Meeting back up in Kazan, the crew went over what they had learned regarding the previous location of Throal. They figured the best chance to find it was to look through the area surrounding the city for signs of the ancient dwarven kingdom. They outfitted themselves as best they could figure, and asked about hiking the mountains.
As it turned out, most of the locals avoided certain areas in the mountains due to some alleged hauntings in the shadow of Yamantau. Yurij’s General Store did mention one local that lived out in the area that may be able to help them.
And so they set out into the foothills, armed with a rough judge of direction and tenacity they trudged for miles in the snow, fighting off some hairy white creature that chanced upon them on the way. After a bit they happened upon some tracks in the snow, and Mace’s superior nature skills allowed the team to track them to a stonework cabin in the middle of nowhere. Which was a good thing because Raven was nearly frozen through due to not being able to afford better clothing. Nate crept up on the cabin and took a peek inside only to find it empty. It was inhabited though, evidenced by the fire and the satlink dish on the outer wall. As he rejoined the group a white dog came out from the treeline and began excitedly sniffing the party and bouncing around. A reddish skinned ork emerged from the trees holding a rifle and asked the group what they were doing around his cabin. After a few tense minutes, introductions were administered and they brought the frosty Raven inside to thaw. They discussed the party’s plans to find this area, and though their new friend Jiro knew nothing of Throal, he did know where an unexplored cave sat, that the few Bashkir tribespeople in the mountains here avoided due to it being haunted. Satisfied they had a decent starting point, they decided to set out in the morning.
They began the long hike to the cave, making good time when they came to a large dropoff. One by one they rappelled down the rock face until it came time for MuShu, Jiro’s dog. They tied a harness up for the dog and began to let it down until it’s nervous nature got the better of it and it shifted, almost sliding right out of the harness! Slowly, carefully they let the dog down, and decided after the scare and the hike that it would be a good idea to camp for the night.
Almost immediately, they were attacked by a small pack of wolves, which they dispatched after a brief struggle. Nate and Raven treated Jiro, who was injured during the attack, and they tried to get a little more rest. This was interrupted by an even larger white creature, this one mindlessly rushing towards the wounded Jiro until it was put down by a shot from Nate’s hunting rifle. Perhaps this wasn’t a great spot to rest.
They set out again, and in due course found the cave, where they heard the keening noise coming across the entrance. Entering the ‘cave’ they found it to be finished, an ancient temple of some sort. They found the remains of someone inside (by the dates on the cards in his wallet, he’d been there some 70 years or so, wrong turn in the mountains or something) and a lot of rotten wood and scattered ruined fabrics and a lot of dirt. Mace did find a gold hexagonal coin. MuShu found a femur.
Near the rear of the complex they found a caved in wall that led to another finished area, with stairs leading down… They rested here uneventfully, save another moaning noise, and soon began their trek down.
They walked down the stairs.
And down. And further still down. Another hollow sounding wail, slightly louder. On for hours, nothing but a ghostly noise every few hundred flights. They continued for more than two miles down a stonework staircase in this square shaft, until they emerged into…