Icehammer Dwarves: Session 4

Icehammer Dwarves on the trail
After a long discussion, we were unable to ascertain the use of the mystery key. At a loss for ideas, we decided to camp out inside the altar room in the shrine until the next morning.


When we woke up early the next morning, I was able to prepare and cast detect magic. After a few seconds, I discerned that the key emitted an aura of transmutation magic. Furthermore, I could tell that the altar emitted an aura of divination. Following this discovery, we quickly scanned the premises of the temple for more magical items and came up empty.

With the last remaining minutes of my spell, we climbed to the roof of the building to take a look at the bell. Although the bell did not emit a magical aura, upon closer inspection, I found that there was a layer of copper paint peeling off of the bell that Berreck had missed the day before. Behind the layer of paint, I could see the bell was in fact made of gold! Having come to this discovery, I motioned Berreck to swiftly cut the bell down. With ease, Berreck was able to cut down the bell; however, the bell dented slightly from the impact of the ground. As we were getting off the roof, Berreck slid off the roof in an intentional looking, yet painful manner as his body slammed against the roof repeatedly.

With nothing else useful to be found in the temple, Berreck wrapped the bell in a sack in an attempt to conceal its value and we started making our way to the Mountain’s Toe Goldmine with Don-Jon. After a day's travel, we arrived at the mine uneventfully except for the dragon we sighted flying in the distance. as we entered the mine.

The Whiskered Gang of wererats
Once inside, we were again surprised by two ladies who came up behind us with crossbows pointed at our heads. After I informed them that the shrine had been cleared of orcs and Berreck intimidated them, they both walked deeper into the mine to alert their leader.

After a short while, the women came back and led us deeper into the mine, where we met their leader once again. After a short discussion and a few intimidating words, it was clear that they had no intention of leaving the mine even after we cleared out the shrine. After trying to settle this conflict peacefully to no avail, I gave Berreck a nod of approval as he charged into battle. As Berreck and I engaged with two of the women, I could hear that Don-Jon was also being forced into combat behind us as he guarded our rear.

The ghost of Ahira Ironfist
However, occasionally a phantasmal dwarven warrior appeared between me and our opponents. Although silent, it taunted and did battle with one of the women, in an act of protection, as she tried to attack me. After taking a look at the phantasmal warrior, it had a little resemblance to Berreck. After a moment longer I recognized the warrior as Ahira Ironfist, a dwarven hero. Berreck had told me he had sometimes felt as though his ancestors were protecting him during fights, but I had never seen anything like this before.

After a few exchanged blows, it was clear they did not seem to be harmed by my warhammer and Berreck’s greataxe and only seemed to be affected by my spells. In the midst of battle, I heard Don-Jon scream about getting attacked by big rats as well as human-rat creatures, but he seemed to be holding his own for the moment. Don-Jon’s comment about rat people jogged a memory about similar creatures I had once read in a book, called wererats. I recalled that although they are immune to many common weapons, they are not immune to silver weapons. Berreck seemed to have remembered this too, as he grabbed the silver dagger, the symbol of Abbathor, which we had found in the abandoned dwarf mine, off my waist. I continued to attack them with my spiritual weapon and toll the dead as Berreck continued to stab them with my silver dagger. The dagger seemed to be hurting the women, confirming my assumption about their race. Sometime during the battle, Don-Jon seemed to have gotten badly hurt and started to run away deeper into the cave as three wererats chased him. With Don-Jon no longer guarding our rear, one wererat and three big rats approached from behind.
Berreck Grimshield fights off The Whiskered Gang of wererats
During the battle, the leader confessed that the orcs had not chased them out of the cave. In fact, they had chased the orcs out of this mine and were the ones that had killed the orcs we had found dead on the road a few days ago. After a long exchange of blows, we were finally able to kill the three wererats and oversized rats.

After making sure they were all dead, Berreck picked up the bell that he had dropped before the fighting started, and we ran toward the direction Don-Jon had fled. By following his trail of blood, we determined that he had made his way out of the mine. Unable to follow the rest of his tracks, we decided to follow the path for a while in hopes of recovering them.

After a few minutes, Berreck was shot by a hand crossbow bolt just as he seemed to have found Don-Jon’s tracks again. Looking up, I could see three people, which I assumed were wererats in human form, approach. Berreck drank a potion of healing as we rushed into combat. After an intense exchange of blows, we were able to kill all three wererats; both of us were severely bloodied and injured.

As we were making sure they were dead, Don-Jon appeared from the bushes, wounded but alive. After a few cheerful remarks, we began to make our way back to the mine.

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