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7/30/2020 11:13 pm  #61


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Thanks lige!  Time for Session 16 part two!

What unfolded next was chaotic, unnerving and violent.  When the PC's entered into the gruesome laboratory, several heads swiveled about to glare at the newcomers; all of which clearly "operated on and enhanced" only their bipedal state giving them a distinct humanoid shape.  The PC's on high alert noted an additional three corridors apart from the room that looked like a charming house combined with an orderly abattoir and tubes and glass and implements of unknown use.  Silas kept babbling about pleasantries and "experiments" about reducing "hostilities" as several creatures looking like sinew and bone and other protrusions of spiky nature quickly grabbed objects and advanced towards the PC's.  Then the cryomancer quickly and in hushed tones while invisible conversed with the bard to unleash a coordinated effort of spell magics as the rest of the PC's feigned affability to the newcomers advancing in their direction.  From a side corridor, Silas exchanged words with two creatures that were antlike in external appearance, but wearing clothes and walking upright as if they were humanoid.  The antlike creatures nodded and quickly vanished down the left corridor.  From the right corridor, a female voice in pain yelled "Get me the doctor, the baby's coming!"  Silas whirled at that and sped up his pace to the south corridor.  The cryomancer shut him off sending magic at him and revealing his true form, the hideous features now free from illusion and obfuscation.  As the workers in the laboratory sped up to the PC's, the necromancer summoned a demon. 

The demon began to charge the hallway brushing right past the creature that was Silas after gashing him heading straight to the door.  Battle ensued with a color spray going off from the bard to blind as many of the attackers as possible.  The ranger and barbarian engaged in a killing spree that was quickly halted when some of the spiky gray-skinned things pointed things that looked like dull silver rods at the PC's and jagged beams of lightning-like electricity filled their bodies eliciting a quivering jerky response from the PC's.  The paladin knew evil was all about and began to smite down these offending creatures as Silas turned up his attacks, launching vicious trident strikes at the barbarian and runegraver or all who drew near.  The bard was assailed as was the necromancer who launched another spell as a scythe rose up from nothing and began to reap.  The cryomancer engaged Silas as magic flew against magic, frost versus unnameable evil.  The demon summoned lashed out against Silas again tearing out great chunks of side, rib and flesh before charging to the southern door and rending it apart despite magical traps.  As the door was being destroyed, the PC's prevailed against most of the "staff" who had achieved a goal of wounding them all but not achieving the goal of outright slaying the PC's.  Thinking the situation was well in hand, the bard ventured down the right corridor to a closed door of a room where the expectant mother was.  What he saw upon opening the door utterly shocked him to inactivity.  The "mother" was surely a pregnant about due woman, but her bare belly showed a mixture of teeth and tentacles coming out of her in some nightmarish bizarre Caesarean section delivery as she cooed "the baby is coming"!  The "midwife" was another of these twisted beings that was torn between it's duties of helping "birth" the child or assailing the bard as he burst in the room.  As the bard stopped still, frozen in horror at the sight, the creature turned it's back to assist the "birth".  Meanwhile back in the room, blows rained about as the ranger and barbarian slew foes.  The necromancer's demon destroyed the door and some of the wall to the southern corridor as the paladin and cryomancer struck down Silas and quickly moved his body down the western corridor away from the sight of what was in the southern corridor.  The runegraver saw a well dressed man at a table rise in alarm in the newly revealed room but before the man could react, the runegraver sliced his palm, uttered a word of command: HELP!

End session 16 part two, final part three coming shortly!


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8/01/2020 10:27 pm  #62


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 16 part three!  The impeccably dressed man's jaw moved up and down for bit, then sputtered" Of course." and began grabbing other devices whilst muttering about "controlling violent tendencies" among his "staff" while giving a peculiar gaze at the runegraver as if scanning for a recollection of how or why he was to help this "patient".  As this was happening new combat began with the ant like bipedal men blasting shots from some kind of laser type weaponry at the beleaguered PC's.  The rest of the group sans the bard who was still in shock witnessing the "birth" of this new thing met the threat head on and the runegraver moved to the south door to block line of sight from the newfound help.  "What's that?" the man who presumably was the doctor exclaimed as blasts and the sound of steel meeting steel was exchanged.  The runegraver said "Just call them off, help us, there's been a misunderstanding."  As the runegraver entered the room he noted a beautiful but immobile woman slumped in an extravagant chair alongside and iron automaton that seemed to be one word from the doctor away from launching a horrific assault upon the runegraver.  The PC's fought and bled more as the bard closed his gaping mouth and the door and in a befuddled state of mind hobbled back to the PC's as the ant creatures went down.  The ice warlock pocketed the gun, hoping for a spare part to make his work in the future as they began to approach the "doctor's door" cautiously.

What happened next was a long palaver betwixt the PC's and the doctor.  The paladin at his sword's urging to want to slay the demon Regulus brokered a deal with the doctor to provide transport to Phobos in the future.  None of the PC's even touched the opulent dinner laid out.  All noticed the doctor's wife not moving despite her beauty.  As the doctor rambled on about spacial trajectories and biological mysteries he then switched conversational matters to dealing with the mind.  A pallor of unease filled the PC's as it became clear the doctor was operating on various sentient beings with the goal of getting his wife's mind back as she suffered from some sort of infirmity that robbed her of her mental faculties.  Unsure of how long the doctor was under the sway of the runegraver's command, the PC's quickly hashed out terms of help and apologies for disturbing him and and his work.  After an amenable solution was reached, the PC's backed out and then quickly began to exit to the main operational area.  The doctor called out as they were leaving, "You should see my newest acquisitions! They are quite docile when they have rehabilitation built in.  I'll let you meet them as I repair the regrettable damage to my door."  Dread filled the PC's as they saw two misshapen things lurch out towards them as the doctor hummed a merry tune oblivious to the fact that his "violent tendencies repressor" on his "patients and staff" wore off once he was no longer attentive to them.  At once, an addled and insane mi-go and elder thing alongside the bloodied chief of staff at the doctor's manor lashed out at all who came near; only the white skinned albino with blood red eyes and spiky teeth and protrusions yet still able to garble communicative speech attacked the PC's.  Recognizing the danger of the the things from beyond, the PC's only engaged with them to strike and run for the exit if possible.  It wasn't.  The chief of staff could teleport and as they reached the exit bloodied and dazed and near the end of their existence, the barbarian made a leaping grapple to tackle the chief of staff here and bent his arm at an impossible angle and as the bones cracked he wrenched free a ring which sent the creature into a frenzy as they ran down the now unwelcome hallway back to where the bard left the snowglobe. "Take me with you" a young voice pleaded as a small figure ripping out "rehabilitation sensors" out of it's head yelled, "I can help".  In the chaos the PC's grabbed the youngish thing and ran.  Havoc reigned behind them as an insane mi-go and elder thing thrashed about towards either doctoral staff or PC, indiscriminate against who was the recipient of their wrath.  One by one each PC grabbed the snowglobe as they vanished from this plane of madness.  Huffing and anxious, they rose to a calm bluish white chamber that now exhibited some red, their drops of blood. 

