Through the Waterfall, Into the Mountain
Played on November 24th, 2013
Saintsday, 7th of Firemoot, Year of the Tunneler
We backtracked towards the Thousand Steps Stairs and ascended it to the top. There we looked out on a very large plateau. On the far end, two enormous closed doors indicated the entryway of Forge, something we were not interested in. Towards the left, a small path paralled a fast-flowing river. We followed it upstream, past rapids and small waterfalls, for about half an hour.
At that point we came upon three dwarven guards, dressed in the official Forge livery of red and green. Bazkar went ahead to check them out and deemed it safe for us to approach. The guards were a bit taken aback by the fact that we were no dwarves, but didn't push the issue. Indeed, they were quite helpful.
They were cremating a demon, and warned us that there were a lot more beyond the waterfall, and that it was not safe to go there. We pretended not to heed their warnings, even to the point that we were discussing on how to cross the river since the bridge was ruined. All in all, I think we deceived them. Vharguk even received a torch from one of them, saying that it would help us aginst the Orc Lord. That gave Bazkar the courage to ask them to give a message from Ainkal to his son.
We had lunch near the waterfall, in sight of the dwarves. Once they left, we followed the path through the waterfall. The dwarven-wrought tunnel opened up in larger, natural tunnels and caves. I quickly got disoriented but fortunately Bazkar and Ghorza were very certain in their directions. After a while, Brugo ran away from us, which caused Ghorza to follow him, which caused Bazkar to follow her, and before we knew it Vharguk and I were left alone in the dark.
I sparked my torch and we followed them. After a while we reached a large cave, where the rest was looking at writing on the cave walls in moss... I thought I saw the sigil of the Emperor so I quickly copied the writings, which looked like some kind of code. While I was doing that, I heard a small, hyena-like laughter. (Or what I imagined hyenas would laugh like, I'd never actually seen a hyena at that time.) Nobody else had heard it, so I attributed to the draughts in this part of the cave complex.
We regrouped and continued, crossing a bridge over a chasm. I had shielded my torch so the wind didn't extinguish it. Enzo's magical dancing lights didn't fare as well as they were blown away. At that time, somebody else faintly heard another laugh. According to what I knew about demons from stories, it could have a demon.
We walked on (well, I trudged, I guess) and reached a big stone door with ancien dwarven runes on it. Si'trova opened it and stepped into a chamber, about 50 square feet. We studied the walls but there was little to be found, until Vharguk lit his dwarven torch. In its light some engravings became visible, letters and words in common. I was reminded of the earlier moss-engravings so pulled out my transcript. Together the scrolls from the first chest Enzo, Ghorza and I deciphered a message. In the meanwhile, Si'trova had opened a hidden alcove with some sort of ceremonial dagger from Vharguk. In it she found a metal casket.
Busy as we all were with the engravings and the secret door, we hadn't been alert to our surroundings. Laughter from the entrance of the room caught our attention, however. Two human-sized demons had snuck into the room and flanked our only way out.