Dark Clouds Gather

Game summary of 6-7 February 2006

compliments of Sean

document version 2, dated 16 February 2006

Justice Chrysomer

Etrie Folger

Father Riker




(DM, could you insert the Greyhawk calendar dates for us please)

6 Needfest CY 586

1.     Considering the extremes of weather faced by the Patriots of Ulek in the middle of winter in the high Crystalmist Mountains, the party decides to send the remaining horses, including Justice Chrysomer’s bonded mount, back to the safety of their home base at Haven Hill.  Etrie insists that his war-dog companion, Mort (short for mortality!), continues on the quest.

2.     Once again Father Riker bends the dimensions of time and space opening a portal between two points in space.  The horses are ushered through and are safely ensconced at the compound of Cadfael, the absent Ranger/Priest of Ehlonna? .

3.     The darkness of the clouds continues to press in on the party and the dim light wanes further.  Hawk casts a Leomund’s Tiny Hut and the party bunkers down for the night as the outside temperature plummets to -40°C.

4.     In the morning, dark and oppressive as it is, a new round of magical protections are cast to aid the party in resisting the extremes of the weather and the heavy snow falling.  Urroi casts a Clear Path to speed the party through the heavy snow that covers the ground.

5.     After several hours of heavy trudging, Godar (last in the marching order) is surprised by a mountain troll that tries to drag him off for a touch of dwarven lunch.  With a nose as big as Godar’s it is surprising that he could not smell the stinking troll from miles off.  To the trolls’ eternal regret, the troll was dispatched quickly by blows from Godar and Etrie and a round of magic missiles from Hawk.

6.     Hoping to find the trolls lair, and protect fellow travellers along the way, the party follows back along the troll’s tracks in the snow for 30 minutes without success.  The tracks are fairly random though and no lair can be found so we recommence our journey looking for the Tower of Ice at Mt. Ederglow.

7.     By mid-afternoon the party has entered a ravine that funnels the wind into gale force conditions.  With the snow lashing exposed skin movement is quartered.  Etrie spots a small cave and the party agrees to rest for the night to see if the wind and snow will blow itself out. 

8.     Entering the cave the party is surprised by 4 evil dog like creatures that unleashed a howl that sent a feeling of terror through the bones of all who heard it.  Only Etrie and Hawk lost their nerve and turned to flee in terror.  Urroi and Father Riker were able to bring the blessing of Kord and Delleb upon their stricken comrades, calming their spirits by removing fear from their hearts.

9.     Using his holy sword, Chrysomer, to combat chaos, Justice was able to paralyse two of the “dogs” during combat.  The “dogs” had attempted to jump at the throats of both Justice and Godar, but were easily beaten back.  Hawk released another round of quick-fingered magic missiles and Father Riker divined the following strengths and weaknesses about the “dogs” that he yelled to aid his companions facing the evil beasts:

·       Good at surprise

·       Cause fear with a howl

·       Sharp teeth with strong jaws

·       Have a throat attack

·       Good at dodging.

10.  Etrie wonders if Father Riker is divining anything that could not be deduced by opening your eyes!  Mort in a display of loyalty to his master Etrie savages one of the evil “dogs” with a critical throat attack.  The party was able to dispatch the remaining “dogs” and retire to the now vacant cave to get out of the wind.

11.  After an uneventful but cold night the party wake to a clearer but still very windy day.  The usual regimen of protective spells are leant and cast and the party once again commence on the long trek in the high Crystalmist Mountains.

12.  The party makes its way slowly through the narrow ravine fighting the wind with every step.  After several hours of slow travel, the ravine finally widens again and the wind drops markedly.  As the party stops to clear the snow from their gear, out of the snow burst three yetis.  The party was surprised at their sudden appearance due to their excellent camouflage. 

13.  Two of the yetis are quickly dispatched, one by a bolt of lightning unleashed by Hawk from a wand in his possession (the loud clap of thunder does not cause any avalanches).  As Father Riker tries to slip off the back of Hawk’s phantom steed , a yeti gives him a quick hug – and Father Riker thought the weather was cold!  The yeti’s cold embrace literally draws the heat from his body.

14.  Two more yetis burst from the snow to attack the party.  Etrie, ever the man of action, tries to free Father Riker by hitting the yeti, but men of action are sometimes a bit hasty and he manages to accidentally deliver Father Riker a nasty blow with the Mace of the Sun – much to Riker’s displeasure!

15.  Hawk, in full blow mad wizard mode, unleashes a further lightning bolt from his wand at the approaching yeti reinforcement.  As the final yetis are dispatched, the yeti holding Father Riker is slain – hooray!  Sadly it topples over directly on-top of Father Riker – continuing to inflict cold damage on the trapped priest.  Father Riker had not felt such a chilling embrace since he was a young initiate of Delleb in Chendle when the old lecturer priest insisted he have “extra lessons” in the old priest’s bed chamber.

16.  The party travels for a further day and a half before blizzard like conditions confront them.  With visibility cut to 2-feet, the party once again decides to dig-in and wait the weather out.  Urroi is able to assist the hasty effort by casting a create campsite to make the wait slightly more comfortable.

