Grim Greenangels takes the oversized weapons that we gained from the battle and drops them off with Ontharr Frume as trophies of their victory over the cult.
Kaisanne speaks with Remallia Haventree and discovers that loyalties in the Lords’ Alliance is shifting. Lord Dagult Neverember is the best choice and fully supports the the effort against the Cult of the Dragon , but is various members of the alliance are shifting from him. Kaisanne visits him, not as a harper, but as a returning adventurer and minstrel. She regales him with the story of our adventures; although he is disappointed that we left several undead, but congratulates her on our victory. She notices that although her performance was sublime the Lord is distracted throughout. When she tries to delve into his mood he waves his hand and dismisses her.
We leave in the morning aboard the Frost Skimmer for the Sea of Moving Ice. After several days of travel we come across some Ice hunter people. They were hunting seals on the ice when they spot our ship. Although we try and get close enough to hail them they run to their boats and paddle away. We pick our way through the ice flows slowly when the ship is attacked by two octopuses. The tentacles slam into the ship, cracking several of the boards. When we rush to the defense of the ship several crew members along with Vaeren and Charles are grabbed and drug into the ocean. Grim and Kaisanne manage to kill one and drive the off. Vaeren and Charles are saved, but three crew members were killed.
Another day passes and we encounter more Ice Hunters. Again they flee before we can yell to them, this time using fog and the night to elude us. We continue to the Northwest in the hopes of asking them if they know of Maccath. As the fog clears in the morning we spot a massive iceberg. A large flat shelve of ice a few feet above sea level surrounding a large mountain. This appears to match the writings of Maccath the Crimson to the Arcane Brotherhood. Captain Half-face is willing to pull his ship up to the ice shelf, but will not allow his crew to venture from the ship.
The ice shelf is littered with bones, many of the from large whales. Vaeren knows that somewhere near the center of the iceberg is a large and ancient dragon. It would be wise to be more cautious. It is possible that this is the home of Arauthator, the most powerful white dragon in the northern sea. If the Ice Hunter people are worshiping the dragon they could attack us at any moment.
While the rest of us are preparing to ascend the mountain Grim proceeds up the stairs the Ice Hunters have cut into the sides. He finds several frozen bodies that are used as a food source by an White Dragon. With this news we proceed up to the higher shelf where the Ice Hunters likely have their village. At the top of the stairs we are met by over sixty warriors. Eight of their warriors circle around behind us and go down the stairs towards the ship.
Grim and Kaisanne step forward and negotiate for safe passage to search the mountain for our friend. They describe Maccath the Crimson, but the villagers refuse to help us. They counter that if we can defeat their strongest warrior in single combat they will allow us to spend the night. Grim steps forward and accepts their challenge. Their champion is a large man with a iron spear and oversized bone shield. In the opening combat their champions knocks Grim to the ground. Enraged, Grim charges forward – accepting the terrible damage their champion inflicts upon him to stab repeatedly at his legs. The champion staggers under the divine smites of Grim’s god. With the champion defeated Grim raises his weapon in the air in victory.
They give us a tent to stay in for the evening, rotten fish for dinner. Although the serving girl ensures us that the food is good only Grim and Kaisanne eat it. It was clearly poisoned so we stop her from leaving and demand answers. She says that if we disturb the dragon it will kill many of the villagers, her people will suffer for our curiosity. Grim convinces her that it is only a matter of time before the dragon kills everyone in the village. He saw evidence among the frozen bodies that several were Ice Hunters. She is convinced to at least let us pass into the dragon’s lair.
In the morning their shaman comes to our tent and takes to to his tent. Inside of his tent is a small opening that he says leads to the dragon’s lair. He uses this when he is summoned to it. We slowly descend beneath the earth. The shaman lit many of the lanterns that he uses to navigate the stairs. Grim loses his footing at one point and tumbles down the remaining stairs. Rather than follow his example we rope ourselves off and slow our pace, eventually reaching Grim.
The bottom of stairs is a large cave littered with bones, human and whales. There is a large passage that slopes downward. The floor is icy and presents a treacherous footing. This time Vaeren leads the way down the ramp with the rest of us trailing over twenty feet behind him. At the bottom of the ramp we reach an intersection. Vaeren turns right and loses his footing immediately, catching himself only grabbing unto the edge of another branch.
From this other branch Vaeren can hear noises. Charles slips forward and with his sight can see several kobolds polishing giants frozen in ice. This appears to be a trophy room as all of the bodies have been torn apart by claw and fang. We slip forward into the semi-darkness and ambush them – none of them even have a chance to shout a warning as we kill or incapacitated them. Although we could not get any information from the prisoners we notice they have rigged primitive crampons to their shoes. With a little creativity we can rig them to the bottom of our shoes.
We return to the main tunnel, which continues to wrap around counter-clockwise and mostly rises. The angle would have been treacherous, but with the crampons it is passable. We discover a room used by the Ice Hunters. We find a sickened hunter and after curing him he tells us that our presence has been uncovered and the dragon and its followers are prepared to resist us. A ladder going up goes to a shelter used by his people to guard the dragon’s lair.
There is a tunnel that descends sharply down into what appears to be a treasure room. Mostly it is junk, but we manage to find a few valuable trinkets. The tunnel continues down past a few trash rooms until it eventually reaches a barracks used by the kobolds. We surprise them while they are playing cards, killing them quickly. Amid the junk we do manage to find some nicely carved walrus tusks.
Continuing the passage down we eventually reach the main circular corridor near where we entered these chambers. We know of several chambers that we missed, so we continue back to ensure that nothing there can threaten us. In the first chamber we discover a large hole with cold air rushing from it. The walkway around the edge nearly collapses throwing Charles into the pit, but luckily he scrambles back. Clearly this is an opening the kobolds use to lower stuff into the dragon’s lair. There is a block and tackle and nearly a hundred feet of rope nearby they use for this purpose.
The decision is made – we must do battle with the dragon.
Tiny URL for this post: