Mysteries of the Nentir Vale

Call to arms!

Two bronze warders flank a massive minotaur, raised scar tattoos of circular labyrinths on his arms and chest. His horns are clad in shiny metal that glints in the dim light. He is seated on a stone throne and has a huge greatspear on his lap. Behind him is a strange symbol which looks to be the combination of the device of Moradin intertwined with the Symbol of Torog. It is chiseled into a giant skull made of black rock that has bronze horns affixed to it. The hall has 4 pillars made of crystalline rock that give off a dim light. The minotaur gets up from the throne and goes over to another minotaur wearing black leathers with a cloak filled with many pockets. A wicked looking scythe hangs at his waist. He is looking intently into a crystal orb on a pedestal in the middle of the room as Minoan addresses him:

“Tangarth, my brother. Now that we have removed the Mages of Saruun and the Seven- Pillared Hall is once again ours, we must restore order. I have need of your silver tongue. Can you go to the human village of Fallcrest and speak to our enlightenment here in the Underdark? Let them know we are not beasts and have lifted the yoke of the greedy Mages of Saruun. They were blinded by their lust for power and coin. We have no such blinders and only seek what is rightfully ours! We shall restore Saruun Khel, our heritage and culture is rich and diverse! Baphomet’s curse has been lifted. We have aligned with the dwarves of the Ironwall Mountains – the Shadowed Chain. They speak of Giants – The farmland of Timbervale has been the subject of attacks. The dwarves of the place have sealed the wall and the Black Phoenix Pass has been closed. A tunnel runner arrived the other day claiming that an army of elementals and giajnts were forming. We must take this word to Fallcrest and join arms with them if we are to do anything about this threat. As you know forces of Demongorgon are still at large and the threat of the Drow is ever-present – I cannot accompany you myself. Let them know we wish to continue trade with the Vale and vanquish this new threat. I am sending you with Girthrax and Maif.”

Situated in the Tower of Mysteries, the minotaurs of Saruun Khel continue to observe the Seven Pillared Hall.

Comments

“My brother, it seems conflict cannot be avoided this time, and if we do not assist the humans, it will only cause future trouble for ourselves. I will take the prototype warder I’ve been working on as well. There is no better test for it than combat anyways. Should it survive the trials that lie ahead, we may be able to place it in charge of all the warders, freeing us to attend other matters in the future!

I’m sorry you are unable to join me brother, battle is never the same without you. I will make sure we all bring honor to the clan!"
Tangarth thumps his arm against his chest in salute to Minoan and leaves to make preparations for the trip.

As he orders his men to gather supplies and weapons, he muses over the past few years. Since the overthrow of the Seven Pillar Hall, there have been many trials to the returning power of the true Saruun tribe.

Between skirmishes and trades with the Drow and Duergar, and the menial tasks that running such a city require, Tangarth managed to get just enough time to himself to develop a prototype of the Bronze Warders that protect the hall. If this latest one works, it will be his crowning achievement! This Warder is far smaller than the others, and not entirely bronze anymore. In fact it much more closely resembles a humanoid, allowing it to act in places the old ones couldn’t. Even better is the artifact brain that should allow it to learn and adapt.

Retreating to his test chamber, Tangarth finishes the ritual combining arcane energies with his growing faith in the gods.

“Moradin give my creation life!”

Eldrich energy crackles and arcs around the room, and the mechanisms and artifacts in the construct whirr to life, but Tangarth passes out and slumps to the floor, drained of energy from the ritual.

Call to arms!
 

Thunder split the air, and life flared into the automaton’s eyes as energy coursed through its body. Silver and blue light poured out between the creases of his armored plating, slowly fading like the light of a cooling star.

The mechanism’s vision came into focus as if moving from a bright room to a dark one. The general sensation was akin to waking from a long slumber. It took a moment to flex and its limbs while taking in its surroundings.

Like ephemeral dreams, scenes drifted intangibly at the edges of its consciousness. Artificial knowledge coalesced into contrived experiences; memories to be recalled later that conformed with the syntax of the brain.

It knew this place. Its knowledge of the Tower of Mysteries was at least as good as its creator’s.

It looked down to see Tangarth’s inert form, crumpled like a discarded rag. It knew this creature.

Instinctually, it knelt and, gentler than seemed possible for such a construct of steel and sinew, placed a hand on its master’s neck. It lived. A slight tingle of energy passed through its fingers to the unconscious minotaur, boosting his fortitude.

With a shockingly sudden change in intensity, the newborn construct stood protectively over its master. It shoved one hand into a sheath that hung on a bracket attached to its thigh, coupling a powerful blade to its arm as an extension of its own form. The other arm rotated backwards at an unnatural angle to grab the large shield that was strapped to its back. Its armored plating shifted and contracted, filling in the gaps and forming a more complete defensive structure.

There it stood, a statue poised to skewer any creature that entered the room, and absorb any attacks aimed at its master. It was four hours before Tangarth finally stirred.

The construct’s head rotated around. “Good morning, sire. I hope you slept well and are unharmed.” It spoke without inflection or apparent emotion. Its voice could best be described as ‘metallic’, and was far louder than it needed to be. Something that would be welcome in the Dwarves’ mead hall, no doubt.

“I am ready to serve and protect.” It rotated around, properly realigning its head, and stowing its weapons. “Is there anything I can get you, master?” It gave Tangarth a measuring look before continuing. "Hm. Probably not tea. Perhaps some warm milk, or a plate of fresh grass?” The lack of inflection made it impossible to tell if it was being sarcastic or naive.

The construct stood motionless and unblinking, apparently awaiting a response or an order.

Call to arms!
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