It was a good read. My only personal want with the story is less time on how he put on his clothes and what he ate and more on his thoughts on how to make one hand work or how to get around the honor and then can't. Him deciding to leave and then deciding to kill her were pretty heavy handed when compared to rest of the story. Those are the key points and parts I wanted to hear a little more about to better buy into the decisions. As it is, he just does it and that is it...ya know.
Story was great on why their are tunnel systems all over! The actually subway was more of an after thought for me. Magnets? Could have had more fun with that. You tend to weave these complicated political tales and I must say that they add a lot to what could have been a simple idea.
It got loose at the end, but I loved it. Rise and fall of a Dwarven Empire. I think the end just needs to be more clear. I didn't get that nobody can go through it till one of the last lines. I just thought the place was haunted by ghosts and zombies. The place is too important to the world you created to just let lie. I see it being held still by humans. They have figured out ways to keep the undead at bay and/or lock themselves in certain safe areas after dark and can come out in the daytime. Besides the undead, I think there have to be some dwarves around (even coming in from another clan deeper in the mountains or something) that continue to have some kind of insurgency against the past with the hope of one day regaining it.
I like it a lot, the end just needs to be tightened a bit more to bring it all together in a solid understanding of the current state. I agree a solid 4 as is, but it could be upgraded with that fix and some better plot ideas.
I said dwarf a bunch of times, lots...and they live in a cave with a big door. What more could you possibly need?! What, do you think Hobbits could be substituted? Blasphemy.
Also, according to the Babel Fish in my ear, reading Troachoar means "This is Dwarven so don't knock it that it can be used for other things too even if seems like it can it really can't and is really for Dwarves and concentrated on Dwarves, Dwarves, Dwarves and it says Dwarves a lot."
The actual translation says Dwarves a lot more but I paraphrased.
I like the change from cartographer to spy. I think you cheapened it at the end by changing it to useless information. Better, I think, to say they got too public so they stopped selling information all together (which might be an issue since those that hired them may have info on who they spied on which the CG wouldn't want out...therefore blackmail for more spying, but that is another thread to follow). So they stop selling all out, however they continue to do it for those clients that are absolutely trustworthy to not let it known that the CG continues on in its elite spying.
Also, the alcohol and woman things gets overused and loses its impact. Was funny at the top but used too much to the point of annoyance through the entire piece. Reduce that footprint a bit for better impact I think.
The adventure can take place in a slightly shifted reality, where everybody has a totem (an animal guardian). The totem should be chosen randomly and not by the player, it is ok if "Gorflin the Large," a gigantic and aggressive barbarian, has a mouse for a totem.
These totems will assist the characters in small way. It is up to the characters to determine how to get the assistance; the animals won't solve mysteries for the characters only supply the clues. The character may even have a dream where his or her totem actually speaks to them and reveals some sort of clue.