|The dwarfs appearance is noticeably changed after the events involved in Dranuhl's defeat, chronicled below. His once brown hair and beard is now long and white. This he keeps well groomed, often split into many long braids held by mithril bands. An old scar runs from just below his eye to his jawline, and he now adorns himself almost completely in armor and other garments of silver, Gorethar's color. He often travels with the aid of a walking stick now, but is also in possession of numerous weapons at all times. These include: his heavenly gifted maul, CothrochtFairboch across his back ; a pair of warhammers hanging from his belt along with a small sceptre and a single longsword in a gilded scabbard. He is known for being overly grumpy and extremely hostile towards all of maleki's children, whether with words or his hammers.
Hero of Avlis Entry
|High in the mountains of Galdos there sits a strong dwarven stronghold hewn from the mountainsides. Upon the stone gates is a finely carved depiction of a crossed hammer and lightning bolt.
Deep within this stronghold lies a burning fireplace, and about it sit many young dwarven beardlings, some even yet to have stubble upon their chins. Their attention is fixed upon a much older dwarf with a beard like silver and the passing of many years visible upon his face.
"Now, laddies, allow me to be tellin’ ye the tale o’ one o’ yer ancestors. Tis good for ye young Stormhammers ta be knowin where ye be comin’ from. Tonight oi’ll be tellin’ ye some o’ the tale o’ Thror Stormhammer, or more precisely, the second o’ our Clan ta be carryin’ that name."
"As ye all be knowin’, Thror were a mighty Paladin in our Lord’s service, and fer a time afore his passin’ did lead this Clan, as were his right, but oi doubt ye beardlings know the whole tale. So let’s be startin’ from the beginnin’." The aged dwarf then took a long draw on his old pipe, as he delved into the tale.
"Thror were born inta this noble clan o’ Stormhammer to his da, Uther, who were a powerful Paladin in his own rights, and his wife, in this ancient stronghold where we now be sittin’, Stormhammer Hall. Blessed he were, upon his birth, by his own grandda, and current head o’ the Clan, Oden Stormhammer, a battlepreist of our Lord strong in his faith.
He grew up here as a wee dwarven lad, just as ye all are, and at the beardlin’ age o’ 25, was sent to the nearest Monestary o’ Gorethar fer trainin’, just as some o’ ye may. While he were there, Thror trained under the eye o’ Olstag Firebeard, a very old Paladin who’d retired ta the instructin’ o’ beardlins en our Lords ways. After many, many years o’ hard trainin’ and intense prayer, Thror felt what he’d been searchin fer, Gorethar’s presence. He felt His Light and were enlightened, becomin’ one o’ Gorethars Fightin Order, the Paladins. Fer a few more years, Thror trained with ol’ Firebeard at the Monestary and the surroundin’ regions, learnin’ how to use his newfound blessins from the Battle Lord. Afterwards, he returned here ta his Clanhome, where over the next many years he spent much time in prayer and in the doing of Gorethar’s works with his kinsmen.
One day, word reached the Clan o’ a pocket o’ maleki’s scumbucket giants holdin up in the nearby mountain passes. So a party o’ Stormhammer warriors, includin Uther, Thror, an’ Thror’s brother, Ogrim; set out to smite these foul buggers, as were their duty. While they were away, the Hall were attacked. When the giant huntin’ party returned from smitin’ the foul malekispawn, they found the Hall’s doors broken inwards and bodies o’ the fallen lyin’ about. It turns out that those dwarves who’d remained in the Hall had been caught unawares when the attack had come, and much damage were done and death dealt before Oden Stormhammer could rally a defense. Mighty Oden were found lyin’ dead surrounded by a throng o’ fallen foes, who were blasted inta death by his mighty hammer, the Stormhammer, an heirloom from the days o’ the Clans start. The Stormhammer were gone from his grip, seeminly taken by these invaders. Survivors reported the enemy as a bigarse band o’ goblins an’ ogres, lead by a hulkin’ ogre shaman. After seein’ ta the wounded as best they could, the huntin’ party set out again on the trail o’ those who’d attacked their home.
The party o’ Stormhammers caught up ta the maraudin’ band a few days later when the ogres an’ gobbos were forced ta retreat back the way they’d come by a patrol o’ the Galdosian Army. A hard battle were fought atween our kinsmen and the foul smellin’ gobbos and ogres that day. A number o’ good dwarves fell in battle unner the bastards’ press, but they managed ta overcome em in the end with superior tactics and the graces o’ Gorethar. As th’ Ogre Shaman leader fell dead, he fired off one last fingertwiddle, strikin’ down many dwarves with a rainin blast o’ fire, Thror’s da, Uther, included. Those remainin’ at the end o’ the battle tended the wounded and did what they could fer the dead, givin’ proper burial when possible. They then returned ta the Hall, Uther’s body with em, where t’were buried along with Odens in our Clan’s tomb fer those o’ such line. But oddly enough, the Stormhammer were nae ta be found amongst the dead durin’ the battle, its whereabouts be still unknown now, ta our dismay, laddies.
Fer days Thror prayed in tribute ta his fallen Da, Grandda, and clansmen. After a time he felt a tug pullin’ at him, compellin’ him ta venture south. He came ta believe that twere Gorethar’s will guidin’ him, to do His work. But whether twas actually Gorethar, or one o’ his servants, or somethin’ else entirely, be nay truly known. As insane as it sounded fer any o’ us Galdokin ta head outa Galdos fer any amount o’ time, Thror decided ta head south and follow the call, wishin ta serve Gorethar as best he could. His brother, Ogrim, remained behind ta lead our Clan and ta rebuild the Hall, wishin Thror go in peace, though he himself disagreed with his brother’s decision ta leave the mountains.
