A Frozen North

Episode 2: In Search of the Long Rest

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Working for Riggus has it’s highs and lows.

Well, not so much the highs. But rarely are the lows as bad as this farce at Caer Konig has been.

‘Take a letter to Speaker Torvil, don’t need a reply, come back to Easthaven.’ It should have been so simple… Getting the letter to Torvil was no problem, was even extra profitable as a couple of guards who were dicing weren’t keeping a close eye on their money pouches. Was like taking a sugared treat from a fat noble’s daughter. That’s when it all went to the gutter.

I got to town late, and had to stay overnight at the Northern Light Tavern. It was pretty quiet so I got a room no problem, should have got a discount too it was so quiet, but when there’s only one tavern in the whole of the town you do get to just make up your prices. Riggus was paying though, so I didn’t care too much.

It was next morning that things got interesting. Some bunch of four adventures rolled into town like they owned the place, claiming to have dealt with the cave of Orcs to the north of town. They were going to see Torvil about their reward, then have a celebratory party at the Northern Light after. I figured a few drinks would see a few loose belt pouches, so figured I’d hang around a little longer. Around midday, about an hour after they got back from seeing Torvil it hit; the Shrieks.

People were getting quarantined all over the place, going hysterical and laughing themselves to a chill grave. Torvil put a stop on all gates in and out of town, not that it made any difference since all the able bodied folk got themselves holed up in the Northern Light where Celine was looking after who she could. But it wasn’t just the plague of Shrieks those adventurers brought back with them, there’s something out there too, howling on the wind.

Three days passed, and there were less and less outbreaks now. Because hardly anyone was alive in this stupid town any more. We’ve not heard from Torvil in two days, but then again nobody new has come into the tavern since then either. Earlier in the day the last two seasoned fighters, a pair of Dwarves finally cracked and said they were going to see Torvil. I doubt we’ll see ’em again.

About midday there’s a bit of a commotion outside; one of the Dwarves looks to have almost returned but succumbed to the Shrieks by the jetty and took a dive of the end of it. But then some figures appear, blundering around aimlessly in the storm, gawking at the warehouse and the market. Looks to me like they’ve already gone crazy ambling about like that… but then I see it. A Yeti.

It sees the figures about the same time, and then they are finally jolted into action. Some stealthy little figure bursts ahead, barely sinking into the snow and starts trying to break into the upstairs of the tavern, I send Bill and Ben to investigate. Meanwhile the three others get caught by the Yeti. One of the three, a big Half-Orc almost makes it to the tavern, but succumbs to the Shrieks, looking exhausted but giggling maniacally. The other two weave some magic, and look to have spooked it with some fire. It gets pretty riled though, and downs one of them. Celine is on the scene though and scares it off with some more of her magic.

After quizzing the Half-Orc, it turns out he doesn’t have the Shrieks, he just thinks Yeti’s are funny. Half-Orcs are weird. Celine heals up the downed magic user, and invites the three of them inside. They say they’ve an elf friend somewhere about the place, but nobody quite seems sure of who or where. Bill, Ben and I search upstairs but can’t find anyone; we board up the window to keep the pace safe and stay alert.

While Celine is interviewing the three, there are screams from upstairs; I rush up to find a short little drow killing Ben, while Bill is sprawled in a pool of blood at her feet. I call for help, and dash to prevent her barricading herself in a spare room. Celine pushes open the door to the room, and the drow flees across and dives though and out of the window. I race over to the window, and pulling out my bow place an arrow square between the shoulders, pinning her to the ground. Afraid there may be more drow in the region or she may be behand the plague or have lured the yeti here, I staunch the blood loss and carry her back into the tavern for questioning later. Carrying her in, it turns out she is the companion the other three were referring to, a drow elf. Celine is far from impressed now, and when one of them lets slip he’s working for Riggus she’s ready to turf them all out. Only some fast talking from Aidan dissuades her, and I suggest we pop them in the storeroom so we can keep an eye on them. The unconscious drow meanwhile is secured, tied to a chair and locked in a cupboard.

As if things weren’t crazy enough, there is some hammering at the door – it’s the other dwarf that has returned! He made it to Torvil’s place, but apparently it’s deserted and looted, as soon as the adventures had left with their reward the Shrieks set in there. It being late, everyone finally settles down to try get some rest.

After only a couple of hours, we’re awoken to maniacal laughing from downstairs. The damn Dwarf was infected after all! The Shrieks are in the tavern now!! We try to shut the infected into the storeroom, including the big Half-Orc Garark who we suspected of the Shrieks yesterday, but apparently does now have it. The drow is awake now and so we question her, where it turns out she is indeed working for Riggus and claims she killed only in self defence. Realising she may be a useful asset to Riggus, and useful to me in trying to stay alive in this town, I guide the rest of the interrogation in a way that keeps her alive.

