Entering Illefarn – Chapter Nine

Entering Runedardath – Chapter Nine

Mirafir’s Prophecy of Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn:

23rd Day Of The Drawning Down (December)

Mirafir’s Prophecy of Runedardath:

Runedardath is the destination, how they get this is another tale altogether and will Mirafir’s Prophecy aid the Adventurers on their quest?

Two disproportionately matched figures stride purposefully through the muddy ravine that is otherwise known as the Hill Road, one of the main thoroughfares between the Port Gate and the Lady Luck Tavern. Scraping the mud from their boots, they enter the ill-lit shadowy and smoky inn, a Dwarf-maiden, her finely platted beard adorned with glittering beads bearing the runes of her people, and a haughty Elf, accoutered with the Holy Symbols of the Deity of human worship known commonly as St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel.

The barkeep, Owenden Moonshadow, busy collecting empty mead flagons from filthy tables spots the two and his eyes glint in recognition:

NPC - Owenden Moonshadow - Mirafir's Prophecy
NPC – Owenden Moonshadow

Owenden Moonshadow: “Your strange fellow is in the traveller’s quarters at the end of the hall, a most peculiar smell coming out of it there is an’ all. Not sure I hold with that kind of Witchcraft or Wizardry or whatever you like to call it.”

The Dwarf-maiden casts a stern and steely eye in his direction:

Thora: “Aye, ah have tae agree with ye on thaet one, he is indeed a very strange fellow, and ahm nae sure to what honour ah’ve been summoned to meet him here tonight. He claims tae be able to foresee the future, but ahm nae havin’ it!”

Without hesitation the two pass swiftly through the mayhem of the bar to a narrow passage, which leads to the guest quarters, and enter the room at the end without knocking.

A heady cocktail of scented oils, aromas and the thick smoke of incense envelopes them as they enter, and through the hazy cloud a solitary figure can be seen hunched across a ragged pile of what may be astrological charts and calculations, scribbled and scrawled in every corner of the parchment. Completely absorbed in his work, the purple-and-black-cloaked figure fails to notice the two standing directly before him.

Thora: “Ahem!”

Coughs the Dwarf-maiden theatrically.

Startled, the Elf at the table looks down over its edge to see the stout warrior standing below, her feet planted firmly on the floor, her hands resting on her battle axe.

Thora: “Glad we could get your attention, Mr Roven. You see, we’ve come all thae way here because yea told mae you’ve got a Prophecy or something you want tae tell me aboot.”

Mirafir: “Thora! Father Tobias! Thank you for coming. I have been working hard with my calculations and I believe I may be able to help us know some of what we may have to expect in Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn. Thora, to you I swore a pledge to aid you on your quest to seek the truth of what happened beneath your stony ancestral home all those years ago with my Prophecy.

The Old Realm of Dwarves and Elves may be gone but there are many secrets beneath the mountain that remain unanswered. King Melandrach may sneer at our motives, yet I believe we are the ones who are fated to find the answers to those forgotten truths. By means of these astrological charts and some information from you together with some sorcerous ingenuity of my own I have gained mystical powers to foresee what may come to pass, a Prophecy. The time is limited, the sight can only be cast so far into the future before its web disperses and the Norns who weave the threads of time present, past and future close the rift in their endless song of eternity. Let us try, what ill can come of it?

Father Tobias, an unwavering figure with his solid beliefs in his faith will provide some healthy skepticism, and his worldly Elvish wisdom may bring further insight into the fate which may await you, Thora, within that dark labyrinth.”

Thora: “Aye, well, since ye put it like that, ah may stand tae learn something, and if not, well, surely we’ll nae have lost anything either. What say you, Father Tobias shall we listen to Mirafir’s Prophecy, is there something tae this hocus pocus?”

