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Some of the trogoni encountered deep underground are very, very strange.
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Red Iron Door

The first commission undertaken by the Master of the Koboldi - the overseer of the College of Engineering created with the assistance, and in honour, of the eternal Adamant - was a door of red iron. Designed by the koboldi, the door will seal Lorenzo's Deep Pockets - the northern sinkhole - preventing the teeming, swarming trogoni that infest those lower levels from pouring out and devastating Hahnmark, Upwold, Temeschwar, and Miaren. The door was completed after the Winter Solstice, but the Master chose not to install it immediately. The door needs to be positioned as far underground as possible, and the deeper one goes into the tunnels beneath the mineworkings overseen by the Delver of the Depths the more dangerous it becomes, and the more doughty adventurers are required to keep the koboldi safe. Adventurers prepared to risk being dismembered by angry trogoni for little more than the experience - and a few sacks full of treasure of course.

When they first warned the Empire of the threat posed by the sinkhole, the koboldi suggested that the danger would peak sometime around the end of the year. During the Summer Solstice, however, the Master of the Koboldi declared their intention to see the door installed before the Autumn Equinox. A call went out to heroes of the Empire to help put the magical seal into place. The priests of Wintermark had already declared the endeavour to be heroic; during the Summer Solstice the voices of the Navarr assembly and those of the assembly of Dawn likewise urged their people to take part in the expedition into the depths of the sinkhole.

As the weather in the world above turned to tempest and storm, the putative adventurers gather in the area around the sinkhole. The koboldi are responsible for the transportation of the red iron door, as well as its installation. The massive structure is less a door and more a mighty seal of metal engraved with dozens of tiny runes. "The hard bit will be stopping the vast swarm of trogoni from gobbling us all up before we can find the right spot to install it!" as the koboldi put it. There is a secondary goal here as well - to get the full benefit of installing the seal the tunnels above it will need to be cleared of trogoni swarms. It will be little comfort to the people of the neighbouring territories if there are sufficient monsters left unsealed to be able to destroy their mines and mana sites after all.

Participants in the Expedition

Alba SepulcreDawn
Arjhann GriffinsongDawn
Arlen Foreman-SmithDawn
Avren LeostenDawn
Barristan FairweatherDawn
Bedivere BedrydantDawn
Bertrand GardenerDawn
Cecilia De GauvainDawn
Drake De CoeurdeferDawn
Eli SetzlingDawn
Guy Grimbold the ElderDawn
Hugh FarrierDawn
Jasper Hunter scion De BeaumontDawn
Kym, Enchanter of the Twisted RoseDawn
Logan Olivia De Havelland of house CordracoDawn
Lord Armand RemysDawn
Lord Edmund the Enchanter of House TorawyrDawn
Lukan CooperDawn
Mal` Lassal Scethos of House CordracoDawn
Matilda ThorneDawn
Panthos Du FrosteDawn
Pelleas MontroseDawn
Ren TannerDawn
Ser DindraneDawn
Tor ForesterDawn
Cyrus, son of MeremothHighguard
Tobias LlorienteHighguard
Lleu TarwNavarr
Anwen StormbrokeNavarr
Ash SilverfletchNavarr
Awstin PinestrideNavarr
Balwyn ThornfieldNavarr
Caedan Dancing LeafNavarr
Caric Iron HillNavarr
Cormac SmokeboundNavarr
Cormag EerielightNavarr
Corrin AshwoodNavarr
Corwyn FawnhollowNavarr
Damarion GreenwealdNavarr
Edric WinterbuiltNavarr
Emrys DeadthornNavarr
Euan longspear gutNavarr
Farren Silver StreamsNavarr
Gaeorg BrokenboughNavarr
Geraint Broad-BackedNavarr
Gwiddion of the Waystone PathNavarr
Hamish ThistlebarkNavarr
Hanno Iron HillNavarr
Hen Was SilverthornNavarr
Karrow Strangers SongNavarr
Loddlaen Fawn-HollowNavarr
Owain IronwoodNavarr
Powell HoarfrostNavarr
Rallick OakheartNavarr
Rhisiart DancewalkerNavarr
Rhoswen LonestriderNavarr
Rhyffyllann Kraken's CrawlNavarr
Rodric WorldscribeNavarr
Seth BlackhawkNavarr
Silk SplinterspearNavarr
Simplicius Founders' DanceNavarr
Sloane the RoamerNavarr
Swilach FeatherNavarr
Travid Longest PathNavarr
Vespasian Founders' DanceNavarr
Carmine de Sarvos "Father"The League
Erikas Van TemeshwarThe League
Farq InghelleThe League
Gaspar di TemeschwarThe League
Jean Di SarvosThe League
Kostya Von TemeschwariThe League
Marcus Derivian di SarvosThe League
Modesto Gouveia di TassatoThe League
Otto Freidrich Von HolsbergThe League
Sebastian Adolphus von TemeschwarThe League
Shauni di VergoThe League
Velar Von HolbergThe League
Victor van HolbergThe League
Viktor von TemeschwarThe League
ElkeThe Marches
Henry FysherThe Marches
Tod GrouseThe Marches
Octavus LazcarisUrizen
Sulisav MennerVarushka
Aelthrik DunningWintermark
Andwyn DunwolfWintermark
Baldric AlttiWintermark
Bronn DunwolfWintermark
Bruin DunningWintermark
Cynwulf AshburhWintermark
Dægmund DunningWintermark
Erlend GunnulfssonWintermark
EryWood of DunningWintermark
Heærd BeorthbeckWintermark
Horst DunningWintermark
Ivar DunningWintermark
Jorma SteelhailWintermark
Kaisa DenmotherWintermark
Kamarra DunnWintermark
Levi "White Fox" KinnissonWintermark
Mertag dunwolfWintermark
Morcar SigvardsssonWintermark
Osswin DunningWintermark
Penda DunningWintermark
Railo Iron-HeartWintermark
Rayner LuraskWintermark
Rolf BoarsonWintermark
Sampo MikkolaWintermark
Seht Ravenson of Dunhearth HallWintermark
Theoderic UlfarssonWintermark
Tobrytan DunningWintermark
Ulf DunWolfWintermark
Umarth KannaskWintermark
Valdemar KarlssonWintermark
Wake BarrothWintermark

