Building the Archon
We built the archon as a mini-game before we got started with the adventure.
Boscar Keenblade (affectionately known as “Boscar the Grouch”) is an elderly dwarf elected by the Council to rule. He has ended up somewhat bitter and depressed, neglecting his ruling duty so (or maybe because) the Council can make all important decisions.
He is also a famous brewer, he has his own business: “Boscar’s Taphouse.” There you can get many delightful drinks–17 varieties of ales, 12 liquer, and 4 kinds of mead. (The mead relies on fungi pollination–don’t ask.) Famous drinks include Boscar’s Thoughtbomb, a cinnamon liqueur. Also Hopfall, Baldface Bandit, and Boilerroom Stout.
Boscar is kind of a wacky uncle of the Keenblade clan, including several of the characters.
Further Clanhome Details
The Grand University of Engineering is built around the Clanheart, the vast steam engine in the center of the clanhome. The dean is Kiernan Scarspire. He is into logistics and administration. HIs daughter Nicoto is next in line, and where Kiernan is grouch, ruthless, and stubborn, she is more laid back.
The Steamholders are an organization tasked with maintaining the steam pipes. They are notorious for having attitude, working when and how they want to, and getting into alcohol-soaked brawls.
The “Trim & Tale” is a respectable destination owned by Francis Clearwater, head loremaster and respected barber. He is Chosen of the Gods of Ur, and his strange business combines lore and beard trimming–beard trimming is no laughing matter, for there is lore for 140 words for harm that can befall a beard.
Into the Mine
- Slyn Keenblade. Skirmisher, Gunsmith, Delver. Name weapon: trench knife.
- Landon Crackstone. Berzerker, Chosen, Brewer. Name weapon: maul.
- Blane Keenblade. Support, Adept, Mechanician. Name weapon: pistol.
- Ravelle Keenblade. Mauler, athlete, armorer. Name weapon, kukri.
A year after the last adventure, we rejoin our heroes. The clanhome is celebrating, because a long reclamation project is culminating in opening the way to a lost collapsed silver mine far beneath the clanhome, today. It can take centuries to clear the way to lost areas, since they are not top priority, and the current site was likely lost between 500 and 600 years ago. History is not terribly clear on what happened here.
Sidri Stonewhisper, Captain of the Delvers, led the ceremony to send off the adventurers. The adventerurs borrowed some Delver treasures to help them in their mission.
- Delver’s Medallion. Made of quartz. Once a round, it can grant full armor instead of rolling for armor (assume maximum roll) to an ally within a hurl.
- Talking Fork. A tuning fork that arcanists can use to send one of a dozen pre-set codes through rock for long distances.
Archon Keenblade was there to see them off, along with a small crowd of delvers. The adventurers descended down the long, rough passageway.
What Happened Here?
As they entered the mine, they found murals carved into the wall. This was more than a mine; a family of dwarves was trying to found a new sub-clan down in the darkness. Sobelthek was the leader, assisted by Drekthar, a Chosen.
The adventurers pieced the story together from a series of murals spread through the complex. There were murals carved before the collapse, then defacement and later murals that painted a very different picture. The entry orginally had a chiseled greeting, “Welcome to Spireheart Mine” that was hacked out and replaced with “The Escape is Underway.”
There were up to 30 dwarves in the mine when it collapsed. They had almost finished a master-craft forge that could serve as the foundation of a new clan. Shortly after the collapse, they discovered a massive chamber with gromthier, the base stone from which mithril can be taken! A quantity so vast it could yield up to 100 pounds of mithril!
Furthermore, the dwarves discovered the secret of how to work it–an achievement that would catapult the new-forged clan to assured status. But the collapsed tunnel trapped them, rendering them desperate. They had a siege garden, so the food would last for at least a while, but they had to find a way to get out.
Drekthar reached out into the supernatural world, and found the Devourer of Caverns, Gilthirakanom. This powerful supernatural demon of the deeps was like a vast worm, and perhaps it could tunnel them out.
There was serious conflict between Drekthar and Sobelthek about whether or not to summon it, and it is unclear who favored which approach. In the end, they summoned the demon wyrm, but it radiated insanity and they had a change of heart, perhaps at the last moment. They sealed the wyrm behind wards, trapped in gromthier, the only kind of stone that could imprison it. The demon wyrm was able to spread influence through tiny brain worms.
Now the sole leader, Sobelthek was desperate that the secret of working mithril that they discovered not be lost to the greater clan. The last of the dwarves conducted a mighty ritual on the forge, and used the life force of six of their most stalwart to sustain Sobelthek as he was encased in a mechanical body, which was then installed on a throne to await the return of the dwarven people to these haunted halls.
The adventurers followed the murals, and found the overgrown siege garden (that still had living things rustling around inside.) They found the undying corpse of Drekthar, and released him from his painful failure; a brain-worm of the Devourer of Caverns crawled from his corpse and was smashed. They also found the summoning scroll for the Devourer, with some commentary; a worm came out of that too. The worm was destroyed, as were the records of how to summon the demon of the deeps.
They found a staff, mostly finished, that they surmised was to control or at least repel the golem. They did not disturb it, or test their luck; when they found the golem, it was almost inaudibly weeping on its throne before the mummified remains of six dwarves. They left it alone.
They did retrieve Drekthar’s name weapon, a hammer, as well as Sobelthek’s signet ring (laced with mithril.) They found the master forge, and left it alone. They did take some armor pieces that were ready to use to make more golems.
The corpses in the delve were oddly preserved, but prayer to release them allowed the remains to crumble to dust.
The presence of the Devourer could be felt as pervasive self-doubt and worry; it most likely drove the surviving dwarves mad with prolonged contact, and was likely more intense before centuries of imprisonment rendered the monster sleepy. The door to its chamber was connected to the massive cavern with the gromthier (where the adventurers broke off some mithril to take as a trophy and proof.) They did not disturb the warded door.
The cautious delvers returned to their clanmates, then to the clanhome. They told the tale, showing the mithril and the map, the name weapon and the corrupted forging hammer of Sobelthek. (And they got 5 ledger.)
Rivelle went on to study the secrets that the clan’s master craftsmen extracted from the now-mechanical Sobelthek, and she now has mastered the secret of how to extract and shape mithril.