Firehammer Hold – Chapter Five

3rd Day of the Claw of Sunsets (March) 1363 DR:

Firehammer Hold – Chapter Five

Grennish Enters Firehammer Hold: (21:10 pm):

The Adventures agree that Mirafir and Frimly Greenish, both ‘Invisible’, would go ahead and scout out the inevitable waiting Duergar Warriors. Frimly changes and puts on his ‘Slippers of Spider Climbing’.

The 2 Adventures move north down the corridor and stairs, with Mirafir ‘Flying’ and Frimly Greenish walking along the wall. As Mirafir and Frimly head north they can make out the familiar orange glow from a fire in the distance. After some 100’ feet Mirafir and Frimly enter a 30’ by 30’ foot room.

Location - Firehammer Hold Side Door
Location – Firehammer Hold Side Door

5. Guardroom:

In this room, a small fire in an eastern fireplace illuminates a table with four stools. Two empty weapon racks flank a banded wooden door to the west. Archways open to the north and south, the southern one at the base of a stairway.

Mirafir: “Whoever occupied this room has gone, but where to?”

Mirafir whispers to Frimly with the aid of the ‘Message’ Spell the Wizard had cast from one of his ‘Underdark Scrolls’.

Mirafir and Frimly Greenish enter the room and Frimly listens at the western door while Mirafir checks the room. Mirafir finds that the western door is ajar and the Thief can hear a familiar deep rumbling sound of a large creature coming from beyond the door. Mirafir finds nothing.

Mirafir: “We should check whatever’s behind this western door and not have another enemy at our backs.”

Frimly: “No, we must push on and use our concealment to our advantage.”

Mirafir and Frimly Greenish push on and encounter another corridor heading north. Halfway down the corridor, which leads onto darkness, Mirafir and Frimly find a pair of stone double doors on the eastern side of the corridor. Frimly looks and then listens at the stone double doors while Mirafir uses his trained ears to sound out the large chamber at the end of the corridor.

Frimly can see that the stone double doors are unlocked and make no noise when he pushes one open. Beyond is 20’ by 30’ foot chamber.

9. Hallway of Dragons:

Stone double doors that allow access to this passage are carved with scenes of Dwarves in battle with various foes. The hallway’s north and south walls are decorated with ornate brass torch sconces and 2 friezes of azure slate that depict Dwarves fighting Dragons.

Frimly: “In for a Copper, in for a Gold.”

Thinks Frimly Greenish as he moves easts through the Hallway of Dragons and investigates the second pair of stone double doors. Frimly finds that the stone doors of the gate are very heavy, but are designed to turn smoothly on pivot hinges. Frimly waits and ‘Detects for Noise’ beyond the stone double doors and hears nothing. The Thief then pushes one of the doors ajar and uncovers a large chamber.

10. Drinking Hall:

Two rows of 4 square pillars support the 30’ foot-high ceiling in this chamber. A 10’ foot-wide effigy of an ancient Dwarf King, carved into a disk of azure slate, adorns the east wall between 2 fireplaces with mantles covered in shiny brass plates. The walls are decorated with bas-reliefs depicting feasting and carousing Dwarves. A massive stone table with high-backed chairs fills the space between the rows of pillars. The western double doors and a door to the south are the room’s only exits.

Frimly Greenish leaves the stone double door ajar and returns to the Wizard.

Mirafir: “I think I hear something but can’t make it out.”

Frimly: “These stone doors have no locks and I hear nothing beyond them, let me listen within the chamber myself as I suspect a trap.”

Frimly listens and can hear the sound of several creatures breathing softly. Mirafir and Frimly trust to their ‘Invisibility’ and elect to move into and on through the chamber.

Greenish Finds Haela: (21:10 pm):

7. Shrine to Haela Brightaxe:

The 30’ foot-high ceiling of this large room is supported by two square pillars. A 10’ foot-tall statue of an armoured Female Dwarf wielding a Greatsword wreathed in 2 Spirals of Flame stands in a recess in the northern wall. The eastern wall instead has narrow 3-foot-tall niches starting 3 feet off the floor. Halls exit the room to the northwest, south, and west. The southwest and southeast corners contain stools and benches arranged before two fireplaces. Some of these tables had been moved into the centre of the room and used as a barricade. Behind these tables Mirafir and Frimly could now see where the Duergar warriors from the Hostel area had fled too and they were joined by more comrades, 8 Duergar warriors in total. In pairs, one of Duergar warrior with a Crossbow and a second behind with another crossbow loaded and ready to fire. Mirafir and Frimly move on through the room, Mirafir ‘Flying’ and Frimly ‘Climbing’.

Gods-Demi - Haela Brightaxe
Gods-Demi – Haela Brightaxe

Frimly: “Look Mirafir, the Signs of Battle.”

Careful examination of the Shrine to Haela Brightaxe chamber reveals subtle signs (bloodstains, chipped furniture, and notched stone) of a recent battle.

