73. The Rumble of Trouble

Celebdu, 15th of Gurthweni

Preparations are made to travel back to Lands End but Gordon delays the journey, insisting for just one more day while Gildor instructs him on the finer points of his Levitate Spell. Bags are packed and horses and ponies prepared for an early start tomorrow but the weather has other ideas.

Celebdu, 15th of Gurthweni

Daylight creeps slowly over a grey and white landscape below Harnanca. The sky is low and grey, the ground an undulating sheet of white. The snow of the previous night has fallen deep and even. More than a metre of the stuff fell during the night, requiring all the paths to be dug out again and the steps cleared. No one’s going anywhere in these conditions.

MidEvening Bell, Galendu, 15th of Gurthweni

By the middle of the week the snow has melted enough to attempt the journey to Lands End and the party sets out early, hoping to avoid getting caught by another huge snowfall. Harzad sends two mules with the party to carry their gear and speed their progress and ponies for those who have them.

The party tramp through the knee high, slushy snow for hours until, in the middle of the evening, as they are coming down the west coast road on the Lands End peninsular, the earth begins to shake.
It starts as a small tremor detectable only to Gordon and Talo.
Away to the south, the far horizon flashes orange and salmon pink and then settles into a ruby glow cut by occasional flashes of distant lightning, then the earth rocks under the party’s feet and the mules and ponies buck and stamp. Whatever it is it’s happening far beyond Lands End, somewhere across the bay that the peninsular sticks out into. The party watch in fascination while the earth continues to shudder under their feet.

“The ground is fighting.” Kradorn comments trying to control the uneasy feeling of the solid ground moving and shaking. Not natural he thinks.
“What could make the ground shake as so. Even battle doesn’t make the ground move like this. And what of the sky? Is it a great magic battle?”

Gildor balances to keep his footing, “This shaking seems so unnatural. Could our underground activities set something in motion to cause this? Gildor tries to correlate where they would have been at with the mindflayer’s lair and area in relation to the strange light in the sky to see if it might have been the complex or that area that could have caused this. Either way he relays his suspicions to his friends.”

Unfortunately Gildor has no idea where the mindflayer lair is in relation to Lands End.

Cynan like the other stands and is amazed and concerned by the ground rumbling and the light show “perhaps it is a volcano of somewhere sort in the distance he shrugs whatever it is I would prefer it is natural and not man made as these forces are indeed great”.

“Yes, enough with creatures from under the ground.” Kradorn comments. Worried that some creature has awoken from all their dealings under foot.

Kalam was silent, trying to keep his footing secure, but also appearing to be lost in thought and perhaps a bit troubled.
Then he shrugs and shakes his head.

“Oo I don’t like the look of that, wonder if it’s got anything to do with the forge/mines area we went to?” says Gordon. “We’d best get a move on to Lands End sharpish.”

Talo mumbles under his breath, “By his axe alone”, then proceeds to cast a familiar prayer. That were in clerk stairs at the phenomena on the horizon. Concentrating as best he can.
He detects nothing evil but then it is a long way away.
Responding to Gordon’s insistence to go faster, Talo urges Peony on the way.

With no sign of these events ceasing, Cynan urges the party on and a short time after they set off again a shock wave and explosion loud enough to set everyone’s ears ringing blasts across the landscape.
At around Silent Bell the party arrive at Lands End, the earth still gently shaking and the southern sky still filled with flashes of orange light and distant booms and roars.

Silent Bell, Ardu, 15th of Gurthweni

Assuming a straightforward journey to Lands End Gordon suggests they go and see Chief Hagar to find out what is going on and get as much information about King Thraim as they can (where was he staying, when was he last seen, what were the ailments he was suffering from, etc). The gnome has a worry that it might be connected to the High Priestess’s disappearance and the wererats.

Saphiria, keep a watch for a winged creature with a sting in its tail.” Kradorn, Cynan said you will be able tell you more of a winged creature with a stinger in it’s tail?” Gildor share any information with Saphiria.

Well, let’s go see if Thraim is still out hunting or if there are other concerns we should look into before we investigate the village or the light. Gildor also correlates the lights to any known cities/village in that area either by memory or he’ll try and find a map to use for a reference. Gildor passes this information on to the party.

The party pay for board and lodgings at the Iron Crown and then go in search of Thraim. Hagar won’t see them and none of the other dwarves at the town hall will discuss Thraim’s whereabouts.