The Lady Luck Tavern
The Lady Luck Tavern

The reflective priest is deep in contemplation, his Holy Symbol clutched firmly in his hands. After a moment he raises his head:

Father Tobias: “It may be as you say, Thora, that we have nothing to lose. In the end, only St. Cuthbert can know the true fate that awaits us and not Mirafir’s Prophecy. Yet in His majesty and eternal Wisdom, perhaps even He may choose to reveal to us through His works a path that may take us to that which we seek: The truth of Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn and the source of the Darkness that lies within.

Mirafir’s methods may be somewhat – shall we say – unorthodox, but does not St. Cuthbert’s Holy Codex itself teach us that the truth in all things may not be what we expect it to be, but that in the end His Divine Cudgel shall bring enlightenment even to those who do not seek it? Let us not be blinded by these trappings of Wizardry and superstition, but see beyond them to that which they may yet reveal.”

Thora: “Aye, so be it. Let’s see what tricks ye have up your Wizard’s sleeve Mirafir, but none o’ thaet mystical shite, ah jus’ want thae facts, we shall liten to Mirafir’s Prophecy!”

Mirafir: “Very good: so it is agreed. Father Tobias, please dim the Lantern while I burn some more mystical incense. The oil and the incense are essential to the success of the reading. Thora, I must know the date and place of your birth, the Dwarven calendar is perfectly acceptable. Now I will make the calculations and then we shall see the positions of the stars and the planets in relation to your existence and the paths that lie before you. I can already see things taking shape; the arcs and spirals of the night are forming into images. Yet they are dim and shadowed, I must focus –”

Mirafir plunges a hand into a deep pouch which returns with a handful of Orange Powder, swiftly cast into the glowing embers of the fireplace with a dazzling flash of light and noise, a sulfurous odor permeating the already thick air of the room.

The Cards Show Mirafir’s Prophecy:

A shadow falls across the Wizard’s face, only his red eyes can be distinguished from the darkness of his features. The eyes, black pupils widening, appear to see beyond the scene directly before them. From within another pouch, a pale lithe hand emerges, a Deck of Cards held in its nimble grip. A swift movement and a single card is placed face down at a point on the astrological chart where spiraling lines converge. The card is turned to reveal an image:

The Trader

The Trader Card - Prophecy
The Trader Card

Mirafir: “You speak with Dervil, the Weaponsmith. He is cleaning weapons and preparing for something, for what I know not. You are leading us through the mountains. We are fighting Orcs. Many Orcs. Our steeds are … gone. There are Goblins, more Orcs. Their faces flash before me! Large creatures, possibly – no! Trolls!? We enter a giant rift in the mountain, climbing, running. Poison seeps and drips from the rent in the mountainside, greenish venomous ichor, which steams and bubbles corroding and burning all it comes into contact with! An entrance into darkness, darkness, DARKNESS!”

Mirafir’s Prophecy continues as another card is produced by the pale hand and turned face up:

The Swashbuckler

The Swashbuckler Card - Prophecy
The Swashbuckler Card

Mirafir: “A corridor. Graffiti. Crude Orc graffiti. All Dwarves have Halfling cocks.”

Father Tobias: “Orc wit truly knows no bounds,”

Interjects Father Tobias.

Father Tobias: “What meticulous cultured wordsmiths they are.”

Mirafir is not listening, his eyes again appear glazed, as if searching for something on the astral plane beyond the vision of mortal man and proceeds with the Prophecy:

Mirafir: “A lordly Dwarf, and his lady… Fine is their attire. He… He resembles Dervil… And you Thora, I see you too. You kneel before them, your head bowed respectfully… Now I see through your eyes and I sense hope, but it is fleeting. The darkness is closing in…”

“Ah! It is as I feared! A deeper and darker Evil than that which we have thus faced! I see a pool, its surface darkly ripples, and there is something… Something that lurks beneath that dim film of icy water… And now I see it! It rises from the water! A Giant Monstrosity! Foul and Hideous! It spouts water like a cone of Devastation!”

