Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (70)

    Rabena heals everyone before we proceed.  This takes about three and a half hours, but it does seem worth the delay.
    Here at the Hargrim entrance, there is no sign of a door.  Pireseri tells us there is a hallway beyond.  After some examination it is possible to find the runes spelling out Hargrim's name.  There is a door, he says, but it is layered over with rock.  There are no mechanical traps or locks on the door, other than of course the layer of stone over the top of it.  Hosei cannot identify any specific magic, and there are no other shapes in the surface of this rock.
    Miyara and I agree that the White Fairy should dig through the shell to the door.  He starts to do so, trying to trace the shape of the door and break the shell away intact.  Finally he reaches the point where he thinks the door and facing will open outwards, bonded together.  He opens it.
    Beyond is a narrow passageway going away from us.  I lead, with Pireseri behind me and Hosei behind him.  The others follow in order as directed by Miyara.
    Just before I step in, Pireseri stops me.  Apparently the floor from here to as far as he can see is a whole series of pressure plates, and the rock above the ceiling contains loose rock.  He can see no way to disarm it.
    We briefly discuss using an air elemental to carry us across.  I say that I don't need to step on the floor in such a narrow passageway to go down it.
    Pireseri is sure that once the trap is set off, the ceiling comes down in a rain.  As I had observed earlier, it would be possible to run through and not be hurt.  But it would fill the tunnel behind us.
    The plan comes out -- Rabena is using her sogin roku to conjure an elemental to carry her and Pireseri down the tunnel to scout, using one of Hosei's rocks to see.  It seems a strange plan, but it does at least at first seem to be working.
    Pireri shouts back that the tunnel and trap end after 50 feet, and there are stairs going down immediately after the pressure plate tunnel.  There is nothing else of interest around, no other traps at least until the stairs.  Rabena sets him down there.  After the stairs is a landing where it turns, then another set of stairs and a hallway running north-south perpendicular to the upper passage.  The landing is trapped with more pressure plates, but Pireseri cannot yet see what they might do.  The passage deadends to the north after about 40', and to the south it opens into a roughly oval or rounded rectangle shaped room.    The room is about 20-25 feet by 10-25 feet.  He can see no other exits.  The near end is mostly open space, but there is a pattern of shadow and dark along the walls.  The far end is full of something, but it's hard to tell what because the whole room swirls with streaks of light, shadow, and dark.  Streaks of blue and grey and white in a mist of green.
    Pireseri and Rabena come back to report and describe what they've seen.
    Rabena says she can carry everyone down the passage with air elementals, and proceeds to do so.  I go first to give confidence to the barbarians, and because I can see in the dark.  We are carried to the bottom of the stairs past the trapped landing.  Ahead I can see a door to the nroth at the dead end which Pireseri had not mentioned, but still I stand as Miyara has directed me not to move from here.
    Soon all of us are here, and Rabena puts away her sogin roku.

    The hallway goes north as far as we can tell.  We cannot see the passage that Pireseri reported.  To the north is a door with Hargrim's name and crown and hammer and so on, with all sorts of elaborate styling.  The lock is one of the most intricate and complex locks he has ever seen.  It is intriguing in its complexity.  Beyond the door is a nice trap, very dangerous, and a dead end.  Well duh.
    To enter the passageway to the south is a wall about three inches thick.  There are no mechanical locks, and no extra magic.  It looks like it's time for Goru to break down another wall, which is exacgtly what he does -- starts to chisel out the outline and across, and then will break it down completely with his maul.
    As soon as he plants the chisel, through the north door comes dark misty humanoid shapes with glowing red eyes and dressed in dark shrouds.  The wraiths come through the door.

    I am rooted to the spot.  ((I acquire a new mental quirk.  Fire is fascinating.))  It seems like forever, but it must only have been about ten seconds.  I hear screaming from the back of the group, some of it screaming in pain, one of which is Miyara.  Suddenly a wall of fire descends around us, burning some of the wraiths and forcing them back.  Ashu must have used the sogin roku of fire.  The ring of fire expands to push them to the walls -- they slip into the wall as if it wasn't there -- but they push their way through anyway to come after us.  Ashu contracts the ring anyway as they come through and burn them before they can reach us.
    And in a horrid rending and shaking, a ten foot radius sphere of rock is ripped out of the universe centered on Goru, who has his sogin roku out.  We all fall into the hole, but the wall is gone too.  Everyone hears a rumbling evil laugh, or was that the sound of rock ripping out of the universe.

