Firelight Tower: History and Rumors

An ancient dwarven outpost, this impressive tower once watched over the sea passages to the south. It now stands empty in the howling winds that feebly attempt to tear it down.

In 1054, three dwarven climbers unlocked the secret staircase and climbed into the tower. This is their leader's account of what they saw, translated into the common tongue:

On Dorand's Hammer, I declare that what I write is true.

I, Dalliac, servant of Dorand, braced myself against the Curse of Firelight Tower and sought to enter it and uncover its mystery.

Fellisax, our scout, found a strange groove in the solid stone. That was all that was needed for us to know that we had found the path to the tower. The climb was nothing a stout dwarf couldn't handle, even with a heavy burden on his back. I was struck by the ability of the stone cutters that wrought the steps'a staircase invisible in the mountain to all except those who knew what to look for. The Master of Crafts must have been proud of his sons' work.

We reached the lower entrance to the tower, where we found a stone door tightly shut that granted us entrance upon being pressed in the right spots'another sign of the fine ability of our ancients. Smooth as the finest glass was the surface, despite years of water and wind breaking on its surface. The three of us entered the tower and sealed ourselves in from the bitter wind outside.

The air was calm but not still. A cool breeze, much slower than the gale that blew outside, greeted us. The floors were covered in only a thin layer of dust, much less than we expected, as though merely a few weeks of sweeping had been missed. Along the walls, several stone hooks were set for equipment, and Jaellax, our strongest arm, absentmindedly placed his pack on one of them and called out for mead. I spat out my disapproval of such wanton disrespect for the mystery, to which he responded, "I feel as though there are still brothers here."

That was also the feeling that I had, along with Fellisax. The place was in excellent condition and further exploration of the barracks, mess hall, and observation deck elicited the strong feeling that the guard had just stepped out for a smoke and would be back soon. We found salted meats, cheese, water, and firewood'all frozen but still palatable after being defrosting. Barrels of ale, wine, and rolls of smoke weed were also neatly stashed and usable. The ale hadn't aged well but the wine had; a bottle of it stands on my table as I write this.

I searched and found the tower's register and the commander's log for signs that it had been abandoned, but I found none. It was as though Dorand and Vorax themselves had whisked the guard away into thin air for some secret purpose.

It was in the lower basement, within the mountain, that the mystery that had been taunting us was solved. A stone door that was crudely cut'definitely not by kinsman's hands, not by those that had built the tower'was found ajar. Jaellax's curse and wards were heard echoing throughout the tower in response to what he saw. In that room, probably a crude cavern that had been enlarged, the frozen and decayed bodies of 25 were found, but only 22 of them were of our kin; the others were elves, dark ones at that.

From what we guess, the elves had stolen from the guards and killed them in that room for reasons unknown. After eliminating the guards, they simply withdrew through a door set in the back of the cavern without taking a thing, including the fine weapons and armor. On closer inspection, Fellisax declared that he could not and would not even try to open the dark elf door for it was, according to him, rigged with the deadliest of traps. We let it be as we recovered the bodies of our fallen and gave them a proper burial. Then, we sealed the cavern for good after leaving a few traps of our own for the dark elves.

We left a few days later and until this day we cannot understand what the purpose of the massacre was.

On Dorand's Hammer, I declare that what I write is true.