There was a slight rustling in the bushes, and Corlis turned the Brodacher of Lopnel coming easily into his hand. A figure stepped from the trees; it was Bow, tucking in his tunic from his recent trip to the little boy's tree.
"Easy there big guy, I'd just as soon keep my head for now." Bow commented as Corlis grunted and put away the huge sword. The entire [arty was on edge these days after the first mostly unsuccessful foray into the Halls of the Dwarven Kings. It had been mainly disastrous, trolls at the entrance had assaulted them, and despite their efforts to enter undetected they had quickly been discovered and set upon. Moth, the lord of Gebnick Glade and a powerful elvish swordmage, had heroically held the main entrance with some well-placed web and fire spells, and with the assistance of our most recent addition Issek. Who claimed to be a simple merchant, but was clearly much more. The two of them had prevented a horde of the giant regenerating beasts from descending on the rest of the party as Corlis, our gallant Paladin of Lopnel, and Gerald, the duke's son and apprentice to the chaos lords, attempted to rescue Querya, our lovely if devious spy, from the claws of the other group of trolls. Vochma, a lady of extreme courage and magical power, hammered them with spells, while Bow, the quiet warrior, had been trying to scale the cliff face when he heard, "You better hurry up and save me!" Alas, he and the rest were too late.
Although managing to finish off the trolls, Querya had her throat cut by the foul beasts, and the party retreated to find a way to revive her. They succeeded with the help of the local dwarves, and rested that evening to prepare to engage the enemy again. That night Querya felt a strange humming coming from Oberon, her enchanted sword, as they ate dinner. When she drew the sword a magical aura encircled it, and the voice of Oberon screamed as it was ripped from the metal sword and drawn into the blade of the Brodachure. The party had noticed that many magic items were losing their power, but until then had not been able to make the connection with the artifact they were carrying around.
The next day, the party entered and made their way into the halls relatively unmolested. They came upon a great room, which had obviously been a reception/throne room at one point. There was a single great throne at one end with two smaller thrones flanking it to either side. Littering the hall were the remnants of a great dwarvish host slaughtered to a man. All that was left was their bones, but the most disturbing part of the scene was that the bones were moving.
After destroying the restless dead, the party examined the rest of the throne room. Upon the great throne sat a regal figure of a dwarf with a great iron spear in his hand. Querya was checking the throne for traps, and determined that there was a great trap on the spear. Moth, in his regal, if somewhat chaotic manner, brushed her aside and said, "What's the worst that could happen?"
As he took the spear from the throne a great shadowy figure rose from the corpse of the dwarf. It reached for Moth, but he nimbly dodged out of the way. Corlis moved forward to strike at the wraith with the might of the brodachere. Bow sent a pair of silver shafts into the darkness that was the wraith, but they passed through without effect. Querya used the sunsword to strike the beast. And Vochma sent a great fire elemental to strike it as well.
There ensued a tremendous battle in which the elemental was destroyed, and Corlis and moth were grievously wounded, with their very life essences being drained to feed the dark being. During this battle who should appear but Asim the ugly and 6 tiny reindeer. Actually the reindeer turned out to be small void creatures, and the party was suddenly divided upon several fronts. Bow began hammering Asim the smelly with Arrows disrupting his spells, while Issek attempted to slay one of the void beasts. Finally the party defeated the wraith, just as Bow managed to do enough damage to Asim to send him fleeing. Without Asim the small void creatures, and when I say small I mean only 6 ft in length, popped out of the prime material plane and returned to their own vile lairs.
The party was a wreck, with 2 members slain during the battle, Corlis and Moth drained of several levels of Life essence, and the rest of the party wounded and weak. The surveyed the room. There upon the throne stood another apparition of a dwarf. As the party prepared to defend itself yet again they saw that this apparition was bound in chains of some dark substance. As they watched the dwarf raised its arms and the chains melted away.
"Thank you brave warriors, you have released me from my centuries long sleep. In return I offer the restoration of your two fallen comrades, and I will answer any single question you have." Through this, the party restored their fallen, and learned of the ritual used to restore the diamond dwarf.
The party retreated, now under the command of Querya, who had usurped the position of party leader with the loss of power experienced by Corlis and Moth. With rest and recuperation they prepared to enter the halls a third time.
This time as they entered they encountered little resistance, and moved quickly down into the depths of the halls. Using an ancient map they had found, uncanny intuition, and pure dumb luck, they came upon the rooms for the ceremony, and began preparations for awakening the Diamond dwarf.
As they moved into the ceremony chamber Rasperanis, The fallen golden dragon known primarily by his head being in his chest, confronted them. After a brief parlay with Rasperanis, whom the party had battled before and been summarily defeated, the dragon left, but remaining behind were his three converts, who had once been followers of the party. The party was wondering what to do when Bow leaned over and whispered to Corlis, "Let them come, the ritual says that all will be destroyed who are not consecrated as we have been."
The party began the ritual, and as the ritual commenced a number of shadowy beings emerged and slew the former followers of the party. The Corlis drew forth his holy sword and acting as if under the impulse of the sword destroyed one of the dark beings. As the Shadow was destroyed its substance seemed to be absorbed into the Brodacher, it seemed as if the sword itself came alive and was even more powerful than it had been before.
Following the rest of the ritual the great sealed doors were opened, and the party descended into the crypts below. Suddenly there were sounds of great battle coming from above. The party decided to hurry, and descended into one of the crypts. But it was the wrong one, and the party had to return to the main area. There the party saw trolls battling a great voiding and a Brother of Balance whose eyes where burned away and sealed that commanded it. The trolls were lead by A giant of their kind that had two heads, and carried a club with eyes imbedded within.
The trolls were being decimated and the party was obviously next. They turned to flee down the next tunnel in the vain hope that it would be the right one, when suddenly the giant two headed troll was cut down. His club fell into the pool in the center of the cavern. The voidling reached in and handed it to the Brother of Balance. At that point the party fled.