15 · Traitor's proving

This adven­ture should pro­vide plenty of action, intrigue, mys­tery, and chal­lenge for any group of low-mid to mid-level players. The osten­sible mis­sion, to escort a dwarf car­rying a fabu­lously valuable gem south to the town where it will be met by the mer­chant who will take charge of it, and to guard the gem against the bands of thieves and bri­gands who lurk in the woods near the road, will be dif­fi­cult. Com­ple­ting the job may well require the players to find and use a secret tunnel full of addi­tio­nal traps, dan­gers, and oppor­tu­ni­ties.

Howe­ver, the secon­dary goal, that of fer­re­ting out the trai­tor who is pas­sing infor­ma­tion on the move­ment of valuable cargos to the high­way­men, may well prove consi­de­ra­bly more com­pli­ca­ted, and require that the players use their brains as well as their brawn. Care­ful tac­tics, with both the town guards who accom­pany them and the thieves they encoun­ter, offer the best oppor­tu­nity for ful­filling this part of the chal­lenge.

15.1 The Dwarves” treasure

Glorin has come to Buhr Thu­ra­sig as a repre­sen­ta­tive of a small, reti­ring Dwar­vish group that still mines the hills of the Grey Moun­tains. The band has unear­thed a huge, beau­ti­ful eme­rald, which they wish to sell or barter for sup­plies they need — par­ti­cu­larly grain. wine. lea­ther, and cloth.

The most able merchant/​broker in the town, Tri­ga­ric, arranges a com­pli­ca­ted deal, invol­ving seve­ral other mer­chants and tra­des­people. In order to assess the emerald’s value, it must be sent to an expert in gems who lives many miles to the south. Ordi­na­rily a prize of this magni­tude would suf­fice to lure any ambi­tious trader in jewels to make the jour­ney to see it for him­self, but in this case the person best suited to eva­lua­ting the gem has plea­ded that age and poor health prevent him from making the jour­ney. As the man is, in fact, nei­ther as old nor as sickly as he claims, rumor sug­gests the real reason he’s decli­ned to make the trip has to do with the evil repu­ta­tion of the area and the repor­ted hazards of the road. The jewel expert ada­mantly refuses to ven­ture any fur­ther north than the town of Baraldrin’s Gate, so Glorin reluc­tantly agrees to take the stone there.

Tri­ga­ric has arran­ged with Ver­gan­drieg, the cap­tain of the town’s guard, to pro­vide an escort for Glorin and the jewel, since rumors of the asto­ni­shing find have already cir­cu­la­ted through the town and are per­co­la­ting into the coun­try­side. Howe­ver, there is a trade fair coming up soon in the town and Ver­gan­drieg can spare only a few people for this job.

Tri­ga­ric feels sure that this pre­cious cargo is going to attract the atten­tion of every band of thieves and rai­ders within reach of the rumors, so he takes the addi­tio­nal pre­cau­tion of offe­ring the PCs, a likely loo­king band of tough, sea­so­ned, adventurer/​warriors, 10 gold pieces per person to escort the eme­rald and see it safely deli­ve­red to Baraldrin’s Gate.

Vergandrieg’s problem

Ver­gan­drieg has been the cap­tain of the town guards at Buhr Thu­ra­sig for almost eight years. The area is a dan­ge­rous one and in his time he’s seen his share of Orc raids, wolf incur­sions, trou­ble­ma­kers from Angmar or Mirk­wood, and even the occa­sio­nal Dragon attack.

Raids by bands of bri­gands or high­way­men on par­ties tra­vel­ling bet­ween Buhr Thu­ra­sig and points south have been a conti­nuing pro­blem, one Ver­gan­drieg has been able to do little about, since most of them occur at some dis­tance from the town, and he doesn’t have enough men to spare many for cha­sing down the thieves and rai­ders.

For the past year he has been care­ful to get as much infor­ma­tion as he can about the thieves and their move­ments, hoping to learn some­thing that will help him pro­tect tra­ve­lers against them. He hopes one day to have enough men and time to spare to make an attempt at clean­sing the roads and forests where the out­laws congre­gate.

Ver­gan­drieg is still far from being able to accom­plish that mis­sion, but he has noti­ced a dis­tur­bing pat­tern to the raids. Two par­ti­cu­lar groups of out­laws seem to be ope­ra­ting inde­pen­dently, but they appear to have some source of infor­ma­tion about the move­ments of par­ties on the road, and which ones arc car­rying par­ti­cu­larly valuable car­goes.

In some cases. the out­laws appear to have lear­ned of mer­chan­dise remo­vals which should have been known only to the tra­ders invol­ved with the goods and a few of his own guard­smen. Because the groups of mer­chants being vic­ti­mi­zed are rarely the same, he has been forced, unhap­pily, to conclude that someone in the ranks of his own troops is pas­sing infor­ma­tion to the out­laws.

Ver­gan­drieg is concer­ned and upset about the raids, but the thought that one of his own people might be invol­ved infu­riates him. He is deter­mi­ned to find out who is res­pon­sible and see the trai­tor puni­shed as qui­ckly as pos­sible.

15.2 The NPCs


Rather large and hand­some as Dwarves go. Glorin is the most out­going and per­so­nable of his band of dour, reclu­sive, and pes­si­mis­tic miners. Kee­ping in mind that good humor and amia­bi­lity are rela­tive, Glorin appears to most other people as a somew­hat grumpy, iras­cible, even ill-tem­pe­red type, who will, none­the­less, talk your ear off given the chance and occa­sio­nally spring for a round of drinks at the tavern.

He actually likes travel and the com­pany of others more than he will admit, even to him­self, and though he feels constrai­ned to cri­ti­cize and com­plain about eve­ry­thing and eve­ryone with whom he comes into contact, closer acquain­tance will reveal the warmer cur­rents of a genuine kind­ness and sense of humor that run deep in him. Glorin can be a loyal friend and an amu­sing com­pa­nion to those who get on his good side, but he doesn’t give the loyalty lightly or reveal his deeper nature qui­ckly.


The cap­tain of the town guard of Buhr Thu­ra­sig is a rough-loo­king, heavy-set man in his early fif­ties. Grizz­led hair and beard, toge­ther with a face deeply lined both by expo­sure to the wea­ther and chro­nic worry, give him the appea­rance of grea­ter age. But he is still a power­ful man, phy­si­cally and men­tally.

Vergandrieg’s family has lived in the area for many gene­ra­tions and the hold they farm is a pros­pe­rous one. A long-time family tra­di­tion places the oldest son of each gene­ra­tion in charge of the hold, while the next goes into the town guard. More than one member of the clan has risen to the posi­tion of Cap­tain.