Under the twin moons of Selene and Phobos they traversed back to Helios.  Must get healed.  Must be ready for the frost giants.  In what, two or three days?  And now with a chattering patient named Balthus from who knows where?  At least this one wasn't violent and in his chattering the PC's discerned he knew the chemical makeup of beneficial potions.  This little one could be an asset they reasoned.  However darker thoughts were at the forefront.  The tribute was demanded.  Would they all be ready?  One can find out...  when I write up about Session 17!

We played today.  First time gaming under social distancing but thankfully in person.  That one was a shorter session which I hope to write up soon.  Keep at it Hyperborian gamers!  Session 17 coming in the future!

Last edited by MrManowar (8/01/2020 10:41 pm)


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8/05/2020 11:20 pm  #63


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 17, part one!  Three days of healing, three days of setting defenses, three days of encouraging and uplifting the folk of Helios; all under less than a few hours of daylight.  When the fell darkness falls, one can brood on that but vigilance is what is needed here.  Balthus took quite well to the Abbey of the Sun and his chemical knowledge came in handy with esoteric divine spellcasting and brewing to get more healing potions made.  The diminutive fellow certainly took to his new role well and even seemed to adopt to some of the teachings of Apollo.  The bard's captive fire creature kept at solving locks and the bard even let it out of its cage to enjoy time in the fireplace where the flaming creature grew a bit taller and lowered its hostility towards the bard.  The cyromancer's paramour who was much more mechanically adept than he was reached a breakthrough in getting his "ice gun" to work and she now started her project of getting a fully workable model available with the spare parts to be usable.  The other PC's followed whatever pursuits they could, healing and taking time as the deadline of the frost giants' arrival grew more imminent.  On that day, sun shone less brighter than usual however Phobos and Selene did their best to bathe the landscape in their respective glows.  All was silent and all were watching the snow for disturbance as the longer night wore on.  After a while a couple of PC's noticed that even though snow wasn't being moved, the shadows were definitely changing to adapt to the larger creatures casting said shadows.  At once, "Good evening citizens of Helios!" a guttural voice exclaimed!  Appearing from out of nowhere was a tall figure.  This one was a runt of a frost giant compared to the specimens the PC's had seen earlier, but he clearly was a major threat as they took in his bald pate, long beard, glowing tattoo runes, glowing staff, and cruel eyes.  He regaled the townsfolk with a tale full of half truths and pulls on emotions to depict the PC's as ruthless killers as he was just out to "get justice" for the death of one of his kin and their faithful pet; the winter wolf who was slain.  Before anyone could react, the magic wielding speaker picked two victims to supplicate "justice" and his invisible ally grabbed two; namely the runegraver and the ranger of the group who would be the victims and then magic settled over the area, disguising the trail however some PC's could still see the shadow shape.  They resolved to rescue their companions and set out from Helios at once in pursuit once the barbarian had come to some kind of surety they were following the correct trail.

As time went by and they ascended upwards into the beginning tendrils of the Spiral Mountain Array doggedly following the trail the barbarian sensed was correct, the trail got colder.  Literally.  The tracks were still there as they winded up hugging mountainous slopes with perilous drifts of snow and then suddenly opening to a wider mini plateau of sorts where they could all walk side by side.  In the light of whichever moon cast it's pale glance on the slopes, they spied a cave with snowdrifts, but it was open.  Suddenly powdery snow burst up as foul undead encased in armor, rags and ice hefting axes menacingly advanced towards the PC's.  From the cave emerged a brittle looking icy undead female of the same variety with a glowing translucent staff.  Ever ready, the ice lord of the group cast a holding spell on the female, and she abruptly stopped.  But not before smiling.  Jaws opened but no sound came as the icy undead advanced and hacked at the PC's.  The barbarian ran to the woman to deal with her whilst the necromancer, paladin, bard and cyromancer squared off against the undead.  The powerful flesh automaton of the necromancer began to pound them to shards and pieces against the ice as the paladin and bard unleashed attacks; the bard's flame-licked blade causing particular anguish to these creatures.  Suddenly an automaton made entirely of ice strode out from the caves dropping an implement of some kind of magic which caused the undead icy woman to smile wider and unleash an icy javelin at the barbarian... and almost slew him with it.  The barbarian's attention was now riveted to the new ice creature with the flesh automaton coming to aid him in combat as well as provide a shield as the barbarian was almost down in one hit.  The others latched onto the bard's idea of flames; especially flames magical if possible and began to cut down the other icy undead while sustaining wounds of their own.  Battle continued as spells and coordinated attacks were launched and this section of the mount was lit up in a fiery display.  Panting and hurt (especially the barbarian who was fending off his own mortality by a thread) they managed to defeat the foes.  They searched the perimeter to form a defensible camp and along the way discovering a monetary cache buried in the snow as well as some curious items.  While they were warming some stew and bandaging hurts, a pale blue lady, leaving lavish amounts of skin visible but with chains running from her nose, mouth, down her arms, snaking her legs etc, spoke, "This will be the third time I assist you.  You have done nothing to honour our bargain we made to beneficial to me.  Since it seems I'm not a priority, I thought I'd make myself one under these terms.  You're going the wrong way if you're tracking your fellows.  However, more pressing... when will you honour your bargain you made with me?"

End part one, next part coming in the future!


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9/16/2020 11:23 pm  #64


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 17 part two, "What will it be?" the scarcely clad feminine form oblivious to the cold asked the PC's.  Due to their existing pact, they had no choice but to acqueise and realize their burden had grown larger.  The PC's begged for more time regarding the Von Kilyanovar promise emphatically stating they needed their allies to do what the Lady required.  The Lady then nodded and a somber mood settled.  The Lady of Chains then began to summon and given an ensorcelled form to a stairway that bypassed the difficult terrain that would need to be traversed but gave the PC's a stern warning that she would be exacting tribute due based on what was agreed to.  In higher altitudes yet, the PC's in bitter breath hiked the ethereal yet solidified stairs and path that magic provided leaving the Lady behind as they drew ever closer to finding their captured comrades.  With the wind howling and snow blowing but not affecting their travel they enjoyed a pocket universe tunnel of their own observing the harsh Hyperborian winter but not having to experience it for a while.  As the staircase descended they made haste to cover for lost time.  It felt like they were on a runway descent speedily closing in on unsuspecting targets!  At once with a blast of air and a flurry of snow cascading away from their landing bellows of surprise burst forth from the few frost giants carrying their comrades as an unknown threat just materialized at once!

