The Stone-Hearted

33 - 42 Oontrom, Pass of 3820 - The Scorched Earth

Ranina's Diary

Dear Reader

Salamanders. Avoid them at all costs.

I get ahead of myself slightly. We entered the burning lands and it was hot. Worse than I have ever encountered. Thankfully Orlof had a spell that could counteract the elements and five of us were able to benefit. We’ll have to take turns, but it’ll be worth it. The land here is devoid of all life. Nary an animal or insect to be seen or heard. Given how hot it was down there it’s not surprising. Surprisingly we managed to get quite far before we discovered a body of a dwarf. It had long since desiccated in the constant heat and was nothing more than a mummified corpse. But he was of dwarven blood so we did right by him and buried him, of a sorts. He did, however, have a letter with a map and a swallowed broach. The broach he wanted returned to his family, as well as news of his death to his descendants in Embla.

The letter told of a magic repelling shield within a labyrinth of caves and passages. It was worth finding seeing as we needed items for taking back our home. On our way towards the find, we encountered the salamanders. They are vile, hot and hard to hit. We fought our way through, but not without injuries. It seemed that as I was caught, one of the bastards all but crushed me to near death… I was unconscious for who knows how long but when I awoke it was to Dragor holding my hand and Orlof healing me. I have no idea how close to death I was, but with the worried looks I would hazard it was close.
We continued on until we can across a massive cavern… all but infested with salamanders and getting hotter with each step closer. Thankfully the consensus was to follow the map into the opposite caverns and go for some good old fashion treasure hunting. Brodria and I navigated the labyrinth and only came across one group of zombie walkers, which Azgan managed to fend off. All I remember is that they were created by dying of unquenched thirst and that they’d sap the moisture right out of us.
We got to the end and found the first dwarf’s brother inside. It was initially unclear what happened but by how we found lightening arcing around when a cube was knocked off a statue’s hand, it seemed obvious what happened. Searching yielded almost nothing until Brodria found a secret door. Naturally, we went in once we worked out how to open it. (Put the cube from the hand into the wall).

I’ll leave what we found as a surprise for the next entry.



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