The cur­rent Cap­tain had two sons and one daugh­ter. All three chose careers in the guard as well, but the oldest son was killed seve­ral years ago in a battle with a band of out­laws, which fos­te­red Vergandrieg’s hatred and deter­mi­na­tion to des­troy the rai­ders. His other two chil­dren show great pro­mise as war­riors and one of them will very likely also suc­ceed to the posi­tion some­day.


This thirty-six year old guard­sman was the third son of the joi­ning of a master metal-worker and one of the best wea­vers Buhr Thu­ra­sig has ever seen. Than­drain might have gone into either trade (his older bro­ther is now the chief metal-worker in the town) but chose ins­tead to join the town guard. He’s been with the guard for eigh­teen years and has achie­ved a tho­roughly undis­tin­gui­shed career.

Although power­fully built (run­ning to fat around his middle) he is only mode­ra­tely good with wea­pons. less adept with ani­mals. and clum­sier still at any­thing requi­ring cere­bral acti­vity. The rest of his family is clever enough, and no one has yet been able to decide if Than­drain is defi­cient in brain-power or just can’t be bothe­red to use what he has. His occa­sio­nal flashes of wit toge­ther with an appea­rance of gene­ral, sys­te­mic lazi­ness incline most people toward the latter theory.

Than­drain has been mar­ried for twelve years to Gie­se­lin, a once-beau­ti­ful shrew of a woman whose looks have been har­de­ned and wiped away by self-indul­gence, temper, and ill-humor. No one is quite sure how her hus­band has mana­ged to main­tain his amiable good temper under the constant ons­laught of her com­plaints, but there’s no doubt that his frequent absences on guard duty have pro­lon­ged their mar­riage and pos­si­bly Gieselin’s life.

The pride of the man’s life is undoub­tedly his four chil­dren, who range in age from four to four­teen. The two boys and two girls show pro­mise of consi­de­rable talent and intel­li­gence, and it’s not unli­kely that all will sur­pass their parents” mini­mal achie­ve­ments in life. Than­drain will gladly regale anyone who’ll listen with long sto­ries concer­ning his chil­dren : their remar­kable feats and won­der­ful obser­va­tions.

The dif­fi­culty of rai­sing four chil­dren on a guardsman’s salary has caused consi­de­rable spe­cu­la­tion about how he does it. That fact plus his lack of other achie­ve­ment in the guards have placed him on Vergandrieg’s list of sus­pects in the lea­kage of infor­ma­tion. Howe­ver, most people unde­res­ti­mate Gieselin’s abi­li­ties in mana­ging the hou­se­hold, the willin­gness of the chil­dren to contri­bute their efforts and any extra income they may earn through odd jobs, plus the amount of money Than­drain him­self col­lects in taking on extra assi­gn­ments for bonuses.


Roginor’s parents died of disease within two years of each other, lea­ving him orpha­ned by the time he was twelve. Since the boy was good with his hands and rea­so­na­bly clever, a master gold­smith took him in to train him. The metal-worker had one other appren­tice : a slightly older boy, less able and inten­sely jea­lous of the newcomer’s abi­lity.

When Rogi­nor was fif­teen, his rival stole a large sum of money from their master and hid a por­tion of it in the youn­ger boy’s belon­gings. Unable to prove his inno­cence against the other’s lies and the plan­ted evi­dence, and lacking the sup­port and backing of a family, Rogi­nor fled the area. For seve­ral years he tra­vel­led, sur­vi­ving as best he could, migra­ting nor­th­ward, until he finally set­tled in the town of Buhr Thu­ra­sig, where he felt safe from his past and any chance of encoun­te­ring someone who might know his his­tory.

The young man chose to join the guards there. Although his trai­ning as a war­rior was mini­mal, he had grown tall and strong, without losing his agi­lity and deft­ness, so he was able to deve­lop the skills he lacked qui­ckly. He also hoped his fellow mem­bers of the pro­fes­sion would be sym­pa­the­tic to his unwillin­gness to dis­cuss his back­ground.

Although he’s been with the guards in Buhr Thu­ra­sig for more than four years now, his unk­nown past and his reti­cence about it have made him the focus of conti­nuing sus­pi­cion. No one quar­rels with his skill with horses and swords any more, howe­ver, and few will voice any open doubt to the face of this tall, brawny young man. The mys­tery sur­roun­ding him has placed Rogi­nor high on Vergandrieg’s list of sus­pects in trea­chery.

He is civil and nor­mally polite, but Rogi­nor speaks very little and almost never volun­teers any­thing. He will not be drawn into any kind of casual conver­sa­tion. His stern, immo­bile face doesn’t com­ple­tely dis­guise his youth, but his deep brown eyes reveal a self-contai­ned matu­rity and confi­dence rare in one of his age. He has light brown hair and a nearly blond beard.


Oto­gorth is 42, a rough, hard-loo­king man of medium height and burly build ; he’s been with the guards for eight years. He joined late in life, fol­lo­wing the death of his wife in an Orc raid. His two grown sons conti­nue to live on and work the hold headed by Otogorth’s bro­ther and sister.

Oto­gorth impresses one as the sort of person who is mad at the world and eve­ryone in it. He has been that way to some extent for his entire life but the atti­tude inten­si­fied after his wife’s demise. He is a fero­cious figh­ter but a laco­nic com­pa­nion.

Although not gar­ru­lous, he can be drawn into a conver­sa­tion without much dif­fi­culty. He has strong opi­nions and a pri­ckly temper, takes offense rea­dily, and will even pick fights, appa­rently for the fun of it. As a result, he has few friends, within the guards or out­side. Oto­gorth rarely visits his family hold as he quar­rels constantly with his rela­tives. Even his sons aren’t par­ti­cu­larly fond of him and do their best to dis­cou­rage pro­lon­ged stays.

The man tends to leave chaos and bad fee­ling behind whe­re­ver he goes. Those who know him well try to avoid leng­thy contact unless they’re loo­king for a confron­ta­tion. For rea­sons not clear to anyone beside him­self, Oto­gorth finds Roginor’s refu­sal to talk about his past irri­ta­ting, and he will do his best to pro­voke a confron­ta­tion with the youn­ger man. Roginor’s wall of self-contain­ment is solid and his patience long-tem­pe­red but he has limits and Oto­gorth might drive him beyond them.

Because he feels that he’s had a raw deal from life, Oto­gorth is no great belie­ver in loyalty to any­thing beside his own wants and desires. That fun­da­men­tal greed has led him to conspire on occa­sion with the leader of a group of ban­dits and to sell useful infor­ma­tion to them. Oto­gorth plans to retire in a few years and set up an esta­blish­ment somew­here to the south. The money he’s col­lec­ted from his trea­chery is being saved toward that dream.


