The party awoke and continued exploring.
After stumbling upon and swiftly dispatching four giant rats amongst the Orc’s rubbish pile they came on a group of five Dwarves, led by Snorri Broadshoulders
Snorri introduced himself and explained that he was an architect by trade researching the Dwarves work and involvement in Stonehell. At the time the party encountered him he was enthralled by an unusually grand room adorned with Dwarven carvings. The adventurers agreed to look out for him if they came across any Dwarven relics.
Exploring further Terner and his colleagues discovered the carving of a pale human face in an alcove. On touching the carving Terner was transported by powerful teleportation magic to a small room, a run down study. He was able to salvage three damaged and incomplete tomes from a bookshelf: A single grand looking volume in elaborate runic script, a less decorative volume in a language Terner did not understand and a third volume which appeared to be made up of different types of paper bound together. He was able to return to his friends using a similar carved face in the south wall of the Study. Arturio identified the third book as a collection of spells, which unusually included information relating to both divine and arcane magic.
Continuing into the a room with four broken statues Terner located a hidden stash of coins and a heavy Iron key. The party then returned to Snorri who confirmed the elaborate book they had found was a history of the Dwarven involvement in Stonehell. He was pleased to relate the Dwarves account of the years leading up to the devastation:
“The Dwarves fared the worst of all of the races, being driven by the Karag to exploit Thaeum’s resources; digging deeper, forced to exploit every last seam of gold and other resources. Many dwarves died in accidents or through poor treatment. The Karag also applied the same iron fist approach elsewhere. Attempts to force the Halflings and Elves to work the land on a large scale greatly affected the population of those less hardy races with relatively little return for the Karag. The atrocities committed against the Elves and Halflings were more visible to the Karag and some parts of society (mostly the serving classes) sympathised. The groups who sympathised with the prisoners blamed recent earth tremors on their God’s dissatisfaction with the way the Karag rulers were treating the other races and some helped prisoners escape. The majority of the Dwarves however, being practical folk, believed the tremors were caused by the excessive mining.
When prisoners did escape a group of rebel outlaws formed. Escaped prisoners were joined by some small communities of free folk. The rebels made raids on the Karag and as they grew in numbers so their ambition increased and the rebels began looking for a way to overthrow the Karag
A group of Dwarves working in a mine close to the Karag citadel came across a dormant Dragon. The Dwarves kept this news from their captors and negotiated with the Dragon to help free them from the tyranny of the Karag. The Dragon attacked the Karag Citadel but the Dwarves believe the dragon betrayed them and caused the volcanic eruption known as the Devastation."
The news of the Dragon unnerved the party. All the stories they had heard up until now led them to believe the devastation was either caused by natural phenomenon, the wrath of gods or some use of great magic…
Moving south through the network of corridors the party came across Orcish graffiti and on investigating nearby caves encountered a group of Kobolds. Kobolds were a once common native race of Thauem but are less common now than the Goblins and Orcs who arrived with the Karag. The Kobolds told Caluki of a running conflict between rival Goblin and Orc tribes. They explored the caves and investigated the corridors closer to the Goblin ‘gang territory’ A statue of a sphinx presented them with a riddle they quickly solved, yielding more treasure including an as yet unidentified wand or rod…
Exploring further the adventurers encountered more giant rats and a group of giant caterpillars, one of which bit Arturo, paralyzing him and resulting in the party returning to Father Dalgaard for healing and taking a further two days away (now on day 11)
Returning to the dungeon the group decided to investigate the caves where ‘Da Dragon’ lived, as referred to on a sign and also by the Kobold work party. They discovered what appeared to be a well shaft which (after investigation using the ‘Thief On The Rope’ technique) turned out to lead to a lower level. An enterprising soul (or souls) had stretched a piece of cloth tarpaulin underneath the shaft, apparently to catch any treasure or trinkets thrown into the shaft.
The party continued through the caves to find that the ‘Dragon’ was in fact a giant gecko. Failing to surprise the beast the adventurers put the lizard to sleep with magic and slaughtered it., accruing more treasure.