Morning Bell, Ardu, 15th of Gurthweni

The war priest wakes, prays, and exercises first thing in the morning. Talo takes his leave from the rest of the party and heads to the nearest temple or church in hopes of exercising his blessings from Clanggedin in an effort to bless any of the sick and wounded.

The Great temple is filled with more than a dozen sick or injured dwarves and Talo’s healing is much appreciated. The wounds consist of sword and arrow wounds as well as a couple who have been bitten by some large creature.

The dwarf focuses on any wounded dwarf and while Talo finishes up one of his bandages, he asks quietly, “What of the good King Thraim? Where is he? My friends and I hope to find him and ensure his well-being and safety.”

The dwarves are reluctant to talk, even to a priest such as Talo. He struggles to get them to even talk about how they got their injuries, he doesn’t really have the knack of chatting.

Seeing the mauling his kin have taken at the jaws of some terrible beast, Talo makes a close inspection of the wound. With a low whistle, the dwarven cleric asks, “What hound did you feed, lad? These bites look terrible. I need to know if I can best help you recover. How old are these wounds?” The dwarf looks intently into their eyes, “Surely, you can help an old dwarf mend you for a return to good service.”

“Do your work priest or leave… we have nothing to tell you.” Growls a Sargent overseeing the wounded. It doesn’t look like the injured are willing to talk either.

Talo’s inspection includes an assessment about how the size of the jaws and teeth that bit them and how long ago the wounds were suffered.

The bite wounds are clearly inflicted by a large beast of some kind with a bite more than 50cm across. Most of these wounds are on the dwarves arms or upper body.

Talo scrutinizes their boots for the type of soil or vegetation. The dwarven cleric inspects the arrows he removes and keeps a sample of an entire arrow if there is one or any parts he can find to bring back to the party for additional inspection. “Hopefully, none of you good lads is poisoned by the beast or these arrows. I need to know as much as I can to help you recover well. Clanggedin-forbid you were smitten by cursed weapons!” Talo eyes their armor and weapons as well to get an idea of the blood from any opponents on them.

The arrow wounds have been cleaned but Talo finds a discarded arrow head, it’s well made and of fine steel. He isn’t sure what the remaining 3cm of shaft are made from though.

If there is any aberration blood to be seen or gore of other types to be collected. Talo makes mental note of whether the arrow wounds are primarily in their backs. What the angle of injury is to the dwarves from the beast – if their wounds are principally on their legs or above their waists. Talo even goes so far as to get a good smell of the dwarves equipment and dirt on their boots to get a good idea if they seem to have travelled into the lair beneath Land’s End.

Talo isn’t able to determine much about the dirt, the smell or the size of the weapons used before he’s ushered out of the temple by the Sargent.

Talo listens carefully and finishes up rounds with the remaining ill, healing as much as he can. The dwarven cleric then hustles back to the party to report his findings.

~

Gildor sleeps well and awakes to get some breakfast and tells Saphiria, “Go get some breakfast girl. Just wild game please. While you’re hunting see if you spot any signs of dwarven groups and watch out for those other flying creatures.”

Saphiria tells Gildor she lived here for years before he turned up and cast his spell on her.

Gildor gets a look that comes across his face of dejection. He politely responds to Saphiria, “Sorry, I’m not trying to be a mother Drake, I just want you to be safe my dear.”

Gildor will keep his ears open for any stray conversation that might give a clue to the king’s whereabouts. He’ll walk the city casually and drops a few coins to loosen a tongue or two to get a verified rumour meaning more than one or two having the same story if possible on what’s going on. If he finds anything out he will let the others know what he’s found out.

Gildor gets the impression that many dwarf soldiers have died in the past few weeks and learns their numbers have been reinforced recently from Carraig Glac.

He also checks to see if a cartographer is around and buys a map of the area. He then matches up the lights in the sky direction in relation to Lands End and any possible cities that might be near the lights they saw. He’ll pass this information onto the group as well if he was successful.

Across the Cadbarian Bay lies the old dwarven lands of Kiam-Kazoth, a desert and wasteland for more than a thousand years now.

Gildor tells the group, “We have several options here. Solve the issue with the King, Go to the city/village Gordon was interested in checking out, investigate the light issue or something else. Gordon let’s go check on your supplies you thought might still be on the docks?

Kalam asked Cynan: “Your actions have saved many captives of the mindflayers, not all of them dwarves. Do you want me to see if some of them have stayed at the city? I may be able to get some new from them, if they know anything.”

