Rising early, Helgot checks his gear, eats a hearty breakfast at the inn, and sets out for Dwimmermount. The stairs switch back and forth as he ascends the mountain, passing through crumbled fortifications, before finally narrowing on the final approach to the doors. Two giant red metal doors are set into the stone, and sure enough, with some effort Helgot manages to swing one open. Cautiously, he steps over the threshold. Stairs, leading down this time, lead him to an entrance chamber.
Ancient and smooth-worn stairs descend from the Red Doors into the entrance chamber of Dwimmermount. The room contains five doors (two of them side by side) and six marble statues. All of the doors are made of hard oak, reinforced with steel. Five of the six statues depict distinct male figures in different poses, wearing archaic Thulian dress, but all with the exact same head and face — that of a haughty, bearded man with piercing eyes. The sixth statue depicts an attractive, but hard-faced woman in plain garb.
Helgot doesn’t recognise any of the statues, disturbing though they are. Two of the doors are in front of him, two lie at each side of the room, and a further door on the wall behind him. Thinking he might need to make a hasty escape at any moment, he decides to take the door to the left, nearest the stairs.
Delve the Depths of Dwimmermount, strong hit: Mark progress and into the corridor leading from room 1 through to room 63; +1 momentum
The door is unlocked and leads to a corridor. On the right, an open doorway into a room, and on the left, a closed door. The corridor opens up into another room in the distance.
Delve the Depths of Dwimmermount, miss; Reveal a Danger: Denizens on guard, orcs
As Helgot makes his way down the corridor, a pair of orcs emerge from the room at the end of the corridor, spotting him immediately. They hurry toward him, waving spears and grunting in their orc-language.
Enter the Fray: two orc guards (dangerous), weak hit: prepare to act
Helgot brandishes his spear and takes a strong stance, charging at the orcs with steely determination. Closing the gap, he leaps forward with a cry, spear thrusting at the nearest orc, catching it by suprise at the speed of his attack.
Strike: strong hit, 2+1 harm
The spear strikes true, piercing the orc’s hide and killing them outright. It squeals and staggers, the deadly spear already being pulled away, then falls to its knees and slumps over sideways. At this, their companion falters, not expecting such a show of violence from the human intruder.
End the fight: weak hit; Endure harm: miss, -2 health, -1 momentum
Capitalising on the orc’s moment of hesitation, Helgot slashes at the pig-man’s belly, sending its guts tumbling to the floor, but in his haste to finish the fight Helgot steps too close. It’s not until after the orc lies dead at his feet that he realises the orc managed to raise its own weapon in time to catch him. A minor wound to his side, but a wound nonetheless. Still; adrenaline and momentum will keep him on his feet.
After catching his breath, and wiping viscera from his spear, Helgot investigates the room from which the orcs emerged. It appears to be a guardpost; there are numerous weapon racks in the room, and disturbingly, they are all empty. An iron barred door is set into one wall, leading to a small holding cell, which thankfully is empty.
Delve the Depths of Dwimmermount: strong hit; mark progress and move to room 64
Chamber of the Face
It seems to prudent to explore the room back along the corridor with no door before opening any more and potentially running into any more porcine patrols, to Helgot backtracks — as quietly as possible — to investigate. What he finds is truly bizarre.
This large room once contained several rows of wooden benches bolted to the floor. Some of them have since been removed, but two remain and are in remarkably good condition. On the northern wall of the room is a sculpture of a bearded man’s face made from rusty metal.
Gather information, miss: Consult oracle, a new danger or foe is revealed; You encounter a hostile denizen: giant rats
Despite the rust, the sculpture is very well done, with a great level of detail. Helgot goes to sit on one of the benches to better examine it, when all of sudden — it begins to move. The mouth strains, as if trying to open, and a low, creaking, scraping noise begins to emanate from it. This needs a closer look, surely. Helgot examines the face, now revealed to be some kind of mechanical or magical artifact, scrapes a little rust away here and there, to no great effect. The mouth continues to creak and strain, with accompanying unintelligable sounds.
When Helgot turns to leave the room, he realises too late that he has been so engrossed in his investigations he hasn’t noticed that a pack of un-naturally giant rats have crept into the doorway behind him. The largest of the rodents is perched up on it’s hind legs, regarding him with beady red eyes. It bares its fangs, and the whole mass of rats surge toward him. Seriously, some of these rats are the size of a medium dog. They’re big rats.
Enter the Fray: pack of giant rats (Troublesome), strong hit: +2 momentum
Helgot swings a wild arc with his spear; there are so many rats advancing on him that hitting at least one of them shouldn’t be an issue.
Strike: miss! Pay the Price, Endure Harm: miss! -1 health, -1 momentum
The rats are nimble for their size though, and skewering one while they’re biting and clawing proves tricky.
Face Danger: weak hit; Endure Stress: strong hit! +1 momentum
The absurdity of the situation. Being mauled to death by rats. There’s just so many of them. Helgot stabs down at the writhing mass of rodent muscle while trying to back away and keep them at bay. He’s staggered and bloody, and he laughs.
Strike: Burn momentum, weak hit: 2 harm
Finally, a good solid stab of the spear skewers one rat and at the same time a well-aimed kick sends another flying against the wall with a sickening crack of bone. A few of the rats turn tail and run away, chittering and sqealing.
Clash: strong hit! 2 harm, +1 momentum
“Maybe,” Helgot thinks, “I could survive this”. Another rat impaled, and another. The pack thins until there is only the largest of the brood remaining, a hulking brute of a rat, all muscle and sinew. Man and rat circle, spear and fang brandished.
End the Fight: strong hit!
Helgot lunges and the giant rat is too close and too slow to avoid the attack. The spear lands home and skewers the beast, thrashing and coughing blood, defeated, dying.
Helgot lets out a long, manic laugh and slumps down on one of the heavy benches. His whole body aches, and thin rivers of blood streak down his thighs where countless bites and scratches have taken their toll. He does his best to tidy himself, ripping some cloth from his undershirt to wipe away blood and bandage the worst.
Heal: strong hit! +2 health
It’s time to leave. By first impressions, this place is massive, and with fresh wounds the walk back to Muntberg will be long enough, even with the stairs to make the descent easier.
Helmut begins to retrace his steps back to the entrance.
Escape the Depths: Miss! Reveal a danger: Denizen patrols the area: Eldrich bones
As he approaches the entrance hall, in the distance he sees a horrifying sight: a skeleton, upright and walking slowly away from him, as if having come from the double-doors. It carries a sword and small round shield, and its bones shimmer an oily silver-black. Helgot stops stock still and presses against the doorway, hoping to remain unseen.
Face Danger: Weak hit; Endure Stress: -2 spirit, miss: -1 momentum
The silvery skeleton pauses at the distant doorway — Helgot’s heart hammers in his chest and the pounding of blood in his temples seems loud enough that surely it alone could give him away — but then the reanimated soldier opens the door, steps through, and is gone, the door swinging shut behind it. Helgot waits a moment to be sure the danger has passed, then quickly but quietly ascends the stairs to the red doors and leaves. The crisp mountain air has never tasted so good.
|1||Floor one, The Path of Mavors|
|1.64||Chamber of the Face|
|2 orc guards||Slain|
|Pack of giant rats||Most slain, some escaped|