Chasing the Former Besiegers
Where the frost giants' trail gets warmer

17 Eleasias 1372
(I lost my calendar notes starting at this point of the campaign, so this is unfortunately the last exact date of the Frostfell adventure log.)

As the party of five makes its way toward the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, everyone spots obvious traces of battle. Only a few hundred yards from the monastery’s walls, themselves damaged as though by siege engines, lie the corpses of two frost giants, many human-sized lesser giants known as taers, and a few feral garguns, savage relatives of goliaths, all spread between human-sized boulders. Most bodies are marked by flames and bludgeons, but two appear untouched, as though they had died from exhaustion in the middle of battle.

Skipping the sinister scene, the party heads straight to the monastery’s door where they’re greeted by a pair of grey-robed monks armed with heavy crossbows. It takes only a few words, however, before the party is told to hurry inside, the massive stone doors closed right on their heels. The desolation is just as great on the inside. Boulders cover most of the visible ground, and entire wall sections lie in rubble. One of the monks explains that a tribe of frost giants and their minions had recently laid siege to the monastery, seeking to get their hands on some ancient maps of the White Worm Glacier from the library. Though they were no match for the Grandmaster of Flowers Cantoule and his strongest monks, and would have been defeated eventually, the monastery had already lost four acolytes in the first few skirmishes. Rather than let further suffering take place, Cantoule had reluctantly resolved to give the giant the maps they so wanted. Shortly after, the entire tribe at lifted the siege and headed west on the Glacier. Luckily, one of the clerics took care to make copies of the maps before giving the original away. As the party finds out by searching the monastery’s archives that evening, it seems there was once a tribe of human barbarians worshiping Ulutiu, Larena’s patron deity, living on the Glacier of the White Worm. Though they’ve all disapeared a long time ago, their places of worship might still exist, and the map the giants stole shows the location of such a site. Furthermore, the the party learns that the Glacier itself seems to have once been a part of the Great Glacier that remained behind when the latter retreated over two thousand years ago. As far as the monks know, the Glacier of the White Worm is too far south to have perdured that long, yet it still stands mostly intact after two millenia.

The next day, the party goes out on the battlefield to search for tracks left by the giants, Galen and Lazoryel easily find the days-old footprints, but the tracks disappear where the giants set foot on the solid ice where the glacier meets the Earthspur Mountains. However, a sidetrack leads them to a cave relatively close to the monastry. As the group enters, they are quickly ambushed by a pair of gargun barbarians. The chokepoint makes it a hard fight, but the party manages to subdue one, and the second surrender when it’s made clear the newcomers are not in league with the frost giants. As it happened, the tunnel leads to an secret exit underneath the monastry of Ilmater. As the entry is too tight for them, the giants sent two of their garguns slaves to sneak in and hopefully steal the maps they needed. The doorto the monastery, however, is solidly barred and warded with spells. Rather than go back after a failure and suffer the giants’ wrath, the two garguns, despite havin no food nor water, decided to act as though they’d been caught and hide in the cave until the giants would leave. The giants did send two taers after the garguns, but they’d been easily dispatched by the same ambush they would use against the group of adventurers. The garguns are relunctant to go fight the giants, even if two of them are dead by that point, but they agree to lead the party in view of the giants’s based camp, telling them to be especially wary of a frost giant shaman with white hair and glowing eyes.

The camp is located above a sixty-foot tall icy cliff. From the bottom, all that can be seen is a group of hide tents. There’s no smoke burning nor any noise. It looks very well like the camp is abandoned. As Lazoryel flies above the cliff to make sure, however, a taer gets out of one of the tents and impales him with a harpoon. Unable to dislodge the barbed head, Lazoryel is pulled toward the cliff as two more taers guards come out. With the pain affecting his concentration, the fey’ri has little chances to win against three foes with ranged weapons. Using one of his soulmelds, Dragonkiller manages to climb onto a ledge halfway up the cliff but is jumped on and knocked prone by one of the taers. Galen gets ready to shoot it down, but the third taer hits hits him with a tanglefoot bag, greatly diminishing the archer’s effectiveness. Larena contributes to the fight by summoning a giant owl to rake at the taers atop the cliff, and then throw flames at the one attacking Dragonkiller, but she too gets englued by a tanglefoot bag. Meanwhile, Ruknar takes the shape of a great hunting cat, and simply climbs the vertical wall by planting his claws in the ice. By the time he gets to the top, Lazoryel is nearly has dropped unconscious. Ripping his weapon from the fey’ri’s stomach, the taer plants it in Ruknar’s flank, preventing the druid to pounce on him. Fortunately, at this time, Dragonkiller has been freed from his attacker and has reached the summit where he’s started to fight the third and last taer. A few instants later, the three giants are taken care of, and ropes can be lowered so the rest of the team can take its time to climb the cliff and heal the wounded. Impressed by the display of strength they’ve just witnessed, the two garguns rush catch up with the party at the top of the escapment and, convinced such a group can take even the fearful shaman, swear to accompany them on the glacier and do whatever they can to help fight the frost giants.