The next card to be reversed on the table draws a sharp intake of breath from the conspirators:

The Dark Lord

The Darklord Card - Prophecy
The Darklord Card

Mirafir: “I see though Thora’s eyes: I see – wait! It is Frimly! And Galan, and who is? – it is me! All three suddenly vanish! Into thin air! Gone! I can hear something, a terrible sound, the sound of…?

A Black Pool stretches into the darkness and out of it rises a Black Tower. A Gate opens many warriors stream out – they wear horned helmets, no armour and there is someone behind them… A towering figure… Something… Humanoid! A giant humanoid, a twisted and evil face! It wields a staff, casting dark magic! Necromancy! Fire! Lightning and death!”

The Tempter

The Tempter Card - Prophecy
The Tempter Card

Mirafir: “My eyes see again flashes: Faces, Orcs, Half-Orcs, Gnomes, Dwarves, Men, Half-Elves and Trolls: All are distorted in pain, frenzy or fury! Fighting and death! Will it ever end?”

The Horseman

The Horseman Card - Prophecy
The Horseman Card

Mirafir: “I see the mountain of Illefarn against the dawning of the sun – it rises swiftly, speeds across the sky and sets! And again! This time faster and again even faster! Days flash by in seconds! I cannot tell how many days and night pass!”

The Rogue

The Rogue Card - Prophecy
The Rogue Card

Mirafir: “I sense a room, a Stone Chamber which resonates to the sound of sorrow and weeping. The sobs are consumed with grief. There is a darkness as if I am blinded. But then she is revealed: It is Thora and she wears a Bright Helm and Bright Armour! Radiant she is, but her eyes are flooded with tears which stream into her beard. She speaks!

The Executioner

The Executioner Card - Prophecy
The Executioner Card

Mirafir: But why Frimly?

Future Thora: He didnae mean nae harm tae anyone! He may have had his secrets but he was going tae share everything with us in the end! Why did he do it? WHY!? He’s lost! Lost forever! And it’s mae own fault! Ah should’ve warned him! Oh laddy! Why did ye dae it?!

Mirafir: “And that is it, as the Prophecy fades to grey. I can see no more.”

A silence descends on the room, even the crackling of the fireplace seems to fall still.

After Mirafir’s Prophecy The Adventurers Prepare:

Training, equipment and wills are dealt with by the Adventurers.

‘Potions of Healing’ and ‘Potions of Healing Extra Healing’ are presented to Sir Ly and Father Tobias by Mother Maerovyna. They, and Sigune, contemplate their outlook to the holy fight, given their recent experiences.

Thora crafts Metal Vials for the Adventurer’s ‘Potions’ and Holy Water.

Frimly spends his days alone, doing Frimly things.

Mirafir has moved up the social ladder and is secretly meeting up with Lady Bronwyn.

Galan spends the weeks outside of Daggerford with Kelson Darktreader, a mature Half-Elf, the Master of the Duke’s Hunt.

25rd Day Of The Drawning Down (December)

Prophecy Of The Shaking Earth:

You are on Militia duty when you feel the earth moving under your feet. Sections of the wall buckle with the posts pointing upward at strange angles, but the binding holds and the wall stays together. The catwalk behind the wall breaks off in a couple of places. The North Wall shakes, with mortar and loose stone flying everywhere.

Map - Daggerford Map
Map – Daggerford Map

Slowly, inexorably, the north wall collapses as you watch. Its supports give way, and as it falls, you can see workers caught under the wall. You hear their continuing screams as the dust settles.

Frimly floats to the ground, while some fall off the catwalk. They all rush over. Much of the north wall of the second story of the barracks has collapsed on Derval Ironeater’s brother, Dervin Stonecarver, and his 2 Sons. Each of the victims is pinned under a stone weighing 1,800 lbs.

