I am Hgerd Ironcutter, of the flamepacer clan. For a millennium my people have forged out their existence in the depths of the un-forgiving Rakers mountains. My father taught me to make weapons and little else. We traded these weapons with the humans in the lower lands for many generations. We cared not who we traded with. The somewhat civilized Flan or Barbarous Stoneholders ,it made little difference to clan Flamepacer, gold was gold.
The indifference of my attitude changed when Stoneholders captured myself and several members of my clan. We were forced to serve the Barbarians as slave laborers. We made weapons and armor for these honorless dogs for many years until the approaching Army of light caused the Stoneholders to secure their position in Cabult. The Stoneholders sent many of their prisoners to Nevond Nevnend as a result of the Palish seige of Cabult. In the confusion Alluna, myself, and my childhood friend Garn Rockdweler were able to join a poorly guarded caravan. We had the aid form our former master, who had wrote up papers of transfer to his homelands and gave us all seals with his house insignia granting us favored servant status . I still owe the man a debt of honor.
It was in the service of Skelg Bengierr that Garn Rockdweler and I learned that the leader of the Stoneholders Sevvond Redbeard had been tricked into attacking the various kingdoms of the north by evil wizardry. Skelg was poisoned by a rival clan before he could reveal just how far the conspiracy to undermine the Stoneholders went. Knowing he was dead and that, his family would be put to the sword; he asked myself and Garn Rockdweler to avenge his dishonor, in exchange favored servant status which granted us the right to done our weapons and armor in our houses service.
We two Flamepacer clan Dwarves were aided by the beautiful Druid Alluna who was also promised her freedom after a brief interment. Ultimately the three of us fled Cabult in a caravan after an attempt to seek justice for Skelg Bengierr failed. Skelg was no friend of either I or Garn but, he did make good on his promise of helping us escape. So I will one day try to set things right. So do I swear it, by my own and Skelg’s Father’s name!
So now it has come to pass, a year later I find myself adventuring with the beautiful Alluna again. We had parted ways shortly after the slave caravan left for Nevond Nevnend. Garn and I killed a guard as a Palish patrol attacked our caravan. We were seperated from Alluna as she was escorted back into the heart of The Pale by Cruson Dylerold‘s men; while Garn Rockdweler and I made our way separately into Wintershiven. We plied our respective trades in Wintershiven for a year before Alluna contacted us through Cruson Dylerold and his son Stone Dylerold’s men.
Our first mission was to clear out a Kobold infestation that had plagued the Darkmoon Vale inside the Rakers. The local Larushka peoples were know to my kin and we had traded with them over the years. So when Alluna asked, we hurried to help. After many weeks of searching the mines and tunnels of the Darkmoon Vale; we discovered the lair of the Kobold Shaman who had been poisoning the water supply of the local ranchers and timber harvesters. We eradicated the leader and his little beast minions. Alas, I was afflicted with both the supernatural Burning Plague and filth fever. The dirty little Shaman had summoned both rat swarms and used his foul magic to infect me.
I was in no condition to travel. Stone Dylerold had another mission for us but, I needed time to recover. So regretfully, I stayed in Falcon’s Hollow for a tenday while Alluna and Garn Rockdweler explored the abandoned Monastery of the Fire Opal east of the Rakervale settlement. The Gnome wizard Corofzon Sus stayed behind in Falcon’s Hollow and checked in on me from time to time. It was during this time, a trading coalition from my Kinsmen the Flamepacer clan visited Falcon’s Hollow. I made a trade with the Dragon Worshiper Tarin Arien. He had stumbled upon a relic of my people. The magnificent Mithral Armor of Druingar Glintaxe! I traded shares in the Deepscar mine that had been given to me by Stone Dylerold for the ancient armor and sent it back to my clan for safe keeping. The mine shares had been given to me as payment for helping to clear the Darkmoon Vale of the Koblod scourge and for helping to eradicate the Burning Plague.
After I had recovered from my ailments, I set out for Rakervale. Corofzon Sus insisted on joining me in my travels claiming boredom and lack of “anything better to do.” We arrived in Rakervale to discover Alluna had already come back from the expedition. We also learned my long time friend Garn Rockdweler had fallen in the Monastery of the Fire Opal. Alluna and Garn Rockdweler had teamed with a zealot of Pholtus named Nuala and the mercenary brother of the adventurer Tarin Arien. Nuala was preachy but tolerable. It seems the Church of Pholtus had shunned her teachings and she was considered an outcast. Kris (Blade) Arien however, was the sort of man you watched your purse around.
So it was that the five of us set out once again to brave the perils of the Monastery of the Fire Opal and attempt to recover the famous namesake gem and return it to a mysterious wizard friend of Cruson Dylerold in hopes of revealing some secretes buried within the gem that might help free his son Stone Dylerold from captivity by the Church of Pholtus inquisitors. I myself, had other reasons to venture into peril. I wanted to avenge my longtime friend Garn Rockdweler and recover his body for proper rights of passage to the Forge Father Moradin.
So it is here in this dangerous place I write this journal. I write it on some parchment recovered from my friend Garn Rockdweler’s equipment. His body is laid to rest on top of this mountain just outside the entrance of this cursed place. He will have a view of the Rakers for all eternity. We five are just four now. The mercenary Kris (Blade) Arien has fallen in league with one of the denizens of this dungeon a female Tiefling wizard by the name of Skazzyg. Perhaps she has beguiled him. It matters not, he made off with her and stole her spell book back and much of our hard fought for treasure while we were in the midst of battle with some monstrous spiders. We now count Kris (Blade) Arien a traitor and enemy.
So my friend Garn Rockdweler, I dedicate this journal to you. It is you after all that taught me to read and write in common and corrected my poor Dwarven ruins when I was younger. It is you that has brought me here to adventure on top of this mountain where I find myself in constant peril but, curiously alive. It is you who guided me to ask the question why was I imprisoned? when all I sought was vengeance against those who captured us. You should know my friend, I will seek the answers to the questions of the Stoneholders invasion. I will seek the answer to that question and more in honor of your memory my friend.
But, first I have a Gem to recover!