Aided by their own copy of the map, the group is able to follow the steps of the frost giants until they finally where a fresh deposit of snow on the ice allows them to spot some more tracks. The part follows them for a while until a strong tremor knocks most of them down. Looking for the source of this unnatural earthquake allows them to spot a 15-feet tall frost giant charging toward them along with a pack of winter wolves. Fortunately, while the layer of snow on the ground grealy slows down the frost giants and the garguns, none of the five adventurers is more than inconvenienced by this. Lazoryel somply flies above the ice. As a druid of the frostfell, Ruknar is unimpaired by cold or snow, and Galen’s experience as a scout allows him to ignore most terrain that would slow others down. The pair of boots of the winterlands Larena has acquired in Damara allow her to travel across the thickest snow or most slippery ice at normal speed, while the greaves Dragonkiller has shaped through his soulmelds grant him the same effect. The five wisely choose to back away slowly and focus their fire or flames and arrows on the charging giant. When the winter wolves catch up with them, the giant is still fifty feet away and heavily wounded while his opponents still don’t have as much as a scratch. The giant proves his deadly strength once he manages to get in melee reach, but Dragonkiller enters his mountain rage and uses his spiked chain to trip the giant on his back. The others make small work of the winter wolves and then turn toward their master, who doesn’t stand much of a chance against the focussed fire of everyone. As they loot the body, Ruknar finds a metal choker in the giant’s bag, and as the item radiates a strong magic aura, he swiftly puts it around his neck.

Searching the area, the party eventually finds a large, almost perfectly round hole in the ice that leads far underground in a gentle slope.The walls of the tunnel look like someone had recently melted and refrozen the ice of the glacier. Before the party can go any further, a second, more powerful tremor shakes the ground and sends most of the group down once again. Less than a minute later, a giant white centipede, which Lazoryel identifies as a remorhaz, emerges from the tunnel, a choker similar to the one Ruknar found, a metal chain trailing from it all the way to the wrist of a dead frost giant. The giant beast swiftly attacks the one blocking its way, grabbing Dragonkiller in its mandible before diving back under the ice as though it were no thicker than mud. Before the party could decide what to do, the remorhaz resurfaces a hundred feet later, spitting out Dragonkiller, apparently too hard to chew. Instead, the monster decides to dive toward the two garguns, left a little behind as they trod in the snow. After one is caught in the remorhaz’ mouth, the other climbs onto the beast’s back to try and free his friend. The remorhaz then plunges again under the solid ice, vanishing along with the two garguns. Once more, the ground shakes, even more strongly than before.

Considering their options, the party resolves to enter the tunnel under the glacier. The frost giant shaman the garguns warned them about is still unaccounted for, and whatever the frost giants were planning to do in the ancient shrine to Ulutiu, the five adventurers are the only ones with the chance to stop them.

Ships Ahoy!
Where the party members pretend to be pirates

Shieldmeet 1372
Abord the Stroudhold, captain Tselner Woolman quickly tries to calm everyone down by explaining the situation to the group. Tselner Woolman and his partner Olrik have recently sold their shipment of wool and linen to merchants of Lyrabar and were taking a break from the purchase of goods to bring back by watching a few chosen events of the Alabaster Cup games when they spotted Ruknar and Dragonkiller among the contestants, planning to make both of them a business offer after the games were over. All that had changed with the recent events when Dragonkiller was taken in custody by the city watch while Ruknar, Galen, and Larena were doing their best to escape them. Having a ship ready to set sail in the harbor, Woolman made a quick change of plans and arranged for the five companions to be brought on board and leave to the sea. The crew was none too happy with the sudden decision, though, as legend says that a ship setting sail on the Sea of Fallen Stars on Shieldmeet is doomed not to reach land again until the next Shieldmeet, if at all.

Furthermore, leaving in such a hurry meant there hadn’t been time to load all the goods the ship can hold, so in compensation for getting them out of trouble, Tselner gets his five new passengers to repay him the equivalent of his lost profit. At around two hundred gold pieces per head, the companions are forced to agree the pice is reasonable. On the plus side, though the merchant ship is not intended to have quarters for more than its small crew, not having had the time to fill the hold means a room can be freed for the five new passengers. Though cramped, the five adventurers will have to get used to their new quarters. With none of the five having ever been on a ship, they’d be more of a hindrance than anything on deck and, given the grand escape he’d pulled, Woolman would rather not dock in any city allied with Lyrabar, meaning the ship will have to remain at sea at least until it reaches The Vast, a tenday and a half later at best.

