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Thursday, 12th February, 2009, 10:44 PM #1
Menace of the Icy Spire (Ozymandias79 judging)
Welcome to Menace of the Icy Spire! And thanks for judging, Ozzy!
1. Please try to post at least once a day, and post a brief note if you won't be able to. To encourage this, if you post within 24 hours of me, you'll get +1 to one roll you make in that post - your choice which. (Not damage, though.) It's up to you to remember the +1.
2. Keep player and character knowledge separate! This might be especially important in this thread, for two reasons... If I feel a character makes an action based on information they wouldn't know in-game, I may assign a penalty or overrule the action.
3. Make all rolls on Invisible Castle.
4. To keep things moving quickly, I'll make all Initiative rolls at the start of each combat and then posting the Initiative order. (If you have any abilities that come into effect at Initiative time, please post to let me know before the first combat starts so I'll remember them.)
5. I'll also be making any roll where the character shouldn't know if they're successful, like Perception and Intuition checks to spot "anything out of the ordinary", or Stealth checks which end up with the character crouched under cover hoping it covers all of them... If in doubt, please post rolls for the skills you think are most appropriate along with your actions, and I'll tell you if I'm ignoring them and rolling myself. (To keep things moving, just post the roll when you propose the action, don't wait for me to okay it and say what to roll.)
6. Please include a stat summary block with all your combat posts. Here's an example, but you can use another format if you want as long as it's clear and doesn't take too much space:
7 Rabbit stat block
I have a funny feeling I'm missing something, but that'll do for now.
Larinza Tsani, Human Warlord
Shorrin, Dragonborn Fighter
Janus Reinhardt, Human Wizard
Murphy Tang, Human Warlock
Baltharial Landdowin BrinjairrandBalth, Elf Ranger
Last edited by JoeNotCharles; Friday, 13th February, 2009 at 08:30 AM.
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Thursday, 12th February, 2009, 10:45 PM #2
Continued from the Office of the Harbourmaster:
The Kraken's Grasp rolls heavily on the waves as night falls. The wind increases, whipping dark, tattered clouds across the sky and sending brief sprays of rain spitting across the deck, which quickly grows slick and treacherous. "Best keep your heads below!" roars Captain Torain. [color=DarkRed]"We've two more days of this, an' the crew don't need you lubbers in the way! Hell, this ain't even a real STORM!"
By the morning the air has grown bitterly cold and the sprays of rain have turned to ice. Your breath comes in frosty clouds and every drop of ocean spray stings like glass. Around midmorning you spot the first ice chunks bobbing in the water. "More, an' bigger, where those came from," says the Captain, darkly.
By evening the sea in every direction is dotted with drifting white specks, most no larger than a man's head but a few the size of a dinghy. Two sailors with long poles are stationed in the bows to deflect any that come too near to the ship. "Little threat yet, tho'," says Captain Torion. "That'll come on the morrow."
Just before the light fails, you spot your first iceberg. It's away off to port, though - no chance of running aground. Not yet.
The next day the cold, the weather, and the ice are all worse. Sailors curse as they rip their skin against exposed metal. The chunks of ice are now too big to deflect - the lookouts must keep a close eye, and the ship is forced to tack around the most biggest and most dangerous approaching masses, and plow through others. Several times during the day you hear a terrifying crunch and the ship shudders, and shouting crewman leap to inspect the ship for damage. But Captain Torion's crew is among the most skilled in Daunton, and you slowly make your way through the ice field without springing any leaks that can't be easily patched with hot tar. (For once, the sailors on this duty don't grumble - shoveling tar may be backbreaking and foul-smelling, but at least it's warm.)
Just before noon, the lookout in the crow's nest cries, "LAND HO!" You rush to the gunnels and see nothing ahead but a sea of white. A few birds wheel in the sky. Captain Torion comes up beside you. "Ye won't see it yet," he says. "It was the birds she spotted, not th' shore itself. We won't be able to get in to shore anyway."