“By all means Karim find out what you can something odd is going on here for all to be so tight lipped”

Kalam went around the town, looking for any non-dwarves freed from the underground. He wanted to engage them in conversation and perhaps gain some knowledge about what happened after the party left. Being a former captive himself, he hoped they would relate to him and open up.

Kalam wanders the town chatting with any humans he finds and in the Well of Lost souls he finds a chatty barmaid who says she likes to keep an eye on the comings and goings around the gates, however the landlord ushers Kalam out as he hasn’t got coin to pay for drinks or food.
His contact with survivors from the Mindflayer raid is more productive. They say that after Cynan and the party left Lands End Thraim called them to his hall and gave them a feast. He was eager to hear their stories and called a couple of people back weeks later to ask them more about the mindflayers’ caverns, to help draw maps and find out about any potential threats.

Gordon will rise with the rest of his comrades and eat a quick breakfast before nipping down to the docks to see if the cart with all his gear is still there, he is marginally hopeful as the supplies wouldn’t have been of much use for anybody else really.

There’s no sign of the cart on the docks but asking around Gordon is directed to the harbour master who takes him to the two warehouses by the docks (43 and 44) but there’s nothing there.
He suggest that Gordon could check the warehouses over by South Walk but they’re private, dwarven owned he says.

Gordon goes and tries over by the South Walk, looking for anybody who might work there or be responsible for the warehouses. He asks if there was a cart brought in for safe keeping when the town fell to the goblins, he would be most grateful for its return and reimburse for its safe storage to date.

Gordon finds one of the warehouses guarded by a dwarf, he tells Gordon the wagons not in the warehouse he’s guarding but the other is open and leading Gordon he finds the lost cart in there. The guard looks about and tells the gnome that he can take the cart… for 50 silver.

“50 pieces o’silver, seems a bit steep t’me. I’ll give ye 25!” replies Gordon, not best pleased at being charged so much for his own stuff, but a little pleased at a chance to haggle. He will go up to 40 silver if the dwarf is willing to move in his price, if his haggling opponent seems obstinate and won’t budge on the price the gnome begrudgingly pays.

Gordon’s haggling skills aren’t great but he manages to get the dwarf down to 46 silver for the cart and its contents.

Gordon returns to the Iron Crown to find most of the party either gone on errands or just not about. He orders himself a mug of dark ale and goblet of mead, after all he hasn’t had much chance for a descent drink in a while. He invites the innkeeper to join him, after all he doesn’t really like to drink alone. Over a drink or three he tries to find out what on earth has been going on. “By eck we’ve only been gone a few weeks and the place seems t’ave gone t’dogs. All this talk of Thraim disappearing, n’town ‘all won’t talk to us, after all we did forem an’all. It’s a rum do don’t yer think?” He tries to use a conversational tone and gain the innkeeps confidence, with a few more drinks to help, but always wary that he doesn’t actually drink very much of his own but insists the innkeep top up his own at the gnomes own expense. If there are any other patrons in the bar he will try and draw them in to the conversation and buy them a tankard or two as well in an attempt to get the conversation (and gossip) flowing.

There are only a couple of other patrons in the inn but the innkeeper will have a drink with Gordon if the gnome’s paying. Unfortunately Gordon doesn’t get much more out of the innkeeper than what he’s already put together in the time he’s been back in Lands End.

Cynan is frustrated at the silence from all of the dwarves but realizes that something is amiss and they will not speak to outsiders so he tries another ploy. The paladin stops a dwarf, “tell Hagar that the Lord of Harnanca wishes to see him. I am sure he is aware I was appointed Lord by Thraim himself and as such he is my liege lord. I doubt Thraim would approve of the manner one of his Lords is being ignored and kept in the dark… thank you for your assistance now tell him I am waiting”.

Cynan gets his audience with Hagar after waiting almost a bell but the dwarven lord doesn’t seem in the mood to talk. As Cynan goes in to see Hagar three other dwarves leave the hall, one of them, a bald dwarf with a scar across his face and jewelled patch over one eye Cynan recognises from somewhere.

The room has a large table in the centre and others against one wall. There are the remains of meals on the central table and papers piled up on the others. One of these tables also has a collection of strange objects but they are covered by a sheet.

Cynan nods to the dwarves as he is ushered into see Hagar, recognizing the one from a while back as a merchant who buys artefacts if the paladin recalls him correctly. Cynan also notices the covered table and steers himself to it as he talks to Hagar.
“Buying or selling Hagar? Tis been a while since I saw that one, always had an eye for a bargain did he. So what trouble has Thraim got himself into this time? You can deny if you want but we both know the truth of the matter don’t we?” With that Cynan removes the sheet to look at what is under the cloth.

