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(IC) Quickleaf's Rime of the Frostmaiden


I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Lumrolur lowers his shawl which he put up when the hostilities seemed inevitable. Hopping from the sled, he looks up at the towering dwarf and takes a flask. "Thank you. We really are on the track of the murderer and my plan was to take this bunch through the underground so we can gain some ground on him"

OOC: Lumrolur is not even full 3 feet, so...towering dwarf :)

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Alma relaxes her posture as the tension ebbs. Whatever Logrim said seems to have cleaned up the mess. She casts a dubious look over her shoulder towards Zeth, but doesn't comment. When the other dwarves approach, offering liquor, it occurs to her that it's considered rude to refuse drinks from a host. "Thank you. My name is Alma Ostergaard." She holds a hand out for the flask, and, if they offer, takes a swig.
Lumrolur lowers his shawl which he put up when the hostilities seemed inevitable. Hopping from the sled, he looks up at the towering dwarf and takes a flask. "Thank you. We really are on the track of the murderer and my plan was to take this bunch through the underground so we can gain some ground on him"

OOC: Lumrolur is not even full 3 feet, so...towering dwarf :)
The two amicable dwarves introduce themselves as Angrom Krorfaeg and Rurm Doraghaen, watching eagerly how you handle the exceptionally fortified mushroom liquor. "Miss Ostergaard... Bufflestone..." They nod politely, before trundling back up the stairs of the stone outpost, soon gossiping in Dwarvish whispers just like before.


Brydum Black Axe walks alongside those of you remaining on the sled and those of you proceeding on foot (or on wing, in Jack's case), speaking in the Common tongue. "Underground, eh? Then it's the Temple of Dumathoin you're after. Only problem is we collapsed the passages when zombies spilled up from the Underdark. Your uncle Jorlen was a young tinker," Brydum says aside to Lumrolur, "when he helped build the gate sealing off Dumathoin's Temple."

There's a wistful look in the dwarf's eye, suggesting that he has some deeper connection to the history of this temple. "At any rate, Dumathoin's Temple is the only way to reach the Underdark from the Valley. And you'll need to petition the Dain to let you pass."

To the left (east) you notice several more axe-shaped stone outposts, eroded and in states of disrepair, with vague silhouettes of dwarves staring at you, faint lanterns making their shadows stretch across worn battlements. Brydum watches those dwarves closely through the twilight, nodding towards them, "Clan Hammerstone. Since four years past they control the eastern Valley. While those of us aligned with Battlehammer have the west. It's a standoff. Avoid dealing with them unless you have to – their halls have been tainted by the Black Ice."

GM: @Neurotic Hah, that's right. I need to remember that your party now has more Small characters than human-sized characters. Also, Lumrolur can feel a strange pull towards the eastern Valley, as if that accident in his past is calling to him.


The other two dwarves amble down, even shorter than Brydum, murmuring in broken Common as they look your strange company up and down, pet the dogs, and one trudges up to Alma and Jack to offer them a sip of some dwarven hard liquor to "keep the chill at bay."

With a glint in his eye, Jack accepts the offered flask of dwarven liquor, tipping it back for a hearty swig. As the potent mushroom brew hits his palate, his face contorts in a brief moment of surprise at its strength, before settling into a grin of satisfaction. Wiping a drop from his chin with the back of his hand, Jack chuckles, his wings giving a flutter of amusement.

"Whew, that's got the kick of a truffle in a tumble. It's a fairy ring in a flask, the spore that makes you soar!" The dwarves are taken aback at how powerfully and quickly the drink affects the diminuative fairy, whose pupils abruptly dilate into vast voids, hinting at a gentle drift into a cozy, trancelike reverie. "Angrom, Rurm, a pleasure to make your acquaintance. This mushroom concoction of yours could easily rival the nectar of the Feywild. Truly, a masterpiece of fungal froth in a flagon."

Jack whispers to the dwarf nearest to him as he flutters over, "There's a story I must share with you, Angrom. You see, this liquor reminds me of an evening I once spent with an assembly of shroomkin fae, each taking swigs from prime vintage bottles of The Mycelium's Finest Secret. They drank while huddled over rounds of Gill Guess, a gambling game where we'd hide tiny treasures under mushroom gills and swap them about, the stakes being dewdrops and moonbeams. I felt certain my gambling luck would hold that night! But the next morning I awoke to find my bottle was drained and my pockets empty. They informed me that, in calling a bet with nothing left to wager, I'd sworn allegiance to a queen of the mushroom folk, promising to champion their cause against the encroaching moss!" Jack's narrative is momentarily interrupted by a hiccup, producing a small bioluminescent bubble swirling with fractal mandalas, which delicately pops, casting a brief kaleidoscope of colors before his dilated gaze. Jack dreamily gazes down at the flask, still in his hands. He hands it back Angrom with a grin, whispering, "I'm half afraid my fingers will start looking like little fungi if partake any more. It's safer in your hands!"


I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Lumrolur relishes the liquor, mushroom brews are hard to come by on the surface and it momentarily returns him to memory of binging with Rennik in Oji-Din. He swallows and smiles wistfully, swirling snow taking a shape of his brothers face for a moment before changing to more sinister aspect and dissipating.


