Icehammer Dwarves: Session 12

Icehammer Dwarves battle the terror of the Dragon Barrow
A thirty-foot-high hill rose ahead of us, its top too flat to be a natural occurrence. Jutting from the grassy hilltop was a row of ten-foot-tall, bone-white rocks that arced toward the stormy sky like outstretched talons.

We circled the mound, noticing its distinctive dragon-like shape, with the pale rocks resembling spikes protruding from the dragon’s back. As we were searching, I found an entrance. One of the white rocks atop the hill acted as a trapdoor that led down into the hilltop. Berreck pushed it aside, revealing a two-foot-wide spiral staircase with flagstone steps, descending thirty feet.

We entered, and looked around, noticing that the chambers and tunnels were made of packed earth and reeked of moisture and stale, deadly air. The column that made up the staircase had a hallway running around it, with halls leading off in each of the cardinal directions. The area we were in was dark, except for faint lights coming from each of the halls.

Heading to the south, which would be the head of the dragon, Berreck stepped on loose flooring and fell into a pit trap. The floor of the trap, ten feet down, was covered in strategically placed swords, rusty blades upright.

As soon as Berreck fell in the pit, a ball of light whizzed toward him and seemed to shock him. However, after a few toll the deads and swings from Berreck’s greataxe, the ball of light, which seemed to have been the source of the dim light we had seen earlier from this passage, disappeared.

With the threat removed, Berreck began searching the pit, coming up empty except for a golden tipped quill. Berreck was then easily able to climb out of the pit on the other side, where he waited to assist Boaromyr and me as we jumped across.

Statue of Ahira Ironfist
The passageway soon opened up to a larger room. Inside, there was a large stone statue of Ahira Ironfist, Berreck’s ancestral guardian, wielding a mighty greataxe! We searched the room, finding nothing but a skinny passage in the east wall. Boaromyr seemed reluctant to enter the pathway, so Berreck went up ahead a few feet to check it out. However, unable to see the end and reluctant to run into a fight in such a small space, he came back. He easily jumped back over the pit and stood at the other end ready to assist Boaromyr and me. However, this time, as Boaromyr jumped across, he wasn’t able to jump far enough even with Berreck’s outstretched hands at the other end, falling on two shortswords in the pit. Thankfully, although injured, he survived. After Berreck pulled Boaromyr out of the pit, I was easily able to jump over with Berreck’s help and I cast cure wounds on Boaromyr.

We continued on toward the dim light in the east wing. However, as we came around a corner, the dim light disappeared and in front of us was a large room with two sarcophagi. There was also a skinny pathway in the west wall that we suspected connected to the one we had seen in the head room. To see if this was the case, Berreck made his way through the pathway; however, about 30 feet in, he stepped on a floor plate and the walls of the passage collapsed on top of him! Boaromyr and I dug furiously in order to save Berreck before he suffocated. Luckily, with Boaromyr to help, we were able to dig him in about six minutes, finding Berreck slightly purple and about to pass out.

After Berreck caught his breath, we searched the room and found nothing of interest. Then, I assisted Berreck in lifting the covers of one of the sarcophagus; however, as soon as the cover was partially lifted, acidic dust filled the air. We jumped out of the way, inadvertently dropping the cover back down.

Boaromyr and I stood back while Berreck pulled the lid so that when he jumped back, it would stay uncovered.

Eventually, the dust dissipated and we discovered that the sarcophagus was entirely empty.

We repeated the opening process with the other one, which was identical save for a cube of stone near the “head” of the sarcophagus. Inspecting it, we realized that it was part of the box, and Berreck quickly took my old hammer and flattened it, feeling satisfied with his effort.

We returned to the central entrance and I led the way cautiously to the west wing . Examining the floor carefully, I was able to spot a pit trap without activating it. We all crossed carefully over it and stepped into the west wing.

There was a sarcophagus in each of the four corners of the chamber, and columns in the middle. As we entered, we saw a light go behind a column and then disappear.

All of the sarcophagi had markings carved into the lids; one had a sword, the next a lute, the third a cross, and the last had a faded swirl marking.

We tried, but were unable to open the sarcophagi with the sword and the lute. We moved on to the cross and were finally able to open it. A mummified dwarf body lay there, vaguely resembling a priest of some kind. Berreck went to touch it and it crumbled into dust, leaving behind only a gold amulet.

I immediately recognized the symbol on it, two interlocked silver rings, to be of my god, Berronar Truesilver. I put it on over my amulet of Moradin.

We moved on to the last sarcophagus, the one with the swirly pattern. It opened easily and revealed another dwarf, this one looking to be a sage. It too crumbled, leaving a gold chain with nine rubies hanging off it. I stored it in my pouch.

We went back to the sarcophagus with the sword, but could still not open it. We had better luck with the one that had the lute. A third dwarf body lay there, this one in leather armor, and, before it even disintegrated, we could see the large lute next to it. I stowed the instrument in my pack.

