[OOC] Quickleaf's Rime of the Frostmaiden [closed but waitlist is available]


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Quickleaf

Legend
@Steve Gorak @Neurotic @domminniti @Necropolitan @happylace @VLAD the Destroyer @Aethmud
I know you're looking forward to free roleplaying time. I'm assuming you want to wait til you're safe in town to do that, but feel free to say "no, let's do it at base camp now."

In the IC post I'm steering you toward a choice about your next course of action, and though this will come up in roleplaying, I wanted to spell out what I'm thinking & give a recap.
Tl;dr here's a graphic table to understand the choice facing you...

Screen Shot 2024-02-09 at 12.54.37 PM.png


You arrived in Targos pursuing leads on the "Cold-Hearted Killer" who Zeth believes is Sephek Kaltro. However, that quest was postponed as you hoped to rescue the missing Garret Velryn who guided an ill-fated party up Kelvin's Cairn. You left Targos on two dog sleds (four-person sleds) following roads through Bryn Shander, Caer-Dineval, and Caer-Konig before reaching Kelvin's Cairn. You rescued Garret and his dogs, and the sole surviving adventurer, the halfling acolyte Perilou. Previously, you heard that Torrga's trade caravan – who you suspect harbors the "Cold-Hearted Killer" plaguing Ten Towns – was last headed to Termalaine. That was about 2 days ago now. Torrga travels around Ten Towns upselling goods, spending roughly three days at each town before moving on.

Now it's 1:30am, a blizzard is many hours out coming from the north (in Icewind Dale blizzards last 2-8 hours typically), and you're faced with a choice : Traveling to Caer-Konig, Hunkering down at base camp, or Traveling to Termalaine. Or maybe you have other ideas!

Travel to Caer-Konig: This would be backtracking the way you came – 5 hours back to Caer-Konig, then another 12 hours back to Targos, so Torrga's caravan would definitely have time to move on from Termalaine. But on the upside you'd be likely reach the safety of Caer-Konig before the blizzard strikes & the travel across the tundra is short enough you wouldn't risk wandering encounters. This is the "safest" option.

Hunkering down at Base Camp: While Kelvin's Cairn itself would provide a measure of protection from the winds, tent-camping in a blizzard has risks (i.e. there'd be a mini-skill challenge involved risking sleeplessness/exhaustion, but Kelvin's Cairn and Keegan would help you). Assuming you take 2-hour watch shifts with two-people, you'd need 10 hours to long rest, which would take you til about 11:30 / 12:00. For sure the blizzard would strike within that time. On the downside, Torrga's caravan will likely have moved on from Termalaine. This is the "low risk" option.

Travel to Termalaine: This would involve 11 hours travel across tundra where you're likely to have wandering encounters, and for sure the blizzard would strike during travel. On the upside, you very likely would catch up with Torrga's caravan in Termalaine. This is the "moderate risk" option.
ALTERNATELY, you could travel fast and try to reach Termalaine before the blizzard catches up to you, definitely catching up with Torrga's caravan. However, this would be a forced march (I have slightly more forgiving rules than RAW & use the new -1 to -10 exhaustion rules). And there would be risk of getting surprised by wandering encounters. Additionally, you'd have to either sacrifice some weight (since the two sleds are 4-person, and you have 7 PCs, Keegan, Garret, Perilou, plus the duergar treasure chest) OR hitch up the six tired sled dogs (Boy, Kodiak, Mercy, Nomad, Sesi, and Siku) risking their exhaustion/injury. This is the "high risk" option.
 
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Aethmud

Explorer
I vote for heading back to base camp. If it were just our party involved (including Ludo) I'd be okay with a high-risk option. But what is the point of risking the lives of tired sled dogs and 3 helpless NPCs when we came all this way to rescue them. @VLAD the Destroyer made a big sacrifice for the party, letting Ludo stay behind, and we owe it to him to reunite with Ludo before pressing on.