    The hallway goes south for about ten feet to a plain door.  It is a plain wooden door, no traps, no locks.
    Goru opens it.
    What Pireseri had described pales before a large disembodied head ranting at us in some barbarian tongue, probably dwarvish.  One of the words was Hargrim, and apparently it is warning us out of his tomb.
    We are struck with fear.  I faint.

    ((The head vanishes.  The room is 15 feet high.  Each side wall has a series of moulded pillars about 18" in diameter, curving inwards to a point at the ceiling.  At the north end (our end) there are mosaics between the pillars depicting Hargrim's life.  There are four figures of dwarven warriros with large axes surrounding Hargrim's sarcophagus at the south end, in a lumiscent white rock, undecorated except for a single rune on the lid.  There are hangings from the pillars surrounding the sarcophagus, embroidered in silver and golden thread in some form of dwarvish writing.  Hosei says the whole room stinks of magic, which swirls around the room as Pireseri had seen earlier.
    Inside the sarcophagus is the perfectly preserved body of a dwarf with jewelry and rich clothes.  On his head is a battered iron crown with an eye-sized pearl.  On his chest is a battle-axe.  On his open right hand is a crystal of green stone streaked with blue, grey and white, and it is answering the call of the other crystals.  The sarcophagus is a solid block with two chambers, one for the king and one very thin one in what would be the lid, apparently empty.
    Goru steps towards the sarcophagus, but before he's moved a few steps several shadowy spectres step out of the wall.  A dwarf, two orcs, and elf, a troll, and an ogre, stepping from the murals.  Fighting ensues, the spectres paralyzing everyone they hit.  Ashu produces his flaming curtain again.
    Rumbling, shaking, dust coming down the stairs as if something large had fallen.  Goru has caused an earthquake with his sogin roku.
    But the spectres are vanquished in the curtain of fire.

    Eventually, Rabena goes in and talks with the paralyzed Goru who uses his sogin roku to try to remove the sarcophagus.  It rains stones over every one of us, wherever we are.
    Once the rain ceases, it's clear that there's an earthquake going on and the whole pace is shaking.))

    I must have been out for about five minutes.  When I wake up from the faint, I'm unconscious.

    ((Goru keeps trying, and suddenly a forty foot smooth sided cylindrical hole opens up under him and he falls to the bottom.  He keeps messing with the stone with glee, but eventually it carves out a meandering passage and stairway up to the top of the mountain.  It opens up a ramp from the underside of the sarcophagus to him.  Sarcophagus comes sliding down the ramp and hits him, breaking into many hundreds of pieces but not hurting him.  The body of Hargrim tumbles on top of him, dumping its various stuff on top of him.  The extra chamber in the stone was full of poison under pressure, flooding the hole and out into the room.  Pireseri dies.
    Eventually Ashu recovers from paralysis and starts to treat people.  Eventually Rabena recovers consciousness and starts her work too.))
    When I recover, I find that Miyara is looking after the sogin roku of water until she determines a bearer.  As soon as we are capable, we follow the new path up and out onto the mountain.  We bring Pireseri with us.
    It comes out at the top of the mountain looking down over the valley that was the front entrance.  Clearly it was a battleground.  There is nothing but crows moving.  Everyone's dead.
    After several hours we get down to the bottom and to the cliffs overlooking the valley.  Dead dwarves from both sides are everywhere.  There are no signs of living dwarves.  We go down into the valley too.
    We find Mendri's body, and not too far from him, the other contender.  It was a great battle, and now both armies have been destroyed.  There were few if any survivors.  Dwarves, it seems, battle to the last man... but Goru tells us that this does not happen.  Wounding is more common than death, but there is no sign of any other bodies than dwarves -- Goru suggests a third force killed both.