Campaign Session 3, Part 1Saturday, 19 September 2015Kytorn (June), 1491 Dale ReckoningWith news of Maxleth missing the party decides to investigate Stannor's complaints about Waelvur's secret meetings with hooded figures. They reason that Maxleth's disappearance and the secret at Waelvur's Wagonworks are related. The party makes a secret visit of their own to his property after sunset and find a fake wagon hiding a stairway. The concealed stairway descends to a below ground chamber. The chamber is cut from the hard-packed dirt and soft limestone below Waelvur's property and extending north. The carved-out corridor leads to a granite formation where a stone door has been fashioned into the rock. The party enters the granite massif. Unlike the newer delvings below Waelvuer's, which are perhaps a year old, the granite carvings are thousands of years old. Jenks leads the party as they enter the older, carved granite corridors. They come to a four-way intersection with corridors stretching left, forward and right into darkness. They decide to travel forward and pass the branches to the left and right. They'll explore the other branches later. The ornate ceiling consists of square stone panels about ten feet on a side. Rusty iron frames surround each panel. The panels are suspended about several inches from one another and the wall to either side. They form a row overhead that continues down the passage a hundred feet to a stone door with an iron pull ring in it. About five feet up, the door has a two-inch-wide, foot-long horizontal slit. Blood-shot, porcine eyes gaze through the slit and a low, growling voice yells, “Go away!” and the slit is abruptly shut from the other side. The familiar voice is Grund’s, the half-orc from Red Larch’s market square. Osyeras queries further from his side of the door and and Grund replies, “You can’t be here, you must go.” Osyeras tricks Grund to enter the room and finds that Grund is not alone. The half-orc guards a large, square chamber. Beside the door is a set of iron bars bolted into the wall about three feet above the floor. Ten oiled chains are secured to the bars, leading up to a hole bored in the ceiling. It dawns on the party that the iron frames in the ceiling in the corridor behind them are cages that can be lowered and raised with these very chains. Another solid stone door is set in the middle of the opposite wall across the chamber. An eight-foot-tall rectangular stone stands upright in the room’s center. The stone has an inscription on it that’s hard to read from a distance, but upon close inspection reads, “Displease not the Delvers.” At the foot of the standing stone, a small human is pinned, face down, by rocks placed atop his arms, legs, and back. He is barefoot and wears ragged clothes. Jenks and Tanvar pull the stones off of the boy while Melech and Osyeras question Grund. Grund admits that a group of townsfolk called the Believers pays him to watch the tunnel and chase away strangers. The boy identifies himself as Braelen. He tells of The Believers and how they put him here as punishment for being disobedient. He failed to deliver a message from his father, Rotharr Hatherhand, to Ilmeth Waelvur. It was a slip of paper the boy didn't read, but he says that his father is one of The Believers. Other Believers Braelen knows are Baragustas Harbuckler, Marlandro Gaelkur, and Ilmeth Waelvur. The boy also says that Grund is not really a Believer, but they take care of him so he does what they tell him to do. The Believers are a secret group made up of some of the most important people in town. They guard the moving stones, and make sure no one disturbs the Delvers, who are entombed here. The Believers watch the moving stones carefully, because it’s a bad sign when they move, and they have to figure out what it means to avert danger. The chamber of moving stones and the buried Delvers are to the east, beyond three more stone doors. It was at this point that three humans enter the chamber with clubs and crossbows. They have come prepared for a fight wearing dull-colored brown leather armor with a triangle symbol painted in black on their breasts. “That’s enough, boy," one of them says. "We'll deal with you shortly. You too, Grund. We are the Bringers of Woe. We have come to reward your curiosity.” They raise their crossbows and let a volley fly into the party’s ranks.
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The unfamiliar symbol worn by the Bringers of Woe.
