Icewind Dale

Session 14
The Revenant

The troublemaker at the gates of Bryn Shander is none other than ‘Istryn Ashbinder’, the condemned man Søngberg left behind, on the other side of the mountains, in his strange tree-cage outside of Fireshear so many weeks ago. The man has become an undead horror, his body preserved beyond death so that his blasphemous vengeance can be maintained. He carries in one hand a longsword shrouded in hellfire and in the other, the severed head of Haugaard Glimgrun of Ironmaster. He is attended by an imp who promptly disappears moments later when things become violent.

Instryn calls out that Søngberg’s head will be next. In response, the dwarf charges ahead to meet his foe, to avenge his dead friend. A wave of the flaming sword calls forth a wall of flame which quickly starts to turn the wooden palisade of Byrn Shander to cinders. Navena is burned and tumbles from her perch on the watchtower, only to be stung square in the chest by the imp’s wicked tail. The next spell out of Istryn’s powerful sword is a lightning-bolt-like-tether that continually jolts Søngberg with agonizing energy. Though the dwarf is nearly killed, Søngberg’s radiant hammer pounds Istryn until he is no more. Eira’s mighty blows destroy Rodney, the imp. Meanwhile, Drielle, Dheirgrin (a newcomer and follower of Eira), and Jared—who all were also summoned to this scene—are caught behind the other side of the flaming wall.

The aftermath is chaos as the people of Ten Towns rush to put out the spreading fire, but one thing is sure: Søngberg is certain Istryn’s sword is evil and that none should handle it! Navena watches over the evil blade and keeps her keen eyes to the dark horizon, alert for more trouble Istryn may have brought with him. It seems all that remains of Istryn Ashbinder is his sword, lying in the snow. Søngberg looks to Drielle for guidance, but she pleads ignorance and suggests Jared would be the person to consult. And so Jared is fetched which unnerves Navena as she has come to fear this ‘cleric’ she calls a liar and a killer of elvenkind.

As Jared does arrive on the scene, something takes hold of Navena and she quickly snatches the sword and rushes off into the frigid darkness. Navena seeks the comfort of another elf, Marsible, drow though she may be. Jared, though confused about the conflicting reports he has heard, is simply glad that everyone is safe, the menace is stopped, and that the fire is out. Everyone (but Navena) returns to the Snug Haven Inn to get what little rest they can.

The events of the night prior have done nothing to deter the group from seeking the wizard Ardemis to the east. So the following morning, a woman of extreme beauty, Shannon arrives to the Snug Haven Inn and pleads with Søngberg and Eira to convince their elven friend to venture to the ‘Hand of the Seldarine’ and locate there a starmap which legend tells only an elf can see. Shannon says the Lathanderans cannot succeed in their upcoming solstice ritual without this map. The two agree to pass along her message and they seek their friend in Easthaven. It is perhaps none too surprising to learn Marsible does not fear the sword as much as the others as she is a cleric of the evil goddess Shar. When the drow’s advice is sought, she explains that in her view, the sword is merely a tool.

Deciding ultimately that the weapon is too dangerous to be left alone, Navena resolves to keep the blade, called ‘Malefic’, and to take it away from the Ten Towns on their journey east. The Tempuran warriors Dheirgrin and Naf join Eira, eager to see this woman swing such a hammer. And so Eira, Drielle, Søngberg, Navena, Dheirgrin and Naf depart Easthaven, with just under two weeks left before the sun sets completely for three straight months. Following secret guidance from the sword, Navena is tugged in multiple directions: the party crosses tracks of what is likely Reghedmen, Navena ignores these and presses on for the Elven tower, but is distraught to learn her candle-which-will-not-light has ignited of its own volition, inside her pack. It emits a cold blue flame, and has already burned some of her items ‘into frost’. The candle, an item sacred to Auril, seems to indicate a third direction south along the mountains.

Unsure of what to do, Navena eschews both the Reghedmen and the candle’s indication, and instead uses the sword’s guidance—without telling her friends—to lead them all to the Elven Tower where she hopes to find Ardemis.

