Mirthal 15th, 638 CF
Niles Weatherby parts company from us and offers his hospitality if we should ever come to Wexford.
We journey upstairs for a short time and gather some food and drink from the Chief Nosra’s kitchen. After eating and taking a short rest we re-enter the lower level. Our plan is to explore the dungeons and root out any pockets of evil before leaving the Steading.
Our first new discovery is a torture chamber, it is filled with all of the implements of the trade. Phariss takes a gold chain with a fire opal from the chamber.
Suddenly from behind we hear footsteps running quickly away from us. We spot a small group of cowardly bugbears running down the hall. We give chase. Brak lowers his bow and tries to fire a shot, the bow string snaps against his hand and the arrow flies off target. Grumbling to himself Brak tosses his bow to the side and hefts out his two handed axe. Phariss corners a lame bugbear and viciously slashes it with his sword. A black crackling energy surrounds the creature and it begins to scream about being blinded! What kind of weapon does Phariss now wield? I attempt to join the fray but fumble my sword when drawing it forth and before I can regain control the battle is won and the bugbears are slain.
Umurad Amrad the Soul Reaper
Our interest is drawn to Phariss’s new sword. Maeglin looks over the weapon and reads the dwarven runes upon the blade. He tells us that the sword is Umurad Amrad or the Soul Reaper the Dark Blade of Vengeance. He tells us that the blade was forged with the purpose to slay the enemies of dwarves. It was crafted in Stonehaven in ancient times by master weaponsmith, Theothal Trollkiller of the Stoneshield clan. It was passed to many decedents before it was lost by Grim Ironfists while adventuring in the Drifts. It was later possessed by a half-orc king, Varkgorim, who used it to slay his rivals and take charge of his clan, the Blooddrinkers. It was taken from the orcs when a paladin, Sir Gavenus the Mighty, slayed the orc king. The knight kept the sword until he was slain in battle. It was always rumored that the sword was stolen by a thief during the battle’s aftermath. Its fate since then was unknown. Maeglin claims that sword was known to detect gems and other valuables, such as precious metals, and was used to find treasure stolen from the dwarves. A mighty weapon indeed.
Roryn Truesteele II
We continue exploring and find six dwarves chained to forges. We free them. The oldest and largest of the lot gives his name as Roryn Truesteele of the Stoneshield clan, and offers a year of service to me for his and his partner’s freedom. It is a pledge I accept. He tells us of how he and his fellow dwarves were waylaid by the giants near the city of Alon-Ruhn and taken here to work the forges. They had been traveling merchants, dealing in intricate dwarven toys. From the look of the forge they had been busy manufacturing arms and armor of various sizes. Are the giants preparing for war?
Roryn reveals the giants treasure horde, a cunningly hidden floor safe filled with 125 gold ingots. Phariss believes them to be worth 50 gold a piece.
Roryn’s partners arm themselves with weapons from the forge and say their farewells. We tell them the way out. Roryn gathers up some armor and an axe for himself. He is quite blunt in his speech.
Continuing on we find three cells, all filled with orc slaves. The evil creatures beg for freedom but we cannot grant it. The earlier fear that they might join with the orc king, Nambug and cause local problems comes to the surface again. With at least 30 to 50 orcs in the cells we are worried that freeing them would be a mistake. Those that are already free Phariss and Renee execute quickly. The remaining cells we leave locked. Evil creatures should perish.
Traveling down a long hall we encounter a pair of orc guards. They warn us to keep away. Figuring that this must be the orc kingdoms we decide to kill the guards and collapse the tunnel.
We find a chamber with a pool of water, fresh and clear, with a pair of steps descending into it. Renee and Brak explore the pool and find that it has an exit at the bottom that leads to a underground river. The river comes to the surface a mile or so from the Steading at a fresh water pond.
We continue to explore and find a room filled with barrels of strange, earthy wine. Maeglin calls it “underdark wine” and tells us that it is very valuable. Roryn takes some for himself, enjoying a bit of it before we set out again.
Mirthal 16th, 638 CF
Satisfied that the Steading has been cleared of giants and that the orc kingdom was buried behind a collapsed tunnel we return to village after burying the treasure, including the underdark wine in a nearby cave.
Mirthal 17th, 638 CF
We are greeted as heroes by the villagers! I am happy to be able to spend time with Wanji. We meet with Mufedi and inform him of the giants removal from the Steading.
Mirthal 18th to 20th, 638 CF
We return to the Steading and gather skins and hides for warmth. We gather hammer and spikes. Then we unfold the black metal chain, grasp the silver scroll tube and step into the loop.
We are magically transported to a frozen wasteland high in the mountains. The wind blows hard against us and whips the snow about making visibility difficult.