Frimly: “The Dwarves of the hold made their last stand here.”

Mirafir and Frimly ignore the western door which appears to be locked and head north towards the stairs leading downwards. At the bottom of the, still dark, stairs the corridor turns east into a 30’ corridor and Mirafir and Frimly can see more stairs, to the north, heading down at the end of the corridor and more niches carved into the eastern wall.

Mirafir and Frimly continue east along the corridor intending on taking the stairs down. As the Adventures reach the middle of the corridor, a voice gruff deep voice calls out from the east.

Duergar Voice: “Now I see them, release the cage.

Monster - Duergar, Dwarf - Greenish
Monster – Duergar, Dwarf

That is when an iron portcullis falls at either end of a 10’ by 20’ area, trapping both Mirafir and Frimly. With very little time to decide what to do next and Crossbow Bolts flying past Mirafir has an idea.

Mirafir: “Do you know what I’m going to do Frimly?”

There was a long pause which Frimly though too theatrical.

Frimly: “What Mirafir, what are you proposing to do…quickly?”

Mirafir: “Allowing for our weights and equipment, of course and there no telling what you may lie about carrying and I will need to take that variable into account.”

Mirafir Weight = 93 lbs + Mirafir Equipment = 21 lbs

Frimly Weight = 180 lbs + Frimly Equipment = 30 lbs

Frimly: “Faster young Wizard.”

Mirafir: “Then all that needs to be done is for you to jump into my arms and hope I don’t drop you.”

Mirafir cast ‘Dimension Door’ and Frimly holds on tight. Mirafir choses to area back where the stone double doors where, behind them as Mirafir would become cancel his ‘Invisibility’ Spell. After waiting for a while for the adverse effects of the ‘Dimension Door’ Spell, Mirafir again cast ‘Invisibility’ on himself whilst Frimly Listened out for the 8 Duergar Warriors that occupied the Shrine to Haela Brightaxe chamber.

Frimly: “The Duergar Warriors have moved off towards the Portcullis Trap, only 2 stay behind to guards the rear.”

Mirafir:” Then now is the time to investigate the area behind us that we passed by earlier.”

Frimly: “As you wish Wizard, but only because you saved me back there. Let me go first as there may be things to hear, traps to find or locks to unlock”

Frimly Greenish moves south, followed by Mirafir, and pass the door which had been left unlocked and ajar. Behind the door the Thief sees a short 30’ foot corridor heading west and with another door, also ajar. Frimly can still hear the low rumbling but choses to enter the room anyway.

6. Armory:

The door of this room is unlocked and ajar. Inside this room are 2 large weapon racks and 4 large stone basins holding Ammunition. 2 large Lizard are confined here to watch over the weapons. The weapon racks hold 9 spears, 5 maces, 7 shields, 4 heavy crossbows, and 6 battle-axes. Three basins contain 200 crossbow bolts each, and the fourth holds 350 sling bullets.

Frimly Greenish waste no time in retreating swiftly, while letting the Wizard know of his findings as he nervously takes out his Thieves Tools to lock the door.

Mirafir: “Allow me, it will be quicker.”

Frimly: “You are depleting your Magic Wizard, be careful.”

Mirafir cast ‘Wizard Lock’ on the first door trapping the 2 Large Lizards. Frimly can now hear that, having not found the 2 intruders, the Duergar Warriors had returned to once again take up their defensive positions.

Frimly: “It sounds like they are also raising the Portcullises too.”

Mirafir: “Then I think we have no option but to use a ‘Fireball’ to dispatch of the Duergar Warriors in front of us.”

Spell - Fireball
Spell – Fireball

Mirafir casts his ‘Fireball’ Spell into the chamber with the Shrine to Haela Brightaxe, sparing no thought to the Statue to Haela Brightaxe herself, and the whole chamber is engulfed by flame. The effect is short lived but devastating, killing all of the Duergar Warriors and setting fire to most of the organic material in the chamber.

Frimly: “You are depleting your Magic Wizard, be careful.”

Mirafir: “Indeed, a great shot.”

Frimly: “And I can see you now.”

Mirafir: “I knew that.”

Frimly: “Let scarper and go back and collect Sigune and Thora.”

Mirafir: “Good idea.”

Frimly: “You can be so chaotic at time Wizard.”

Mirafir and Frimly head back to the Main Entrance and retrieve the 2 Warriors. Mirafir retells their findings as they travel northwards, down into Firehammer Hold.

Thora: “Take me to the chamber with the Shrine to Haela Brightaxe, I wish to see that for myself.”

Mirafir: “It should be safe, I dealt with all that was within and the Lizards are trapped.”

Thora looks to investigate the Shrine to Haela Brightaxe, Frimly shows Sigune the evidence of battle within the chamber and Mirafir stands guard, ‘Flying’ in the centre of the chamber.

