Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (55)

    We are back in the time where months have passed since we left. Ift should be winter but it is unseasonably warm.   We have been through Krutshofen quickly.  Our hotel is running fine, breaking even.  The surprise was a small well-worn book that was handed to us.  It had come from Eyrie while we were away, and turned out ot be Yazaran's journal from the time where his boss gave him the cyrstal of air and told him to take care of it.  It is his story of attempting to protect the crystal of air from the orcs.  It is written in dwarven; Goru can read it.  It is part diary, part history, and part plan.  It includes that the dwareves got the crystal ofair from some bandit king that lived in the middle of Yetsin Valley, and he gave it to the dwarves in return for building his castle.  In turn he got it from a dead elf many years earlier.
    The leader of Y;s hold, Kadar Helgad, told him the orcs were coming.  They had two crystals.  Y was assigned Air, and told to leave Yetsin Valley and not to come back.  He recorded his trip from his hold to Eyrie.  On that trip he went through Kadar Gravning.  He decided to stay in Eyrie when the orcs were catching up with him, and so he hid out there.  He saw the potential of the pillar of rock standing alone, and built Eyrie into what it is today.  It was just a village monastery when he got there, and he built into the world famous library.  The whole purpose of Eyrie -- and the library -- was just to protect the stone.
    He talked about searching for us in the future, finding us, and the journal contains drafts of the prophecy.
    The final entry speaks of his impending death, and hopes his work would not be in vain.  In the final entry, he wonders about another stone being in Kadar Gravning, and wonders if it is still there.  This is tghe first mention of it, but the one he had with him when he went through there lit up while he was there.
    Goru has heard of Kadar Gravning.  The location was lost a long time ago, but it is legendary in dwarven tales.  About 2000 years ago was the time of the dwarf/elf wars, and after that they built tunnels through the mountains connecting all the holds.  After that, goblins took over the tunnels and KG was lost.  The dwarves in the Valley knew it existed, but had no contact there because of the tunnels being unusable.
    KG was originally called Karak Gronhud ("the stronghold among the goblins").
    The area around Yetsin Valley was settled millenia ago by a dwarf called Hargrim, who settled in the goblin infested area to carve out a settlement in the valley.  He died heroically in the elf wars.  When his body was returned there along with those who fell alongside him, KG was renamed KG, "revered mountain of burials".  Later the goblins were cleared out, and travellers came to visit often.  A generation later, the goblins returned and took over.  Hargim's hold was beseiged and held out a long time, but eventually it was attacked along the underground highways, which eventually collapsed.  KG was secure but completely isolated.
    Buried with Hargrim was a crown called the Pearl of the Lake, having a large pearl on it.  Pireseri suggested the pearl is the stone of water.  There was a story that the crown was stolen by trolls, and that his sons had concoted the story to glorify him and lend piety to themselves while hiding hte loss of the crown.  Apparently the crown was shown at the funeral, though, but a few maintained it was just a copy.

    We were on our way to KH, but according to what Goru said about hte journal, KG was on the way.  We expected it to be largely empty; we did not expect it to be guarded by dwarves.
    The guards asked us to stop as we approached.

    They ask us to state our name and business.  Goru gives some sort of long speech in dwarvish.  Something he said makes the guards laugh heartily.  Goru tells us these dwarves have just found the place and claim it as their own.  They talk some more, as we approach seeing they have no ranged weapons.  Goru said that we were there to visit, and they were to call their lord and tell him he had guests.  When they asked who is lord was, he said the current king Mendri (that is the correct spelling).
    (Remembering what Ostahar said, about the King giving his life to sell Mendi.  O went back, fetched Mendi, and took G's body to a state funeral.  M didn't accept his father was dead at first and didn't want to take over King, and that's where all the rumors about a doubtful handover came from.)
    The guards immediately draw their weapons and said that Mendri killed his father.  Goru says he saw the whole thing and it didn't happen that way.  Ogres killed his father.  They insult Mendri and say that Goru is to tell M that is will not be allowed to disgrace the stones of KG.
    Goru asks who their lord is, and they say they are part of the Royalist party that would see Mendri eliminated.
    We are not backing up.
    One of them goes into the hold.  Goru has told us what has happened in the conversation.
    I walk up to try to avoid a fight, and approach to find a peaceful solution to this.  Goru comes up to translate for me.
    I keep walking and about 20 yards away, the original friend returns with reinforcements with crossbows.  There are about ten of them with five crossbows.
    I bow politely and say I am coming to find a peaceful solution.  I continue to walk forwards, while Goru stops.
    An older member of hte new group tells Goru to tell Kyosuke to stop.
    I stop.  I bow.  "With whom am I negotiating?"
    Goru translates, "I quote, 'your maker'".
    "I am not an apprentice.  I am a Master."  Goru translates.
    "I am a Master.  I trained the Master Og, King of Yetsin Valley."  Goru only translates under protest.
    They say to go back to Mendri, and if anyone is to negotiate to send someone that speaks dwarvish.  Goru starts talking with them.  The discussion is hostile.
    I ask Goru if these are, or are to become, the dwarves who march under the Chaos banner.  He says not.
    I ask Goru if they would respond to a challenge of single combat.  He grins and says they might.  He issues the challenge.  They discuss some more.  The dwarf says why would I would be negotiating for Mendri; I of course am not, I'm doing it for the party.  And after a little chat, it becomes clear we are not here from Mendri at all -- it has been many years since Goru last saw Mendri.
    Goru tells me they didn't take the challenge.  "Cowards." I say and turn my back on them, walking away with a dismissive wave.
    Goru asks me if that's it.  I say I'm done with them, I'm not negotiating with unworthy cowards.  I tell Goru to tell them that.

    Miyara asks where the back door tunnel might be.  I see what she is planning, laugh, and agree.  We will go to KH to retrieve the stone, and work our way through the tunnel.  I apologize for not having the cultural background to insult them properly.

    We continue to Kadar Helgad.  Miyara points out we will need a body to retrieve the stone, for the ritual.  We collect a couple of deer on the way to use for that.
    It is straightforward.  The tentacles and guardian do not seem to be present, but the annoying mud and mud worms are still there.  I convince Goru that if he is not wearing metal, it will not be a problem; the dwarf puts his boots in the chest.  We retrieve the stone of stones.
    I point out that someone has to use it.  Goru is the natural choice if we're moving earth.  This of course was not a major hold and therefore not on the underground highways.  The only hold Goru knows about is a very long way away.
    I suggest Yetsin Valley where there might be a hold; we could ask the druidess.
    The barbarians want to use the chaos box to get us there at an earlier time.  I insist that the chaos gods are just waiting for us to break causality, and we should not use the box unless we have to.
    I insist again that we must work in the present, that we should find a solution that does not involve the chaos gods.  All we're looking for is the way into a dwarven stronghold.  It can't be that hard.  They are disorganized cowards.  They are barbarians -- we can use that against them.
    KG's opening is built into a natural cave.  After 30-40 feet of natural defending positions, there is a stream coming straight out of hte natural cave.  At the back are dwarven stone doors.
    I ask where the stream comes in.  No-one knows.  It emerges from the ground before the doors.  There is a trick -- cut off the water for several days, then restore it poisoned with a powerful laxative.  Goru says that they will have a secure water supply from inside.
    We will go to see the druidess and ask if she knows of an entrance to the tunnel system.  I wonder if they built a secret one into the king of yetsin valley's castle that they did not tell him about.  On reflection, though, we decide that the druidess is unlikely to know.  We must find another entrance ourselves.

    The best solution seems to be to search the area around KG to find a way in or the location of where a tunnel might be.  That is what we will do.