Exploring Illefarn – Chapter Fifteen

Exploring Illefarn – Chapter Fifteen

Exploring Illefarn

29th Day Of The Drawning Down (December)

It is not the last time that Mirafir and his fellow Adventurers will meet up with Karri. Scout, Scout and Scout again:

AD&D DM Super Beast - Karri
AD&D DM Super Beast

The Treasures Karri Will Not Have:

There is much excitement amongst the Dwarves and Gnomes when the Adventurers return laden with the Ancient Relics recovered from the long lost horde of King Devin Ironaxe.

Hope sparkles in those dark eyes, smouldering hope that may yet burst into the burning flames of belief that these dark halls of Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn will once again echo to the mighty labours and grand works of the Dwarven peoples.

There is much work to do and King Korin Ironaxe demands that all the items are assessed for their power and usefulness for the campaign ahead. King Korin Ironaxe gifts the party:

  • A Suit of Dwarven Chain Mail +3 (Thora)
  • A Cloak of Elvenkind (Frimly)
  • A Pair of Scaly Gauntlets of Ogre Strength (Lent to Tobias)
  • A Shortsword of Quickness +2 (Frimly, he gives his +1 Short Sword to Galan)

King Korin Ironaxe keeps Devin’s ‘Bronze, Jewlled Plate Mail Armour’ and ‘King Devin’s Jewelled Encrusted Crown’ and Helmet both imbued with incredible powers and deemed too dangerous to use in Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn – but if not here against the vile Kelthas the Dread, then where?

  • A Helm of Breathing Underwater
  • A Pair of Gloves of Swimming/Climbing
  • A Crossbow of Quicknessand and x24 +1 Bolts

These items are also retained for the use of the Dwarves.

While the rest of the party start thier Training and enhance their skills Mirafir, Frimly and Galan elect to go out on a fact finding mission – but to where?

Kelthas The Dread And Kerri:

Galan and Frimly are keen to spy on Kelthas the Dread, Karri and his other Minions – assessing him as the most dangerous threat in Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn. But Mirafir is at first reluctant to return to scene of his humiliation at the Necromancers hands and that Witch Karri. However, upon reflection and some cajoling, the Elf warms to the idea of possibly reclaiming his items and exacting revenge on his tormentor.

Kelthas The Dread - Karri
Kelthas The Dread

Also they wish to explore the corridors and rooms on Level 4 that remained unmapped.

After an unsuccessful ‘Scrying’ attempt via the newly acquired Magic ‘Mirror of Mental Prowess’, by Mirafir upon Kelthas the Dread, the comrades decide to descend the Secret Shaft from Devin’s Secret Bolt Hole (Room 99). With great care they slowly descend the wrought iron rungs, careful not clang Weapons and items.

Before they emerge from the Secret Chamber, Mirafir casts “Invisibility” on himself, while Galan will use the camouflage abilities of his ‘Cloak of Elvenkind’. Frimly hears nothing and slowly opens the Secret Door and peers out using his Infra-Goggles. They turn left toward the site of the Room where they were first ambushed (Room 19), then take corridor to the right and past a statue carving chamber (Room 17) that Galan had passed previously. Beyond lies a large Chamber with 6 vast columns (Room 19), on each side there are several humanoid statues with 2 Stoic Statues at the Southern end. Initial fears of more stone sentinels are son allayed.

The Great Halls Of Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn - Karri
The Great Halls Of Illefarn

The Rooms around have seen much fighting in previous years and the detritus of battle lies littered upon the floor. The columns are solid, but nothing lies beyond. They circle back into (Room 19) and then East to a closed Door. It is unlocked and a stairway ascends Upwards toward Level 3, where the party first entered. Instead of exploring further in this direction they creep past the Door and on to the Door that would emerge in the Fountain Room.

Frimly draws his Lock Picks in a vain effort to unlock it, but finds it to now be ‘Wizard Locked’. Clearly Kelthas The Dread wants to limit interference from interlopers.