Eira 2,500 XP
Navena 2,500 XP
Søngberg 2,500 XP

Session 13
Ten Towns

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

Session 12
Death to Nuzal

The battle with the Ice Hag, Nuzal ends in her defeat, her brains dashed against the walls of her lair by the hammer of Tempus in the hands of Content Not Found: navena. Moments before her death, she cackles with blasphemous glee, confident her immortal fiendish soul will one day reform again in the infernal realm where she belongs. The horrid abomination of Skuli’s body, made into a wight by Nuzal’s terrible magic is also laid to rest by Hessler, Søngberg, and Drielle. Later, before departing, Drielle attempts to ‘commune’ by speaking with the corpse of Skuli in order to learn more about the events surrounding his death. Her success is middling as she learns merely that he was killed by ‘nightmares’.

The group decides to hold up in Nuzal’s lair which was once a great dwarven receiving hall. In it, they find the witch’s treasures, a mighty looking magic iron bow among them. None present have the temerity to approach the covered altar of Shar that darkens the room with its evil presence. At length, with the witch’s ‘daughter’, Rynvah now in their care, the group sets out. The little girl knows the way out of the catacombs and she leads the party to a massive set of ceremonial dwarven doors that mark the entrance to Hundle’s tomb. With Navena back in the lead, she finds her bearings and a treacherous path is made down the glaciated mountainside. Not more than a day’s journey from the ‘deathmaze’ behind them, Navena discovers tracks that almost certainly belong to her fellow ranger, Brandish. A vote is taken and everyone agrees to spend no more than three days looking for the brooding elf. In just two days time, his tracks lead east back into the imposing mountains. From there, the tracks head directly into a strangely smooth tunnel that leads deep into glacial ice and mountain rock. Just outside the tunnel, Brandish’s notorious wooden mask is found, lightly singed, laying abandoned in the snow. A decision is made to leave the weaker members of the group behind, protected by Drielle while Navena, Hessler, Eira, and Søngberg investigate the tunnel. A bowshot’s distance into the tunnel, rumbling sounds are heard, presaging the appearance of a giant, fiery insect monstrosity—obviously the beast that wrought these ice tunnels with its flaming back. With a failing hope as to Brandish’s survival, the four adventurers flee in abject terror from a foe they are sure is beyond them. Mercifully, the creature stumbles in its own lair over the excitement at such a welcome meal walking right in. This buys everyone the precious seconds they need to escape the horrid jaws racing at them. Outside, they disperse and the creature thinks twice about exposing itself to the dangers of Icewind Dale where yet larger predators exist to hunt even it.

With the search for Brandish abandoned, the route north is rejoined. Heading into the desolate tundra, a bitter and whirling blizzard sets in robbing everyone of time, warmth, and joy. When the driving snows settle, out in the distance, an old broken-down cart can be seen half-buried in the fresh drifts of white powder.

Eira 3615 XP
Navena 3600 XP
Søngberg 3600 XP

Session 11
A Fiendish Bargain

During their rest and respite, Navena pours over the journals and logbooks uncovered from the Kobold storeroom. Songberg helps with translation where he can, but spends most of his time in deep prayer. Eira tests out the newly acquired hammer while keeping watch at the door. Drielle and Garn are withdrawn, the latter still very much in mourning over the death of his brother Wallace. Theren feels as though he owes his continued pilgrimage to all who lost their lives at the hands of the Kobolds and their wolves. Hessler takes the opportunity to clear some of the air, trying to raise spirits with a joke here and there. It is obvious Hessler would like nothing better than to head south back to Fireshear. He also uses this rest to confess he did back-track from the group to see and talk to the caged man in the tree. Hessler tries to assuage doubts over his trustworthiness by reminding everyone that he did not free the condemned man.

Just as the party is getting ready to leave, the witch Nuzal returns, congratulating them all on their victory over the Kobold chief, Turiss Urd. She wants the hammer in exchange for Skuli, but the request is soundly denied. Before she leaves, the witch offers a glimpse of Groa. The young woman is suffering tortured dreams and bad portents over what will happen to Skuli at the hands of the witch’s power. Groa may wander off, imperiled in a desperate search for her love.

After waiting to be sure the witch is long gone, the group sets about tracking her, trying follow delicate, bare footprints in the silt that are almost certainly her’s. Navena leads until the trail goes cold, at which point Songberg again takes point in finding his best way through the many turns and corners of these catacombs. Several dwarven tombs and an ancient library are found. There are even a few items of written magic still tucked away in the dust and detritus of the old library. While searching the library, they hear the voice of Skuli beckoning them, but Eira is on guard and reveals the voice to be a trick—most likely the witch’s sorcery at work. Everyone is on their guard, and they press on. Soon after, they come to the grand tomb of Hundel, Hurler-of-Hammers. The old dwarven hero lies in a magnificent marble sarcophagus upon a dais. The wall behind his tomb is covered in hammered and sculpted gold panels telling the stories of his many exploits. While Songberg is regaling the crew with the tale of Hundel, a large suit of armor standing sentinel over the scene comes to life, smashing its hammers into Eira and Theren. Theren is nearly killed, but the crew escapes, hoping the guardian will not pursue them beyond its tomb. Their gamble pays off. With some distance between them and the ‘Helmed Horror’, Theren’s wounds are tended.