Twenty-eight years old, tall, wiry, with red­dish-blond hair worn in a long braid down her back, Lis­ga­ria has been a member of the guards for only two years. In that time she has nearly been thrown out twice. Her ene­mies and exas­pe­ra­ted super­ior offi­cers des­cribe her as « having a pro­blem with autho­rity »; her friends and defen­ders coun­ter that what she really has a pro­blem with is stu­pi­dity. They all agree that she is sin­gu­larly lacking intact, patience, or tole­rance.

Although Lis­ga­ria was born in the vici­nity of Buhr Thu­ra­sig, she left the area at the age of eigh­teen to seek adven­ture and exci­te­ment. If even half of her wild, outra­geous bar tales are true (or nearly), the girl found what she sought. So far, she hasn’t revea­led why she aban­do­ned her inter­es­ting free-lance career, although rumor has sug­ges­ted that a nearly fatal encoun­ter with a blood-wight may have robbed her of at least some of her you­th­ful nerve. It cer­tainly left some ugly, though not seriously dis­fi­gu­ring scars on the side of her face, neck, arms and upper leg.

When off duty, she tends to be gre­ga­rious and voluble, rega­ling lis­te­ners with long, ela­bo­rate, and pro­ba­bly only slightly exag­ge­ra­ted, tales of her past adven­tures. On a mis­sion, howe­ver, she will with­draw into a reser­ved and fierce concen­tra­tion which misses nothing of what is going on around her.



The leader of the lar­gest, most vicious band of bri­gands ter­ro­ri­zing the high­way south of Buhr Thu­ra­sig, Kor­brild is 46, a heavy-boned, toughly built man, with long dark hair and sharp, icy cold blue eyes. His face is seamed with scars and his nose changes direc­tion seve­ral times on its way down his face.

There is almost nothing good to be said about Kor­brild and no one would say it if there were. He is an effec­tive, if heavy-handed leader ; not overly shrewd or clever, but brutal and utterly ruth­less. He imposes his will through fear and force. His fol­lo­wers don’t like him, but all fear him, a few res­pect him, and one or two even admire him.

He chooses new recruits for his group care­fully. Kor­brild keeps an eye on the young­sters in the nearby towns and set­tle­ments, paying par­ti­cu­lar atten­tion to the bul­lies and trou­ble­ma­kers. Every now and again he finds a child who pos­sesses a com­bi­na­tion of aggres­si­ve­ness, indif­fe­rence to the thoughts and fee­lings of others, combat skills or at least rea­so­nable poten­tial, and sus­cep­ti­bi­lity to pro­mises of an inter­es­ting and pro­fi­table life. Young­sters of this type he will lure away from their towns and fami­lies and ini­tiate into his band. Should they prove unable or unwilling to adapt to the life, they disap­pear.

Kor­brild loves his life as leader of the outlaw thieves in the forest. He takes great pride and joy in the band of people he has trai­ned and molded in his own image, regar­ding them as his real family. Of course, he’d draw, quar­ter, rack, muti­late, and flay any member of that group who even hinted at dis­loyalty, rebel­lion, or betrayal.

Sovorn the One-Handed, Feld, and other members of Korbrild’s band

Sovorn was one of Korbrild’s ear­liest recruits and grea­test suc­cesses. Twenty-eight year old Sovorn is fairly short, but stocky, with red hair and hazel eyes. He grew into the role of Korbrild’s second-in-com­mand by virtue of his cle­ver­ness as well as abi­lity with wea­pons. He is actually consi­de­ra­bly shar­per than Kor­brild, smart enough to refrain from flaun­ting his super­ior intel­lect openly until he’s in a posi­tion to be sure that the mutiny he’s contem­pla­ted for the past seve­ral years will suc­ceed. Sovorn was born with a withe­red right arm, a defect no hea­ling spells have so far been able to cure. The skill of his left hand with sword and dagger has more than made up for his lack of a right.

Feld is older than Kor­brild by more than ten years and is the only cur­rent member of the band who wasn’t recrui­ted as a child. In fact, he wasn’t recrui­ted at all.

Feld saved Kor­brild from a group of sol­diers who nearly had him cor­ne­red during one of his recrui­ting trips to a nearby town and has since regar­ded it as his life’s work to be body­guard and man­ser­vant to Kor­brild. Feld keeps his grizz­led hair short, and his bushy beard dis­guises the fact that he has only three teeth left in his mouth.

The rest of Korbrild’s band are seven young men and four women, ran­ging in age from six­teen to twenty-seven. The life they lead is dan­ge­rous in more ways than one and over the years any number of his people have been killed by tra­ve­lers they’ve tried to ambush, guards, or other mem­bers of the group. Far from disap­pro­ving of the waste, Kor­brild smiles on this pro­cess of wee­ding out the weaker links and pro­ving the strong ones.


Rig­da­ra­bin is the forty-two year old head of a clan consis­ting of six other adults and eight chil­dren. Their hold is seve­ral miles off the road, and well away from any town. His family is pri­ma­rily made up of far­mers, but they also do a fair amount of hun­ting and gathe­ring to sup­ple­ment the food stores. Seve­ral bad years for crops forced Rig­da­ra­bin and four of the other adults who were trai­ned in warrior’s skills to take to preying on tra­ve­lers on the road. He doesn’t like doing it, but he likes even less wat­ching the chil­dren of his clan starve. He and his people are nei­ther cruel nor vicious ; they’re simply des­pe­rate. Rig­da­ra­bin is tall and on the thin side. He has blond hair and beard, and dark green eyes.