His trip south were largely uneventful ‘cept fer a run in with a pocket o’ unlife, Thror managed ta dispatch it with little trouble, though he did earn himself a scar on his face that runs from below his eye ta his jawline in a moment o’ foolishness. He’d carry that scar ta the end o’ his days, as a lesson against bein’ a dumbarse in combat.
Thror eventually found himself in the southern tip o’ Avlis, and shortly after met a fellow Paladin by name o’ Vichan Lyonsen, o’ th’ Order o’ Gorethar there in the South. Vichan invited Thror ta a meetin’ later that day, where he met some other members, and started on his path within the Order. From there on he traveled with his newfound brethren, doin’ Gorethar’s works in the South. Durin’ this time he traveled with other new Order members like himself, mainly: Mouse Hammerpaw, Daimein Songshire, Kaegan Clovenhelm, Wynys Lyonsbane, Zahn Reyer, Vastan Thenald, Brian Deville, and Tharin Ironboard. These names would later dissappear…gone ta death or disappearance, until only a few were left: Thror, Kaegan, Vastan, and Zahn. By this time Thror and Kaegan had become good friends and traveled together often.
After some time, the ore started ta disappear and dry up all across South Avlis. Twere
soon learned that a coven o’ witches, the Coven o’ Nature, was behind the ore disappearance and was ransoming it back ta the nations. Thror, then an Initiate, were assigned ta investigate the Coven by the Blessed Head Cleric, Jorio Alerian. During this time o’ investigation he based himself mainly outa Mikona, and would stay on there fer some time afterwards. After some time looking inta the Coven, he figured out that they had a movin base o’ operations across South Avlis, and he were later contacted by a skilled ranger and tracker. This tracker had been trackin the base’s movements and told Thror where the Coven would be at a certain point in time. Thror gathered a force made up o’ members of his Order and citizens o’ Mikona to strike at the Covens base when twere located in the warrens o’ the Mchek wilderness. The force fought through the witches and their black werewolves until there were none left that could be found, whether they got em all, or some managed ta escape be unknown. But shortly after the strike, the ore started ta return ta South Avlis. Whether each nation all decided ta pay the ransom in that short time afterward or if the strike force was the cause of it, were unkown to Thror.
Later, Thror would aid a varied group o’ adventurers in Mikona to stop a powerful dracolich from layin waste ta the city which involved findin some bones o' some ol' Gold Mage. Durin th' course o' this Thror would recover a warhammer known as a Rift Hammer, which'd hang on his belt fer when it were needed from then on. Soon after, he and Vastan would be named Asisstants to the Battlemaster in the Order by it’s Battlemaster, Kharak Hammerstar.
After servin as Kharak’s assisstant fer some time, trainin the younger members o’ the Order in combat and tactics, Thror ventured away from the populated areas of South Avlis on a sojourn. He traveled throughout South Avlis, mostly outa contact with the major cities and with the Order, smiting the darkness of evil as he found it and spreading the word o’ our Lord
Upon his return he found turmoil ta have broken out ‘pon Avlis as the Second Fairy War heated up and began. He also returned ta find that his friend, Kaegan, had died durin his time away. And so his return was bittersweet, as shortly after his return and shock over Kaegan’s death, he were named Ordained o’ the Order o’ Gorethar, bein accepted as a full member.
Durin this time he situated himself mainly in Elysia ta help fight back lizard and titanian soldiers that were attackin’ the city’s gates. When the EAV were formed he joined as an officer so he might better fight the slaving lizardfolk and genocidal fey, as he saw the wiping of a goodly race of fey from avlis as an evil act that needed ta be halted, lads. He rose through the ranks, and by the end o’ the Fairy War he had attained the rank o’ Major, servin as third in command. In the closin battles o’ the Fairy War, he was present with a group that confronted the Demon that’d been summoned by the titanians and their allies and that’d killed Lady Vanoviel, Elysia’s Ruler. The demon were defeated and banished from this realm, but as t’were banished it reached out and grabbed Vichan Lyonsen, then the High Paladin of the Order, and dragged him ta the abyss with it.
In the days followin the Vichan’s abduction, as t’were found he still lived as a prisoner, Thror were made High Ordained and the leader o’ the Order in the absences o’ High Paladin Vichan and Arch Paladin Vian Valorian. One o’ the first things he did were ta make sure everythin’ were done in attempt ta find a way ta return Vichan to this plane.
He continued ta serve after the Fairy War, as Elysia focused more on the Drotid, and was present at the battle that drove invadin Drotid troops from Northeast T’Nanshi and back inta their own lands. When relative peace were reached with Drotid, Thror along with the rest o’ the Order of Gorethar took honorable discharges from the EAV. As the war in the north were done, there was nay reason for em to be EAV anymore, as by Church mandate, they wouldn’t involve ‘emselves in the fight in the south atween T’Nanshi and M’Chek
After months time o’ researching and trying ta find a way, Thror lead a group o’ his assembled brethren through a portal ta the 192nd layer of the Abyss, where they fought and grudgingly bartered, and eventually succeeded in retrieving and bringin home High Paladin Lyonsen. With the return o’ Vichan, Thror believed his brief stint as the leader of the Order to be at an end, but was soon to be proved wrong, as Vichan announced that he wished Thror ta lead. Soon after Thror were visited by an envoy from the Church in Galdos at an Order meetin’, and were officially made a High Paladin o’ Gorethar, an’ so took up the mantle as the High Paladin o’ the Order o’ Gorethar.
