High in their cliff-face temples, the dwarven sages watched the plague roll in from the west. They pooled their resources to defend the dwarven lands. Just as their great ritual was coming to an end, stray light from a distant star streamed in through the mighty pillars and pierced their magic circle.
The dwarves, secluded behind their walls in Cleft, survived the plague, even as it devastated the dwarven population of the northern reaches of the vale. The few sages not in the temple lost their connection to the powers that helped them create and heal. Guilt drove the dwarven elders to set down their tools, while lassitude set in among the young. The production of weapons and arms in Cleft ceased, though a noisy, steam-belching device made it seem as if the dwarves were still working.
Cowed by loss and failure, the sages made no attempt to reclaim their temple complex — but it seems an evil is gaining strength within its depths. Perhaps some brave adventurers can return the backbone to this part of the world.
A location-based adventure for a party of Tier 2 5e characters or 4–6th level OSR characters.