Battle was joined with the frost giant magic user retreating back and the frost giant female dropping the bodies of their allies as if they were carcasses of a fresh kill.  Weaponry and spell soon began to punctuate the frigid air as explosive violence on either side found its mark.  Younger looking yeti soon joined the female as they cascaded into combat with the PC's as cold steel and pointed bitter arrows pierced through while the frost giant mage was concentrating on something more dastardly.  Ice mounds and shelves split aside at once as a large creature with gaping jaws, many legs or appendages and a well heated chest region burst forth from the icy ground and whirled about wildly.  The bard, ice lord, barbarian and paladin began to concentrate attacks at the newcomer with the aim of forcing the lone frost giant to be in the same region as this newfound nightmare.  The plan succeeded as the PC's outlived attacks and forced the frost giant into the attention of this violent creature that was young but yet of the size of the frost giant.  The ice-lord gazed up and understanding dawned... "Remorhaz..." he whispered and then shouted for the PC's to get the giant in between the writhing and hungry beast and themselves so they could run.  A few well placed blows followed to leave the frost giant to deal with the newcomer and judging by the grisly and frightening sounds well behind them, the frost giant lost that battle.  The paladin kept up a run that affected his body, tearing his constitution to the limit all to assail and launch an attack at the frost giant magic user who was making his way to a larger albeit crudely built settlement that obviously wasn't meant for human Hyperborian habitation.  The missile struck and with surprise the frost giant mage dropped the comatose bodies of the necromancer and ranger and promptly disappeared as the first drops of his blood hit the ground.

Snow began to swirl faster, the PC's caught their respective breaths, and clambered closer to their fallen comrades as these strange structures loomed up before them.  Behind them lay the remorhaz who surely must have slain the frost giant.  Looking in all directions and only taking cautious steps, the PC's then began to edge closer to their comrades as the wintry flakes settled around them.  No noise, no smell, no seeming threat, just themselves and bodies gradually getting covered in snow; what would happen next?

That's what we find out in Session 18, the next session being played soon in social distancing!  It's on, Hyperborian winter continuing!


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9/26/2020 9:04 pm  #65


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 18 part one!  The snow was still lazily falling as the PC's took stock of their situation.  (Edit meant for last session, the runegraver was the one taken, not the necromancer).  Writhing burlap sacks signaled the forms of their captured now released from giant captivity.  The bard went and immediately cut open a sack revealing the runegraver slightly wounded but otherwise intact and dazed as he sat up in the snow.  The barbarian began looking around as the paladin went to the other body in the sack along with the necromancer.  The bard and barbarian soon noticed tracks in the snow being covered up with fresh flakes as well as three structures that looked like older antiquated homesteads.  As this wonder was being taken in, a pyramid of ice shot up from the ground to encase the paladin and another around the necromancer!  On full alert now, the rest of the PC's began to warily investigate the homesteads and tracks.  As the snow fell, they approached the largest building. With a soft sliding noise a crystalline icy throne rose up from the ground.  The ice lord used sorcery to protect himself from any cold then sauntered up and sat in the throne to survey the area.  Soon, drifts and shards and liquified water began forming into icy bodies all around them as a veritable force of "ice people" molded and substantiated themselves armed and apparently hostile as a bearded leader figure surrounded by a swirling field of icy daggers and stoic cold bodyguards sternly asked "Who dares sit upon my throne!"

The spellcaster then withdrew from the impressive icy chair and the PC's after seeing the number quickly decided to parley and see if they could defuse the situation before violence could escalate.  After tensions were let down, they learned that this was the Vladokasc tribe and the current leader was Vraytag son of Wehrholm.  The tribe had fought centuries ago against the devastation caused by the Ashen Worm and were cursed to live an existence of slowly dying out.  No longer human, they were transmogrified into some kind of icy creature that could live and subsist in the ice of the Spiral Mountain but forever bound to diminish when the summer years of the 13 year cycle began killing them off.  They could not reproduce as fast to replace the dead.  Also, they were geographically confined to the spot where they dared have the audacity to fight back.  Vraytag and the PC's made a pact of trust to see if they could indeed work together.  The PC's had to slay a wicked ice lion and other icy mythological creatures from nightmarish imagination that relentlessly assailed the Vladokasc tribe.  If the PC's could bring back the corpse of said creature, the tribe would not only cease any hostility but also be allied with them against the mutual foe: the frost giant clan.  As a token of trust, Vraytag summoned his healing shaman Vloki who would accompany and heal the PC's if needed; but he would not fight and would be witness that the PC's did what they agreed to.  After the conversation ended, the PC's then utilized the houses for a spot to rest and shelter for the rest of the long night.  Exploring the houses revealed one was a home with a curious glowing stone the wintry spellcaster grabbed and the runegraver activated a new rune allowing him to peer past illusions and things invisible.  Finding a secret hatchdoor revealed a magnificent magical set of smithy equipment capable of producing marvelous metallurgy and the like.  The smallest homestead revealed a food store that had long gone to rot and frost.  The third was a strange kind of art studio with the notable feature of two large paintings with runes in old Norse depicting a frightening amalgamation of a frost giant and an eight legged horse as creature of legend as they were fused at the waist as some kind of hideous mockery of creature types.  The other showed a towering worm with glacial scales and rows of teeth emerging from the ground.  Deciphering the script told them one was called the "Son of Ymir" as some kind of honorific title and the worm was called the "Spawn of Ymir".  Investigating further in the studio revealed a note that told them the creatures could be summoned.  After doing the mathematical calendar additions, the PC's learned they could be summoned this year; at the cold dead heart of winter.

Armed with this knowledge, the PC's then went forth in the wan light of dawn for all of the few hours daylight dared to appear as this was the time of winter and night.  Passing by the leylines of translucent blue and white that marked the tribe's territory, they ventured forth into the snowy unknown to hunt the famed ice lion to prove their worth to the tribe...  End part one!


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10/01/2020 9:10 am  #66


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

That's a great update! Thanks for sharing.


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5/07/2021 11:25 pm  #67


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Campaign resurrected!  Be warned, these notes for session 18 part two are abbreviated as I'm going by memory.  However, the campaign renews tomorrow!  Session 19 here we come!  In the meantime, the remainder of the previous session.

