Gilvaldellin and Billy Hill drafted an ace team of dwarfs to explore a mountain they had previously discovered. I dare say if we had a single less dwarf, none of us would be here today. The team included Wengruck, Mr. Highpeak, myself (Derg), and the aforementioned Gil and Mr. Hill.
5 days traveled and we reached the foothills of that majestic mountain on the horizon. As we headed toward the mountain, we caught a glimpse of some large winged creature. The coming snow storm made identification difficult, so we continued into the mountain.
We followed a non-natural tunnel, curiously labeled ‘Route 5’, previously explored by Gil and Billy. This led to what appeared to be a small rest area with stables, where we were ambushed by some grotesque creature. It was quickly dispatched, as I investigated a nearby pictorial description of the tunnels. A quick sketch of the map:
We continued down this ‘Route 5’ until we spotted a wonderfully dwarven fortress carved into a large cavern. As we strolled up, we were greeted with a barrage of arrow and ballista fire. We were able to preserver, and reach the inside of the fortress, mostly due to Billy having some tricks up his eight horrifying sleeves.
Upon entry, we found several more hostile dwarfs, that seemed to be unnaturally clinging on to life. They did not have the quick wit and responsiveness one would expect from dwarfs, and were under some sort of powerful necromantic spell. Unfortunately we had to kill several of them, but we made a fascinating discovery. There was a massive room filled with coffins, many of which were housing well preserved, barely breathing dwarfs! It is less terrifying than it sounds. I have hopes we can find some way to return our brethren to life.
Inside the depth of the keep, we found an older dwarf, who was under some spell to repeat a ritual. He was speaking lines off of some notes he had in front of him, and was not very responsive to query. The notes, translated into common, are copied below:
I must warn you, this is a crafty spell; obviously made by dwarfs. Few would realize this, but there is a clever trap that will be triggered if you speak “Geisterwachter” aloud. So please take care if you return.
He tended an intricate ritual. We discovered powerful flows of magic from some spell a distance away. This dwarf’s ritual seemed to be siphoning energy from this passing spell, and redirecting it to the dwarfs in town (both sleeping and awake). Gil had some ideas to try to reverse this magic, but we were concerned about wagering the lives of so many.
Be wary of the undercarriage of the fort. There are nearly a dozen earth elementals that will try to kill you. For no good reason.
We made a hasty escape, and brought with us one of the sleeping dwarfs. We hope someone in town will be able to keep him alive, and hopefully we can learn more soon. This mountain needs to be spelunked further, and I have hopes that Bruckschloss could provide a strong outpost for further exploration. Particularly if we could wake these dwarfs.
There is also mention of “the Verghead”, most likely deeper in the mountain. This, as well as the many tunnels, should be explored. I am fascinated by the powerful magic at work here, and will push forward in all attempts to understand it. Provided is a quick map of the fort:
Mr. Highpeak was originally going to create this adventure log. He made a wonderful pictograph of our adventures, but I thought some slight elaboration would be helpful. For posterity, his pictograph is included below. I am very proud of him: