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The Carrock
The Carrock2

The Carrock (Éo."Sorrow-stone") was sacred to the Beornings. It was, perhaps, for this reason that the manor of the High Shape Changer was traditionally located nearby. The rock itself lay in the middle of the Anduin, a little closer to the eastern shore, by the Iach or Athrad Carrock (S. "Carrock Ford"). The Old Ford and the Men-i-Naugrim lay twenty-five miles to the south. The Carrock was a huge (65' high) granite boulder, surmounted by a carved stone throne which faced upriver. Stairs cut in the side of the rock led down to the water's edge and a ford which took one to the eastern bank. A fissure which knifed into the Carrock's east side had been cleverly widened into a hall which led into the interior chambers. From the outside, the cleft appeared as no more than a small cave. It was deliberately innocuous. While the Holy Carrock was often watched by the lords of the Beornings, and they were quit e capable of dealing with intruders, the Beornings realized that secrecy was the site's best defense.

Description

Carrock

The Carrock - Overview

1.Stairs. These wind up the outside of the rock to the open throne area above. They are cut directly into the rock and permit no more than single-file passage.

2.Entry Cave. A twenty-foot wide natural chamber, never exceeding ten feet in height. At the back of the cave is a flat basalt wall. Runes and paintings cover the wall's surface and tell the tale of an ancient saga involving a Great Bear. A real metal-shafted arrow sticks into one of the figures. When the arrow is rotated, the wall slides five feet to the left and partially reveals an ascending stair behind. It is sheer folly to perceive the nature of the arrow at a mere glance, and even a careful examination makes this discovery very hard .

3.Hall of Claws. This winding passage was cut out of a gas channel which pierced the boulder when it was first formed. The iron tools used to shape the ceiling and walls bore claw-like serrated edges and left jumbled marks in the rock which look akin to those left by bear scratches; hence the name. The passage is ten feet by ten feet in most places, and has notches for the place- ment of torches. Small air holes are cut in the ceiling at intervals of thirty feet.

4.Sleeping Chamber. This room has been cut out of the rock in order to provide a resting place for a family of seven. Bowl- like rock shelves line the walls and can be filled with straw in order to provide a semblance of comfort. Fine runes (modi- fied Cirth) circle the walls near the twleve- foot ceiling and tell the tale of the Beorning's ancestors, relatives of the Edain who settled in the passes of the northern Misty Mountains in the late First Age.

5.Water Chamber. Here lies a well, cut fourteen feet deep to reach a catch pool in the river. A small fire pit is set into to the western wall; a smoke hole is set above it in the nine-foot ceiling. Watch positions are placed in the northern wall.

6.Store Room. Rectangular stone receptacles cover the floor. Each is carved in such a way as to appear to be of wood. The lids mimic roofs, and the receptacles represent Beorning long-houses.

7.Chamber of the Dancers. This room is akin to the main room of a long-house, except for the 28-foot ceiling, and contains a large fire pit and a raised stone platform which acts as both an eating table and a "stage". The walls are covered with bizarre cave paintings which depict countless battles. A huge block of resin is set into the nook in the southeast wall; within it is a perfectly preserved Great Bear. Normally the nook is concealed by a counter- weighted stone which can only be raised by pulling up on its raised surface; the lift involves some 300 pounds. This preserved beast may be some ancient leader whose pres- ence inspires the dancers when they are properly frenzied. Huge mead jars are set in wall niches around the room. The floor of the room is seven feet above the river's waterline, and seven feet below the norm for the rest of the complex.

8.Burial Chamber. This round room has a floor set fourteen feet below the water surface, and a 56' ceiling (42 feet above the waterline). At th e river level, fourteen feet above the room's base, is another floor surface, a circular walkway which surrounds the central pit. The fourteen- foot deep pit holds a large, beehive-shaped tomb of loose rock. The top of the curved roof of the tomb is twenty- eight feet above the base floor and fourteen above the surrounding ledge. This "hive" can only be entered seven feet above the base, through an aperture (7' dia.) blocked by a round discus-like stone. This stone can be rolled to the side in its crude track, but it requires the strength of two normal men. The rock moves up the runners which wind around the tomb some ten feet, and can be locked in place by moving the obvious block-stone underneath its curve. Should one enter the tomb without pulling on a bear claw-like iron stave to the left of the entry, the block stone will be pulled aside and the st one allowed to slide back down the runners. The stave mechanism is very hard to perceive. Within the tomb lie the remains of the eight Beijabar lords, each buried in a hive-shaped clay jar. The chute into the tomb slopes down at a 45 degree angle and drops seven feet. It is lined with mud which conceal hidden spikes. The razor-sharp iron spikes are covered with a bee venom which destroys one or both of its victim's eyes by converting the optic juices to honey. The tomb holds 100 mp, battle axes, four two-hand swords, one club, ten short swords, seven hand axes, one long bow, two helms, a Horn of Bear Summoning, a Stave of Water Walking, six shields, and 2,000 gp in gems. Another treasure chamber once existed below; but unlike the rest of the room, it was not of carved rock, and caved in centuries ago. It is extremely hard to perceive this rebuilt burial chamber. Entry into the room is afforded through secret stone doors which can be moved to the side by 2-3 strong men. Both openings lie above stone stairways. Every ot her stair is of an enchanted resin which is very hard to perceive and will will instantly harden around things immersed in it. The resin is grey and appears as rock.

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