Lumrolur lowers his shawl which he put up when the hostilities seemed inevitable. Hopping from the sled, he looks up at the towering dwarf and takes a flask. "Thank you. We really are on the track of the murderer and my plan was to take this bunch through the underground so we can gain some ground on him"

OOC: Lumrolur is not even full 3 feet, so...towering dwarf :)

Zeth decides it's best not to draw too much attention to himself after his disastrous attempt to speak Dwarvish. If need be he'll lie and claim one of his former crewmates told him it was a traditional Dwarvish greeting as a prank. Other than the one that seemed to still be walking around all the old crew were dead so it wasn't like they could contradict him.

Come to think of it there was a lot of unfinished business.

Sephek Kaltro was a serial-killing loose end that needed to be eliminated, there was that Frost Giant tomb to loot, and he had profits to recover to salvage this ruined trip and keep his faction happy.

Given the option between looting the tomb and going after Kaltro Zeth knew which ones was likely to be more profitable. Kaltro could keep, there was no way he was giving up the chance to claim the treasure of the tomb.

Dropping his voice to try to keep anyone outside their party from hearing him Zeth speaks:

"I think we should check out that cave we found first, assuming we can get past the traps. We're under-equipped and that tomb will either have items we can use or enough treasure to buy as what we need."

Logrim walks briskly to keep up with the dwarfs longer strides. He nods at the praise to his uncles skill as a craftsman.

"I will send your praise for my uncles talent along when next I see him. As for my talents, Uncle Jorlen sees enough in me to sponsor my guild membership but I'm not sure I'm near his talent yet. I'd be happy to meet the Dain but right now we need to get to Termalaine."

When Brydum starts talking of the Temple of Dumathoin at Lumrolur's mention of the underground. Logrim looks over at the dwarf.

"My uncle rarely spoke of the temple. If it is still overrun then our plan might not be feasible. Perhaps we'll have to meet with your Dain if we are still intent on our current course."


GM: If anyone trained in Arcana – Alma @happylace , Logrim @VLAD the Destroyer , Zeth @Necropolitan – thinks you might know a bit about necromancy you can make an Arcana check to assess different spells that might create zombies. The base DC is 9 (with higher yielding more info), while rolling ≤ 8 has bad consequences).

DC ≤8: You've had bad experiences with zombies that bias your opinion/"knowledge", for example you might choose one:
  • Zombies retain a glimmer of their past personality but with their flaws magnified; something from their past might cause them to temporarily suspend hostilities or become transfixed.
  • Zombies consume brains in a slow crawl toward sentience, and the juicier the brain the more capabilities (strategy, speech, even spellcasting) a zombie can develop.
  • Zombies resent being animated, and turn on the necromancer – and their family, friends, associates, anyone resembling a mage, etc – at the soonest opportunity.
  • Zombies must obey the commands of their wicked master... but they're dim-witted enough to be fooled by a convincing disguise or bit of illusion magic.

DC 9+: A zombie left without orders usually stands in place and rots unless something comes along that it can kill. The magic animating a zombie imbues it with evil, so left without purpose, it attacks any living creature it encounters.

DC 11+: Animate Dead creates zombies from corpses, so it can make lots of zombies, which persist if the caster dies (or loses concentration) but become "free-willed."

DC 13+: Danse Macabre can animate powerful zombies from corpses, but it ends if the caster dies (or loses concentration), whereupon the zombies collapse into inanimate corpses. These zombies will have wisps of dark energy about them making them stronger than typical zombies.
...also DC 13+: Negative Energy Flood can create a zombie from one creature killed – so it isn't good for creates lots – but that zombie is permanent and "free-willed." Signs of this spell include squares of black silk wrapping shards of bone used as material components, and exceptionally hostile zombies.

DC 15+: Finger of Death can create a zombie from one creature killed, but this zombie is permanent and will continue to perform its master's bidding even after the necromancer dies.


Despite her normally stoic demeanor, Alma can't hold back a grimace and shudder as the alcohol slides down her throat. She returns it quickly, falling into step alongside her traveling companions. Filing away a mental note that dwarven beverages require a strong constitution and a unique set of taste buds. Perhaps it was better not to have them at all.

Turning her attention to the conversation at hand, she recalls some of the more esoteric areas of arcane. Necromancy is far from her specialty, but a few spells come to mind. Depending on how powerful this individual was, any number of them could be the cause. "More than likely, the undead will still be there. They require no sustenance, and few require direct orders. We should expect the worst."




With beginning snow flurries at your back, the blizzard must be mere hours away. Already the faint silhouette of Kelvin's Cairn in the twilight has been swallowed in a grayish-white haze. Brydum Black Axe leads you across broken terrain to a fifteen-foot angular archway cut into the valley wall flanked by a pair of heavily armored dwarven guards, speaking in low tones with Brydum, sullen eyes watching your party from beneath their spangenhelms. After he explains your circumstances, the guards wave you through.

"The good news is the Dain's awake at this hour. The bad news is he's in a foul mood as his niece Helda Silverstream has gone missing...again... and he had another spat with that damned drow Do'urden." Brydum explains as he leads you to a central hearth, where dwarven guards shake the snow from their boots, sipping juniper tea and mushroom liquor, and speaking in low voices about the goings on in the Valley. The room is wide with a vaulted ceiling, with a massive masonry hearth at the center built so the flames are visible from two sides. The massive chimney rises into the stone ceiling.

"If it's shelter you're seeking, we've some spare barracks where you can stay. But when you're ready to meet with the Dain, let me know and I'll escort you to his great room..."

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