Between Thora, Sigune and Sir Ly they manage to remove the blocks of stone off the Dwarves. Sigune having to move debris wreathed in fire and finding the ‘Baron Cromm’s Ring‘ was effective and useful.

Dervin and his Sons also promise the Adventurers favours from the Ironeater clan, though nothing is immediately forthcoming.

27th Day Of The Drawning Down (December)

Prophecy And The Curse:

Later the same day, reports trickle in from upriver showing that the Earthquake originated somewhere in The Laughing Hollow area.

Two days later, reports come in from the upriver farms that Cattle and Sheep are dying and riverside crops, such as flax and rice, are failing. What’s more, the river has changed colour to a bilious green. The council immediately orders the town to cease using river water and only consume water from the cisterns and town wells. Rumours of villages drinking the river water are circulating and imbibing the polluted water causes serious damage.

28th Day Of The Drawning Down (December)

Prophecy And The Message:

On the following day, a Wild Elf appears outside the wall. He says he has been sent by King Melandrach, and he wants to talk to the people who last came to his forest. The messenger refuses to talk to anyone besides the Adventurers.

Deldrach Longarrow - Prophecy
Deldrach Longarrow

The messenger is Deldrach Longarrow, a Wild Elf from the court of King Melandrach.

Deldrach Longarrow: “The great earth shaking has caused much destruction in the hollow,”

“Trees have fallen, Dryads have died, and the Nixies Lake has drained half away”.

“But the greatest damage was not in the hollow itself. The Earthquake was centred in a hill just on the border of The Laughing Hollow. There were rockslides, and a large crack opened up in the rock face. From out of this crack pours a stream of bile-green water that follows an old creek bed to the Shining River. Perhaps it is the way the water flowed many years ago”.

“I am sure you wonder how the stream could reach the river through the embankment. The Earthquake also breached the embankment between the hollow and the river, letting the stream into the river. The hollow is not being flooded . . . yet. When flood season comes in the spring, however, it might be a different story”.

“The plants and animals around the streambed are dying. My king asks for your help in stopping this river of poison”.

A long-buried entrance to, Runedardath, the mines of the Dwarves of the Fallen Kingdom was uncovered by the rockslides. King Melandrach thinks that the Adventurers could go in this entrance and find the cause of the Poisoned Water and determine how to stop it.

With the map of Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn, that Thora has in her possession and given to them by Meldar Farwander (from Caravan Duty), the Adventurers match it with Deldrach Longarrow’s description of the uncovered entrance.

They discover that, allowing for the passage of 1,000 years since the Map was made, the uncovered entrance is probably the Main Entrance to the Dwarf City of Runedardath. This was the entrance where the quarried stone was taken into the mountain for working. The Map would not have been in itself able to guide the Adventurers to any of the entrances as there had been over a 1,000 years of Mother Nature and Dwarven engineering.

Duke Pwyll Greatshout Daggerford and the council agree that this expedition should be made. They provide food and other reasonable gear for the Adventurers. They also supply them with 6 Vials of Holy Water.

The Sigil On In The Prophecy:

As the Adventurers are leaving Daggerford, they are stopped by Derval Ironeater. He goes to each of you who came to the aid of his brother and nephews after the Earthquake.

Item - Hammer of Moradin
Item – Hammer of Moradin

Derval Ironeater: “Please take this with you,”

He says.

Derval Ironeater: “It is a symbol of my friendship. I think you might find it useful under Mount Illefarn”.

He bows and leaves before you can ask any questions. Derval gave each of the rescuers an Amulet made in the shape of a Dwarven Hammer.

To The Laughing Hollow:

The trip to The Laughing Hollow is identical to the one made in The Rescue Mission. The Adventurers are accompanied by Deldrach Longarrow, who refuses a horse and walks, eating up the miles with the stride of a veteran stalker.