Soon after that, Thror engaged more in conflicts with the Deglos vampire lord, Dranuhl, and his forces. Thror’d been fightin this bastard fer a good long time, since he arrived in the south matter o’ fact, and thwarted his plans on a few occasions and even had entrance ta the vampires ever-locked tower on one occasion. After one confrontation with the vampire lord where Thror refused ta retreat and were struck down, he found himself the receiver o’ a gift upon rising agin. He found near him a mighty maul, a gift from the Battle Lord himself, fer his diligence in fightin’ the unlife. This weapon came ta be known as CothrochtFairboch, the Justice Bringer.
Thror, as a member o’ the Order and o’ a group in Deglos known as the Dwarf Brigade, then aided with the migration o’ Mchekian peoples from Mchek north through Deglos ta the then new city o’ Visimontium, a mage city built fer Andrinor.
It then became apparent that the ancient corrupted gorethite temple in Ferrell, known as The Rift, were becomin more active as the leader o’ thet vile place, Se’Fassu, started attackin the surface o’ Ferrell with his minions. Thror and the Order were contacted by Arania, the Keeper o’ FEAT, fer aid in the matter. Thror worked alongside Arania an’ the rest o’ FEAT, actin’ as a contact ta the secretive gorethite Order in Ferrell whos dictate twere ta watch over the fallen temple. He also helped FEAT in a few o’ its endeavors on the matter, and fought back the attackin unlife invasions o’ the surface a few times. He and others o’ the Order were present as they, FEAT, and some others delved down inta The Rift, slayin unlife along the path, and eventually aidin in the ceremony and rite ta close the rift that powered the unlife there. This were done, though Se’fassu himself escaped, unfortunately.
Thror were then contacted by the Noble Houses o’ Mchek and invited ta a meetin’ with Lord Grumbald, a fellow paladin as well as a noble o’ that land. There he were joined also by Vastan o’ his Order, as well as representatives o’ the Council o’ Balance, the Council o’ Dagath, the Keepers o’ the Cycle, and the Mchekian Guards. They were told o’ a new threat in the unnerdark under Mikona and under an area known as the Dwarf Quarters, where our brethren who’d built their city’d been slaughtered millenia before by ‘em humans, and apparently the dwarves were cursed as their spirits remained. This new threat were the dracolich Draxithrax that’d taken up livin down there, and were later found ta have been a creation in some form by the lich Sorvanok, who’d been defeated years afore. They wished fer an end ta this threat ta be found, as well as fer the dwarf spirits ta be released as part of plans that the city had fer that area and the unnerdark beneath it, fer this Thror and the Order were put in charge o’ the endeavor.
After some research and many conversations with the spirit o’ the dwarven leader down there, known as Kang, Thror and others discovered that what were keepin’ the dwarves spirits there was the Harpinger, who fer some reason believed that the dwarves shouldnae o’ died, so couldnae move on ta Gorethars Halls in the Heavens. Also durin this time o’ lookin’ ‘bout the Halls, in attempt ta find clues ta anythin’ that could aid in freein’ the spirits, a group Thror lead ran across Draxithrax in the unnerdark, and eventually retreated after bein’ attacked by the dracolich’s minions. On ‘nother occasion, Thror with a smaller group ran across the dracolich again, and after an argument where its said that Thror "insulted" it, it attacked ‘em. But Thror, with Justice Bringer in hand, managed ta best the foul creature and sent it crashin down inta ruin. He didnae destroy the phylactery o’ the thing though, so it would rise again later ta cause more trouble. But Thror did take from the dracolich’s possession, a ring that was on its claw, what happened with this ring or what it did oi rightfully don’t know, lads, but tis rumored that it was an artifact o’ our church. Where its at now oi could nay tell ye. Some time now passed, with more researchin’ goin’ on, and nary much progressin’ on the matter o’ the spirits, though Thror visited Kang many more times and followed many leads, never really sittin’ still too long.
Later on, Thror with a few other Order members would accompany the Guards in a trip to the unnerdark ta find the dracolich’s phylactery. After searchin fer some time they encountered Draxithrax and chased him ta Sorvanoks ol’ throne room. There they did battle with the beast and eventually it were again brought down by Thror’s mighty hammer an’ th’ fast strikes o’ Ayren Milen’s swords. Thror then used his hammer ta crush up the dracolich’s fallen bones. It’s phylactery would later be found and destroyed ahind a bookcase in Sorvanok’s library down there, which caused the dracolich ta reappear. But the bugger reappeared very weak from his bones havin been crushed ta pieces earlier, and so were felled in one meager blow by a Valokian. Though if ye ask me, oi been told that a stiff wind coulda done the job just as good. And as his phylactery were destroyed, that were the end o’ Draxithrax.
Soon afterwards, whilst talkin’ ta Garlack o’ Gorethar in Mikonas Temple District, Thror came up with the way ta freein’ our trapped brethren from their spiritual state. A week later, many Gorethites assembled and headed down inta the Dwarf Quarters. There in the ancient temple located in the Quarters, they performed a ceremony, lead by their Head Cleric o’ the time, Tanmar Stronghammer. This ceremony sent up calls and prayers ta Gorethar, whose gaze was turned back ta the Quarters where he had nay realized the dwarves’ plight. Once Gorethar’s presence again filled the Dwarf Quarters, the spirits were freed and rose ta their restin place in Gorethar’s Halls. Before risin ta the heavens, Kang appeared one last time ta Thror, and thanked him for his long efforts in freein’ his trapped brethren.