Wizard Locked Door - Karri
Wizard Locked Door

With this path now closed to them, Frimly wants to track back and go up the ramp (Room 21) to where Kelthas’ Skeletons are. Mirafir and Galan hiss their disapproval but Frimly’s mind is set and the wishes of the others are dismissed in a fit of rash pique.

Runedardath - Room 21
Runedardath – Room 21

Galan reaches out to grab Frimly but he slips past his grasp and slides noiselessly up the sloping corridor. As he approaches the 9-11 Skeletons stood guarding a Heavy Wooden Door, he brushes against the wall and sets of a “Glyph of Warding”, which briefly Illuminates before exploding, and only an instinctive dexterous leaps saves him from possible death, but he still receives a bone jarring 6HP of damage – probably still not enough to inject some common sense into the headstrong Thief.

Skeleton Guards
Skeleton Guards

The Skeletons rattle and scrape as they lurch forward in staccato unison, alerted to a foreign presence and Karri will know of their coming.

A hatch in the Door also slides open and dark, alert eyes peer out, Frimly freezes, silently whincing in pain and fearing detection. Thankfully for him they can’t seem to see Frimly, his new ‘Cloak of Elvenkind’ serving him well and extricating him from further trouble.

Door Hatch - Karri
Door Hatch

They return to the door to (Room 20) opposite and traverse the Stairs which carry them to the rear of a Secret Door on (Room 10) Level 3.

Runedardath - Room 20 - Karri
Runedardath – Room 20

Mirafir chooses to go back to the fountain (Room 14) via the Room and sloping corridor where he had originally webbed the Orcs (Room 8). Frimly stops and Listens, Mirafir checks for Tracks successfully and sees signs of movement but deliberately obscured. We are not alone in the tricky arts of subterfuge.

Unhindered, they enter the Fountain Room and head over to 2 Doorways on the Western wall. One is an Indoor Garden (Room 26), littered with withered remnants of strange subterranean flora.

Runedardath - Room 26
Runedardath – Room 26

The next doorway leads to a corridor with several doors leading off it. (Room 28) is a disused bathing room replete with rather unappealing half full pool, near opposite is (Room 27), a once smart female changing room.

Runedardath - Room 28
Runedardath – Room 28
Runedardath - Room 27
Runedardath – Room 27

Past that on the same side is a plunge pool (Room 28), and beyond lies a long disused steam chamber (Room 29).

Runedardath - Room 29
Runedardath – Room 29

Ahead and West is the way to the Dwarven controlled areas (Room 32) and stairs up (Room 33).

Runedardath - Room 32
Runedardath – Room 32
Runedardath - Room 33 - Karri
Runedardath – Room 33

We head East to a cross ways and take the northern arm to (Room 31).

Runedardath - Room 31 - Karri
Runedardath – Room 31

This reveals a stairway up to Dwarven patrolled area of Level 3 and (Room 42).

Runedardath - Room 42
Runedardath – Room 42

Down the Eastern arm lie 2 Rooms, one contains slabs of uncut rock (Room 31). Opposite, a door is wedged shut, but as Galan forces it open a deluge of falling rock nearly catches him off guard, he dodges successfully. Inside (Room 35) polished stones lie upset by effects of the recent earthquake and the rent that stretches across the ceiling looms ominously, ready to send forth another torrent of stone. Galan exits swiftly.

Runedardath - Room 35
Runedardath – Room 35

It appears that the have successfully mapped the lower level. So what next?

AD&D Spot Checks - Karri
AD&D Spot Checks

The trio hatch a cunning plan to draw the two enemy factions together.

Somehow they will reveal the location of the newly discovered Secret Door on Level 3 that leads down to Kelthas’ zone, Dto the Orcs and they will of course take the cheese and rouse Kelthas’ hornets nest. Easy when you know how!