15.3 The layouts

15.31 The road to Baraldrin’s Gate

1 · Main route out of the town
The road runs gene­rally south from Buhr Thu­ra­sig and is the main route out of the town, connec­ting it with a number of towns on the plains below the Grey Moun­tains, and finally win­ding its way down to join the Men Mithrin just west of the point where that road turns south toward Dale. Though unpa­ved, the sur­face is gene­rally level and well-packed, broad, and clearly marked. A long, east­ward bend skirts areas of irre­gu­lar ter­rain, rocky in some places and trea­che­rously muddy. slip­pery, and even marsh-like in others.
2 · The Black Knob
The road bends around the per­ime­ter of a large, steep out­crop­ping of dark gra­nite called the Black Knob. Ero­sion, pri­ma­rily by wea­ther, has left a tall knoll rising high above the road. The knob is visible from a consi­de­rable dis­tance : on closer approach one can see an octa­go­nal stone tower rising from the flat­te­ned top of the moun­tain.
3 · Wall of rock
As the road conti­nues to wind around the base of the knob, tra­ve­lers hea­ding south will find them­selves with a sheer wall of rock rising some eighty feet, straight up, bor­de­ring the road on the left.
4 · The Beacon Tower
A slen­der, octa­go­nal stone spire sits on the highest point of the knob and rises an addi­tio­nal fifty feet above the sur­face. Approxi­ma­tely two thirds of the way up the tower, a broa­der cir­cu­lar disk appears to slice through or sur­round the spire. The disk is also of stone. Only a very per­cep­tive viewer can see from a dis­tance that there are win­dows in the cir­cu­lar wall of the disk. The tower doesn’t come to a point but has a flat top where once the watch-keeper could build a fire to warn the sur­roun­ding coun­try of approa­ching danger.
The wall of the knob is just as sheer at the base of the tower as it has appea­red along the side of the road. If a tra­ve­ler leaves the road, howe­ver, and skirts the base of the knob for a short dis­tance he will find that a steep, narrow path winds tip the side of the cliff to the base of the tower.
A great deal of dense shrub­bery sur­rounds the tower. It is extre­mely hard (-30) to see that there is a small door in the wall behind about six feet’s width of thorn bushes. The door is locked, but the mecha­nism is old and it’s only medium (+0) to pick.
5 · Forest
This hea­vily wooded area contains a mix­ture of deci­duous trees (pri­ma­rily maples and oaks) and ever­green pines and firs. Dense under­growth makes pas­sage anyw­here off the road dif­fi­cult except on the maze of narrow, poorly marked trails hacked through the shrub­bery. Tra­ve­lers unfa­mi­liar with the area are well-advi­sed to stay on the road, as navi­ga­ting the woods, even on the paths, is dif­fi­cult and per­ilous.
Hidden deep within the forest, at the heart of the maze of trails and paths, is a semi-per­ma­nent set­tle­ment which is home to mem­bers of a band of thieves who make a living by preying on pas­sing tra­ve­lers.
There is an 80% chance per mile that any pas­sing group will be atta­cked somew­here along the two mile stretch of road that passes within the forest. The odds on an attack increase co 90% should the party be foo­lish enough to decide to spend the night under the shadow of the trees.
This is the ope­ra­ting area of Korbrild’s band.
6 · Mar­sh­land
The ground slopes down into a valley formed by a narrow, cold stream and the trees gra­dually give way to lower gro­wing shrub­bery of the kind that thrives in damp, boggy soil. There is a nest of Hum­me­rhorns not too far from the road, and a 60% chance that anyw­here from 1 to 12 of them will attack the party.
7 · Tunnel Entrance
On the north side of the road, the land begins to slope up in a fairly gra­dual ascent. Trees conti­nue to grow in the area but not in such dense accu­mu­la­tion. Unless one has looked down on the area from a height (such as the beacon tower), it is nearly impos­sible 90) to see that there is a narrow ope­ning at the top of what appears from ground level to be only a tall and exten­sive pile of rocks. The entrance is only very hard (-20) to find if one knows approxi­ma­tely where to look.
8 · Alter­nate ope­ning into the nutria
Sheer Folly (-50) to find. It is, howe­ver, safe to assume that any thieves ope­ra­ting in the area are fami­liar with this means of access.
9 · Ano­ther ope­ning
Into the tunnel.
10 · Yet ano­ther ope­ning
The ope­ning at fur­thest dis­tance from the entrance at (7), this would pre­su­ma­bly be the usual exit for those using the tunnel to avoid the hazards of the road.
11 · Ford
The stream the road crosses is nor­mally only thirty feet wide and about a foot deep, making it rela­ti­vely easy to cross. If there have been heavy rains recently or a thaw in the moun­tains, the stream could be run­ning much higher, making the cros­sing much tri­ckier.
12 · Forest
Dense woods simi­lar to that at (5). A small set­tle­ment on the edge of the wood well away from the road is home to ano­ther band of thieves. These are less pro­fes­sio­nal than the ones ope­ra­ting in the other wood, taking to rob­bery only when food sup­plies are low, or other means of live­li­hood are not pro­vi­ding ade­qua­tely (30% chance of attack).
This is the loca­tion of Rigdarabin’s band.
13 · Cross­roads
Just to the south of here, the road crosses the dan­ge­rous high­way, Men Rhûnen. Because this high­way is fre­quently used by par­ties of Orcs, or emis­sa­ries of the Necro­man­cer or the Witch-king, it would be wise to send a scou­ting party ahead to check the cross­roads before attemp­ting to cross. Should a group not check, there is a 50% chance that they will be seen (and atta­cked) by a band of Orcs on the road.
14 · The road conti­nues south to Baral­drin s Gate
The last four­teen miles of the trip should be rela­ti­vely une­vent­ful as the road is gene­rally clear from the cross­roads to the town.