As the ship slowly moves through a slurry of ice pellets, you see what the Captain means - the white horizon grows closer and you realize you are gazing on a sheet of solid ice. Finally a jagged black line of land appears on the horizon, thrusting out of the ice sheet to meet a swirling vortex of heavy cloud. You can also see a smaller speck at the base of the cliff - straining your eyes, you can make out the hulk of a ship, listing sharply to one side, entombed in the ice. Captain Torion sees where you're looking. "'At's the Little Celia - so far the only ship to be lost in these waters, a week ago before the ice got so bad, an' with luck the only one."
The Kraken grinds to a halt as the ice grows too thick to continue. "We'll launch you in a pinnace," says the Captain. "That'll get you a bit closer, but ye'll need to trek across the ice eventually." He squints at the sky. "Looks like ye've got a few hours of light left - ye should be able to make it to the wreck at least 'afore dark. Ye want to set out now, or shelter here fer the night an' set out in the morning?"
Last edited by JoeNotCharles; Friday, 13th February, 2009 at 01:02 AM.
Friday, 13th February, 2009, 07:21 AM #3
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Balth, now dressed in not only his forest garb, but a slew of pelts including a skin cap on his head and a tail of some sort wrapped around his neck, peers up at the sky when the Captain poses his question.
Teeth chattering, he turns to the others to see what they think. He clambors over to the edge of the ship and looks out at the vast sea of white. Not a single tree, anywhere.
What am I doing here? he muttered under his breath to himself. By the light, tis utter madness. Nary a single tree? What am I to use for cover?
He turned, joints stiff. The Captain's men were laughing at him. He poured it on, encouraging them. He knew the first rule was if you were uncomfortable, find a way to make people laugh about it. Sure, he was a 'landlubber.' But he'd be more comfortable having the crew laugh at him than confirm his fears.
Ppperhaps we sh-should w-w-wait unt-til dddawn? he asked, eyeing the others.
Friday, 13th February, 2009, 08:03 AM #4
Defender (Lvl 8)
Friday, 13th February, 2009, 11:40 AM #5
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Shorrin stood near the mast of the ship. He wasn't about to go anywhere near the edge until the storm had passed.
Shorrin stat block
Friday, 13th February, 2009, 02:38 PM #6
Murphy will join the dragonborn staying well back from the edge, as he knows all too well the perils of the sea. When asked about their plans "I'm thinking that the last thing I want to be doing is sleepin on a hunk of ice. The temperature will most likely drop as the night comes on and so I second our resident arcanist's recommendation of waiting until first light." Murphy says.
Murphy stat block
Friday, 13th February, 2009, 08:46 PM #7
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Balth stat block
Last edited by balth; Friday, 13th February, 2009 at 08:49 PM.
Friday, 13th February, 2009, 11:18 PM #8
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Janus returns from the bow of the ship where he has been using Thunder wave to help move the larger icebergs from the path of the ship.
Approaching the others huddling around the mainmast, he says.
"I concur gentleme...err...beings, we must stay aboard till first light, if we get caught without shelter out on the ice it would surley spell our doom. When we make landfall we should be able to find shelter from the wind if needs be."
"From there we can strike inland and find the source of this invigirating chill." Janus adds as he idly adjusts his robes.
To the captain "Captain, I come from a place that is this cold for most of the year, if this island is anything like it, the temperature will drop alarmingly when the sun goes down and thats when the Ice Weasles come out. If you need help with the watch I will volunteer a few hours this eve."
Janus stat block
Saturday, 14th February, 2009, 01:10 AM #9
Scout (Lvl 6)
Larinza appears back above desk huddled up under furs and blankets. "I definattly think we should spend the night on the ship, then we should quickly make our way from what shelter we can to the next."
She shivers then wisphers under her breath.. "I need the gold, I need the gold, Gods, this is cold."
