I’m sectioning off this part of my journal to record the relevant facts of my party’s expedition into this underground dwarven complex. I can scarcely believe those words even as I write them, such a rare opportunity to recover lost knowledge and history! And my hopes are that this valuable information can one day be added safely to our libraries for protection.
It’s clear from our exploration so far that the dwarves – or perhaps their masters? – designed this complex to confuse or frustrate outsiders, as we have found many dead ends and gotten turned around in our mapping of its maze-like tunnels. The construction is of very well-done stonework in a brick pattern, and seems to be perfectly clean and free of dust, the reason for which we have only been able to speculate on.
Some of the features we’ve discovered so far are as follows:
A short message on the wall near the entrance, written in dwarven script and translated by Obroam: “Pain Brings Service”
A dark-robed body… or rather, half a body, as half of it had seemingly just melted away. We guessed that this was one of the cultusts devoted to Chaos or the Dark Ones
A soft, rhythmic metallic noise
A set of 6 pipes going from floor to ceiling at the end of one tunnel, with a whistling noise that could be heard within – we could only guess at their function, perhaps some gas or smoke escape from somewhere down below?
A strange metal chest with no lock, surrounded by strange colored lights that moved when we approached them. I detected no traps on the chest, but when I tried to gently pry it open I felt a strange resistance, and we decided to leave it for now…
A section of wall with patterns on it that seemed to shift and change as we watched
An idol that gave off such a strong, malevolent aura of Chaos that even from across the corridor I felt the urge to shoot it with a crossbow bolt
Our only resistance so far was encountered in a room that I assume to be a torture chamber, with skeletons chained to the walls. Here we were attacked by what must have been undead creatures, two in animated bodies, and two translucent floating figures. Fortunately, all were susceptible to physical damage enough that we were able to rip them apart in our counterattack, but Obroam reported feeling quite a chill when one of the floating ones had managed to touch him during the battle, and I fear the damage to him might’ve been much more severe if he hadn’t been so resilient.
We’ve been able to collect several items that may be of use or historical value, including a cache of bottles that Phaedra believes contains material used in practicing the arcane arts, and several shaped, flat metal objects with patterns inscribed on them that perhaps a sage could tell us more about.
I must note, as Defender of Tangadorin, Obroam has been empowered with the ability to detect both magical and Chaotic auras, as I’ve written before. Some of our discoveries so far seemed to defy any natural explanation, but neither was Obroam able to detect anything supernatural. Is there some other force at work here, if not magic nor Chaos?
I’m thinking about asking one of the other party members to take this journal back to the monastery for me should I meet my end down here, but I haven’t decided which of them I can trust to do the task. I’m leaning towards Rem, as the companion that of all of us seems to be least beholden to other agendas. Obroam is loyal and has a good heart, but his service to Tangadorin must always come first. Mort, as is appropriate seems to be as the shifting winds; deciding what to do next on the whim of the moment. My other companions Lindin and Phaedra I don’t feel I’ve gotten to know well enough in our travels to ask, though I’m hoping that will change with time.
We’re resting as I’m writing this; hopefully I’ll be able to add more soon but I’m going to suggest that we go back to that chest next in order to try something – I think I may have puzzled out the meaning of “Pain Brings Service”, and I’d like to see if Obroam would be willing to try out a little experiment…