Dwarves and Fortresses

Trapped In The Basement

Last week’s session started off with relatively low attendance and a peaceful, sedate atmosphere. But neither of these was destined to last…

On the fortress-building front, a blacksmith’s workshop and a brewery were constructed and a mine-shaft was extended. Our plucky dwarves quite fortunately discovered a small deposit of white iron; this will be both good news for King Bronzesnarl and an opportunity to create powerful equipment.

But while the dwarven military-industrial complex was off to a strong start, there was still the matter of the ironspine dragon that had been so rudely eating your chalk. Using an invisibility potion to examine it under the light of day, Shydar observed it possessed black spines, tinged with white; there was speculation that this was in some way related to the beast’s strange diet. Regardless, it lacked the crimson spines that the dwarven scholars associated with the more intelligent members of the species, and the decision was made to put it down before true harm could be done. Then you piled a bunch of rocks on top of the body and forgot about it.

Eight peaceful, productive days passed. But that idyllic period of productivity was soon interrupted by the blaring of a trumpet. A dozen guardsmen from the nearby human town of Platz had come calling. They accused our brave heroes of kidnapping their innocent children; Tordek’s protestation that human children were too stringy to eat did not seem to help matters.

The humans demanded justice and the return of their offspring, but you could offer neither. Frustrated with the humans’ stubbornness, Metkin struck first, unleashing a barrage of magic missiles on the single officer. While said officer displayed quite a bit of prowess in the thoroughly undwarven art of unarmed combat, he was no match for your numbers; the peasant guardsman did little but flee in terror. Nine escaped, one was slain, and the last was taken hostage. A potion of truth forcibly applied, the human captive revealed that his cause was genuine: he knew that children in his town had been going missing and he had heard that dwarves had been seen to be responsible. They’d even been seen taking the children to the very cave in which our heroes had come to dwell. Something strange was afoot, and suspicion quickly fell on Malon, the tower-dwelling wizard you had believed responsible for the inexplicable assaults on your fortress by intelligent owlbears and zombie minotaurs. That he was the brother of Platz’s mayor did little to lessen your concern.

And so you set out to investigate his tower and perhaps discover the true fate of the missing human children. Hiding in nearby underbrush, Dwisi sent forth her companion, a bat, to examine the tower’s inhabitants. Metkin used a potion of Clairvoyance to remotely view the tower’s top level, which contained an unusually large library, a great deal of magical equipment, a man who was almost certainly Malon, and a humanoid monstrosity stitched together from the parts of several different beings. Metkin suspected this last to be a flesh golem, all but confirming your suspicions.

Seeing no other course of action, you prepared for an encounter with the undead and Shydar picked the lock on the front door. Entering the tower expecting a fight, you were surprised to see four armored owlbears, sitting around a table and playing cards. They quickly took up their weapons and challenged you, the invaders of their domain. In the ensuing fight you killed an owlbear, suffering many wounds in the process. But before the combat could conclude, Malon intervened.

Summoning a field of rubbery black tentacles to ensnare you all, he quickly ended the fight and demanded an explanation. Unable to believe the outlandish (but true) story that you offered, he turned the tables on Metkin and administered some truth serum of his own. When Metkin confirmed your tale, Malon seemed to be at quite a loss. So he confiscated your equipment and locked you in his dungeon; he needed time to decide how to handle the vicious marauders that had invaded his home and slain one of his servants.

That is where you stand now, the night slowly slipping away. Who can say what waits for you in the morning?

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SamBurnstein

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