In the end, a hundred and seventy independent captains bring their warbands to Lorenzo's Deep Pockets to help get the door to the bottom of the pit - to the great vertical shaft that disappears into the bowels of the earth. There are even two units of shadowy warriors sheathed in magic, raised from the darkness beneath the trees of Wintermark and the Marches - welcome additions to the expedition but the koboldi give them a wide berth nonetheless. The heroes of the Empire create a cordon of steel around the koboldi and their mystic seal, and then the grand expedition descends into the tunnels of the sinkhole.

The adventurers easily penetrate the natural caverns beneath the sinkhole. Few trogoni are encountered at this level, and those that do attack are easily dealt with. The caves and tunnels are swept clean of threats, and the wealth of the Delver of the Depths secured, before the expedition pushes down, deeper into the earth.

I Sagua i Ezmara, master of the koboldi, am hereby announcing the installation of the Runic Hearth of Adamant this season. This will ensure the safety of the citizens near to the sinkhole by protecting them from the trogoni. I hope that we will be able to reach the deepest installation site but my priority is their safety.

Sagua i Ezmara, Master of the Koboldi

Like Worms in the Earth

Leaving the natural tunnels, the adventurers enter the Terunael mineworkings. These are the first properly worked tunnels they encounter, and this is also where the first major engagements with the trogoni begin. It seems that the koboldi may have underestimated just how many of the creatures there were in the recesses below Lorenzo's Deep Pockets. Among the familiar human-sized creatures with stone-cutting claws, there are a few encounters with things that have never been seen before. They seem to be trogoni, but they are nearly twice the size of the normal version - and twice as ferocious. The presence of magic items seems to drive these beasts into a frenzy - and the red iron door attracts them like flies to a dead dog. These trogoni hulks aren't common but their massive claws tear through armour and shatter shields, weapons, and stone with equal ease.

The Terunael mines are also unstable - time, water, and trogoni have worn away at the walls and supports so that some galleries and tunnels are on the verge of collapse. The torrential rain currently besetting the Empire makes traversing this area even more difficult - water is flowing in places it has not reached before and there is also a threat of sudden flooding as the magical storms rage above ground. Despite all these dangers, there is still a chance to explore and recover some relics of the past. The Navarr in particular are able to find several hitherto undiscovered chambers that provide some insight into what exactly the Terunael were doing so far under the ground on the edge of Miaren.

