Dreams of Ice and Madness
Today will be a good day. Got all my essential belongings together, gave my shop to Cousin Berning Shadybrook, and set out from Three Trails. I hope that I can find proof of at least half of the drawings in that old human’s book! Some of these things look amazing! Sky is relatively clear. It’s going to be cold tonight… More later, Journal!
Rough night. Flurry storm whipped up during my sleep, and sleet caused some problems with the tent. Nothing a little sewing and patching can’t fix, though! Just reached the main road to the low pass. Only a few days to get there, then things should be good! No sign of anything resembling the charcoal drawings, though. Onward!
My tent broke!! Can you believe it? Stupid human craftsmanship… Despite the bad news, I managed to do a little hunting and caught myself a snow-rabbit to eat. Wasn’t too bad. A little stringy, though. Definitely could use some salt, though… Just saw the lower pass itself a little after noon. The whole thing is snowed in. Ah well… Gotta take go to Highpass, then!
My gosh! Other people! After doing some hairy crossing of an icy crevasse, I hear voices. Crawling to the edge of a precipice, I looked down and saw a man covered in fur, next to a tent, talking to some guy in very thin robes and a glowing red rock orbiting his head. And a lady in furs showed up, too! And then some other guy came, before one of them noticed me! I wonder if they’ll be my friends…?
They seem to be pretty nice people. Harlan, the big guy in furs, is a loveable oaf of sorts. Very neat guy. Strong as an ox, and geared for survival. Could use some more finesse, though. Naidora, the shaman-like girl, is a bit standoffish, but seems to have a group-survival mentality. Very helpful! Jolan and Pell, one a relatively civilized arcanist, the other more of a wild magic-user, came a little after I first discovered the former. Apparently, they know a little of what is in my journal. And Jolan has an amulet that looks really similar to one of those weird elf tree-houses in my book’s sigil!
And not only that, but we had a heck of a night. Some “wild-touched” sled dogs assaulted the tent during the night, but we took them out pretty well. Naidora and Harlan are avid hunters, and having real meat is much better than having these cruddy trail rations. Highpass was fairly cold today, too. Jolan was starting to get a bit blue in the lips by the time we found a good place to rest, and we came across an ancient elven campsite. Poor fellow must’ve frozen to death. Took his tent and some of his things, and he even had a large supply of elfbread wafers. May his soul rest in peace, in a warmer place.
The past days have been crazy! When we set out after that elf’s campsite, we found that Harlan and his sled (with my climbing supplies!!! Argh!) had vanished during the night. It was rough, but we couldn’t just mill about looking for him. So we kept on moving. Oh, and there was an avalanche, too. It sucked! I managed to keep above the snow line, but Jolan, Naidora, and Pell were all buried. Breaking out my handy-dandy ski pole, I dug around, and soon found Naidora, then found Jolan, but it took Jolan’s little pet fuzzy fox to find Pell. And then I remembered that I had a snow trowel in my pack! Duh! Anyway, we got everyone out, then dug a hole, talked a bit, and set up Harlan’s tent to make things okay.
I had to crawl up a rock face the next day. I really wished that my climbing kit would’ve been with me. I ended up scraping my knee on a rock, but it wasn’t too severe. Bouncing hurts. And then I saw the damnedest thing. It was a plank, floating high in the air, attached to a chain that lead to the top of a mesa. We climbed up, and saw smashed barrels and rotted crates all over the place, heading up this precipice. It was an airship!! (Emphasis on “Airship”, ‘cause Jolan and Pell insist on calling it something else, but they don’t know anything, ‘cause I discovered it first, and it’s clearly an AirShip; I mean, it’s a ship that flies through the air, or did, ‘til it crashed, and it corresponds with the page in my journal, which is no longer just a charcoal drawing, but now watercolor. Maybe the book colors in whenever I find something that matches? Oh… I’m getting off topic.) Anyway. So we find the airship, and discover that this thing is bloated with reassure. I mean, I cracked open a massive chest, and found piles upon piles of silver in it. And then we found an alchemist’s lab with tons of well-preserved books near the captain’s quarters. I found a pantry! It was kinda old and musty, and there was a frozen gnome skeleton in it, and then I heard someone. Some crazy guy wearing snowshoes! Seemed nice enough. While we talked, Harlan showed up, and I felt so darn good.
