Lair of the Forge-spurned
21 Fiann, 3032 PA
Kerrdremak quickly filled in some details of the Qur’Draak lair, including the locations of some traps that the party had so far avoided. It was resolved that the shaman and his retinue would head downwards first to avoid raising the alarm, before the heroes made a noisier approach. Before leaving, the mystic informed Boris that one of the missing children had fled into the place ‘where the bones walk’.
Moving forward, the heroes quickly discover the ossuary Kerrdremak spoke of. Raina and Kiera move through the silent catacomb, cautious of the dwarven skeletons locked in alcoves to each side. At the far side, behind a huge anvil, Raina discovers Savram Vade. The elf picks him up and she and Kiera move quickly back to the rest of the party. Their exit is interrupted as the ossuary’s occupants come alive, their bony claws tearing clothes and grasping for flesh. Luckily, the pair make it through the gauntlet with only scrapes and scratches.
Now that the son of the necromancer had been rescued, the heroes turned their attention to finding a way deeper into the Qur’Draak lair. Following Kerrdremak’s instructions they backtracked and turned north, sneaking through a blood-stained abattoir. Dymas used his magic to destroy the dwarven ghouls that inhabited the room, making sure the party’s return route would be clear.
Past the abattoir, the heroes find themselves in a room containing the elevator that would deliver them into the heart of the Qur’Draak tunnels. Another passage, choked with acrid smoke lay to the east. As the party debated the wisdom and safety of the elevator – a wooden platform connected to a complex system of pulleys that descended into darkness – Edgrin and Kimi remembered that, during their escape, young Jurin had been dragged into the smoke filled tunnel.
Resolved to rescue another of the abducted children, the party tentatively made their way into the choking, acrid smoke. They crept through the twisting passages of natural stone until a ruddy glow could be seen ahead, accompanied by a roaring, crackling noise and the sound of a hammer on metal. At last the passage opened up into a large cavern. A massive forge dominated the far side and, in the center of the chamber, a humanoid figure could be seen working at an anvil. Faintly heard, in counterpoint to the roaring forge and clanging of metal on metal, was the sound of a boy crying.
Raina crept her way deeper into the cavern, staying close to the wall, while her companions readied themselves for battle. She managed to sneak close, finding Jurin ban-Kreed bound and whimpering at the foot of the huge iron anvil. This close, the choking odour of smelted steel tinged with burnt hair and flesh wafted on a foul breeze. A hulking dwarf wrapped in heavy steel links worked the anvil with a black hammer of adamantine. Its face, hands, and body were riddled with glowing hot hooks and half-melted razor wire. Black smoke rose from its smouldering beard, framing its freakishly contorted face in ashy darkness. The tormented thing hefted the hammer, turning towards the entrance, the chains draping its form springing to life like metal serpents.
With surprising speed and reach, the chains struck Raina across the chest but the Ancestors smiled and she escaped any serious injury. At the same time the Forge-spurned bellowed a cloud of smoke and glowing embers over the rest of the party. They leaped to safety, except Kiera who caught the brunt of the blast. The creature roared in defiance as it weathered a hail of arrows and magical bolts. Kiera, Raina and Boris engaged the undead dwarf in melee, while Dymas opted to move the children out of harm’s way. The Forge-spurned’s chains turned aside arrow, spear, and sword alike while its hammer dealt out pain with every strike. Only fortune and fate protected the heroes from serious injury.
Eventually, lucky blows found their mark and the creature was brought down. Boris claimed the adamantine hammer while Dymas and Damian searched the chamber, thick forge smoke burning their throats and eyes. The rest of the party retired to the elevator room with the newly liberated Jurin. They returned when the pair of artificers located a sizeable chasm underneath the anvil. The party quickly decided that this was a safer way to proceed to the Qur’draak tunnels and prepared to climb down.