Over the course of the next two weeks, things began to settle down to a medium simmer. The noble houses began to vie for influence with the new monarchy. Those who were died were either buried or raised from the dead to continue their lives. The Godhands settled down to finish their training and prepare for the assault on the dwarven mines. The Band of the Hand stayed long enough to repair their megaliths from the damage done during the battle. The dwarves of Urthom stayed long enough to dismantle the magic gates from the Battle Platforms to take back with them to their homeland with a dangerous glint in their eyes. Anoth’Tuk clasped hands with Lusipher before returning to his home. The Badger and the Wolf clans returned to the valley, with the Wolf clan to watch the south for the Toujin Horde. The new Bear Clan chieftain, Ilea, and her dozen or so remaining members joined with the Badger clan for the time being, until the Bear Clan could regain its strength. She bade Lusipher a fond farewell before leaving with her clan. A week after the battle had ended, the dragoness Vheshema successfully returned from her venture to her mate Toll.
Finally, a miracle happened and the group finished their training. They then journeyed south to the Watch Tower, where the minotaur Anoth’Tuk led them to the lock where the Septerra Key was to be placed. Opening the portal in the floor led downward to what can best be described as a Dwarven Roller Coaster. Meant to provide fast access to the Dwarven Mines through a back door, the group began a forty-mile per hour adrenaline rush through tunnels and caverns and over pools of lava. Some time later, the transport stopped itself in a large cavern, where the group disembarked. There they found air masks and masterwork mining kits for 60 dwarves, as well as a map of the dwarven mines. Examining the map, they saw that the area they were had a closed section marked with the dwarven symbol for danger. Figuring that it was as good a place to start as anywhere, the Godhands set out for adventure!
Fifteen minutes later, they arrived at the area marked on the map. Passing many danger signs, the group arrived at a giant ward, which had been cut into 4 separate sections by something seeking to gain entrance there. Continuing, they came upon a shocking sight. Before them stood the carcass of the legendary Tarrasque, cut neatly into four sections and dead as can be!! Apparently, the creature they were seeking had the ability to permanently kill anything! With much trepidation the group continued on their way, this time heading for the core of the mine. Five hours later, they entered a cavern with a massive amount of dwarven skeletons in it, each cut into 4 separate sections. Toll knelt by one skull, and cast a “speak with dead” spell on it. Instead of giving it a semblance of life, the skull began to shriek with the pain of a thousand tortured souls. Once it died down, words were spoken in many voices at once : “I am coming for you”
The Godhands began to prepare for the coming battle. Fifteen quiet minutes later, the creature suddenly appeared to the group as it swept through them with its long claws swinging. Immediately, Gwendon and Jakkara fell to the ground in four separate pieces! Battle began swiftly, with the group taking it to the creature as quick as possible. Early on, they figured out that its claws needed to go and the warriors concentrated their efforts on them. Toll leveled the playing field by stopping time and activating his magical rock to remove all resistances in the area. He also cast a combined harm and destruction spell that destroyed the first claw. Each claw proved to be as tough and deadly as a dragon, with Gallandro literally falling apart next. Unfortunately, the thing could not withstand the combined might of the Comet, the Avatar of Destruction, and the Worlds Strongest Man! Finally, all claws were destroyed and the creature died in light as thousands of souls poured from it!
The entire group was momentarily blinded from the glare. When they finally could see, they were shocked to discover that their entire bodies and armor were bleached white. Even their pupils were white. Toll found that he was able to bring their dead friends back to life, and did so. However, Sirrathi had fainted during the explosion of souls and apparently had inherited four more souls in her body! After being soul-bleached white, the entire group took a moment to regain their composure. Toll took stock of the spells he had remaining for the day around found he had prayed for two miracles that he had yet to use. He then prayed for a miracle to occur, forcing the errant souls from the body of Sirrathi. They then woke her up and headed back to the forbidden cavern to take care of the Tarrasque. Meeting the creature halfway back, it had apparently woken up and found their scent, the group took material form and assaulted the creature with a massive display of force. The Tarrasque never knew truly what hit him, as he fell and was made truly dead before he could even react. The party continued to hack the beast to pieces long after Toll had performed another miracle to keep it dead. Finally they came up for air and cleaned up before heading back into the depths of the cavern to find the Kyr Saluth, the dwarven pillar of knowledge.
Several hours later, the group found themselves in the living quarters of the dwarven mines. There they discovered the long dead remains of the fallen dwarves, all bodies cut neatly in four pieces. Moving through the carnage from times long passed, the group found themselves in the Temple of Moradin. In an alcove at the rear of the building they found a huge stone door with the whole body of a dwarf lying up against it. The door itself had powerful runes carved into it surface, put there by Moradin himself. There was a single mithril bar across it with a lock hole in the center, the apparent resting place of the lock of fate around Toll’s neck. At the bottom of the door was a crude rune in blood, apparently from the fallen dwarf, to curse the door closed until a dwarven follower of Moradin could remove it. Toll did so, and the body turned to dust.
Telling the others to remain behind, the two dwarven Godhands opened the door and investigated the other side. After moving through a short tunnel, they came out into a massive circular cavern, stretching out below further than the eye could see. From the center of the cavern downward was the source of light, the Kyr Saluth. The pillar of Dwarven History, it seems, is just that. It is a pillar of all known precious metals descending to the depths of the earth, with pictographic histories of every dwarven hero noticed by Moradin carved into relief on its surface. Those precious metals that are removed from the surface of the Kyr Saluth are taken by the hand of Moradin and spread throughout the land to seed the ground in veins. Thus, every dwarf that has his deeds noticed by Moradin brings more potential wealth to all clans.
Across the rift to the pillar and spiraling down around it was a magical stone bridge. Going back down the tunnel to fetch the rest of the party, the group then moved down the bridge to see what was carved below. Hundreds upon hundreds of heroes were seen, from the beginning of dwarven history over 7,000 years ago to the current day. At the bottom they discovered the carvings of Toll being made. To the ire of the some of the other members, however, it seemed that Toll alone was being given credit for all of the deeds that were done by the group as a whole. Seemed that Moradin did not seem to care what other mortals were involved with his Champion. Toll placed his hand on his own image, and the ring that denoted him a champion was absorbed into the surface of the pillar. It seemed that Moradin gifts his champions with such a ring to give them the chance to reach the pillar in their lifetime (As the ring stops the aging process). However, he does not intend them to live forever, so the ring must be returned to him.