- Player Characters: Calindy, Harlan, Jolan, Naidora, Richard
- Final Party XP: 1,000 (+1,000)
- Percent to Next Level (2): 33%
The ambush tactics wouldn’t save them. Even familiarity with the snow turned against them as the heat of battle with dangerous foes broke their focus and let the terrain become the enemy. Trees served only as distractions as they sought cover, no ridge could keep them from their enemies arrows, and even the time-honored tactic of standing on a fallen log, to strike their enemies from above, didn’t serve them well this day. The goblins stood little chance, as their attempted strike earned them only defeat.
Their failure would make their leader, the frost giant who organized their band and raised them to more than a simple tribe of hunters, furious…
Days Before -
Five souls departed from the safety and drudgery of the vale.
The Explorer sought to find wonders seen only in pictures, and test himself against the snow.
The Guardian sought to bring back good times that had marked his youth, a spring for his tribe.
The Crafter sought to find his own truth, and unearth magics of both nature and the forge.
The Shaman sought to find her faith, and hope for a way to save her people from her own devotion.
The Scholar sought to find danger from his visions, using ice and what it’s buried to find truth.
Fate, necessity, or maybe simple math of the only northern road eventually brought them into one place, mistakes and shortcomings offset by the strengths of their newfound companions, comraderie found among the lonely snows – despite a subtle distrust of their aligned goals.
Jolan found the small camp Harlan had set up, seemingly by accident. Calindy’s explorations brought him to a nearby overlook, and Naidora, tracking a wolfpack, soon joined them. Harlan and Naidora set out to secure some extra food, judging Harlan’s rabbit too little for four hungry travelers, and brushed into the eerily prescient Richard. The hunters turned up a small deer (and signs of wild animal trouble), and Naidora’s strange, bloody magics surprised most. Calindy’s unusual book intrigued the two arcanists, who realized quickly their different approaches to a similar art/science. Jolan used his fine pottery to cook less fine venison soup, and despite it’s shortcomings the meal helped warm the companions as they crammed into Harlan’s tent for the evening.
Such a fine night couldn’t go completely well. Midnight brought the unexpected approach of wild dogs, fur bleached white, eyes red and fangs dripping, surrounding the tent and baying into the night. As the adventurers emerged, Jolan and Richard didn’t fare well against the mad animals, wounded. Harlan, Calindy and Naidora rushed to assist. Calindy’s rapier kept the dogs at bay long enough to tend to both caster’s wounds, Harlan stood his ground against the bulk of the animals, and with the faint scent of Brimstone, Naidora brought forth a cackling fiend of a hyena to return the bites of the canines tenfold. Otherwise freed from the hounds, Naidora helped Jolan to his feet, displaying his unusual talents for oversized archery. Harlan’s clever fighting turned the dogs own jaws against them, fending them off and finally running the last down to slay.
Harlan discovered the animals were once tame, presuming them a sled team. Naidora confirmed that the animals were afflicted by the Wylding, a strange disease of madness touching domestic animals left too long in the frost. The nearby sled yielded some valuables – But, mostly firewood.
Supplies: 20 lbs firewood, 10 lbs metal scrap, 100’ silk rope, cole weather outfit, two nets, seven days trail rations.
The next morning, despite feeling depleted from the midnight interruption, the tentmates set out to work their way through the Highpass. Aptly named, the deep chill from the clear night before didn’t ease up come morning, and the climb up into the pass brought both thin air, and bone-chilling temperatures. The descent proved less arduous, although things were close, narrowly avoiding a patch of quickslush that could have easily frozen anyone foolish enough to fall in.
Sharp eyes on the way down found the remains of an elven camper, years – possibly even decades since deceased. While the elf’s tent held up well, even a backpack and the hafts of their arrows had not survived the harsh environment. A strange broken pendant found in the tent seemed to match Jolan’s own, with Richard discerning an odd aura about it. Jolan also found a way to discern the nature of the Elf’s rusted weapons, a courtblade and close combat knife of elven craft, both rusted through, but simple enough to repair later on.
Supplies: 20 elven rations, elven courtblade, elven close combat blade, honeyleather medium pup tent, elvencraft woodworker’s kit
Their luck unable to hold out forever, the cold finally pierced their warm outfits and wards in the early afternoon. Some careful work by Harlan and Naidora kept Jolan from freezing on the spot, but after another hour the crew decided to retire early, finding an out of the way place to set up camp. While the distance traveled might not be great, some harsh lessons about the dangers of frigid cold were better learned early in the journey, instead of striking later on. Clearly, soem careful planning and adaptation is necessary for the journey north to continue…