhythmic and pounding, their raspy voices grow deep and loud and its enough to set your teeth on edge. And then they stop and you wonder, are they attacking?
Sir Dargan says that his books tell him that there are great magics below, magics powerful enough to turn the tide of the battle and drive every orc and ogre away like leaves in a summer squall.
Somewhere below our feet is something that could help us. And all we have to do is go and get it. When I asked Sir Dargan why the dwarves would leave such a potent force behind when they left, he replied that the ancient dwarves couldn’t take such magic with them. But they were able to lock it away and contain it for such a time when it would be needed once again.
In the city below. The Undercity. I…I don’t believe it. But I won’t let my lord and friend down.
If he’s willing to go even further under the earth, than so will I.
We will find this place, and claim this magic, and bring it to the surface to set right the wrongs that befall the people of Marronia.
Heatmonth 3rd, 126 of the 30th Age