Ptolus: City by the Spire

The Mountain Door

The party arrived at the Black Swan, looking for Holmag Hornblower. Maur hoped that he may be able to shed some light on the dwarven cog key that he had been carrying around for a while. They soon learned that Holmag was not to be found, but they did run into the dwarf they had seen sitting with him, earlier, however – Hudrick Aleblade. Hudrick explained to them that a few days ago, Holmag had learned from a dwarf at The Foundry, that there may be an entrance into The Undercity through the old Clock Tower in Oldtown. According to Hudrick, Holmag and a group of four other dwarves from his clan had set out about two days ago to explore the Clock Tower and see if there was an entrance there that would take them to Khaled Del – a dwarven tower that Holmag had been searching for, and allegedly a hidden haven for the Stonelost dwarves of Ptolus.

The party decided to go after Holmag, not only to speak with him, but perhaps to aid him in his quest.

Once at the Clock Tower, the party found signs that Holmag and his party had been there. The hidden trapdoor in the floor which they had found the last time they were there, was no open and a knitted rope hung down into the darkness. Climbing down the rope, the party found themselves in a basement like chamber lined with rotting and crumbling book shelves. On some of the shelves they found books that were clearly once the property of House Abbercombe – a now defunct noble house of the city that had died out long ago (but the last surviving member is trapped in gold and held at Castle Shard).

The party also found the burnt remains of a troll near a secret door hiding a stairway leading deeper beneath the basement.

At the bottom of the stairs, the party entered what looked like an ancient crypt of the Abbercombes. Among the sarcophagi were several recently killed orc warriors (no more than a couple days dead). At the back of the crypt they found yet another secret door, which, upon opening, revealed another stairway leading deeper beneath the city. This stairway and secret entrance appeared to be of dwarven make.

This stairway led the party to a large expanse of caverns that appeared to have been crafted and ornamented by both dwarven and human hands. It was now occupied by a vicious group of orcs that obviously used these caverns as a base to make occasional raids into and around the city. After killing a number of orcish guards, the party found a large stockpile of foodstuffs from the city above, as well as a pair of human captives.

The humans (a man and a woman) explained they were travelers from a nearby village and had been kidnapped by the orcs to be ransomed back to their families. Their families were poor and they both felt they would soon die when the orcs learn they will not be able to get any gold for them. Presently, they had been held captive for about a month.

The captives explained they had seen a small band of five dwarves sneaking through the tunnels a few days ago, while the majority of the orc guards had been out raiding. The dwarves had promised to come back to rescue them, but have not yet returned.

The party freed the captives and had them come along as they continued exploring the caverns. The party found numerous store rooms of stolen goods, as well as a few dwarven traps in the abandoned tunnels (which were clearly avoided by the orc raiders) as well as many secret doors that allowed them to ambush a number of the orcish guards and their ogre leader.

Having cleared out a substantial portion of the caverns, the party made their way back to the city above, releasing the humans they had freed.



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