(IC) Quickleaf's Rime of the Frostmaiden

Quickleaf

Legend
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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Hunkering down by the fire that Keegan has going, the battered halfling gratefully nods as Keegan slides another log of wood onto the fire. Perilou shakes her head, "We were hired by the Speaker in Caer-Konig to go after the goat haunting Icewind Pass." She falls silent, taking some hot broth in hand to stare at the steam. Realizing that her explanation must sound ridiculous, the blonde halfling explains, "They call it the Goat of Tribulation. A giant goat, I suspect. They say it has one long horn and one short horn, and it relentlessly attacks folks traveling the pass – mostly barbarians and merchants. For Mokingo it was personal, the goat killed his cousin. But for Astrix..." Gnawing on her lip, Perilou glances out the flap of the tent to the tiefling's bundled corpse. "...I think she only agreed to the quest because she wanted to get inside Kelvin's Cairn. It was her suggestion that the goat might make its lair up the Cairn."

GM: Icewind Pass refers to the stretch of rough terrain southeast of Kelvin's Cairn, between the Cairn and Caer-Konig.
 

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Aethmud

Explorer
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"We were hired by the Speaker in Caer-Konig to go after the goat haunting Icewind Pass." She falls silent, taking some hot broth in hand to stare at the steam. Realizing that her explanation must sound ridiculous, the blonde halfling explains, "They call it the Goat of Tribulation. A giant goat, I suspect. They say it has one long horn and one short horn, and it relentlessly attacks folks traveling the pass – mostly barbarians and merchants. For Mokingo it was personal, the goat killed his cousin. But for Astrix..." Gnawing on her lip, Perilou glances out the flap of the tent to the tiefling's bundled corpse. "...I think she only agreed to the quest because she wanted to get inside Kelvin's Cairn. It was her suggestion that the goat might make its lair up the Cairn."

Jack nods thoughtfully, the flickering firelight casting dancing shadows across his face. "A Goat of Tribulation, you say, with mismatched horns and a penchant for mischief in the pass? Sounds like the very sort of creature that would choose the solitary heights of Kelvin's Cairn for its domain," he muses. He leans forward with a sly grin, about to regale the group with another tale of the Feywild but, catching a gruff look from Zeth, Jack bites back the story, a wry smile playing at the corners of his lips.

Turning his attention back to Perilou, Jack's expression softens. "Perilou, in light of all that's transpired, what's your next move? You've shown remarkable courage, and Keegan and Garret could surely use a steadfast guardian like you on their journey home through the chill. Or," he adds, a spark of adventurous spirit lighting up his eyes, "perhaps you're inclined to brave the tundra with us? What say you? We're heading in the direction of Termalaine next, and will need to get there posthaste."
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Jack nods thoughtfully, the flickering firelight casting dancing shadows across his face. "A Goat of Tribulation, you say, with mismatched horns and a penchant for mischief in the pass? Sounds like the very sort of creature that would choose the solitary heights of Kelvin's Cairn for its domain," he muses. He leans forward with a sly grin, about to regale the group with another tale of the Feywild but, catching a gruff look from Zeth, Jack bites back the story, a wry smile playing at the corners of his lips.

Turning his attention back to Perilou, Jack's expression softens. "Perilou, in light of all that's transpired, what's your next move? You've shown remarkable courage, and Keegan and Garret could surely use a steadfast guardian like you on their journey home through the chill. Or," he adds, a spark of adventurous spirit lighting up his eyes, "perhaps you're inclined to brave the tundra with us? What say you? We're heading in the direction of Termalaine next, and will need to get there posthaste."
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Sniffling the cold that's made the tip of her nose red, the halfling Perilou gives Jack a thousand mile stare as if the fact that she survived her ordeal is just now catching up to her. "Mokingo was my friend. I know I should return his spear-haft to his clan in the Spine of the World," she gestures to an obsidian spear head that she picked up in the yeti cave and stashed in her belt, "but I'll need some time with my goddess to fortify my faith before I'm ever ready to brave the cold again. Termalaine is as good as any of the Ten-Towns I s'pose..."
 

Necropolitan

Adventurer
The talk of a giant, murderous, possibly magical goat is of less interest to Zeth than the fact Astrix had likely been treasure-hunting. Perilou would have said if Astrix had specific ideas about what was there, but it might be worth inquiring further.

"Whatever happens, we'll need to return to that tomb. Hopefully nobody else gets there before we go back."

Realizing that greed might not be the best look, Zeth continues as if the latter point was what he meant.

"The trap's claimed one life already, at the very least we can ensure nobody else dies from wandering too close. We'll disable the trap and search the cave to ensure there are no other dangers."

