Blackwell's crew take a detour to the city of Derrohar in the Scara mountains. The weather has turned against them and winter snows slow their travel. Making it to the mountain is treacherous as the road has already iced over. The mountain dwarves are initially very suspicious of this band, but allow entry into the city after Inquisitor Grundta Steelbraid presents her paperwork. She and Olahorn leave the party at the Gaslight Inn while they speak to the Council of Stone regarding any under-roads that may lead North.
The party spend several hours shopping in the public trade district, but are not allowed entry into the inner city. Dael and Rilken eves drop on a dwarven couple who make mention of the "quarantine" but fail to go into further detail.
Several hours later, Olahorn and Grundta return to the tavern with news that an under-road to a platinum mine near Illden exists, but it is part of the old network that were sealed when the twin cities of Kolzamar and Kazolmor fell to the Ghast Plague five millennia ago. Unsealing this passageway comes with a severe risk and compensation for additional guards will cost the party several thousand gold pieces. This cost comes in addition to allowing non-dwarves into the inner city.
The party know that they are being extorted, but go along with it anyway. They exchange 5000 gold pieces each to enter the city and open the tunnel. The party is lead through the city under close guard. Dwarves dressed in antiquated clothing and armor look upon them with suspicion. Several sections of the inner city seem to be under abnormally heavy guard, and multiple checkpoints are crossed on the way to the older portion of the city.
An series of 20 foot high stone heads line the walls. Their gaping mouths are filled with smooth stone and are carved out of the living rock of the mountain. Dwarven magi gather themselves and shape the smooth stone into a small, claustrophobic pathway. As the stone tunnel opens, a tremendous gasp sucks air into the passageway, followed by a stale, chalky smell. The dwarves wish them good fortune on their journey, planning to seal up the stone tunnel behind them. At this point, Dael strongly protests going through the tunnel. Insisting that they cut their losses and take their chances against the raiders and freezing wilderness of the Northern winter. Her protests are heard but Grundta insists that this is the only way, faster and safer.
The tunnel seals behind the party, putting a 20 foot solid stone wall between themselves and any aid.
Pitted, ancient dwarven weapons lay scattered across the floor. Footprints of dwarves and something large stop at this end of the hallway before turning back and heading into the dark. How old they are us unknown.
The company moves through the tunnel in the dark, holding the shoulders of those with darkvision. Hours are lost as fatigue and claustrophobia sets in. At several points, the 8 foot high ceiling seems to sag and nearly scrape the heads of Olahorn and Illiaph. Olahorn seems to be in good spirits, apparently unaffected by the stale air and low ceiling. His endless chatter promotes their current situation over dragons and poor weather and puts the party somewhat at ease. A runed carving indicates that the North Derrohar checkpoint lay less than a mile farther.
The checkpoint is an iron portcullis flanked by two wooden doors and a dozen arrow-slits. A loud grinding sound is heard as the brick Rilken steps on sinks noticibly. Whirring and clicking emanate from behind the arrow-slits and a dozen meter long bolts fly at him. Rilkens new dwarven full plate manages to protect him from the majority of the ancient rusted weapons but at their prime these bolts may have ended him.
The party retreats and Alistyr shape-shifts into a giant spider to approach from the ceiling. Inside several of the arrow slits are a series of automated siege ballistae. Alistyrs uses his webbing to clog up the machinery and manages to disable the traps.
The Western doorway leads to a type of general store. Packed wall to wall with time-ravaged dwarven goods. They may have fetched an incredible price at one point.
As the party picks through the goods, they are rushed by shambling, gaunt dwarves. Their touch wracked the party with dark energy and prevented any type of healing. The party retreated and bottle-necked them in the open doorway, managing to slay the ghastly beings.
Investigating the corpses of these fallen dwarves, Rilken and Illiaph found that they had been raised in a profaine ritual similar to Olgun Quisirs mummys. The large fetish necklace around their necks depicts an open eye, the symbol of Vis.
Illiaphs mind is suddenly assaulted and a strange voice forces its way through his mouth.
"My minons betray me. They form a wall to block your path. Free me from the city below and I'll see you through the depths."