Backertag 10 to Bezahltag 11 Nachgeheim
In the sweltering heat of the day the heroes marched towards Romwald. As they marched down the side of another foothill, they saw a mounted man riding towards them at speed. The heroes watched with only a little concern. They prepared themselves for battle, but otherwise watched the man ride towards them.
As he drew closer they saw that it wasn’t a man, but instead a dwarf. And then, when even closer, they saw that it wasn’t a man riding a dwarf, but instead a dwarf with the lower torso and legs of a lizard. The creature charged into attack, knocking Kadfina off her feet. While she stood, the other heroes shot and stabbed at the creature. The creature’s armour, and thick hide withstood most of the blows until Kadfina slammed her flail into the creature’s head, nearly ripping it off.
The heroes searched the creature. It was not, a dwarf riding a lizard, but some strange mutation. The Dwarf’s armour seemed to meld directly into the lizard’s skin. However, the clothes and armour themselves were removable for the dwarf’s body – they just hung where they were attached to the lizard body. Detlef examined the creature’s weapon, finding it to be a good quality sword (which Gard took) and Andred took the creature’s coin purse. The heroes wondered whether this was one of the dwarves that they were looking for, but due to the damage Kadfina had caused to the creature’s face, it was not possible to tell.
Gard and Andred followed the trail of the creature back and found that it had apparently been watching the path to Romwald for a number of days. Meanwhile Kadfina built a fire and burnt the strange dwarf-lizard beast.
With nothing more to see, the heroes continued on to Romwald. The village was small. 4 decrepit wooden houses and 1 worn stone building with a weak wooden fence stretching between each of the buildings. Andred and Gard rode down to the village, while Detlef and Kadfina stayed back. The village appeared deserted, although there were a number of mangy dogs which barked at them. They heard someone yell at the dogs from the stone building so they knocked at the door.
An old man named Mieno answered the door, clearly surprised to have guests. He invited them in and explained he was the village tavern keeper / store keeper / co-ordinator and that they didn’t get very many guests in Romwald. Andred and Gard explained that there were two more of them and that the other two would arrive soon.
When Mieno saw Kadfina, he was surprised, and went out of his way to ensure he wasn’t offending the dwarf. The other two men in the tavern, whom Andred had bought drinks for, left upon seeing Kadfina.
The heroes spoke with Mieno, who explained that there had been some dwarves here almost a month ago, who had fought with some of the village folk, and that this only added to the general ill will the village had towards the mountain delvers. The heroes asked about the dwarves and Mieno advised that one of the villagers had taken them on an expedition but returned without them. The next day the village had searched for them, but they could not be found. Taken by Greenskins was the assumption the villagers made.
The heroes asked to speak to Burke, and when he returned to the village he came to join them at the tavern. No-one else from the village came, although Gard did his best to entice them with the power of song.
Burke told them that he had been promised to be paid by the Dwarves if he would take them to the site of the previous town of Romwald. On the way there, the Dwarves saw something that matched a scroll they were carrying – a map Burke assumed – and instead they went a different direction which led them to a tunnel in the side of a hill. The three dwarves entered and although Burke waited for them until nightfall, they didn’t return. Burke returned to the village and the next morning he and others went back, but the dwarves did not return.
The heroes hired Burke to take them to the tunnel and to ‘Alt’ Romwald. The next morning, they set off and arrived at the tunnel entrance without difficulty. The heroes entered, and Burke advised that he would stay until nightfall again, but if they weren’t back in the next ten hours, he would return to Romwald.
The heroes noted there were ancient carvings around the tunnel entrance, but none had any particular meaning to the heroes. Lighting the lantern, they entered the tunnel. Slowly descending, crossing a bridge at one point in time, the heroes finally came upon a fork in the tunnel. The left path continued further downwards, whereas to the right there was a room filled with the skin, fur, bones and feathers of many animals and birds. Very little flesh however. Rodents and bugs ran from the heroes’ lantern-light. A further exit stood on the right hand side of that room.
The heroes stopped briefly to discuss where to go next.