The Fortress of Zhon

The Halls of Zhon

Riddles in the dark...

A Parting Gift

You waited around uncomfortably while Taklinn read the final rites of passage. Gavinn remained utterly silent and contemplative throughout the process. Yet at the final readings a light twinkled in his eyes. He turned to you with a sudden smile spreading across his face. "My little lambs, I must admit that I cannot let this great warrior die spending his final days tormenting himself for something he could not have helped.

Before he left to convince the mighty warrior of aiding your cause he left you with a parting gift. A prized possession and your new guide on your adventures, Libby, the enchanted book. Though, not making a great first impression you decided to keep it referring to it as “her” and the “goddamned book”. Curiously enough, before you moved into the fortress none of you took the time to ask Gavinn on how exactly a floating book of sass might be of some use to you in this doomed citadel. Still, you gathered together and moved into the fortress to see what might await you inside.

A voice in the shadow

The sheer immensity of the halls of Zhon were astounding. Carved with deft hands by ancient Dwarven artisans in ages past, these walls stood testament to the Creon Empire’s dominion and power. As you wondered through the halls a voice, loud and cackling echoed within your mind, “Welcome fools, for fools you are venturing here…Though if you make it to me I may have trinkets I could part with…provided you can accomplish a few trivial tasks I have for you…”

You desperately searched the halls but no where could you find the source of the taunting voice. Yet, deep within the halls you discovered a festering pile of rotting corpses. The voice came again, quYickly almost with a sad and apologetic tone, “…haha, sorry about those…they were other fools who thought to find their fortune here.”

You angrily demanded answers and shouted into the darkness but were only met by further taunts. You decided to press on and see if this maddening voice might have some sort of point…or be able to deliver on his promise of valuable trinkets.

The Hall of Heroes

As you continued into the depths of Zhon you discovered the hall of mighty heroes from
when the empire was in its age of might. Taklinn discerned that they were carved by the hands of Khaor-Loss, a renowned Dwarven architect and artisan who disappeared centuries ago somewhere within the Tomb of Giants.

The clues on the base of the statue highlighted the subject as a great hero and dwarf friend, though his name was too worn to be legible. You pressed on curious of what else you might find within these vaulted halls.

The altars of sacrifice

As you journeyed deeper within the fortress the presence of Libby began to grind your teeth. Its constant baiting and insults were beginning to get on your nerves. For the most part, ignoring the flying pain the ass seemed like the best way to deal with it. Yet, obnoxious flapping books were not your only concern.

You came to a set of enormous stone doors, barred and unmovable and very near to them, a single column, ringed with blades and altars. As you drew near a voice cackled seemingly from the darkness and reverberated it’s loathsome derision into your very minds. “I see you have found the entrance. Have fun figuring this one out. Admission is not free…” Stone walls shot down from the roof forcing you into close proximity of the column and altars.

As you gazed upon the altars you saw a decrepit monument with four glowing altars each with different sacrificial offering piled on top. On the gold altar were piles of memorabilia, personal affects and children’s toys. on the red altar, piled high are sacrifices of blood, flesh and body parts. On the blue altar you found items that glow with a faint magical property. Although they seem to possess magical properties they are all mundane items. A wash cloth, a cup and a pile of spoons. And on the green altar you found pieces of rotting tissue, dead plants and molding pots of viscous liquids. You don’t know what they were comprised of, but it smelled horrendous.

You realized that sacrifices in the same nature as what had been previously paid was required to pass through the great doors. AS you each contemplated what to place on the altars. Davlin took the time to shit in the corner, which greatly displeased Brother Taklinn. In the end the choices were made and placed on the altar. As you placed them a terrible rumbling was heard and from the ceiling a swarm of spiders descended on you. You dealt with them quickly enough and the walls retracted back into the ceiling.

The Door of Riddles

You came upon a great Dwarven door. Taklinn alone could decipher a means of opening it. He recited the riddle, “I open at the close, when blood lies softly on the hero’s shadowed floor.” After much debate, and a lot of trial and error, Libby was able to fully decipher the meaning of the riddle and you progressed further into the ancient Dwarven built fortress.

Trials upon Trials

Deeper in the hall, through a maze of traps, beyond a locked cell hiding a gargantuan monstrosity you came to the court of the undead. Trapped once again and locked in captivity with these aged skeletons, your only key to escape was yet another painful riddle, “Thou who art undead art chosen…in thine exodus from life seek out the ancient land of lords…when the awakening words art spoken…the fate of the undead thou shalt know…” It appeared that this ancient court of nobles has kept vigil until one might come and speak the words of awakening. Though what those words might be none could say.

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