The Adventures of Rothus, page 42 [D-824]

The dwarven forges, two days later:

Durn went off to consult with the King, but left us to our own devices. I take this time to finish up my dice! I think their pretty neat. I also take some time to try and map out the tunnels, but they are really confusing, so not much is recorded.

Eventually, Durn returns. He takes us to a tavern and buys us all a meal. Some of the best cave moss I’ve ever had! We ask him about the barcers again. Unfortunately, we can’t give him any details about what they look like so the conversation ends like all the other ones related to the bracers.

“Since we’ll recognize it when we see it, maybe we can line up all the dwarves in the city and just walk past all of them looking at their bracers,” suggested Lily.

“There a' over 10,000 dwarves in tha caves,” Durn replies in a dead-pan. I guess that’s not going to happen. He continues, “I invit'd ya here to tell ya that King Horthgar, May His Hammer Swin' True, wishes to meet with ya. We need be there in two hours.” Not two weeks!! Yay! Orik said it would be forever until we had an opportunity to see His Majesty, but we are the exception.

It will take a half hour to get to the King’s Throne, so our conversation wanders over to mysterious rooms. Lily was still passed out when I told Evan about the weird room that I had entered a few days ago, so I explained it to her all over again, this time with the whole group gathered to listen. No one’s missed it this time.

Lily has the answer, “You know, you probably saw her in the aether. Or it may have been astral. Either way, powerful magic.” Well, she might be right, but it’s not a helpful answer....

“Hey Durn. Is the King happy to see us, or mad to see us?” I ask, going back to the original topic. Is only response is to laugh. He then stands up and walks away from the table. That’s a bad omen. The king may be mad that we destroyed the library.

Lotech takes it to the extreme, saying, “Durn may have poisoned us.”

“The antidote might be mushrooms,” Aeryn says. What? How? When? Durn didn’t poison us, but if he doesn’t come back, I have no idea how we are going to find the throne room. We start asking around, to see if someone is willing to guide us to the King. Aeryn says “little dwarves room” and some point, angering one particular dwarf. Luckily, Durn returns, not telling us where he went. He suggests we clean up before meeting the King. The dwarves have harnessed a natural spring that flows under the earth and drains back into it. Durn leads us there so that we can wash up. Odd, I can’t recall the last time I bathed. Now that we are free of odor, let us head to meet the King! We follow Durn all the winding way there.

Subtly, the walls grow wider until we find ourselves at the base of a stone forest. Column after column reaches straight up into the ceiling, at least a hundred feet up. I can’t even begin to imagine how long it took to carve all of this out. There are several carvings of heroes in the columns, each one sturdy and proud. These must be legends. The stone heroes guard a path that leads up to a pair of doors, covered in gold and precious gems. The doorway is either designed to impress visitors, or the King has elephants.

The doors open.

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