The Letters of Valtha Bonecarver: The Sanctum of Dumathoin
A letter delivered to Drazen Bonecarver in Stonehammer Hold, inside the leg bone of a stuffed fox.
May you be allowed to serve Dumathoin in life and in death, as our common ancestors do in my continued quest to find Gauntlgrym.
Neverwinter is, as you warned me, a “shithole” Most of the city is in ruins still. Decades since volcano erupts, but still city is in ruins. Shithole. Barely any of their buildings are underground, so of course they were destroyed by lava and ash. What do these humans expect? Orcs have taken over much of the city. Worse, nobles from Waterdeep like Neverember are trying to take control of the city. Shithole, again. Dumb humans don’t even recognize Far Realm trap waiting to be sprung, as they use the Chasm to distract and occupy the guards while pursuing some fiendish plot. Maybe dream plot? Shithole all around.
Standards for sellswords seem particularly poor here. The first group I hired, barely able to make it safely to the dragon. Thought they died in the attack. Leader, Lekythion, didn’t, but then he did in second attack. Lousy sellswords, no share of treasure for you.
Must be because too many mercenaries in town, driving down prices and lowering quality of service. Found Bregan D’aerth (drow words hard to spell) to buy newer, better mercenaries. Tricky, smart drow fighters, not dumb genasi rockmen. But before I could negotiate deal, half a dozen locals were muscling in on the deal. Want to fight dragon, get treasure. Not sure I want to share treasure, but not sure these will survive any better than genasi did. Shithole town, where best employment humans can find is risking their lives for coin. Even innkeeper, Branwen, has to supplement business profits working as sellsword. Valtha doubt these people survive dragon fight, but figure that their death means less treasure to pay to stupid mercenaries.
In the end, second group better at surviving than the genasi were. Stupid genasi. But even second group not important.
Big news is this: Valtha found proof, in sanctum of Dumathoin. Proof that Indrek Silentshield was in fact Indrek Goldspire, hero of the fall of Gauntlgrym. The sanctum had been desecrated by stupid dragon and stupid Netherese mage and stupid enslave genasi and stupid fire elementals. But inside was statue, commemorating Indrek’s heroism. On it was this poem:
The Keeper of Secrets Under the Mountain shall never forget the tales of heroic deeds done in secret, that no bard will ever praise. Remember Indrek Goldspire. When orcish hordes snuffed out the light of Gauntlgrym, he led the dwarves of Delzoun by the secret roads: by the River of Flame, the Ways in the Dark, and the Paths of the Source Stone. By these secrets he saved the dwarves of Delzoun in their hour of peril, and earned the name of Silentshield.
I wish you could shove that in the nose of the stuck-up Stonehammer family. Show them that the Bonecarver family had great lineage, descended from legendary dwarven hero. Once Bonecarvers were Silentshields, and once Silentshields were Goldspires, and once Goldspires were heroes and kings. Stonehammers only rule a cavern half-collapsed in the Spellplague.
Found much else under mountain. Statue poem points to different ways into Gauntlgrym. Must investigate further. Find the hidden paths, somewhere near shithole of Neverwinter. Restore Bonecarvers to proper glory, restore dwarven people to rightful glory, maybe learn truth about Dumathoin’s disappearance.
Also spoke to ghosts of fallen dwarves. Learned that stupid fire elementals want to awaken Maegara, ancient primordial. Bad deal. Would destroy Gauntlgrym, erasing everything I’ve been searching for. Also would kill all the dwarves, humans, elves and whatever in Neverwinter. Probably all living things west of Sea of Fallen Stars. Big problem waiting under mountain. Elementals working with dragon and Netherese mage. Netherese mage whining about broken mythallar and flying city and exile and getting his revenge. Valtha sympathetic, but not really care. Netherese mage die like elementals and dragon. Thinking now that I was mistaken before: black magic I sensed was not Thayan necromancy, merely Netherese magic.
Or perhaps I am too hasty? Is Thay operating in Neverwinter as well? Like you say, “shithole”. Can’t even keep Thayans out, and Thayans are from other side of Faerûn entirely. Valtha wouldn’t care if Maegera destroyed whole sodding place, if not for Gauntlgrym. That would be better than Neverember running the town, anyway.
If you wish to contact me in Neverwinter, encode using third stanza of seventh edda of Halgin Axesplitter as poem cypher, modified with Atbash, as normal protocol dictates. Have your messenger leave at dead drop within the Mausoleum of Ella Bloodwine, in Neverdeath graveyard, when the moon is new. They will find a loose stone in the northwest corner, and underneath a waterproof satchel in which to hide the missive. I will check the drop regularly, and future messages will follow standard encryption and delivery protocols, as already determined.
May you remain sentient, in life or in death, sufficiently to see the triumphant return of Dumathoin, of Gauntlgrym, and of the Silentshield clan’s honor.
|Marcus Greycloak||Secrets Under the Mountain|
|Micar’eyl Auvrymtor||Expedition into the Dwarven Catacombs|