Snow continued to fall as the PC's began heading in a westerly direction as the PC's trudged on to fulfill their obligations.  As the wintry conditions ensued steadfast, the PC's soon heard howls, startling sounds of animal progress and feral noises as soon an icy sculpture come to life emerged in the cold environs chasing a prey; a woman launching arrows as best as she could in her bloody state to drive off a creature of claw and fang that was clearly part of the icy curse; the ice lion had emerged!  However despite this scene, noises of another predator were heard as the PC's surveyed the scene.  The lion of pure icy crystalline musculature was bearing down on what was clearly a warrior maiden who in sensing her doom was coming fearlessly nocked another arrow.  As the shaft flew the roar of the PC's was palpable as they descended upon the creature bearing metal weapons and might.  Icy claw and tooth met armour and bone and flesh and sinew as battle was engaged.  As the PC's were engulfed in the fulfillment of the quest of slaying the creature, they failed to notice the hoary snow covered owlbear sauntering in to rend its prey for a fresh kill of warm blood in the frigid air.  They had to split apart in the combat to avoid being cornered and killed themselves plus keeping an eye on the first living human they saw in these frozen upper mountainous regions.  After they had slain the ice lion, with the ice lord completely shattering a valuable magic item in the creature's mouth (and suffering horrendous lacerations in his hand in the process), the creature split apart.  Holding his wounded and useless hand, the ice lord shouted to his companions to slay the oncoming owlbear.  The barbarian, ranger, bard and runegraver took up offensive positions to slay the would-be opportunist looking for a meal.  After taking some slashes and gashes, they succeeded. The woman was named Nadya and she was from an unheard of nomadic tribe traversing the lower crags of the Spiral Mountain array looking for food in these harsh times.  In exchange for her rescue, she provided them a map on the skin of the owlbear that was curing over the fire so they could find strategic locales noted by the Evendaeran tribe of frost giants.  She was then implored to gather her tribe to do battle with the frost giants as their force could come down in full assault of Helios.  She agreed and loped off in snowy unknown to gather her tribe.

With icy trophies in tow, the PC's soon made their way back to abode of the ice people.  When they arrived, they saw that the ice people were in engaged in combat with three frost giants!  Without further adieu, the bard immediately cast a spell that to all intents and purposes looked like a larger version of the remorhaz they fled from earlier and sent it at the frost giants!  One fled in mewling terror at the sight of that beast bearing down at them.  The other two were not impressed by the illusion and stood their ground as combat ensued.  Bolstered by the assistance of the ice people, the PC's were able to slay the remaining two frost giants; however at cost.  The necromancer was gone.  The paladin freed from his ice structure and the ice people suffered losses.  The alliance was sealed as the PC's displayed the ice lion's head and showed their bravery in the combat to aid the remainder of the tribe.  As the alliance was sealed, and tensions eased, various beverages were imbibed and some granted visions.  The last was particularly disturbing as the PC's saw the tattoed bald headed magic user of the frost giant tribe controlling the necromancer's body like some marionette and commanded the word "Rise".  In some long forgotten cairn on a woe-begotten stretch of the Spiral Mountain Array, bones began to move... A massive gigantic corpse began to arise from a grave long forgotten.

Cold bitter winds be damned, Snowfall be damned, passage of time be damned, the PC's knew they'd go for one of their own.  For their own group, for Helios, a bloody demise was coming.  For them or for foe.  Time will tell.  Braving snowfall, fell wind, harsh conditions, this was it.  Time to go out.  Hopeful stares at the few hours of daylight, cursing the long nights, thus began the trek for the cairn.  One day at a time.  However, one day at a time meant food and water was depleting.  An ally or a town?  Caught between two horrible choices for survival they decided the ally was possibly closer and the town after that.  But the snow still fell.  Could they find the way back?  We'll find out... in the future!


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5/08/2021 9:50 pm  #68


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 19 part one!  Weeks have gone by as the PC's trudged along the tendril of the Spiral Mountain array doggedly heading northward to the ultimate peak so many miles in the distance.  As cold and weariness and food loss began to seep in they began to wonder why?  What was this all about?  A necromancer?  Is it worth it to continue on for that so-called ally?  It's fleshly automaton resolutely paved a trail amidst the swirling flakes and drifts as shifts in elevation could be identified as "Up" or "Down" in a barrage of white flakes and buffeting winds.  Rations began to dwindle.  Hope of finding their ally was bereft.  Time to double up and return to Helios.  No sign of frost giants or other adversarial foe.  Winter was winning.  Regrettably, they headed back but in the swirling snowfall, even direction was given over to whimsy and hopeful thinking.  Soon yowls and yips and other animal cries pierced even the wind blowing.  Hurriedly running, sliding and falling down the PC's rushed to a valley area to be ambushed suddenly by hyena men and a savage tribe of barbaric folk who had seemingly used deer, elk and other large animals as their face masks hideously melting the bone into their flesh to appear as some kind of horrible crazed bipedal weapon wielding foe intent on blood!  Melee ensued as a larger foe garbed in the remains of a bear growled orders as the onslaught began with PC's taking wounds from the sudden assault!  Now that they had their bearings and blood was in the air, pitched battle was joined with the ice lord's spell holding three in place and the bard using the tried/true trick of a frost worm illusion striking fear in the hearts of others.  The paladin, ranger and barbarian and runegraver each began carving out flesh for flesh as the wounds spread.  In pitched contest they fought; the PC's sending the foes to the frozen ground when other cries split the air.  Hunting tundra cats?  Cougars?  Mountainous lions?  Unsure of anything, the PC's noticed that the hyena men gave way to this new sound and ran off into the snowy depths not wanting to face this new foe.  The PC's left of and kept heading south (everything's south from the great summit!)  The melee ended in a dispersion in light of the new howls on the wind.

Over the next days, to stave of the threat of starvation they slew a stag in a strange chance of luck of the few baleful hours of daylight they had when the reddish sun dared show itself in the storm.  Even the two moons were timid in the harsh climes.  Leaving the entrails and some meat behind the PC's sought to mislead the great cats and make great haste back to Helios.  Alas, the trek was tough for two of them and the automaton had to carry them and those with sturdier constitution continued the forced march/run until exhaustion set in.  Rest revealed tracks.  The cats were getting closer.  So began a chase of the cats herding them ever closer to a larger ravine to spring upon the PC's to savage them.  Kicking up powder and utilizing the snowstorm to disguise their maneuvers, the cats (larger than panthers and shaggy and white of fur) ravaged limb as bite and claw tore into PC flesh.  Spells then lit up the air as the PC's slowed them or displayed a color prism blinding all but one as the darkening clouds and heavier snowfall indicated a terrible storm was unleashing its might on this forsaken section of Hyperboria.  One of the PC's fell unconscious and others bleeding quite heavily from the fight as they slew three of the great beasts.  In the swirl of the wind and darkening skies as long night settled yet again to thwart daylight's few hours the PC's saw a massive opening in the tundra cliff base of a peak.  A cave?  Shelter?  Running as best they could in the engulfing snow they made their way to entrance with weapons in hand in case more of the predatory cats were in pursuit, they entered the cave.  Falling and sliding down they went into a shelter of sorts.  The runegraver fell and slid the whole way down sliding across a great plaque that had runes of very old Norse written on them.  In the cave, they no longer felt the bite of the wind.  The cold was lessened, and the snow was an observable hazard.  They needed rest, melting snow and ice for water and eating more of the stag meat they harvested, they began to make out the large runes.  It said "Cairn of Sigurd..."  they couldn't make out the last word.  Only then they realized the "cairn" was no natural cave.  It was clearly a feat of architecture that showed this abode or cairn was something much larger than some human sized cairn or cave.  The blackness of the hewn out room extended far back and small animal bones littered the enclosure; like creatures that in the past huddled to die hear rather than face the ravages of winter.  The PC's began to keep watch, dole out rations of food and rest; unsure of what was worse... the cavern or the weather.

