(IC) Quickleaf's Rime of the Frostmaiden

happylace

Explorer
Logrim gathers with the others. He listens to Alma's explication of the Arcane Brotherhood then the question as to the Snow White reference.

"Miss Alma I've heard of her. Nothing solid, mostly rumors of a sorceress selling potions and charms. I can't attest to the validity of these rumors. I never was able to examine any of her wares." Logrim pauses for a second trying to remember more. "An acquaintance from Good Meade said he acquired one of her potions. But he disappeared with a caravan to Fireshear several years ago. Never got the potion just the empty bottle. Made of some strange ice-like material. I might have it somewhere back in my uncle's shop."

Logrim looks at Alma to see if his answer was helpful. He looks around uncomfortably at the attention and continues.

"All the rumors point to this Snow white to not be the nicest of people. She comes off as similar to a hag or witch in the stories. She plies in vengeance, greed and misery. Most say that her deals are never good for the person making them."

Alma nods, staring at him unblinkingly. "That fits the pattern of behavior, then. The Arcane Brotherhood would seek such a person out of foolish desire for magical power. Either way, anything or anyone behind that barrier is likely to be dangerous."
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
GM POST

PC token_Corse.png

Your guide, Fieldwalker Corse, watches the snowdrifts blowing from the north over the peak of Kelvin's Cairn. In the fading light of the violet and teal aurora now diminishing to the east, there are hints of grey and white storm clouds to the north. "There's a blizzard coming. It won't break until after the dawn, perhaps midday or afternoon. Hard to say exactly with the Curse of the Frostmaiden. It's still a ways off, but it's coming. We'll want shelter before then..."

Looking down the mountain and back to the wall of ice, she squints and chews her lip, "If we descend to the sleds and hunker down there with Garret and Keegan – and Ludo, sorry Logrim, didn't forget about Ludo – we'll have some protection at the southwestern base of the mountain..."

"Otherwise, it's 5-hours by sled to Konig to the southeast, which we passed through on our way to Kelvin's Cairn... It's backtracking, but it's close and not too much time on the tundra, so likely a safe journey..."

"Alternately, it's 11-hours by sled to Termalaine which is closer to Targos, where your leads were pointing to Torrga's Caravan. However, that's a lot of tundra to cover...and we likely won't be alone out there."


Reluctantly looking back to the wall of ice, "Or there's the depths of the Cairn beyond that gate."
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"If we enter, we might not be able to withdraw with the blizzard outside and Garret and Keegan would be left alone. And we would be without Ludo. We have time, we know about this now, why wouldn't we simply return when it is safer?"
Lumrolur looks at the foreboding portal.
"In that case, I won't test the divination, just in case it opens once and doesn't reset. No sense in opening it for the looters."
 

Necropolitan

Adventurer
"The Arcane Brotherhood. A powerful group of mages interested in arcane secrets. They often seek powerful magic artifacts. Usually to their own detriment. They operate out of Luskan. To find a member all the way out here, they must be tracking something very desirable indeed. I'm not familiar with the relics spoken about here, though." She looks to the others. "Do any of you know what this Snow White is referencing?"
Zeth listens to the description of the Arcane Brotherhood. If they want whatever is in this cave then he wants it. Even if he can't use it personally he can use to buy his way up in his faction. He'd wanted to leave before, but there was no way he'd let such a treasure slip through his fingers.

So what if he didn't know what the treasure was? For it to merit this much protection it had to be valuable! Even the trap itself might have resale value for the components if nothing else.

OOC: Commerce: 1D20+6 = [8]+6 = 14

"If we enter, we might not be able to withdraw with the blizzard outside and Garret and Keegan would be left alone. And we would be without Ludo. We have time, we know about this now, why wouldn't we simply return when it is safer?"
Lumrolur looks at the foreboding portal.
"In that case, I won't test the divination, just in case it opens once and doesn't reset. No sense in opening it for the looters."
Zeth gestures to the cave.

"There's a potential fortune in there! We've saved those who could be saved, send them to town while we claim it. We've got magic enough to keep warm at the very least and they can come back to get us tomorrow."

The thought of help not arriving, of being trapped once again in this frozen wasteland and forced to resort to...that to survive wars with Zeth's greed for magic and money. It's not fair, why can't everything just be handed to him on a golden platter?!

Zeth's sudden doubt is obvious.

"I...there's got to be some way we can safely do this now, right? One of you has to know a way, there's so much to be gained..."
 

Quickleaf

Legend
GM: @Necropolitan Commerce DC 14: Between this witch, giants, gods, the artifact Crenshinibon – it's anyone's guess what treasure lies within, but the fact that it drew a mage's attention enough to risk her life suggests it is of a magical nature. The wall of ice itself is hard to evaluate. Even if chunks were to be broken off, and their magic were to endure making it everlasting ice – that's a commodity folk of Ten Towns are in precious little need of considering the dire winter conditions.
 

Aethmud

Explorer
Jack shifts his weight from one foot to the other, gazing thoughtfully at the ominous wall of ice before turning his attention back to the group. "You know, as much as I appreciate the allure of the unknown and the call of adventure," he begins, his voice tinged with his usual blend of humor and wisdom, "diving into the Cairn's depths with a blizzard nipping at our heels makes as much strategic sense as waltzing into a banshee's welcoming embrace. Eerily captivating, but fraught with a chill that's as cold and unforgiving as the grave."