Not far from Hundel’s tomb, they find the witch in her lair with a strange human child. The witch Nuzal insists they surrender the hammer; rather than negotiate, the group attacks!

Eira 375
Navena 375
Songberg 375

Session 10
The Hammer Under the Mountain

After the springing of the roof-collapse trap, Navena elects to place the dwarf Songberg as a forward scout since his kind are better suited to the underground. After a few more twists and turns, Drielle becomes anxious of further dangers and joins the group together in a powerful healing prayer. This is done in the meager shelter provided by an ancient, empty burial niche. Favoring one direction, Songberg heads out and discovers a strange lean-to made of wrapped dragon wings. Inside, bizarre religious paraphernalia belonging to the kobold’s twisted dragon cult of Tiamat are found. Soon after, they come to the mouth of large chamber—before a plan of approach can be hatched, wolves rush out of the darkness ahead and bite into Eira and Songberg.

The mangy guard-wolves of the kobolds are dispatched. Songberg, not to be intimidated, rushes forth. Together, with Drielle, the two adherents of Tyr and Myrkul (respectively) put on an awesome show of thunder and light. Drielle makes it plain she commands the frightful horrors of the God of the Dead while Songberg’s hammer issues the radiant assurance that the good hope of Tyr’s justice will be brought anywhere his faithful are manifest. The dozen kobold warriors they face are cowed by this display, wincing and shuttering their eyes. Only their chieftan, a winged Urd has the bravery to stand up to the intruders. He has a hammer of his own, one so heavy that it drags behind him—leaving a gouge in the floor and preventing his flight. In the ensuing melee, the hammer is seized from the kobold chief, first by Songberg and then by Eira who uses it to great effect. With her new weapon, Eira smashes her foes left and right. All told, eight kobolds and three wolves perish, the chief among them. Eira seems born to wield this hammer, seeing her swing it has inspired and rejuvenated her compatriots.

Despite their great success against the leader of the kobolds, a second melee with another half dozen of the creatures has left the escapees wounded and battle-weary. They decide to hunker down in a nearby refectory of sorts, resting amidst some scattered bones which have been picked clean by kobold and rat alike.

Eira 650
Navena 650
Songberg 650

Session 09

The party, a diminished and bedraggled crew of what remains of the caravan finds itself trapped in a cell-like room underground. Everyone is injured and exhausted. Everyone but Drielle is manacled to a wall—a fact the jailers will soon regret. The headcount stands at Drielle, Eira, Navena, Songberg, Theren, Lourenco, Garn, and Hessler. Songberg speaks up and informs everyone that Kobolds are what have them; they are nasty, brutish dragon worshipers. Drielle assures everyone there are steps she can take to possibly free everyone or at least fight back. She wants to use an Augury and ask Myrkul for guidance. The group begins to discuss a plan: they want to make noise in the hopes of summoning some of the Kobolds to the cell. They get their wish, perhaps sooner than they bargained for. Two Kobolds arrive and begin to drag an unconscious Lourenco out of the room. Before they have finished, Navena begins screaming wildly. Eira too, blows a whistle the kobolds neglected to pilfer. The kobolds intervene, using violence to silence their screaming and whistling prisoners; Lourenco is dispatched, his blood wells up in a puddle around his body. However, this brings one of the kobolds within striking distance of Drielle who slays it with a deadly grasp. The second kobold screams in terror and flees. Drielle chases it through her open cell and out into the catacombs beyond. There’s a flash of light and it too has perished by her hand. During the commotion, Eira’s whistle has freed her from the wall, having summoned a tangle of roots that dislodged her chains. All of this happened before Drielle’s Augury to Myrkul.

