Dragon Dark: The Sundering

Stuck between a rock and a very very unhappy place

Onward and downward

After collecting their spoils the party goes to leave only to have the entrance slide shut. Lighting torches the follow Rexs advice and head deeper into the lair.

As it gets colder the sounds of a bellows can be heard faintly.

Eventually they come to a point where they can see an almost tangible darkness ahead and a human sized path heading off to the side. Following the path brings them to a tunnel that winds through the rock. It’s ruff hewn from the rock. Moral and Lucious determine that it was created and reinforced by magical means.

In several places the magic has deteriorated or altogether dissipated and Morel can hear the sounds of laughing Imps that pelt the party with large chunks of ice.

The end of the tunnel is collapsed. Rex is assigned digging duty and begins to remove the rubble. Part way through the excavation some wisps fly out from the cave in and engage the party.

Despite the fact that Rex spends the bulk of his time on his knees flailing around the party is able to deal with the pests.

The cave in is cleared

There’s no breeding like in-breeding

After navigating the cave in they come to a natural cave that begins to widen out. Continuing on they see what looks like a small town made of ramshackle huts and lean to’s. The inhabitants are all grossly misshapen and deformed. In the center of town is a fairly human looking individual on a thrown in front of a scrum.

Morel and Thalin decide to implement stealth tactics and provide a distraction for the rest of the party … by falling/rolling ass-over-tea-kettle down the rest of the tunnel. They are quickly grabbed, subdued and brought before the leader.

The rest of the party elects to make use of their impromptu distraction and begins the process of sneaking up to the village

Thalin attempts to be diplomatic with the leader and even offers to have sex with the orifice of his choice.

The Leader introduces himself as Zildane, the prest of Shiverwing The Blind. At this point the markings on Lucious’s forehead align. Zildane senses his presence and exclaims “YOU! I’m stuck here because of YOU!!”

The party charges and the Mutants are engaged in brutal Melee combat

Garroon, the Betrayer

After the Mutants are dealt with and Zildane is hurt badly, he goes invisible with Morel in the grips of “Bigbeys Fist”

Words are exchanged with Morel being occasionally bounced off the ground.

Zildane and Garroon both vied for the Shard that is now in Lucious’s head and Garroon won. Zildane is very upset about being stuck (like Mendarthis) in the temple of the dragon.

At this point the Traveller (or essence of the Traveller?) emerges from the shard emerges from the shard and begins to have words with the party and Zildane. Zildane is both outraged and confused as he claims the Traveller should be sealed. He gets no further as the Traveller kills him in a burst of dark necrotic energy.

He then tells the party that he wants them to awaken the dragons. The party asks why he would support this. He explains that the portals connecting to this world from shadow fell are pumping in energies. Without the great dragons to absorb/consume/eat those energies the world will be torn apart and destroyed. His final words are “At least with me you have a chance”

The party elects to contact Mendarthis.

Mendarthis explains that Garroon betrayed them all. He was a shard of Shiverwing but also chose to find a way to increase his power and become a shard of the Traveller as well. He is very concerned about the Travels words but admits they do not seem to have a choice. He says that he doesn’t know how to wake the dragons exactly, but that the parties mere proximity may be enough. The Traveller likely chose Shiverwing first as she was the one who held out and resisted him directly the longest.

Onward and downward

The party asks for directions from the surviving mutants. One of them points them to a pit with a spiral path carved into the side. No bottom can be seen. The party decides that they need to find out how deep the hole is, and throw the mutant down. After 1 minute no sound of Deceleration Trama can be heard.

It is agreed that the hold is very deep and very cold and they proceed down. After a while they notice it is getting even colder. The stone itself has managed to freeze somehow. Also there is a fog in the air that makes visibility difficult.

After a few close calls and being attacked by some Dire Stirges the party gets to the bottom.

Enter the dragon

At the bottom of the pit it is cold, EXTREMELY cold.

The is a frozen lake ahead of them that appears to have somehow frozen in the midst of a great turmoil. There are great waves, frozen solid, shards and other icicle like protrusions. It appears like something massive may have fallen into the lake and frozen it moments after.

Gingerly picking their way across the ice they begin to see the silhouette of a massive creature. From the head it looks like a dragon but on a scale that is awe inspiring. The party can see a dark swirling energy around the dragon and the sound of a bellows is now extremely loud. There is a great deal of noise and below the surface of the ice a lot of motion and turmoil can be seen.

Approaching the head the party gets an idea for the scale. A single tooth is easily the size of Rex.

As they come within about 20 meters undead beings rip through the ice and assault the party. After some initial issues, Rex manages to get his act together and the party deals with the assailants.

