Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (61)

    The leader of this group of dwarves is called Sundrim.  Our first orders were to retrieve the supplies which we threw down the hole, and that we go to do.
    Pireseri is lowered down the hole on a rope, and will be tying the packages to bring them up.
    (When he gets down there, a voice says "Hello" to him.  It's Alex.  They talk briefly, then Mendri and two other dwarves step forward.  Mendri greets Pireseri, and asks him where Gadrik's body is.  P says it's up the hole.  Mendri wants to plead with us one more time not to expose his father's descent into Chaos.)
    Goru and I hear voices, but he can't pick out the words.  Pireseri calls up something to Goru.  Goru passes it on to Miyara.  The two of them go down the hole, and there is more talking.  The conversation sounds intense and heated on the strangers' side.  Finally one of the strangers wails in desperation, and there are sounds of the strangers moving off.
    It turns out that Mendri himself had come to beg us to succoumb to his dishonorable deception, and once again Miyara had explained that was simply not going to happen.  Mendri went away crying.
    We continued to pull up the supplies and return them to their place in the storeroom.
    We then, as ordered, report to Sundurin.  On the way, the dwarf leading us is stopped by another one, and after a conversation, the new dwarf leads us on.  This person is clearly a craftsman rather than a fighter.  He leads us down a hallway, and in the middle of it stops us.  One at a time he makes us move on, so that at a certain point in the passage only one person at a time is passing through a certain distance.  We continue on, while I note the place carefully.
    We keep going up staircases, a long way up.  We go past some guards, down a short hallway, and arrive at what is now the workroom and sleeping room of Sundurin.  We have not seen this person before, and it seems to be news to him that we are working for him.
    Miyara explains that we were hired to help find the tomb.  He is puzzled by this, but Miyara explains our qualifications.  He appears to be a scholar, and claims to be experienced in much the same things.  He directs us through a certain door, telling us to map everything, not to break anything, and not to touch anything needlessly.  We are to come back and report what we find.  This place is full of traps, some of which are merely fatal and others which will bring the whole place down.  He says that we are not to go down, as that's where the really dangerous traps are, and he wants to see how we do with the traps here first.
    He has pointed to a door leading out of this room, which clearly used to be a throne room.  There are remains of tapestries, and some statues of dwarven warriors.  We came in through one of the three doors in this room.  We start out through the door that Sundurin indicated.

    Pireseri leads, with Goru and then myself right behind.  We move slowly so Pireseri can search, while Rabenna makes her map.  We explore, avoiding the many opportunities to go down.
    Soon we came to a natural cavern, which Goru promptly assured us that it had been carefully constructed as such by dwarves, and that it was excellent work.  It was actually a shrine, it turns out.  There used to be a grating separating a small side chamber, but the grate is long gone.  Smashed stones litter the area.  Near the plinth is a hole and a ladder leading down.  The hole goes down about twenty feet to another room.
    Rabena asks us to stop for a while.  She works on what seems to be a couple of maps.
    We resume exploring.
    At one point we reach a place where there are two dwarves, who tell us politely to go back and not past them.
    We also find the way to the entrance to the stronghold past a rubble pile, and go to look outside.  Here we are higher up and on the other side of the mountain.
    Eventually we run out of places to explore on this level, and head back.
    When we reach the natural cavern, we are intercepted by a young dwarf looking for us, who says that Mendri has attacked, that we are released and to leave.  He has been told to take us to the back exit.  I point out to Miyara that having been released we are free to explore downstairs, and once we have left the dwarves will not let us back in.  We were in fact released before we were told to leave, so we need not do so.
    At the exit, the guards there are alerted and ready themselves for any attack.  The young dwarf returns the way he came.
    In Nipponese, Miyara presents several choices.  We are free agents.  Our ultimate goal is still to retrieve the sogin roku of water before the dwarves.  In the meantime, the first skirmish of a civil war is about to be fought here.
    I notice a dwarf looking unusually attentive, and say that we should go and enjoy the beer we have in the next room.  There is no reaction, so I believe he does not understand us.  Goru insults him and his mother, and he does not react, further confirming that.
    Miyara continues.  If we return on our own mission we will be at war with one of these groups.
    As Goru points out, we must continue.
    I say that my sympathies are with the royalists, although my duty is to side with Mendri as the rightful king.
    We return to the tunnels.

    We take one of the paths down into a seven-sided room.  There is some ancient furniture, smashed.  The ladder we saw before goes up, and there is a secret door as Pireseri tells us.  The trap has been disarmed many years ago.  On one of the tables in this room is a note in dwarvish.  It says that the dwarves have reset the trap in the corridor that we already knew about.  We then open the secret door.  This leads to a hallway with circular stairs down.
    Since the dwarves told us not to go down, that is surely what we must do.  We descend into a room at the bottom.
    Pireseri reports an area with a throne on an island in a section of water, among other interesting areas.
    Eventually we decide to take a ladder that leads down as far as we can see.