IN OUR LAST SESSION…
… our hero Tovlakov, separated from the rest of the milita due to clumsiness and gravity, sought to find his way back to his militia friends. After tumbling into darkness, he had arrived at a wide passage with options to head back towards what seemed to be the orc drumming line the heroes had seen from Segur’s entrance to the lost mine,and another heading into darkness.
As he moved, Tovlakov ran into the wererat members of the local thieves group. Tovlakov met up with a stout holy warrior named Dmitrov, and together they vanquished some of the wererat menace, and following a hallway with many doors, they freed the priestess of Gond, Pearl who had been held captive here, as had Dmitrov.
Together they continued and eventually the hallway led through a heavy door spiked open and another wererat who the party dealt with. Beyond, a wide passage swept downwards, and a scaffolding, mounted to the near wall, led in a similar direction, but at a consistent height. Tovlakov and his new friends mounted the scaffold and followed it.
After some distance, the heroes observed that the scaffold led to a rough hole in a wall, with just the plank extended a few feet through the opening. Beyond suspended by ropes attached to pitons in the stone ceiling was a small crew of four of these curious grey dwarves, a member of which, it seemed, Dementia Lancaster had been, toiled, attempting to open a hole in the naked stone.
Far below, presumably at the base of the downward sloping passage the team had eschewed, was a small force of various races, urging the dwarves on.
Very quickly a shout arose and the dwarves attempted to surge back onto the scaffolding, chased, as it turned out, by a young adult dragon. The wyrm snatched up one of the dwarves, then quickly returned and made off with a second.
Tovlakov’s crew questioned these dwarves, who only spoke an ancient variant of the dwarven tongue. They indicated that they did this work because Zanzibar demanded it of them. They understood that they were supposed to cut an opening in the ceiling here that would lead to something known as the Vault of the Throne. That this Vault (or, more likely, the Throne) was what Zanzibar and his master or masters were truly seeking down here.
Tovlakov and crew, now with two dwarven additions, retreated. They deduced that the force at the foot of the sloping path would certainly send someone to encourage the dwarves to return to their work. Tovlakov and team set an ambush for this messenger, and managed to nab him, a runner, as it turned out.
Tovlakov just wanted to find his way back to his militiaman party. Through threats and intimidation, they convinced the runner to lead them to another hole that had been cut by the dwarves. This route lead, via an arching passage up a very steep staircase to a hole guarded by elven archers. The party overwhelmed the archers and then descended through the hole to a great dwarven promenade that the militia had previously navigated, lead at that time by the dwarven ghost Mudron Voon.
The party now was lead through this landscape by the grey dwarves, who by a direct passage delivered the party to the Guardian, the great, snake-like Naga who secured the massive doors leading to the bridge from which Tovlakov had stumbled.
The Naga healed the injured among the party and ultimately allowed them to pass: all except Pearl and Dmitrov. “Only the living may pass,” the Naga pronounced, halting the progress of Tovlakov’s new friends. Tovlakov and the grey dwarves continued on.
The militiamen, having retreated to a previously expolored room as a temporary sanctuary, rested. During his watch, Norm heard a clumsy banging of several creatures passing through the outer hallway.
Once fully rested, as the militiamen emerged into the hallway once more, they discovered the sound of heavy chains moving. Attickus was asked to investigate. He proceed back down the passage towards the bridge, guessing that the sound was of the great chains that raised and lowered the drawbridge leading to this place. Attickus, then, came face-to-face with Tovlakov and his new grey dwarf friends.