We found ourselves in front of a giant, bronze door. Jhornim had to speak some language with a knock on the door to open it. Eventually, it did open and what I saw was a marvel. Other dwarves! It seemed as if they were forged with fire and metal. And they wore kilts. That is very important information.
Invited in, we relaxed for a while until an Elder of the clan, named something, came to introduce himself and who his people were. Even in the Underdark, the political climate never seems to change. We were invited to feast, and by feast I mean drink the firewine they provided. There, we told our story and found out that father and his warriors took down the fire giant fort. I am often in two minds about the man. One, he left his family for what sometimes seems like a fool’s dream. All I know is stories of him.
We were informed that the species of dwarves they were originally came from the fire plane a millennia ago. Called Azers, they tended to keep to themselves. To be able to use their secret passage, of sorts, we had to do something for them. That something was to get their gem back from a rogue fire giant with a pack of hellhounds. Easy enough, right? The gem was called “The Soul of the Forge”.
We figured out what our metal orbs from the salamanders were called. They were called Orichalcum and they had fire energy absorption properties. It’s what they coated their boats with to survive the lava sea. Given the amount of orbs we had, we could get some equipment forged but it could take weeks. Not much use to us now.
Either way, Dragor thought now was the best time to tell Jhornim the truth. As far as I can tell, he utterly failed at breaking the news to him gently and as a result, almost got himself killed. Jhornim obviously felt betrayed and left soon after. I never liked the fact we lied to him but, outranked and outnumbered, I had to tow the family line and obey my king and brother.
The next day, we were rested and trained and ready to set out. We were joined by a fire dwarf, Uster, and before he spoke he was good looking. The more he spoke, the less attractive he became. That being said, he is a good warrior. It took a few days to get to the island where the fire giant resided but on the way we were set upon by a lava serpent. We barely managed to escape with a manic steam wind from Orlof.
The island we had to storm was a good old charge. We got as far as we could get and, with some fancy invisible traps from Azgan, stopped whatever tactics the hellhounds had. We killed them all whilst dodging boulders. Some did better than others in that department. However, some hellhounds retreated and the damned giant closed the doors on us.
It would take something ingenious to get inside and take the gem back.