The time after that was kind of a blur. Harlan helped me crack open the rest of the huge chests, and found more silver, a bunch of gem bags (I took those!), some artistic and rich-looking stuff, and piles upon piles of very expensive-looking writing tools. I found the journal book that I’m writing in now! Yay! Oh, and then we saw this huge machine in the belly of the ship. It turns gold into lea! WHAT KIND OF BEASTLY PERSON TURNS GOLD INTO LEAD?!? But it helped support my Airship theory, ‘cause the bar of gold became ten times as much spheres of lead. Must be a kind of ballast system.. Oh, and baboonwasps attacked. It was crazy! But I was quick enough to dispatch them all, with some help from the others. Pell went into a trance in this ritual circle that Harlan uncovered, and apparently, he found out where this thing came from.
So, Harlan wanted to see if this wyvern-thing that Pell saw in his flashback is still buried, and was digging. I went over to take a look, and saw him freaking out and shouting to run. I moved away with him, and then this huge blast of cold energy erupted from under the ship, and the damn thing came out! It was so freaky-looking!! Well, it had ice, and I know what destroys ice: fire! Using some alchemist fire I found in the lab up in the ship, I threw it at the thing, but apparently the compounds were a little weak from time, ‘cause it didn’t work too well. So then I pulled my own fire out, and laid down suppressive bombing, while Harlan took the brunt of this thing’s attack. Cold breath is –cold-, by the way. Luckily I palmed one of Naidora’s magical healing berries from the previous night… Anyway, we finally killed the thing, and now Jolan’s affixing some of this flying wood to our things, making things easier and lighter to carry. Kinda nice! Phew, that’s a lot of stuff! Talk to you later, Journal!
Okay. So I gotta say this, Journal. Giants are A) stupid as hell, and B) annoying as hell. We set out from the crashed airship (I refuse to call it a “skyboat” or a “windvessel” or whatever the others insist on referring to it as) and continued on the journey, when we found ourselves ambushed by goblins. After dealing with a minor bout of deja vu, we dispatched them readily enough. Only to discover that they were retainers for an even bigger threat. Being the brave and resourceful fellow that I am, I volunteered to stick around behind, slowing the frigid lummox down and letting Harlan and the rest escape. It was tough. I had to avoid giant wolves, more goblins than I can shake a bag of coins at, and the giant himself! After doing some clever diversions using sunrods, gum arabic, an eyelash, and a profuse amount of shouting in goblin (as well as some dummy snowmen on a ridge), I slowed ‘em down enough to rejoin my companions.
Just in the knick of time, too. I found them bogged down in some kind of shrine buried in teh snow, fighting undead things! Ugh. My rapier wasn’t nearly as effective as I would’ve hoped. But we took them down easily enough.. The shrine was obviously old, and the zombie-things that attacked my friends were obviously human, and probably around the shrine’s age, too. And this pair of boots I found was beautiful! It had a weird symbol, like this. [There is a drawing of a circle, with a downward-curve bisection, and another, shorter, sharper curve just above it, looking like a sunset on a hill.] I looked it up in the religious storybook I found in the gnomish airship, but didn’t find anything. I think it must’ve been a deity, like Garl Glittergold. Maybe an ally of him?
Anyway, got a neat new rapier that Pell had worked some magic on and resized for me. It feels like I could strike even mist! We kept going, and after a good travel, we settled down to camp; I stayed with the arcanists while Harlan and Naidora had gone off to hunt up some grub for us. Food’s getting a bit thin.. I heard some weird growling-howl noise, kinda gruff, not like a wolf, but kinda, and took a look. It was one of the giant dogs!! I tried to distract it (every dog likes a ball, right?) but it seemed to take offense, and I got knocked out! I was roused from my lovely sleep by Pell, who wanted me to talk to it, so I tried saying hello in Gnome, Common, and finally it responded in Goblin. It was kinda odd, really; talking to a dog like that, and having it talk back. Weird. Kept on talking about treats.
And then get this, Journal. Out of nowhere, this huge six-legged horse/moose/deer/THING came barging out of nowhere, with Harlan and Naidora clinging to it, slamming into the
wolf [“Worg” is written just above the struck-out word] and knocking it over the cliff! Now that we all got reunited, we kept avid watch and then booked it in the morning. IT was difficult… Jolan led us to a bizarre cave of crystalline rooms, I got to play with summoning some shade things, Jolan learned a bit about his history, or so he says, and we then got to an ice bridge. Goblins were waiting for us. They’re so dumb.
Oh. I’m in the front, now. Apparently, my skis are really coming in handy! I’m helpful! Later, Journal!