By now, Celine has had enough – she tells us she is leaving the tavern to try get help. That leaves us alone in the tavern with not many leads. Apparently there is one of the original four adventurers still alive, a dwarf. It could be worth trying to track him down to find out how he is still alive, and what happened at the cave. We’re not sure where he is though, but Torvil’s is likely as good a place as any to start. And since Aidan’s house is one the way, we’ll probably call there first…

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Episode 1: The Tomb of King Jeagav

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King Jaegav’s Tomb

Returning to Bryn Shander with the information required by the male “Riggus” we soon found ourselves back in the Hooked Knucklehead.
I was still fresh after our adventures, having allowed the males to take the brunt of any combat (the half breed insisted on carrying the unconscious form of the paladin back to town despite my reasoning), so I went straight to Riggus to conclude our deal.
Riggus was in the process of copulating with one of the surface females (some room for improvement there), but we were able to conclude our business swiftly and I listened as he proposed another deal.
5 individuals would be required for this particular job, with a payment of 50 gold each (or a total of 250 should some of us not return).
A tomb on a small island, close to a surface hovel called Easthaven required investigation and an item of power was to be retrieved. As he was proposing this, my future “comrades” entered the room. A skinny human male and some sort of demi-fiend. Neither looked particularly useful at first glance. Possibly spellcasters of some kind.
One of the newcomers was a local to the area and proposed we join a caravan to Easthaven, this seemed a good plan given the dangers on the road and we agreed to meet the following morning (the weaker races being afraid to travel at night).

The paladin was regaining consciousness as I re entered the common room. Suspecting he may come in useful on the journey to come, I gave him his share of payment from Riggus (I could always retrieve it later) and we gathered some last minute supplies from the town.

During the night Lolth spoke to me, granting me new powers for the journey to come! I shall return her favour with offerings in her name!

The journey to Easthaven was uneventful and, after allowing the males to arrange our passage to the Island we travelled by boat to the tomb. My heart leapt with excitement as I saw the footprints of my kin on the surface of the snow, lesser males obviously, to leave their passage so well marked!
With suddenly renewed enthusiasm we entered the already opened tomb. The stairway was enormous and descended into the darkness ahead. Realising the human could not even see without a source of light, I quickly moved ahead.
A rubble strewn chamber lay before us, some sort of cave in had divided this room, but I knew with my skills I could climb the mound of rubble to scout the other side. Using a new rope purchased from one of the surface “halflings” I was furious to find he had placed an audible cantrip on the item, alerting every enemy within the tomb to our presence! I shall remind him of his mistake when I return to Bryn Shander!
After several attempts from the males to open the doors, I stepped in and hooked my grapple over the handles, pulling the door open (these surface dwellers are so weak). I then entered what appeared to be a looted burial chamber.
Finding nothing of interest I headed back over the rubble to the other door, my comrades following obediently. This door was barred from the other side, but, calling on Lolth’s aid, I shattered the rotting wood with strength alone.
Several chambers followed with little of interest. The males were making too much noise, alerting our enemies to our presence, but at least this allowed me to travel the corridors unseen.

There was a stone door, enchanted with magic and etched with warnings, that we could not open.

A shrine to one of the surface gods provided some sport! As the half orc triggered a trap, several kobolds attacked the rear of the group, felling the paladin with their first attack. The human and half fiend both appeared to have some skill with fire magic, though one of them succumbed to the kobold’s attacks
After slaying a few of their number, the surviving kobold fled into the darkness. My comrades took some rest, though I was eager to press on. A central chamber caught my interest, fresh webbing lining it’s walls. The paladin moved in to investigate, foolishly triggering the poison gas trap! 3 of Lolth’s children moved out of the chamber and attacked! I prayed to the goddess, thanking her for this blessing, and as my comrades struggled against the divine creatures, I moved unmolested into the chamber. A gift from the Goddess awaited me there, a potion of healing!

We waited (again) for my comrades to deal with their wounds before moving on to the next challenge. A water filled pool containing a lesser species of pyramo fish. Tossing the bodies of a few kobolds into the water, one of the spellcasters used a minor cantrip to remove this obstacle (they were proving to be reasonably useful after all). As the half-breed orc opened a door leading from the chamber, a drow forged bolt hit him square in the shoulder. Before I could question the attacker he was killed by the orc!