15.32 Beacon Tower

1 · The tower’s door
Leads into a dark, arched pas­sage, which runs straight ahead for about eight feet before ope­ning into the inter­ior of the rower. A mul­ti­tude of spider webs block the cor­ri­dor. These are nor dif­fi­cult to detect or break, but the wise adven­tu­rer should rea­lize that any move­ment of the webs is likely to alert their crea­tors to the pre­sence of intru­ders. For­tu­na­tely the spi­ders in resi­dence in the narrow niches along the side of the hall aren’t the giant types from Mirk­wood, but nei­ther are they your ave­rage garden-variety Arach­nid. These have bodies about a foot in dia­me­ter and stand bet­ween two and three feet tall.
The pack of spi­ders consists of ten indi­vi­duals, but they will not all respond to the pre­sence of the intru­ders at the same speed- A bite from one isn’t neces­sa­rily fatal, but would require the victim save versus a level 3 poison. Fai­lure means the cha­rac­ter falls uncons­cious for 6 rounds and takes 2–5 hits.
2 · Inter­ior of the tower
The stone walls of the inside are plain ; the floor is also of stone. The most notable fea­ture of the decor is the wide stone stair­case rising in a spiral which hugs the walls of the tower.
3 · Cir­cu­lar mosaic
Made of colo­red stones set in the floor. The design shows concen­tric circles formed from rings of sty­li­zed vines and leaves. It is hard (-10) to detect the pre­sence of a small stone that is set slightly higher than the others. Pres­sing this piece down will cause a cir­cu­lar door set at the exact center of the mosaic to spring open. It is sheer folly (-50) to see that as the door opens a mecha­nism releases a spray of highly concen­tra­ted poi­so­nous gas. Fai­lure to disarm the mecha­nism (extre­mely hard, –35) will result in 8 to 12 hit points of damage to anyone stan­ding with ten feet.
A small com­part­ment about two feet deep and a foot in dia­me­ter is revea­led by the cir­cu­lar door. The book secre­ted within is old and fra­gile but the wri­ting is still legible, sho­wing a list of spells to level 10 of Sound/​Light Ways.
4 · Shelves
A series of wooden shelves are built into an alcove hol­lo­wed out of the wall under the stairs. The planks hold only an assort­ment of dust bun­nies and a pile of tiny bones which pro­ba­bly once belon­ged to a rat or other small rodent.
5 · Plaque
A carved wooden shield about three feet high and two feet wide hangs by a wire draped over a metal hook on the wall. Carved in relief on the shield and pain­ted with consi­de­rable care are two dra­gons ram­pant over a hand hol­ding an uprai­sed sword.
It is extre­mely hard (-30) to detect that moving the shield will acti­vate a pit trap in the floor. Two of the stones directly below the shield will swing down on invi­sible hinges, drop­ping whoe­ver is stan­ding on them into a twenty loot well fed from an under­ground stream. The well contains about eight feet of water.
A metal plate, flush with the wall, is revea­led when the plaque is moved. The sur­face of the metal is fini­shed in a deco­ra­tive pat­tern of lumps and pits. It is very hard (-20) to sec that a series of inden­ta­tions on the right side can be used to grasp and pull the plate back if the fin­gers of the right hand are pres­sed into them.
When the plate is remo­ved from the ope­ning, a mecha­nism (Sheer Folly, –50, to see ; Absurd, –70, to disarm) at the back of the niche behind it is acti­va­ted, and launches a six-poin­ted bronze thro­wing star out of the niche into the room. This star is magi­cal, and will com­plete a 360° sweep of the room, vee­ring from its course in an effort to make contact with someone, atta­cking as a dagger with a +30 OB. Once it has found a target or com­ple­ted a cir­cuit it will return to the niche, to rest quietly there, and may be reco­ve­red without fur­ther danger. The star is embed­ded with a rune of power that will let it repeat that per­for­mance once every twenty-four hours.
The only other thing in the niche is a small metal statue of a slen­der, horned, and winged crea­ture that resembles no known race of Middle-earth. Bare feet end in three elon­ga­ted toes, very long hands have six slim fin­gers, and the vir­tually nose­less face contains slan­ted and slit­ted eyes. A jewe­led head­dress fits around the horns, cove­ring wha­te­ver hair the crea­ture might pos­sess. The statue is dirty, dusty, and somew­hat cor­ro­ded, but the gems alone would be worth at least 50 gold pieces.
6 · Bottom of the stair well
A series of stone steps, each 2 feet wide and rising about 8 inches, goes up from this spot. There is no rai­ling along the inner edge of stair­case, so a clim­ber would be wise to be care­ful of their balance. A fall off the side beyond the first few steps could be incon­ve­nient.
7 · Trap
It is very hard (-20) to detect that a fine, nearly invi­sible, but very tough cord is stret­ched across the step, from a tiny tack in the wall, to a second tiny tack atta­ched just beneath the edge of the riser on the far side. The unwary could find them­selves taking a nasty tumble over the side, or back the way they came.
8 · Ano­ther trap
It is extre­mely hard (-35) to detect that the lan­ding at the top of the sixth flight includes a loose stone pre­ca­riously balan­ced on a ful­crum beneath it. Step­ping on the stone in any place but the exact center will cause it to rock and unba­lance the clim­ber. The trap is crude but effec­tive as a fall from this height (about sixty feet) would make a real mess on the floor below.
9 · After rea­ching the top of the stair­case
A right turn through ano­ther arch gives access to the plat­form of the disk. The cei­ling of the disk is about twenty feet high and appears to be made of wood. The walls are of stone ; regu­lar window ope­nings offer a spec­ta­cu­lar view of the sur­roun­ding coun­try­side.
A second stair­case, nar­ro­wer, stee­per, and longer conti­nues upward into the upper tower sec­tion. Sun­light slip­ping through the cracks in the roof show the out­lines of a rec­tan­gu­lar panel which can be opened to allow access to ano­ther series of steps lea­ding to the flat top of the tower.
10 · Bar­racks quar­ters
A number of men must have quar­te­red here at one time, as a series of par­ti­tions divides the plat­form into sepa­rate slee­ping areas. Beds and cabi­nets, long unused, are scat­te­red around and decaying into garden mulch. One cabi­net has an intact lock, which is only hard (-10) to pick. Inside are seve­ral bits of clo­thing, molded beyond any hope of use­ful­ness, a gold wrist band which allows the wearer to cast an Illu­sion II spell once every three days, and 43 silver pieces.
11 · Top of the tower
The flat­te­ned top of the tower served as a place to build the beacon fire. A cir­cu­lar stone contai­ner in the center held the wood for the blaze, while four stone pillars set in a rec­tangle appa­rently formed a place to store extra wood. There are still a few logs remai­ning in the sto­rage area and a large pile of ashes in the circle.

