Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Osric: Expedition to the Ice Fangs..... (19)

The adventuring group gather their equipment and supplies to brave the Ice Fang mountains where the forces of the Ice Witch gather their strength. The league of Justice has already been swallowed by these mountains and waves of undead servants and ice drakes have been unleashed upon the Southlands, it is a foreboding destination.

Loading up two, 6 dog, sleds Jenks (druid), Dan (fighter), Renauld (fighter), and the pair of gnomes (Scabs and Chester) head off from the Snow covered village of compliments. They have loaded themselves with rations, fine wolf pelts, and some firewood. A week of travel ensues through steady snow storms. Visibility is terrible, often in the dozens of feet range. The dogs are unruly and upset by the strange whispers and howling heard above. Jenks can see strange, dark eldritch lines of power narrowing towards the North when viewed with the blindfold of many eyes.

The first disquieting event occurs when camping and a dog brings in the frozen headless corpse of a small child. Scouting out in the direction the dog came, the party finds an ice tower stretching storey's above us. Closer inspection shows that it is built of corpses embedded within ice.....a village was destroyed to make this dark edifice. The magic lines of dark power appear to touch down from the sky as well....perhaps this is amplifying the magics of the ice queen. Chester brings forth the magic ember and blows forth gouts of flame to cleanse this dark tower. A sharp crack of ice gives us scant warning as the tower collapses rapidly and manages to kill two of our sled dogs.

A day later we encounter a primitive village of limestone and black shale rock. Jenks transforms into an ice martin to scout the village and finds evidence of an attack and looting is everywhere.....yet there are no corpses or survivors. The party chooses the most defensible house and camps overnight. In the morning the gnomish thieves give a thorough search of the village and find an etched rock face with gold and valuables cleverly hidden in it by freezing them within ice. Application of the embers warmth (through touch) yields up some treasure, but the more intriguing items are 3 delicately carved goats in ivory. Small druidic wording on the bottom gives a first hint of what they are, and we eventually discover these statues transform into 3 goats of power (a battle goat, a messenger goat, and some scary fear goat we haven't tried yet). It becomes obvious very quickly that the goats only have 3 uses each, a resource we must conserve.

The battle goat, with a huge rack of spikey horns and tall as a horse is secured to one of the sleds, and is able to propel our group for most of the day at nearly 3 times the normal rate. We can see the mountain range through a break in the clouds and judge ourselves to be about a week and a half away at a normal speed. Unfortunately the battle goat begins to lose size, and speed, towards the end of the day, and we almost lose the figurine in the blustering snow fall as it finally returns to it's original size.

The group camps overnight until the guard hears horns and a snarling pack of animals in the distance.....getting closer. A wounded stranger comes staggering towards the camp, from the distance of direction of the horns. The fur clad, balding (with long hair on the sides) human carries no sword. We wave him into camp, and Jenks applies some healing magic. The human thanks him, and then causes him to fall unconscious. Laughing the human gains in stature and skin turns blue and a ivory spike grows form his had. He disappears into a burst of mist as the snarling and horns arrive at camp.

Two dozen winter wolves with goblin riders appear. After a brief (unsuccessful) parley, the wolves charge in. Dan searches Jenks looking for the goats (hoping to deploy the fearful one). Scabs manages to flame breath the charging enemies with the ember, largely destroying them and scattering the survivors. The blue skinned ogre magi stages a return to stab Renault in the back, upon taking damage he again disappears in another puff of smoke. Renault manages to locate the blindfold of many eyes on the unconscious Jenks and dons it to spy the magi creeping about to attempt another back stab. Renault grapples with the ogre and, despite it casting forth inky blackness around the party, he is able to force it's surrender and agreement to leave without either group inflicting more pain on another.

In a moment of hilarity, Jenks awakens from his magical slumber (dispelled by the magi) into inky blackness, and begins crying out in panic, believing his eyesight stricken from him. The error is quickly corrected and our party has survived for the time being, now within striking distance of the ice fang mountains.

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