Not even a day after leaving, though, Galen gets seasick, which threatens to make the small, improvised quarters unlivable. Blaming thw windowless room, Woolman offers to move him upsatairs in his own quarters. Though he’ll end up with even less room, the fresh sea air should allow Galen fight off the nausea.

As for the offer he’d been planning to make to Ruknar and Dragonkiller, Tselner Woolman happens to have entered a partnership with some of the owners of the gladiatorial arena in Hillsfar. During his travels, he keeps an eye open for potential gladiators. If they agree to, Woolman then brings them to Hillsfar, where he receives a percentage of the money gained by his recruits. To be worth his time, the fighters he hires have to be more than competent, but with the skill they’ve shown in Lyrabar, Ruknar and Dragonkiller could easily gain great fame in Hillsfar, and earn thousands of gold pieces a year, even after Woolman has taken his cut. The offer sounds tempting, but the oracle’s prophecy might be more urgent. However, since they’ll all be at sea for more than a tenday, both can take their time to think it over, and give their final decision when the ship reaches Calaunt.

6 Eleasias 1372
In an effort to stay clear of the cities of Tsurlagol and Procampur while advancing as swiftly as possible, the Stroudhould passes through territory controlled by the pirates of the Fallen Stars. In the middle of the night, the adventurers are awakened by strong shakes of the hull, and a huge ballista bolt piercing the hull of their cabin just above the waterline. One of the sailors comes to warn them that the ships is being attacked by pirates. Given that they’re all experienced warriors, captain Woolman requests their assistance on the deck. Upstairs, they se a large jet-black ship filled with goblins has already grappled the Stroudhould. The pirates have already asked for surrender but, confident that he can repel the atack, captain Woolman intends to fight them off.

There are no signs of Galen or Mark, the rogue who’d dragged Lazoryel on the ship, anywhere but the party’s attention is quickly drawn elsewhere. Before they can properly assess the situation, two of the Stroudhold’s deckhands are shot dead and captain Woolman himself is rendered unable to fight by a poisoned crossbow bolt. Working along with Olrick, Dragonkiller, Ruknar, Lazoryel, and Larena manage to push the first wave of goblin raiders back on their own ship. Falling back, the goblins burn the grappling ropes, setting fire to the stroudhold deck. While Larena and the deckhands try to douse the flames and patch the holes in the hull, Dragonkiller jumps on the black ship, encouraging Olrick to follow, and starts knocking goblin in the sea while Lazoryel covers them with arrows and magic. Despite the goblin ship being filled with booby traps and weakened floors designed to hinder human-sized foes, the two big warriors slowly make their way through any goblin that tries to fight back. For a moment, Dragonkiller is thought lost when a catapult trap sends him overboard, but a clever choice of soulmelds allows him to catch up with the ships and climb back onboard.

Meawhile, Ruknar discreetly goes looking for Galen in the captain’s cabin. There, he finds Galen unconscious and bound with rope on a bedroll, with Mark twitching and threatening to stab him if Ruknar doesn’t go back to fight off the pirates. Ruknar instead charges in the cabin and ends up fighting Mark in melee for the better part of the pirate assault. When he emerges victorious from the cabin, each of the goblin raiders has either been killed or sent overboard. However, with a few flames still raging here and there and the gaping hole in the hull, the Stroudhold is taking water at an ever-incresing rate, faster than anyone can pump it out of the hold. At Woolman’s orders, the Stroudhold’s sailor have used their own grappling lines to pull the undamaged black ship back closer. After taking the dead or wounded, as well as all the cargo that can be hastily carried to the other ship, the ropes are cut and the black ship taken away as to not be dragged by the whirlppol formed as the Stroudhold sinks.

When Mark regains consciousness, he’s held above the water by an angry Rukar. Pleading desperately, Mark claims he will do anything the former prisoners ask if they just spare his life. Jokingly, Ruknar says he will consider it should Mark convert to the worship of Auril. Mark instantaneously starts making up praises to the greatness and power of Auril. Unimpressed, Ruknar drops him overboard nontheless.

13 Eleasias 1372
The former pirate ship makes its first definitive stop at Calaunt. After four days of rest and news gathering, along with what information Captain Woolman has gladly given them as a sign of good faith during the second half of the journey, the party is able to confirm that a large group of frost giants, perhaps the same that was spotted in the Damaran countryside, was recently seen marching on the Glacier of the White Worm around the ilmatarite Monastery of the Yellow Rose.