Later t’would be announced by the city that the ancient temple down there would be renovated inta a new Temple ta the Battle Lord. Afterwards, Thror became scarce ta be seen by most folks. He was nearly always away back in Galdos workin’ fer the Church, lecturin’ at Monestaries and trainin young beardlins there in our Lords ways. If nay there, he were busy around the many chapels and temples o’ southern avlis, and continued ta do his Lord’s works wherever he could be found roamin.
After a few years, lads, Thror was seen around a bit more, and ta the surprise o' most, retired from his role as High Paladin o' th' Order o' Gorethar. He then further announced his intentions ta return closer ta his homeland, and so thet he were movin' ta the north o' avlis. He could later be found in the Kurathene Empire, fightin in 'em wars there on behalf o' the Kingdom o' Valorian."
"Now laddies, this be only part o’ Thror’s tale, long as it be. But oi’ll leave it at this fer now. Perhaps oi’ll tell ye the rest some other night. Now its time ta be gettin’ ta sleep." With this the old dwarf puffs one last time on his pipe, before getting up and heading for the comfort of his quarters.
The Cleansing of the Dwarven Quarters
|~The Dwarven Quarters : By Thror Stormhammer~
For the aid o’ folk thet would read me tale, I’ve hired a local scribe to clean up me writin’ some, as I’ve been told en the past thet me common es nae very easy for some ta unnerstand, so hopefully this helps folks.
The first I’d heard about the area known as the Dwarven Quarters were shortly after I’d arrived en Mikona. Me brother en faith, Kharak Hammerstar, told me the tale. From me talk with Kharak, what I could find en the Mikonan Library, and me conversations with the spirits thet dwelled en the Quarters durin me quest ta free them, I’ve compiled what I know of ta be a representation o’ ets history. I’ll recount this history for ye now.
A little over 2000 years ago, the human tribe folk o’ M’Chek started unitin’ inta the nation we know et as today. Dwarves from Galdos, lead by the preist Kang Graniteanvil, later came ta them and soon built the city known now as Mikona for the humans. In return for their aid, the humans gave the dwarves the area under the city to mine, work, and live in as their own. This area o’ the city became known as the Dwarven Quarters. Much rumor an’ urban myth have been said ‘bout what happened down en those tunnels mebbe only a year or less after the city were completed. But what I’ve been able to piece together or been told be this. The dwarves started ta open a new mine en the unnerdark below their Quarters, and humans o’ the surface heard tell o’ the dwarves diggin a tunnel. Somehow this lead to the belief by much o’ the populace that the tunnel bein’ dug was a tunnel all the way back ta Galdos, and thet th’ dwarves were goin’ ta invade the city. This o’course was false, though the city didnae know this, and so the cities leaders decided ta launch an attack on the dwarves usin’ their army. This attack fell on the dwarves without warnin and en their sense o’ dissarray at the sudden attack, every dwarf en the complex were slaughtered. Shortly after, the Dwarves’ Halls would become filled with their spirits, and the complex would become lost to memory. It remained lost until much later, when it were rediscovered by the cities adventurers durin’ the times when the city were facin’ the menace o’ the lich Sorvanok, who laired in the unnerdark beneath Mikona, and had been using the old dwarven tunnels to launch attacks on the surface.
Later, Sorvanok would be defeated and the Quarters would be recognized as a property o’ the Church o’ Gorethar by M’Chek, and et would be often patrolled by the resident Order o’ Gorethar, lookin ta keep folks out who wished ta search for the rumor o’ lost valuables among the old dwarves’ posessions. However, the spirits still remained, and over the years, many tried ta help free them, from Kharak Hammerstar, the dwarf who first told me o’ the Quarters, ta followers o’ Dagath's orders.
This es where meself came en. In the year 2151, me brother en faith, Vastan Thenald, and meself were invited to a meetin’ in the City o’ Mikona at the home o’ Lord Donnie Grumbald, a member o’ their Noble House and a fellow Paladin o’ Gorethar. Also at this meetin’ were: Moira Windspar and Mara Millenen o’ the Council o’ Balance, Missy Flows o’ the Keepers o’ the Cycle, Shen Ko and Alphonse Irofin o’ the Council o’ Dagath; Jared Evershield, Spit and Samwir o’ the M’Chekian Guards. At this meetin’ Lord Grumbald announced the intentions o’ the Joint Houses o’ M’Chek ta purchase the Dwarven Quarters from the Church o’ Gorethar, so thet M’Chek might use the unnerdark below ta attempt underground farmin’ ta help feed ets people. The Church o’ Gorethar en Galdos agreed ta sell ta the Nation o’ Mchek under certain conditions. The first condition were thet the Dwarven Quarters must be cleansed and the spirits that had dwelled their be returned ta Gorethar’s side. The groups assembled at the meetin’ were ta undertake this, with the Order o’ Gorethar en charge o’ the whole thing so as ta make sure things were done properly and no sacrilege were committed. The second condition were thet any artifacts found durin the process or located en the Quarters, would be returned ta the Church en Galdos. Lord Grumbald also spoke o’ some trouble bein’ had en the unnerdark as well, a dracolich plaguin’ the area, and thet ef we could take care o’ thet problem while we were dealin with the Quarters, he certainly wouldnae mind.