As the newcomers fight the party, Grund, trying to avoid the combat, grabs Tanvar. He uses her as a shield and maneuvers to the door and corridor the party came through. He is reluctant to fight the party. He eventually flees.The hail of crossbow bolts takes a toll on Jenks. But Tanvar, despite being man-handled by Grund, is able to direct healing magic his way. Osyeras puts one of the attackers to sleep and the other two fall to Jenks’ blades. Quiet returns to the chamber. The party tells Braelen to go home and lowers the cages after he leaves. They exit through the next door to explore the chamber beyond. The next chamber is also a fifty-foot square carved out of the gray rock. The floor is rough but flat, the walls show the chisel marks of the original miners, and the ceiling is about ten feet high. Identical stone doors with iron pull-ring handles stand to the left and across the room on the far wall. In the center of the room stands a life-sized and life-like statue of a dwarf warrior wearing a chain shirt and a helm. He carries a shield and battleaxe. The statue is broken into pieces that have been reassembled and held together and upright with a wooden frame. A dagger, coins and gems lie on the floor in front of the statue surrounded by an ring of fine gravel. A sign on the scaffolding has an inscription that reads:
After inspecting the room and carefully taking the treasure the party exits this chamber through the opposite door walking deeper into the ancient complex. Another ten feet wide, ten feet high passage through the rock goes forty feet ahead. A small lantern hangs from a hook in the wall next to a door at the end of the passage. Sitting on a wooden stool by the lantern is a balding, beardless old male human in patched and faded work trousers and a matching tunic. He is idly whittling a stick until the party makes its appearance.He identifies himself as Elder Baragustas Harbuckler, a retired carpenter. In unprovoked dismay he throws himself to the floor and loudly begs the party not to enter the chamber beyond. “Do not provoke the wrath of the Delvers,” he cries. "Do not disturb their rest or the stones of their tomb.” He wrings his hands as he begs the characters not to enter the next chamber, claiming that only the Believers and Larrakh should enter the Tomb of Moving Stones.When asked about the 'Tomb of Moving Stones,' Larrakh,' and 'the Delvers,' Baragustas explains that Larrakh came to Red Larch six months ago. He is a priest holding dominion over the rocks and earth. He helps the Believers interpret the stones, which they have done for the last thirty years. “From time to time, the spirits of the Delvers, who carved these ancient corridors, cause the great stones to change position. That is how they talk to us. They show us signs of coming danger and warn us when we make bad choices.”Baragustas’ kowtowing soon bores the party and they insist that they must and will enter this ‘Tomb of Moving Stones’ despite his protests. Jenks opens the door leading into the chamber. It is an enormous chamber with a twenty-foot ceiling. A lighted lantern rests on the floor near the center of the room. An odd array of stone monoliths — some upright standing stones, and others arranged in three-stone arches — stand around the chamber. Six low, stone, slabs are set against the walls around the perimeter of the room. Each holds humanoid bones dressed in scraps of tattered cloth and rusted iron.
The Tomb of Moving Stones
The whispered sound of a magical incantation hisses through the chamber and the rock explodes at Jenks’ feet. Shards of rock slice through the party and knock them to the ground. Before the party can disperse another explosion of rock erupts in their midst further shredding their armor, clothing and flesh. In seconds the party is badly blooded. The unseen attacker is spotted among the floating rocks climbing them like a spider. Three crossbowmen emerge from behind other rocks and shoot at the party from their cover.
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Osyeras recognizes the ambush for what it is – a death trap. Jenks goes down and Osyeras and Tanvar are close to losing consciousness. They initially try to spread out, but the crossbowmen are deadly accurate and the party decides on retreat rather than attack because certain death awaits them if they push the fight. The caster is too strong, enjoys cover, and the party has no way to effectively engage the crossbowmen with Jenks hurt.They retreat the way they came, with the defenders of the Tomb of Moving Stone on their heels. However, the party makes it to the surface and the pursuers do not exit their underground hideout. The party stumbles back to the Swinging Sword Inn where Kaylessa gets them some privacy to treat their wounds and figure out what just happened.