He sweeps his hand back in the direction of the sleds, gazing down the snowy path the party has made in the snow below. "Reuniting with Garret, Keegan, and dear Ludo is the more appealing tale to tell. After all, they've been waiting on us, and who are we to leave a good story half-finished?"

As Jack takes a few steps back down the path, he casts a baleful glance back at the Cairn, "I've got my doubts this icy gate isn't likely to sprout legs and wander off anytime soon. It might even still be sitting here, waiting for us to plumb its secrets, next time we come up." Jack's smile widens, his gaze meeting each of his companions in turn. "Let's not tempt fate today. We'll have plenty of time to play in the snow again, after we've made some efforts to ensure our adventure doesn't end in a frozen finale. What do you say?"
 

Logrim nods in agreement with Jack.

"I think we need to go down as well. If we are up here and exposed when that storm hits we will all end up like Miss Astrix here. I don't want that."
 

Quickleaf

Legend
The Way Back / The First Blizzard


GM POST

With the decision cemented to descend back to your base camp, leaving the mystery of the giant's ice door to rest for another time, you manage – with Logrim's guidance – to craft a makeshift litter for the corpse of the tiefling Astrix. With the fading light of the aurora offering only silhouettes in the darkness below, Aric's flame near the front and Alma's soft red light in the rear, you make your way down from Kelvin's Cairn.

Back past the frozen cave where you faced the yetis and rescued Perilou, the halfling acolyte clutching her torn jacket around herself as the sole survivor of her ill-fated expedition.
Back down the perilous fifty foot ice cliff, relying on a rope system devised by your guide Fieldwalker Corse to lower the corpse litter down.
Back past where you found Garret frostbitten but alive, defending him from the crag cats.
Back across the avalanche now tumbled snow at rest, the fractured unsalvageable remnants of the dog sled scattered among the eerily silent snow drifts.
Back to where you found the sled dogs Kodiak, Mercy, Nomad, Sesi, and Siku. Surely they will be waiting for you back at the basecamp along with Garett and Keegan...

After an hour (it's about 1:30 am), you spot the sled dogs hunkered down outside three tents, one which flickers with lantern light. A dog's whine pierces the night followed by a questioning bark, then two excited barks. Aric recognizes the rough husky sound of the sled dog Boy. The chill cuts deep and your legs are weary from descending the rough terrain while hauling the duergar treasure chest & the corpse, but you are safe. For now.

Keegan.png

A stirring comes from the tent, and the flap opens so you can see Keegan Velryn wrapping warm towels over his husband Garret's hands. "Is that you, friends? I worried you wouldn't make it back down after Garret and the dogs. I have some broth going if you need to warm up..."

Though he's clearly exhausted and resting fitfully, the mountaineer Garret struggles to mouth words through blistered lips, managing to mumble, "Storm..."

GM: You've completed a quest! Three more to go till you gain a level.

Current quest(s):
  1. Cold-Hearted Killer: (quest-giver: Hlin Trollbane) 200 gp offered by merchants of Ten-Towns represented by Rendaril for bringing serial killer to justice, dead or alive
  2. Mystery of Ol' Bitey's Verse
To Level Up to 4th: Complete a total of 4 quests in the Ten-Towns. You may replace (up to 2) Ten-Towns quests with significantly progressing or resolving your individual character quests.

Completed quests:
  • Mountain Climb: (quest-giver: Keegan in Targos) free rooms at The Luskan Arms & discounted sled dogs for rescuing his husband Garret at Kelvin's Cairn


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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"We may not have time to rest. I suggest...not sure what you would feel about it...There is a way underground. It may be a bit longer, but it will avoid the blizzard. We will be able to walk unhindered by ice. At the very least, it will be dryer and warmer. Not necessarily safer."
 

Aethmud

Explorer
"We may not have time to rest. I suggest...not sure what you would feel about it...There is a way underground. It may be a bit longer, but it will avoid the blizzard. We will be able to walk unhindered by ice. At the very least, it will be dryer and warmer. Not necessarily safer."

Jack arches an eyebrow, "not necessarily safer has a certain ominous ring to it. What are we expecting down there?" But then, as he sweeps his hand toward swirling snowflakes beginning to descend, his features soften to characteristic joy, "Look at that, the blizzard is about to throw us a frosty party! You know, there's something about a good snowstorm that just warms my fairy heart."

"I'm not sure I'd trade this winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes for the hidden world beneath our feet, if we're not sure it's any safer. If there's a chance for stealthy and unhindered movement, or a surprise ambush in our favor when we pop up to the surface, well, I suppose I could be persuaded to brave the dark. We could gain an advantage from hidden paths, at some point."


Turning to the halfling with a curious tilt of his head, Jack's eyes reflect genuine interest. "So, Perilou, what brought you all the way up to Kelvin's Cairn? There must be quite a tale behind venturing into such a frosty embrace. Were you chasing legends, seeking treasure, or perhaps something even more enchanting?" His tone is light, inviting Perilou to share their story amidst the backdrop of their icy adventure. "Astrix scaling so high piques the curiosity. What lure or purpose could be strong enough to propel a tiefling to undertake such a solitary and foolhardy expedition to the very top?"
 

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