Shortly after this I took a group o’ folk down inta the Quarters. Early attempts ta speak with the spirits failed, but later on we spoke with some spirits o’ priests who informed us thet there were different sorts o’ spirits down thar. Some knew thar fate and were aware o' the Quarters as they were.... while others suffered from the trauma o' the sudden attack and believed et ta be a few days afore the attack, and thet the Quarters looked like they did back then. Soon we came ta the places Great Hall and Temple ta Gorethar, where we spoke with Kang Graniteanvil, the leader o’ the spirits en life. He informed us o’ prior attempts at freein’ the spirits and folk o’ Dagath who’d come ta talk ta him en the past, some tried prayer and others tried force. While force temporarily would send the spirits ta rest, et didnae work permanently. Only thar essences remained entrenched en thet place, so by tryin ta remove them by physical means, they’d only be ripped back again from the afterlife by the curse thet layed upon them. We then decided ta ask Kang how the curse came about. He didnae recall et comin’ to pass, as he musta been dead durin thet time, he only remembered seemin ta fall inta a slumber when he died, and awakin’ ta find he werenae returned by Gorethar as he thought he musta been...but were still dead. The last bit o’ information Kang gave then were thet he thought thet the curse might have somethin ta do wth' the foulness below the quarters, as thought before back when Sorvanok laired down thar. He also mentioned thet a few days before the humans attacked, the dwarf miners had uncovered a narrow passage en the mine, with an odd shinin glowin thing they could see at the end o' the passage en the distance. Thinkin et prhaps odd er foul, they covered et back up...and then the attacks came.
The next excursion below Mikona occured later, with the intent by meself ta discover this narrow passage thet Kang had spoke o’ the last time. The group again included representatives o’ all the groups thet had been present at the meetin’ with Lord Grumbald, and also Lord Grumbald himself this time. We made our way down through the Quarters inta the unnerdark below in search o’ this tunnel, and instead we encountered the foulness o’ thet place. We were first attacked by the cultists who formerly served Sorvanok and had been livin ragtag down thar since, and they were accompained by a pit fiend and some other bloody things o’ thet nature. We eventually encountered the bloody dracolich etself and much ta me dislike, our group started speakin’ with et. Ets name we found out were Draxithrax, and et knew why we were down thar. Et offered ta give us the knowledge needed ta lift the curse only ef the city agreed ta let et keep the place as its eternal dwellin’, and o’course, et wanted ta be kept undisturbed from the city dwellers. We told the beast thet we would return ta the surface and discuss his proposal and think on et. From the onset I knew me answer were goin’ ta be ta tell et thet et could go bugger itself, despite the wishins o’ the valokians with us thet we should trick the beast, and use et ta find information thet could help us, then go back and slay et. But the final word in the decision were given ta me by Lord Grumbald later, and oi decided ta nae enter inta any sort o’ deal with et, despite the valokians’ pissin’ and moanin’ about me bein an idiot ta do such.
A week or so later another group lead by meself would again descend inta the unnerdark beneath the Quarters in search o’ thet passage Kang had spoken o’. This time we ended up en what once was Sorvanoks throne room after encounterin’ more o’ the foul cultists and fiends. While most o’ us explored fer the passageway, Jadrienne Starfire, who were present on behalf o’ the Council o’ Dagath, were messin’ with this rune circle near the back o’ the cave, which I were told sorvanok used ta summon a mighty balor years and years ago. She said Draxithrax’d been tamperin with the portal, and tryin ta change ets destination, but en doin so Draxithrax had broken et. She said she could fix et and allow us ta pass through, so that we might see where the dracolich had been tryin ta go. I however, insisted thet we keep lookin fer the passage Kang had told about. Eventually, we succeeded en findin et after a few hammerblows managed ta knock a passage through the rock otherwheres en the unnerdark. We descended down inta the passage, where another hollow en the rock was. Before I could knock through the rock again ta the next passage beyond, an Archon appeared, a messenger from me lord Gorethar. She ordered us ta stop and leave the place. She claimed thet what layed below could nae help us. She had been forbidden ta tell us mortals what layed below exactly, she only said et been neither good nor evil and beyond our ability ta comprehend. As she spoke this, some o’ us had visions o’ nine figures o’ various races holdin hands around a pillar o’ light. While some were fair, others dark, all were ... beautiful en a way. Et coulda possibly been a vision o’ The Nine. The Archon spoke thet this same thing which layed below caused the downfall o’ the Dwarves, though indirectly. After some questionin, she said thet the Harpinger had been keepin the Dwarven Spirits the 'way they were, since after what they discovered down there they were nae mortal anymore, en a way. We then vacated the area on me order, and once gettin back inta the unnerdark main area, we sealed the passage back up. Afterwards, Jadrienne looked at thet rune portal again and activated et and we went through. When we stepped through we found ourselves en the secret room where Sorvanok once kept his phylactery. We didnae find much there, until Draxithrax appeared. He thanked us fer openin his portal and then asked me ef I’d thought on his offer. I told him he could bugger off, then there were some more talkin, mostly Jadrienne bein’ polite and nice ta et, whether she were afraid o’ pissin et off or was just suckin’ up, I dunno. She even offered ta give the dracolich the location o’ thet hidden passage in exchange fer information, I o’course shot this idea down. Soon afterwards Draxithrax started gettin agitated and then started attackin us and unleashin ets breath on us, sayin I’d offended et. Most o’ us were knocked around er paralyzed by fear or ets breath ‘cept fer Moira o’ the Council o’ Balance and meself. I hammered away at et fer a long time as Moira helped ta keep me on me feet. Twere a long battle, but en the end I smote down Draxithrax. We found his gold ring en the rubble and moira took et fer safe keepin’. After those who’d been knocked around were ready ta move, we returned ta the surface.
