Hammertime

Lonely no more
Invasion

With the fungal dwarves hot on our tail we decided to head back to the cave-in area. It was a long run and without Barador’s epic endurance we would have failed and been over-run.

However, when we arrived at the cross-roads we found that someone had triggered the cave-in trap we’d set…we know not who. We ran and hid down the skaven fork to avoid the onrushing mycanoids. When their noises died down we went back to investigate but found that there were numerous still there including some sort of plant behemoth – a mixed up construct of many species melded together with the fungal disease – digging out the cave-in.

Their numbers overwhelming, we retreated to consider our options: either deal with the skaven to help us defeat the diggers or try to find an alternate path home with or without skaven guidance.

Having tried to negotiate with his apparent second in command, the assassin Vliksis, the skaven shaman Tchkriss agreed to help us defeat the digging fungals. A large part of the work was done by them by sending 3 grenadiers with jars of fire water that were almost instantly lethal to the guarding mushroom people. We helped finish the job but realized that the skaven were better possessed with knowledge to defeat our mutual enemy.

Speaking of possessed, though, it should be noted that Tchkriss seems to be very powerful thanks to his staff imbued with a green glowing rock but this power seems to be coming at great cost to him in the form of seizures and strange corruptions of his body.

He does seem to be fully possessed of his mental capacities, however, and when he recommended that we destroy the fungal creatures that seemed to be tasked with spreading their spore, we saw that he was not without wisdom. Similarly, he taught us that the creatures surrounded by the miasma cloud of spores seem to lead the mindless automatons among them.

In any case, we all made short work of the fungal dig team and continued on to Tarran Tor. We’d made a deal with the shaman to instigate a parley with him and our leaders but he wandered off before we could organize the details.

Happy were we when we met Captain Briggs on the way home and informed him of all that had come to pass. He told us to get back and continued on to guard the cave-in site.

Once back in town we were debriefed by lieutenant Virfildson and reassigned to the 1st Basalt Diggers whom we joined on escort duty for a week of more excavation with brave Dovrak leading the expedition as our seargent.

I don’t know about my commrades but I was shocked at how little care the leadership was taking about the obvious and imminent threat of the fungal dwarves. Luckily we do seem to be developing some explosive “grenades” which may yet come in handy.

Sure enough, we returned from the uneventful escort duty to find that the entire city was embroiled in a fight for its life. The White Dwarves had overrun Briggs’ position and were invading.

The lieutentant was happy to see us return seemingly in the nick of time and we were quickly tasked with escorting Birloff Stoutgut’s Brimstone Sappers to the crossroads between the Basalt and Granite tunnels. There we fought off a push from the fungal dwarves despite their ranged weapon superiority and the Sappers managed to explode their enourmous “bomb” and seal off the White Dwarf’s entry to our town.

We stand now separated from the sappers by a large cave-in on the fungal dwarf side of the crossroads unsure of the outcome of the battle at large.

I carve these runes on these walls lest we be struck down before we speak them.
Glyph-Reader Ernst, 1st Basalt Diggers.

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Bolthome
Ghost City

We decided to rest up at the original dig site for a night and to press onward to reconnoiter for traces of survivors and perhaps signs of the enigmatic White Dwarves.

We took the dressed tunnels for a few minutes until we found our way barred by giant doors adorned with a sigil of a stone cube pierced by a crossbow bolt. Beyond was a strange arena of some sort with signs of a recent battle in the far corner next to similar doors beyond. A bodkin crossbow bolt was found lodged into the stone bleachers.

From here we heard the sounds of battle that surely included skaven. It was indeed skaven but a very weak party of them being decimated by what appeared to be the very White Dwarves we sought. We came to the dwarves aid against the wretched ratmen and put them to flight. But the dwarves, rather than being grateful seemed incapable of such a sentiment and proceded to attack us in preternatural unison when Dovrak mentioned the name of our sacred town: Tarran Tor.

We overcame the dwarven axemen and their brethren with Crossbows so large and powerful as to be a minor wonder of engineering. But not without the aid of Thengir who was a member of the 1st Granite Diggers who we were sent to relieve on our original mission.

He told us of a trap laid by these White Dwarves for his comrades once they had collapsed the dig and decided to explore further. He was isolated from them and not the worse for wear when we found him. The Glyphs of Moradin showed themselves in his favour…and in ours…this time.