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As if it wasn't cold enough

The Negotiator

After extracting Rex from his position in the ground the part sets about doing a couple of things Looking the Bodies Severing the Head of the Dragon Skinning the Dragon (with morel muttering something about proof)

They camp overnight in one of the hallways for shelter. Rex looks a little Green in the morning but refused any sort of healing/treatment.

On the bodies of the dead they find about 100gp and a Rod that emanates a faintly magical aura. Lucious takes a look and says it’s a key.

The party elects to call Mendarthis so see what insite the dottering old Eladrin can give them. He suggests that the key is probably for the temple catacombs. He says that the catacombs are usually located by or around the altar.

Looking around Morel sees that a portion of the Altar has broken. He notices a large chunk of rock in the courtyard below that seems to fit the break. It has a hole that appears to match the Rods dimensions. After clearing some of the ice they find that it does belong there, and also has a faintly magical aura.

Rawhide

They fashion a rope harness and proceed to hook up Rex. Lucious wanders around in a bit of a daze and hears horses. None of other part members hear it so they behind to haul the rock up the stairs.

4 Cavalry riders charge the party and they engage leaving Rex to pull the rock. Close to the top Rex decides to investigate all the noise behind him. He wraps the ropes around his neck and proceeds to return to the bottom of the stairs as fast as gravity will pull him. At the base of the stairs a very surprised Thalin is cross checked by a 1 tonne chunk of granite. The riders have 40gp.

Being very upset about missing all the fun Rex puts the ropes back on and loosens the ones around his neck and pulls the rock up the stairs. After positioning the stone correctly and inserting the Key the dragons Perch slides back to reveal an area that emanates cold (more so then the outside area that they are in).

Nothing like an Ice Cold Whored at the end of a long day

Rex goes first in order to find out what is inside and if it’s safe since the entrance way is extremely steep. Upon hearing the distinctive sounds of someone frolicking in a pile of gold the Banker in Morel can’t wait anymore and he slides down the 60 degree ramp doing a perfect catfall at the end.

The Cavern is very old, very large and very VERY cold. Morel notices lots of marks on the floor that look like enormous claw marks. The area is so cold that everyone in the party periodically takes damage (except Rex because of his tatoos)

They find 4 gems the size of baseballs
4 healing potions
1 unidentified vial
1600 gp
Chain mail Armor of Sacrifice +2
Leather Repulsion Armor +2
Scale Breaching Armor +2
a pair of Diamond Bracers
a Raven Claw Warblade Greatsword +2
a Crusaders Mace +2
a Supreme Skirmished Long Bow +2
a Sacrificial Weapon +3

There is a lot of equipment that has rotted and degraded into a worthless state.

Unsure about getting back out the way they came in Rex says that there’s always 2 ways out of a dragons lair.

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Take off, to the great white north

We hit the ground running, and the ground flinched

As they regained consciousness the party noticed that it was cold, it was agreed this was a good thing. The next thing they noticed is that it was snowing and there was a lot of white everywhere, both very good things. The last thing that people noticed is the ice shelf they were one appeared to have been impacted by something very warm and was starting to sluce into a ravine. The consensus was that this last fact was not a good thing and that is was actually quite bad.

The party got off the ledge before it completely collapsed and looked around. The sky had the right color and snow had the right color, the frozen lake in front of them had the proper collection of camps and fires, and the temple behind them seemed to be correct as well.

I got the door

Coming across one of the ice bridges the party sees a figure approaching. Based on the distance, size and ambient temperature of the area they make an educated guess and figure it is either a Frost or Storm giant.
Great haste is made to the temple.

The party finds the door, it’s about 2 meters high and 1 meter wide. There are no visible hinges or handles. Rex runs into the door at top speed. There is a tremendous crash as 6 inches of aged metal screams … and Rex continues inside, his momentum somewhat diminished.

Anyone home?

The temple is just as cold inside as it is outside, the roof is not all there so there are great snow drifts. Alem and Morel notice that there has been activity inside as there are obviously trails through the snow and it has been purposely cleared away in places. Exploring the party finds some robes and tapestry’s that depict reptilian humanoids worshiping a great white dragon.

Coming into a room they find 4 whitish Dragonborn.

How not to establish dominance

Rex tells the party to hang back and steps inside. He proclaims that he is the descendant of Aedis RazorClaw and has come to claim his birth rite. They laugh. He presents his ritual scars, given by the undead chieftain. They are unimpressed. He singles out the alpha male, picks him up and screams ‘SUBMIT’ as he slams him over his knee repeatedly.

After they are all dead Rex agrees that his culture is very violent, but claims they were weak and should have submitted.

Continuing on, they explore and find an extremely large (and old) dragon perch measuring well over 10 meters across further on they find a few more Dragonborn conducting a ritual. One of them appears to be a dressed in the robes of a priest and is leading the ceremony.