Halls Far From The Sun

Below the Terunael mineworkings lie the ancient tunnels. While the rain has caused streams and rivers to cascade through some of the halls here they are much sturdier than those of the Terunael mineworkings. Indeed, the runecarved walls seem to resist the claws of the trogoni as well. These tunnels and galleries are built on a much larger scale than the other areas the adventurers have encountered, as if they are intended for creatures larger than the tallest human. This is a mixed blessing - while it allows warbands to maneuver more freely it also allows many more trogoni to attack at once. And attack they do! There are even more beasts here than in the Terunael mineworkings - and many more of the trogoni hulks are encountered as well.

In addition to the trogoni, however, there are additional threats down at this depth. In a few cases, warbands encounter unfamiliar creatures that seem to be living constructions of weirwood, peculiar ceramic, and mithril.. Most of these entities are much larger than a human, and equipped with horrific shattering hammers and scything blades. They lay into adventurers and trogoni with equal dispassion - attempts to communicate with them are unsuccessful - and prove to be very difficult to destroy. In the end it becomes easier to just mark their locations and try and avoid those galleries and tunnels as much as possible.

There are also unliving spirits down here - shadowy figures with glowing eyes that emerge suddenly from the darkness, passing through adventuring bands and sapping their strength from them before returning to rake at the living with freezing claws. They rarely attack for more than a few moments before disappearing into the shadows again - but those subject to their depredations find themselves weakened and fatigued and at risk of becoming easy prey for the trogoni.

Then there are the magical traps. Some of the runes carved into the wall appear to be imbued with malign enchantments that greatly amplify their effectiveness and attack anyone who gets too close to them. The Winterfolk among the adventurers agree that while some of these are legitimate traps - intentionally created to manifest dangerous magics - others are coincidental or accidental. Among the worst are the Mawrig runes which, when combined with Verys and Hirmok and linked by bands of ilium and mithril, can unleash thundering detonations that not only fling anyone nearby against the walls, floor, and ceiling with crushing force, but also serve as a dinner gong for the trogoni who come rushing toward the source of the noise. There are more insidious traps - areas warded with Kyrop that sap the strength of human, orc, and trogoni alike or places where the Rune of Ending causes debilitating curses that make the life-essence flicker like a guttering candle.

This section of the underworld is also much more extensive than the tunnels above - and some of the explorers believe that the passages and chambers extend far beyond Lorzeno's Deep Pockets toward the mountains of Hahnmark. The general consensus among the Winterfolk is that these are all signs of trollworkings - but some of the best preserved and most extensive ever encountered.

A Maze of Twisted Passages, All Alike

Finally, the expedition fights its way down into the trogoni burrows and encounters an apparently limitless number of frenzied, magic-hungry beasts. In addition to the typical trogoni, and the trogoni hulks, there are creatures that defy easy classification. They all seem to be trogoni but some possess terrible powers of their own. One particular breed seems to have relatively weak claws, but is able to release booming exhalations of force that not only repel their enemies but attract nearby trogoni. Another breed, smaller than the others, has venomous raking claws that cause living flesh to momentarily take on the properties of soft stone - completely immobilising their target but leaving them horrifically aware of everything happening around them. Most who encounter this venom recover quickly, but in a few cases there are horrible lingering effects that see the body slowly hardening into immobile stone. Luckily the physicks among the adventurers are able to treat this sickness with Marrowort and Imperial Roseweald but some adventurers come dangerously close to being transformed into "living statues", suffocating as a vice of stone closes around their lungs.

The fighting at this level is almost nonstop. There seems to be no end to the trogoni - and no end to the variations. Just as an adventurer assumes they have seen everything the unspeakable depths have to throw at them word comes of some new horror. A slow-moving trogoni that makes stone and earth run like mud, slowing and trapping bands of adventurers so the swarm can outmaneuver them. Aquatic trogoni that seethe and boil from lakes and waterways, using their submarine mobility to outflank the air-breathing invaders by squirming through narrow waterfilled tunnels. A terrible, gangly trogoni beast with a single eye that unleashes bursts of agonising light so bright that it stuns anyone exposed to it.

In the end though, there are so many brave adventurers that the red iron door reaches the very bottom of the tunnels beneath the sinkhole. Here the trogoni are like a sea of claws and mandibles, a limitless tide that seems to have no end. The great shaft - the vertical tunnel that drops down, down, down into the earth - is reached in a massive vaulted cavern so far beneath the surface that even the idea of open skies and fresh air seems like a distant memory. As the koboldi struggle to get the seal into place something else begins to rise up the shaft, something immense - a trogoni of such overwhelming size that the mere sight of it threatens to turn the bowels of the most courageous adventurer to water. The roar of the thing's approach mixes with the chittering of the trogoni hordes, and the high pitched piping squeals of the koboldi as they hurry to place the seal over the top of the shaft.