More Skeleton Guards
More Skeleton Guards

So back up the ramp (Room 16) to Level 3 and head towards the Secret Door with chalk in hand.

As they approach the stairway that was blocked by a ‘Wizard Locked’ Door (Room 15) and which Thora so unceremoniously kicked off it’s hinges, without warning a well armed party of Goblins appear almost in front of them, cautiously heading towards our heroes, but unaware of their presence. This could all go very wrong, very quickly!

Runedardath - Room 15 - Karri
Runedardath – Room 15

They are well trained and drilled, working to protect an Orc Cleric of some kind who brings up the rear and no Karri, for now. Stepping backwards the Daggerford boys and Girls must think and act without hesitation and silently.

Orc Cleric
Orc Cleric

Mirafir reacts first and cleverly tries to guide them towards the Secret Door in (Room 10) and more importantly, away from us. He uses a “Dancing Light” Spell but nearly gives his position away when uttering the spoken element of the Spell.

Frimly tries to cover his ally, creating a diversion by throwing his voice using his Ventriloquism skill…hissing

Frimly: “Look right.”

In his very best Orcish brogue…but they are Goblins, luckily they are dim enough to be confused and head off towards the Secret Door; however they search to no avail.

As the pantomime continues nearby, a party of Orcs emerge from the same staircase (Room 15), a vast hulking figure in their midst.

Frimly gasps, it is a most fearsome looking Ogre carring a Two Handed Sword. They can snap a poor young Thief’s neck like a twig.

Ogre Fighter
Ogre Fighter

It appears these two groups work in tandem; the Goblins are sent ahead to scout and distract the enemy, before the heavy duty shock troops finish the job.

Creeping out of range and back to (Room 2), they watch as the two groups descend to the Fountain area below via (Room 8).

Seizing the opportunity Frimly leads his friends up the stairs to explore the area above. Ahead, off to the East lies a long corridor with several Doorways set on either side. A very brief recce reveals rooms that have clearly been used by Orcs and the hideous stench of their faeces forces Mirafir to retch violently, as they near the end of the corridor it becomes clear that this is the area to the edge of what King Korin Ironaxe had had Mapped for us on Mirafir’s Map.

Room 65: This room is used as a latrine by the Orcs

Runedardath - Room 65
Runedardath – Room 65

Room 67: Empty bathroom

Runedardath - Room 67
Runedardath – Room 67

Room 68: Empty room with rubble

Runedardath - Room 68
Runedardath – Room 68

Room 71: Empty hall with stairs down to Level 3 (Room 15)

Runedardath - Room 71
Runedardath – Room 71

Deciding to avoid the other arm of the passageway that heads North, Believing it heads directly to an Orc Garrison, Mapped by King Korin Ironaxe, and their Central Lair.

Instead they hurry back downstairs to complete their Secret Door mission hoping not to meet with Karri.

AD&D Necromancy - Karri
AD&D Necromancy

As the Scouts start to retrace their steps, Galan pauses and thinks out loud….

Galan: “We should fully reconnoitre this area, whilst we are here; King Korin Ironaxe would wish it of us and we will keep one step ahead of Karri.”

He whispers. Frimly nods.

Frimly: “Yes, the odds are in our favour, with those Orc and Goblin scouting parties out of the way. Let’s do it and hope not to meet Karri or her like!”

They move slowly retracing their steps; occasionally each makes a deliberate scraping noise to guide the others to their location. The Wizard, though ‘Invisible’, is not as silent as his stealth trained partners. Frimly and Galan pass like slow and silent ghosts, their ‘Cloaks of Elvenkind’ masking their presence to all but the very keenest of eyes.

King Korin Ironaxe has roughly Mapped this area for them but not in great detail and thus head to (Room 66) that contains broken tables and chairs and parchments, nothing is useable here. Frimly looks up and sees an alphabet in ancient Dwarven script etched into the wall – it’s an old Dwarven classroom!

