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The door in the Mountains [Gundabad Quest]

Tags: Oskar,  Broddur,  Graim

Short Summary: A few of the dwarves examine a cunningly wrought door in the rock face and are startled to find it unlocked. What lies beyond?
Date (real-life): 2011-03-25
Scene Location: Ered Mithrin, Hidden Valley
Date (in-game): July 3052
Time of Day: Afternoon?
Hidden Valley(#20023Rntof)

The valley seems to come at an end as the mountain wall once again stands in your path. The cool winter winds swirl about in gentle currents bringing with them a strong orcish smell and the makings of an ill omen. Fields of tall grass surround you. However, after a few seconds, you noticed that against the most southern mountain cliff stands a large iron door.

Obvious exits:
 North leads to Hidden Valley.
Great Door

[Ered-Luin ZMO(#9561)->Broddur] Real time is: Fri Mar 25 16:51:37 2011
Game time is: Day on Trewsday, Day 3 of July (Summer) 3052

Great Door(#13233EO)

This imposing portal of cast iron is carefully fitted into the side of a cliff face. Despite the metal its wonderously carved and rendered surface does not appear to have suffered the effects of time. There is a small plate lock that is set into the portal though there is no visible handle. Much of the door and the area around it is blackend with ash from what must have been a great fire blast.

[Ollie(#15066)] The small dwarven party, along with elves and rangers, has taken refuge in a hidden valley after being sorely wounded by orcs and wargs. Scouts sent out returned with word of a strange door in the cliff walls to the south - but it was securely shut, and so a guard was set and none tried to go in.

But now wounds have mended and some of the dwarves make up a party to explore. Just what is this door that looks as if it could be of dwarven make?

Oskar stops and waves a hand. "There," he says. "What do you think of that?"

Broddur is amongst those who got off more lightly in the last skirmish. There is some whispering as to the reason - apparently the old miner sleeps so soundly that two young dwarves both failed to wake him. His snores continued unabated in the midst of battle right up until the point someone stepped on him.

At least now he is awake. He scratches absently at a rag tied round his arm and peers at the doorway dubiously. "Good work, that was," he comments at last, the words stuffy-sounding. "But it's old. Reckon one good blow from a pick should break it." He seems not to notice the grimaces and mutterings about smell from some of his comrades.

[Graim(#20753)]     "'Tis a door, right enough," comes the dry response of one of the Dwarves, Graim of Erebor. The warrior-healer stares at the aforementioned topic of discussion, eyes narrowed slightly in thought. "I do not think goblins capable of such workmanship, and certainly not dragons or drakes can do such work; too small, for one thing, if they were even inclined."

    The Dhurenfal shoots a look at Broddur. "I am sure we can get it open without breaking it. That door is a relic of our past greatness."

[Ollie(#15066)] Oskar stumps up closer to the door, laying his fingers on it and tracing some of the carvings. "Look," he says. "There's been a fire, but it hasn't touched this. I don't think you'd get through it with a pick, Broddur." He shrugs. "You can try if you like. Probably just break a good tool though."

Broddur grunts morosely at Graim's comments. "A relic, to be sure," he mutters irritably. "If by that you mean it's old and creaky. When they said we were off in search of relics of Durin I had in mind jewels or mithril. Or maybe a weapon ..."

He peers at the place Oskar has indicated then leans a little closer, breathing heavily as he does. "Might it have been a dra- dra-" The question breaks off as the disturbed soot makes itself felt; suddenly the old miner gives an almighty sneeze.

[Graim(#20753)]     "Considering we are not yet under Gundabad, there is still time for that," replies the Dhurenfal, turning his attention back to the door. "Besides... who is to say none of that lies beyond it? Locked doors hold many secrets; often enough, hence why they are locked. Particularly if this leads into the old Dwarf homes that were in the Grey Mountains at one point."

    A brief pause. "Assuming that there are things that still remain unspoiled by drakes or goblins, of course." He turns his attention to the burn marks, nodding his head slightly and taking a brief step back as Broddur sneezes. "Possibly. If so, it has done a remarkable job of not being cleaned off by wind, rain and snow."

[Ollie(#15066)] "Surely, this was dwarf-work," Oskar breaks in. He's been examining the door and not paying attention to the conversation of the other two. "Look - here. And here." He points to various places on the door. "I wonder now... what manner of lock might it have on it?"

Broddur drags out a rag that has probably been previously used for cleaning a weapon, and blows his nose on it loudly. "Ah, that's better," he declares in satisfaction. "Not been breathing right for days."

At the Dhurenfal's words he looks thoughtful. "Could be a hoard from the time of the Dragons," he suggests hopefully. Could ... oh." The eager light in his eyes dies at the realization that not all the soot can be old. And with that realization comes another: "Something stinks round here," he growls. "Goblin-stink." He sniffs loudly a couple of times.

He doesn't obey Oskar's incentive to look, but does at least suggest, "Could be there's writing under all the dirt? Here." He offers his handkerchief.

[Graim(#20753)]     "I can prepare something to solve that, if you would like," Graim says absently, a thoughtful frown upon his face as he looks closer at the door. "Ah. That would be the question. Perhaps some type of key, or a simple pass word, like those in Erebor... Well, if it cannot be unlocked then surely it can be dug around." A brief pause. "If we are to clean it, we can do it better with water and clean rags."

[Ollie(#15066)] Oskar takes the handkerchief and dusts at the door with it - though it is a pathetically small scrap of material for the largeness of the territory it's being expected to clean. After a few swipes around the lock, he gives up and spits in his palm, then rubs that across the lock.

And soundlessly, the door swings in at his touch. A gust of fetid air whooshes out; but there is no light at all in the gaping cavern that is revealed.