17 Eleasias 1372
Agreeing to one last favor before they part way, hopefully never to see each other again, Tselner Woolman uses his magic to teleport the group on the frigid peaks of the eastern Earthspur Mountains, within sight of the Monastery, before casting his magic again to get back to his newfound ship.

The Alabaster Cup
Where our heroes aim for the gold

30 Flamerule 1372
Having passed the qualification rounds, the five are allowed among the roster of twenty-four contestants. On the very first day, Galen manages to rank second in the archery event, then Dragonkiller and him take the first two places in the gigantic gauntlet built in the middle of the city’s stadium. Later that day, Ruknar takes on the shape of a bear and beats Dragonkiller in the final match of the wrestling event. Taking advantage of the small fame he’s gained, Dragonkiller goes to the stand of an armorsmith selling his wares to the contestants and makes a deal, borrowing a suit of full-plate from him while leaving behind a magical sword he still hasn’t used as deposit, while making sure to tell everyone who asks who the maker of the armor is as payment for using it. In the contestants lockers, Dragonkiller also meets a human barbarian named Natarra, who is quite impressed by his strength and size, and whi whom he develops a friendly rivalry, making bets on which of the two will fait the best on the following events.

31 Flamerule 1372
The second day of competitions starts with a horseback joust. His horse slowed down by the weight of his rider and the armor he’s wearing, Dragonkiller doesn’t manage to rank any point, but with his mother’s longspear bringing him luck, Lazoryel finishes third. The joust is followed by a hunt in the nearby Gray Forest with prizes for those who bring the biggest trophies in time for the royal cooks to prepare them for the evening’s banquet. Using his tracking skills, Ruknar stumbles upon a wounded unicorn being beaten to death by one of the other contestants. The man, who reveals himself to be a banite monk of the Iron Gauntlet offers Ruknar five hundred easy gold pieces to just look the other way and let him finish his job. Without a care for the unicorn, but hating being told what to do, Ruknar instead takes his bear shape, charges the monk, and kills him, then takes his gold pieces and lets the unicorn escape. With luck smiling on him, Lazoryel brings back a pair of dire wolverines which assure him of the third place. Meanwhile, Galen spot a huge dire boar which he starts riddling with arrows, but the boar intends to fight back, and Galen is forced into melee combat, a fight he might have lost if Ruknar hadn’t rushed after hearing the boar’s cries a minute earlier. Owing Ruknar a large favor, Galen thus takes the hunt’s first place, with the barbarian Natarra finishing second.

Just before the banquet, everyone is troubled by the news that one of the contestants has been found dead in the wood. To make matters worse, another contestant who was supposed to take part in the hunt has disappeared at some point since the last evening, as has the armorsmith to whom Dragonkiller had left his magic sword. During the banquet itself, the contestants get the chance to meet many of Lyrabar’s nobles and socialites, as well as a good number of Impilturan paladins. Each contestant is then asked to make a show to impress the queen, who will then decide the winners of this event. Passing his shapeshifting as illusions, Lazoryel manages to be named second. While Ruknar’s and Larena’s tales don’t impress the crowd as much, they manage to let slip passages of the prophcy they’re following, leading scholars and paladins to discuss it with them during the meal. However, they stop talking with paladins when one of them lets slip that he has good reasons to believe that a group of travellers wanted for murder near the northern border might be hiding in the capital city. To make matter worse, the party meets with Melvas the Red, who has finally caught up with them. He’s well aware that they are the ones wanted for murder throughout the country, but vows not to denounce him as long as they promise to work with him afterwards, which makes the group none too pleased to say the least, and might have pushed Ruknar to take the form of a bear and lunge for his throat if the whole scene hadn’t taken place during the queen’s banquet. Before leaving, Melvas does reveal to th eparty that Lazoryel’s abilities come from the fact that he’s not an avariel as he claims, but rather a fey’ri, a race with nearly as much demon blood as sun elf running in ther veins, a fact which he also uses to blackmail the party. As Melvas leaves, Ruknar and Larena both spot a metallic brooch underneath his red cloak, one displaying a lyre in a diamond, just like Barend’s.

Shieldmeet 1372
After two days of competition, Galen, Lazoryel, and Dragonkiller all still have their chances to leave with the famed Alabaster Cup in their hands. The third and final day of competition starts with series of mageduels in which both Lazoryel and Larena take place. For once, Larena’s powers are allowed to shine and she finishes in first place, able to defeat every one of her opponents. Lazroyel nearly ranks third but gets eliminated when the Evereskan sun elf wizards he’s dueling forces him to flee with her fear spell. He would later take his revenge the way he knows best: by altering his shape and using his magic to seduce her and bring her to an inn’s bedroon.

