The Matter of the North

The Secret of Bone Hill: Chapter 5

New Kordil and Tisrim

We examined the map of New Kordil and the surrounding area. The tall elves had labeled the non-Kordillian areas “Barbarians,” and labeled the coast and the mountains “The Accursed Coast” and “The Mountains of Protection.” We later learned from the goddess Vaynia that the Kordillians had thought getting far enough away from the sea would keep them safe from the anger of the gods who had destroyed Kordillia. Comparing the new map to the area map Ayonar had purchased in Spider Hole, Althaea noticed that, while they had copied five locations from the altar in the barrow on to their map, this map had six towns. Althaea noted the new town on their map, but the adventurers were discomforted to note that it was in a region now known as Lichmire. We had already deduced that we were in New Kordill, but the map informed us that the town of Spider Hole had once been named Bilandin, and the other town in the eastern waste, which we are to explore for the museum after exploring New Kordill, was named Tisrim. The site in the northern waste, to which a road was being built by the museum, was named Juninan, and the other site in Teradonia was named Hinais.
Wondering if there was any more to the library, Althaea went to the end of each room in the library proper, but found no stone portal/doors. Instead, it appeared that there used to be windows at the ends of the rooms. Althaea then returned to the first room into which the adventurers had fallen and looked above and between the two doors which had formed out of the stone slab, wondering if there was a way to the main entrance to the library they had seen on the blueprints. The ceiling was fallen in somewhat, but there appeared to be some kind of lifting device. Wondering if it lifted the door open, Althaea mended it and a few blocks of stone moved back into place, but the device was clearly missing some of its pieces. She noticed that part of the device was in the ceiling and part was in the floor under her feet; it appeared to be a kind of elevator. Althaea checked the blueprints to find that the entrance to the library was on the floor above their current location, seemingly built into the side of a hill.
Suddenly Alice noticed that Andraste was nowhere to be found. Ayonar, predictably, was unconcerned, but the others were worried, so Nell searched the library and reported that Andraste was no longer present. We found a spot where the floor appeared to be recently disturbed (Ayonar found it and tricked Alice into standing there in case something bad happened before telling the others). We lifted the flag stone and dug in the dirt; Peebo popped up and eventually told us that there was a tunnel system that led to Tisrim and Andraste had been captured by the tall elves – so we learned that the race of Kordillians was not extinct, but they were holed up in Tisrim. Peebo wasn’t supposed to tell us this because his god Silmund had made a deal with the Kordillians. The gods had destroyed New Kordil like they destroyed original Kordil, but surface gods forget about you if you go underground, so the gods had not realized Kordillians were still around. We also learned that the Kordillians worshiped Truth as an entity.
We returned to the Mercury Room and Althaea used her spider climb spell to cross the mercury river on the ceiling. She opened the door at the other end of the room and tied one end of a rope to the door while Ayonar tied the other end to the door to the Warrior Room. Everyone crossed the river on the rope; Alice almost fell in and Ayonar wouldn’t save her, but Althaea rescued her.
The Treasure Room was an ancient bank, with a vault full of paper money. In an employee room we found an urn full of wine that magically refilled itself. Ayonar saved some in a bottle for later. The museum elves arrived and called to us, and Ayonar convinced Elfwine to push the button in the Mercury Room which did, in fact, let him walk safely over the Mercury river. Elfwine asked if we had found any maps and Ayonar lied; Elfwine seemed relieved that we hadn’t so we predicted he knew about the 6th town and didn’t want us to explore it (but we are going to eventually). Mercury was seeping into the Treasury so we left to explore the burial mound we were sent here to find.
We saw a tall mound about a mile away; it was the temple to Truth. The Orcs were digging here now and had found a gold statue of the goddess Truth. Ayonar convinced them there was treasure in the statue, so they smashed it on a rock and broke its head off. Scrolls fell out, which Althaea took (since she could read Kordillian); they appeared to be the law code of old Kordil.
At the bottom of the mound we found a well which had parts of a silver statue in it. We went into the well, through some culverts into a cistern and out into a cellar in the temple. Stairs led up into a cupboard like room and then into a long hall with pews and a lectern. On the lectern were tablets that claimed to be Oracles of Truth. We went through the right hand door behind the lectern and found a room with shelves of tablets and hangers with shreds of clothing.
Alice prayed to Venyia and she appeared. Venya worked with the other gods to destroy Kordil and then to destroy New Kordil as well. The tall elves tried to worship too many conflicting gods and it led to the destruction of their home island. They thought if they got far enough away from the sea, then their evil would not be noticed by the gods, but it was noticed and New Kordil was destroyed. Venya told us that there were lots of Boffin’s guards at the 6th town (which Boffin failed to tell us about any of the times we met with him); there is also some kind of undead creature there (probably a Liche). Daylith was the major god in charge of the destruction of Kordil (he is the god of destruction and got mad when the tall elves built things instead of destroying). She also told us that The Elf King’s name was Fraydron. Alice wanted to help the gnome slaves, so Venyia said she would send the gnome god.