Using my skills I located a secret room at the end of the next corridor, but it contained only a trap (again, foolishly triggered by one of my companions). As they squabbled over how to disarm the triggered trap in the empty room I moved on to the true purpose of our quest… The main burial chamber!

Entering the chamber, my companions headed straight for the Frost giants sarcophagus. I sensibly held back, suspecting the true challenge was just ahead.
Right on cue, a white dragon reared it’s head above the sarcophagus, blasting the paladin with its icy breath! a few kobold lackeys also moved in to attack and the battle began in earnest.
As the melee raged on, the paladin opened a secret chamber in the front of the sarcophagus, revealing the dragons treasure! in response, the beast shattered his body into a dozen shards with a single blast of breath. The human spellcaster also went down under a hail of blows.
As I made my way, unseen towards the dragons hoard, the half-fiend, through some accidental freak of magical energy, blasted the reptile with fiery energy. Taking advantage of this I finished the creature off with a perfect shot from my longbow.
As the half orc dispatched the last kobold the battle was over. Claiming the body of the great beast, we looted the chamber, finding the Item requested by Riggus. Our contract fulfilled, we made our way out of the tomb
Sabrae

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Prologue - Welcome to Ten Towns!

Adventure Log:

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Heavy snow beats down on the line of reindeer pulled sleds, making the last wind battered mile of the Caravan Trail. It’s winter in Ten Towns, and the last of the traders make their way to Bryn Shander, before Ten Trails is lost forever under the tundra, and the pass south blocked until Spring.

On the trail, three figures huddle under their snow laden furs for warmth, breath freezing on the wind. Garark, Daviel and Sabrae watch as the defensive walls of Bryn Shander break the drifting snow ahead.

TAfter a harrowing journey over the wild tundra via sled, Sabrae, Garark and Daviel finally arrived at the town of Bryn Shander.
After witnessing a brief disturbance involving the local sheriff and a couple of guardsmen, they are approached by a local urchin named Slade.
Slade advises them to take their rest at the Hooked Knucklehead (apparently the finest inn Bryn Shander has to offer….)
Upon arrival our heroes go about taking their rest and, despite a couple of “incidents” (resulting in various injuries to local patrons) refresh themselves and dine in relative comfort.
During the evening they are approached by the proprietor Barton, who it seems may have some work for them. He puts them in contact with a local criminal Riggus “Nine fingers”.
The party agree to meet with Riggus, who hires them to investigate The Old Keep (it seems the Sheriff has an interest in this newly discovered building, and Riggus wants to know about it!)
The sheriff apparently sent some men out to investigate earlier that night, and the party agree (for a fee or course), to discover what lies within the ruins.

Slade leads them to the general area of the keep before leaving them. Following a brief encounter with a group of hungry wolves, Sabrae them scouts ahead and soon discovers a small campsite, showing signs of a recent scuffle.
An opening in the ground (possibly an old hatch) leads to an ancient stone structure and the group climb down into the darkness below.
Sabrae takes point position, but soon disappears, leaving Garark and Daviel to explore alone.
They soon see signs of intruders in the keep, primitive totems of skulls and other bones decorate the area, as well as crude paintings on the walls showing scenes of human sacrifice.
A cry for help from deeper within the keep leads the group down a staircase into a chamber below. What appears to be a giant’s hand is frozen in the ice here (the rest of the giant can just be seen in the ice beyond the shattered wall where it punched its way through!). The party has little time to study this as several troglodytes immediately attack them!
Garark is badly injured but uses his innate powers to keep fighting and, with the reappearance of Sabrae, who was alerted by the noise, the party defeat the vile creatures.
The bodies of the guardsmen were discovered dumped here, but the party had the information they needed.
Sabrae had discovered a room on the upper level from which a pale blue light was emanating. Opening the door the group discover a room full of weapons and a fine suit of armour. To a trained eye, some of these weapons looked of particularly fine quality.
A door or portal at the far end of the room was the source of the light, glowing with a pale blue aura.
Unable to resist, Daviel investigated the armour, but to his dismay it immediately animated and began to attack! hoping for a better weapon to combat this sorcery, Daviel then grabbed for one of the fine longswords, only to find that this too was an animated weapon which launched a crippling blow at him, putting him out of the fight.
Garark, still using his innate powers seemed immune to the constructs attacks, and slowly, with some minor help from the drow (who seemed more than happy to wait the combat out), he gained the advantage and smashed the animated metal to pieces.
Having no abilities capable of opening the enchanted door, the party gathered up the unconscious Daviel and made their way back to Bryn Shander to claim their reward.

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