End part one!


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6/05/2021 10:26 pm  #69


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 19 part two, the Cairn of Sigurd Halvdane.  With the howling winds and piercing snow chilling down to the bone, the PC's deliberated and decided to explore the eerily silent cairn.  At least the wind couldn't bite here.  The runegraver and others who knew Old Norse began to decipher the script and other clues they found.  Venturing into the cavernous depths that even daylight shunned they warily tread onward.  Opening up they began to feel rather like miniature sized humans in this vast architectural marvel.  Harsh stone and jutting angular shapes gave way to  massive passageways branching into multiple directions.  Heading to the right, a sound of hoofbeats broke the silence.  An undead warrior braced for battle engaged the PC's as a skeletal horse charged them intent on driving them down beneath worm mottled hooves.  As weaponry and spellcasting split the air, the PC's were able to drive the skeletal remains to the cold stone floor.  However, that left a tile of runes in old Norse.  What could that mean?  Continuing on this time to the left, a larger opening showed a room unnaturally darkened.  Movement could be seen.  Emerging from a pile of bones both animal and humanoid, a massive snail with bones encrusted in its chitinous exoskeleton whilst secreting a ghastly slime glided about the gooey substance it left in its wake.  The ice lord was able to slow it via magical means as the paladin, ranger, barbarian and runegraver circled it.  The bard watched with spell at the ready.  It soon became clear only the sturdiest of blows would pierce this creature as it massively crushed those in its path.  It emitted a spray of the viscous liquid which soon began to eat away at organic material in it's frenzy upon being attacked; fully settling it's rage on the ice lord and swallowed him whole down its gullet!  The paladin hacked at its undersides cutting out the unconscious ice lord as the others cut down the creature after sustaining burning wounds from the acidic assault!  The flesh automaton of the missing necromancer still worked for them in the fray.  They were able to revive the downed comrade, but realized they needed to rest.  Food was getting scant, and rest was needed.  Using the corpse exoskeleton as a bulwark against potential threats, they kept a wary eye on watch while cycling through sleep shifts.  More time passed in darkness, time to traverse on!

Surveying the scene of bones before leaving, another runic tile was discovered.  They seemed to be one word tiles.  Wandering through more gigantic corridors, they observed that the scale of the cairn was definitely not human sized.  It was giant sized.  They found another room, this one filled with weaponry and armor discarded like forgotten toys on the ground alongside a massive tapestry hanging on the wall.  The Old Norse script read, "The weapons of my enemies.  Many slain who defied King Sigurd."  Many seemed to be very fine make and enchanted and the PC's marveled at the artistic depictions of a massive king gruesomely slaying foes.  Yet another runic tile was found.  What could it mean?  Soon, the passage narrowed to something human sized.  The PC's noted massive scrapes and damage to the walls as the passage narrowed and a cool breeze wafted by.  Sensing something was amiss, the paladin went forth along with the barbarian... and both quickly avoided being sliced in two by a massive swinging axe trap that would have hewn them in half!  The quick thinking PC's quickly jammed a weapon into the mechanism to prevent it from resetting to allow safe egress to the others.  Inside this new room another tile was found alongside a massive stairway leading down to another level.

Heading down these stairs, they felt like children due to the scale.  This opened up to another cavernous hall with tall pillars and harsh decorative runes and an alcove with rooms to either side and another faintly glowing room in the back.  Skittishly venturing down the pathways to the alcoves had them finding other rune tiles.  The ranger then approached the alcove which sent bone gathering to bone in a rush to form a bony skeletal naga that curled like a venomous predator surveying its prey.  The naga in haughty tones asked the PC's if they could solve the riddle of the runes as magical emblems depicting globes and weaponry formed around the PC's with open orifices curiously like the size of the tiles.  After deciphering the Old Norse, the runes of Phobos, Selene, Axe, Hammer and Helmet were properly placed and the guardian naga let them pass unharmed to the room beyond.

The final chamber revealed more artistic pillars, a massive tomb and glowing runes on the floor.  They flashed with intensity, alternately saying "Sigurd", "Death", "Glory" and the like.  The runegraver cut his flesh to gain better sight and his eyes grew wide seeing the invisible massive skeleton of a frost giant with a wickedly cruel axe towering over the lot of them.  It appears Sigurd was waiting for them!  The massive axe bit into the paladin and barbarian as the runegraver summoned his ally with his drum as a ghostly warrior of Valhalla appeared,  Battle was engaged as the PC's frantically tried to stay out of the reach of that axe.  The ice lord slowed him also as the PC's moved into battle positions.  Alas the axe cut down the flesh automaton to bits.  In the furious combat the PC's noted the naked body of the necromancer atop a crypt badly abused.  The paladin took off his magical cloak of teleportation and sent the necromancer back to Helios and safely out of the fight.  The PC's sustained more wounds but mightily cut down the massive skeleton of Sigurd Halvdane.  After the battle, healing such as they had was ministered.  Wounds can be healed, hunger cannot.  Resting in the cairn, time to ride out the storm.  Then from there, back to Helios but also a hope that they could find more food.  Water, well they could melt snow, but sustenance was another matter....

End Session 19!  Session 20 coming soon!


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6/05/2021 11:45 pm  #70


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 20 part one!  After the storm had abated, the PC's had decided to go back to the Repository of Illysaes, as they knew they were close by.  The ice lord wanted to purchase a tome and the others were easily persuaded as shelter would be had and in that timeless zone, hunger would not be a factor.  Making their way there the coin they found granted them access.  Whilst the ice lord studied his tome, the paladin continued his read of Dionysius' Daemonicon and the runegraver looked up remedies for the ill effects of the "Mead-saki" his alcoholic beverage that induced a berserker like state upon those who quaffed said drink.  Also the tools they found in the past belonging to a being called "Baba Yaga" were investigated.  In a pocket plane where time had no meaning they reconvened with the spirit of Illysaes, saw the snake people again who shunned them vociferously.  The female bard taunted them with jibes and such and was still unwilling to leave the repository as a kind of prolonged life was there.  After the paladin developed a sense of urgency about Helios they departed.  After all time flowed differently here.  Upon leaving, the snowdrifts were higher, the dead of the winter was at hand.  With a sinking feeling of dread, potentially a year or more had passed in the outside world while they lingered.  What had changed?  Uncertainty grew, as well as the fact that while in the repository they did not need to eat, but now they did.  Game was scarce in the frozen wastes.  Descending the mountainous terrain, in the cold nightscape, they heard voices.  One clearly reasoned, the other sounded like the ravings of a madman.  Soon the paladin found a kindred follower of Apollo as a cleric was of that order (a friend from out of state joined for a one shot session!).  The babblings of the shamanic weird one were of a heathen that the cleric hoped to evangelize to the light of Apollo.  After exchanging pleasantries, soon the ground began to shake with perceptible tremors.  The barbarian went on to scout ahead.  The shaman with many trinkets and stories of stupendous forms of undead began warding the snow with colored sand while spitting forth wildly fantastic stories about a red star gem that passed into Hyperboria from beyond the Black Gulfs of the outer darkness.  Bemused at first, the PC's carried along with the frantic erratic one, especially since the cleric was able through his divine magic to create food for them all.  Soon, the little man, one Torgerson Thall, held aloft a staff that had many bird skulls, from wren, to sparrow, to crow, to even larger skulls uttered a slurry of words that produced a great gust of wind that cleared out a snowdrift that revealed an ancient temple ruin with a path leading inside.