The group is armed now with a spear, a short sword, and two improvised black-jacks made of manacle-chains. The group decides to split, leaving Drielle time to rest while Navena and Songberg—who can best see in the dark—do some quick exploring of the nearby vicinity. They encounter a secret passage and run afoul of more kobolds. Two are slain, but others are heard to run away. When the party is rejoined, a strange visitor arrives. The stranger is an elf maiden of surpassing beauty dressed in a mixed garb that seems part noble and part savage, furs and silks. What is more, she entered the cell simply by walking through the door as a ghost might. She offers, since the kobolds are now surely spreading their alarms, to misdirect them away from the group. In exchange, she wants possession of the terribly injured Skuli who was found in an adjacent cell soon after their escape. After some debate, and with varying degrees of remorse, the maiden’s terms are met—and the party presses on without Skuli, leaving him in the cell with the strange woman.

Using a meager divining rod fashioned from a root-twig (summoned forth by Eira’s dryad whistle), Drielle guides the group to the room where nearly all of their possessions are located. There are clashes with more kobolds on the way, as they fight through a common room, a kitchen, and a smithy, but the caravan’s items are found. They also find evidence of other caravans that were ransacked by these creatures and even orc and giant equipment as well. Log books and other materials indicate some of these items have been stashed here since the Spellplague, over 100 years ago. Eira uncovers an elven diary which makes mention of angels and Navena’s father. Nearby the group loots a treasury, purloining coins and some other items of value. Wasting no time after that, they set off in search of an exit. During this search, there is no sign of their erstwhile captors, so perhaps the maiden kept her end of the bargain?

After entering a new area which appears to have some elements of superior dwarven construction to it, Garn stops Navena. An antechamber before them has been rigged with a false roof—and is set to collapse, probably against interlopers who weigh more than the wiry kobolds. They decide to trigger it with the haft of their spear. Sure enough, the roof comes down in a spray of dust and jagged rocks, destroying the spear. Somewhere in the twisting corridors behind them, the sound of that collapse has roused something angry. Something howling in the darkness with a voice that is neither beast or man.

Eira 450
Navena 450
Songberg 300 – This deficit can be made up if he comes to terms with the fact that he bargained with an evil creature. I’ll explain more in person.

Session 09 - Prologue

Your characters have each collapsed while fighting against the onslaught of so many wolves. Perhaps from blood loss or immense pain, you fell unconscious. Perhaps your character is still very alert, but has instinctively decided to feign death hoping the wolves will pass you over for other victims. Perhaps your wounds are simply too great for locomotion and you are anchored in the snow, forced to watch in horror as wolves chase down luckless pilgrims who flee in the knee deep powder. The valley walls echo with resounding, gruesome screams which are gradually being silenced. It is clear some number of you have perished already. The wolves begin to circle and dance around their dead prey and skirmish with each other over their spoils. After what feels like an eternity of this horror, a number of small creatures with reptilian eyes can be seen encircling the bloody scene, having emerged from the white-cloaked beyond. They are little more than jawa-sized grey shapes to you at this point, however one of them carries a staff, and it approaches the closest. The clinking and rattling of its many necklaces of wolf teeth and ivory blending with the growling and howling of the wolves is a sound you will never forget. The largest dire wolf, a majestic black-furred creature, can be seen to turn away from the pack and leap at the shaman creature attended by the warping sounds of magic on the wind. It transforms mid-air, getting smaller and smaller and lands in its hand, now a mere stone the size of a baseball. The remainder of the wolves disperse quickly and in unison, the new creatures move in to loot the caravan and to restrain anyone still living.

Consciousness is flitting in and out. Recall that the wolves attacked deep in the night. Exhaustion, the gnawing cold, and wolf-wound agony have warped your sense of time. Eira can see almost nothing​. Songberg and Navena see a color-leeched gloom of grey snow and​ the​ black shapes of dead bodies, blood smears, and caravan items. Your captors too​ are grey shapes​, up close now, ​they ​are scaly dragon-men​ of a pygmy​ size. They have a language which none present can comprehend, but it seems clear they use it to squabble over whom to tie up, what goods to salvage, and what​ or who​ to leave behind. The sleds you have with you are now being used to transport what has been stolen. Each of you, along with some others have also been lashed to the sleds with rope and cord; only the barest effort has been made to respect your wounds (but perhaps this means you’re being taken alive?). The darkness fades and there’s a day at least of traveling. It takes between three and four of these​ small​ dragon-men to tug the sleds with their own power. They take you off the trail, between crevasses and up and down steep cliffs. These creatures are expert mountaineers. Along the way, Thorhal and Davalos die from exposure; the creatures ​waste no time in eating​ the cold flesh off of their bones​ once a body is discovered​. ​What remains of them​ ​are left where they lie. Some time later you worry that Brandish and Drielle are missing, but no one can be sure. Visibility is restrained by your limited range of movement and your captors do not suffer a sound from you. After at least a day and a night, it’s clear you’ve been taken underground into a cave or tunnel system.

