Clan Caskbound, played 3.27.20 IRL, 4.28.2121 IG.
- Devron Leveller (Mark) Berserker. Chosen, Mason.
- Dandel “The Dan” Deeptunnel (Simon) Berserker. Carouser, Miner, Brewer.
- Korvask Wyrt (Michael) Vanguard. Enchanter, Scholar.
- [Gudrun Caskbound (Iris) Mauler. Enchanter, Scholar, Armorer.] Character present, not player.
- NPCs on the expedition: Nymeer, Helbek, Scout LePeek.
Possibly Relevant Details
Once the airship was some distance away from Ryvolko, their human guide, Scout LePeek, revealed that he was not totally forthcoming about where they were headed. There was a mine where the dwarves were based, and he spent a month and a half there at one point (for undisclosed reasons) and that’s how he learned some Dirit, their native language. They have a pretty friendly arrangement with the local orcs, who scout and hunt for them, but the Krung Throneshadow doesn’t want to look soft or admit they collaborate with dwarves.
This sounded highly unlikely to the Fellowship, who viewed their scout with fresh distrust. Still, one way or another, they had to investigate.
Rithbod and Scorns
They set the airship down, leaving Gudrun and Nymeer to protect it. Scout insisted they should intercept an orc, Rithbod, and his scorns, or ranger guards in the jungle. They navigated through the jungle well, reaching a vantage point where they could see Rithbod and the scorns feasting on some local animal they brought down. Scout went down to talk to them, and the nervous dwarves followed when violence didn’t immediately erupt. Rithbod spoke decent Dirit, and urged them to follow as he took them to the other stumpies.
On the way they were attacked by more of the bipedal jungle lizards, almost mount sized, called cave striders by the orcs. The battle was fierce, but the dwarves and orcs won through; Rithbod stuck it out, even though his scorns ran into the jungle to regroup later.
The Dwarf Gate
The Fellowship, led by an orc and a human, reached a hidden fold of the mountain with a rickety bridge stretched across a couple rocks to a back door into the mountain. Wary, they crossed the bridge to find a shaft sunk into the rock centuries ago, looking neglected. As they entered the mountain, they encountered another orc, Locrag, who was assigned to aid the dwarves that resided in this place. He led them to their kin.
The Fellowship met the local dwarves in a spare, utilitarian forge storeroom common room chamber in the mountain. They were introduced to the leader, Chimur, an enchanter engineer with an enchanted locked gauntlet, Hellbiter; a bane weapon against the infernal. His pick, Sagaba, and shield, Inoru, as well as Yabar and Droktho (who was currently assigned to guard duty deeper in.)
They celebrated together, draining The Dan’s gift keg and singing the old songs together, both delighted to fill in some gaps in times past. Finally, some answers.
Previously, at the Dwarf Gate
Over 400 years ago, the orcs approached Lorcrow, at Ryvolko. They were struggling with a problem that outgrew their shamanistic solutions, and they thought dwarven enchantment could help. A massive fire demon they called Mruloor was pushing out of a volcano, and they could not contain it.
As a proper Bloodcrag enchanter, Lorcrow knew how to use volcanoes to flow lava into channels and create large-scale binding runes. He led his people in an assault on Scream Peak, the mountain overhead. Again and again they drove at the demon’s forces, conjured out of thin air with infernal energy and flame and bone. Lorcrow lost his brothers and his son in the final assault, but the dwarves bound Mruloor long enough to construct the Seal Chamber to keep the demon restrained for centuries more.
The battered clan could not stay under Scream Peak, for the leaking infernal energy was too much to subject them to day after day for years on end. A handpicked elite stayed to maintain the site and its enchantments, and the rest were granted a nice location for their colony, protected in the Krung Throneshadow, relatively nearby. Lorcrow would not allow travel and visiting back and forth, to minimize the risks and preserve the secrecy. So most of the dwarves left, and over the centuries, those who remained dwindled to a handful.
Since the orcs handle hunting and defense, the main casualties were from leaking infernal energies pooling in them in secret; rigorous as their testing is, it is difficult to be vigilant decade after decade, and there were lapses.
The Seal Chamber
The Fellowship was keen to see the seal chamber, center of the runic defense of the site. Chimur and Inoru escorted them, and they met with Droktho along the way. Korvask detected infernal energies accumulated in Droktho, and quietly alerted the Fellowship.
When they reached the lava-baked column that anchored the seal chamber, they were alarmed to see how it had deteriorated. A surge of infernal energy shoved up out of the lava, creating a massive energy and lava cave king lizard that roared at them and attacked. Slagging weapons, they managed to batter it down to slop apart, and they withdrew.
Now that they knew the seal was badly weakened, and they knew the location and story of the Dwarf Gate, they could return to Whiskey Forge and send some specialists out to shore up the defenses–with orc permission, of course.
Covering and Defending
Lorcrag, the orc assistant, agreed to work with the locals and get permission to bring more enchanters out to anchor the site–as long as the dwarves weren’t preparing for expansion or war. They agreed.
The fellowship insisted Droktho return with them, as his infernal contamination could compromise the site at any time. He flatly refused, and as a vanguard, challenged them to move him. They let it go–but The Dan was a carouser with long experience in manipulating dwarven honor. He got Droktho drinking, regaling him with tales of Whiskey Forge, and tricked him into promising to come take a look.
In the sober light of morning, Droktho’s vow held, and he grudgingly left with the Fellowship. They began the long trip back to the airship, and from there, back to Whiskey Forge. Once they arranged for reinforcement of the Seal Chamber, they would check on the colony to see how the rest of the dwarves had fared in the Throneshadow.