Runedardath - Room 66
Runedardath – Room 66

Further along the corridor is (Room 64) a Bath House, not used by Goblins or Orcs – perhaps fearing that getting caught short in this neck of the woods might just lead to some Dwarven laxative. Beyond this is a dead end; perhaps worth checking for a Secret Door at a more convenient date.

Runedardath - Room 64
Runedardath – Room 64

Galan notices there are Sconces set into Walls, and surmises that Torches could be lit at key intersections and so highlight our enemy for ambush. But any further exploration here could land them too deep in to Orc Territory.

Mirafir checks for tracks and assesses two groups of 8ish, soft booted and bare foot beings have passed by recently. Looks like their new friends have been this way.

Goblins Of Wartsnak Direlord
Goblins Of Wartsnak Direlord

Decision made, they head back down stairs to (Room 71) and down to Level 3 to put their plan into action – to open the Secret Door for the Orcs to find and hopefully engineer a battle between their foes.

They reach the bottom of the Stairs and Frimly listens and hears what appears to be the Secret Door being opened and closed in (Room 10)…it can only be Kelthas’ brigands!

We double round via (Room 12) and see the tell-tale flickering of Lantern Light coming from the half open Secret Door….if they need light to see then they must be Humans! Frimly peers around the corner to see 2 Dark Cowled Shadowy Figures peering into the gloom.

The men move forward and search the adjacent (Room 11) but then, rather than explore further they return to protect the Secret Door and the way down to Level 4 and Kelthas’ area.

Runedardath - Room 11
Runedardath – Room 11

Not wanting to lose an opportunity to take out a couple of enemy while the odds are in their favour, Frimly throws a coin, hoping the sound entices them back.

The Men’s demeanour changes and they stiffen and call out in a vile unknown language….two more Men appear at the Southern entrance to the (Room 10).

Suddenly the odds aren’t looking quite so favourable!

Kelthas's Human Archer - Karri
Kelthas’s Human Archer

Mirafir casts “Unseen Servant” and sends the invisible force down the passageway to the maximum of it’s range. Mirafir then advances forward cautiously, and commands the servant to then cover the Lantern and shut off their light source. Frimly also moves up the corridor to take advantage of the enemies temporary lack of vision and thanks St Cuthbert for providing him with the “Infra-Goggles”.

As Frimly approaches the end of the corridor and the (Rom 10) with the Secret Door, he suddenly spies 2 Evil Looking Dwarven Fighters – where in heavens have they appeared from? Now it’s 6 against 3 and most definitely in the bookmakers favour.

Suddenly smitten by a rush of logic, Frimly reverses back down the corridor, while Galan moves up, bow primed; unaware of the new situation unfolding.

The masterfully guided “Unseen Servant” now attempts to throw and break the Bullseye Lantern, that it had covered, towards the 2 Humans Guarding the Secret Door down, but fails to smash and ignite the Lantern.

However, the clattering of the Lantern does serve to distract the Dwarves who are now swinging at where they think their foe must be; at first swinging with methodical purpose, but then more wildly and in some panic as they fail to connect with their mischevious protagonist. Bewildered eyes darting beneath heavily furrowed brows, the sound of whistling Axes draws a wry smile from Frimly.

But almost immediately the smile turns upside down as he spots 2 Halflings who seem to have almost Magically appeared from the trapped corridor to his left of (Room 10). Huh, Frimly had heard that Halfling were as the Elves when moving quietly?

Kelthas's Halfling Fighter - Karri
Kelthas’s Halfling Fighter

As he reverses, Frimly whispers almost inaudibly….

Frimly: ’Web them!”

In vain hope that the Wizard is close enough to hear and that their enemies do not!

Perhaps Mirafir did for, as if by magic, he casts “Web” from his Ring, and a mass of spider web like fibres engulfs the room ahead and Mirafir appears, Invisibility expunged and there for all to see.