Scattered over the table are numerous items and devices clearly taken from the workshops and domes of the mindflayers’ lair.

Hagar bows his head and then speaks to Cynan. “He is… lost. He went through the looking glass in the lair of the mindflayers’ four weeks ago and was unable to return, then the place was seized by a small army of fish-men a few days later and every time we flash into the mindflayers’ lair we must fight on arrival and then again at the battlements. Thraim told me to keep what was going on quiet but I fear even if we can take the mindflayers’ fortress again we will not be able to get him back. We could see him through the portal but he was unable to see us. We managed to send a message through, written on paper which we could just toss through but anything going through the portal is unable to return for some reason. It has been more than three weeks since we have been in contact with him and the handful of men he took with him.”

Any and all information Cynan gets from Hagar he shares with the group upon his return.

~

Gildor meets back up with the others at the inn and tells them quietly, “I get the impression that many dwarf soldiers have died in the past few weeks and their numbers have been reinforced recently from Carraig Glac. Also I picked up a map of the area and across the Cadbarian Bay lies the old dwarven lands of Kiam-Kazoth, a desert and wasteland for more than a thousand years now. That’s where those lights came from or at least in that general area I think. If the dwarves are fighting something and taking heavy losses we might need to look into that quick. If there’s something out there that can do that we might need to be looking into that. The dwarves may be too proud to ask for help… no offence to my dwarven friends meant.”

Kalam went back to the inn they were staying and looked for any of the party either in the main hall, or in the rooms upstairs. When he found one, he started talking, relaying his findings.

“My contact with survivors from the mindflayer raid was productive. They say that after the party left Lands End Thraim called them to his hall and gave them a feast. He was eager to hear their stories and called a couple of people back weeks later to ask them more about the mindflayers’ caverns, to help draw maps and find out about any potential threats. I will make sure to investigate further, as more information may come through from somebody. There is another line of investigation I would like to pursue. It hasn’t revealed much yet, but the potential is there. I hooked up with a chatty barmaid in the Well of Lost souls who says she likes to keep an eye on the comings and goings around the gates. The landlord was very strict about paying and staying or leaving though, so I had to depart. If you could lend be a few coins, something may come out of it. It will give us an idea of the comings and goings in the town while we were away.”

“I have some coin that might loosen their tongues.” Kradorn stands up finishing his drink.
“Lets be after them.” Kradorn says striding to the door. “Details, got to know what’s going on since we left.”
Kradorn walks with Kalam to the Well of Lost Souls. Ordering a round for the patron as he enters. An ale for himself and whatever Kalam desires. He sets off to find someone to talk to about the happens in town over the last month or so.

“Lets first see if we can find more about what happened here after we left. I still have to explore my source from the tavern at the Well of the Lost Souls.”

When they went in with Kradorn, after sitting down to order and before Kradorn left for mingling with the patrons, Kalam asked him:

“I want to talk to that barmaid again and you being away doing your own thing will help, but would it be possible to lend me a coin to buy her a drink for her time? I wouldn’t want the owner to cause trouble and draw anybody’s attention to us.”

There are no other patrons in the inn but the landlord and the barmaid seem eager to talk, the landlord to keep Kradorn spending his money and the barmaid just to talk.
While they don’t have many dwarven guests, they do keep a eye on who comes and goes through the town gate, it seems that Thraim’s guard were reinforced a few weeks ago but there have been no extra patrols beyond the gates and if dwarves are getting wounded, it’s not happened outside.

Kradorn looks about the empty room. Shutting his open mouth. “We need to get some commerce in the area.” Kradorn says softly. He lets his money flow easy enough. More then he usually does.
“Keep your eyes and ears open. There is coin to be had for good information.” Kradorn says to both of them. “I want to have someone I can rely on for that…”

The landlord nods and smiles. “Aye, you can rely on us to keep an eye out. Let us know if there’s anyone in particular you’re looking for. To be honest there’s barely been any trade in the last couple of months and the weather hasn’t helped none. The war up north has killed all the sea trade, we get the odd merchant from Carraig Glac but no prospectors, they’re the ones who like to spend the coin.”

As they make their way back Kradorn queries any human they meet if there has been any ships to port over the last couple weeks.