Time and space begin to break down even more as your agony and weariness, hunger and dehydration reach the maximum levels the mind can bear. You begin to tell yourself perhaps this is possibly some long, fevered death-dream and that you are on your way to meet Myrkul in the great beyond after life. The jostling and hoisting and carrying you undergo variably snaps you in an out of consciousness. Bear in mind this rarely happens in concert, so you each catch glimpses of the others looking dead or close to it, surrounded by sneering, gray lizard pygmies. These creatures, your captors, unbind you from the sleds, tie you up individually, and carry you around down corridors and around interminable bends and turns in a mostly featureless tunnel system. You think you pass yet more of these creatures in small chambers amid domestic tasks, you hear drumming; shrieking laughter and chants bounce around the strange halls, you smell soot and sour things. The unending motion that began after the attack of the wolves finally halts. Things grow quiet and dark and stay that way for many hours on end.

Whoever has the best CON will come to first. Everyone has two added levels of exhaustion. You are chained to a wall in some sort of cell.

Session 08
The Northern Means

The respite in Fireshear, while warm and soothing, proves too short. The caravan must keep going or they risk being snowed-in. The two dwarven envoys from Ironmaster, the toe-headed brothers Gordrim and Dorgrim make final preparations with Haugaard about his detour to their beleaguered home. Meanwhile, Songberg and Hessler are tasked with getting a fair deal from the traders in town. In exchanging for food and climbing supplies, the caravan unburdens itself of its mules and carts to take on new stores of cold-weather food, crampons, pitons, rope, sled supplies and dogs. Eira, not getting too comfortable, spends much of her time sparring with Brandish; his love for battle means he is only too happy to oblige her. She employs her shield-and-axe techniques against his two-weapon fighting style. Navena, now the guide of the company sufficiently pores over maps and meets with Haugaard, Ivan and others who have made the journey north. Once satisfied, the elf spends as much time as possible in Fireshear’s hotsprings.

A few days after they first set foot in town, the caravan is once again on the move. Haugaard breaks with the group and heads west. A massive wall of jagged stone, what is known as the ‘Spine of the World’ now confronts the caravan. They follow a road called the Northern Means which is little more than a game trail with stacked river stones serving as mile markers. Exhausting hikes, day after day bring the company between the peaks. They head for Hundelstone, once a mixed town of Dwarf and Man alike, but the calamity of the Spellplague has reduced it to a glorified camp-site for temporary passers-through.

Roughly a week in to the journey, with Hundelstone still almost a week away, a strange collection of earthmotes is encountered. Unlike the massive mote which was home to the Ettercap, here they discover an array of them, of many sizes. Some are just shards of ice caught in the air, others are huge boulders of ice and stone. Some are a hundred feet or more into the sky, others hover at head height. Many of them have grown enormous icicles. Eira stops abruptly, claiming to have seen a vision of a woman made out of snow, affixed to one of the closer motes. No one else sees this, and although neither Navena or Songberg sense anything in the environs, Brandish urges everyone to keep moving away from this place. Divine Sense prompts Songberg to look closer, and a Frost giant is spied encased inside the deep blue ice—perfectly preserved in his floating tomb for the past hundred years or more.

That evening, the party is beset by a sudden blizzard. Hours of howling wind, thunderclaps, and several feet of driving snow scatter possessions and freeze bones. They quickly bivouac, using ropes to keep people linked. Everyone survives the night, but some items are gone, lost to the white-out. The blizzard was a blow to morale, and against better judgment, some of the pilgrims decide to start a fire and roast the last of the owlbear meat before it spoils. They are breaking into the mead before Eira and Garn put a stop to their revelry. They are too late, however. A din of howling grows closer. A giant pack of half-starved wolves, two dozen at least, rushes in out of the darkness.

