Dreams of Ice and Madness
Though I knew that the journey north would be fraught with peril and that death would be stalking us through this frozen wasteland, I did not think to find evidence of the validity of my master’s vision so soon. But I jump ahead of myself. I am Richard Pell; apprentice of Master Demazza of Stormbluff. I travel north in search of information on who caused the Frost. This will be a journal of my journey and the clues I find along the way. If it comes to pass that I die, to whomever is reading this I beseech you to take this journal to my master in Stormbluff so that he can act on the information contained inside.
Thanks to my master, the initial leg of my journey went smoothly. The equipment and magical items he gifted me have proved invaluable, making an otherwise suicidal journey possible. And when I approached the area that the divinations had shown I’d be able to find others making the brutal way north they of course where there. An interesting group of adventurers to say the least greeted me.
Calindy; a halfling merchant who says he’s interested in finding the ancient ruins buried under the Frost and learning their history (and pick up a treasure or two I imagine). Harlan; a member of one of the barbarian tribes who has taken on the daunting task of ending the Frost. While his task parallels mine (finding who or what caused it), I’m not sure if after all this time it can be reversed. I hope I’m wrong. Jolan; also from what I can tell a member of one of the barbarian tribes. Unlike Harlan though who has chosen the path of the sword, Jolan has the in-born talent for magic; I just hope he has the resolve to use it wisely. What his purpose for journeying north is I have no clue of; I get the feeling he’s not sure either. Naidora; I don’t know much of her yet (we’ve talked very little to each other) but I do know she is one of those rare individuals with a spiritual connection to the land and its animals; a druid. She has proven to have the ability to sense those animals that have succumbed to the Wyld. And I might as well list our recent addition here for completeness, Uryaen; an elf ranger. Though I’ve been too busy to talk to him since we met, having someone who has had years (if not decades knowing the lifespan of elves) training in traveling in harsh environments will help our chances immensely.
After the initial meeting and realization that all of us were traveling in the same direction, it was an easy decision for us all to travel together rather then brave the Frost individually. The next couple of days went by quickly. At the end of one night we were beset by a pack of dogs that Naidora said had succumbed to the Wyld. Thankfully the others were there to help put them down or I would have been torn apart. Near the end of another day we happened upon the remains of an elf that had succumbed to the elements years ago.
But it is what we have found a couple days later that has me reeling. A sky boat! I can scarcely imagine it! The wealth (both material and knowledge) found inside is staggering. It was thanks to Calindy that we found it; his eagle eyes noticed part of it that had been tethered to the rest of it floating high in the air. We quickly made our way up to investigate and we’ve been scrambling to take it all in since. It was also at this point that Uryaen, also traveling north, noticed the sky boat as well and ran into us investigating it. And thank goodness he did. In the course of searching the ship we’ve awakened two slumbering beasts.
The first were a magical breed of wasp, thought unfortunately I’m not sure of the exact species. I do wonder why they were even here, apparently the gnomes (the race who owned the sky boat) were carrying around crates of them but I have no idea why. Most had perished due to exposure but some found sanctuary near the furnace in the lower reaches of the boat which we were forced to dispatch. It was down in the furnace room where (to me) we made the most important discovery on the boat.
Etched into the floor was a ritual magic circle that the gnomes in the past used to run the sky boat. Thanks to my master I know a couple of rituals and I used on this day the one that would let me part the veil of time and see into the past. I learned that the sky boat had been commissioned by the gnomish royalty to transport their riches to the Vale during the Exodus. Sadly they didn’t make it as a wyvern attacked their ship. While some of the gnomes were able to survive the assault, it was at the cost of the boat as they rammed it into the mountain to slay the wyvern.
Or so I thought. I had seen images of the wyvern tending eggs and so thought it a living breathing specimen that would now be long dead. However, when Harlan went outside to see if he could find the remains he unwittingly awakened the construct the gnomes had trapped under their boat. Tearing itself free the construct began raging and attempted to tear us all apart. We were luck more then good and were able to bring an end to it, but now I have more questions and no answers to speak of.
I can tell that this is tied to the Frost, but such things do not spontaneously come into being; they are made. So my master is correct, the Frost is not a natural phenomena and was put into motion by someone or some cabal, but why? And why create a wyvern of ice and set it upon the gnomes? While we will be spending the next few days taking stock and preparing for the next leg of our journey, I’ll be busy creating scrolls and etching new spells into my spellshard. So I won’t have the time to ponder these questions immediately. I only hope the wyvern was an example of the worst of the creations the author of the Frost has to field against us, but I fear that in the coming weeks I’ll find this to be the least of the trials we’ll have to face..
It has been several days since we left the skyboat behind in our travels north, but only now are we safe enough where I can take the time to update my journal. The first night after we left the skyboat we were beset by a tribe of goblins. While dispatching them spared our lives from ending in a goblin stew pot, we angered the frost giant that ruled over them in the process. Hearing the frost giants roar and hunting horn behind us spurred us quickly on our way. Calindy volunteered to stay behind for a bit and throw the giant off our trail.
The next few days were nerve wracking. Between our various attempts to lose the giant in the mountains (some successful some not) and worry over the fate of Calindy it was hard to get to sleep at night. Thankfully the latter problem soon resolved as Calindy was finally able to catch up with us once more. Amidst our flight from the giant three strange events occurred.
First, we discovered a small ruin. It appeared to be a shrine dedicated to a forgotten god. Something horrible happened here in the past for as we investigated zombies exploded out of the surrounding snow and tried to tear us apart. After the initial shock we pulled together and quickly ended the zombies’ false lives.
Second, one night a strange beast accosted us. A worg, a large wolf-like creature with a fel intelligence, accosted us in our camp. It didn’t seem to be there to kill us, merely keep us from leaving. It seems likely to have been in service of the frost giant, but it was not exactly forth coming on the subject. Thankfully Harlan and Naidora came to our rescue. They had been out hunting when suddenly they came charging back into camp on the back of some beast. The worg was knocked clear off the hill we had been camping on. While it survived the fall it decided not to return.
Finally, we found a strange ruin hidden inside a cave. Inside was a room constructed out of obsidian, with polished obsidian mirrors and pillars that seemed to be made of shadows set inside. The pillars only had substance while light was shining inside; if the light was doused they could not be touched. But it was the mirrors that were most intriguing. Some of the party thought they saw something moving in the mirrors. When the light was first doused, after it was relight two shadow beings stood before them. They spoke in a language I’m not familiar with but that Jolan did as he spoke with them at length. Apparently this used to be a gate room that could lead people to another world, but has been closed for some time by orders from their queen called the Gale. The shadows hinted that there was one site that had not been deactivated but no hints as to its location. I am a little worried about these creatures. While I couldn’t tell exactly what race they were their outlines pointed to a fey origin. Even the best of fey can be cruel from a mortal point of view; the worst can be nightmarish. I hope Jolan isn’t caught up in something he’ll learn to regret.
Afterward things went quite well. We decided to hurry as fast as we could and quickly left the giant behind. Coming up to an ice bridge that would lead us out of the area we ran into some goblins who had set up a trap. We easily dealt with them, dropping some off the bridge and dispatching the rest with our weapons and spells. We’ve set up camp a little past the bridge. I wonder what wonders and hardships await us in this new land?