Saturday, 14th February, 2009, 03:48 AM #10
"Sittin' here is risky too. Without sail we're sittin' ducks if any o' that ice breaks off," the Captain warns, "But I see yer point. Best to keep as much daylight as possible fer explorin'. Go on, get below an' get some sleep. An' thanks fer the offer ta stand watch, but we'll need experienced seamen in case there's an emergency. Ye'll do the most good by gettin' a warm night's sleep - could be yer last."
Next morning you're shaken awake by the bosun, and emerge into a bright, clear day. The seas are calmer, but ominous clouds still lurk over the island. "Move yer britches!" yells the Captain as soon as he sees you. "The launch is already in the water!" You look over the side and see ropes leading to a narrow boat, where two seamen are busy lashing down a pair of sleds.
You stare ahead at the island as the boat slices through the slushy water towards the island. The sailors occasionally have to fend off larger chunks with their oars. They mostly ignore you, as they've been doing all trip, but you can hear them speculating about the cause of the cold.
"I hear tell," says one, "Of an island that drifts in and out of the lanes, deserted except for a tower made of ice. Nobody's ever gotten inside, but every couple of years a ship'll land there and take a look, but never be able to find it again when they return."
"Bah. Can't be," says the other. "If ships have landed on it, the whole island can't have been surrounded by ice. I reckon a gate's ripped open to the Elemental Chaos. A traveller told me that happened in the Empire last year - landlocked city got destroyed by a tidal wave. Some wizard's experiment gone wrong."
"You don't know what you're talking about!" says the first. "They call it the CHAOS for a reason. It'd be more than just cold coming out if it were that."
Then he abruptly turns and calls back to you. "We've come about as far as we can! You'll have to continue on your own!"
The boat has been travelling through narrow channels of water with vast sheets of solid ice on either side. Now the channel has grown too narrow to continue. The seamen throw metal hooks out to the ice, trailing ropes back to the boat; they crunch into the snow and hold it steady. With much straining and cursing they manage to lever one of the sleds over the gap and you use it as a bridge to cross over onto the ice sheet without soaking yourself, and then drag the other sled after you.
"All your gear's loaded in there," says the first sailor. "Captain says we're going to move the ship back into safer waters and then stand to. There's faggots in the sled - you can light a fire on the clifftop when you're ready to return and we'll send the boat back for you. Lookout should be able to see it fine."
There's an ominous creak and you realize the channel is narrowing as the ice on the far side drifts closer. The sailor turns pale. "We best be going while the path back stays clear! Luck to you!" Then they push off and leave you alone on the ice.
Before continuing, you take an inventory of the sleds:
- a pair of tents, too light to do much good but better than nothing
- piles of extra furs (equivalent of 10 bedrolls - 2 per person)
- two bonfires worth of wood (from which you can fashion an essentially unlimited number of torches)
- 12 flasks of lamp oil
- 6 complete climber's kits (grappling hook, hammer, pitons, 50 feet of rope)
- 6 bundles of 12 candles each, wrapped in waxed paper, each packaged with flint and steel
- 6 pairs of boots with large planks of wood strapped to them
Each sled has two ropes with harnesses attached, so that two people can easily collaborate to pull them. With about 160 lb of gear per sled, two people together can drag a sled over clear ground - like this ice - without penalty, but one person alone needs a strength of 16 or higher to avoid being slowed.
You consider the snow boots carefully. They look... awkward. They look, in fact, like the ship's carpenter lashed them together from a vague description. But it's a long walk to the island, and you can see drifts of snow built up on the ice in several places - they might be helpful if they work. It's up to you if you want to wear them.
Now that you're closer you can see that the wrecked ship is about 100 feet out from a wooden dock that juts out from the shore of the island itself. Both the ship and the dock have their lower half solidly encased in the ice. From the dock, a narrow path cuts back and forth up the shape of the cliff - it might actually be possible to haul the sleds up, with some work. Between here and the dock is about half a mile of open ice, occasionally crossed by crevasses and ominous dark patches.