Friday, September 20, 2013

Osric: A return to compliments, secrets of the North revealed (19)

The party leaves the inn after having a near deadly encounter with a renegade (aka 'typical') adventuring party. After a few more days of travel they arrive in compliments....or more specifically, encounter an outlying group or armed men near compliments.

After some scouting by the gnomes, it is quickly realized this is some of the town guard, and the fighter henchman Renault (village marshal). All are looking a bit worse for wear, and it turns out that a might ice drake has taken over the village and been demanding regular tithes of animals. Renault was forced from town after attempting to drive the beast off, and the group has been forced to hide from the aerial monster. Compliments is heavily buried in snow drifts, and the guards say that the dwarven smith Gideon, and his workshop have been embedded in an ice block, although lighting can still be seen emanating from within.

Jenks tries to summon forest creatures to aid in the battle, and a single centaur, bane-dur, shows up. He informs the group that the centaurs have fled the area and he is left as a scout. He agrees to assist the battle against the ice witches' minions the next day. The group moves moves into town and hears the panicking lowing of a cow coming from the centre of town, a typical sacrifice for the ice drake. They attempt to keep to the underboughs of trees and move towards the centre of town. Dragon fear grips the party indicating the massive beast above, and the cows sounds are cut short. Suddenly a sizeable bloody chunk of cow bounces and lands in front of Jenks, the druid, and a massive ice dragon charges in after it. Battle is joined!

The might drake is hurt by the fighters before it manages to release a blast of ice affecting most of the group. Archon, the dwarven priest is shattered into bloody ice cubes, as is bane-dur. Other group members are luckier, but heavily wounded none the less. Dan is pummeled into the snow by the beasts claw and bite attacks, appearing dead, and Jenks himself is tossed into the air, landing heavily upon his head and ceasing to move. At last the beast is put down by the remaining gnomish thieves and the mighty Renault. The massive ancient beasts proceeds to turn into a glittering icy dust that blows away on the blizzard winds.

The possibly alive (Jenks and Dan) are rushed into a warm building and healers sought. The local Butcher renders the most aid, as he is highly knowledgeable about 'meat and such'. An agonizing die roll follows. The two pull through, but will ever be beset by laboured breathing and wheezing (Dan), and an inability to look upwards (Jenks). Truly they have been fortunate this day.

While the two recover, Scabs (gnomish mayor of compliments) uses his magic coal to melt his way into the forge of Gideon, who happily greets the gnome and asks what took the group so long.Utilizing bits of dragon recovered from the attack on shadowdeep, Gideon begins to forge items of power to help the group. A pair of runed shortswords are annointed with dragon blood and forged. These items are +2 dragonslayer's and arm the gnomes (+4 vs dragon, triple damage against ice dragons). The ice brands that were recovered from the white walkers are identified as dark magic, and therefore broken up the forge of gideon.

Still lacking information about the Horn of Daydris and the white witch (Gideon has little new knowledge) the group decides to attempt to tap the wisdom of the Ents. A yule cake like pastry is baked, and left out on the edge of the town to entice an Ent to a parley. At last a dark massive try with dried blood encrusted teeth approaches. Convinced of the danger of the imbalance of winter and seasons the Ent tells us to seek out the druid of the North who resides in the ice finger mountains. The valley he presides over is full of natural springs, and is ever lush and full of bloom.

The Ent also reveals to us that the ever burning ember is a fragment of the plane of fire in physical form. If one blows upon it, it will cast forth a blaze of fiery breath. For this very reason the Ent keeps his distance and is edgy around us.

The group withdraws to compliments and begins to gather items for an expedition north. We will see where the league of Justice has failed to return from....

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