How to establish dominance

The priest demands to know who they are. Rex tells him that he is the descendant of Aedis RazorClaw and he is here to claim his birth rite. When questioned about the other Dragonborn in the temple Rex shrugs and says ‘They would not submit, how about you?’

The priest declares that they are in service of Shiverwing and are doing divine work. Rex laughs and says that the impostor they serve would be far to small to be Shiverwing.

There is a tap on his shoulder and he looks up to see a White Dragon about 5 meters tall. He is complimented on being FAR more perceptive then his brethren. Rex makes a comment regarding the dragons inability to fill the perch they past. It is not well received.

One of the Dragonborn is enraged by the dragons admission and he joins the party in assaulting the dragon. The rest are still brainwashed and combat the party.

Using his Hammer of Pinning Rex nails one of the dragons feet to the ground and proceeds to whack it repeatedly. At one point he goes for an upper swing, and succeeds in breaking the pinning nails, setting the dragon loose.
The Dragonborn are quickly dispatched with the priest receiving a send-off of epic intensity when he attempts to move in on Morel.

The Dragon does a great deal of damage, flying around after Rex releases it. Towards the end Rex is able to grab on to the dragon and climb on, punching and kicking savagely. At the point of it’s defeat, the dragon is more then 8 meters in the air. It crashes to the ground with Rex (in a blind rage) not noticing it’s lack of movement. He succeeds spectacularly in mitigating the dispute between the dragons corpse and terrafirma.
Investigating the crash site/crater the party finds that Rex is not dead, just mostly dead. Morel curses and swears that he’s now going to have to heal the idiot.

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Don't touch the big swirly thing

Being blown up is not the worst thing

The party slowly regained consciousness. The first things group notices (especially Rex) was that it was not cold and there was no snow on the ground.
This caused a certain amount of confusion
The next fact to strike the party was the color of the sky, it was wrong. It was a solid reddish black and neither clouds nor sun could be seen. The terrain was barren with twisted, dead trees dotting the landscape.

Alem notices a small group of riders approaching. The party elects to hide and observe, the group is composed of several ShadarKai, one obviously important ShadarKai (much better armor and weapons) and a priestess of Thalin distracting beauty (this is not difficult but is still worth noting).

The group appears to be inspecting the crater and area around when Thalin steps out and introduces himself. The ShadarKai do not attack but go on guard (as does the rest of the hidden party). Thalin flirts in a diplomatic fashion and finds out that there is a rift in the politics of the local ShadarKai and this location was being used by a rival faction in service of The Traveler rather than the Raven Queen.

The rest of the party comes out of hiding and are invited to meet the high priestess.

So this is Shadowfell?

The important looking ShadarKai is a lord and the priestess is actually the High priestess of the Raven Queen.

They explain to the party that they are in Shadowfell now and that their faction opposes The Traveler. They go on to explain that the Traveler is actually in league with the Raven Queen and even though she is opposed to it’s end goal, she is tied up in what amounts to celestial politics and can’t directly oppose him at this time.

The party finds out where the other faction (which directly supports The Traveler) is located. In this realm, at the same spot where the Dragon temple is located in their realm, is a massive temple that they use as their base of operations. The assistance that they can offer is limited as they serve the Raven Queen and are likewise bound. He explains some of the values they hold important and it’s based heavily on the strength of your sword arm. Rex is pleased. He explains that the only other portal they know of is in the camp of their opposing faction.

Morel produces a scroll with instructions for making a suit of armor that has sharpened bone protrusions and asks if they have any craftsmen capable of creating this.

Watch the pointy bits

The Lord takes them before the head smith of their city. He examines the plans and says he can make but he will need a lot of bone in order to do so.

He tells the party that he will need at least 3 Hellboars to do this. These beasts are not scarce in Shadowfell and they are given directions to find them. After coming back with the dead animals the smith creates a suit of Spiked Armor that Rex dons. He compliments to smith and proceeds to cut himself a few times on some of the bits before getting used to the fact that he’s now sharp, in strange places.

The party heads of towards the large bone fortress masquerading as an outpost.

We’re here to enlist

The party decides on their course of action and march right up to main gates of the encampment, at which point they are stopped.

When questioned Thalin explains they are new recruits and wish to sign up. The guards realise they are not of Shadowfell and question why they wish to enlist. The group shrugs and says they want to kill humans, Xin chitters, Rex flexes and asks if the guards wish to prevent them from enlisting.