The last event of the games consisting of a series of armed duels, only Dragonkiller chooses to enter, while Larena, Ruknar, and Galen cheer for his from the bleachers. The goliath slowly makes his way up and defeats his first three opponents. As he is figthing for first place in the final fight of the event against a masked swordsman who dared to show up with the goliath’s own stolen magic sword, royal guards and paladins block all entrances to the arena and ask the crowd to leave one by one, filtering every single person passing. Afraid they’d been recognized by one of the paladins at the queen’s banquet the day before, or maybe denounced by Melvas, Galen and Larena climb over the bleachers and jump down down. They’re unfortunately quickly surrounded by guards for whom Larena summons a pack of ice wolves to serve as a distraction while she and Galen escape in the city’s streets. They’re stopped by a giant of a man who claims he has a ship ready to leave in the harbor which they can use to flee the city, assuring them that their friends will be brought on board as well. Ruknar, escapes the stadium easily by taking the shape of an eagle, and follows his friends from the airs all the way to the harbor. As for Lazoryel, who becomes aware of the commotion as he leaves the inn, he’s stopped by a lean man telling him that his friends are currently escaping toward a hip in the harbor. But when Lazoryel refuses to follow him or believe his story, he’s knocked unconscious by a sap and dragged toward the sea.

Unaware of the reasons for the commotion, Dragonkiller is removing his plate armor in the contestants’ locker when royal guards come to arrest him regarding a case of murder. Convinced that he’s done nothing wrong and can easily argue his innocence in time to receive his Alabaster Cup, he lets the guards take him away. Just a few minutes later, however, the goliath and his four-man escort are put to sleep by a magic spell, and four sailors come out to stuff Dragonkiller in a large chest and carry it as swiftly as possible to the harbor.

When Dragonkiller comes to his senses, he’s surrounded by Ruknar, Larena, Galen, and a still uncounscious Lazoryel, all aboard the Stroudhold, a merchant’s ship quickly leaving the port before the guards can realize what’s going on and board a boat to catch up. The captain Tselner Woolman is very pleased to finally meet with warriors as competent as the five before him, and offers the party to take them all the way to the Moonsea, for a small sum they’ll have weeks to agree on.

Hiding in Plain Sight
Where the party flees Impilturan justice by entering the capital's highest-profile competition

10 Flamerule 1372
On their way south on the Herald’s Road, Dragonkiller begins to develop the ability to shape ghostly equipment from what he claims to be the souls of the dead and of those yet to be born. Farther from home than he’s ever been and heading on a journey on which no one can foresee the end, Galen takes upon the group’s two divine spellcaster and starts offering daily prayers to Shaudakûl.

While setting down for the night near the Rawlinswood, the party is approached by a centaur offering them to trade magical items and weapons he has acquired but cannot use for others which might be more beneficial to him. Ruknar and Larena sense something fishy about the creature but follow anyway as it leads them through tall grass to its lair. Once the party members are spread apart in the undergrowth, the centaur changes into an eight-foot tall, four-eyed ape-like monster, which Lazoryel identifies as a dangerous shapeshifting Uthraki, and starts rending prey with its four claws while taking advantage of the concealment provided by the darkness and tall grass. Despite its strength, the monster falls to the combined skill of the five adventurers. Following its tracks, Galen leads the group to the real lair, where they spot the bony remains of less fortunate travellers as well as a few magical items, which they claim as spoils of war. Intrigued by his second encounter with a shapechanger in less than a month, Ruknar starts attenting to master the drudic ability to take animal shapes.

14 Flamerule 1372
About the reach the first towns on the Impilturan side of the boarder under a heavy rainstorm, the group is stopped by three soldiers in armor with the country’s coat of arms blocking a bridge over the Imphras River. Noting the party’s rich clothing and masterwork weapons, they try to swindle them by charging an “adventuring” entry tax of 200 gp per head. When Lazoryel attempts to simply fly past the River, two of the soldiers fire their bows at him, narrowly missing him and promising to correct their aim should he refuse to pay or turn back. Taking out the new giant-sized spiked chain he’s crafted under Barend’s guidance, Dragonkiller tries to bully the guards into letting them pass freely. The third guard panicks and swings his longsword at the goliath. The skirmish escaltes into a full battle ending with the death of the three guards. Afraid someone might find the corpses and possibly use magic to divine what has occured, the five travellers push the guards and their armor over the bridge’s wall in the middle of the River and continue their journey to the south.