We tried the sword sarcophagus for the third time and were finally able to lift the lid. The dwarf was also in leather armor and, as it fell apart, we saw a remarkably thin rope that seemed to have been coiled in its pack, which I also put in my pack.

We left the room and went north, toward the tail.

We entered a chamber with two sarcophagi, one on the east wall and one on the west. A huge dragon skeleton filled the far end of the room, many of its bones stuck into the walls.

One of the sarcophagi had a shield engraved on it and the other had a dragon skull, overlaying an axe.

We opened the one with the shield first. The dwarf body inside crumbled when touched, leaving nothing behind.

Before opening the other sarcophagus, Berreck and I knelt down to say a prayer. We then lifted the lid to reveal a dwarf body that clearly resembled both the statue in the southern room and Berreck’s ancestor. Lying on the body was the same axe that the statue had! Berreck carefully lifted the weapon, trying to avoid touching the body for fear of destroying it; but was too eager, and the body disintegrated anyway.
Axdraka, the Dragon Slayer great axe of Ahira Ironfist
We knelt again, but this time were interrupted by moving lights to the north. Looking up, we saw four wisps of light zooming around the far section of the room, close to the dragon skeleton.

The lights flew into the dragon skeleton, two of them lighting up the eye sockets. The skeleton began to rise, lifting its skull and pulling its bones out of the walls.

Berreck charged at it and hit it in the neck twice with his new axe, which seemed to do an extraordinary amount of damage, sending fragments of bone flying. The dragon swung its skeletal neck around and bit Berreck with its exposed fangs. Then it rose further, pushing up with its arms and crashing into the ceiling, causing huge sections of packed earth off to collapse into the room. Berreck collapsed under the falling debris.

At my urging, Boaromyr ran in and dragged Berreck back, and I used preserve life to revive him. I cast spiritual weapon, but could not hit the dragon.

Berreck rushed in again, smashing his axe into the dragon’s bony neck and hit it twice, only to be bit again by the huge skull. Boaromyr rushed in at Berreck’s side but was ineffective against the massive skeleton. I used my cure wounds to heal Berreck and then attacked the dragon again with my spiritual weapon, this time hitting but not seeming to do very much.

Berreck swung his mighty axe once more, cracking the dragon’s skeletal neck in two and split the skull in two with a second swing. As the skull fell, the lights went out.

The ghost of Ahira Ironfist
The spectral figure of Ahira Ironfist appeared before Berreck. All of us knelt, Berreck holding the great weapon before him. Ahira gently pushed the weapon toward Berreck, seeming to give it to him. Then, the spectral form disappeared. We knelt for a moment longer before getting up. Once we rose, Berreck said the axe, named Axdraka, had revealed its power to him.

We decided to spend the night in the barrow, and after an uneventful rest, during which I attuned to the amulet of health, we left the barrow and headed back to Adabra’s.

When we arrived, we saw Adabra leaning out of her window, yelling at someone who was standing outside. A human was standing next to his horse a couple dozen feet back from her windmill home.

Berreck Grimshield rushes to defend Adabra Gwynn
Berreck and Boaromyr ran up while I tried to catch up with them. As I neared, I noticed that the ground near him looked burnt, and I heard the man ask why Adabra wouldn’t give him any healing potions.

Berreck asked Adabra if the man was giving her trouble. She said that she was coming down, and soon opened her door and stepped out. She walked up to us and said quietly, in dwarvish, that she did not trust this man, but could not explain why. After discussing further, I concluded that it may have been because he had asked if she could give him more healing potions, even though she had never sold any to him.

She was excited to hear that we were successful at the Dragon Barrow. We showed her what we had retrieved. She confirmed that the lute and necklace were a lute of illusions and a necklace of fireballs, respectively. At her suggestion we asked the rope to form a knot, confirming it was a rope of climbing. She said if it weren’t, it would reply, “frayed knot.”

He introduced himself as Dobin Noreth of Reaverton and said that he and a bunch of his friends had “trapped” the dragon on top of Icespire Hold. We pointed out that the dragon had wings and could leave anytime, but he seemed to ignore that. He said they needed healing potions for when they attacked the dragon, which Berreck laughed at.

Berreck challenged Dobin to a friendly duel to see if he was any good, and we agreed that I would heal anyone who got hurt. Dobin accepted and they started to duel. Dobin drew a second longsword from his horse and wielded it along with the longsword he had been carrying. They exchanged a few blows, Berreck doing an exorbitant amount of damage with a single swing, while Dobin’s slashes produced faint scratches Berreck held up a hand, saying, “That’s enough,” and walked away. Dobin, surprised, asked if Berreck yielded, to which Berreck shook his head and said he had seen enough.

After I healed Dobin with cure wounds, Berreck and I discussed what we should do.

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