We spot a path through the snow and ice and decide to follow. Our goal is to find this next giant’s lair and put him to the sword as well.
Not far up the snow path we are assaulted by four shaggy haired white furred apes. The apes have a gaze that is strange to behold and can freeze a man in his steps.
They stand no chance against our might and are slayed quickly!
We continue to follow the trail of footsteps until we come to a massive rift in the glaciers surface. The rift stretches out before us, widening at the center before narrowing at the far end.
It is difficult to see down into the first because of the swirling winds that blow up snow. A pair of steep cliff walks straddle both sides of the rift. We journey down the right side and descend about fifty feet below the surface of the glacier. The wind is still dangerously strong and one must be careful as they walk near the edge. The cold penetrates the furs I have layered on myself.
We come to a cave, made completely of ice, the sunlight above penetrates into the ice casting everything with a blue-green hue. No torches are needed as all of the caves are lit in this way. The floors of the rough cavern are covered in a thick layer of old snow, except for a narrow path down the center. The ceiling as two or three men tall and easily large enough to accommodate a giant.
We find more of these weird white fired apes, or yeti. They attack aggressively. Maeglin launches a fire ball that explodes, melting some of cave and killing several at once. The others are dispatched by sword and axe. One of the creatures was wielding a sword that had a purple-blue glow to it. Renee takes this weapon. Maeglin, reads the runes once again and calls it Frostbight, Sword of the North.
We back track up to the top again and down the left side to another ice cave. We encounter seven frost giants!
They attempt to surround us on both sides. A group on one flank alternate attacks, closing with one member to strike with a large axe only to step away and allow his partners to throw huge chunks of ice at us. It was a bloody fight. Brak was seriously wounded, as was I. We were able to defeat them but were all badly injured. We gather up the giants treasure, gold chains, coins and such. Renee and I try to heal those most injured.
We retreat to the yeti cave and Brak moves an ice boulder in front of a small cul-de-sac cave sealing us inside. We plan to rest and attempt to gain entry then.
Mirthal 20th, 638 CF
We heal and rest for a day, Renee provides us with some healing balms and tasty wild berries and nuts. They rejuvenate the soul and heal your physical wounds as well.
We decide to remain along the western side of the rift and explore further down this cliffside. Moving along the wall we spot a mist filled cave. Phariss moves into it to see what may be inside. When he doesn’t return I enter in and slip on a slick sheet of ice. My families sword falls from my hand and nearly slides down a bottomless crack in the ice floor. Thank Morganti!
We move out from the cave and Phariss tells us about an ice cat that he saw in the mist. A second cave not thirty feet away is located on the same plateau and so we decide to journey into it. It is the lair of a pair of two snow leopards. I draw my sword to attack as does Phariss but before we can charge forward Renee befriends the two beasts and then even wrestles with them on the ground. When he comes out of the cave he is dusting off the leopard fur from his cloak. He tells us that cats have told him giants are close by. How does one speak to a cat?
Our search for giants is soon satisfied. When we turn the corner along the cliff path we spot a frost giant guarding a large cave opening. We retreat around the corner. Phariss and Sariya use magics to disappear. They plan to sneak attack the giant before he can alert his friends.
Phariss returns with out Sariya to tell us that he pushed the giant’s axe over the side when the guard went to urinate over the cliff edge.
Suddenly the frost giant guard comes barreling around the corner, unarmed! We make short work of him.
After killing the guard we advance to see two guards at the cave mouth. We charge them in a mad rush. They fall before our blades! We enter the cave and take the right hand passage. Slaying two sleeping guards before being discovered by four giant guards.
While we are fighting the first four giants, four more frost giants join the battle from another chamber.
When the battle finishes the room is filled with fog from the fiery magics unleashed by Maeglin and Renee.
Giants lay dead everywhere.
We recover some rock crystals but little other treasure.
Having cleared this area we move to the last cave on this ledge. It leads to a split passage with tunnels going off to the left and right. The right hand passage is marked with a warning rune. We ignore it and investigate. The tunnel is filled with old undisturbed snow that crunches under our feet. The tunnel comes to a end in a small cave. When we enter the cave the ivory colored snow begins to pulse with a pinkish-red light. It feels as if the very heat is being pulled from my body. As the warmth leaves my body the reddish glow grows in intensity. Sariya drops to the ground. Before anymore of us fall we quickly grab up Sariya and retreat down the tunnel.
We hike back to the yeti cave and quickly barricade ourselves in once again. We rest.
Mirthal 22nd, 638 CF
Renee provides some healing and I do what I can. The talk is centered on wether to stay a second and risk being discovered or to explore in our weakened state.
More giants await and somewhere in the rift is the Jarl of the Frost Giants….