Instruments: Block Tower, Card Deck, 1d6
You are the last survivor of a dwarven company seeking to reclaim your ancestral home in the depths of the Mother Mountain. But you have ventured too deep and caught the attention of the Evil that lurks below and now it will not let you leave.
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Word Count: 4,419 Played: Jan 14-16, 2021
Day 187, since we arrived at the Kingdom Under the Mother Mountain. Now I, Lovog Hittern-Belk, am the last survivor of our band. My Companions have fallen victim to the machinations of that ancient evil we unwittingly awakened in our foolish search for the secret treasure left by our ancestors. Now the Evil in the Shadows and its minions are behind me, ever near. I must find the stairs that will lead me out, but I have no idea where they are. I still have water and rations for a few days. I hope I can make it.
|King of Hearts||You trigger a trap by your ancestors, what was it and how badly hurt are you?|
Day 188. I found myself victim to a clever trap set by our ancestors, but whether it was for intruders or the Shadows I do not know. Darts sprang forth from a wall when I pressed my foot upon a loose tile. I barely managed to dodge out of the way so as not to wound myself fatally, but still I was struck in the shoulder by a lone dart. I suspect the poison was too old for it to have any effect upon my body for I still live and breathe. I am in awe of our ancestor’s capabilities to create a trap that lasts through the ages.
|Queen of Hearts||You find yourself stuck in a room with no exit. Pull from the Tower|
|Jack of Hearts||You are going in circles and a statue you keep passing gives you the creeps Pull from the Tower .|
|3 of Spades||Describe the shadows that are stalking you. Pull from the Tower|
Day 189. I can feel them all around me, looking at me through the darkness and into my very soul. I see them through the eyes of the cursed statue that looms tall over all. I have passed by it every day now, and each day I feel it watching me though I see no movement in its eyes. They are carved deep into the face and I know that the Evil in the Shadows has taken over, for to look into them was to see nothing. I feel it deep upon and in myself each time I pass by it’s gaze and I know they will attack when I am least prepared.
I narrowly escaped them today for I took a corner and saw a set of large wooden doors wrought with iron and steel. They swung open at my touch and the room beckoned me inside. My feet reacted before my mind and I was inside before I had made the decision not to be. Around me rotten tapestries covered the walls and I saw that my entry door too had become hidden behind the thick fabrics.
I pulled them aside to find nothing but a stone wall. I know that I had not been turned around and that the shadows had claimed my entry for themselves. I pulled fast and hard on the worn tapestries around me until they were in a heap at my feet. I shone my lanter at the stone all around me until I saw through the corner of my eye the doors. I cast the light upon the stones and saw the shadows crawl and slink away to reveal the entry once again and I fled from the tapestries.
|7 of Diamonds||You find yourself stuck in a room with no exit. Pull from the Tower|
|7 of Hearts||The corridor behind you collapses and you don’t think it was an accident Pull from the Tower|
|8 of Clubs||You find a helmet that was once worn by the King Under the Mother Mountain. Do you feel connected?|
|Jack of Spades||What does the shadow want? Why won’t it let you escape? Pull from the Tower|
|8 of Hearts||You once walked these halls with your companions how does it feel to walk alone?|
Day 189. I found myself in a great hall today; the same one we had passed by naught three weeks time ago. All of us were alive then, too. I paused, too tired to think of the past. I pray that their souls find rest from the Evil but I fear they have been consumed.
I turned over the table and brought it into a nearby room, the ones with the holy thuribles upon the walls. I lit each one and placed the table against the alcove which cast more shadows. The room was brightly lit and smelled almost of home when I collapsed on the floor to sleep. It was dreamless and hardly restful.
Day 190. When I awoke half of the grand hall had collapsed and my way back was completely blocked. I had heard nothing in the night and I know this to be unnatural. The shadows are far more evil than I had ever suspected.
I found a helmet, tucked away in the rubble of the great hall. Upon it, in both ours and Divine Script, was written the name Guteanea a great King of the Mother Mountain and an ancestor to all of DwarvenKind. I held it in my hands for a long time before I placed it upon my head. The safety I felt was an illusion but it protected my heart more than my head and I will forever be grateful to King Guteanea.
