The Dwarven Stronghold Plot in Niorath | World Anvil

The Dwarven Stronghold



After killing the t-rex the group made a deal with the Azure Defenders. They would get 60 percent of all treasure while the other adventurers would get the rest. Once this was decided the group of about 10 adventurers travelled to the sewers to find the entrance to the dwarven ruins. The search was not instantly fruitful but after a short battle with some rats they found a deserted cave system marked with a sign “Keep Out”. Evidently the group wandered in and saw several corridors in the cave of which one was filled with some doppleganger corpses. They decided to take another corridor but quickly found out that it was trapped. However after discovering that they could crawl they managed to circumvent the traps.

Rising Action

Entering the stronghold

  The group arrived at a small courtyard with two higher corridors flanking it. These seemed to be once used as guards stations for archers but had collapsed over the years. From one of the corridors they could see a figure quickly moving away into a chamber. They chose not follow this figure. By entering through the corridor on the opposite side the adventurers quickly got in a fight with dwarven zombies. It appeared as if something had happenend to the stronghold long ago judging from the amount of skeletons that were present.   After travelling deeper into the chambers beyond the corridor they eventually arrived in a large hall. The hall was filled with dwarven skeletons, many of which had special bracelets. By carefully checking them the group found out that these could serve as a protection against the traps of the stronghold. The hall itself was flanked by serveral other exits of which one seemed to be heavily barricaded. As soon as the group started exploring the other chambers they awakened a Stone Guardian. But by seeing the bracelets the Guardian quickly returned to it’s position. In what appeared to have been the eating chambers the adventurers fought several other zombies after which they decided to travel to the lower levels of the stronghold.  

The forges

  They arrived in a large chamber filled with large metal bowls used for casting of which some were tipped over while others were still hanging on the ceiling. There were several zombies but since they were covered in hardened metal they could not see nor hear very well.The group decided to try to sneak past the oblivious zombies and were succesful. They quickly found several armories with great equiment and even discovered a secret entrance. Alas this secrect escape way appeared to have caved in long ago. At that moment the group could hear strange noises coming from the staircase they had originally come from.   They decided to hide in one of the armories. Not soon afterwards they saw a large looking human running from the stairs that appeared to be followed by the Stone Guardian they encountered earlier. The human did not have a bracelet on, which caused the Guardian to follow him. Dimble was quick to act and tossed him a bracelet but it fell badly on the ground after which it broke. A battle ensued but the group decided to remain hidden and allowed the stranger inside the armory as well.   The Stone Guardian started attacking the zombies and violently tossed them around the room. The fight was soon joined by several skeletons and what appeared to be a whight. In the end even the adventurers decided to go in after they saw that the Stone Guardian probably wouldn’t attack them. After that the last zombie and skeleton was gone the Stone Guardian retreated leaving the group alone once more.   The stranger introduced himself as Aiden Bronzehammer. He told the group that he was a fighter in the arena and a big fan of  Alessa. After seeing the group leave he decided to follow them and be part of an adventure himself just like in all the tales he heard. Since he was already there the could make himself useful and the group would later decide what to do in the future. After searching the other chambers the adventurers procured two crystal that looked like keys. They decided to try them on the large metal door near the forges which opened up the vault of the stronghold. Inside there were lots of gems and money but most important of all there was a magical weapon.  

Continuing the search

  Afterwards the search for the dopplegangers continued as they had not find any sign of them besides perhaps the baricaded door and the strange figure. There were serveral zombies lying around but they seemed to be devoid of magic. After finding nothing in most chambers the group decided to look what was behind the second exit. Behind a large stone door there was a mining complex and the adventurers decided to explore it. Suddenly they arrived at a wall that not seemed very old. A voice greeted them and asked what they were doing there. It seemed that the wall was from a remote outpost of the Dwarven city of Ironpeak. After some discussion the Dwarf, Bali, agreed to send word to his superior about what the adventurers had learned in the ruins. From the dwarf they learned that these mines were abandoned for more than 1000 years. Once the city fell the trade route between Ironpeak and Barlidor was closed off. The outpost was there because of the mines which were linked to the Lower Realms.   23nd of Irami’el 1245 AE   The group waited for several hours after which Bali notified them that the general of Ironpeak received their message and would be sending an expedition in the coming days. Then the group returned to the ruins of Barlidor and after searching in the unexplored living chambers they stumbled upon a hole in a wall. Behind this hole they could see 4 completly identical elves wearing long robes and standing near a statue devoted to Lofior.


Master of doppelgangers

  As the group sneaked closer to the robed elves and attempted to surprise them they quickly discovered that they walked into a trap. Suddenly there was an exact copy of Alessa among them which they quickly grappled. However their victory was shortlived since the other enemies let the roof in the chamber collapse. Already weakened by the debris they quickly found themselves attacked by the indentical elves. Both the group and the Azure defenders had to fight for their lives but Finrod Ingoldo was contributing a little less this fight. One elf in particular was causing a lot damage to the group and even managed to kill Alessa Santoris with a mighty blow. Luckily Osric Balder was able to revive her. In the end the last remaining Elf surrendered when it became clear that all the others were dopplegangers. After being threatend he revealed what his role was in all the events in the region.   Kesuter was the local leader of a group named the Avaronian Spectres and his role was both to disrupt the region and supply his superiors with a steady stream of diamonds. He used a doppleganger to kill the kobold leader and initiate a war between kobolds and humans. This had proven to be succesful but alas he did not take into account that his associates , the Shadow Fangs would be caught in the act. Kossinter never knew why he had to disrupt the region but he knew what the diamond were used for. The diamonds that were supplied to him were shipped to a Golandon warehouse in the small harbour. After giving the group it’s location he told them that the used the diamonds to create magical weapons able to suck life energy out of it’s victims. Kossinter also knew that the main targets were Andimers and that the next big target would be the leader of the Pegasus Guard.   Suddenly Darlahne recognised Kesuter as the commanding officer during the Sacking of Savi during which almost all human inhabitants were killed. After realizing this Darlahne wanted to kill Kesuter immediately but was stopped by the rest of the group. Instead they asked what he was doing in Savi and why such extreme violance was necessary. Kesuter told them that they would kill him if he told the group that. After some more threats however he was swayed and started telling that they were searching for an artifact there. After muttering the first sentence he started to spasm and was dead shortly after.  

Lofior enters the stage

  Suddenly the group heard loud claping coming from behind. The until then silent statue of Lofior started moving and clapping while gratulating them for the show. Umeko needed to be restrained after seeing him but the group managed to keep her in check. Lofior asked the group if they would like to work for him since they seemed pretty strong. He would reward them with any kind of strong magic they would desire. The group declined and with that Lofior's statue started to crumble and he was gone.   The group went towards the surface again and decided to go to a nearby tavern to regain their strength.


The relaxation however was shortlived because both Alessa and Emilio were angry with Emilio for almost killing them. The fight ended with Alessa storming off and Umeko trying to stab Emilio in the eye. Feeling responsible for the situation Emilio decided to leave as well saying that he would return to his old home. With two members of the Azure Defenders gone Osric decided that the group was beter off joining the Vanguard. Nimble Shadow however did not want to be controlled by an organisation and decided to stay with the adventurers. Ielenia also decided to return to the Vanguard and accompanied Osric and Darlahne.
Parent Plot

Cover image: Nervonia by Gam-Ol on pixabay


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