18 Flamerule 1372
At Ilmwatch, the party enters the biggest town they’ve seen since leaving the area around Heliogabalus. They stop for a few days and take advantage of the trading port to resell most of the Uthraki’s hoard and hire wizards to enchant some of their weapons and armors. While the eork gets done, they make the most of their time in Ilmwatch by inquiring about local rumors and paying for the best lodging, food, or women they can afford, accoding to each person’s tastes. On their second morning, they discover wanted posters in their inns common room promising a ransom for a group worryingly similar to them – a winged elf, a woman in a parka, a half-orc archer, a tall human with shaggy hair and beard, and a huge, bald humanoid with rocky growths all over his skin – accused of the murder of three border guards. They quickly pick up their goods and head on the road again, hoping to beat the news of their crime. Without horses, however, they quickly realize that the word has been ahead of them in every city they enter, all the way to the capital of Lyrabar, often forcing all but the shapeshifting Lazoryel to camp out of sight of the city walls.

29 Flamerule 1372
The closer they get to Lyrabar, the more they hear people talking about the upcoming Alabaster Cup competitions, apparently held every four years in honor of the queen. Even a misguided ghost encountered a few days earlier had tried to attack the party, challenfging them for the title of champion in the Shieldmeet games. Despite potential trouble with the law, they all agree that it’s their best chance to see and maybe talk with the queen and her paladins, who do fly on bronze dragons. And that point aside, Dragonkiller’s contagious over-competitiveness convinces everyone to attempt to win that tournament. In order to avoid being arrested, all but Dragonkiller take on new identities, Lazoryel using his shapeshifting abilities to pass as a sun elf, Ruknar getting his head and beard shaven, and Larena trading her parka for summer outfits skimpier than those worn by most young Impilturan girls – a gift to her from Lazoryel.

A Caravan Guard's Job - Part 2
Where the party fights mutant sea snakes and dwarven blacksmiths before meeting with the king

27 Kythorn 1372
Resuming their trek on the King’s Road, the party is stopped once again just a ferry away from the Damaran capital of Heliogabalus. With the unusually hot summer and the glacier melting in the north, the Pelauvir River had swollen to twice its normal width and its current was still stronger than it would usually get in the spring. Furthermore, along with the waters had come a gigantic sea snake, the kind which is normally content to stay in its remote icy lake. The last two ferries crossing from the Heliogabalus had been attacked by the beast, and while both had managed reached the other side safely, they now need extensive repair and most of one’s cargo had been left overboard. And with no one able to report back to the other side, it could be days before the king is even made aware of the situation.

With no other way to get Barend’s goods across and no wish to waste any more time, the party volunteers to take an empty barge to lure the snake. When it finally shows up and starts to attack the boat, Lazoryel uses his shapeshifting powers to take the shape of a sea elf and dives in the river to battle the monster. Their swimming abilities augmented by the magic of Ruknar and Larena, Galen and Dragonkiller soon follow to do the same while the spellcasters summon ice creatures and aquatic beasts to support their allies and Barend works to patch the cracks in the boat’s floor. During the fight, Ruknar and Larena spot a badge with a golden lyre in a diamond that Barend hides under his vest, but the dwarf assures them that it’s nothing woth talking about. When the monster is at last defeated, the barge goes back to the south shore to pick up Barend’s cart, allowing everyone to finally reach the city of Heliogabalus before the day is over.

29 Kythorn 1372
While entering the gates to the inner city of Heliogabalus, the party learns that the real Barend Balderk has been back in his forge for three weeks already, heading back earlier than planned after escaping with his life when a dwarven look-alike and his thugs robbed him of all his possessions on the other side of the Galena Mountains. Identified as the imposter, the dwarf the party has been travelling with is taken by the guard and thrown in prison while his cart is confiscated to be given back to the true Barend. Having known the real Barend for years and certain he couldn’t have been fooled during a whole month, Dragonkiller convinces the rest of the party to help prove his friend’s identity. During the “fake” Barend’s trial, they manage to catch the other in his lies and magic is used to force him to reveal his true identity as a doppelganger. It’d been trying to use Barend’s contacts and reputation not only as a merchant and weaponsmith, but as an ally to the secret organization known as the Harpers. It tries to escape but is easily caught by the party, despite them not having brought any weapons in the courthouse, and thrown in a cell while the real Barend is set free. But when a cleric Tyr that everyone has just seen leaving the courthouse is found unconscious in a back room, the party realizes the doppelganger is on the loose again and everyone rushes outside to track it in the surrounding streets, only a few minutes behind. As the doppelganger eventually finds itself alone in a dark alley with Dragonkiller, it strikes first and deals a nearly wound to the goliath, but using his rage over what has been done to his dwarven friend, Dragonkiller pins it to he ground and breaks his neck.