15.33 Cave of the Bulor-Ilg

1 · Ente­ring the tunnel
(see #7 in sec­tion 15.31 above) involves let­ting one’s self down through a fairly narrow hole in the rocks and a drop of about five feet to the floor of the cave. Although the cave is mostly nature’s han­di­work (in some places wide­ned and even having a few connec­ting pas­sages exca­va­ted), the main pas­sage is a long cre­vasse formed by the move­ment of a gigan­tic piece of rock, rather than having been eroded by water. For the first half mile, the tunnel is narrow, with high, straight, smooth walls, and the floor tilts twenty degrees to the left making wal­king awk­ward until one gets used to the slant.
2 · For a dis­tance of about thirty feet
The pas­sage nar­rows to about twenty-five inches wide, making it a dif­fi­cult squeeze for larger mem­bers of the party.
3 · The pas­sage opens out again
Beco­ming wide enough to allow tra­ve­lers to go two abreast. There are three gold pieces lying on the floor of the cave, but any attempt to pick them up will cause a 70 pound rock to slide off a ledge twenty feet above and roll down on top of the greedy soul, unless he or she can move out of the way very qui­ckly.
4 · Bats” roost
A recess in a side tunnel is home to thou­sands of bats. They hang upside down from the roof and walls of the recess, lite­rally cove­ring it with squir­ming bodies. A narrow chim­ney well above and to one side offers an ope­ning to the out­side just wide enough to allow the crea­tures to pass in and out. The bats aren’t par­ti­cu­larly dan­ge­rous except by their sheer num­bers. Should a loud noise or sharp move­ment dis­turb them, they will all take to the air at once, crea­ting a chaos of moving bodies in which unwary intru­ders are likely to receive some rather nasty scratches.
5 · Grotto of the Bulor-Ilg
A large cham­ber with a high, domed cei­ling and walls deco­ra­ted by nature with richly colo­red rock out­crop­pings opens off the main pas­sage. Inves­ti­ga­tion will reveal a depres­sion in the center of the cham­ber, which has been deeply char­red and holds a small pile of ash. Oddly, an unu­sual, rich, spicy odor still ema­nates from the bit of ash. though it must have been long ages since the last fire burned here.
A niche has been carved into the wall at the far corner of the grotto, high enough to be at eye level only for a fairly tall Human or Elf. A border pain­ted around the niche shows a series of crea­tures simi­lar to the statue found in the tower (see #5 in sec­tion 15.32 above) in various posi­tions and acti­vi­ties. There is nothing in the niche itself, though a small depres­sion indi­cates that some­thing must once have stood there.
6 · The pas­sage nar­rows again
And the cei­ling slants down until pas­sers must crawl on hands and knees, and in one par­ti­cu­larly tight spot, squeeze through on their bel­lies. Claus­tro­pho­bic cha­rac­ters will expe­rience consi­de­rable dis­com­fort here.
7 · Invi­sible Bar­rier
If any member of the party is car­rying the pecu­liar horned statue found in the tower (see #5 in sec­tion 15.32 above), the entire group will encoun­ter an invi­sible, sor­ce­rous bar­rier at this point. They will not be able to pass through it, and nothing they try will avail to pierce, pene­trate, cir­cumvent, remove, or des­troy the bar­rier.
8 · Bar­rels
A series of wooden casks stand along the side of a wide part of the pas­sage. These bar­rels once held grain and other food­stuffs (one still smells sus­pi­ciously like malt hops), but the contents have long since rotted, eva­po­ra­ted, or been stolen by mice and other crit­ters.
9 · Ghost’s Grotto
In the unli­kely event that the party should have placed and left the statue (see #5 in sec­tion 15.32 above) in the niche. then the Ghost of Ulgan­draeth, who was in life a Mage of consi­de­rable abi­lity, will appear as soon as they enter the area and greet the party plea­santly.
For more on the Ulgan­draeth, see below.
Nature (Human and other­wise) being what it is, the party will pro­ba­bly find only ano­ther grotto, which appears at first sight to be com­ple­tely empty and deser­ted. Fur­ther ins­pec­tion will reveal the exis­tence of a pecu­liar rune, belon­ging to no system known by any of the party, scrat­ched into the wall of the cave.
Tou­ching any part of this sign will cause a sor­ce­rous explo­sion alight to deto­nate in the center of the room, doing no phy­si­cal damage other than blin­ding for three rounds any mem­bers of the party who. are within twenty feet and facing toward the sign. Those who do find them­selves blin­ded will hear a strange voice whis­per in their ear, « Return the Bulor-Ilg to his shrine. »
Once the party figures out what this mes­sage is direc­ting them to do (assu­ming they aren’t all hope­lessly thick-headed), retur­ned the statue (see #5, sec­tion 15.32 above) to the niche (#5, Grotto of the Bulor-llg), and come back to this place, they will find Ulgan­draeth to be quite accom­mo­da­ting and help­ful. He will even offer them a consi­de­rable reward, lea­ding them to a small trea­sure-hold they would never have been able to reach other­wise (#11 below).
10 · Sor­ce­rous cave-in
If the party has not yet met Ulgan­draeth, they will find the pas­sage blo­cked by what appears to be an exten­sive cave-in. Should they try remo­ving some of the rocks, they will find that their efforts don’t make a dent in the pile, no matter how long they conti­nue to work. If Ulgan­draeth is with the group, howe­ver, he will mutter a few words, and the entire accu­mu­la­tion of rocks and debris will disap­pear, lea­ving a clear pas­sage.
11 · Sto­rage cham­bers
Cabi­nets and shelves have been built into the nooks and walls of the rooms here. Ulgan­draeth will urge the party to help them­selves to wha­te­ver they need or want as no one has used these caverns for many ages and pro­ba­bly never will again. Unfor­tu­na­tely most of what was stored here is no longer in usable condi­tion, but among the things that might still be worth clai­ming are : seve­ral large gar­nets, uncut but of gem qua­lity ; a large crys­tal of tour­ma­line worth 80 silver pieces ; a +5 short sword (the blade needs a bit of poli­shing and the edge shar­pe­ning, but the metal is sound); a small, plain metal box which, when opened, casts a 100” Fire Bolt — it has suf­fi­cient power for three more bolts ; 6 ancient gold coins —each appears to be equi­va­lent to about 5 gold pieces ; and 120 copper pieces.
12 · Alter­nate Entrances to the tunnel
The one on the north side poses no threat of admit­ting ambu­shers as the sor­ce­rous rock slide will conti­nue to foil the pas­sage of anyone not in the com­pany of Ulgan­draeth, but the one to the south of the main tunnel poses a very real hazard, as it is close to the road and cer­tainly known to the bri­gands who work in the area.
13 · Amphi­thea­ter
A large round cham­ber which slopes down to a stone plat­form, for­ming a natu­ral amphi­thea­ter. There are also stone benches lining the wall and floor. If anyone sits in the cham­ber long enough he will even­tually become damp, chilly, and quite bored as even the ghosts that once prow­led the stage finally gave up and depar­ted some eons ago in search of more inter­es­ting and pro­fi­table haun­ting grounds.
14 · Shrine
Ano­ther, smal­ler domed cham­ber contains a series of niches carved into the wall. Each of these alcoves contains a small statue (about the size of a finger) sho­wing the the Bulor-Ilg in a variety of poses and hol­ding dif­ferent objects, some reco­gni­zable, like the hammer and the sword, others com­ple­tely strange. It is extre­mely hard to see that each small statue is armed with a tiny poi­so­ned needle that will spring out to stab the hand of anyone attemp­ting to pick it up.” Anyone pier­ced by one of those darts must make save versus a level 2 poison or take 2 to 20 hits. There’s not much point in taking them, anyway, as the work­man­ship isn’t all that good and there’s nothing else about them to grant the sta­tues intrin­sic value or charm.
15 · Pas­sage
Slopes gra­dually down­ward, beco­ming increa­sin­gly steep as it goes. Nothing inter­es­ting will happen to anyone tra­ver­sing this tunnel until he gets to the place where it abruptly ends in a sheer forty foot drop into a well.
16 · Tunnel’s Exit
A few rocky steps lead upward to the exit, and the pas­sers must nego­tiate around a couple of sharp rocks sti­cking out of the wall, par­tially blo­cking the egress.
The tunnel emerges at #10 des­cri­bed in sec­tion 15.31 above.