And thoroughly loot the place if he has his way. Zeth intends to strip the tomb bare, even the bones might be valuable. It's not like anyone he'll be dealing with will complain about reintroducing the frost giant's treasure into the economy. Everyone still living will benefit.
 

happylace

Explorer
The last few hours have been bitterly cold. Enough to coax Alma much closer to the fire than she'd normally be. She takes her place among the rest of the party and warms her exhausted muscles. The bits of frost clinging to her hair melt and dampen and she shakes them out. "All this for vengeance on a large goat?" she says incredulously. "Revenge is a foolish motivation for anything and perpetuates pointless cycles of death. His kin will come seeking retribution and die horribly and so on and so on. It may be more efficient to simply not inform his people and let the whole thing remain a mystery."

She glances towards Lumrolur. "An underground route is not a bad suggestion. However, if it takes longer, it may hinder our current goal. We're trying to catch up with that caravan, yes? We'll already be fighting against time as it is."
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"It may be faster than any other route simply because we avoid the weather. As for the danger, we could pass through safely, the upper reaches of The Deep aren't as dangerous. There might be an occasional orc or kobold tribe, but we would hear if those were appearing somewhere in the valley. Monsters or environment are always a possibility, but the blizzard and yetis in the blizzard are, in my opinion, a greater threat."
Lumrolur waits for the group to decide, but adds a little bit more, just in case.
"I cannot promise a safe passage, no one can. But I can promise temperatures closer to normal than this cursed winter. I will not push you into it, I've said all I know. We can get close to Tarmlaine this way."
 

Logrim notices the soft purple glow of Ludo's eyes shining out into the perpetual twilight well before the three tents come into view. As the party comes into view of the tents Ludo moves, ice cracking and falling from his body as if he had been sitting there for countless hours. The construct bounds up to Logrim acting very much like a dog greeting it's owner after a long absence. Ludo buries its head into the gnomes chest almost knocking Logrim down in excitement. Logrim laughs and pats the construct on the head.

"It's good to see you to buddy."

Logrim follows the others into the tents, Ludo sticking close to his side as if to make up for it's absence. He listens to the others begin to discuss their next steps. At the mention of the Underdark he perks up.

"I'm no expert of the Underdark like Mister Lumrolur but I do know that entrances are not that common. We may need to backtrack pretty far to find a suitable entrance." Logrim rubs his chin in thought. "We don't have many good options if we want to make it to Termalaine before Torrga's caravan departs the town."
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"There is an entrance close by. Not so close we can sleep here, but we can get there before the storm hits."
 

Aethmud

Explorer
Jack runs a hand through his hair, casting a wistful glance towards the snowflakes that swirl menacingly in the wind and the whiteout of the distant but approaching storm. "Well, as much as I'd love to dance with a blizzard—there's a certain thrill to being at the mercy of the Frostmaiden's whims—I can't deny the appeal of a path less frosted," he says with a wry smile, "and I must admit, not all of you share my peculiar fondness for frolicking in a flurry. The underground path holds a certain... allure, even if it's devoid of snowflakes and winter's chill."

"If a forced march underground could lead us to Termalaine before we lose Torrga's trail, I could be persuaded to embrace the shadows. Logrim and Ludo have an uncanny ability to navigate through the obscure and scout the darkness, while Lumrolur brings a wealth of experience from the underground. Together, they could guide us through the shadowy deep. We'll be so stealthy on our way to Termalaine, the kobolds might just think they dreamt us passing by their doorsteps!"


He turns his attention to Garrett and Keegan, his expression softening. "As for you two, braving the storm on the surface might not be the wisest tale to weave. Perhaps your sleds and steadfast dogs could carry you home before the worst of the blizzard unleashes its fury. Getting back to a cozy hearth is a story with a happier ending, I'd wager."

Jack turns to Alma, a playful yet inquisitive gleam in his eye. "Well, Alma, what's the verdict? Do we venture beneath the earth, facing the unknown mysteries it might hide, or do we camp here and challenge the blizzard's might above while recharging our spells and wit?"

Finally, Jack's gaze settles on Perilou, his eyes twinkling with the promise of shared adventure. "And Perilou, would you be so kind as to guide our friends here through the snow's embrace back to safety? Unless, of course, you fancy a journey with us through the earth's hidden veins to Termalaine and adventures unknown."
 
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Steve Gorak

Adventurer
Aric was happy the folks and the dogs at the camp were safe. He listened to the other talk, and he didn’t feel that involved since the cold never bothered him anyways. But he had never traveled to the underdark. He was eager to see it with his own eyes, so nodded his agreement when the underdark was mentioned
 

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