5 Flamerule 1372
Word begins to spread about how the party defeated the monster attacking the ferries and how they helped the city’s justice stop a criminal, and eventually reaches the royal palace. The audience the party had asked for, which they normally could have been granted after months of wait, if ever, is given them after less than a tenday. Though unimpressed by their manners, King Gareth Dragonsbane sees the good intentions behind the party’s quest. The king himself does not know much about the prophecy, but regarding the “men of faith flying on dragon wings”, he can tell them that in the allied land of Impiltur to the south, Queen Sambryl’s paladins ride on the back of bronze dragons. They also learn that a group of frost giants has been attacking travellers on the King’s Road, just a few days behind the party, and had last been seen heading south. So three days later, armed with new weapons bought at a discount from Barend, the group of five heads south on the Merchant’s Run, toward the Impilturan capital city of Lyrabar.

A Caravan Guard's Job is Never Easy
Where the party fights underground aberrations and evil dwarven enchanters, and chooses not to explore the Underdark, all in a month' work

3 Kythorn 1372
On their way south, Ruknar, Dragonkiller, and Larena stop by the fortified town of Palischuk for supplies. While there, they sell a few of the items they have taken in Icefoot or found in the orc camp and use the money to hire guides who know the roads and can take them safely all the way to the land Damara. The two guides they find were the half-orc scout Galen Starag, a native of Palischuk, and his avariel warmage friend Lazoryel, who has left his tribe’s aerie a few years earlier and ended up taking mercenary jobs in the Bloodstone Lands.

9 Kythorn 1372
After days of walking, the group of five stops at the Vaasan Gate, on the western end of the Bloodstane Pass, the only safe and practical pass through the Galena Mountains between Damara and Vaasa. By chatting with merchants, adventurers, and other travellers, they quickly learn that the pass has been blocked by a landslide that some witnesses claim as having been magically conjured by a group of stone giants. Teams of workers have already been sent to clear the path, but the pass likely won’t reopen for more than a month. Galen and Lazoryel are confident they could take their three patrons above of around the landslide, but an encounter with hostile stone giants would most likely spell certain doom for all of them. That’s when Dragonkiller spots Barend Balderk among the packed merchants, a dwarf weaponsmith who visits his goliath tribe every year in the Western Galena Mountains, and whom Galen has also seen in Palischuk a few times in the past. After a night of tales and ales, Barend confesses to his goliath friend that, though the landslide is stopping him to bring his cart of ore and gems to Damara, he might know of another way, one that passes through an empty bloodstone mine, wends tunnels connected to the Underdark, and should end up in the hills on the other side. Barend had fired his previous caravan guards upon reaching the Vaasan Gate, afraid they’d be little more than deadweight against monsters of the Underdark, but with Aukan and his four companions, they could surely all make it safely to the other side. By beating the other caravans by a month, Barend could make a pretty profit, part of which he’d be willing to share with those who’d helped him.

10 Kythorn 1372
Late the next day, the whole group starts making its way through the abandonned bloodstone mine. As Barend has promised, one of the shafts keeps going east and down though a series of natural caverns. It’s here that the others first witness Lazoryel’s shapechanging abilities, easily taking the form of a kobold or troglodyte to to pass through spaces and block incoming hits. Every bit as dangerous as promised, the lower caves are filled with strange and deadly creatures unlike anything you’d see aboveground. But the worst danger came from the world above. About halfway through the mountains, the party meets with Treknah, a dwarf enchanter who’d been cast out of Barend’s clan a long time ago, and has since used his magic to rally forces of evil humanoids in the Underdark, pallning to get revenge on those who have cast him out. Throwing everything they have left, Barend and his escort take out Treknah and his duergar bodyguards. Barend then uses a jar of delver slime he’d had in his cart all along to seal the cave whence the duergars had come out. Questionned about whether he’d known about Treknah’s presence before entering the caves, Barend’s answer give no clear indication one way or the other. A few days later, the group sees the sun again as they finally emerge from the Galena Mountains, now on the Damaran side.

Secret of the Oracle
Where the party is sent to fulfill a mystic prophecy

14 Mirtul 1372
Led by northern lights that Aukan sees as the souls of dead warriors and goliaths yet to be born, but which Ruknar interprets as a manifestation of Auril’s will, the party arrives to a rocky spire jutting from the glacier. On their way up, they realize that they were being watched, but can not discover by whom. After two days of climbing, they discover the mountain is inhabited, and all three are taken prisonners in the middle of an avariel aerie. However, after a good night’s rest, Aukan is able to break his restraints, free his companions, and threaten the avariels. It is then revealed that an ice weird, a powerful spellcasting creature from the elemental planes, has made its lair in a cave atop the spire.