Location - The Laughing Hollow Forest - Prophecy
Location – The Laughing Hollow Forest

Prophecy At The Laughing Hollow:

When the Adventurers reach The Laughing Hollow, they are met by King Melandrach who welcomes them and suggests they camp with him outside the mountain so they can enter at the crack of dawn. During the exploration of Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn, the Adventurers can make use of King Melandrach offer to return and train with his followers if needed as often as they like. They can come back to King Melandrach, rest, and make use of the knowledge they’ve gained in combat and acquiring Magical items.

King Melandrach looks at you and shakes his head sadly.

King Melandrach: “I fear that my followers and I are too used to the open sky to be able to breathe beneath the mountain”.

“We are not creatures of earth and darkness, and I fear we would be more of a hindrance than help to you. If we could make such a trip, I assure you we would never have sent for you. We would have marched bravely into the shadows as our ancestors did many centuries ago”.

Father Tobias tries to create some ‘Enchanted Goodberries’ but is unable to find any fresh berries to use as it is the month of “The Drawing Down” (December)”. Only in coastal areas can you find winter berries such as Sea Buckthorn.

Meldar's Map Of Runedardath - Owlbear
Meldar’s Map Of Runedardath

Prophecy In Finding and Entering Runedardath:

The Adventurers decide to continue up Mount Illefarn and directly to the uncovered entrance to Runedardath which they believe to be the Main Entrance. Spending time trying to find the other entrances that have been hidden for a millennium would waste time and the effects of the Poisoned Water would spread.

The Adventurers make their way up Mount Illefarn and Mirafir Navigates the party to a path that leads them directly to the opening into the Mountain.

Runedardath - Room 01
Runedardath – Room 01

Massive Metal Doors open into the Hallway strewn with debris (ROOM 1) and blocks of stone. This in turn leads to a Room were the ceiling and walls are laced with cracks, all running north and south (ROOM 2). The rooms and in total darkness and the Human Adventurers will need to heavily rely on ‘Light’. Thora explains the following:

Runedardath - Room 02
Runedardath – Room 02

Thora: “The main entrance to Runedardath caved in centuries ago as a result of the last-ditch Defence of the complex it was thought and I can see the evidence to prove that now.”

The main Chamber is very large, thick with dust and has three openings.

Runedardath - Room 01 & 02
Runedardath – Room 01 & 02
  • North, which appears to be a path that turns East.
  • South, which leads to a room (ROOM 14) and was Trapped by the OLD NET.
  • West, which leads into another large room similar to the main room (ROOM 2).

Sir Ly or Father Tobias asks Frimly to check the path in the South-East corner of the room (ROOM 14). As he reaches the entrance he hears a click underfoot and a large heavy net falls on him covering a 10’ feet area. Frimly and Mirafir begin trying to cut through the Net while the others cover the other paths out of the Room. After several minutes of hacking and slashing the Adventurers manage to free Frimly from under the net.

Meanwhile, Sir Ly covers the West path but is unable to see into the darkness engulfing the room (ROOM 3).

Runedardath - Room 03
Runedardath – Room 03

Thora, Sigune, Father Tobias stay in the centre of the room with the rock with ‘Continual Light’ cast upon it on the floor. Finally Galan moves to cover the North path with his Longbow.

Of Mirafir Roven’s mystical frilly-shirted sandalwood and patchouli predictions some have been proven true and some false or may yet come to pass. Orc and Goblin attacks on the Mountainside for example. But the giant gash in the side of the mountain was neither illusion nor the crude Orcish graffiti within Runedardath.

Sigune agrees with Frimly’s caution but loudly reminds the party, bathed in the Holy Light emanating from her posterior that:

Sigune: “I will not skulk in the Darkness like a Kobold! Where there is Evil I shall confront it and destroy it: For I am an aspiring Knight of St. Cuthbert and His Holy Cudgel! Pure of spirit, swift to act and clean of mind! Hurrah!”

Mount Illefarn
Mount Illefarn

To Be Continued…….

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