I feel the shadows licking at my skin as the light from my lantern cannot encapsulate myself in its entirety. I hardly find time to write but this may be the last remembrances of my crew and of myself. I feel as though the Evil in the Shadows will not let me escape. It knows me and through me it is no longer nothing. I feel as though it seeks to become something by consumption. I will not be it’s meal.
|6 of Hearts||You see passages and doors that are not there. Is it the Shadows?|
|2 of Diamonds||It feels like something is suffocating you. Pull from the Tower|
|3 of Hearts||you pass a chasm. What didn’t you let fall? Pull from the Tower .|
|Ace of Spades||You dream about your ancestors repelling the darkness, you feel safer now|
|9 of Clubs||You find a statue that resembles yourself, who was it and how else to they resemble you|
Day 191. I awoke from a long dream today. I saw, clearly, visions of the past. Before an altar to the Mother Mountain a high priest drew a holy rune in sacred oils and herbs upon a large stone slab. They chanted the sacred words, “Existence is here and Nothing will not claim us.”
These words thrust me back into the waking world and I saw upon the helmet the same holy rune. I feel safer with it upon my brow but I cannot know if it will truly repel the Evil.
I passed through many chambers today, each long and twisting and filled with doors to the nothing. The Shadows twist and defile the stoneworks into impossible shapes and are only dispelled by my lantern. It seems they have grown bolder since I first saw them in the tapestry room.
I thought that I had lost all grips on reality until I reached the chasm. Before me it stretched wide and into the yawning darkness. There was no end to the vastness below and to look into it was to see Nothing.
My chest tightened when I saw it and I could feel the air around me grow thin. The Shadows were behind me and in my lungs then upon my back. I turned my gaze to the bridge ahead and crossed, cautiously at first, but when I felt the stones beneath my feet shift I ran. The helmet bounced along on my head, shifting and slipping from my brow but I held it close to my skin with my hand.
The bridge behind me crumbled and fell into the darkness as I placed my feet upon the solid ground. I stumbled through the dark passage before me until I reached another large chamber. I used my lantern to light the sconces and found myself to be in a room filled with statues.
Each was in an alcove, illuminated by a small stone above them. They were carved with an expert hand, impossible details upon each, and a look of fear and judgement in their hollow eyes.
None had name plaques but I knew them to be my own ancestors. I stopped in front of the center one. It was a life size statue bearing an uncanny resemblance to myself except for the clothing. Were I an expert in history or fashion I would know what era they were from but I had nothing but my own guesses as to the age. All I knew is this statue of my ancestor was old, perhaps the oldest one here. I recognized the fear in it’s eyes and wondered if they too had seen the Shadows.
|4 of Spades||You hear whispers coming from the shadows, What do they say? Pull from the Tower .|
|Queen of Clubs||You find a burial site and record the treasures buried with the kings. Pull from the Tower .|
|3 of Clubs||You find a diary of a fallen companion in the room. What was the last entry?|
|9 of Hearts||You keep hearing steps behind you. You know something is near? What is it waiting for? Pull from the Tower .|
|2 of Spades||You notice the presence of many insects. What were they before? Pull from the Tower .|
|9 of Diamonds||The remains of a terrible creature fall on you and you are sick Pull from the Tower|
|Queen of Diamonds||A wound you got from a fight with the creatures has opened up and you feel feverish. What does it make you see that is not there? Pull Two Blocks from the tower.|
|Queen of Spades||What is the Evil in the Shadow’s true name. What is it? Why should you not call it that?|
Day 193. I fear that I will not be long for this world. It is almost upon me and I will be felled within the week. I hear it in the footsteps behind me. I see it in the shadows and the absence of warmth from my lantern.
There is more down here than there was before.
The Nothing is consuming and becoming Something. I see it in the insects and maggots that crawl from the wretched shadows. They were brought into being. It is removing the nothing from itself and I am being pursued by Existence itself. This is sacred knowledge and I do not know if I should remove it from this diary.
It threw a corpse at me today of a rotten beast with many limbs and milky white eyes. It fell from the ceiling in a heap of limbs and claws. It’s rotten stench and twisted hands assaulted me and I lost what little food I had left in my stomach. I ran from it, far away from the twisting corpse until I felt the wound on my leg split open.
I had received it earlier from another creature in the dark and now it is consuming my every thought. It is hot to the touch and I feel a fever taking over my body. I almost welcome the heat as it is a reprieve from the wretched cold.
I stumbled down a long corridor, my vision blurred and my body heavy. I shambled along until my foot hit something. I had found a lost diary, one from Kiltelne, one of the companions lost to the Dark.