15.4 The task

The task in this adven­ture is actually two sepa­rate jobs : first, to escort Glorin and the jewel safely to the town of Baraldrin’s Gate, and secondly to dis­co­ver the trai­tor in the guards assi­gned to the party.

Accom­pli­shing the first task will involve eva­ding, outrun­ning, or overw­hel­ming the bands of thieves ope­ra­ting on the road. Since the bri­gands have been

warned about the move­ment of valuable cargo, it is a near cer­tainty that the party will be atta­cked by at least one band of rob­bers.

The second task is tri­ckier and will require some cle­ver­ness on the part of the players. Direct inter­ac­tion with the guards accom­pa­nying them will most likely prove ins­truc­tive, even enter­tai­ning, but won’t reveal the iden­tity of the trai­tor. A better pos­si­bi­lity would involve cap­tu­ring one of the thieves and offe­ring some sort of bar­gain. The players should be able to come up with seve­ral ways to approach the pro­blem.

Starting the players

The players are assu­med to be staying at « The Wai­ling Wind » Inn in Buhr Thu­ra­sig at the outset. If they’ve recently weeded out and dis­po­sed of the rai­ding Orcs (see sec­tion 14.0), it will be enti­rely natu­ral for Tri­ga­ric to search them out when he needs extra help to secure Glorin’s eme­rald on its jour­ney south. Other­wise he might be stop­ping by the Inn for a drink and be impres­sed by the group, or have heard rumors about their pro­wess. In any case he will offer them 10 gold pieces each to escort the jewel to the town of Baraldrin’s Gate where it will be passed into the care of a master jewels­mith. If that isn’t enough to convince them to take on the job, Glorin him­self might offer them an addi­tio­nal bounty to help secure his own safety.

Some­time after the party has agreed to escort the jewel, Ver­gan­drieg will seek them out pri­va­tely and explain the pro­blem he’s had with his guards and offer them the pos­si­bi­lity of an addi­tio­nal reward for iden­ti­fying the trai­tor in his ranks.


The big­gest source of aid to the players should be the guards who accom­pany them on the trip. Although one of their number is a trai­tor, and the others all have various sorts of emo­tio­nal and per­so­na­lity pro­blems, they are still pro­fes­sio­nal figh­ters, expe­rien­ced in combat, well-armed, and well trai­ned. They should also be mode­ra­tely fami­liar with the ter­rain, although they may or may not know about the exis­tence of the tunnel.

The infor­ma­tion about that pas­sage should come from Ver­gan­drieg, who will add the war­ning that the under­ground way is rumo­red to be haun­ted and beset with other dan­gers as well, so the­re­fore should be used only in case of dire neces­sity. He can tell them that the entrance to the cave is nearly impos­sible to find except by loo­king down from above, and he might even pro­vide them with a rough map of the route. Alter­na­ti­vely he can warn the group that they should bear right, right, left, and then right again at the forks in the tun­nels to get the maxi­mum bene­fit and dis­tance from the pas­sage.


As des­cri­bed in ear­lier sec­tions, the entire area is dan­ge­rous, and libe­rally pro­vi­ded with pos­sible hazards. The ter­rain itself is trea­che­rous, rocky and uneven. The wild­life of the region is varied, abun­dant, and rarely benign. With any luck the party won’t meet any of the seriously dan­ge­rous crea­tures in the area, like Dra­gons or Fell beasts, but plenty of less power­ful annoyances will look for oppor­tu­ni­ties to prey on the group.

Kor­brild and his band of cut­throats are the most serious threat to the safety of the party. They have the advan­tage of super­ior num­bers and know­ledge of the ter­rain. If the party resorts to the tunnel (as they should have to), Korbrild’s group will not be daun­ted. They are fami­liar with other entrances to the tunnel system, and will either pursue the tra­ve­lers under­ground or attempt to set up one or more ambushes (per­haps even all of the above). The trai­tor within the player’s group shouldn’t be much of a factor either way when it comes to actual figh­ting. He will try not to do any more damage than neces­sary to his secret allies, but he will cer­tainly not betray his dupli­city openly by refu­sing to fight or even giving the appea­rance that his heart isn’t in the effort.

Rigdarabin’s group, because they aren’t really pro­fes­sio­nal thieves, poses less of a hazard to the tra­ve­lers. If the group of player cha­rac­ters is a large one, the Game­mas­ter might want to uti­lize them as addi­tio­nal allies of Kor­brild, other­wise he might want to leave them out alto­ge­ther.

The traps and hazards in the tower and tunnel aren’t par­ti­cu­larly dif­fi­cult or dan­ge­rous. The Game­mas­ter might want to drop a hint about taking the statue found in the tower with them should the players seem disin­cli­ned to do so. Of course, if they don’t have the statue with them, the player’s pro­gress won’t be impe­ded by the bar­rier in the cave, so it isn’t abso­lu­tely neces­sary that they bring it, but they will lose the oppor­tu­nity for an inter­es­ting and poten­tially pro­fi­table encoun­ter.


The safe arri­val of Glorin and the jewel at Baraldrin’s Gate will, of course, bring the players their ear­nings from Tri­ga­ric. If the group has bar­gai­ned with Glorin for an addi­tio­nal reward, he too will pay up. In addi­tion, if the players can bring Ver­gan­drieg the iden­tity of the trai­tor, he will pay them 10 gold pieces each for the infor­ma­tion. If they can bring him the body of the trai­tor or relia­bly report his death, the cap­tain will pro­ba­bly go to fif­teen, and should they bring the trai­tor back alive and in cus­tody, he will be plea­sed enough to make the reward twenty gold pieces for each. They will also win the confi­dence and res­pect of the cap­tain and people of Buhr Thu­ra­sig, which might be useful in fur­ther adven­tures.

They also, of course, get to keep many of the trea­sures they’ve found on the jour­ney, which could be a par­ti­cu­larly rich hoard if they’ve repla­ced the statue in its proper niche and explo­red enough of the tunnel to meet with Ulgan­draeth.

15.5 Encounters

Since the pri­mary encoun­ters in this adven­ture involve the raid on the party by the group or groups of bri­gands along the road, exactly how those conflicts are orches­tra­ted will lar­gely be up to the dis­cre­tion of the GM. Korbrild’s attack will almost surely begin as a straight­for­ward ambush somew­here along the road, in the vici­nity of the tunnel. The party will prove stron­ger than he anti­ci­pa­ted, howe­ver, and should at least be able to fight well enough to give them­selves time to flee to the rela­tive pro­tec­tion of the tunnel. Should the party have dif­fi­culty accom­pli­shing that much, the GM might sacri­fice one of the NPC guards to hold off the rai­ders long enough to allow the rest of the party to flee.