I also vote for some free role-playing at base camp, in addition to the mini skill challenge. We can do more free RP when in town, but who knows when that might be.

My guess is that the NPCs and tired dogs could get back to safety without undue risk, after the blizzard, so then maybe we'd split ways at base camp and press on from there.

What is the status of the agreement with Corse? Would she go back to town with the NPCs and stay there? Or she'd continue on to Termalaine with us (if that's where we're going next)? Or that's something to discuss with her in character?
 

Quickleaf

Legend
What is the status of the agreement with Corse? Would she go back to town with the NPCs and stay there? Or she'd continue on to Termalaine with us (if that's where we're going next)? Or that's something to discuss with her in character?
Since we lost KoboldStew, my plan was for Corse to leave the party once back in Ten Towns. Basically, she was your guide up Kevin’s Cairn, one and done. If you all want to hire her as an ongoing hireling/henchman, we can figure out a way to do that - it would be $$$ if you want the NPC-ified Corse to fight alongside you, and less $ if you just want a guide to Icewind Dale.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Alternative:

Corse and the NPCs take one sled and rush back to Caer-Konig. The adventurers go the other way and risk the encounters - but I would suggest to treat any random encounters as traps and just use some kind of quick roll challenge to do some damage / expend some resources. Encounters take forever in PbP and if they are not relevant for plot they might as well be waved away.

Finally: does Lumrolur know of any underground paths under the valley? This would bring it's own challenges, but would enable us to pop-up at or near Termalaine, be safe from the blizzard (but have some Underdark encounter which might be more dangerous)
 

Alternative:

Corse and the NPCs take one sled and rush back to Caer-Konig. The adventurers go the other way and risk the encounters.

Only issue with this idea is that I don't think we have enough sleds. One group would need to go by foot which would be a death sentence with the storm coming. I think we should either stay here and ride out the storm or push for Termalaine. Though if we push to Termalaine we won't get a chance to try for a long rest. This could cause issues if we catch up to Torrga and it ends up in a fight.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Alternative:
Finally: does Lumrolur know of any underground paths under the valley? This would bring it's own challenges, but would enable us to pop-up at or near Termalaine, be safe from the blizzard (but have some Underdark encounter which might be more dangerous)
Ah, the Underdark question. I've been expecting this ;)

There isn't a route you know of that connects Kelvin's Cairn to Termalaine.

However, there is an entrance to the Underdark in Dwarven Valley to the southeast, and that connects to Termalaine and down past Easthaven to Mount Shatterglass (under which is your settlement Oji-Di). This wouldn't save time, and could add to it a bit, but there are no blizzards underground either.

EDIT: Not relevant to right now, but from Dwarven Valley there's also a southwest Underdark passage that leads to several other areas southwest of Bryn Shander (where you started). Oji-Di is also part of an Underdark "axis" going underneath the Spine of the World Mountains - before the tunnels were collapsed fighting the duergar and isolating Oji-Di.

Here's map of what you'd know for sure. Oji-Di is the white circle w/ purple border.

View attachment map_icewind dale underdark.jpg
 
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Aethmud

Explorer
I'd rather go with a long rest and ride out the storm. Squishy spell casters need their beauty sleep.

How about let's see if Keegan is willing to part with the sled dogs (at least the ones who are in condition to go on) and then, after the blizzard, we head over the tundra to Termalaine.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Only issue with this idea is that I don't think we have enough sleds. One group would need to go by foot which would be a death sentence with the storm coming. I think we should either stay here and ride out the storm or push for Termalaine. Though if we push to Termalaine we won't get a chance to try for a long rest. This could cause issues if we catch up to Torrga and it ends up in a fight.
Any long rest will result in losing them at Termalaine if I understand the table of options.

@Quickleaf I'm fine with going without if you want to avoid the Underdark. I can simply not suggest the route :) And avoid it in the future with in-character reason being PTSP from running away before :)
 

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