Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Chapter 14: A story wrought in stone.

As Lorem marked the door they had come out of with an "X-1" so as to tell where they had been. The rest of the party moved toward their next hall way. Suddenly Richard stopped and looked into the inky blackness of the last hall on the right.

"What is it Richard?" Asked Thomas, following Richard's gaze with his eyes.

"That path. I don't like it." He said simply, but, coming from him sounded menacing.

Thomas looked into the black maws that lead away from the burial chamber. For a split second he thought he felt a presence there and shrank back.

"Your right. I think we should avoid that particular path if at all possible." He shivered.

Richard nodded.

Their light slowly traveled forward in the dark as the party treaded along the black stone floors. Only the soft plodding of their feet could be heard in the stifling darkness. Suddenly the walls and roof melted away into darkness as they entered a large cavernous space. Blocks of black stone and other rubble littered the floor as an apparent cave in must have shook them loose from the ceiling.

"Well bless my soul." Lorem's voice pierced the blackness.

"What?" Calenon asked as he turned around only to find Lorem not there. "Where'd you go?" asked Calenon alarmed. Aurelious drew his sword.

"I'm over here. Don't worry Dwarves can see just fine in darkness such as this." Came Lorem's voice in the dark. "You have to see this."

Following the sound of his voice the party stumbled upon a wall of the room in front of which Lorem was standing.

"What? What is it?" Asked Calenon annoyed.

"Take a look" answered Lorem as he stared up the wall.

The rest of their eyes traveled up the wall and set upon a work of art unlike what they had seen before. Glittering in a hundred gems and semi-precious stones was a massive mosaic that stretched up into darkness. as they followed it around the semi ovalish room. They found it depicted a story of a dwarven woman. In the first panel were a Dwarven king and queen sitting atop a mountain holding a baby, and behind, a massive dwarven figure holding a gigantic hammer. It{s head is cut off by the darkness.

"Look! The king wares upon his breast the symbol of the MorHan clan." Lorem cried out. "I wouldn't be surprised if that's Morhan himself. And behind must be Moradin."

The next panel is that of a great war. Dwarves killing dwarves; as a great river of blood flows into through two great gates. "The clan wars..." muttered Lorem. "There's my clan symbol. Ispem: the scale." The scene depicted Praying dwarves cut down by sword and ax. "The river runs through Admander's gate... many must have died." The Next scene bore a baby bathed in blood and emerging grown, holding a scepter. In the next mosaic it showed the woman dressed in fine robes, standing atop slain dwarves and wearing a crown. Around her all of the clan symbols were represented, hammered into the wall in cold iron. All the clans seemed to be bowing to her. Behind Admander's gate remained open.

Traveling around the room they came too a doorway that led into darkness. Ignoring it they continued on.

The Mosaic then grew bright as gold was hammered between the stones, outlining the actions represented by the pictures. The queen now sat on a throne of gold. sitting atop gems. Dwarves were mining and hauling vast riches, represented by diamonds, to lie at her feet. The mines continued to weave and intermix along the wall as the gold slowly faded into red-gold and blood stone. They now looked down and could see that the floor too had changed and now red veins ran through it. The dwarves in the mines looked sickly and kneeled before the now diamond throne. But the queen in this picture bore a lash in her hand and gold robes. The next scene bore many dead bodies that lined the depictions of the mines. The blood river returned and flowed once more thought the gates. The next panel showed many dwarves with pick axes and shovels around a walled fortress in flames. The next panel was by far the most gruesome. It vividly showed the queen burning sitting atop a pile of melting gold, holding on to it even as it took her hands and fingers.

Once again a doorway interrupted the mosaic story, only to pick up again on the other side.

The last scene left, for apparently a wall had collapsed taking out the rest of the mosaic, showed the queen depicted in white marble standing in front of the Gates as the flow of blood stopped and the gates closed. The figure looked incredibly sad and angry some how, even though it was just marble.

"Impressive." remarked Thomas. Wrought

"Yes, but it doesn't help us reach our goal. Which way should we go now?" answered Calenon.


Thomas Mendicant said...

Init: 22

"So I take it she lead the winning side, or helped to reunite the clans after the bloodshed, only to rule with an iron and too demanding fist?"

Thomas reaches out to touch a piece of the mosaic, but pulls away just before his fingers brush the stones.

"An over simplification I'm sure, if I am near correct. No wonder you hesitate to tell the tale. Not only could it take the whole night, but how restless the spirits involve may still be."

After lingering sometime at the final scene of the mosaic, Thomas kneels and begins to rummage through his pack. "Oh good, I didn't leave this on Oleander," lighting his lantern he continues, "The small amount of light we've had is starting to bother my eyes. This should do it though." Thomas stands and glances around to see if anyone had come to a decision yet. If not he tries to glance down both hallways using his lantern for light.

Eric said...

Init: 9
Spot: 15
Listen: 13

I'm just going to observe the area, as Thomas is doing.

"Clan wars... not unlike the conflict in my own homeland. I wonder how many dwarves gave their lives simply because they were ordered to, or because of some ill-conceived sense of duty. To thrive in these times you cannot leave your fate in the hands of others, you must cut your own path."

Aaron said...


"If any one has any pressing suggestions, or "creepy feelings," let's hear them. Otherwise, unless someone discovers something, it seems logical to use the same formula here: first path to the left of the entrance." Calenon walks around the room once more, looking casually for possible hidden doors, before examining the two hallways (assuming there's enough time for all that).

Aurelious Wolfbane said...

INIT: 14

"I agree with Calenon... I don't have any specific ideas here, but, sticking to reason, will, eventually, yield a result."

I keep a regular sword drawn constantly, in my left hand, and radiance crystal constantly.

"At least we now know something of the story behind this place. But I was afraid it would be something like this..."

Lorem Ipsum said...

Lorem looks and the mosaic take it in and then pretends that it isn't in the room.

Turning his back to it, "A lantern will help for 30 ft but we will have no vision beyond it, while it will serve as a beckon to any other nasty creatures that we are here." and then, "That sounds like a fine plan" referring to Calenon's comment as to how we pick a door.

Thomas Mendicant said...

"If there are creatures we've yet to find, we will encounter them whether or not we've the extra light," he taps the side of the lantern as he talks, "I would feel safer fighting in brighter conditions, not only for my eyes but I'm sure these creatures would not enjoy it themselves. Let alone making it easier for Richard to check for traps along the way. Wouldn't the rest of you agree?"

Lorem Ipsum said...

"You make a good point, the creatures may dislike the light, however their is much to be said for having the jump on your opponent in a fight, and with the lantern I fear we will always be on the receiving end of that surprise. Not to mention we dont know if the light will deter them or draw them like moths"

Aurelious Wolfbane said...

"In a narrow passageway situation such as this... It is impossible to avoid an encounter. If the beast is there, we have no way around it, save another path. Putting the light out will NOT allow us to avoid confrontation. I do not know whether the beings here will be irritated by it or not, however, we have to bear in mind that they are accustomed to hunting in the darkness, and we are now in the darkness. They can find us, if they want to, with or without the light. I personally would prefer to stay in the light."