Gazing at the weather beaten statues that while humanoid in shape were clearly weather eroded, the PC's cautiously ventured closer.  A massive statue of granite depicting a proud barbaric man in a pose meant to convey defiance against enemies greeted their view.  The shaman muttered more about the red star light while making vague references to Apollo kept slinking forward faster.  The bard wrapped the statue in ropes while the remaining PC's hastened to catch up to the energized shaman.  The runegraver in his caution summoned the ghostly warrior while the barbarian split from the group to track what left its mark in the snow as well as what was causing the tremors in the ground. 

Soon, as corridors in the temple were rounded, a tall statue of a demonic looking creature with a massive ruby gem in its eye was in view.  Other well armored statues were about.  All was silent.  The ground was an icy landscape and movement was treacherous as they were well slowed.  The shaman with poorly concealed glee crept closer to the statue, intent on carving out the gem.  Seeing no hostility, nor action for that matter, only noting great stone slabs over rectangular box like structures, the PC's were content to let the shaman act.  After minutes of precision picking with awl and spike and careful hammer taps, Torgerson pried out his prize, a great ruby the size of a human head.  "I have it!" he yelped in triumph, only to have the statue come to life and promptly grab him by his head and torso and smash his head and torso to a bloody smear on the icy ground below sending the gem skittering off the ground to another corridor.  Soon, the rest of the statues animated to life and attacked the PC's!

The bard's rope entangled statue was turned into a giant peg as he stone shaped the granite assailant to a harmless thing.  The animated suits of armor blazed with electric blue and white light as they battered and punched the PC's.  The cleric and ice lord unleashed spells as the ranger fired off arrow after arrow as it dawned on the PC's only magical weapons harmed these guardians.  The paladin drew into combat with the leering statue missing an eye as combat raged on.  The ice lord and ranger were badly wounded but eventually they felled the suits of armor.  The paladin felled the large statue with a ferocious blow that would have sundered anything!  After the combat, they noted no dint of metal or anything touched the armor from their weaponry, however the electric bluish-white striations left the bodily form leaving behind four pristine suits of magical armor.  The PC's were elated at the discovery, but dread did set in as the tremors in the ground didn't stop after that.  Holing up in the temple, relying on the cleric's magically conjured food, the PC's still felt like prey to a predator they couldn't see and didn't know.  The runegraver retrieved the massive gem as conversation ensued about what do with such massive wealth.  In the meantime, other PC's tried to lift the stone slabs but to no avail.  With extraordinary feats of strength on display the bard somehow lifted and hoisted the stone slabs aside revealing platinum weatlh!  However, what good would riches bring in these wastes?  What would the wan light of the few hours of brightened day bring?  They had to get back to Helios...

End part one!

Last edited by MrManowar (6/06/2021 12:06 am)


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6/10/2021 5:21 am  #71


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Reading through this reminds me of how great it is that we can all sit around a table again to play our favorite games. 

And for those of you who don’t know Mr. M, it turns out that he isn’t just a great story teller, he’s actually a really nice human being as well. 

At our first in-person session after over a year away from the game, our gracious host and DM honored each of us with an icy gift. A precious trinket from the depths of Xathoqqua’s own purse. 

Thanks again Cory! You rock, sir!!! 

https://i.ibb.co/xMMpJ32/18-D89292-3-CEF-4528-ABAA-1-A6805173717.jpg

 

10/25/2021 10:23 pm  #72


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Thanks for the kind words Rob! I've been amiss about updating this, so here goes from my notes and memory: Session 20 pt. 2.

Leaving the temple and tromping through the piling snowdrifts, the PC's made their way down the treacherous descent.  Winds howled, flakes swirled and stung as one foot trod in front of the other in a weary procession down.  Daylight only showed its presence in perhaps an hour as a cruel taunt as night was engulfing the PC's in snow, cold, shadows and death.  Espying a cave that perhaps shelter could be sought, the PC's then warily entered in as a roof and some stone walls could provide shelter from the bitter wind's bite and provide respite from the snow.  As they began to shake off flakes and built up ice crusts around hastily wound scarves, a series of icy crustaceans as well as spidery forms bearing hideous human faces distorted into grimaces and curled back lips hurriedly descended and assaulted them!  A battle scrum ensued with the PC's being able to slay those fell creatures and then being able to descend into a kind of sleep where no dreams dared enter into due to utter fatigue.

Waking into darkness, the trek downslope continued.  This time, as it seemed lights could be seen on the far horizon, pace was quickened.  The hammering/thumping sound earlier was still heard and somewhat closer.  After traversing another almost mile, a mammoth bearing a frost giant came into view along with another frost giant!  Since the white environment provided no such hiding place, they met to melee.  Talk was eschewed as brutality and death was on the minds of the giants.  Some quickly spoken spellcasting on the part of the ice lord was able to hold both giants as to the paladin and cleric's mind it seemed Apollo was smiling on the encounter.  The mammoth ran like an unruly creature whom the bard showing off his dextrous acrobatics was able to leap from from the mammoth to the upper torso of a held frost giant.  Administering some "coup de grace" later, the giants were felled by the ranger, barbarian and runegraver.  They exulted in what seemed to be an easy victory due to some fortuitous spell casting.

As they drew ever closer to the welcoming sight of lights in the demoralizing darkness, a sound of clittering and clacking drew their attention.  At once, a demon of inky blackness bearing a multitude of limbs and distended jawline and contortions of movement that seemed a wicked amalgamation of various creatures materialized to face the PC's as forms high above on various precipices that resembled the spawn of Ymir they had seen much earlier materialized along with a frost giant running at them from a distance!  Combat ensued between the demonic denizen and the PC's with the ranger and paladin landing stunning blows whilst the ice lord and bard fought it's side tentacles!  The runegraver and cleric and barbarian attacked best they could as all were battered and bruised and noted the spawn striking and sending down a large portion of snowy mounds down at them!  Avalanche!  A tremendous test of constitution was required to outrun this icy force as several went under the snowy depths as well as the frost giant.  The PC's that rode the crest marked the location of fallen comrades and pulled them out, and then slew the demonic creature that still assailed them despite the environmental changes.  At long last wearied and bedraggled, the PC's entered into Helios.  Another shock awaited them.  Somehow, in the time they left plus the time they spent in the Repository revealed a whole year had passed them by.  Looking up at the sky and the moons showing, it was clear; Nightfall was almost here.  Woe upon woe awaited them.  What would the next day bring?

