There has been dreadful news today. One of our party has been lost! It’s a woeful tale, and our party has been delayed in leaving Thurgadin because of it. Amazingly, the dwarves haven’t decided to punish the lot of them. Alas, it had to do with the Hall of Ancestors and the dwarves’ reverence for their history.
One member of the exploration party decided to try and manage to capture few of these miraculous images during the wee hours of the night. Deep inside the mountain, he made his way to the deepest part of Icewell Keep to gather an image of the Hall of Ancestors for us. The Coldain had mentioned in an off-handed manner that the Hall was sacred to them, and that they would prefer the adventurers not capture any images therein. The travelers, however, were not fully aware of the depth of the reverence in which the dwarves hold this shrine to their forefathers.
A bit of explanation about the images is in order here. The gnomes have long been known for their tinkering and mechanical skills, and this curious device they have created enables them to preserve the images they see in such a way that they can be transmitted, magically, over great distances. The receptacle of the images remains in the hands of our party’s historian who, in turn, sends them to us. Images are transmitted from the minds of all the explorers to the historian via small devices they wear on their helms. In this way, we have been able to see exactly what our explorers have seen, and in this case, it was very enlightening, if dreadful.
The youngest of the gnome adventurers, barely over a century and with the brashness of youth, padded down to the lower levels to obtain a picture. On his way down, he was curious to see a large ice creature at the bottom of the ice well. The velium walls of the well are nearly transparent, so he was able to send back an image of that as well, though it seems a bit fuzzy, no doubt due to the Icewell’s walls.
He managed to get a clear shot of three of the frozen monuments to historical figures, only one of which did not contain an actual body! The image he sent back was followed shortly by another in which he was confronted by the custodian of these shrines, one Loremaster Solstrin.
As you can see in the image the gnome youth returned (apparently he was quite confident, this youngster!), the loremaster was vigilantly guarding the Hall. That worthy gave him a sound verbal thrashing, along with a lecture on the sanctity of the Hall. He was warned that violating the boundaries set for him in his explorations could result in severe punishment.
Unfortunately, our young friend must not have taken the warnings to heart. At least he had the presence of mind to send along numerous shots, just in case he wasn’t able to return to his quarters later. As it turned out, sadly, he was unable to do just that.
The next shots sent back by the youngster showed, of all the forbidden areas, the Dain’s own chamber! He returned a scene showing the royal bed, treasure chest, keg, and guards. Apparently, his invisibility potion wore off shortly thereafter, and he was apprehended. To make matters worse, his tendency to stutter in tense situations was misinterpreted by the guards who found him, and he was brought before the Dain in council.
The crime of entering the Dain’s chambers, particularly after having violated the sanctity of the Hall of Ancestors proved too much for the dwarven community to accept. They meted out the usual punishment for any crime against Coldain society, banishment to the Pit.