Iron Gods - Mike Korupp

Vidon Fatesapper's Journal
How I got here and the first trip into the tunnels.

Journal of Vidon Fatesapper

I decided to start this Journal for my nieces in case I or their Father Tholgor of clan Glitteriron of Taggoret in the Five Kings Mountains don’t make it back. If anyone finds this journal with my body would you see it gets back to them.

My journey began when Tholgor failed to return from an expedition to Mendev to deliver some arms and armor to the Paladins fighting there. He didn’t return in the expected time so I left to try to find him. I told Tholgor’s wife Menora that I would either find or avenge her husband. He left 2 daughter’s behind. His eldest, Andana, wanted to go with her father as she has become quite the young merchant herself, but he said maybe next time. His youngest daughter, Ravola, hasn’t taken to the merchant trade. She spends her time tracking her sister through the markets and attacking “enemy camps” usually piles of rocks. She talked her Grandfather into commissioning a Warhammer just her size so she would have something besides her hands to “kill” the enemy with. I think she will make a fine Guardswoman some day.

I traveled through the Five Kings Mountains region as to follow the path the caravan took. I found it stopped at Rolgrimmdur to trade some, then Kolvar, Larrad, and finally Tar-Kazmukh. There is Tar-Kazmukh I asked in the Sage’s Guild about what I might expect to see in the Umgi lands (Mens lands). I was told they are very gorak (cunning).
The Elgi (Elves) can be gorak but are mainly dal (old, good). Their land of Kyonin is very thingaz (densely forested) there aren’t many karaz (mountains). I had a long drek (a great distance to travel) so I marched on.

My path led me through some of the River Kingdoms. I passed through Sevenarches to the Sellen River. That seemed the safer and faster route than going through Daggermark. Turns out my Brother took the same route. Once I reached the border of Numeria the river branched west. The Seven Tears River was easy to follow. However, I found it to not be as safe a travel experience as I had so far. About 3 days along the river I was set upon by a band of Umgi who were led by a Gnoll. As we bantered back and forth over whether I would surrender to them or not. The Gnoll reached back and grasped a Dwarven Waraxe the likes of which I had never seen. As he reached for the Axe I saw his right arm was a clockwork type of arm. My rage flared up and I charged him ignoring the other Umgi. We fought for quite a while til I finally severed his head from his body. I picked up the Makaz (weapon) and issued a Dar (challenge) for anyone to come take it from me. The Umgi ran off like the scared rabbits they were. I didn’t follow them back to their camp as I wanted to get to Torch before nightfall.

I found a room at one of the inns. I took some time to check out the Axe I had taken in fair combat. The Waraxe was made of Adamantine and was damascened (inlaid) with silver depicting scenes of underground battles and the bronze end of the haft was shaped like a Dwarven warrior’s head. The haft was made of wutroth (wood from an ancient mountain oak). As I recall this was possibly one of 5 Dwarven Waraxes made and awarded to the 5 Dwarven Generals that led the Quest for the Sky after the end of the Journey. All 5 were said to be lost in combat with Orc tribes. The next morning I went to the marketplace to ask questions and gather supplies. My questions revealed that the one person that may know something about my brother was a man named Khonnir Baine. Unfortunately he has gone missing about 2 days ago. He supposedly went in search of more mechanical creatures that he had found under the hill earlier. He went underground after the torch that gives the town its name had gone out to try relighting it. So it looks like I will have to go underground myself to find him just to ask him about my brother.

While I am haggling with a merchant about his prices I hear a woman scream and look up to see 3 Umgi surrounding a fairly well dressed woman. One of them hits her and she drops to the ground. If there is one thing I dislike more than clockwork creatures is the mistreatment of women. I mount my shield and walk up to ask what is going on. I am told to mind my own business. That is when I make it my business. One falls to one hit. The second tries to hit me and I hit him and he falls. The third is taking a necklace from the woman. As this is happening a horse and cart is careening through the market place. The third decided it would behoove him to give up. By this time there were 4 others that appeared to be trying to help stop the Umgi Thugs from hurting the woman. One was an Elgi female she identified herself as Malku Skygge, another one an Elgi female she identified herself as Susie , one I didn’t recognize as he had grayish skin he identified himself as Arim Shadowbleeder , and one was a tall Umgi but with blue hair and strange tattoos on his arms. This tall one carried a boom stick and a long-sword I think he said his name was Harkness. He seemed kind of cold, showed no emotion at all. I had seen magical tattoos on the Wizards in Tar-Kazmukh, but none that had the metallic sheen these had. Malku Skygge cast a spell on one of the Umgi Thugs and I heard him ask where were they from. The answer was Daggermark. That may bear looking into later.