Spell - Web - Karri
Spell – Web

Frimly knows what to do, quickly drawing a flask of Oil and Flint. This web burns like kindling, and within a heartbeat he sets it alight .

All their foes are aught within the entanglement and take damage…except for the two sneaky halflings…so where are they, scouting to the West of (Room 10)?

Frimly's Flask of Burning Oil
Frimly’s Flask of Burning Oil

But now Kelthas’s people are released and though injured they rush towards the now exposed Wizard.

Galan steps forth from the shadows and slays one Dark Cloaked Villain with his Longbow. Another Human rushes forward and raises a Sword to Mirafir. Frimly emerges from behind him and expertly plants his blade between the shoulder blades of his foe…a body slumps at his feet!

Yet another steams toward Galan, whose Longbow will not save him now. Now the Wily Wizard looses a bolt of Magic, and a glowing Magic Missile strikes and kills one of the Dwarves, in a fizzing smoking burst of Arcane power.

A forth Human had taken out a Gem that had “Continual Light” cast apon it, while the third stood by the part open Secret Door, fires Arrows at Mirafir; Mirafir quickly moves further down the corridor and out of light range. The wildly fired Arrows now whistle past with little intent.

The fourth Man seizes his chance and attacks Galan as he draws his Swords, cutting the Elf upon his shoulder. With a gasp of pain Galan lashes out and deals his assailant a savage blow, but still the Man stands.

Galan Fights
Galan Fights

The other Dwarf, of the 2 Dwarves, lumbers toward Frimly, wielding a fearsome looking Battleaxe. Frimly seems to freeze and just in time Galan drops his man. Frimly though, has remembered the 2 Halflings and fearing an ambush calls out to Mirafir to guard their backs.

Mirafir heeds Frims warning and checks for the Halflings just in time to see them trying to sneak around behind us. Using his last spell he ‘Webs’ them and tightly cocoons the sneaky little buggers.

Frimly meets the charging Dwarfs rush by deftly sidestepping the enraged creature, buoyed by his incredibly swift, death dealing sword, he strikes with the point of his Weapon and with the utmost precision he finds a gap between Armours and pierces straight through the Dwarfs neck…instant Death!!

Galan and Frimly both look up at the last Man, their only thought is to charge him before he can escape and warn others of his kind.

Again like a trained Assassin, and despite his foes best efforts to parry, Frimly strikes first, quick straight and true, thrusting straight into the artery in his foes inner thigh. Blood spurts, splutters and sprays…everywhere. Surprise and panic grip the man’s face and then loosen as legs crumple from beneath him.

Galan cannot believe his eyes….what has become of Frimly? 2 x D20s is what’s happened.

Frimly’s chest puffs out in pride…he is invincible….completely 100% Invincible…unless of course you introduce and invisible Hag of a Witch to proceedings.

As if on cue, one appears behind our two gallant heroes…and Frimly drops to the floor like an ungainly pile of dirty laundry, a victim of a sleep spell attack…not so invincible now eh?

Galan, somehow managed to resist the effect of the Witches Spell, and races forward to engage her, he swings his sword in a vicious arc and misses quite completely…and then promptly drops to the floor just like the Thief with the Witches arms outstretched towards Galan, this time the Elves natural resistance to Spells effecting the mind.

Web Spell
Web Spell

Having cast the “Web” spell on the sneaky and now tightly cocooned Halflings, Mirafir looks down the corridor and he too sees Frimly’s body tumble to the hard stone floor, followed not long after by the unmistakeable cackle of Karri; the very same Witch Bitch who spelled Mirafir, took him to Kelthas The Dread and stole his items.

….and then the dreaded and unmistakable thud and groan of a second body hitting the deck.

Mirafir: “Not Galan too?”

Gulps Mirafir.

What to do captured again by Karri!? No spells left in him and jokers to the right…stuck in the middle with….a bright idea!