The ring we found from Draxithrax’s bones would play ets own short tale as well. Apparently after me encounter with Draxithrax, the M’Chekian Guards went on a mission ta talk with a dragon en the unnerdark o’ the wilderness, after talkin with it some the spirit o’ Draxithrax appeared and took over the other dragon, transformin et inta his new host. Draxithrax told the Guards o’ how id smote him and his ring had been taken. The Guards would attempt ta gain this ring throughout the time meself and moira kept it, by attemptin and later on succeedin en gettin a House order fer me ta do so. Durin’ this time though the ring were kept secret as ta who carried et and had et en their posession, as assassins en the from o’ the cultists, now under draxithrax’s control, came lookin’ fer et. Later en a meetin with the joint house, et was revealed ta them o’ the Noble House thet Moira had the ring. This followed by more assassination attempts now on her life, but en the form o’ men now, nae cultists. Et turns out after some research by very powerful magefolk, thet ets magical qualities were hidden inside et and was actually very powerful, with the ability ta banish outsiders back ta their home planes among other things. I then took the ring inta me own possession and sook out Kangs knowledge on et. From what I learned from him and from research en the Church archives, et were found by meself ta apparently be an Artifact o’ the Church o’ Gorethar, known as the Fist o’ Gorethar, a weapon against demons and devils that had been found by the Church millenia ago en Galdos. Presentin this information ta the Houses, et were ruled thet et was a Church Property and so et didnae have ta be turned over ta the Guards. This would later be overturned after even more information were presented thet I had nae known about. This information were uncovered by Damar Ogdem, though I couldnae tell ye where from. Apparently, the ring were originally forged by followers o’ a Demon Lord en the deep unnerdark fer use en the wars down there between demonkin and thar followers. Around the time o’ the Demonspawn Wars and those battles en South Galdos, the ring were lost by those followers, and found by preists o’ Gorethar, who took et ta be a gift from the Battle Lord. Over years o’ use as a weapon o’ good, the ring became purified and so were considered an Artifact o’ Gorethars Church. The ring came south with Kang, who were ets keeper, and apparently et were lost durin the Mikonans attack on the dwarves. It was surmised thet somehow Sorvanok over the years had it come inta his possession en the unnerdark, and from him et passed inta Draxithrax’s possession. So after this the decision were overturned and I were forced ta turn the ring over ta the Houses, which I did. Last I knew et were goin ta be researched on by some board o’ folks, Ogdem included. Thats the last I heard of et.
Sometime over the next while, Draxithrax’s actual origins were pieced together. Apparently he were a young dragon thet was slayed in battle by a young M’Chekian Lord after a short rampage on the countryside. His bones apparently lay dormant fer a great many years until Sorvanok raised him and made him inta a dracolich. After Sorvanok were defeated, Draxithrax remained still, apparently havin escaped the notice of all who’d encountered Sorvanok. He in fact seemed ta keep very well hidden until his appearances shortly before the meetin’ with Lord Grumbald. In short order he also seemed ta have taken over Sorvanoks Cultists, so he likely displaced Lord Nyax, a lieutenant o’ sorvanoks who’d been leadin the cultists since sorvanoks destruction. So Draxithrax could very much be considered the last remnant o’ Sorvanoks evil left en the unnerdark o’ mikona.
The M’Chekian Guards would soon organize and head up a mission down inta the unnerdark with the intention ta find Draxithrax’s phylactery, and destroy et, destroyin’ him. The Guards en charge o’ the expedition were Ayren Milen and Jared Evershield. Others en the group included: Mara Milenen, Tamia Amakiir, Mink, Minas Lightbringer, Gothardt Staahl, Hert Snyder, Vastan Thenald, Kaz Siger, Moira Windspar, Jadrienne Starfire, Missy Flows, Aradan Kir, Onath R’Daenen, Samwir, and Meself.