Malku Skygge got the injured woman on her feet. I find out the injured woman’s name is Wrennie Dalorn, and she is the owner of the Merry Maid. She thanks us for our help and offers a discount at her establishment. I had taken the necklace from the third Umgi but it reminded me of the clockwork creatures and I felt my rage rising so I gave it to Harkness as he seemed to know the woman. She turned out to be a pillar of their society and offered to allow a discount at her house of pleasure. The City Watch came by and took charge of the Umgi thugs. Malku Skygge said she recognized the Dwarven Waraxe I was carrying and when I told her that the previous owner was feeding the worms she smiled and said she was glad to hear that. She gave me a brief rundown on how she knew the Axe but when I heard that there could have been other slaves at the bandits hideout that I missed it made me sad and mad. The other three said we should go talk to a City Councilman at City Hall. So we did.

The Councilman we spoke with turned out to be a Dwarven female from the Five Kings Mountains as she asked if I was from there because she recognized the workmanship on my armor. She said her name was Dolga Freddert. She was glad to hear that we were going to try to find the missing man. Turns out the 3 were friends of his and were very nervous about his disappearance. Dolga was worried about a visit from the government tax collectors because the flame had gone out and they couldn’t work any of the skymetal into weapons to pay their taxes. The others were going back to their house to gather more information and their things before we entered the underground complex below the flame. I decided to go check out the Merry Maid, but I didn’t even get in as I heard a cream from where they were headed and went to see if they needed help. Turns out the creature that Khonnir brought up had activated and was dismantling the house. They didn’t need any cause Malku Skygge had smashed the creature with her quarterstaff. We gathered what we could and proceeded to the spring where the water began flowing from underground. This was the entrance to the complex. A local Cleric had cast water-breathing on us before we left so we didn’t drown. We found the entrance and walked up to a short cliff that rose 5 feet above the floor. As we approached 3 Fire Beetles came out of some holes and were smashed. We climbed up the rise and found the way covered in stalactites and stalagmites so it looked like a big maw waiting to close down on us. A body of a female half Orc was found, She had been stabbed several times and stripped of her gear. Her body was moved to the top of the ledge so we could take her out. We proceeded on and ran into a small frog-like creature that didn’t really pose much of a problem. As we continued on they stopped to investigate and opening to the east. While they went to look I stood guard in the intersection. I heard a clatter from ahead to the South. Susie sent her Donkey Rat to see what was making the noise. It came back saying there was a body ahead against a wall and it was cold in the area. We went forward to a 10 foot ledge and stopped. I saw the body but I also felt the cold where none of the rest of the tunnels were cold. So I cautioned them to stay back. The gray skinned one had a rope tied around his waste and I held the other end while he went down to claim the body. When it was brought up it was discovered that it was someone the 3 knew and had been with Khonnir. Harkness wanted to place the body back in the cold room and get it when we came back. He was overruled and we placed him by the Half Orc.

So far Harkness hasn’t been very much help in fights. He makes a lot of noise and smoke but not much damage. I believe he hit only 1 out of 5 firings. Maybe he should stick to his longsword.

After we moved the mans body we went down an east tunnel and were met by a gray skinned woman warrior. She asked that a couple of us come meet with her leader. Arim Shadowbleeder and Malku Skygge went. They told us that this people had come up from the Darklands to escape the Drow. They had encountered a group led by a woman with purple hair that asked them to attack anyone who came behind them. These people are the reasons none of the other parties ever returned, but their numbers were reduced as a result also. They have been harassed by a group of Gremlins and they asked if we would take care of the Gremlins. We found one Gremlin and disposed of him then when we found the doors that the Purple haired woman and her group went through we found the Gremlins leader. He and I got into it and my final strike was to split him from crown to crotch. The other Gremlins saw that and fled. The Others who I believe are called Skulks were very happy and awarded us some treasure. I cannot tell exactly what it is but I hope the others can. It happens that Khonnir went in one steel door but not the one the Purple haired woman went in. I want to follow that one but I suspect we will take the other to find Khonnir.

When we got back to town we were met by Councilwoman Freddert and a Cleric. They took the body of the Half Orc and the man from us. It seemed they were surprised and glad that someone had gone in and had come out alive. They sent for a Lady named Amelia. She was the fiancee of the man. She was not glad to find out he was dead, but it allowed her some closure to know what had happened to him. Amelia’s Father is a Weaponsmith and has offered to make all of us a Masterwork weapon. My choice is a hard decision between an Earth Breaker and a Warhammer. I figure either one would do significant damage to any robots or clockwork creatures we run across.

I requested an Warhammer. I figure if I run across anymore robots or clockwork creatures I want something that will put them down in a hurry.

Once we got back we received an invite from the owner of the local gambling hall, the Silverdisk. I asked the three locals for some information on the owner and the establishment. They said the owner, Garmen Ulreth, had made several loans to people in town and was owed a lot of money. I didn’t like the sound of that so what I did was took the 100 gp he offered to the “Heroes” of Torch and went back to the Foundry. I heard later that Arim and Harkness entered a card game. Arim came out a winner but made some of the players mad. There was a scuffle and the Constable was knocked out. Malku had heard about one of the other ex-slaves being murdered between where she worked and her house. So we went to see about the other 3. They were okay but we moved them to the Foundry for the night to keep watch on them. Malku acted as bait with Arim shadowing him and me taking another way around to the livery to check on the horses. Nothing happened going or coming back.

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