I ripped the last page out and put it here:
At least, that is what I believed when I was in my fever. Looking upon these pages now there is nothing. No diary, no entries, nothing but a mad dream of a fever.
|10 of Diamonds||You wake up and find your water skin empty Pull from the Tower|
|4 of Clubs||You miss your friends and family. What message do you write?|
|9 of Spades||Tendrils of shadows are grasping at you, how do you manage to always be in the light? Pull from the Tower|
Day 194. I can see them all around me and feel their cold presence. The Darkness will never let me leave. It has taken my water from me, along with anything in my pockets, anything touched by the shadows and the darkness. I fear that I will no longer see my body if I remove my clothes. I doubt I will go far without water and I must resolve myself to do what is necessary, whether that is saving my own waste, licking the walls, or searching for any small puddle from the ground.
To abade the shadows, I managed to remove hanging sconces from the walls and attached them to my person so I am received by the light at all times. I clatter and clang through the hallways, heard and seen by all it has created but I am safe for now.
I write of desperation and acceptance of my fate and to you dear reader who has found my lonely journal. If you are able, I implore you to tell my family, the Hittern-Belks of Mother Mountain, that I loved them more than the Darkness loves me and that I was not able to escape it’s grasp. Do not tell them of my misery, and speak only of how I fought bravely to my end. There is no glory down here, dear reader, turn your back to this wretched place and return to a sun that I will never see.
|King of Spades||You feel more pain than you could imagine possible, but the shadow keeps you alive.|
Day 196. My leg has impeded my ability to move and I have lost a day to the pain that encompasses me. I cannot move it without daggers flowing through my blood and my own voice betraying me in hollow screams.
Nothing is here too and I feel it’s tendrils around me. My body is feverish and I have no doubt that I would have left this world if it had allowed it. It wants me more than anything but it has not claimed me yet. I fear that it is waiting for me to embrace it with loving arms instead of harrowed resistance, but I will for as long as I am myself I will bring myself to the surface and see the sun once more.
|6 of Spades||You hear war screams from below. Their minions are preparing for battle and are celebrating victory Pull from the Tower|
|6 of Clubs||How did your companions sacrifice themselves for you?|
|2 of Hearts||There are new cracks appearing as you walk.|
Day 197. I can hear them in the walls and in every new crack that appears below my feet. I see them peering through the keyholes and slithering behind each pillar.
Each step I take is agony and my body is crumbling like the stones beneath me. If this place claims me in it’s rubble, does the Shadow take me as well, or will I be free?
The Nothing has stolen their voices and uses them against me. I hear the voices of my companions call out to me, reminding me of how they had been felled and how they are at peace in the Dark. They sing of an intimacy far greater than mortal comprehension and how foolish they were for resisting it. They sing of each sacrifice, Dwalinte joining the dark after falling, Geshinet dragged into the deep by the creatures, and so many others. But far worse,in voices dripping with love and compassion they tell me that they had wanted it. They wanted the Darkness to take them, as is the nature of sacrifice, and that I too will want it soon.
|Ace of Diamonds||You find a legendary artifact of your people. Why hasn’t the Evil taken it? Pull from the Tower|
|4 of Hearts||You see runes of warning. What do they Say?|
|Ace of Clubs||you find a shrine to Mother Mountain and a Holy Symbol. EVERY TIME YOU ARE ASKED TO PULL YOU CAN ROLL TO RESIST!!! ON A 6 DON’T PULL|
Day 198. I have found The Bag of Mist. It was as light as the legend claims and no bigger than a large egg. It is plain in all aspects except the strings, darker than any woven fabric I have known.
I found it upon an altar upon a large circular dias made of a single mirror. Around me candles flickered alive when I stepped up to the center and claimed it for myself.
I opened it and poured forth the dark mists into my hands. It was dark like the shadows around me and I knew in that moment what it was. Contained in this bag was a piece of Existence. It was of the Shadows, gifted to my people in a Grand Decision, but for what purpose I know not.
The candles around me illuminated a larger shrine at the end of the room. A large, Holy Shrine dedicated to the Mother Mountain herself, Goddess of Dwarves and Passage Decider. Laid at her feet was the slate I had seen in my dreams. The oil slick was dried but still I saw the holy symbol protecting me from the Dark. I am safe in this room and under her guidance and I pray for a passage out of this wretched place.
Around her on the ground are other carved runes, ones of protection and prayer. I was not the only person to have come into this room after being lost in the dark. They are warnings and pleadings to the Deciders and to Nothingness. Some write of a joyous conglomeration, others speaking of the candles and how holy the light is.