Once the players are in the tunnel, there are various ways to handle the thieves” actions. They could all chase behind the players in a group, trying to run them down one by one in the narrow confines of the tunnel. More likely, though, Kor­brild would decide to split his band into seve­ral par­ties, and using his know­ledge of other entrances to the tunnel, attempt to sur­round the band while they are within, over­po­we­ring them from various sides. Alter­na­ti­vely, he might divide his men into two groups, one led by him­self, the other by Sovorn, and assign them to guard the two most likely exit points, pre­pa­red to ambush the players as they leave the tunnel. By doing so he could take advan­tage of the narrow exits which would prevent the players from emer­ging as a group as well as their tem­po­rary par­tial blind­ness while their eyes adjus­ted from the dim light of the cave to the grea­ter bright­ness out­side.


The chief­tain of the larger group of thieves is just about the mea­nest, nas­tiest, wiliest, most vicious and ruth­less son-of-a-gun anyone in the area has ever met. He fights hard, mean, and dirty. He has no inter­est in taking pri­so­ners or lea­ving poten­tial threats around, and tends to be quite tho­rough in assu­ring that loose ends are sewn up.

Kor­brild pos­sesses no sense of honor and a very prag­ma­tic idea of loyalty. Should he find him­self trap­ped or hope­lessly cor­ne­red, he might well try to bar­gain his way out of the situa­tion. Brilliant he isn’t, but he has a crafty cle­ver­ness. It will cer­tainly occur to him that the fact that he knows there is a trai­tor in the group’s midst and his willin­gness to iden­tify the turn­coat can be used as a bar­gai­ning chip. He also will know that he’ll have to use it care­fully. By the time he’s cor­ne­red, he will likely have done suf­fi­cient damage and demons­tra­ted his less-than-noble figh­ting tech­niques in suf­fi­cient detail to assure that the entire party of tra­ve­lers tho­roughly des­pises him. If they think there might be an alter­na­tive way of get­ting the infor­ma­tion, they pro­ba­bly won’t hesi­tate to dis­pose of Kor­brild and make a bar­gain with someone slightly less des­pi­cable.

Sovorn One-Hand, Feld, and the rest of Korbrild’s band

All of Korbrild’s band are strong and ruth­less figh­ters ; they should be, he selec­ted them care­fully and nur­tu­red those par­ti­cu­lar traits. Sovorn can fight better with one hand than most people do with two, and Feld’s age has slowed him only a little. Like their leader, all of Korbrild’s men have a heal­thy res­pect for their own per­sons, and will, if pres­sed against the wall, try to talk or bar­gain their way out of trouble. Of the group only Sovorn and Feld know the iden­tity of the trai­tor — Feld because Kor­brild trus­ted him enough to occa­sio­nally use him as a mes­sen­ger to his contact ; Sovorn because he makes it his busi­ness to know as much as pos­sible about eve­ry­thing going on around him.

If the oppor­tu­nity or neces­sity for bar­gai­ning doesn’t come up, Sovorn and Feld will both fight to the death, even should they rea­lize that the battle is lost. Most of the rest of the band will flee if they see that their lea­ders are defea­ted or the battle is clearly going against them.


Because he (and his people) think of them­selves pri­ma­rily as far­mers rather than pro­fes­sio­nal bri­gands, Rigdarabin’s group fights with none of the vicious­ness and ruth­less­ness of Korbrild’s group. Nor do they have the time to invest in per­fec­ting their combat skills. They do consi­der them­selves as strug­gling to defend and sup­port their homes and fami­lies, howe­ver, so what they lack in​.sk ill is at least partly com­pen­sa­ted for by convic­tion.

If the party has had its fill of figh­ting, or includes a mode­ra­tely per­cep­tive and skill­ful diplo­mat, they can turn this fact to their advan­tage. Since Rigdarabin’s band preys on tra­ve­lers pri­ma­rily to make a living, they can pro­ba­bly be bought off without a battle. In fact, they will likely settle cheap ; they really are just concer­ned with assu­ring a few meals for them­selves and their fami­lies.


In his life­time, some 200 years prior to the time frame of this adven­ture, Ulgan­draeth was a Mage of little abi­lity. He was also excee­ding curious and spent a large part of his youth pur­suing adven­tures and know­ledge. In the course of one of those excur­sions he came upon the cave of the Bulor-Ilg and his inter­est was cap­tu­red. He could make nothing of the pecu­liar sta­tues and pain­tings he found in the shrine cave. Nor did anyone living in the area have even a clue about what they repre­sen­ted or meant.

Ulgan­draeth devo­ted the next seve­ral years to tra­vel­ling and research, attemp­ting to learn some­thing of the figures — who crea­ted them, and why. His efforts went almost enti­rely unre­war­ded with suc­cess, and so he finally retur­ned to the shrine, to spend long days and nights in the cave, contem­pla­ting the carved sta­tues and pain­tings on the wall.

It finally occur­red to him that he might gain the know­ledge he sought with the aid of a demon, could he learn the appro­priate spells and col­lect the power to use them. He spent ano­ther year in the pre­pa­ra­tions, arming him­self to summon the most power­ful demon he thought he could manage to control long enough to extract the infor­ma­tion from him.

Ulgan­draeth suc­cee­ded in cal­ling and hol­ding a demon, and after some bar­gai­ning he lear­ned as much about the crea­tures as he wished. In return he agreed to become guar­dian, in per­pe­tuity, of the shrine, a task that would not end even with his death. Ins­tead he became a ghost, with all the rights and pri­vi­leges the­reof, but the limi­ta­tion of being confi­ned to moving only within the reaches of the tunnel itself.

The Mage lear­ned much of an ancient Dwar­vish people who had once, many ages past, dwelt in the area, almost by them­selves, save for the beasts that roamed. And he came to unders­tand much of the mytho­logy that grew out of their years of iso­la­tion and year­ning for know­ledge of how the cosmos was orde­red and ope­ra­ted.

These Petty-dwarves deve­lo­ped a belief in a race of spi­rits, known as the Bulor-Ilg, who were clo­sely tied to, and even had some abi­lity to influence, the forces of nature., The wor­ship of these spi­rits grew into an ela­bo­rate series of rituals, invo­king at need the aid and inter­ven­tion of these dei­ties, which came to be cen­te­red in and around the cave Ulgan­draeth now guards.

When the statue of the Supreme Balor was stolen some years ago, Ulgan­draeth was unable to prevent its remo­val. He is aware that a spell on the statue should insure that it will even­tually be retur­ned to the cave, but he still has had no peace or rest since the time of its theft. He has spent the inter­ve­ning years devi­sing traps and bar­riers, desi­gned to force the repla­ce­ment of the statue in its proper shrine when the time comes that it is car­ried into the cave again.


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