With the Bowmen seemingly unwilling to leave us in peace in Temple Rise we need to discover more options should we need them.
Along with myself, Sorscha, Nathaniel and his two companions we go the only direction left to us…north across the destroyed bridge to look for help or an escape. Sorscha of course traverses the tree laid across the chasm by our ogre friend Bulk with ease, I follow with ease though not with the same grace. Nathaniel and his friends not so much, after several slips and near falls they make it across to join us. As they try and regain their pride, and everyone that watched regain their composure we set off along what appears to be an old cobblestone path.
The path leads up into the mountains to a high plateau with ruins of what we assume is an old Dwarven town, based on the huge sculptures flanking the road into the town. We fan out and discover what appear to be cairns holding dwarves of some importance nestled against a sheer cliff face, surrounded by a semi-circle of 13 statues similar to the ones that flanked the road as we entered the ruined town. The statues are well worn and damaged, but we clearly make out Moradin, a dwarven god, the others are not so easy. Between us we think one has the the clan insignia of Wyrkadrin, or Soul Anvil. Will have to do more research when we get back to Temple Rise. Nathaniel detects there is still some wards active on them, and after noticing the upkeep around the cairns we know someone is still actively taking care of the place.
While Nathaniel is taking sketches of some runes, Sorscha informs me we have a stalker in the form of a large cat hiding in the trees, and possibly the bird that’s been circling overhead. Not wanting to anger any forest creatures we leave and continue along the path.
About an hour and a half further up the mountain we find a pair of guard posts flanking a large stone bridge. Deciding we couldn’t make it back before dark I start across the bridge followed by my companions. Halfway across we see figures waiting for us on the other side that appear to be dwarven in stature. Not wanting Sorscha to give a bad first impression based on her obvious heritage I stride forward with Nathaniel trailing behind to serve as translator if necessary. After giving a greeting I learned years ago to break the ice we cycled through several languages until we came upon an amalgamation that worked.
These are the survivors of an old Dwarven citadel that used to trade with Temple Rise during the Thyatian Empire. Apparently some kind of sickness hit the human settlement that caused them to attack and kill each other, which is why no one has been able to settle there.
They destroyed the bridge to protect themselves, and have had no contact with humans other than a druid that is a descendant of the town. Apparently the dwarves had their own problems, a colossal dragon has taken up residence in their main keep, and they have struggled to survive since, residing in a former outpost called Shädenhome, even doing the unthinkable and cohabiting with Duergar to survive.
Wanting to renew the agreement made centuries ago, I as the new Prime agree to help them and they agree to aid us.
The Shädenhome dwarves offer, as part of our renewal of the ancient agreement, to send a group of 15 dwarves, lead by a great grandson of the Chief Gruenchdok, back to Temple Rise with us as reingforcements and also some supplies to relieve our besieged refugees. I believe we may have found our miracle. Blessed be Heironeous.