The gnome god, Buckleband, was very puritanical and anti-fun. Alice convinced him the tall elves were trying to have fun and being inefficient, so the god said he would try to help us if we prayed to him when we tried to break the enchantment on the gnome slaves.
Next we checked the left hand door behind the lectern. It led to stairs to a room above us where there was an altar to Truth. Ayonar put his ranger figurine on it as an offering, it disappeared, and what was basically a fortune cookie popped out as a “true word” to us. Ayonar checked the door at the end of this room and found that it led to a balcony overlooking an indoor atrium (we were still inside the hill) with a door back to the hall with the lectern.
Althaea merged her mind with Ralph’s (Alice’s mouse familiar) and then Alice placed Ralph on the alter to find out where it went. Ralph/Althaea were transported to a dark room full of statues and things; they found a crack in the wall which they followed to a dirt mouse-size-tunnel and made their way out onto the top of the hill, but there was no way in from the top for humanoid sized creatures. They went back inside and found a trapdoor in the floor of the room.
Althaea returned to her own body, and seeing a trapdoor in the ceiling, Alice jumped on the altar. But when Alice called out to the adventurers from the room, they could not hear her. (It was a different trapdoor). Alice found a door into the priest’s living quarters and drank some water out of a bowl she found. But the bowl was for scrying and this activated the spell; two tall elves appeared in the bowl and tried to talk to her in Kordilian. She covered the bowl with her extra pair of clothes so they couldn’t see her anymore.
Meanwhile, Althaea had opened the trapdoor in the alter room and climbed the stairs it dropped into a kitchen. At the end of that room was another door which led to the room where Alice was. When Alice took off the cloth, the bowl was just a bowl of water, so she looked crazy. We checked the attic and found more statues like those in the basement of the metal hat people’s safehouse. There were also boxes of jewels, papers that turned to dust, little statues, paper money, and a final chest with a tablet warning intruders that they were being watched.
We heard a tinkling sound and thought it might be the scrying bowl acting as a telephone, so we sent Ralph to check, but he didn’t see anything in the bowl. When Alice took the cloth of the bowl again, the tall elves asked “who are you and why are you in our temple” (Althaea was now here to translate); they revealed that tall elves had been in the temple earlier that day.
30 minutes later a stone in the wall moved and tall elves popped out of a hole (Nell had hidden everyone but Alice). They talked about capturing Alice since she was uncooperative, but Althaea translated this to Nell who used her speaking spell to warn Alice. Alice left as they had instructed, so the let her go and returned through the wall.
We also went through the wall, after a brief discussion, and were transported down a tunnel very quickly to Tisrim. We found ourselves in a room with more history-of-the-tall-elves carvings. The first panels were happy tall elves with gnome slaves, but later panels showed a multi armed demon destroying them, then a heroic elf commanding gnome slaves to dig, then flight into the underground world. The carvings became less sophisticated over time, so it appeared that the culture was degenerating.
We heard a troop of tall elves coming, so Nell hid us again. They tried to talk to us, and Ayonar popped out of hiding. We learned that there was magic in place to tell the tall elves whenever someone entered this room (but apparently not how many people there were), that they had Andraste safely secured somewhere, and that they had been hiding for 4000 years. Ayonar asked questions, but they said the king could best answer them and that they wanted to take Ayonar to the king. We knew that being invited before a monarch usually was a promise of some protection, so the rest of us revealed ourselves and agreed to go with them. They told us the king was interested in the surface culture. We were led into what appeared to be open air but was actually a huge cavern with magical clouds and sun; the guards said only the gnomes might still know how the magic worked. They told us that their ancestor tall elves had changed some of the gnomes to be “better” (taller, smarter) for important positions. When we came to the throne room, we saw the tall elf king sitting on his throne with a giant crown, and an elf-looking-gnome next to him on a smaller throne with his own crown.

Map of the Temple of Truth in New Kordil (staircase colors correspond to the color of the outline of the floor to which they lead):
Temple_of_Truth__New_Kordil_.png

We updated our map of the library in New Kordil:
New_Kordil_Library.png

Comments

“which Boffin failed to tell us about any of the times we met with him”

….I see what you’re doing Anthony, and I’ll have none of it!

If you all have any issues to take up with His Majesty, he’s only an Owl-delivered letter away!

Honestly, I had no idea that Lichmire was connected to Kordil in any way- though in retrospect it does make a number of things make a lot of sense. Fear not, there is no Lich there any longer. Boffin does not tolerate such undead abominations in his land, if he hears of them.

Also, Boffin would be intrigued by this device you discovered that you deem an “elevator.”- if its secrets were unlocked, it could enable the creation of new architectural wonders!

The Secret of Bone Hill: Chapter 5
ambatterton amaxwell311

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