17.  After three hours the party was able to start again with no further difficulty.  It remained an uneventful day until they decide to set up camp in a small depression in the ravine wall.  Hawks eyes turn black and he warns that there appears to be a strange stain on the back wall.  None of the other party members can see it so Justice detects evil – discovering a lingering evil presence but no magic is detected.  Father Riker tries to detect spirits and he sees the image of a human male wearing armour in a death pose.

18.  After a further spell, Father Riker announces some key aspects to the undead:

·       Level draining undead

·       Unencumbered by terrain

·       Immune to poison

·       Resistant to some types of mind-effecting spells

·       Spirit powerfully connected to “this place”

19.  Father Riker gets out some dice and casts a further spell.  He states that he has divined from the gods that:

To your goals they have no place but they can still cause woe!

20.  There is some talk centring on the level draining ability of the thing, so Hawk casts a wall of iron to block off the small cave so that others may not stumble into the evil clutches of the waiting undead.

21.  The party travels away for a further hour to get away from the undead, and then sets up camp.  The whole party again huddle together in the Leomund’s Tiny Hut against the cold.  After about two hours rest, Godar (who was on guard) screams for everyone to wake up! Damn, the undead spirit has somehow followed us!

22.  Inside the hut a circle of red glowing runes appear on the ground and the spirit raises up through the ground.  All wake except Justice who blissfully sleeps on dreaming of the joys of doing good upon Oerth.  The spirit eyes the recumbent figure of Justice upon the ground with an evil red glint to it eye, imaging the feeling of living vibrant energy that it is about to enjoy! 

23.  Little did it reckon on the speedy and mighty arm of Etrie Folger!  Once again Etrie is able to destroy a mighty undead foe with a blow from the Mace of the Sun – holy relic of Pelor.  Urroi who is a fellow priest of Kord is worried that Etrie may be straying from the influence of Kord by listening to intelligent weapons (even though the mace is not) and makes it his mission to bring back one of his own to the fold!

24.  Father Riker racks his brain for the knowledge stored there about undead lore – to no avail.  Maybe the cold has frozen part of it!

25.  The party returns to rest, allowing Justice to sleep on.  It is not until the next morning that he is told how close he came to a date with the negative material plane.

26.  Not long after breaking camp, the party spy a lone dwarf on the path ahead.  Justice and Godar (his dwarven companion) approach to parlay with the dwarf, who turns out to be Barruk – Chieftain of the Shabrund. 

27.  Barruk advises he is with his clan and are passing through the Crystalmist Mountains but had current reasons to stay in the mountains.  Barruk express his surprise that a band of mostly humans is trying to travel the Mountains in the depth of winter.

28.  After the round of introductions, Justice and Godar discuss their reasons for attempting such dangerous travel.  The plight of the Aarakocra, the flying white demons, the severe weather and the ice tower are discussed.

29.  At the mention of the Tower of Ice, Barruk offers the party a quicker way to the tower, if the party help him “recover what is his”.  Justice asks him to continue with his suggestion and at that stage 5 other dwarves step out into view unloading their crossbows.

30.  Barruk divulges that a small unit of his clan came to this area based upon legends of the human mage Deverel who resided in these mountains many yeas ago at Mt Ederglow.  They had also heard rumours of gold and gems – but had not been able to find any.  However, his clan had discovered a rich seem of silver and had been mining it until attacked by a band of giants. 

31.  The giants had attacked with wolves of the snow and had killed 10 of their clan before the stout dwarves were routed from the mine.  The party agree to accompany the dwarven clan to see off the giants and restore Barruk to his clans claim.  It is also agreed that any recovered mined silver remains the property of the dwarven clan and any other recovered treasure is spilt in half.

32.  Barruk advised that there are:

a)     9 or 10 frost giants

b)     6 wolves (winter wolves?) that have a freezing breath

c)     the giants are good at hurling rocks and boulders

d)     the mine is one hour walk from the dwarves temporary camp

e)     he can provide a detailed map to the mine and the party can observe the goings-on at the mine entrance from a concealed vantage point about 500 yards.

33.  Urroi “bars-up” after calling upon the granted power of Kord to increase his strength and is preparing to use an enlarge spell for a spot of giant wrestling!  It is not until he spies the frost giants massive stature (21 feet tall) and weight (8000 pounds) that he concludes that it would be like wrestling a cliff face.  However, he still has a little surprise in store for the evil giants and casts a call lightning to unleash when the time is right.

34.  Father Riker opens up a Dimension Fold into the mine near one of the guarding giants, but the target is out by a little, and it opens right next to the giant. Luckily it catches the giant by surprise, and the party gets through unharmed while the guard is astonished and is quickly assailed by Justice and Godar.

35.  Given that Urroi and Etrie are fast on their feet they quickly move across the cavern to take on the guard and his large snow wolf on the other side. Hawk and Father Riker move out and Hawk tosses a fireball into the middle to warm the two “snow wolves” – causing terminal meltdown on both.

36.  Justice Chrysomer and Godar move out to the nearest side of the tunnel entrance and take on the Giant who emerges from the tunnel to join the combat.