All are worn and none fill me with hope.
|Jack of Clubs||You find the bodies of your companions and decide to give them a proper burial. Pull from the Tower||Resistance Roll: 6!!!!|
|5 of Spades||You hear the drums of the shadows coming closer, what do you do? Pull from the Tower||Resistance Roll: 3|
|5 of Clubs:||What did you do when your companions died?|
|King of Diamonds||You get stuck and you have to cut off your own hand to get out.|
|3 of Diamonds||You lost some blood when you fought the remains of your ancestors . Pull from the Tower||Resistance Roll: 4|
Day 199. It has taken from me again. I have seen the bodies of my companions and of my ancestors and of all of dwarvenkind beneath this mountain. I heard the drums but thought myself safe in the light. I was a fool.
I felt it, deep in my bones and coursing through my blood, the rhythm of the drums, louder and louder with each crumbling step. And then, out from the shadows they poured, animate bodies of the dead. They screeched at me, and clawed in a desperate act to consume and conjoin ourselves. They pulled at me and scraped together and I could see their bodies melding in the light like the rotten beast from before. Their hands reached and grasped, desperate for my flesh; they cut deep into my body as they grasped and I fled, wildly and blindly down a corridor as I did before.
I heard the voice of Meirmack pleading me not to abandon her again as I had before, but through the darkness I stumbled.
Eventually I did lose the creature, but I found something as equally terrible. Before me I saw the bodies of my companions, laid out in front of me in neat rows, their heads in the light and their feet in darkness. The dirt beneath my feet was soft and fresh and I knew what they were calling to me to return them to the earth.
Was this a gift from
Existence? Is this enticement? I laid them to rest as these thoughts swirled in my head. We crawled from the Passage of the Earth and to The Earth we will return.
I have been partially returned to the earth as well… I write to you as a one-armed dwarf now. Through the passages I continued, searing and hoping for the light, when in front of me, the ceiling collapsed and I found myself entangled in the rubble. I managed to free all of myself except my left arm.
It was pinned under hundreds of tons of stone and I could feel neither my fingers or my arm and I knew it to be crushed. I will spare the details as it turns my stomach to think of it but I removed myself by removing my arm.
I pray that the earth has claimed it instead of the Dark.
|10 of Spades||You find remains of victims left behind, Who were they and what made you wish you didn’t see it. Pull from the Tower||Resistance Roll: 3|
|10 of Hearts||You cannot light your torch today, how does it feel to walk in the dark?|
|Ace of Hearts||You find a set of stairs, but you still have to pull a block >:(||Resistance Roll: 3|
|4 of Diamonds||You are overtaken by the cold, what does it make you think of Pull from the Tower||Resistance Roll: 3|
|8 of Spades||You remember a passage written about perseverance in the face of doom, you keep repeating it. What is it? Pull from the Tower||Resistance Roll: 4|
Day 200. My lantern would not stay lit today. The dark is growing restless but I will not take it. I repeat to myself over and over until it becomes the background noise of the deep. “There will always be light.” I say this as I feel the cold seeping into my skin and I wonder if this is what a grave feels like.
I say this as I saw the remains of what chased me yesterday. The bodies of other victims were twisted and melded together into a beast with legs and arms protruded from its body. I saw skin begin to stretch and sightless eyes protrude.
And I saw this as I found a single set of stairs leading up and I know that I am closer to the sky once more.
Token Roll: 4
|7 of Clubs||You found one of the rooms the leader of the expedition was looking for. What was it? What do you remember?|
|Jack of Diamonds:||A strong wind blows out your lantern and you are being watched Pull Two blocks from the tower|| Resistance Roll: 5
Resistance Roll: 6!!
|6 of Diamonds||Insects have eaten your rations, Pull from the Tower||Resistance Roll: 4|
Tower Fall: Game Over
Day 201. The winds have blown out my lanterns again and I am alone in the dark. I can feel the shadows all around me, embracing me like an old lover. I have discarded what remains of my rations, for the insects of the dark have devoured it.
I find myself in the throne room of the ancient kings. Before me sits a large stone throne, carved from dark’s rock. I cannot continue. I cannot be alone. I will sit myself upon it, The Bag of Mist in my only remaining hand, the helmet upon my brow and this journal upon my feet.
I will embrace extinction and give myself over to Existence Itself and become one with everything.