The group made ets way down through the unnerdark, fightin’ the Cultists and undead along the way, and they were en good number. We soon came upon the corpse o’ a fallen dragon en the tunnels down thar, and after discussion, et were raised by Mara. Without the dead dragon, et was one less set o’ bones for draxithrax ta possibly re-inhabit. After some more conversation thet didnae really tell us much, the dragon left fer the surface disguised in human shape. We then pushed on and encountered more cultists and other things, until we came upon a strange lookin’ portal thet were also guarded by more cultists. After dispatchin these foes en timely fashion, we started investigatin the portal. Jadrienne went through ta the other side ta see where et came from, when nae word was heard from her after a bit, Ayren went en and shortly after both returned. They spoke o’ many enemies awaitin beyond the portal and then Jadrienne sealed et so thet they couldnae follow us. We then went the long way around and came to where the portal had lead ta accordin ta Jadrienne. We charged thar and heavy battle took place, with a few o’ our number fallin ta thar press. We pushed back an’ overcame the cultists, slicin and smashin ‘em down, when the dust settled we helped our fellows ta thar feet and investigated where we were. Here we found the bones o’ another dragon layin en a corner. A few o’ us then proceeded ta break up ets bones, so as ta make et useless ta Draxithrax. And at thet moment, the dracolich himself appeared behind us. He roared and called out thet we would all die at his hands. A pitched battle ensued, and when Draxithrax seemed ta be nae likin his odds, he escaped through a portal and shut et down from the other side. We then started back, smitin’ down any cultists thet we found en our path on the way. Another portal found etself en our path then, and after preparin we charged through ta a room full o’ enemies and Draxithrax. Many o’ us fell in the battle then, and once the cultists had been dealt with those remainin all turned attention ta Draxithrax. The fell beast paralyzed some and killed others, while some who managed ta stand ta fight et found thar attacks doin little ta nothin against the beast, hardly phasin et at all. The only ones who seemed ta be hurtin et at all were Ayren Milen and meself. Atween his fast sword strikes and me hammerin blows from me maul, the Dracolich soon succumbed ta us and toppled. After bringin our fallen folk back ta us, the others then proceeded ta investigate the room and search et fer the phylactery. While they did this I used me hammer ta smash up the bones o’ Draxithrax layin there after he’d been beatin, nae wantin ta take any chances. We would later find the phylactery en Sorvanoks old library, hidden behind a bookshelf. Once et were destroyed, Draxithrax reappeared. Havin’ destroyed the other possible hosts fer him, he were forced ta re-inhabit his last body, which had been beaten down by ayren and meself, and then had ets bones broken up by meself. So when he reappeared he were pissed off, but he could barely stand and his bones were bout ta collapse in on themselves, one last blow were delivered ta him by Gothardt Stahl, and thet were the end o’ Draxithrax.
A few weeks after this came ta pass, I sat havin a conversation with Garlack, a local preist o’ Gorethar who’d been in Mikona since afore anyone can remember. Durin this conversation I hit on a thought and the way ta free the spirits came ta me, a revelation. Gorethars sight somehow had been hazed and his presence had been turned from the Dwarven Quarters by this curse. So en Order ta free the spirits, which I believed ta be fully en Gorethars power, all thet had ta be done would be ta turn the gaze o’ Gorethar back ta these halls below Mikona. So I called ta me brethren en the Order o’ Gorethar, ta gather one week from thet point en the temple ta Gorethar located down en the Quarters.
The followers o’ Gorethar assembled later fer the task would be: Terra Earthkin, Vastan Thenald, Lu’wein Amakiir, Damien, Garlack, Dalabrin Gillivray, Halia Stonefire, Aspen Stormcat, Zahn Reyer, E’Skelos, Lord Donie Grumbald, and meself, Thror Stormhammer. Samwir o’ the Guards followed us down and bore witness as Tanmar Stronghammer, Head Cleric o’ the Order o’ Gorethar, lead us all en prayer. We reached up ta Gorethar with much fervent prayer, en both the dwarven and common tongues. Eventually after some time, we could feel our calls answered and Gorethars presence comin back inta the place.
The Dwarven Spirits then started dissappearin, bein allowed ta depart fer the Halls o’ Gorethar. Kang appeared one final time and thanked meself fer all I’d done en search o’ a way ta free himself and his brethren.
Later the Order o’ Gorethar with some outside assistance would go back down inta the Quarters, ta gather up the belongins o’ the dwarves, which were packaged and boxed up and were sent back ta Galdos. This completed the second o’ the Church’s conditions, and so the Church then officially sold ta the Joint Houses o’ M’Chek.
Et would later be announced thet the Joint Houses decided ta remake the old dwarf temple en the Quarters inta a new temple ta Gorethar, with the aid o’ Gorethar’s Church. Months later et would be completed, and a new High Preist o’ Gorethar fer the City o’ Mikona would be appointed and sent from Galdos, his name es Orin Thunderfeet, and he resides thar now.
And so, Gorethars presence was returned ta a place where et had thrives a millenia before, and the poor spirits o’ those dwarves who’d been trapped thar fer so long were freed. Finally bringin’ ta rest a dark chapter o’ Mikonas past, once and fer all.
The Defeat of Dranuhl
|The Last Chapter of Vendis Dranhul
By: Kili Paltik - Ordained, Order of Gorethar & Elder Council, Deglos Brigade
Ending written by: Thror Stormhammer Arch Paladin, Order of Gorethar
After many years of skirmishes to weaken the forces of Dranhul, the Deglosian military forces determined that it was time to rid this evil from our lands.
Months of planning and coordination went into this final plan, which brought together the forces of: the Church of Gorethar's Galdosian paladins, the Deglos Brigade, the Order of Gorethar, the Order of the Dragon, the Warrior Maidens of Dre'Ana, the White Order of the Light, the Ivory Order of the Sun, the Green Order of the Forest, the Blue Order of the Sky and Mikon's Council of Balance. (I'm sure that other groups were represented, and I apologize in advance for missing them.)
The time had come, our combined forces gathered at the Fortress of Light, under the leadership of Field Marshall Stoneanvil, who assigned us to separate groups for a three pronged attack on Dranhul's tower on the mountain top. From our previous meeting with the Field Marshall, the Deglos Brigade and the Order of the Dragon were to enter from beneath the tower, through a secret tunnel. The Order of Gorethar led the rest of the groups on the frontal attack of the tower. (Perhaps someone with that leg of the attack will tell their story as well, I can only tell you, dear reader, my perspective.)