Statue of Haela Brightaxe:

The statue is of Haela Brightaxe, Lady of the Fray, and Dwarf demigod of heroic battle. Thora, as a Dwarf, knows she was slain over a century ago and knows that Haela was actively worshiped here in Firehammer Hold.

Thora hear a voice telling her to vanquish those who have defiled Haela Brightaxe’s shrine and to bring back a token of their conquest.

Someone who pays respect to Haela at the shrine feels an intuitive desire to bring a token of defeated Duergar, such as the banner of Laduguer, to the shrine as proof of righteous battle against the hold’s usurpers. If any character does so, the whole party hears a female voice shouting a battle cry in Dwarfish. (If the banner was brought, it burns up in twin coils of flame.) The statue’s eyes flash, and each character is affected by an ‘Aid’ Spell. Further, in the next battle the party fights against the Duergar, a bless spell affects each character until the battle ends.

It’s at this point that the Adventures are attacked, first with Crossbow Bolts and then with Magics. The niches, in the eastern wall, are actually arrow loops from a guard post beyond the walls and several arrows are fired at the Wizard ‘Flying’ in the air in the middle of the chamber. Some notice, before the effects of the Bolts are known, can see that they are Crossbow Bolts tipped with a teardrop of some substance or container. Mirafir is hit by one of these Bolts, he is struck and stunned by it powerful Magics and is unable to act for a while.

Next the Wizard, Paladin and Thief are caught in an ‘Ice Storm’ Spell and are pounded by great hail stones that pound down in the area around them. Thora is not effected as she was next to the statue is of Haela Brightaxe, but Mirafir loses all of his ‘Stoneskin’ as he is hit several times and Frimly loses his ‘Invisibility’.

Thora, Sigune and Frimly Greenish all seek cover, while Mirafir is unable to move. The Adventures and then engulfed in ‘Continual Darkness’ making movement and combat that much harder. Sigune seeks cover behind one of the columns, Thora moves towards the niches from where the Bolts came from, Frimly tries to make his way out of the chamber and back to the stone double doors, and Mirafir also ‘Fly’s’ back towards the stone double doors with a plan in his mind.

Mirafir has made the bold choice to cast, another of his new learnt Spells, ‘Passwall’ on the area where the niches are on the east wall and tells Frimly Greenish of his plan.

Frimly: “You must inform the other of your actions so they can coordinate an attack.”

Mirafir calls out his intension in Elven and casts his ‘Passwall’ Spell, Thora moves to the area as does Sigune. Frimly Greenish also makes his way into the chamber intent on aiding his comrades that are all engulfed in ‘Darkness’. The Spell is cast and both Thora and Sigune rush through the ‘Darkness’ into the unknown.

Firehammer Haela Brightaxe: (22:40 pm):

12b. Barracks Posts:

This octagonal chamber contains a fireplace, a round table with stools, and six bunk beds. Three narrow windows pierce one wall. This room has a 5’ foot tall bellows apparatus fixed to one of the walls, south in this area. Each apparatus is below a small square window with a closable brass plate attached to it with hinges. A brass pipe leads from each apparatus into the wall underneath the window.

Within the chamber Thora, who enters first, finds Duergar Warriors ready to fire their Crossbows at the Warrioress, another Duergar in robes and as she prepares for the volley of Bolts, catches the outline of another Duergar in robes who then merges into the background after casting a Spell.

Thora: “They hide in their surroundings as does Frimly Greenish and Galan with their ‘Elven Cloaks’.”

Sigune’s entry into the Barracks Post is impeded by an ‘Invisible Barrier’ and is not able to aid Thora.

Sigune: “Someone has cast ‘Wall of Force’ and I cannot enter the chamber, Mirafir you must do something Thora is surrounded by Duergar Warriors and I can see a Magician too.”

Monster - Duergar, Dwarf Wizard
Monster – Duergar, Dwarf Wizard

The 3 Adventures do not know how to aid hora who has now entered into melee with the Duergar Warriors who hate all Dwarves. Thora makes easy work of the Duergar Warriors who fight but others use the Crossbow Bolts and the Duergar Wizard also cast ‘Magic Missile’ at the cornered Warrior Dwarf. As Thora made easy work of the 4 Duergar Warriors that fought her, the others held back at the command of a Duergar voice which Thora believed to be the hidden one. Then that Duergar appeared and disappeared into the background having cast another ‘Wall of Force’ Spell trapping Thora against the wall with no escape. Sigune and Thora can both see that one of the remaining Duergar Warriors had moved towards the Bellows and Sigune relayed this to the other. Hearing this Frimly Greenish has the bright idea to delay and distract the Duergar Warriors by using one of his ‘Cards of Illusions’ in the room beyond the stone double doors and where their Duergar Warriors and Bellows where facing.

Grenish & Haela Brightaxe: (22:40 pm):

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