~

Gordon is starting to get a nasty feeling about this whole situation, all these badly injured dwarves, the disappearance of the king and the tight lipped-ness of all involved. He voices his concerns to the others, “I wonder if they didn’t blow the tunnels and decided to go down to see if they could find treasure for themselves and opened a whole heap of trouble? They do like a bit of gold do these tunneller folk. What say we go take a look for ourselves?” The gnome tries to gauge the response from his comrades to a little trip over to the mine entrance. Whatever their reaction he decides he’s going to take a look at the entrance at least to see if there has been an increase in activity, or if it is more heavily guarded than before.

Gildor quietly says to the party, “Do you think instead of blowing up the entrance the King went down there looking for stuff. Don’t forget we ran into Dark Elves and the female and young orc/goblins down there. The lake was not explored much and who knows what as in there. That stuff was kind of unstable when we left it and it might have blown up on the King if they went in. I suggest we see if we can get back down there and see if he is alive. If that is where he went. We need to know though before we go down there. I’m not sure we’d be fond of going back down there to tell the truth.”

Gordon returns a few minutes later reporting that the mine entrance is heavily guarded. Four dwarves in armour stand on the ramp down into the warehouse basement where the tunnels down into the mines begin.

Kalam and Kradorn return to the Iron Crown and relate what they’ve found out at the Well of Lost Souls as does Talo. Gordon comments that the shaking has stopped and indeed looking away south the light show has disappeared though the sky is black as night.

“Well I think we ‘ave our answer boys, they’ve only gone and gone back down the stupid bu66ers! Reckon they’ve gone and started a bl00dy war down there wi either the drow or fishmen.” Gordon is shaking his head slowly from side to side, “so it comes down t’what are we gonna do. D’we go and ‘elp ‘em or leave ‘em t’their own bl00dy mess and get on wi our own business?” The gnome looks from face to face of his comrades to try and gauge their feelings on the matter.

Talo brings the arrow head and partial shaft back to the party to show it to the others, “I have not been able to determine the source or race origin of this arrow and was hoping one of you might have some background and experience to enlighten me.” Talo turns it over in his hand as he passes it to the others for inspection. “Can’t even puzzle out the material of that shaft. Thoughts?”

“Talo give us that arra’ed ere.” Gordon examines the item and compares it to the workmanship on the bits of drow equipment we have come across on our travels below ground to see if it is similar, or if it resembles the salamander workmanship more.

Gordon can’t be certain but the arrow head looks much more like typical dwarven workmanship than anything fancy like drow or salamander.
“Should we decide to go after the king and his warriors we need to decide which approach, do we go to see Hagar tell him we know what’s going on and offer to help so it’s all official and above board, and we might get more information so that we aren’t entering the situation blind. Or do we overwhelm the guards at the tunnel entrance (by force or spell) and just get ourselves down there?
If we decide not to help then I suggest we grab our stuff and get the hell outta here.”

Listening to the report about no wounded coming through the gates, Talo ventures, “Yeah – they went down, sniffed too deep, and something terrible happened… Great.” The cleric is not enthusiastic about the idea of going into that hole again.
“Cynan, were there any maps among the papers in Hagar’s office? Can you reproduce a sketch of them? Maybe you recognized where they were from?”

Cynan saw no maps.

“We can go through the front door with Hagar. Tell him we can help.” Talo chews his lip for a bit and then continues, “If he refuses we can push over the guards and run down that rabbit hole again.” With the last of his comments, Talo’s face squints at the notion, “That’s probably the right thing to do.”

Gildor chimes in, “We better secure the mine so we don’t have a force coming at the Keep if the dwarves are overrun here at Lands End. If we are fighting the drow we may find our magic less effective than it might be against the salamanders. The heat may be an issue too. I think our best bet is to get the king and his men out of there and seal the mine for good. We also need to destroy the teleporter platform at the dwarven village near the dam so it can’t be used to send an army up top from below.”

“Whatever you decide, if you consider me a part of your group as I have started to do, I will accompany you, be it down below again or elsewhere.”

Kalam ordered a tankard of beer and sat by the fireplace, drinking slowly and thinking, a little lost to himself. Sometime after finishing his beer he stood up:

“I want to go out again and start talking to people that were saved from the mindflayers, perhaps any imprisoned orcs as well if the dwarves brought a few back. Does anybody want to come with me? You are the heroes after all and together we may loosen a few tongues.”

Kalam went out in the town again and engaged prisoners and former captives/survivors from below into discussions about even the most trivial of subjects, all in an effort to jog his memory into remembering more about the daily life underground and hopefully revealing useful bits of information for the present as well.

