Delving Too Deep

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Adventure: Delving too Deep
GM: Bernard
Season: Summer 809 wk
Night: Wed
Level: High


Gerald (GM Info) is a male Human Illusionist played by Struan

Duke of Petrenco.
Assorted tasks on Farwey
  1. Escort/Transport some supplies to the devastated area's of the coast.
  2. As a gesture of good will, investigate the ruined city of Inyae and clear it of major gribble things.
  3. Breach the undead's lines and make contact with the Dwarves in the northern mountains.
  4. Get back to talk about it.
  • Get to destroy undead.
  • 10,000sp worth of Bardic invested items each.
  • Get to destroy gribbly things.
  • 10,000sp worth of Celestial invested items each.
  • 10,000sp cash each.
  • Get to destroy undead.

Scribe Notes

fly another 10 minutes until the wings run out.
put up another scry sheild and set up the tower. we think it is 9pm on White Lotus Day. We sent a Whispering Winds message to the humans "underground 40 miles enemy ahead charge".
normal watches and get some sleep.

The second battle

at about midnight we sent a pair of illusionary birds - they return after 90 minutes = bad people 22.5 miles.

_6th Meadow_ Wings @30 miles per hour (easier calculations) + usual buffs. Fly forward 18 miles. after 10 miles there is smoke that gets thicker. walking another 3 miles the smoke thickens and a red glow is visible ahead, smoke is now smelling of wood and coal...

At a point about 60 miles in we see defences backlit by the fires - about 1 mile Place a crystal of vision 1 mile ahead 3 layers of defence spanning 150' depth (across the entire 100' width of the corridor) the barriers are probably stone golems. there are ballistas and many guards, say 400 goblins and 1000 skeletons. The opposition appear to know we are here and do a watch change, it takes many minutes for the change.

Place a second crystal 2 miles ahead (1 mile ahead of the previous) and 40' up. See goblin defensive structure against an apparently smooth wall - 3 rings - which may be a dwarven sally port. we estimate there are 3000 troops guarding this system. there are also 6 spectrals visible about the outer wall of the defences. There is a chasm, with most of the red glow coming from it, in the opposite wall with walkways on both sides. There are a lot of goblin and skeletal foot traffic.

We spend 4 hours to put up Gerald's Tactical Table, as the undead roll dark spheres at us. The Table shows a small dwarvish sally port just the other side of the undead defence walls (the closest one that crosses the corridor) which must have a hidden door as we cannot see one in the corridor wall and sry sheild. There is a dwarvish regiment in the tunnel (about 300 of them).

_the Plan_ Charge! 2 hours after we send a bubble of methane, which we spend in an igloo of bound ice about 2 miles from the front lines. Small boom. I put on a few spells including Glowing Sunlight, triple = double damage and double range

We flew in at 30 mph to attack.

March Order
Isil Eth

We flew a across a ward with Necrosis - 24 damage.

We flew over the outer two rings of defences (which had been destroyed and all of the goblins had been killed by the explosion. We guess most of the undead were killed by the fireball too.

On landing I put down a small Rank 10 enhance enchant on damage.
It took us 5 entire pulses, with help from the dwarves who had surged out when the mthane went bang, to destroy 4 spectral creatures, 6 ballista Golems, several stone golems and a horde of skeletal warriors. One of the spectral warriors was wearing a crown and was more difficult to destroy.

Embassage to the Dwarves

We followed the dwarves into their side tunnel, which then closed up, and went to a triple layered defensive ring (the dwarves and goblins love triple defences). Commander Brick, an illustrious dwarf who led the sally and is a member of the Order of Four Battleaxes, listened to our mission and expressed his gratitude to the humans. The undead appears to be heading for a large dwarvish establishment called the City of the Great Pit of Magma where Mithril has been Forged since Time Immemorial, commonly calle the "Balrog Pit". A Balrog was apparently slain, but apparently may not be anymore. The undead are tunnelling to below the binding and could then approach the city. Now the capital is further in. We commune with the Spirit of the Mountains through a six hour ritual, and we become Friends of Dwarves. A divination of the Spectre's crown shows that it steals the souls of those that die near it. Two gems that are attached but not part of the crown each contain the souls of senior dwarves that died defending the outer defences. Talking to them on Mind Speech, which was rather wierd as my mind was somewhat in the gems, they said they wanted to be released to move on. So we destroyed the crown, which weighs about 4 pounds of pure gold.