Eira: 400 XP
Navena: 400 XP
Songberg: 400 XP

Session 07
A Mammoth Surprise

Eira and Hessler are each terribly wounded by the owlbear attack, however the two monstrosities are dispatched and the ivory prize of the dead mastodon is secured. Much like the encounter with the griffons, the party makes camp early to patch themselves up and attend to the chores of cutting and stowing the ponderous ivory tusks. Several days journey later, another Great Tree is discovered in a nearby vale and Skuli is keen on getting close; he wants to confirm the omenspeaker’s claim that the tree has perished. Brandish, Songberg, Navena and Eira chaperone Skuli to the site and there they discover a strange scene. A man has been trapped inside a tree-cage, put there, he claims by the works of a sorcerer who ambushed him and his compatriots. Vague impressions in the snow may corroborate his story, but no one looks closer. Haugaard, when he learns this news, leaves the decision of what is to be done with this man, who calls himself Istryn Ashbinder, up to Songberg. Hessler and Brandish opine for his freedom. Navena and Skuli, aloof to his fate, could care less it would seem. Drielle pays the man a private visit and the two talk for a time. Assured by the righteous path of Tyr’s justice, the dwarven paladin proclaims the man will stay where he sits. As the company departs, the condemned man bellows out dark vows to Bane, to Loviatar, to Malar to any other vengeance-hungry god that is listening—that he will hunt them each down beyond his very grave if it comes to that. During this episode, Navena’s keen senses warn her of the presence of a nearby fiend, somewhere in the forest. This causes the pilgrims to all huddle closer than usual around Songberg. Hessler, it is worth noting, disappears from the caravan for a spell. Many suspect he too goes to visit Istryn, however upon his return Hessler says he was simply ‘having a movement’ and got separated.

Eventually, at the outskirts of Fireshear, the caravan reaches the lodge of some lumberjacks and prepares for the warmth and safety of the local hotsprings. The people of Fireshear are rugged and cagey. They coop their foreign guests up in a large inn called the Manticore. The Waterdavian merchant-prince of Fireshear, Lord Aldridge, clearly wants a lot of eyes watching the travelers. Everyone takes care to replenish their supplies and mend what the wilds have broken or damaged. The pilgrims are glad to meet with a young man named Ivan Darkthorne who brings news of Ten Towns to any who will listen. Ivan talks of gardens in the snow and unearthly lights and how Jared is able to commune with angels. Asking around, Songberg uncovers from a local miner that a man named ‘Istryn Ashbinder’ went missing along the northern means two or three winters ago. In other news, a dispatch from Ironmaster just a few days ago states a terrible collapse has occurred. Haugaard will be breaking from the caravan to be with his people in their time of need.

Eira: 405 XP
Navena: 405 XP
Songberg: 420 XP

Session 06
The Elk and the Raven

The aftermath of the griffon attack is an arduous labor of skinning, dragging, smoking, and raft-building. The wood needed is eventually gathered and the group makes its way to the River Icetongue which is the most considerable geographic barrier between Luskan and Fireshear. Navena and Brandish agree to risk a detour north to look for a suitable area for fording. Despite great concern over losing animals or an injured person like Drielle to swift waters, it is sturdy but eager Brandish who drops his footing and is carried away downstream. Songberg and Eira both give chase, with Eira proving the more competent swimmer. No lives are lost, Eira rescues the foundering elf, but Songberg’s struggle with the frigid waters and separation from the group only deepens his weariness.

The wood is for trading with the Elk tribe, however Halefrid, Chief Shieldmaid of the Elk people puts the company before the ‘omenspeaker’ inside a great wooden church dedicated to Auril and Tempus. The barbarians and the caravan do trade as expected, and Eira later learns of Brandish’s bloody secret past with these people. The omenspeaker, Petra, says the arrival of the caravan is fated and that the strangers must act as a neutral party in returning a young woman, Groa, from the capture of the neighboring Raven tribe. Upon meeting with Ornolf, chief of the Raven people, he claims Groa left her people willingly—out of love for Skuli—one of their young hunters.

The following day there is a long meeting, where the gathered share in the spirit blood of the Uthgardt heritage. The elders of both tribes, plus the new strangers talk peacefully for hours on the riverside of what is to be done with the lovers and who is at fault for the death of the Great Tree. Resolution of the inter-clan dispute has won favor with the Elk tribe and much needed rest to the caravan. After five days time, with a chill setting into the late autumn air, the group again departs westward following Lathander’s path into the horizon. The terrain grows rockier and more mountainous day by day, hour by hour. A week out, Brandish is first to spy something odd off in the distance. It is the carcass of great mastodon and something has been eating it. Eira, Songberg, and Brandish get too close before they realize an owlbear, bloody beaked, charges over the hill of meat to protect its kill.

Eira: 150 XP
Navena: 150 XP
Songberg: 150 XP


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