All Elven fingers and Dwarven thumbs, he fumbles in his pack in one last desperate act of wishful thinking, like a man on the hangman’s gallows clutching for his lucky heather.

Mirafir: “Look for a Secret Door?, No…No…”

Mirafir: “Burn the Webbing, release the Halflings and escape to live another aeon?, No…No…That will not work and Karri will come”

Mirafir shrinks back in to the shadows of (Room 12) as the taunting Sorceress Karri draws closer, scraping her long thin knife against the stone walls, hissing and gibbering in maniacal full moon time of the month fury.

Karri: “Mirafir, Mirafir I’m coming for you.”

What spell will Karri cast now he is at her mercy?

In a last ditch panic with not a Spell or Spell point left to his name he finally grasps what he was searching for, drawing a flask of Oil, ramming a wick down it’s neck, and trusty flint from his pack hoping to stop Karri.

Karri Is Back Again:

Shaking fingers find courage and he lights the wick and draws back his arm to cast it at the Web, when suddenly Karri rushes in to the room, slashing at him with her Dark Blade and blindly clawing with badly manicured crimson nails.

Karri: “Mirafir you are all mine now”

Mirafir adjusts his feet and thrusts the burning flask at the head of Karri, it breaks and bursts into wild flames that temporarily engulf Karri’s upper body. She screeches in agony, invoking some dark and nameless god. Karri is too close to Mirafir and he too is splashed with burning oil.

Karri The Sorceress
Karri The Sorceress

He draws his blade and they whirl and cavort in a maelstrom of burning purple velvet, smoke and singed ruffles. The acrid stench of burnt patchouli oil forces its’s way into his lungs.

They dance a macabre magish folk dance of death…clumsy and unpoetic.

Finally the Warlock gains an advantage and plunges his blade deep into Karri’s ample and already well pierced bosom. She falls at his feet, finally silenced, which is just how he likes it!

Karri Is Killed By Mirafir:

Within a heartbeat he shakes awake Galan and then Frimly. Nobly electing not to let wandering hands have their way.

Thoughts turn immediately to the unattended Halflings . They must be dealt with. They all run to the end of the adjacent corridor (Room 15) that contained the Wizard Locked Door. Galan offers them terms of surrender. Refusal often offends and thus Galan hacks and slashes through the webbing nearly slaying one before his comrade uses his Flint and Steel to set light to the ‘Web’ – Do or Die, Death or Glory – an act that kills his comrade but allows him to free his Weapon and attack.

At this Frimly hits him with a hard blow, which is returned and Frimly takes damage.

They are tough little bastards.

Galan hits him twice more and finally their diminutive foe drops.

Meanwhile Mirafir strips the body of Karri and finds much of his missing gear inc his “Ring of Jumping” and his Spell Components. He also strips her body of boots, cloak, robes, jewelery and items. Frimly wonders if this is actually legal, but says nothing and merely waits his turn.

They have defeated a mighty force. But they must make sure that the bodies cannot be brought back to life by Kelthas The Dread and that ‘Damnable Dagger of Undead Creation’!

Swiftly and without ceremony they behead their foes. Making sure to keep any useful Weapons or Armour they may come across. As they are about to head off, deciding which is the safest route to take back to Korin’s zone, they hear the footsteps of the Orc Patrol returning from Level 4 through (Room 9).

From a safe distance they listen and Frimly translates from Orcish. They have found the, now, ‘Not So Secret Door’ and are amazed at the beheaded bodies, believing that this must be Dwarf work. However, an older rasping voice speaks out.

Orc Cleric:”These creatures have not been slain by the Dwarves, there is no Axe work here.”

Finally and after some anxious moments the Orcs appear to take the bait. The sound of Secret Door closing is sweet music to their ears.

AD&D Cleavage
AD&D Cleavage

To Be Continued…….

The Forgotten Realms Wiki