We are offered guides to assist. We take 6 elite scouts, with the logic that if a group needs be be sent back, 4 of them should handle the random greater undead expected in the tunnels.

  • An E&E (quickness slowness web)
  • 2 Earth mages (actually lava mages)
  • A Namer (Banish Div Remove Curse CS at rk6)
  • 2 Fighters

Deep Delve

On the morning of the 7th, we get a few power-ups and head off to find the human dragon-hunters - we hope they will have useful intel. We encounter a few single and several pairs of Spectres (mix of Celestial & Necro) and deal with each swiftly. After 10 hours travel we find 3 humans and two dwarves camping. We exchange information, with Sir T doing most of their talking.

Sir Thrydewulf
Silvered Jousting Plate
Rune Mage
Sir Wusc
Silvered Jousting Plate
Bardic + Necro
Lady Meryl
Mithril chain

They are all cave rangers, and warriors, and wear illusions. They encountered what they called a shadow dragon in caverns they reached from Oberdorf last Autumn. It breather fire and life-draining,and used Celestial and Necro magic. Not being too well equipped to deal with such, they retreated and have since acquired suitable potions etc. Have been underground since mid-winter.

The dwarves (one has a missing arm) were rescued from an undead ritual. Talking with the dwarves, there are 6 mountains with Hearts (physically lava pools), as well as the Soul of the Mountains (linked with the capital). Two of the Hearts have cities linked to them (Balrog pit and another), plus another aborted. The Balrog was defeated by dwarven champions after much preparation.

We rest up, and send the rescued dwarves back with 4 escorts (keeping the E&E and a lava mage).

As we travel deeper, the natural tunnels become what the dwarves call veins - the humans have not previously gone this deep (which explains why they have been stumbling around not achieving much for months?). After 4 hours travel we come to a translucent barrier, it's shape suggesting that it is a large globe. DA tells us that its nature is greeting, and it is several seasons old. When we get within 50ft, we are warned (everyone hears in their best language) that the area has been claimed by powers. Gerald's image is bitten by a illusionary dragon's head when it touches the barrier. Darien is unable to nullify the effect (it probably resisted), so we divinate it.

  • Is non-colleged, but see below
  • Damage is Illusionary/Spectral magic, and cross-planner
  • A single contact would kill a normal human outright
  • Resistance (half damage) is assisted by Necro or Celestial counterspells.

Our two remaining guides are unkeen, and are asked to stay for two hours before returning. We resist (due to rk20 area Necro CS from Sir W) and heal. Darien was damaged despite shadow-walking (as expected), but discovered that the shadow plane was more turbulent than normal. As we continue down, mana levels rise to high.

After a short walk, we find ourselves overlooking a huge Cavern.

  • We are at one of several small tunnel openings high on the walls (750' above floor)
  • There are 4 major entrances at floor level
  • cavern is around 2000' across
  • 300' above floor is a large alcove with two 'shadow dragons'
  • The Heart is 1000' across. The pulsing red lava changes to a ghostly green around the spectral Balrog
  • Did I mention the Titain sized spectral Balrog?
  • we sense dwarven spirits circling the lava pool.

Isil Eth goes to the Astral (with Thorn along to watch her back) to look for connections:

Strong links (e.g. Brotherhood)
between the 'dragons'
between the Dwarven champions' spirits
Connections (weaker)
Dragons to the Chamber (The entire cavern of the Heart.)
Chamber to the pool
Dwarves to Balrog (Antagonistic)
Associations (weakest)
Dwarves to Pool
Dragons to Balrog
Balrog to Pool

There was also a strong silver cord going straight up from the heart to though the roof and out of sight.

We decide that we need to talk to high priests and suchlike to get more info about the history of the 'defeat' of the Balrog.

