Enduring the Elements
Departing Daggerford, the battle-tested heroes traveled north to Loudwater. Each had their own reasons, but it seems fate brought everyone together. They brought along the mage Curuvir, the man indirectly responsible for the goblin raid on Daggerford. Horses were purchased and the journey began.
As they traveled, the snow turned to a blizzard. Temperatures dropped, and the river froze solid weeks ahead of schedule. No one could have predicted that would happen, but at least they weren’t traveling by boat. Curuvir proved his worth, magically protecting everyone from the chilling cold…everyone but the horses, who soon perished. On foot, with no horses to clear a path in the snow, travel slowed. Kriv seemed used to a cold environment, and was able to guide the party past dangerous icy parts, around snow banks far deeper than they seemed, and led them safely along the frozen river. Along the way they found goblin remains, frozen solid, and evidence of an entire goblin camp that met a similar fate.
The only live animal seen was a small bird, which happily flew to Operious’s shoulder, whispered a message in his ear, and flew away. It didnt get very far, freezing in moments once the enchantment passed. Kriv then noticed something odd about the storm. Though the snow was a complete white-out, the depth did not increase as much as expected. There was some magic at work, and with that clue, the mages consulted and agreed some sort of Fey magic was at work. That magic was originating to the north. The storm was real, the cold was real, but it was ‘enhanced’ somehow to seem worse than it was. This was no natural storm.
Along the path, they were ambushed by goblins. Yet these didn’t seem like normal goblins – blue skin, barely protected against the biting cold. The little buggers used ranged weapons, tactics and terrain to their advantage, nearly killing Operious. In the end they died like any goblin. Investigation showed they were the same goblins as the tribe seen frozen earlier. Maybe these odd blue goblins survived and were even mutated by the fey storm. Too bad they couldn’t survive an angry dragonborn paladin.
Reaching Loudwater, Curuvir quickly set to work aiding his hometown. Loudwater was ‘snowed in’, citizens staying in their homes just trying to keep warm. Curuvir asked the players to investigate Draigdurroch Tower. It seems he has some history with that tower’s owner, though he was hasty in discussing any details. He provided a location, and the magical means to keep warm. As the heroes left, he quickly mentioned he would be grateful if they retrieved any research notes they may find, left behind by Draigdurroch.
A day’s walk away, the tower was in a well-known location in the Dire Wood. Well-known and well-avoided, it was rumored to be cursed, haunted, etc. For decades it had been trapped in a thick layer of ice, sealing it from any intrusion. Beneath the ice, along the walls, were many demonic carvings and other evil signs. Draigdurroch apparently flaunted his worship of Asmodeus, and the signs were everywhere. Devilish statues guarded the path to the tower.
As they chipped away at the icy shell blocking the front doors, some of those statues proved more than decoration. They animated and attacked, as did another golem inside the tower. Dispatching the old gatekeepers, the heroes went inside. Frost covered the interior, and as the rooms were explored the tower’s story revealed itself. A banquet table with food still frozen in place…two elderly caretakers, hiding under their bed in the servants room, frozen solid…a fully-stocked pantry, frozen. Whatever fate befell this tower happened quickly, and was unforeseen. Oddly, the fireplaces were still full of flame, except the ‘flame’ was blue and frozen like ice. Touching it with a fire poker made the end of the poker disappear, as if it had gone somewhere else. When pulled back, the poker returned covered in frost and almost too cold to touch.
One room in particular, a sitting room, held bookshelves full of tomes. Carefully turning the brittle pages, it appears Draigdurroch was compiling notes on something called Karse, an ancient Netherese city. It seems to have been somewhere in the Dire Wood. What he wanted there was not obvious, but perhaps the city was full of magical items.
Research was interrupted by the sound of movement upstairs. Strange creatures attacked, beings of solid ice. They pulled ice shards from their own body to throw, and some wielded large icy hammers. During the battle, many smaller versions of these creatures also attacked – not from upstairs, but from the fireplaces, which seemed to be portals to another plane! The portals were destroyed and the ice beings crushed and slain. Taking a breather, the heroes prepared to go upstairs, determined to find the source of the deadly cold.
Fey magic, frozen warriors of the Elemental Chaos, a tower built by a worshiper of Asmodeus, the Netherese city of Karse…how could it all be connected? How can the freezing cold be stopped before thousands die?
|Surviving the blizzard (skill challenge): 375|
|Frost goblin ambush: 975|
|Tower guardians: 700|
|Ice Warriors: 1000|
|3050xp total, 762xp per person|
|Grand Total XP per character: 1655 (2250 total needed for 3rd level)|
This session drew from Dungeon 159, Menace of the Icy Spire.