We emerged in a cavern under the tower, which we soon discovered was the new lair of the dragon, Nise. We were attacked on all sides by creatures of the shadow plane, which we defeated, and then we met Nise. Up to this point I had only heard stories of this beast. After a long battle, he was destroyed. More undead came out of the shadows and the cave grew even darker than it was, and there she was, Ursula, Dranhul's betrothed from long ago. She laughed at us and told us that we would never succeed and then *poof* she was gone. Looking up, we found the entrance to the tower and the Dragons used their mind-powers (I think) to get us up through the hole in the top of the cave's ceiling.
We fought our way up through hordes of undead and Ursula would drop in from time to time to taunt us and vanish as quickly as she appeared. This went on as we went up and up the tower destroying the coffins of the vampire's as we went. Finally, on the fifth floor of the tower I think it was, Ursula appeared again, this time was different however, this time she stayed to fight. She kept wanting Master Hebrin of the Order of the Dragon to fight her alone, however a dwergen, Kegnar, felt it his duty to destroy her. The fight continued for a very long time, all the while she was goading Hebrin to fight his own battles. It seemed as is she was near death, Kegnar continues to swing with his axe that was imbued with the heart and soul of Deglos, and then she was gone. I don't know for sure if she actually fell, or if she disappeared (undeaddies don't tend to leave their corpses laying around.)
We continued up the tower, we reached the seventh floor, the very top. We found ourselves surrounded by Dranhul's strongest fighters as well as Dranhul himself. By this time, we had been joined by some of the forces that had been on the topside part of the attack. We tried to fight valiantly, but, quickly realized that if Dranhul wanted us dead, he would kill us in a single strike. (He hit me just once and I fell unconscious for what seemed like a very long time, before someone came to my side with a bandage.) Arch-Paladin Stormhammer called for us to retreat into the hall and to close the door. He dropped down on his knees and he began to pray for Gorethar to aid him in this battle that he had trained for all of his life. I and several other people dropped to our knees and joined him in prayer. I'll leave Thror to tell this tale as it happened next. I stayed on my knees in prayer until I felt this tremendous feeling of light surround me as peacefulness and calm seemed to wash over the entire tower, pushing the darkness and evil away.
After oi called fer folk ta fall back outta Dranuhl's throne room, oi shut th' door an' fell down on me knees en prayer. Oi asked th' others ta pray wi' me as oi asked fer Gorethar's aid an' guidance en battlin' this foe, who'd been able ta easily take on th' whole lot o' us who were there. After minutes o' prayin, oi felt a light surround me as oi were taken from Dranuhl's tower. When oi opened me eyes an' stood up oi were en th' Seven Heavens. There, Tolir th' Good, told me thet oi 'ad passed th' test, en askin fer Gorethars aid when oi needed et most. 'E presented me wi' a portion o' Gorethars own might, held en th' form o' a suit o' armor, helm, an' weapon. Upon takin these mantles o' power up, oi were transported back ta th' hallway outside Dranuhls throne room. From there oi told th' rest ta keep back an' leave dranuhl ta me, as oi entered th' throne room.
Oi found Dranuhl sittin on 'is throne where oi challenged 'im ta combat. 'E were hesitant ta fight, as he didnae see meself as a challenge, but finally consented ta a duel. After many minutes o' fightin, 'is sword ta me hammer, 'e recognized thet thar were somethin differnt bout me en thet moment, an' thet oi were a worthy challenge afterall. After wot oi deem ta be th' fight o' me long life, Dranuhl drew back an' asked fer mercy. Gorethar teaches meself ta grant mercy ta any who ask fer et, an' so oi relented an' granted 'im thet mercy.
Dranuhl wished three last requests o' me. Th' first bein ta deliver th' remnants o' his vast fortune ta th' nation o' Deglos. This were done by meself afterwards, as oi presented et ta Field Marshall Stoneanvil, who will use et ta bury an' put ta rest all those soldiers who've lost thar lives ta Dranuhls actions.
Dranuhls second request were fer me ta recount ta e'eryone how he'd donated th' las o' his fortune, an' felt remorse en th' end fer all 'e'd done, an' so en th' end didnae only leave Deglos wi' misery an' death. This request oi fufill here, now.
Th' third request 'e entrusted ta meself, cause 'e trusted nae one else ta see et done, an' thet es ta entomb wot es left o' his remains en a safe place. Which oi will do shortly.
Afterward, 'e asked me ta end his existence an' vowed ta ne'er rise agin aginst Deglos an' ets peoples. Oi asked 'im ef 'e were ready, ta which 'e replied "I have been ready for a thousand years."...oi then proceeded to strike th' final blow, an' end this dark chapter en th' annals o' Deglos' history.
Afterward th' armor an' weapons oi'd been equipped wi' dissipated. Oi walked ta th' door an' opened et, an' then collapsed. Oi were helped outta th' tower an' back ta th' Fortress o' Light by me fellows. Thar we were debreifed by Field Marshall Stoneanvil, where 'e tol us thet Paladin Stoneheart o' those Paladins thet came from Galdos fer this were leadin th' effort ta see Dranuhls tower toppled an' destroyed. Oi then retired ta th' Fortress an' fell inta a deep sleep.
Oi wrote this upon awakenin. Th' ordeal 'as taken much outta me, an' oi feel weak an' old. As ef oi've been aged far past wot oi should be. Th' writin o' this endin ta this tale 'as taken a lot from meself also, an' so now oi'll find me way back ta rest.