The group settles in near Salt View, in a small encampment outside of the village’s ramshackle wall but inside of the cavern.
Qhorin plies one of the locals (via the use of his contacts class feature) for more information about the rumors of buried metal treasures in the caves, and learns that some of the villagers, while going through old volcanic tunnels to collect obsidian, have come across small troves of metal. Qhorin’s associate shows, by way of demonstration, a four-pound bronze brick with a forgemark upon it.
The team spends some money on supplies, rests, and prepares to explore the caves further.
Following directions from the local rumors, the group heads through a twisting tunnel that leads to a large open cave. The cave is hot and smells of sulfur, and the ground is littered with obsidian, ranging from tiny shards to large chunks, as well as chert and basalt. The southern side of the cave has more tunnels of various sizes.
After exploring a bit, the group discovers that one of the tunnels above ground level has signs of tooling around the walls. Melmoth climbs up, followed by Baka and Tikka, and they help the rest of the team up into the tunnel. It is wide (25’ across) but not too tall (only about 8’), and roughly hewn. The group follows the tunnel about 70’, where it ends in a large boulder that blocks the passage, but Melmoth and Baka discover that the boulder is made of some kind of weak sandstone-like material and they can easily crush it with their strength. The team slips by, and after another 30’ of somewhat worked stone, they discover that the passage opens into an elegantly-carved stone crypt with six sarcophagi.
The party examines the room briefly and determines that there are three other exits, then Joani uses her magic to sense the presence of undead, and determines (as suspected) that each sarcophagus contains some kind of undead. The group prepares for battle and they surround one sarcophagus and throw off the lid!
Namliaa, prepared for this occasion, cast control undead on the creature inside. It looks like a shriveled dwarf-corpse, with yellowed papery skin and empty eyesockets with a burning red hateful light in them, but the undead monster has the wispy remnants of a long beard (which is bizarre, since everyone knows that dwarfs are hairless). Namliaa’s spell succeeds and takes control of the undead, but the other sarcophagi open and more come out to attack!
The group fights back and forth with the undead dwarfs and manages to triumph; Tikka repels two of them with the strength of her connection to Water, Melmoth and Baka crush two of them with brute force, and Salador destroys one with psionically-projected crystal shards.
Once the undead are destroyed, the group scavenge from the remains and recover three metal weapons (a pick, a war hammer, and a battle axe) as well as three shirts of metal dwarf-mail (sadly, not the right size for anyone in the party).
The group explores further and finds a dry well to one side, and a room with a raised dais with a statue of a dwarf (again, strangely bearded). Joani searches the statue and discovers a switch on the ground between its feet, which when depressed causes the dais to lower and the stairs to slide down, revealing a short passage that ends in a pair of marble doors chiseled with dwarf-runes. Unfortunately, nobody knows how to read dwarf-script.
The group returns up the stairs from the dais and discovers another large room with a staircase that spirals up, but the chamber above is unstable and partially collapsed. Heading further south, they discover a large throne room, with carvings of dwarf warriors on the walls, reliefs depicting a pictorial history of the place, and a great throne with a translucent dwarf-warrior seated on it, flanked by two more translucent dwarf guards, and illuminated with a pair of stone braziers that burn fuelless blue-and-green witchfire!