Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (63)

    Next we must clearly investigate what we believe to be the tomb.

    Pireseri tells us two other things.  The first is that the big stone is a big stone, there is no hollow space.  It is not a sarcophagus.  He also says that there is a significant trap between here and the room with the black rock.  There is a pressure plate in the floor which releases gas or liquid, or spores or something else airborn, and also bars the door.
    In this room, the objects have not been sitting here for very long.  The arcane runes cannot be read by Goru, as they are too archaic.
    Hosei believes the symbology on these items is older than he remembers dwarven priests wearing.  It does not, however, have a chaotic nature about it.  The robe looks like a modern reproduction of an ancient robe.

    Miyara says we should try the spiral staircase first rather than attempting to cross the trap.
    The stairs go a very long way upwards, well beyond Pireseri's vision.  Pireseri and I run up to the top to see where it goes.  I have been ordered to stay with Pireseri, and he does not wish to run.  I tell him to go faster.
    After 250-300 feet up, we approach the top.  Pireseri finds that this is the same level as the upper level entrance to which we were escorted when we were released from our contract.  We cannot, however, get there from here.
    I see a ten by fifteen room, entering at one end.  It contains a doorway too stairs heading up.  It is empty.
    We proceed up the stairs.  I tell Pireseri to check for traps from here on.
    The stairs originally headed west, then turn to the south.  At the top is a small landing and a door.
    I look at Pireseri, who stares at the door.  He crudely communicates that the room is empty.
    The door opens and we look in.  It is a large room, 15 x 25-30, mostly empty except for what might have been furniture once.  The walls were once carved in some kind of mural, but were severely defaced by orcs.  From this side, the door we just came through was secret.  I ask Pireseri to show me how it works -- he shows me a thin veneer of stone that reveals a lever behind it, currently in the up position.  At the far side of the room is a door, closed.  There was dust and a small amount of disturbance of the dust.
    Pireseri makes the "no-one there" sign.  I try to teach him the phrase in Nipponese.  He is to dumb to pick it up.
    We go through the door.  Until we find something worth Miyara climbing the stairs, we will keep looking.
    We enter a round hallway.  There are two other doors and a hallway.   Here there is almost no dust.
    I go back the the previous room, draw the rooms I've seen, and Pireseri draws several more.  I think there is enough up here to tell Miyara.  I tell him we're going down.
    A few steps down the stairs, Pireseri says something.  I stop.  He is jiggering with something on the central column.  I stand still until he's done.  He opens a secret panel in the column and pulls something out.  It's a piece of folded paper which he hands to me.  I open it up to reveal a map of rooms.  It's of the floor where Miyara is now, among other levels.  It also shows the room at the top of the stairs, and the passageway we came up into this level.  It also shows another section, apparently connected to the upwards passageway in a few places by secret doors, but does not match anything else we have seen.
    In fact, Pireseri says he has never seen that section, nor does Rabena match it with any of her maps.  The parchment is not recent.  What I thought were decorative marks seem to be actual dwarven words, indicating the direction the stairs go up, and one note that says up from lower levels.  Other marks indicate secret doors.  The other section has a mark that does not match the other sections, indicating that it is probably on another level, just vertically aligned.
    Still, Hosei checks the upwards passageway to see if there is anything magical in the area, accompanied by Miyara.  He finds nothing.
    In general the map shows the way out from where the map was found.
    Miyara translates what Pireseri saw up on the top level.  Apparently we had seen some of the rooms during our investigation under contract, but we had not seen them all because they were guarded.
    Our next action would be to go across the trap, but Rabena points out that there might be a path we had not explored.  Back on the level with the lake, where we decided to take the ladder down, was another door we had not followed.  Pireseri and Rabena discuss the route, and say we have two choices.  We can either go back down to the dungeon levels and climb back up the ladder, or we can go up the stairs we just went up, through those rooms, and that would take us back to where we could go back down normal stairs.  It would be quicker to go up the stairs and down, but we would be more likely to encounter dwarves that way.  Miyara decides that we should go by the ladder to avoid the dwarves.
    Hosei falls off the ladder.  Fortunately I had gone first with a rope, and Goru was last and caught him.  Other than that, our return to the lake level was without incident.
    We proceed to the unexplored rooms.
    The next octagonal room has hooks around the walls, and nine of them hold more of the replica robes.  There are lots of empty hooks.  Beside each robe stands a wooden staff leaning against the wall.  The staves are obviously antique, and each staff is carved with runes.  None are magical, reports Hosei, simply a religious aura.  The runes are matched by the runes above the pegs that they sit next to.  Goru can read them, but out of context they are nonsense.  There are twenty hooks, twenty staves, and nine robes.
    Directly to the north is a passageway, and to the west is a doorway which Pireseri says leads to stairs down.  The stairs lead vaguely in the direction of the lake.  The hallway dead ends and there appears to be nothing in it.  Still, I insist on checking the empty passageway; it is an empty dead end, except that Pireseri points at a point in the wall.  He says there's a secret compartment there, dug into the rock about six inches.  It's sealed in the rock, and it contains some parchments.  Hosei tries to pull out the "cork" but achieves nothing.  It acts like a wall.
    Hosei and Goru talk for a while, but get nothing open.  Goru suggests that Hosei check it for magc.  It is indeed magical.  Hosei reports that there is an illusion of solidity, and in fact there is a patch plugging the hole.  Hosei prays to his goddess to reveal the truth.
    A small section of wall crumbles to dust.  Hosei gives appropriate thanks.
    There is a scroll case and several other scrolls.  The first scroll touched crumbles to dust immediately.  The scroll case, however, is in good shape and sealed, and the parchment inside is intact.  The other scrolls crumble as the case is removed from the hole.  Hosei says that the scrolls that were crumbling were not magical, and neither was the scroll case -- but the scroll inside the case is magical.
    Hosei takes the scroll and tries to read it.  It looks roughly dwarven, but ancient dwarven.  Goru says he might be able to figure it out, but not read it straight off.  I think we should decipher it here and now, but many of the others do not.  Still, Goru tries some of it.
    After about twenty minutes, he says the last part says something like "Deliver - Fire - Wash - King".  After some discussion, it is decided that Goru should read the previous stanza too.  He starts to get the hang of it, and quickly translates the rest of it.  He reads it to us -- Miyara translates for me -- and it sounds like a summon fire elemental spell, or a ritual for summoning a fire elemental as part of a burial ceremony.  It sounds like it's part of a bigger ritual that is not spelled out.