- heroes return to where htey hid the components needed to make
- idris very sure no creatures from far realm and the only dead i the shade
- nidalru checks for traps carefully, maybe 20 ppl in the world would have noticed that there’s almost a feeling that the black dragonic was here
- nidalru also sure that the bad feeling you got when inspecting when we
- nidalru stops, look up and nope… no… nothing….
- legion dismisses his shade, nidalru worried that it’s ‘watching’ more intently now for some rason
- puki tries to recover the items from the shell of the beast
- puki now sure there is an infection of a kind in the stone beast –
- the heroes return to the barbarians and tells them stoneroost is still in pain through the infection
- she seems concerned but puki assuages her fears that she’s making it worse
- Sapphire Strike shows up with a blue dragon and two crowned gargoyles
get back on the ship for Forge!
- merian sharpens blades and stores his weapons
- gnomes in mechachoppers come to greet us
- Idris says we’re here in peace to talk about the living dungeon
- heavily armed dwarves come out of an invisible door
- the smith with no hands comes out and greets Puki warmly and warns us that we need to be patient and they’re going to say a lot of things
the heroes decide on how best to win the favour of the Dwarf King
- dwarf mage, druid and clerics come in after the heroes have eaten
- one of the clerics addresses the heroes
- welcome you here – friends of dwarves – ye who have escaped our ancient enemy the stone thief
- blessed by muradin you must be for having entered and escaped time and again
- it is the belief of all of us that you’re some sort of gift from our god to strike down our ancient enemy
- but…. looks at puki… with reasonable suspicion
- the wizard steps up – spectacles – scroll comes out
- asks for evidence that we’ve been in the living dungeon
- idris takes out the chest and pulls out the axe of the dwarven lord and puts it on the table in front of them
- they try and hide their enthusiasm and accept the gift, but Puki says “That is the dwarf king’s, not yours” and they put it back in the chest
- Aye but which king? one of the warriors bark at puki
- THe clerics, wizard, etc all look at the dwarf guard aghast and he say sahhhhh and dismisses them
there is some banter back and forth about what Puki knows and doesn’t… even a suggestion that Puki might not ‘remember’ from that time gone back
- Muradin comes in… worried that Puki hasn’t done anything he must regret
- volunteers to testify on behalf of our honoured guests
- they’re not on trial… but Muradin suggests Puki‘s still on trial
Muradin goes on to explain that he was expelled because of his long-lost lineage…
- Long ago you were cast out because you healed an orc
- you may have found it strange, but no one really interrogated you about that day… the punishment came swift, and exile seemed the only option
- he’s right… it was the most convenient excuse
- you’re the last descendent of a particular dwarf king… but the worst one that ever existed … the GOLD KING… the fallen icon… who lurks even to this day… his greed infects anyone… those who delve deep into the underworld
- he builds great automatons to guard his treasure, wears a gold mask to hid his face, if he rips it away you’re driven mad… you’re the last descendent of the gold king
- tell me puki… have you seen anything that have affirmed this?
- Puki says… the crazy dwarves… now it makes sense
- The derro have been crazy before they met puki… but… their reaction to you is rather unique… they’re more known for torturing ppl to death than throwing gold at them
- some seer on the day you were born saw even a bit of the blood of the gold king running through your veins
- you were watched from your very birth – ppl worried that you’d bring further ruin to the race
- then you healed that orc… it’s all that ppl needed to cast you out
Idris: We were the only living people there
Kindly cleric: it’s not that we question your motives, it’s just that well… we have our diviners and seers too. What they say of the gold king would make anyone’s blood run cold…and you’re a direct descendant… but when the moment arises… will you remain as true as you are now?
If we’re wrong… then we’re handing you the stone thief itself… we’ve got to be sure about this…
One of the dwarves says, “What about stonecutter?” Yes – that should be an adequate test for you – we must do this.
Muradin the smith seems dejected.
The priest looks at puki and says this is an item once dear to the dwarf king… your proper liege if you were sent to retrieve it, nobody wh odid not have loyalty to the dwarf king could hand it back over. If you were to corrupt our race, then you would keep it for yourself, and then we’ll know. But if you’re capable of rising up from what your blood says you are, and the corruption of your ancestor, and release the weapon back to a rightful king… aye, I believe this is the test that will prove your worth.
Do you accept this quest, Puki? That your loyalty to the dwarf king is stronger than that lurks in your blood?
Puki: I will accept this quest, with a condition. that should I be unable to return with this axe, that you will fulfill the building of this weapon for my party – they are true and they will ssucceeed.
They all seem very proud and pleased with your suggestion. The only angry dwarf says, :”The Dark elf too!?” Nidalru smiles.
Puki: Yes – her too. But give the weapon to the others.
This is acceptable. We’ll give you three days to rest here and make your plans. We’ll give you what we know of the Stonecutter – his favourite weapon of his youth. Return it to us, proving you can resist keeping it for yourself, and this will prove your worth beyond anything.
Puki… I’m sorry for what we did to ye.
The following is information the dwarves of Forge give you re: The Gold King. It’s all they’re willing to say. This is a summary; the most you get are bits and pieces, no more than a sentence or two from any one dwarf.
A few dwarves and humans in the 13th Age disbelieve the story of the fallen dwarven icon and say that if the Gold King was ever real, the story has been changed into a tale to frighten dwarves away from the deep underworld. They say that the ‘Gold King’ might have been just another dwarf who was lost going a little too deep into the Underworld for more treasure, and that treasure could still be there!
The persistence of this false hope is not an accident. Some portion of the Gold King’s magic is devoted to attracting more credulous victims. The true Dwarf King can generally slow this exodus to a trickle, but the Gold King is still drawing new followers…