18 Mirtul 1372
As the most likely thing Auril might have been pointing to if she had indeed sent an omen, the party resolves to meet the oracle. They finish climbing the spire and reach a cave with a large pool out of churning ice, though with no orcale in sight. Wishing to test the pool, Ruknar randomly shoves Iri forward. As her foot touches the ice, she is instantly turned into an ice statue, which slowly sinks to the bottom. Peering through the chunks of ice for a chance to pull Iri out, Ruknar and Aukan spot giant blocks of ice floating in emptiness, alien creatures unlike anything they’ve ever seen or heard about, and a humanoid shape, seeming to fly fight in their direction. The shape belongs to a human woman who crashes in the cave, nearly getting impaled but Ruknar’s spear. She introduces herself as Larena, and claims to be an Uluik shaman who’s been drawn in another portal. Before further introductions could be made, a large humanoid-looking elemental arises from the pool. Stating that it wishes to test the humanoids in front of it, it summons a group of ice and water elementals, which the three adventurers manage to dispatch. The weird then reveals itself as the oracle, statting that a group of giants is about to greatly disrupt the balance of law and chaos in northern Faerûn, that only the ones standing in front of her, along with a fourth one, could restore the correct order, and that the way to do so lies far to the south, “By the roses above the land where men of faith fly on dragon wings”. Believing to be destind to fulfill a prophecy, the three adventurers deceide to head back together toward the plains of Vaasa.

23 Mirtul 1372
On their way back south, the party stops for the night near the ruins of the burnt orc village. Unable to rest, the orc shaman’s soul had risen back as a ghost and tries to possess each of the others one by one to get a chance for revenge against Obould himself. With the help of Larena’s abilities, the ghost is chastised and flees to the west, never to be seen again. Later the same day, the party encounters a juvenile white dragon looking for preys. Though a dangerous opponent, the party manages to get the upper hand. After dealing the killing blow to the beast with his greatsword, Aukan awards himself the goliath honorific of “Dragonkiller”.

30 Mirtul 1372
Back in the village of Icefoot, the party makes its camp once again in the upper floor of Melvas’ tower. To keep themselves warm, they make a fire out of broken wooden furniture and some of Melvas’ spellbooks. When they get ready to leave the next day, however, Melvas himself appears in Icefoot, angered by the destruction of his rare spellbooks, but even moreso by the party’s involvement in the death of his apprentice Iri. Though he claims not to be a murderer himself, he swears to one day make Ruknar and Dragonkiller pay for their crimes, even if he has to follow them to the end of the world for that.

Onto the Great Glacier
Where adventurers meet by chance and learn about a strange group of giants

1 Mirtul 1372
In what is slowly showing to be the hottest summer in recent history in the Cold Lands, Ruknar the Vaasan druid of Auril heads toward the small village of Icefoot at the start of the only trail between Vaasa and Sossal, hoping to reach cross the Great Glacier to find his mother’s family in Sossal. A few miles from the village, he encounters Aukan Gathakanathi, a goliath barbarian on a spiritual quest, and Iri, an apprentice to Icefoot’s resident wizard Melvas the Red, gathering spell component. As they are about to reach Icefoot, an avalanche sends tons of snow towards the village. The three escape mostly unscathed but Icefoot and its residents are buried alive. The three take refuge in the only building rising above the snow, the three-storied tower of the wizard Melvas.

5 Mirtul 1372
While looking around Icefoot with Melvas’ spyglass, Ruknar spots a pair of giants watching from above the glacier’s edge. Ruknar, Aukan, and Iri climb up to find the corpses of a stone, a hill, and, most strangely, a fire giant, all half-burried in the rubble left by the avalanche. While the three have been dead for a few days, the tracks of two other large humanoids lead on the Great Glacier. After getting back to Icefoot to pick up everthing they might need, Ruknar, Aukan, and Iri begin to follow the giants’ tracks.

8 Mirtul 1372
After a few days, walk, a light fall of melting snow causes Ruknar to lose sight of the tracks. What they do find is find a group of dead orcs placed in a strange pattern surrounded by half-erased drawings apparently representing the symbols of no less than six different giant gods. Though they showed wounds and bruises, the orcs seemed to have been knocked unconscious and left to die from the cold. One of them, a shaman of Gruumsh, was still clinging to life and could be saved by healing magic. While he didn’t know where the giants had gone, he could lead his rescuers to his camp, where someone might know.

9 Mirtul 1372
Once at the orc camp, all that is left is a burning ruin with a graffiti in orcish simply stating: “FOLLOW OBOULD OR DIE”. The orc shaman rushes into the flames but the roof collapses before he can get out. With no more lead, the party resumes his trek north on the Great Glacier.


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