- Player Characters: Calindy, Harlan, Jolan, Naidora, Richard
- Final Party XP pool: 1,890 (+400)
- Percent To Next Level (2): 100%! Level Up!
- Days Elapsed: 14(+5)
- Miles Traveled: 39 (+24)
A near week’s respite behind them, the Companion’s journey to the north continued, trekking from the downed vessel’s lonely frozen plateau along the canyons and valleys of the great mountain range. Hunting up some caribou and many pounds of ‘leftovers’ from their days of rest made for plenty to eat, but morning’s rays brought a rude awakening.
Goblins, seemingly well inured to the harsh cold of the waste, their temperment mericless and vicious to match, swept down and surrounded the fine glade they’d chosen to camp in. While handily dispatched, things gre for the worse when Calindy recognized the distant sound of a frost giant’s hunting horn – and, that giants sometimes cow goblin tribes into their personal service. Not wishin gto wait around and see this particular relationship in person, all involved agreed to pack up their campsite as quickly as possible, and make a break through the mountains, trying to stay well ahead of their persuer. With much of the journey ahead downhill, Calindy agreed to stay back and try to foil their persuers, catching up later.
At first, it seemed the ingenious halfling might make headway. A few ploys involving a fake camp, snowfigures of the party, and the loss of some clothes, showed promise! as light ran out, it seemed Calindy’s luck would as well, the giant wising to his schemes and making headway with his knowledge of the high mountain passes.
Pushed to their limit, exhaustion began to set in with nightfall and a new plan for the coming day passed between the adventurers in their camp, mulled over dried rations without a good window to hunt in.
As morning rolled over the mountainsides, the new scheme to try and lose their pursuer went into action. A narrow canyon off the main pass, while not narrow enough to stop a giant’s pursuit, seemed an ideal place to mix up their path . Still unsure of Calindy’s whereabouts, the troupe pressed on, encountering a fork in the path marked by a strange ruin. Richard magicked away the snow and they investigated, discovering some strange roadside traveling shine, complete with long-empty offering bowls and disintegrated cots… along with the restless remains of the last group to use the shrine, now half-frozen living dead hungry for flesh.
Naidora and Jolan, caught inside the small shrine, adapted best, taking quickly to slashing down the corpses, while outside Richard was caught up in the middle of the frozen dead. Even Harlan seemed to have bit off more than he could chew. Thankfully, Calindy finally caught up with the group, offering some assistance in putting the zombies to rest – But more in tending his fallen friend’s wounds. Despite his heroism, he was also the worst hit by the cold, when a zombie’s grasp sucked the warmth from him before it could be cut down. Struggling to get everyone on their feet and back on the road, the hunters set out, catching a quick meal and a sizable animal for Naidora to sacrifice for some restorative magic. The others also discovered several items in surprisingly good condition on the corpses…
Magic: Boots of the Unending Journey, Rapier of Unerring Direction, Rational Belt Pouch
Hurrying to make up for lost time, and walking through sunset, the beleaguered party eventually found a relatively safe place to camp and recover their breath for the next day. Worried that the Giant might be gaining they opted to hurry through the snowy mountains as quickly as possible.. Save one tiny detour. Jolan claimed he felt a strange ‘tug’, nothing he could quite express the urgency of to his allies, but something he knew himself to be significant. Following the hunch, a strange cavern gave way to strange, worked stone, then tiles, and finally, exploring cautiously, a strange perfectly cut chamber nestled within an icy mountain face.
Dominated by two smoky black mirrors and a pair of obelisks, they soon discovered that dousing the lights before revealing the chamber once more brought strange rolling figures in the mirrors forth as stoic, shadowy messengers, like elfin silhouettes. Only seeming interested in Jolan (And speaking a language only he fully understood,) they mentioned the Gale, a prince, and their Dow’shae, implying that they were perhaps left behind. They also revealed that the room was some sort of door, but it had been closed for reasons only known to this strange ‘gale’, who had gone north in search of… Well, what was never made clear.
Finally finding any more ‘discussion’ with the shadows useless, Jolan discovered a secret compartment, holding, most notably, another strange amulet, this one bearing an unusual good-aligned magical beast instead of a leaf. Leaving the strange ‘southern door’ behind, they caught up with their track, and struggled to put more distance between the giant and themselves.. And as night fell, find a place to camp.
Magic: Senmurv Amulet
With few options remaining, a rock plateau jutting from the frozen mountainside provided the best chance of safety; Any enemies approaching would have only one side to approach on. While the other settled in, Naidora and Harlan went looking for food, finding ideal, if perhaps unusual prey, in a young Tlalusk, auspiciously marked with dark fur in the vague shape of Auril’s holy symbol. While the pair were out, the rest of the group back at the camp were interrupted when a huge wolf, too smart for it’s own good, snuck up on the camp. Calindy made an effort to distract it with a ‘ball’, a maneuver which only angered it into charging the halfling. A single bite to his side, and Calindy fell over unconscious. Richard and Jolan leapt out to help, zapping it with a bolt of magic and trying to dazzle it, neither one discouraging the beast from disarming Pell and pinning Treyart.
Alerted by it’s initial howls, Harlan and Naidora started to hurry back, hoping to bring the Tlalusk with them. It seemed impossible, until Naidora summoned Tah’lain, a giant draconic feline, it’s mere presence scaring the Tlalusk into charging back to camp… And, with some guidance from Naidora, right into the side of the Worg, knocking it clean off the plateau. Jolan went to confirm it’s fate – Only to see tracks leading off where it had picked itself up from the tumble and limped away. After some consultation, Naidora and company decided that the symbol on the beast assured them it was a gift… The young Tlalusk became a hearty meal, along with many armloads of fur that Jolan would soon convert into a new set of furs for some under-clothed party members, as well as a new tent. For the night however, too wounded to continue, the party took a gamble, resting the night. The next morning started early, bidding to outrun the giant’s other allies.
During the day, the terrain nearing the edge of the mountain range offered little in the way of hunting – But the tug of Naidora’s bow brought the hunting pair upon a group of mountain sheep. Hoping to prove himself, harlan asked for the kill, just to be rebuffed, literally, and knocked down the mountainside as the sheep defended it’s perch.
The final obstacle before the descent from the mountains loomed before, just too far to cross before nightfall – A massive bridge of ice, spanning the chasm between two steep mountainsides, glittering in the gold light of sunset. Emboldened but recognizing the need to rest, the companions settled into camp for the night, buzzing with excitement for the final push, and possibly, escape from the frost giant hot on their trail.
The night passed with little to note – Except for Calindy? noticing a strange croak, and Naidora briefly catching a hint of metal on metal clinking in the wind. Fearing trouble come dawn, the companions found it, Goblins dug in on the bridge with ropes to keep them from sliding off. Despite their preperation (and some underhanded sacrifice, to try and convince the adventurers their ploy of cutting the ropes had worked,) the goblins stood little chance against them. Enemies dispatched, the bridge crossed, and the giant apparently outpaced for good, the party finally came down a long, difficult slope, emerging from the deep mountains, and pouring out onto the very fringes of an immense snowfield, unmarked white stretching out for dozens, if not hundreds of miles to the north…