End Session 20, I'm way behind on these writeups and I apologize for the shortness of this one.  I have two more sessions to go before we start up session 23 next month.
 


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10/27/2021 1:48 pm  #73


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Love reading about this campaign. Great job.


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11/05/2021 10:00 pm  #74


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Thanks Ghul!  I appreciate it!

Player notes: the player of the necromancer dropped out of the game as a regular member, and another player joined playing a cleric.  As such, the session updates recently and going forward will feature the necromancer in a significantly diminished role while the cleric features more prominently now.  The necromancer is kind of like a henchman or NPC.  He will hang around Helios in case the player of said character wishes to rejoin the group at a later date.

Session 21 part one!
After the harrowing escape from the avalanche, the PC’s rest and recuperate in Helios.  The cleric beseeches Apollo’s aid and cures Brother Antonius of the debilitating ailment he was suffering from and he is able to help effectively lead the town again as its de facto authority figure.  The bard learned the mysterious fiery creature he had captured escaped its cage and eluded any would be captors but still appears around the town.  Thankfully not starting minor fires or aggressive conflagrations!  The runegraver made use of his eclectic tools to forge a number of rings and drinking horns from the otherworldly elemental rock found in the past.  The paladin and necromancer had a private conversation whereas the necromancer informed him of some things as well as exclaiming his own desire to work on “subjects” in the privacy of his own laboratory.  The paladin agreed to keep the conversation confidential as the necromancer moved his abode to the outskirts of town suspiciously close to the forlorn cemetery.  Darkness droned on in its monotonous gloom day or night with no discernible light except the baleful cold exuded from Phobos and Selene.  The ice lord’s paramour and engineer was able to get the mysterious ray gun he found a long time ago functional.  The ranger and barbarian took stock of the town’s defenses and fortified and assisted the local militia as best they could in these days.

Not a moment too soon either!  In two large sections of tall walls loping muscled forms of ugly slavering jawed ogres bearing large tree trunks as battering rams assaulted the defensive structures and the baying of wolves filled the air alongside the worried cries and shouts from the townsfolk!  The sound of crunching wood was heard as massive holes erupted from the rams and diseased, gaunt and feral wolves ran through widely into the town!  The PC’s scrambled to meet the oncoming force as other ogres bearing large crossbows with arrows that resembled wicked spears moved into the town once access was gained by their foul brethren with the battering rams.  The bard sent a color spray that immediately blinded and rendered ineffective one of the crossbow touting ogres.  The barbarian and paladin moved to engage the ogres with the rams whilst the ice lord launched an ice dart spell at the other crossbow armed menace.  The ranger began shooting down the disease ridden wolves running amok in the city as the local militia also moved to slay the fell beasts.  After taking a bruising hit from the battering ram, the barbarian’s mighty thews flexed as he hacked into the ogre with the paladin’s precise strike finished it off.  The ice lord danced around blows as he maneuvered in to further strike at the invader ogre.  The cleric aided townsfolk and slew one of the wolves.  Curiously, the flame creature of the bard’s appeared in the melee and horribly burned one of the ogres!  After the ogres were slain, the cleric removed disease from one of the wolves while the bard employed spellcasting to speak with the creature.  The PC’s learned that ogres and wolves were sent to spread disease and sickness amongst the residents of Helios at the bidding of Hrolf Axholm, the frost giant mage.  Incensed by this attack, the PC’s decided the course of action was to confront and defeat the mage who was a constant thorn in their side.  After some healing from wounds sustained and advising how to fix the defenses, the bard after feeding the wolf convinced it to lead them to where Hrolf was so the PC’s could deal with him.  In the ongoing darkness and snow, the PC’s left the town to hunt their enemy.


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11/10/2021 10:24 pm  #75


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 21, part two!

Trudging on in the frigid cold with the snowpack crunching beneath heavy furred boots, the PC’s made their way up north and east from the gates of Helios following the wolf that loped on ahead of them. After a long march amidst the biting snowflakes with no stars peeking through the blanket of the darkened sky, the wolf turned back with an agitated sense in its normally confident stride. Viewing the white terrain amidst the dark sky showed a very large moving shadowy creature that appeared to be wandering aimlessly. The ranger and barbarian scouted out ahead while the rest of the PC’s hunkered down for warmth and to await word from the intrepid scouting duo. As the two crept closer, they realized what it was: a fearsome tyrannosaurus rex! However something was off about the creature. No breath issued forth, flesh was frozen stiff and cracking in its jerky, staggering gait and small chunks of flesh would fall off as the musculature over the bones broke in the movement. The teeth bared frozen through thin strips of skin and scales and the hollow eyes bore a dull yellowish quivering and slightly freezing liquid. This thing was undead! Making their way back to the others, a plan was carefully laid out to use the terrain and lure it into a trap where the PC’s could then battle the un-living monstrosity. They carefully set out to waylay the creature. Once the interminable time period had passed when the creature at last ambled into the position they wanted, the surprise attacks both melee and missile followed by spells slammed into the undead T-Rex. At once slowed as blade and arrow and other spells slammed it, the creature extended its claws and opened its jaws to strike. In the very next round upon winning the initiative, the PC’s unleashed a flurry of violence that I have not seen in the campaign yet! (In game terms, the ranger, paladin and barbarian had natural 20’s come up resulting in double or triple damage. The ice lord’s spell did almost maximum damage and the bard’s flame licked blade alongside the runegraver’s and cleric’s strikes viciously struck down the undead creature before it even struck one of them!) Exultant at the immediate and seemingly fortuitous victory, the PC’s grim mood lightened some as they began to follow the wolf again in the darkness towards a lower switchback and snowlined section that had what appeared to be some large structures build next to it with snow slowly falling.

