The barbarian Col and the new recruits Gnarr, Barrek, and Simion were given the dwarven rune keys and sent north to discover their purpose. This was going to be a trying journey for Col because he would have to keep his seething hatred of the stout folk in check.
As the party set off into the wind blasted northern mountains they quickly realized they had not sufficiently prepared for the cold and snow that would confront them. The party, growing hungry tracked down an elk to supplement their food stores and possibly use its furs. Col raised his bow to take down the beast but before he could loose his arrow, a giant boulder crashed down from up the mountain, obliterating the elk. A shaggy humanoid standing ten feet tall bellowed from its perch and lobbed another boulder at Col.
The barbarian was able to easily dodge the rock and on Simion’s advice, the group left the area knowing the territorial Snow Troll would not follow them.
That night, Simion and Col’s steeds died from the cold. The party camped out under a rocky outcropping and attempted to make a fire. After several failures Gnarr used his sorcery to ignite a blaze. Barrek, while patrolling the area found a buried and frozen dwarf and his wagon. It was decided that the weather was not permitting to dig out this poor soul.
Further into their trek, Grarr happened to catch a glimpse of light shining out of the side of a mountain. Upon further investigation it was a crack, that with some squeezing, could be used to gain access into some tunnels inside the mountain. Once inside, the party saw a retreating light and decided to follow it. Eventually catching up, they found it was a dwarf! At this point, Col could not contain his hatred and loosed an arrow striking the fellow in the leg. Simion jumped on Col attempting to restrain him and the dwarf ran. Col threw off the weak Simion and started to chase the retreating dwarf and ran directly into the imposing armored chest of Barrek. Gnarr and Simion took the opportunity to run after the dwarf, Simion calling out to him in this own tongue.
After convincing the dwarf that the arrow incident was an accident, the party was led to the dwarven mining outpost in this mountain. The dwarves here were ragged and tired. They had been cut off from their main city by a cave in and were working hard to meet deadlines. After Gnarr used his magic to help the dwarves clear the cave in, the party was offered a dry, warm place to sleep for the night and a deal to help transport a shipment of black iron through the abandoned Abyss.
The Abyss was originally used by the dwarves to get around the mountain range, but after the denizens of this natural cave system showed a predatory instinct and a taste for flesh, the Abyss had been sealed off and a longer, but safer set of tunnels had been dug. With this in mind, the party and a contingent of dwarves set off to transport their cargo through this dangerous place.
The journey started off quiet. While the dwarves were repairing a damaged part of the track, Simion and Gnarr ventured out and, with the aid of Gnarr’s magic, spotted one of the infernal creatures. It looked similar to a man, but with arms and hands instead of legs and feet. It crawled on all fours and had two appendages that looked like spider legs protruding from its shoulders, but it did not walk on them. Most disturbing was its lack of a head, instead it had flaps of skin that covered its otherwise smooth shoulders. The creature retreated from the light that was thrown at it but Gnarr and Simion knew that they would see these again before this trip was out.
The first conflict came at a damaged bridge. While Barrek and Col were at the end of the span inspecting the damage, Col noticed one of the monsters lurking above the entrance into the cavern. He called a warning to Simion and Gnarr, who were about to enter through that same opening and loosed an arrow. The startled creature managed to skitter out of the way as the arrow stuck stone. Barrek drew his cross bow and stepped forward to also shoot at the creature. As he raised his weapon to fire, two more of the beasts sprang out from the chasm edge and impaled him on their spider leg like appendages. His flesh burned from some sort of poison excreted from the beasts and he toppled over the edge of the cliff. Col quickly shot one of Barrek’s assailants dead but was tackled by th other one. As Simion rushed forward and stuck his short sword though the monster on Col, Gnarr summoned forth a hand of stone from the cave wall and sacrificed the monster with his magics to some forgotten god.
Dealing with the death of Barrek rather well, everyone knows the risks of this kind of life and takes great pains to not become to attached to anyone, the three survivors ventured on with the dwarves. The rest of the journey was rather uneventful. Simion wandered off to investigate a glow coming from down one of the caverns and found some egg sacks of the monsters of this place as well as a rare flower and some glowing moss. Gnarr retrieved one of the egg sacks for Simion but the thing shrieked and the party was forced to retreat to the safety of the dwarven caravan.
As the caravan arrived at the gates to the main dwarf citadel it was attacked once more, this time by a giant version of the creature which had an eye covered head. The party was weary and tired and opted to retreat insead of fight. Col helped hold the beast back until Gnarr and Simion had made a safe getaway before following, hoping it would kill many dwarves before it was finally brought down.
Inside the citadel, the dwarf kind Banrin met the party and thanked them for their assistance as well as offering them shelter. Simion later wondered around the hold and found a dwarf elder teaching young ones. After the lesson was over, Simion approached him, inquiring about the rune stones. The elder could not read them, but brought Simion to _______, a runesmith who worked in the hold. ________ was surprised that even he could not read them but he had seen something like it before. He decided to join the party and its adventures for the Guild of the Black Goat to learn more about these stones and hopefully, someday, uncover their mystery.