Party Organisation

Current Season's Calendar

Summer 809wk: Meadow
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday

Full Moon

1 Guild Meeting 2 3 4 5 White Lotus 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13

New Moon

15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 Full Moon 29 30 1 2 3 4
Summer 809wk: Heat
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
5 6 7 8 9 10 11

New Moon

13 14 Midsummers Eve

(Faerie Day)

15 Solstice 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 Full Moon 27 28 29 30 1 2
Summer 808wk: Breeze
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
3 Day of Death 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 New Moon 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 Full Moon 25 26 27 28 29 30

Nominations and SGT Snippets


Best Death


"Dwarves do it with Mountains" - Pent
Gerald - I'm thinking, the Balrog is only Titan-sized...

Hot and Not

Inventing Dwarven Conspiracy Theories
Bubbles of Methane

GM's Notes

History of the Balrog

Saga of the Sage Tordik and the Balrog of Fires Deep.

Extracted, translated into common and summarised, the original document being highly embellished and 1000 pages long

And so it came to pass in the 567th year of the age of the Founding *1, During the reign of High King Gel, and the advances by the Orcish Warlord Narz-Drek-Gol, that at the 3rd battle of the Chasm of Ancient Dark, did the Sage-Priest Tordik and his companions, four score and five warriors numbering amongst the bravest and mightiest of the realm found themselves stranded. The bridge behind them had fallen as they pressed into the masses of foul beasts blocking their passage, cast asunder by the magics of the Goblin Shamans who now sought their destruction, and their friends the other side of the chasm forced into retreat by a horde of otherworldly fiends summoned from across the planes with the blood of a thousand dwarves. No quarter was to be had from the beasts surrounding them, so trusting on the mysterious magics of their elvish allies, they cast themselves into the chasm, seeking what lay down in it's depths, as surely any danger was better than capture and sacrifice.

Luck smiled upon them that day, and favoured their landing, leagues below in the dark tunnels that connect the very roots of the mountains, and so they traveled forth seeking a way back to the shallow stone of the mines and kingdoms. The way was long and torturous, with even their best Stone pathfinders unable to pick safe routes, and beasts from the dark tormented them, plucking off those that wandered alone from the madness of the depths consuming them. Slowly they fell, till at last, three score remained as they entered a large chamber, there to finally confront the beasts that they both pursued and fled. To their horror, they recognized them, servants of the mountains, tied to a heart of an ancient mountain of power, yet twisted almost beyond recognition, with claws in the place of hands, brimstone wreathing their heads like crowns, wielding scourges and flails instead of fine battleaxes. And so battle was joined, and the just prevailed, the corrupted agents being cast down, yet in the silence and smoke after, did the Sage Tordik speak "Lo my friends, these beasts are not here at random, below us must lie a true heart of the mountains, claimed and corrupted by some foul beast, for all Dwarves, it is our duty to venture forth, find the paths that must exist to this place, and cleanse it, claiming it for the true sons of these roots." And thus was the challenge cast forth through the tunnels as the survivors of that battle roared their approval.

What followed can only be described as three days of hell, as they fought their way into the heart through all that the foul beast could throw at them, there to the heart entered a mere dozen, of so many that had begun, this was all left that could hold an axe high, battered, blood stained and scarred, they met with the Balrog, and the clash of Steel against Claw was great, but in the end, the just prevailed, and the heart was claimed.

Five heroes true did survive that day; Tordik, sage, and future high priest. Nod; Future king of the Burning Deeps. Aldor the pure, lost in the depths several years later. Denger the Hardheaded. Hero of the later battle of the Northen Depths, saviour of the Royal crown. And Tolden-Gol. Hero and Villan in the same breath, beloved of the Clan Gel, yet turned his back on all Dwarven homes to travel the surface world.

And so do all Dwarves remember those who died, Seven in the heart to empower the Spirit of the Mountain to break it's chains, two score and fifteen to the beasts that served the balrogs call, and all those that died in the Chasm to win the wise Sage Tordik and his band the time they needed to escape to the depths, and on to claim the heart.

  • 1; This word has been translated as Founding, yet ancient Dwarvish used this word to symbolize both Founding and Sundering, and it's surrounding context as well as attachments determined which it meant in the given case. Given that dwarvish society was growing at the time, modern dwarves disbelieve that it could mean Sundering despite a lack of context attached making it's meaning uncertain.

High priest of Balrog Pit's extra notes