The iron door on the far side of the chamber opens to an empty room. Directly in front is another iron door and on the east and west walls is an arch. Brilliant white light pours out of the east and west arches. The group inspects the arches and discover that each archway passes into a treasure room. On prominent display in the eastern room is a dwarven map case and in the western room a bejeweled helm.
Wary of more traps, Yelfis throws a rock through the eastern archway and watches it disappear. Interested, Yelfis wags the end of his beard in the archway and the group watches as he disappears!
Yelfis finds himself in a barred cage among ancient remains of the last person to walk through the archway. On either side of him are more cages. The wall opposite of the cages has a similar archway from which a similar brilliant white light shines.
Startled at his disappearance, Almaia uses her messaging helm to contact her brother. As they discuss his predicament, Yelfis decides to hammer his way out of the cell. The rest of the group can hear his banging from the far side of the eastern treasure room.
Almaia decides to go free her brother and steps through the eastern archway. She is suddenly in the cage next to her brother. Almaia uses the Anklet of Translocation to get out of the cage and proceeds to unlock her brothers cell.
The rest of the group joins them and soon all of the cages need to be unlocked. As Almaia frees the rest of the group, Yelfis looks through the archway into the eastern treasure room, but from the opposite side!
Almaia is elected to enter the treasure room first, but as she passes through the archway, she finds herself back in the room with iron doors to the north and south. She proceeds through the eastern archway again and returns to the group.
By this time, the group begins to examine the archway. Grim determines that the archways are magical teleportation devices. As he relays his findings to the group, Almaia discovers a hidden panel next to the arch! It slides open to reveal a keyhole. The keyhole is similar to the other locks they’ve encountered and unlocked with the Keys of Nuitari. She locates the key labeled Eastern Portals and turns it in the keyhole. Nothing seems to happen so Mora attempts to walk through the archway and passes into the treasure room!
The group collects the treasure consisting of 5,000 steel pieces, 18 gems worth an average of 500 steel each, a +1 keen scimitar, 9 pieces of jewelry worth
1,000 steel each, and the dwarven map case. Inside the map case is an ancient scroll revealing all of the entrances to the underground kingdom of Thorbardin!
Donegin and Almaia search the room for anything hidden while Grim examines the magical scimitar. Donegin discovers two more hidden panels by each of the archways. Unfortunately, the archway portals only deactivate when the key is left in the lock. With the key opening the portal on the cage-side of the treasure room, there is no way for them to deactivate the other archway portal. Instead, the group gathers the treasure in their bag of holding and gathers in the east cage room. Almaia removes the key, activating the archway portal, and the group passes through it to arrive back in the room with iron doors to the north and south.
Using their experience in the eastern treasure room, Donegin determines that there must be a deactivation panel leading into the western treasure room from this end. He finds the panel, deactivates the archway portal, and the group collects the treasure in the western room without visiting the western cage room. The treasure consists of 1,500 steel pieces, 21 various gems worth 1,000 steel
each, 7 pieces of jewelry worth 1,000 steel each, a set of +2 dwarven plate, a pair of Wizard’s Spectacles, and a bejeweled helm.
Yelfis tries on the helm and falls silents. The group watches as his stature changes, he makes a formal bow, and says:
I am Grallen, prince of the mountain dwarves, killed by the forces of evil in the
Dwarfgate War. By means of this magical helm, I have survived these centuries that my
tale and fate may be told. I rode forth on the morning of the last battle in the great charge of Hylar dwarves. We came from the Northgate of Thorbardin across the Plain of Dergoth.
“My troop assaulted the mountain home of the Dark Wizard here. My brothers fought
with courage and valor; many fell at my side. When the tide of battle turned in our
favor, I pressed forward, determined to confront the wizard in his lair, but I was
cut down from behind before I could reach the fortress. Kharas found my body and
returned it to Thorbardin, but my helm, in which my spirit remained trapped, was
later discovered by dark dwarves loyal to Fistandantilus and brought to this room.”
The group discusses the fate of the prince and briefs him on current events. Prince Grallen scoffs at the notion of dragons, but believes their story. Mora mentions the talking altar they encountered in the gully dwarf settlement. Prince Grallen informs them that it is an archive of past and present knowledge related to mountain dwarves. It will only answer a query that relates to mountain dwarves.
Prince Grallen also asks that the group return his helm to Thorbardin so he may have a proper burial and rest. In return, Grallen assures them that the mountain dwarves would be more amiable to taking in the human refugees for the winter.
At the end of the conversation, Grallen bids them farewell and returns control of Yelfis. Yelfis explains that he was aware of their conversation during the possession, but could only communicate with Grallen.
The group unlocks the final iron doors to the north and discovers a portal room. An alcove on the east and west wall teleport into the respective treasure room and allow the user to teleport back into the alcove upon walking through the archway exit of the treasure room. Having fully searched the treasure rooms of Fistandantilus, the group retraces their path out of Skullcap.
When the group reaches the iron pyrohydra, they realize that they lack another invisibility potion for the fifth person to bypass the construct. Instead, they use a potion of gaseous form on Mora who ascends to the third level unharmed. The rest of the group teleport to the third level unharmed via Dimensional Door cast by Grim.
The group continues upward until they encounter the three skeletal warriors. They toss the three control rinds at their feet and the skeletons collapse. On the air are their final ghostly words of thanks.
The group looks up the 400 foot stairwell with no stairs and enacts their original plan. Mora uses her boots of levitation to travel to the top while Grim cast Dimensional Door for the rest of the part.
At the top, Blaize raises his head from a resting position and says: “Hey, you made it! Congratulations! I sure wouldn’t have wanted to go down there. Did you get what you were looking for?”
The group brings him up to date, but expresses concern about his appearance among the human settlers back in the hidden vale. Blaize concurs and quickly polymorphs into the form of a human adventurer with blond hair and a tan – almost brassy – skin tone.
The group departs the mountain and returns to the hidden vale. They arrive at nightfall and request an audience with the leaders in the morning. At the meeting, the group relates the details of their adventure and assures the leaders that refuge with the mountain dwarf kingdom is more likely now that they know the location and are carrying the soul of Prince Grallen.
The group decides to travel 17 miles to the south to meet with the mountain dwarves and arrange the refuge. In the meantime, they inform the leaders that they can offer them protection in the form of a dragon. The human leaders are aghast at the notion of the terrible creatures that destroyed their homelands, but Elistan – who now wears the medallion of Mishakal as one of her priests – informs them that the Disks of Mishakal describe the primary-colored evil dragons and the metallic-colored dragons of good. Since their last meeting with the leadership council, Elistan appears to have gained a greater following among the humans.
The group introduces the leaders to Blaize who polymorphs into his true form as a brass dragon. The leadership agrees to live under the protection of the good dragon and agrees to await the groups return from Thorbardin.
Before they depart, the group rests, heals, and spends some time identifying their treasures.