"Only one way to solve orc-stink," Broddur growls in Graim's direction, swinging his pick meaningfully. "Rather this'd bite them than dirt. But if dirt it's to be-" He breaks off, open-mouthed, at the swinging gate. "Bloody goblins must've got there before us." His disappointment is almost tangible; nevertheless, with a sigh he rallies. "Anyone got a flint and dry tinder? Must've left mine back at camp."

He takes up position one side of the open gate, pick poised to hack at the first thing that comes out.

[Graim(#20753)]     Whatever Graim might have to say is cut off by the opening door. He stares at it, rather bemusedly, for a few long moments before blinking; a hand falls to his mace, resting there a brief second before he stirs. "Flint and steel I have; if someone has something we can light, then we shall be well set."

[Ollie(#15066)] Oskar gapes, open-mouthed. "Well!" he says, disgusted. "Don't tell me we've been guarding a door for all these days and no one ever thought to give it a shove to see if it opened!" But his hand is on his axe, ready. When nothing comes out, he fumbles in his belt and hands an unlit torch to Graim. "Was sure those younguns said it was shut up tight," he grumbles. "Just can't trust nothing, less you do it yourself."

Broddur shifts from foot to foot impatiently, the rasp of his breathing loud in the stillness. Clearly something about the northern air does not agree with him. Or perhaps he's just getting too old to be going on quests.

[Graim(#20753)]     With a nod, Graim takes the unlit torch and quickly lights it. Flint and steel put back into a pouch, he draws his mace from his belt as he steps towards the opening beyond the door. "Well, the door has no handle. That usually indicates a more complex method of opening..." The Dhurenfal shrugs before he steps into the darkness beyond.

[Ollie(#15066)] Oskar moves forward after Graim. "True," he says grudgingly. "I never did see a dwarven lock made that couldn't keep out any it wanted - or even hide itself entirely! Suppose we should consider ourselves lucky it wasn't one of those moon-locks or something - we'd have squatted on top of it for months and never known it was there."

You find you are able to heave open this great portal and step inside.

Hall of Thrain I(#13892RnUf)
    As you pass through the gate you are astonished by the size of this room. Despite the effect of time and orcish occupation, you can still see this used to be a great hall. Now, some of the large, white marbled pillars have collapsed, the tapestries have either been burned down or torn. A few skulls and other bones litter the floor as well as orchish refuse. Dozens of feet above your head, you can see that the ceiling has also partly collapsed. All around you lay, broken on the ground, statues of the old dwarven occupants, defiled by the years as well as by the orcs living in the valley. Most of the passage ways and stairs leading out of this hall have collapsed or been destroyed. You notice one dark passage in the southeastern corner, as a chilling and foul air emanates from there..

Obvious exits:
Arch <A> and Great Door <GD>

Broddur does not completely lose his head. "Rest stand guard at the door," he growls out to the remainder of the party without looking round. "Need someone to report back to camp if things turn bad." And with that happy thought he follows the others.

The scene that meets his eyes is greeted with astonished awe. The old miner stays stock-still for a moment, then sinks kneeling to the floor, murmuring softly, "Glories of Mahal!" He lifts his gaze from the rock beneath to find himself staring into the eye-sockets of a skull.

[Graim(#20753)]     A soft, amused, snort comes from the Dhurenfal. "Aye, those moon locks can be bothersome. I really wish the ancestors had the presence of mind to make more than one copy of instructions on such things..." The Erebor Dwarf sighs softly before he shrugs. "Ah, well. Cannot help it now."

    He falls silent as the torch reveals the hall beyond the door, blinking as he looks about. "This is... impressive..." Says the warrior-healer after a few minutes, words quiet.

[Ollie(#15066)] Oskar says nothing at all for the moment. In the flickering light of Graim's torch, shadows bend and leap, and the ruins of the great hall seem even more chaotic than they might by good light. "What...?" he starts, then shakes his head and clears his throat. A fallen statue lies at his feet, carved eyes staring sightlessly at the ceiling - mouth and chin broken off some time in the distant past.

Broddur rises, one gnarled hand stroking a broken-off marble pillar. "Ah, would I had the time to make you straight and shapely again," he murmurs softly, his voice taking on the caressing tone that Men often reserve for a lover. He stands there, lost in reverie, until his treacherous nose starts to protest about the dust again. He takes several gulping breaths, pinches it firmly and manages not to sneeze again. "Something doesn't smell right," he murmurs, scowling as he watches the torch's flame leaning away from the southwestern corner of the hall. Goblins were here, judging by their filth. Any fresh tracks?"

[Graim(#20753)]     "That can be hard to tell," mutters Graim in response, looking at the floor beneath him. "The dust may not stir much, true, but if they have not walked here in years we could not tell the difference between that and yesterday." He begins to slowly move towards the southwestern corner, mace at the ready.

[Ollie(#15066)] "I don't hear anything," Oskar contributes. He bends to touch the statue at his feet, tracing his fingers around the carven eyes, then wanders after Graim, staring at what the leaping flames of the torch reveal. "What do you see?" he asks after a minute.

Broddur looks doubtful. "Did you ever hear the Lord Bifur's tales about the Quest of the Mountain?" he asks, hearkening back to some long-distant time when the irascible Marshall was more forthcoming with such things. "He said the place was quiet as a tomb, noone heard a thing - until an army of goblins jumped out." He stares toward the unknown corner with bristling brows. "I'd best get some of the others from camp," he decides after a moment. "They'll want to see this." Nodding to the pair of intrepid explorers, he caresses the broken pillar one last time and stomps away, muttering things darkly under his breath.

Date added: 2011-03-28 04:29:09    Hits: 57
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