After surveying the scene, it appeared that three very oversized cave like entrances were hewn from the stone of the lower mountainous rock. Also, the large looming structures turned out to be a trebuchet and ballista, but built to the scale of gigantic stature. Much snow was packed down and discarded bones of animals and refuse littered parts of the ground around the entry/exit points. Occasionally, another frost giant would saunter about as if keeping watch on the place. Flickering lights could be seen inside two of the cave areas. After getting the timing of the giant guard’s passage down, the PC’s hastily made their way in to one of the cave entrances when the guard was on the other end of the complex. The PC’s saw standard stone workmanship had cut out efficient giant sized rooms interconnected with hallways. A large wooden chair and table laden with large scrolls made from animal skins as well as the remnant of a meal was there. The paladin sensed evil, but the only thing they saw was a seemingly immobile tall creature that appeared to made entirely of sculpted ice. The runegraver gazed about with his true-seeing ability to reveal not one but two identical forms of Hrolf himself grinning at the PC’s as spells went off! At once most PC’s were slowed as the spell hit. The cunning frost giant wizard had

trapped them! His mocking laughter brought in the other frost giant from outside as the ice sculpture creature came to life as multiple threats encircled the PC’s! The cleric dispelled the slow spell on himself as the ice lord did likewise. The bard launched a color spray at one of the Hrolf’s only to reveal the double was merely an illusion. Unable to do much else, the others braced for the oncoming attack. The frost giant’s axe could not swing freely despite size of the room and tunnels, but still garnered enough momentum to slam into the barbarian and paladin. The ranger was hit in turn by the ice sculpture creature as Hrolf readied another spell. The tide of the battle swayed from side to side, with the PC’s managing to land some crucial hits on both Hrolf and the others. The cleric was able to dispel other slowed PC’s and the ice lord and ranger concocted a plan to use the outside ballista to send a massive spear of death hurtling right towards the frost giant. As they quickly left the room, the bard sensing a plan was in the works sent up illusory terrain to fool the antagonists. The runegraver had summoned his Viking warrior and together they managed to shatter the icy creature that caused them much harm. The paladin and barbarian closed on Hrolf as the cleric hurriedly scanned his allies positioned to see who needed healing assistance. Once outside, the ice lord and ranger exhibited mighty feats of strength to turn the gigantic ballista towards the cave exit and carefully take aim. The frost giant bellowed after them with axe held high as it charged the duo. The ranger punctured the giant’s thigh with arrows to slow it as the ice lord got into position to jump on the triggering mechanism that would send a sharpened tree trunk of death towards the frost giant. A whooshing sound was heard and the two were knocked backwards off the huge ballista as the ballistic hurtled through the air and with concussive impact shattered the frost giant’s sternum and ribs sending the limp form of the giant backwards into the cave side like a discarded doll tossed in disgust!

Meanwhile, back in the cave area, Hrolf was not done. He unleashed a potent fury of an ice storm that assailed the paladin, barbarian, bard, cleric and runegraver. Hrolf smiled as he saw the barbarian unsteady on his feet after they endured that as he himself took more wounds from the others. He quickly and fiercely bashed the barbarian to the ground and strove to assault the others before a mighty blow from the paladin and another strike from the runegraver made him reconsider while the cleric healed the barbarian who was near death back into consciousness. At once Hrolf’s magical accoutrements and devices all vanished as he held out his hands. “I surrender!” he mockingly stated. Looking at the paladin he sneered “Your code of honour won’t allow you to kill me. You’ll have to take me prisoner.” The barbarian who had regained consciousness moments ago was still frothing with rage! Before his companions could react the barbarian leaped upon Hrolf and hewed the giant’s head clean from his shoulders! “He might have a code of honour” the barbarian bellowed, “but I won’t let one live who would have slain me!” The rest of the PC’s wisely stood back as the barbarian stared at the grisly remains of Hrolf. The bard then had a plan as the magical things did not reappear. He discussed with the cleric that perhaps he should speak with the dead to get some queries answered. The PC’s agreed and the bloody head was picked up and set on the table. From the underworld, the communication from the head of Hrolf revealed he was quite loyal to King Harald of the frost giants, as well as the fact that in six days or so a massive attack was planned on Helios. When asked why the frost giants were interested in the town, the head only responded “Because of the garden”.

After resting, the PC’s demolished the large siege and assault devices rather than letting the giants gain any further use of them. They made their trek back to Helios wondering about “the garden”. Checking the town’s geographical and topographical maps, they discerned two potential spots. One was a garden with plenty of sculptures as well as well tended trees next to the Abbey of Artemis. The other was a more open area whose flowers were covered in snow and a deep large pond was located there. In the inky depths of the water, the PC’s sent down a coin with a light spell on it. As it sank deep below, a stairway could be discerned deep under water before the light blinked out swallowed in cold waters and whatever lay on the bottom. Thinking they found the right place, the PC’s then went to recuperate and then planned to investigate the pond and it’s strange bottom in the future.

End Session 21!


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11/10/2021 11:58 pm  #76


Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 22 part one!

After spending a little time recovering, the PC's quickly animated into a decisive force to bolster defenses and strategize for a potential frost giant assault upon Helios.  Also, they had banded together to exchange intellectual conversation regarding "garden(s)" and why the frost giants would be so interested in them.  After the bard had spent some time with the sage he'd befriended a while back, the two hit upon an enlightening discovery.  It turns out the pond was the site of a fallen comet that had struck the surface of Hyperborea there back when Helios was merely some settlements that were home to its founders that banded together to face the long winter years of the the thirteen year cycle quite a while ago.  Turns out this comet had smashed into the surface and burrowed out an angular path before coming to its final smouldering rest.  A husband and wife team lead by the wife whose name was Melil investigated the ruin left in the comet's wake.  Turns out based on Melil's last communicative advances to the others, her husband was dying and they had found something extraordinary in the depths of the earth.  It turns out the PC's weren't looking at some sort of botanical garden, but rather a mineral one.  Melil and her team never got back to surface and as the great ice and snow melted, water soon filled the crevice resulting in the massive pond/small lake that adorned the area.  Soon afterwards, freshwater fish were planted there as another food source for the settlement which had soon grown to a village.  Now in the summers, it was a swimming pond for the children as all thoughts of a mineral garden were set aside as a new generation or two adapted onward.  Armed with that knowledge, the PC's then went to survey the pond yet again.  Ice had swollen over as well as snowdrifts when they arrived.  Also, some polar bears encircled the pond with one taking swipes at the pond at times producing a thrashing fish as the large quadrupeds began to eat in these blackened skies of Nightfall as well as the fell cold and snow that accompanied the darkness.  The bard warily used his uncanny spell casting to speak with the creatures.  After learning that they were merely hungry and not antagonistic, the PC's brokered a deal with them.  One side involved the PC's making sure the bears had provision to eat during the long wintry months and the bears would in turn guard the pool from interlopers apart from the PC's.  With said protections employed, the PC's began to devise a plan to get down to the frigid depths.  The bard produced an amulet that protected him from the elements and allowed him to adapt to any environmental situation.  A series of ropes were stretched out as one swam down to the stairway espied previously and then when attached to the rope, another would pull it back to the surface to swim down with the final PC leaving the rope intact as an efficient way to leave while the bears loped about discouraging intrusion.  One by one, the PC's made the descent into the inky waters as light dimmed.  When they at last hit the stairwell, they marveled at the angled tunnel that led to it which bespoke of the comet coming to rest in its last trajectory.  They were surprised at the mucous membrane they had to force themselves through that mysteriously kept the water at bay despite the pressure and the depths.  Some entered a relatively dry cave complex, others slipped and slid through the membrane as they hastily brought light sources about wondering about the legend of Melil and the mineral garden beneath these depths!

Session 22 part two coming later.


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