At the last possible moment, the slab of metal is dropped into place, and the koboldi... do whatever it is they need to do to activate it. The runes on its surface begin to glow with a pale crimson light that casts dancing shadows all around. There is a single high-pitched musical note, like a single harp string being plucked... and the trogoni scatter. They flee back into their dark burrows. A ragged cheer goes up from the assembled heroes.

The trogoni are not gone - they and any number of other horrors still remain in the deep places beneath the sinkhole - but the threat of a great host of them rising up to attack the surface is gone for good. The koboldi announce that there is probably time for a little bit of rest and maybe even a celebration, before the arduous trek back to the surface can begin. In the manner of their kind, they actually begin to raise stone tables from the raw rock of the cavern, breaking out metal flasks of strong liquor that they have apparently carried with them all the way from the surface. There, in the light of the glowing seal, and illuminated by lightstones and oil lamps, a makeshift banquet is held. It doesn't last long - the trogoni are already beginning to creep back - but it is a chance for everyone to catch their breath, to share stories of their exploits so far, and to prepare themselves to return to the surface. Those who fought their way down here are likely never to forget it - the Deepest Feast ever held in the Empire.

Design Note

We won't be providing any additional information about the mysteries of the underworld - beyond what is delivered to the Advisor on the Vallorn or used in the Runegrott Runeforge - such things are mysteries for a reason. The Department of Historical Research has already sent an expedition into the tunnels under the sinkhole and there is no possibility that they might find anything further if ordered back here.

You are free to speculate about the strange mysteries of the deeps as much as you like. The Explore the Depths action won't provide additional briefing material - it's an opportunity to get specific rewards for independent action and to create roleplaying opportunities as you boast about your "dungeon delving," not a way to dig into ancient secrets. There might be new plots involving Lorenzo's Deep Pockets in the future, but for now the threat presented by the site has been dealt with and there is nothing further that can be discovered here by any means (which includes ritual scrying or speaking to eternals).

Game Information

The expedition into the depths is a resounding success. The threat of the trogoni is decisively dealt with. Over the next few weeks, the koboldi share the principles behind their warding door with anyone who wishes to learn - meaning that similar seals can be installed in mines and mana sites across the Empire, greatly reducing the threat of the trogoni. The Delver of the Depths will benefit greatly from access to the lower tunnels - the civil service are preparing details of opportunities to allow them to harvest orichalcum, mithril, and crystal mana from the deeper regions beneath the sinkhole.

Being a complete success, the expedition also secures significant treasure for those who took part. In addition to the expected rewards, every unit that took part receives 3 ingots each of orichalcum, weltsilver, and tempest jade, and 2 crystal mana.

A shared bounty of 20 wains of mithril is also discovered, distributed at random among all those who took part in the expedition. Ten units chosen at random receive a ring of ilium, recovered from somewhere in the trogoni burrows. These rewards have been greatly increased thanks to the recklessly adventurous inspiration of the knights of Dawn who took part in the expedition.

A new independent action called Explore the Depths is now available to military units from Wintermark, the League, the Marches, Navarr, and Dawn - allowing them to explore the tunnels and recover metals and crystal mana instead of the normal production. Other nations' military units can also take this action, but will do so much less effectively.

With the support of the Navarr assembly, and thanks to the expedition reaching the Terunael mineworkings, a short report about what the ancestors of the Navarr were doing here has been prepared and will be delivered to the Advisor on the Vallorn

Likewise, the Winterfolk have benefitted from the opportunity to explore the ancient tunnels - when the runegrott runeforge is completed there will be additional opportunities relating to it, gleaned from the runic secrets teased from the ruins of the past.

Finally, the glorious troubadours, knights, and yeofolk of Dawn have thrown their support behind this adventure into the deepest depths of the earth. Even though they do not border the sinkhole, they can take the "explore the depths" action as freely as the Marchers or Wintermark can.


Obviously, if your military unit (or forest) took part in the expedition to the depths, you are free to make up heroic stories of your encounters with the trogoni, their twisted deep-earth cousins, and the tricks and traps you have encountered deep beneath the earth. Even though there was an overwhelming force of Imperial heroes assigned to the action, it was still an arduous odyssey into places entirely alien to the Empire and there were a lot of trogoni - enough to devastate the regions around the sinkhole if they had poured out and seriously threaten an entire territory if they had not been sealed away.