It’s be about a week since we left Overlook on this errand for Bram Ironfell. I sometimes wonder if we should have asked for a larger “incentive” for this quest, but keep reminding myself that the true rewards will be in the mines themselves. Surely a site that has been hidden away for so long will contain something that I can use to catch the attention of E.C.
We had not traveled long when an old hag leading a group of razerclaw fighters attempted to ambush us. Having little patience for more ambushes, and on the off-chance this hag was the “queen” that was terrorizing Dunesend, we spared no time in bringing the fight to them. Moments later we were sure this was not a creature capable of oppressing a small town, even one as cowardly as Dunesend, and we continued on our way.
Avandra smiled on the remainder of our journey while Valdiskept a keen watch for anyone else that would slow our trip. Soon we came to first defensive measure in place to keep the Karak Lode from prying eyes: a fork in the road in which no path headed in the direction we were told to find the mines. While Arraven argued with his invisible imp friend as to the proper way to read a map (much to the befuddlement of the party), Jkkel pointed out to me a fourth, hidden path to these crossroads.
Following the hidden path took us directly to the gates of the fortress barring entrance to the mines… and the golems barring passage to the gates. Whatever theses things were, it certainly wasn’t natural. Knowing that we had to stop these abominations before reaching the gates into Karak, the paladinand avengerquickly flanked the nearest one to begin widdling it down. It was about then that Jkkel began yammering at me excitedly (more so than usual) about these golems, however fighting for one’s life makes it difficult to pay attention to anything else, and constant yammering makes it hard to focus on fighting for one’s life. While the details of the fight are lost to me, i do know it ended favorably for us. Perhaps after this rest the others will be able to fill me in on what actually transpired. I’m sure between Arraven’s and Ku’s unique embellishments I will be able to pick out the useful pieces. One thing I do remember clearly are the masses of what seem to be pure chaos matter within the hearts of the golems. While Jkkel seemed quite interested in them, I felt their danger warranted letting the wizard and the gnome carry them.
With no eminent threats to our well being, we had time to examine the door that stood before us. While the fact that our goal lie beyond it was clear, the means to open it was not. Hatheron attempted the direct approach of trying to push and slide it open to no avail. Even with the assistance of her magical concoctions and Torinn’s brute strength proved to little to move the massive door. Arraven pulled out his reserves of residuum and attempted some ritual. (At this point, I shudder to think what he could do if given enough time and residuum.) While the wizard chanted, Valdis joined in the efforts of Hatheron and Torinn, and I contemplated the possible ill effects of just blowing the door up, Ku-Lit had put himself into a trance and soon told us of the locking mechanism on the inside of the door. Between the combined forces of Jkkel (who was able to squeeze in through an unguarded arrow slit), the wizard’s unseen reach and unseen pet, and whatever else the psion was doing in his trance we were able to open door, revealing a force of troglodytes (I believe that’s what the bookwormcalled them).
This time, the paladin and avenger split their attacks, forcing the troglodytes to split their attentions while the rest of us spread our fury across the entire group. The
necromanc wizard conjured a field of skeletal hands that grabbed and scratched at the enemies. I quickly had them all hexed and their own shadows fighting on our side. Even though he never made it through the doorway, I could swear on Bahamut’s Claws that i saw Ku covering most of the battle himself. Along with Hatheron’s bolstering mixtures and magical enchants, the battle proved successful, if not tedious. A short interview of one of the troglodytes has confirmed that our suspitions that the “queen” that has been oppressing Dunesend is in-fact holding up within the mines.
That brings us to where we are now. We’ve re-closed the main gate and barred the other doorways in the room as to properly prepare for what ancient perils the queen and time itself have waiting for us.