We wondered what curse had befallen these white dwarves with their well-worn but equally well-made weapons and armour to make them into mindless mushroom zombies. Barador and Kalderak offered postulates but no sure answers; we did all agree with Kalderak, however, that we should wear cloth masks around our noses and mouths lest their condition was brought on by the spores we are seeing on all the walls. Everything, but especially any remaining wood-fungus is covered in this pink stuff which glows and is so prevalent now that we don’t need our sunrods for light.

Introductions with our new found squad-mate having been completed, we endeavored to continue our reconnaissance. We noted a remaining Skaven from their battle and parlayed with him so that we could continue without fear of reprisal from the rear. Slim assurance from the jaws of a rat…but better than nothing.

We passed through many lengths of tunnels with rooms that offered evidence of the outskirts of a passed dwarven civilization. These included guard posts, some storage chambers and what seemed to be a farmstead who’s soil had turned to sand and who’s farm implements had turned mostly to dust.

Finally we reached a great steel enforced gate like the last ones but even greater. Beyond was a huge dwarven city that was silent and quite dead. The clear tracks probably all made by white dwarves in this area all avoid the terraced city and head straight through on the boulevard on which we entered and which appears to go on to a new cavern after the city.

We explored the city and found no trace of white dwarves except the prevalent spore everywhere. Everywhere except the Temple to Moradin; Hammer of the Gods be praised!

But as we disturbed the spore more and more in the area it appeared to begin to pulse. And then, as we explored yet more, it turned from pink to bright red. Perhaps we should have cut our losses but many holy valuables were to be found and we did not feel it right to leave sacred gold to the misappreciation of the mindless dwarves. It was certainly eerie to explore a town so abruptly abandoned…but wealth is a virtue.

Sure enough we were eventually attacked by a fungus dwarf reconnaissance party led by what appeared to be the fungally possessed seargent of the 1st Granite Diggers. Curse this fungus, we eventually defeated them though we were hamstrung by our fear of getting trapped by a city of white dwarves and never living to tell this dire warning. We didn’t have time to defeat the thankfully small party before we noticed a shambling mass of white dwarves in the distance approaching from beyond the ghost city. Needless to say, we retreated to count our coins.

I carve these runes on these walls lest we be struck down before we speak them.
Sigil-Keeper Ernst, 2nd Granite Diggers.

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Escort Duty
The 2nd Granite Diggers

We escorted Foreman Briggs and his group of 10 tunnelling engineers.

The 12 or so hour trip to the excavation site was quiet.

When we arrived we saw very little sign of the excavation unit we were meant to relieve. All that was left was their transport which had apparently been rummaged around by skaven. There was no sign of struggle leading up to the skaven looting the heavy equipment.

After some investigation it was determined that there had been a cave-in where the last group had been excavating. Briggs sounded the miner’s morse code on the collapsed stone and got a faint response. The excavators proceeded to try to extricate any survivors.

We found one survivor (name?!) and revived him. He told us that the cave-in had been intentional but it was unclear what they were escaping. The survivor was a little incoherent but we gleaned that his comrade Linkstone (?) had triggered the cave-in with the approach of some White Dwarves.

The only White Dwarves we know of are the holy warriors of a sub-cult that’s been dead for 500 years.

Further excavation revealed the mangled and dead body of Linkstone and finally the excavators reached to an opening to a passage beyond the cave-in. One of them stuck their head in the hole to see beyond and was prompty snatched by what we later learned was a Rat-Ogre with particularly diseased flesh and bits of glowing florescent green stone embedded willy-nilly in his flesh.

We rushed to open the passage further to rescue the snatched excavator and met with a group of well-prepared Skaven slingers being led by a lurking assassin Skaven. When we charged them we were also set upon by some vicuous dire rats. We dispatched this rear-guard and chased the scent of the rat-ogre and the assassin skaven whom we had injured before he scampered away.

It took us an hour or so to track down the skaven village…but before then we came across a Living Cavern where we disturbed and were attacked by a giant beetle. We defeated it and salvaged part of its carapace which is known to be good for crafting.

At the village, a skaven shaman, the assassin, the rat-ogre and a few of their minions were waiting for them. We tried to negotiate for the life of the captured engineer but the bastards had already eaten him. In our rage we attacked the skaven but were only able to fight to a stand-off.

We negotiated being able to retrieve dog-tags from the skaven refuse pile and it became clear that part of the missing excavation team wasn’t neccesarily to be found here. We must assume that there is a chance they’ve been captured by these mysterious white dwarves. Hopefully we can get more info from that confused engineer.

I carve these runes on these walls lest we be struck down before we speak them.
Sigil-Keeper Ernst, 2nd Granite Diggers.

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