The duergar caravan moved quickly, the dark dwarves pushing a hard pace. Even Haerak, tempered by years of slavery on the surface, and below was hard pressed to match their endless endurance. The first few days were uneventful, hard drives, the armed presence of the duergar seemed to keep the predators of the underdark at bay, and Haerak began to hope that Blacktooth’s caravan would see them safely past Fuldrum.
This of course, was naught but a foolish hope. The Duergar soon betrayed Haerak, poisoning him with a sleeping draught disguised as dwarven spirits. When Haerak awoke, he found K’larsh’s companions had been killed, and he himself was badly wounded, being dragged behind the wagon, Kernoc was knocked unconscious, and Ardel was whimpering in a corner of the wagon. Blacktooth soon confirmed Haerak’s suspicion, that he would sell the barbarian back to the hobgoblin’s when they reached the city.
Haerak convinced Blacktooth to let Ardel heal K’larsh, argueing that the orc was of no value to him dead. Haerak and Kalarsh soon resolved to escape the dwarves, planning to do so as soon as a viable moment arrived.
The moment indeed came, though it was not the escape Haerak imagined. With a murderous howl, a pack of Grimlock’s burst out of the darkness ahead, falling upong the Duergar with almost no warning. The grim dwarves quickly drew up battle lines and threw back the initial assault, their discipline and better equipment countering the ferocity of the blind savages. Just as the duergar seemed to be taking the upper hand, the second half of the monstrous ambush struck from behind, led by a hideous, snake headed woman, whose glowing eyes petrified those they met. The battle wore on, but the duergar lines buckled as more monsters burst from the dark, wearing down the grim dwarves. Blacktooth, seeing the futility of the battle, hurled his keys to Haerak and fled.
Haerak quickly freed himself, K’larsh, Kernoc and Ardel, grimly picked up his sword, and, as the last of the dwarven defenders in the rear fell, moved to engage the grimlocks. Just as the barbarian engaged, one of the duergar buried his axe in the head of the medusa, bringing it down.
K’larsh spoke words of arcane power, and Haerak felt his body infused with otherworldly might, growing in size. He smashed into the grimlocks, but his tired limbs disobeyed him, time and again the creatures were able to dodge his fierce blows. When the Grimlock chieftan joined, Haerak felt rage and desperation consume him, and with increased vigor, he attacked once more. The grimlocks could not stand his assault, and they fell before him, hacked into bloody chunks of pulp by the ten foot long blade he now wielded. Even their chieftan fell before him, Haerak cutting the monster in half with a vicious blow, as the creature attempted to flee his savagry.
When the last opponent dead, Haerak could see the devestation the battle had wrought, Kernoc was dead, struck down by the chieftan, K’larsh, nearly dead as well, unconscious beside Haerak. The barbarian himself was covered with wounds, some still seeping blood, others staunched by Ardel during the battle
Ardel was able to save K’larsh, and, after a fitful night’s rest, he was able to heal the orc’s wounds. The next few days to Fuldrum were hard days, but, they were able to navigate the path, following old tracks worn from countless similar journey’s, until at last the tunnel opened into a vast, dimly lit, tunnel.
The City sat far above, on bank of a fast moving river, which fell many feet into a great waterfall. The waterfall fed a vast lake, the shores of which they were not far from. Haerak led their wagon to a nearby fishman’s home, hoping for information before they braved the Duergar city.
The fisherman was a friendly fellow, for a Duergar, in return for a longsword and a dagger from the wagon, he gave the harried travelers considerable advice on where to sell their goods within the city, and their best bet at finding safe lodging.
The advice paid off in spades, K’larsh was able to bribe the guards for entry, and sell their Blacktooth’s goods and wagon for a good price. They then made haste for the inn known as Gobage’s place, where the fisherman had told them they would find no friends of the Army of the Ressurection.