Kalam learns little else talking to those captured by the mindflayers and their orc minions but leaving walking home notices several dozen new dwarves of dark completion being shown into abandoned buildings. Kalam follows the trial of refugees to the docks where a dozen or more boats are now moored. They are filled with more dwarves laden with food and belongings. A few minutes conversing with those on the docks reveals that the dwarves have fled from Kiazoth across the bay.

Kalam lingered at the docks in order to find out more. He wanted to avoid being conspicuous, so he involved himself with helping the dwarves out of the boats and carrying their stuff for them. If there was an organised attempt by any authority, he offered his services to them, telling them that he was recently liberated himself and wish to help people in need, as he was helped by the dwarves when he emerged into the city from below and later on when he was offered an job at a weaponsmith for a few weeks.

Kalam’s help is gladly accepted and he’s soon ferrying the refugees from the crowded docks to temporary housing in the town (of which there’s plenty to go round). The refugees are mostly women, children, the old and the sick. The majority of the men remained behind, to be rescued when the boats returned to Kiazoth. Indeed, within an hour of the boats arriving, the first of them is setting off again, south, into the oncoming darkness.
Those Kalam speaks to tell him that one or more of the Sons of Angsereg, a chain of volcanic mountains in northern Kiazoth burst suddenly into life causing earthquakes and lighting the night sky with fire and then something exploded with enough force to blow down houses and rain rocks over the entire country.

~

“Well. it seems we have a choice to make do we try and get Thraim out of this mess or simply leave him to his devices? As Lord of Harnanca I suppose I have no choice but to give him my aid if Ringheru deems it my duty. I will speak to Hagar if you are all willing and once again offer or services.” The paladin sighs as he looks around the table.

“I’m for helping ‘im. Not thrilled to go down there again, but I will stand with ye.” Talo is resolute in response to the paladin.

Gildor says, “Saphiria and I are with you. Let’s see if we can go save them. ~ Saphiria, the dwarves are in trouble below my dear and we need to go save them. Prepare yourself as well be leaving to go below pretty soon. Don’t go too far. As soon as I call we’ll be leaving. ~ The Group, We’ll be ready when you need us. I suspect they have a lot of injuries and it sound like we might be in for a fight as we teleport in.”

Kalam stayed with the dwarves, helping until there was nothing more he could do. Then he left and took the way back to the inn. There he talked to the party about his news.

“Not much knowledge was gained from the Well of Souls tavern, It seems that Thraim’s guard were reinforced a few weeks ago but there have been no extra patrols beyond the gates and if dwarves are getting wounded, the owner of the tavern believes it’s not happened outside. After we left with Kradorn I went out and about to look for former mindflayer slaves like me. I found a few and also a few orc prisoners, but I learned little else talking to them. However, on my way back here I noticed several dozen new dwarves of dark completion being shown into abandoned buildings. Following the trail of refugees backwards I ended up to the docks where a dozen or more boats were moored. They were filled with more dwarves laden with food and belongings. A few minutes conversing with those on the docks revealed that the dwarves have fled from Kiazoth across the bay. I offered to help and my offer was accepted. I was soon ferrying the refugees from the crowded docks to temporary housing in the town (of which there’s plenty to go round). So,the refugees are mostly women, children, the old and the sick. The majority of the men remained behind, to be rescued when the boats returned to Kiazoth. Indeed, within an hour of the boats arriving, the first of them was setting off again, south, into the oncoming darkness. Those I spoke to told me that one or more of the Sons of Angsereg, a chain of volcanic mountains in northern Kiazoth burst suddenly into life causing earthquakes and lighting the night sky with fire and then something exploded with enough force to blow down houses and rain rocks over the entire country.”

“Well I can’t say as I’m keen t’go back down, though there was plenty of work left t’do. And to arrive to a welcoming committee!” the gnome shakes his head gently. “If we’re t’go back down then we need t’go wi a proper plan and more warriors than just us. Don’t wanna bi goin in there wi’owt knowin the ole picture. Where do the dwarves currently hold for instance, how many troops do we have t’go back down wi?” the gnome seems to be getting more frustrated and agitated as a million questions and ideas flood through his head, clench fists are held at his forehead, “I feel like tellin em t’go f|_¦ck theresens, if they’d blown the mines like they were gonna do then all ud be fine, but their greed and avarice has put a knife t’throat o’Lands End and the rest o’the lands. Them bl00dy volcanoes ‘ll be because they’ve spilled over in’t the mines an’all I bet!”