Gadrik and Modrik sat at a roughly hewn stone table playing Hammerfall. They had played the game so much that the small black and white pieces looked as if they had been intentionally polished. There wasn’t much to do down here, but the city was stocked full of undead, and the Dwarves had lost several members in the last 5 years to expeditions to the surface. They were able to harvest mushrooms and had a source of water and fish thanks to the underground flow they had found. So King Kelnak forbade anyone going farther up than the mines. We are safe in the stone, the stone is where we belong, he would grumble. The younger dwarves glowered at him, and he began telling them the same story they had heard over and over.
When it had all went to hell above they had gone a week of seeing nobody, and were exhausted to the point of not being nearly too weak to move. Several of the dwarves that had been stuck in the mine rather than their cells began working on their manacles. They headed cautiously over to the cells and found their brethren lying dead in the cells piled on top of each other as if they were trying to get through the cells unsure, what had killed them. Opening the door to the overseers room they found him dead at his desk, a hole through his skull blood everywhere. Kelnak lead the others into the next room… the room where their loved ones were kept. They were dead… all of them… dead.
Kelnak claimed that he felt it before he could see it, at the end of the passage something, all black slithered towards them. A demonic grin growing impossibly wide on its face, filling him with horror. At that moment a child cried out, followed by several others, upon hearing this, Kelnak charged the creature with his pickaxe full of rage unlike any he had experienced before. He swung it down with a mighty blow, but the thing was gone. The small children climbed from under the corpses of their mothers and stood at the bars trying to reach for the male dwarves. They retrieved the keys and opened doors.
“Those children were you, and you owe it to your mothers to survive and further our clan someday. Patience rewards us with longevity. We can plan in a way that humans cannot comprehend.” The Grizzled old Dwarf sat down and drank from a stone cup.
The bells began to chime ever so gently. Something was using the elevator again. From time to time skeletons would stumble down into the mine, and this was most likely the issue. Gadrik and Modrik gathered up the black iron weapons that had been forged for them by Goldrend. “Be wary lads, even the easiest task can cause you death” Kelnak warned. The two walked nearly 15 minutes up the long passage that lead to the mine. Listening closely, the slid the door open and walked into the mine. Then they heard it… voices, speaking common tongue. The voices were heading towards them, they slipped back behind the hidden door and waited. Wondering what to do. We need to talk to them Gad, if theyre friendly we might be able to get out of here. Modrik nodded, never one for talking. The two slid the door open and walked out into the mine, to find the unknown.
After the Basilisk incident the crew took the time to shore up their defenses, building a wall at the end of the pier nearly 10 feet tall, with a small platform for standing watch on each side of the door. Everyone now realized that despite the undead threat being gone, this was still a very dangerous place. The plan was to go explore the lighthouse and figure out what needed to be done. Bootjack also wanted to perform a ritual cleansing on the Temple, that he had found in the ancient book.
The party left after a week or so of rest and getting things secured. Travel through the city was easy, the group saw small animals in the city streets for the first time since they had been there. The cold feeling wasn’t completely gone but it had greatly improved, and they hadn’t seen any sign of undead for sometime now. After travelling about 5 hours they reached the temple, they found a path on the fourth tier behind the temple that lead up to the cliffs above, from there they thought they could reach the Lighthouse. They continued on and shortly they reached the lighthouse. A monstrous stone tower with bright silver looking over a fire stove with a small pit in it. Unsure what to do they decided to return to the Temple and help Bootjack perform the consecration. After the ceremony was completed the party felt relaxed and safe, and spent the night in the temple.
The next morning they returned and talked to Griselda about how the lighthouse was lit. She claimed to know very little about it, but to try and ask Norrain. Norrain told them that they harvested a substance called forge stone at one point from the mines below and that was what they used to light the tower. It burns for a very long time and burns bright and hot. He also mentioned that he could use some for the Iron Anchor and accompanied the party to show them where it was.
The party had not ever been south on the 4th tier and was not even aware that a mine existed on the island, so it was surprising news from Norrain. The next morning they packed up their gear and headed to the fourth tier near the black tower and headed north. They found the entrance to the mine recessed a good distance into the side of the wall. It was massive and they felt surprise that they hadn’t explored it yet. There were large stone rails that lead to the massive door. After some pushing and shoving they were able to open the door. They found a large lift with tracks that matched up to the stone ones on the outside. Inside was a large lever with up and down indicators. The party started to descend and stopped at the first dock. They went down a long passage and when it opened the path went on about 30 feet before it opened into a massive black hole, filled with twisted and bent metal walls and frames. The party decided to return to the elevator and try a few more levels. Each level they found the same thing just farther down.
The bottom level was the only level that they were able to explore. They found that the place appeared to be abandoned. They looked in the foremans office and found a skeleton with a hole in his head. They found the cells full of dead dwarves. They continued deeper into the mine, past a large hopper like device and into a carved hallway that had 4 large statues standing in front of a black iron door. The statues much to nobodys surprise came to life and the party did battle with them. After defeating the statues they had to figure out a password for the door from clues found previously in the mine. Once inside it was apparent that the foreman had been up to shady stuff. There were notes and letters regarding secret shipments of weapons and raw ore as well as forgestone being sold and stockpiled in a cave north of the city. There was also a secret door they found leading to a forge and small smithy. There were coats of mail and weapons made from the Black Iron in there.
The party was in a rush and grabbed a few handfuls of forgestone and left. On the way out Norrain had been lagging behind and was accosted by two dwarves. They cordially introduced themselves as Gadrik and Modrik. They said that they knew who this dwarf was, and that they needed to take him below to be punished for his crimes. The party attempted to be diplomatic, but as dwarves are wont to do, these ones got stubborn. Before long the two parties were fighting. The party managed to beat up Modrik bad enough that Gadrik surrendered and they let Norrain go. Letting the party know quite clearly that this was far from over. They claimed to have 40 well armed dwarves that would be marching on the humans any day now. Then vanished into the mine.
The party was alarmed by this idea and decided to gum up the lift so that it would not run up and down. By this time night was falling so the party decided to spend the night at the temple as it was not too far away. They had a meal and then slept .
The next morning they began the walk back to the pier and they saw what appeared to be smoke rising from the camp, and the front gate appeared to be on fire. They dashed to the pier as fast as they could and they found several crew-members dead. Another was barely breathing, he managed to let the party know that some creature and a swarm of skeletons had managed to take Kendrick, Griselda, Slash, and Red. Before he died, he let them know the message that the creature had delivered.
“Tell the Spark of light that I will be waiting for them”