37.  Barruk and his 5 remaining clansdwarves are the last through and join Justice and Godar in bringing down the first of the frost giants but not before the giants were able to yell a warning to their evil companions.

38.    It's a well planned incursion and the first stage goes like clockwork.

39.  Urroi decides that the second of the frost giant guards needs a little surprise and he decides that it is time to unleash the lightning that he had prepared earlier.  While calling down the lightning to its designated target, Urroi is struck by the giant that sends his aim off in a random direction.  To bad for the giant that the random direction is still on top of its head!

40.  Feeling emboldened by his skill so far, Urroi calls on the wrath of Kord, which sends him into a Berserk Rage, while Etrie strikes the first blow with Paramel against the first of the second set of snow wolves that have arrived.  Soon after Urroi scores a critical hit on the abdomen of one of the wolves, who breaths cold onto him, causing the first of many points of cold damage.

41.  More Giants arrive, one knocking Hawk off his feet with a hurled boulder – flat on his face.  Urroi and Etrie dispatch further snow wolves and then get to have one frost giant each!  The giants treat the dwarves with utter contempt and just walk straight over them in their attempt to get at the Patriots of Ulek. 

42.  Having been knocked down, Hawk uses his psionics to teleport himself out of trouble.  He is mightily pissed and after rising to his feet unleashes two more fireballs into the advancing frost giants in the mine opening.  Meanwhile Etrie forces his giant back with a flurry of blows that end in the giant's demise.  This is a very impressive feat given Etrie stands at 6’ 1” and weights 220 pounds – against the 21” and 8000 pound giant).

43.  Justice continues to stab his giant, but it just won't die. Instead it strikes a critical blow to Justice with its huge axe, however he uses one of his weekly favours (mettle) with Heironeous to avoid the potential catastrophic damage without needing to roll a dice.  Too bad the gods can’t intervene when he accidentally hits the cave wall with his sword, which causes shrapnel to hit him and Godar.

44.  Too bad Urroi is not favoured of the gods, because one of the giants and several wolves seem to have honed in on him due to his spell casting ability.  They take their toll, but in his berserk rage Urroi presses forward relentlessly without thought for his own safety.  He dispatches the last of the snow wolves with another critical blow. But when the giant next hits him with its huge axe, Urroi is flung unconscious to the ground, bleeding to death as the rest of the party battle on.  Luckily Hawk sees him fall, and once again focuses the power of his mind and teleports to his fall comrades side to bind his wounds (Urroi was left on -6HP).  Is Hawk developing a caring side in his old age, or merely racking up favours?

45.  The combined effects of Hawk’s fireballs and the heavy damage inflicted by the fighters against the enormous but slow moving giants eventually take their toll and the last frost giant attempts to flee – with little effect as two dwarves and Etrie set off in hot pursuit.  The frost giant takes one last defiant chance to smash its enormous axe into Etrie’s body (which Etrie deflects off his shield) before it too is brought crashing to earth.

46.  Victory!  The mine is liberated and the dangerous band of evil giants are overcome.  The combined efforts of the six Patriots and the six dwarves have been able to overcome 9 frost giants and 6 “snow wolves” with Urroi the only casualty.  Etrie casts a curative spell to get Uroi conscious again.  All members of the Patriots feel emboldened and look forward with hope to what they may face when they finally get to Geoff.

47.  The party spend the next two days with the dwarves recounting each others exploits and allowing Urroi to recover from his brush with death.  It’s the first (and probably last) time Riker and Uroi learn a full complement of healing spells.  The party and the dwarves split the recovered treasure:

Patriots                                                            Dwarves

4265 gold pieces                                             4265 gold pieces

3 topaz (500gp each)                                       4 Peridot (500gp each)

True Seeing priest scroll                                potion (white with blue flecks)

Wand made of granite (Fire)

48.  Hawk studies the new wand and discovers four magical runes on it that he says are the command phrases: 1. Gol,  2. Golic,  3.  Golicar,  4. Golicar.  He holds the wand forth and uses the first phrase.  A shooting fan of fire (burning hands) issues forth from the wand. 

49.  After the two days rest, the party set forth once more accompanied by Barruk and one of his brave clansdwarf.  Still very cold, the party travels for two days ever upwards in search of the “shortcut” to the Tower of Ice. 

50.  Finally the party reaches a valley and stops when Barruk points out an opening in the valley wall on the opposite side and states:

There be the entrance under the mountain to Mt Ederglow that I promised”.

51.  At that stage the assembled party is set-upon by a pack of furred and feathered “owl-bears”.  Snapping viciously with beak and claws the party is once again called into battle.  The creatures are outmatched though, and with sword and spell they are quickly dispatched without incident.

52.  The dwarves then lead the party to the tunnel entrance (but do not enter), which appears to be made from worked stone.  When asked, Barruk says that he has never actually been into this tunnel, and does not know what might be in there, but that it is a shortcut to the Tower of Ice.  Barruk asks us if there are any further questions, as he must now leave us to go back to his mine.  We scratch our heads, and ask him to go over everything one more time…

Last updated: 5 March 2006

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