Taking an elevator of sorts to the third floor, the party found themselves in a library. Preserved from any frost damage were many shelves of books, full of knowledge on countless topics. After disabling a flame trap at the desk, the books were looked over before deciding to save them for later and move on.
Carefully opening the next door, fully expecting ambush by elementals, golems or damn-near anything else, the party found itself in the master suite. Once expensively decorated, carpets and tapestries inside were brittle and stiff, long-since frozen. A large bed dominated the room, a frozen pillow on top and some frozen socks underneath.
A 5-foot high mirror stood next to the wall, four stiff corpses laying on their backs facing the mirror. The mirror’s surface rippled here and there, like the surface of a pond. After some initial investigation and the defiling of a corpse, the party assumed the mirror must show the way out of the room. They tried pointing it at the wall, then looking into the mirror to see the ‘true’ wall…but found themselves staring at the reflection of a halfling inside a black void.
He was apparently trapped, and though unable to speak he could hear the people standing outside. During his long imprisonment, he had found a way to control the mirror, by changing the image it shows. Using this power he asked the party to shatter the mirror and release him. Though wary of a trap, they obliged.
Air was sucked out of the room as the mirror imploded, filling whatever unnatural space it contained. Just as quickly, it exploded outward, blue fire joining the cold air. Perhaps twisted by fey magic, the Spellplague or dark forces, the magical energy contained in the mirror had several effects. First, it released the halfing, but not without exacting a price – his head was engulfed in the odd fire, though it soon subsided. Any long-term effects of that remain to be seen. Second, a mundane longbow carried by a frozen corpse turned blue, and began giving off a frosty aura. Lastly, those corpses, one now missing a hand, rose and attacked.
Battling the undead with one eye on the released halfing, the party made quick work and then introductions were made with the newcomer. His party had attempted to loot the tower a month before, hired by the mage Crasous of Yartar – and failed, awakening portals to the Elemental Chaos. Their incompetance caused an untold number of deaths to the bitter cold, as the elementals had their way with the tower’s fey enchantment.
The next room was a small study, containing a journal of what the warlock was up to. Turns out that Draigdurroch was studying Karse, an ancient city in the nearby Dire Wood. The demigod Karsus died there thousands of years ago, and his mountain of a corpse rots to this day. Draig was studying ways to commune with Karsus, at least what was left of it. Anger, rage and other strong emotions still existed, the leftovers of that aborted god. Local fey guardians warned Draig not to continue this line of research. The journal ends with Draig slaying a fey emissary and gloating about it, but later events can be guessed by the frozen state of his tower.
On the tower’s roof, a huge sapphire floated in midair, the source of the blizzard. Strange magical runes in the Primordial language of the elementals orbited the sapphire. All around, the tower was surrounded by ice, and the world beyond could be seen as if through a prism.
The huge gem must be destroyed for the blizzard to end, and a trap left in the tower was utilized to do the job. Hauling up an entire desk with a flame trap from the library, along with a matress for cover, the gem was hit by a huge blast from the trap.
That made something angry, and soon they were in battle with the fey guardian left behind long ago. It seemed tied to the gem – damage the gem, and the beast felt pain too. That was exploited to destroy the creature, but not before it knocked the bard off the tower to land painfully on the snow far below. Twice.
The gem shattered and the storm ended; the Grey Vale was saved from a frozen grave. Rapidly melting remains of the gigantic gemstone did leave one thing behind – its hard core, a shining jewel. It was clearly a potent magical item of the Fey, able to inspire great deeds in it’s owner. The tower itself was full of magical tomes, able to recreate even the might of Draigdurroch if enough time was spent studying. The party had to determine how best to handle their newfound wealth.
Draigdurroch’s Tower stood as a monument to the siren’s call of magic, the temptations of greed, and the dangers of medling with creatures beyond this world. In the end, it was decided to burn any evil tomes, lest they be used to similar ends in the future. Crasous and Curuvir would have to accept that good deed, like it or not. Leaving the scorched shell of the tower behind, the party returned to Loudwater.
The party was greeted by Lady Moonfire, town leader. She offered payment and thanks for saving the entire town. The heroes began to plan for the future, but soon found themselves embroiled in local concerns. Loudwater had never been a safe place, and the various ills facing it thawed out along with everything else once the blizzard ended. Children were missing, possibly abducted. Shopkeepers were being threatened for money. Cats were stuck in trees. And everyone turned to the new heroes, saviors of Loudwater. If they could end a magical blizzard, they could do anything!
The party was indecisive – surely they had better things to do. But in the end, good ideals prevailed. Could the party save these people from one evil, only to leave them prey for another?
Soon they were off again, talking to every merchant in town, investigating any evil deed. Loudwater had new police, but how long could it last? How long before they angered someone, or something dangerous?
While pursuing an agent of the “Lady of Shadows”, a local boogeyman made up to part merchants from their wealth, they found themselves before the ruins of a temple…
|Mirror, Mirror (zombies): 700|
|Fire in the Hole! detecting/disabling/reusing various traps (and 1 skill challenge): 375|
|Spirit of Winter: 750|
|Major quest reward: End the blizzard: 625|
|Minor quest: Handle the Research: 125/character (625)|
|Market ambush, urban chase skill challenge: 500|
|3575xp total, 715xp per person|
|Grand Total XP per character: 2370 (3750 total needed for 4rd level)|