Rynvah’s curiosity draws her toward the broken down cart. Everyone else follows, unsure of what to expect, but ready for anything. Without warning, a dread spirit—a wraith—emerges from the cart flying straight for the young, defenseless girl. Rynvah screams and clutches her dark gem. The wraith passes straight through the girl, just as it had the cart a moment prior. It collides instead with Eira and the two trade blows, the wraith with its dark claws from beyond the grave and Eira with her mighty Battlelord’s hammer. Drielle, thinking quick, rebukes the creature with her symbol of Myrkul. It flees, but not before sending hitherto unseen spectral guardians after the group to complete its grim handiwork. The specters are dispatched with ease, however, thanks to the magic weapons and spells of Navena, Eira, and Drielle. Certain the wraith will return in moments, knowing it will outpace them all if they run, Drielle urges the group to stand their ground and prepare to face the creature or be killed. This warning does nothing to prevent Navena from poking around in the broken wagon. Inside she discovers the human remains that are responsible for the twisted, undead souls. Navena badly damages her armor when hurrying to escape the confines of the wagon with a strongbox full of treasure.
The wraith returns in full force, seizing upon Navena with its life-hungry claws, hoping to add yet another specter to its ranks. Before it can, the radiance of Søngberg’s hammer helps to seal the creature’s fate, erasing it from the living lands of Faerûn. For her trouble, Navena helps herself to the (likely magical) armor worn by the dead man found in the wagon. The earthly remains of his spectral bodyguards surely lie buried under years of snowfall and permafrost. A journal they find tells the tale of this man trying to escape religious upheaval in Ten Towns, of his trying to save his wealth from redistribution. His final entry was a curse to Auril for the blizzard which surely spelled his doom. With the dead merchant’s considerable wealth now in tow, the group sets out ever northward in search of Ten Towns.
Almost a full week of bitter cold later, the frosted palisade of Bryn Shander can be seen on the horizon. Outside the gates, they pass gibbets of executed transgressors, which is a sight perhaps all too common in the warmer lands of the south. This far north, it seems life is just as cheap, if not more so. Close inspection, however, makes Navena certain some of the skeletons within a few of the cages are elven. The people of Bryn Shander welcome the group, always eager to trade goods and tales with new travelers. On their way in, they witness the hanging of a “thief” being put to death for “stealing something in Targos” the innkeeper says.
The exhausted adventurers take several days to recuperate from the weariness of their journey before acquainting themselves with the Ten Towns. Eira and Søngberg visit the shrine to Tempus in Good Mead where the former makes waves with the sight of her hammer. Søngberg, dutiful to a fault, busies himself with labor needed by the Trading Coster. Navena and Eira join a hunting party, one of the last of the season, in search of more ivory and are successful. While those two are away, Søngberg looks into what can be done about Rynvah, visiting both Sessel Morningmantle, the Cleric of Lathander and Marsible Pinewhisk, the drow priestess of Shar. After some deliberating, and with all due respect given, it is decided the orphaned hag-daughter will spend a trial period with the drow priestess.
Marsible, as a supplicant of Shar, is aware of many secret things. She learns of Rnyvah’s true nature and also of the death of Brandish. She explains, for the price of a magic scroll, how Brandish died—eaten by a giant monster—and that for reasons she cannot glean, his soul is not laid to rest and that perhaps some necromancy has placed it in a foreign body. As for Rynvah, Marsible is quite certain the girl will one day soon become a terrible Ice Hag like her mother and that saving her from this fate is entirely beyond her ken. She tells them that the wizard Ardemis, driven into exile out of the Ten Towns, is their best hope. He was last seen heading east, toward the mountains, so two likely places he could be is living among the Reghedmen of the Great Glacier or perhaps in a ruined fortress known as the ‘Severed Hand’.
A few nights later, as the party is making their preparations to depart in search of Ardemis, a watchman bursts into the Snug Haven Inn, “A crazed man with a fiery sword is at the gate! He calls for a ‘Tyrran Midget’ and his friends!?’ There is some sort of demon imp with him!”
Eira 2,500 XP (+ 400 Bonus XP for the ivory hunt)
Navena 2,500 XP (+ 500 Bonus XP for the ivory hunt)
Søngberg 2,500 XP (+ 350 Bonus XP for discovering the ‘Saving Rynvah Quest’)
Trading Coster Renown
Eira – Rank 1: Apprentice
Navena – Rank 1: Apprentice
Søngberg – Rank 2: Journeyman