The Stone-Hearted

47-52 Koramaril, Pass of 3820: The Forge of Fury

Ranina's Diary

47 Korimaril, 3820
Reader,

I assume since you’re reading this, my diary has either been stolen, lost or is now a relic telling of how we got our home back. I’m hoping for the last.

The boys were five days overdue. Normally I wouldn’t be too fussed about this but Azgan was with them so I was worried. It wasn’t like them to be late. To take our minds off of it, we decided to go hunt around the hills looking for any signs of the dwarves we’d heard many rumours about. As suspected, there were no dwarves to be found. Instead we met an injured elf by the name of Lera. She was far too injured to accompany us to check out her ambush place, but she told us all she knew and that the orcs had taken two farmers prisoner. Frederick and Agnes, I believe their names were. Funny names, but well suited for humans I suppose.

We were able to borrow ponies from the village and went on our way. We found the ambush site well enough and then proceeded to track the orcs down. We decided to head north, which was fortunate because there were a bunch of those damn stinkers. Needless to say, they were slaughtered. Found a sword that looked to be of Dwarven craft. It was a mighty fine sword, too.

We headed back and followed the other path, since we hadn’t found those humans yet. We pulled an all nighter and found a Dwarven carved path and an unnatural rock formation. Naturally, we were curious and had to wonder. “Had we found the home of the rumoured Dwarves?”

To cut things short, dear reader, we took care of the lookout post guards by the doors to this Dwarven fortress and went to go explore. We made sure the rooms either side were empty and dispatched anything that was still alive and orc looking. We crossed the bridge over the ravine, which I sent a dirty orc tumbling down. Mighty proud of that, but anyway. We found those poor farmers locked up, seemingly to be the next meal. Dragor set his dog to watch over them as we had to find the key. During the explorations, we found a well, the ‘kitchen’, a dead end and a secret door. It was rather off putting. Covered in blood writing. We decided to leave that particular nugget of fun for a later time.

There was a huge door up the other end, but to make sure we’d be safe we checked the smaller door off to the side. They clearly were not expecting us and we managed to kill them all before they could even pick up their weapons. Idiots. Always be prepared, as Dragor pounded into my skull since before I could even walk or talk. That being said, when we opened the big door we were not prepared for the sight that greeted us.

A goddamn ogre and his two wolves.

Shit.

48 Korimaril, 3820
Reader,

As I was saying. Two wolves and a danm ogre. Dragor was on it like a flash, killing one wolf as it charged and then the second as it jumped over its buddy’s corpse. For some reason, he dropped his weapons and proceeded to get smashed unconscious. That left Orlaf and I, clearly not warriors, to take on this ogre ourselves. It all seemed futile, especially when more orcs came up from behind and tried to overwhelm us. We were doing alright, me dancing out the way of the ogre and Orlaf picking off other orcs until that spell caster. Why is it always a spell caster?

The poor bastard got a dose of what looked like his worst nightmare. The distraction allowed the ogre to get his one and only hit on me, which pissed me off to the point where he fell down, exhausted. I’d make sure he wouldn’t get up again anytime soon. Once he was down, Orlaf came to his senses and we finished them off. Bastards thought they could finish us. Us! We are Dwarves! (I was lucky to not get hit by that ogre, but the confidence boost didn’t hurt me one bit!).

We freed the farmers, took our little cache of gold we found and escorted them back to the village. Though, I did see something strange while on watch… none of the others believe me but I know I saw something fly across the moon… I just wish I knew what it was… nothing good. Nothing that ever flies is ever good.

Once we were rested, we went back to the mountain we now knew it to be called Stone Tooth. Fitting name, come to think of it. We spent a further two days fixing the bridge so we wouldn’t plummet to our death while crossing it. We spent some time thoroughly searching and inspecting things. We managed to dispose of the corpses down the ravine the bridge crossed. If we were going to stay here for awhile, we had to make it look at least a little respectable.

During our search, we found a straw stuffed gate. Naturally, we unstuffed it and opened it. Beyond was the most amazing huge formal hall. The reason for the door being stuffed and blocked became apparent when Stirges flew down. Luckily, the boys sliced them down easy enough. After, we were able to marvel at the detailed carvings that told the fall of our home, their rise to glory and their many battles. The carvings ended with them heading back towards home… I hope they made it. If there’s any way they know where our Mountain is, it would have to be here somewhere… right?

51 Korimaril, 3820
Reader,

Forgive my girlish hopes at the end of that last one. This is no time for such sentimentality.
We had a thorough search of this hall. There was a large crevasse that disappeared into darkness in the middle of the room. Nothing else seemed to stand out. But we did find a room with hanging skulls and a secret door wide open. Instead of closing it and risk us not being able to reopen it, we settled for piling crates by the entrance. Noise would be a good indication of something coming through.

We decided to bar the front doors to the place so nothing could come and bite us in the ass as we went to explore the lower levels. We were attacked by striges on the way down, but they were killed and we kept going. At the bottom, we found some Dwarven tombs. The earliest date we could find on them was 1700 years ago.

We kept going until we came to another cavern with these giant puffball mushrooms. I told the boys to be silent as I scouted ahead to check what the clacking sounds were. I had a fair idea, but seeing it confirmed it. It was Hook Horror. But this one only had one hook. Even with just one, it would be tough to take on. As it was, it had already hunted and went on its way. Seems there were Trogladites down here, too. I advised the boys that we should leave this particular cavern for another day.

We went down another passage into yet another cavern, and this one reeked. We founded a lot of passages down this cavern but we decided to check the barricaded one. There was a Trogladite watching us and we knew it was a trap. We decided to spring it anyway and then another appeared and released a brown bear on us! We killed the bastards and I somehow managed to calm the bear down so it wouldn’t attack us. As I was doing this, we were attacked from behind by what seemed like the whole damn tribe and a lizard pet on the roof.

We fought defensively and backed away, although we had some miscommunications along the way. Apparently the lizard had a sticky tongue and tried to throw me from the ground. I didn’t let that happen and we slowly retreated. Even when they sent the bear in to fight, it clearly didn’t want to.

We somehow got to the surface, on the far side of the mountain. We were alive, ad that was what mattered. Once we were healed up, we’d fight our way back in. This was a Dwarven mountain and there was no way in hell would I let those things infest it any longer than they already had.

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mepeterson

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