Across the barn his traveling companions prepared for their trip. Maribe, Silj, Gaylord and Drenla had a much more dangerous road ahead. They had sturdy pack animals for supplies and hardy riding horses for themselves. Thorian was heading downward to the dwarven caves. His friends were heading up to Fenithall mountain. Norr Bennins, the mage, had determined that the source of the winter storm was atop the mountain. They had taken it upon themselves to discover the truth and return the balance of nature if possible. The people of the valley couldn’t survive much longer, something had to be done.
The friends bid farewell.
Maribe was thankful for the Frostbane potions. Even with it, she was chilled to the bone. Without it could she survive?
The climb up Mount Fenithall was harrowing. If it wasn’t for Silj’s agility and ability to find safe paths in the most treacherous circumstances and Gaylord’s understanding of nature they never would have made it. Even Drenla’s arcane talents assisted the party when she created a burst of flame to melt away the snow and expose the path buried beneath.
Early in the third day, tragedy struck. Ithy stepped in a hunter’s trap and his leg was badly mauled. The heroes were forced to make camp early to care for their furry friend. The responsible hunter felt terrible for the problem he caused and he allowed the party to rest in his cabin. He resupplied them and kept them safe through the terrible storm that came that night.
Gaylord looked out the window early the next morning and was stunned at the amount of snowfall. He knew that the people of the valley didn’t have long. If this weather wasn’t reversed soon, the consequences would be dire. Drenla stumbled over to him and bumped him into the glass. She murmured an apology. Gaylord cringed at the strong smell of stale alcohol on her breath. “Drenla, really? Did you wake up early just to start drinking?”
“Of course not” she laughed, “I just stayed up all night so I could keep drinking. The hunter and I broke into his winter wine and toasted to better weather.” Gaylord looked over, the helpful hunter was passed out in the corner snoring loudly. The companions gathered up their supplies and began their track up the mountain.
It wasn’t long before they came to a frozen river. Across the ice was a creature that resembled a gorilla covered in stark white fur. His hands and feet were oversized and his fingers were tipped with claws made of black bone. The creature roared in rage pounded his chest in challenge. The heroes drew their weapons and stepped forward to clear the path.
Without warning the snow around them burst and three more yeti revealed themselves. The party was surrounded, they had stumbled into an ambush.
Silj had always known that he had exceptionally fast reflexes for a Dragon Born. He often told himself it made up for his unexpected smaller stature for one of Bahamut’s holy warriors. Divine favor had ensured he had the tools to survive to provide service to his god and assist in the prophecy of Torrin Redscale. This encounter was no exception. Even as the Yeti burst from the snow, Silj was in motion. He drew his hand crossbow in one smooth motion and sent a vicious round across the river and it pierced the shoulder of the first yeti.
One of the ambushers leapt at Maribe and slashed out at her. She ducked from the attack and lashed out with the Scepter of the Ice Queen. Bright red blood surged forward from the grim wound she caused to her attacker. These creatures, however, weren’t from this plane. They brought the power of the plane of ice with them and as her scepter impacted with the creature a hoarfrost surged up the weapon and down to her arm. Maribe cringed, expecting the icing touch to cause her pain and damage but just before the frost covered her arm the scepter flared with a soft light and a warm sensation pulsed through her and repelled the frost. The magic of the artifact had protected her from the cold. She smiled in victory. The yeti was confused by her reaction and quickly leapt away, leaving Maribe unengaged.
The heroes fought ferociously with rage given birth by the defiling of their home from the ice that spawned these creatures. Gaylord and Drenla stayed close to Maribe to take advantage of the power of protection given by the scepter. Silj trusted in his speed, armor and faith in his god to protect him. It was enough. The party killed three of the yeti and the fourth ran off. They had only suffered small scratches and cuts.
They gathered together and safely crossed the ice river to continue their journey.
Another day travel and the summit was in sight. Off to the east, however, was a pillar of smoke. A forge or a fire?
Silj crept ahead to investigate. What he found was more chilling then the cold. A village of goblins had sprung up amidst the burned our remains of a human settlement. He hoped that the people had fled from the snow before these foul creatures arrived. Archers, swordsmen and even a shaman were evident. They seemed to be carving a rune of power directly into the icy mountain side. These were not ordinary goblins. Their skin was blue and their hair was a spiky, thick mass. In the center of the camp was a roaring blue fire that radiated cold instead of warmth. The goblins regularly came close to it as if to cool off from their exertions. How could these creatures be uncomfortably warm in this blizzard?
Silj was going to recommend they go around the camp and continue their climb to the summit when he noticed the shaman had a large book in his arms. It closely resembled the one that Norr had recovered from the goblins that had possessed the ice scepter. Perhaps this book would contain the answer to the riddle of the weather. The party decided to plan an ambush of their own and they crept into position.
Drenla was sneaking past the burned out husk of a cabin when she found a hollowed out section of the floor. It contained a case of one gallon jugs of mountain moonshine. She sighed in relief and popped the cork. She drank deeply of the contents and her body felt warm again. She smiled and counted her blessings.
SNAP!!! An old board broke under Maribe’s foot and the goblins snapped to attention. The ambush was launched. (One failed stealth check)
While Thorian wasn’t there in body, he was in spirit. Thorian would certainly tell you that Goblins lack the muscle and soul for a real fight and this encounter was no exception. The blue beasts were slain and the shaman was captured. At swordpoint he was questioned.
Between the goblin’s ramblings and the contents of the book, the party learned the following.
- Cyrus hired the goblins to help build his temple and provide security.
- The goblins were from the elemental plane of Ice and were brought over via a ritual that required ice from the plane and the scepter to complete
- When the scepter was stolen, they panicked and attempted to find a ritual that would bring them home
- The goblins paid someone at the university of magic in Magnimar for consulting on the ritual – someone high up aided these fiends!!!!!!
- The scepter is at the heart of the dire weather pattern. Apparently Cyrus had it created and brought to the prime material plane. Once that happened, it was used to open a rift that is slowly drawing energy from the plane of ice into this realm.
- The only way to stop and reverse the rift is to destroy the scepter on the anvil it was created. That anvil belongs to an ice dwarf in the elemental plane of ice.
- The goblins saw the forge. It is very close to the location that the portal was opened, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. The scepter will lead them back to it once they cross over to the plane of ice. It is in a small keep close to the portal’s entrance.
That’s what they know. What they don’t know......
- Will the Winterbane potions protect them on the elemental plane of ice?
- Who is Cyrus and why is he here? What awaits them in his temple?
- Who at Magnimar is helping the goblins?
- Can they find the forge and destroy the scepter?
- If the scepter is needed to open a portal, how will they get home after it is destroyed?
- Who shot JR?
Find out these answers at Next Sunday’s game.........