The Fehenan soldiers’ mission was not the only secret to be learned at the fort however. Beyond a secret door and a deviously trapped antechamber (through which our pathfinder Coran dauntlessly negotiated a safe route) lay a subterranean laboratory, sealed and forgotten nigh on a score of decades. Hidden therein were treasures greater than gold! On a practical level this dormant chamber of knowledge held ample apparatus for me to establish my own laboratory back in Kaz Dorn.(1)
Our more momentous discovery however was the history of the former occupants of the room; an evil human mage and his unfortunate dwarven prisoner. The nameless mage had captured our unfortunate cousin on the surface and subjected him to all manner of foul arcane procedures. He did however keep a record of what he learned from the dwarf and it is most auspicious for us that he did. That dwarf was none other than Gorin of the noble house Goldenbrow of Caer Banorn. Goldenbrow had recently departed Caer Banorn seeking aid from Kaz Dorn against the terrible invasion that brought low the ancestral home of my very own clan. But who, or what were the invaders? Eagerly I pored over the rotting remains of the mage’s diabolical diary in search of enlightenment.
One entry in particular had survived the parchment’s long entombment remarkably well.(2) It was a short account of Gorin Goldenbrow’s last day in Caer Banorn, which I transcribe below to preserve the original:
“Without warning the King’s guards were overcome and running battles were fought throughout the Royal Level. The King’s last stand on the steps of the Diamond Throne shoulder-to-shoulder with his Council was as brief as it was brave. Noble dwarves of Houses Forgingrimm, Highbeard, Axingrimm, Ironstone, Hammerheart and Goldenbrow were slaughtered in short order. Nothing and nobody it seemed could stand against the sudden assault of the dark-skinned demons pouring forth from below.”
Following a brief stopover in Helm’s Watch neccesitated by our reporting of the Fehena situation to the mannish authorities, we returned to Kaz Dorn with these revelations regarding Caer Banorn. We bore Goldenbrow’s remains with us for an honourable burial and King Hammerfist himself opened the Royal Vault of his hold for his proper interment. The Dauntless Mercenary Company were also made welcome guests at the King’s Table at the wake Hammerfist hosted in his honour.
Rest in peace, Gorin Goldenbrow.
- Or perhaps Helm’s Watch? If the Dauntless Mercenary Company are to be employed predominantly by surface-dwelling folk it may prudent to install myself amongst them? I shall give the matter some thought and consult the Brothers in Logic at the Fraternal Order of Aptitude in Kaz Dorn for guidance upon my return.
- Given the poor condition of the remainder of the document, the thought occurs that maybe we were meant to find this information? That perhaps even Maultier himself kept it safe from the ravages of time until such time that it’s secrets could be gleaned…