Not a day passed since setting Fundgar about his task, when our company received a request for aid from none other than Borenorn Stonemasonsson. The Stonebeard officer was in need of a band of dauntless individuals to investigate the disappearance of a patrol. Recalling the competence we displayed upon our earlier encounter with him, sent for us.
Borenorn explained that a regular patrol comprising six Stonebeards and a Runecrafters seem to have vanished without trace. Worse yet for the poor dwarf, that Runecrafter was his own nephew Karzan Stonemasonsson out on his first patrol! Naturally Borenorn offered fair remuneration to uncover the fate of the patrol, rescue any survivors, or if too late return their remains for proper burial; plus a bonus for young Karzan.
A thorough search of the section of Dwarf Roads where the patrol was last know to be revealed very little. Naturally the hard stone surfaces yielded not easily followed footprints or other such clues, yet it was realising one of those very surfaces to be illusory that revealed the Stonebeards’ doom. Beyond lay a circular system of tunnels and caves (some natural and others worked stone) looping around a central chamber; apart from one tunnel leading directly away from the Road, although that was blocked by deadfall.
Dwelling therein we found both goblins and orcs, and at the heart of the complex even a bugbear; all were put down. Notably one of the foul creatures was some kind of primitive shaman who invoked a potent fire spell, arcane in nature … and not unlike Grandfather Haamoch’s old favourite the ‘Scorch’ spell. As one might expect the beast did not (could not?) transribe the workings of the dweomer in a spellbook in the normal manner. It did however wear a bone vest covered in strange patterns that I believe may hold the key to understanding the spell.
Of the patrol we found but three survivors; two Stonebeards and the young Runecrafter Karzan Stonemasonsson, who was soon gratefully reunited with his Uncle Borenorn. Between us we bore the grim duty of bringing the remains of the other Stonebeards and their possessions home.