Wisely the guards let them through and they are placed in a group of warriors. Listening around they find the quickest way to get promoted is to kill your Superior.
Thalin becomes a captain.
They quickly discover that there is a pecking order amount the groups with the best group being given special privileges, which include the right to go to the other plane first. That group is quickly identified. Their leader is an uppity Vampire thrall. The party considering possibly upsetting a vampire and decides that as they are already going up against a celestial being, a vampire can’t be that bad. Also, there’s no guarantee it will be upset (if they succeed in preventing the Traveler, it WILL be upset with them). A challenge is issued and accepted.
The party’s combat group is elevated to being the elite combat unit with first dibs on assignments.

During this time Xin has been sneaking around the base picking off soldiers. Between the various challenges (which Rex issued for any reason he could for a bit) and Xin, the ShadarKai numbers have been impacted.

Somehow they manage to locate where the portal is located.

Oh goody another swirly thing

The portal is located behind a door some 2 meters high and 1 meter across. There is no locking mechanism that can be seen and 2 huge Zombies guard the door.

They see that acolytes seem to come and go through the door pushing it open with ease, despite it’s size. Thalin intercepts one of the Acolytes, lures him back to a dormitory. He then applies intimidation and his codpiece and finds out that he actually doesn’t know any useful information. He only goes to the door when he’s order and it opens.
Xin Feasts. The party figures he was holding information back
Luceous figures there is a ward and that proper mental commands he can get the door open. With him in disguise, the party approaches the door. After a few tense moments where the Zombie guards began to notice the door wasn’t opening Luceous got it and the party went through.

Past the door is a large vaulted hallway with huge skeletal statues inset into the walls at regular intervals. After heading down the hall a ways the party sees there is a large chamber at the end. About this time some of the statues come to life and begin pursuit.

Running to the chamber the party find a portal being maintained by several ShadarKai magi around glowing orbs, some Troglodytes and a very familiar looking ShadarKai that they could all swear they killed back at the dwarven outpost.

Caught between giant Skeletons and ShardarKai the party focuses on Destroying the crystals. After bulls eyeing one orb Alem proceeds to break his bowstring leaving a nasty redish welt across his face. Luceous is able to deal with the other 2 orbs. Much to everyone’s surprise, the portal up and explodes in a display worthy of a pure plot device.

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Our Toes are freezing
Never warm

Once more into the cold

After nursing their many wounds the party is brought up to current events and are treated appropriately (Luceous’ crater and Rex’s mammoth get a lot of notice). Morel spends his time trying to patch things up with his family. On the way out Rex is presented with a Mammoth Tongue jacket in honour of his valiant strangulation of said beast. It is nice and warm.

After several days plodding through thick snow, the party sees a broken tower and heads that way in order to get some shelter.

Coming closer they find that the ruins are inhabited by a handful of Troglodytes with some snow snakes. Sneaking up Rex overhears them. They are apparently an advanced scouting party from the defeated Army. Unaware of the events that transpired they are curious why nothing has been heard and talk about their leader up north.

Rex walks in and attempts to establish dominance, through intimidation. Towards the end of the fight one Troglodyte runs off. Alem pursues him to make sure that he does not inform anyone of the Party’s activities.

Rex Explores his Roots

After 24 hours Alem still has not returned. The party, exploring the ruins (Draconic runes declare it to be Temble Hold) while they wait, find a staircase downwards. Following it leads them to a door/stone slab with Draconic writing. Is says that only the blood of the worthy will open the door (there is no handle, lock or obvious hinges). Luceous figures that it’s protect with a ward of some kind.

Rex cuts his hand and places it on the stone slab, which opens. Inside they find carvings that appear to depict events that occurred around 600 years ago. They tell of a Dragonborn (Aedis RazorClaw) that came down from the Northern wastes and conquered a large portion of the world until he was defeated by his lifemate (a CrackedShell) who threw him off a cliff to his death.

The writings and the undead indicate that Aedis RazorClaw should have survived his fall, easily. And some discussion ensues about the location of Aedis’ DoomHammer (in the MeadowVale adventurers guild). Much discussion about how the RazorClaw clan comes from the cold climes.

The sole(soul) inhabitant of the area is the ghost of one of the old chieftans. He says that only the blood of a RazorClaw can open the door, meaning that Rex has RazorClaw blood in his veins. The blood magic that sustains the chief is almost gone and requires more RazorClaw blood. The party straps Rex on an Altar and employs all of their healing skills to keep him alive while they bleed between 15 and 20 litres of blood.

In honour of the fantastic gift, the spirit performs some ritual scarring on Rex (Rex at this point has pumped more than twice his blood volume out and a little more blood is fine)

How a Ranger survives in the Wilderness

After exiting the chamber the party finds Alem huddled by their fire, almost frozen. He is wrapped in a snake skin tube that covers him head to toe.
He claims that the Troglodyte evaded him for a while but he eventually caught and kill it. On his way back he was caught in a blizzard and hid in a cave, which happened to be occupied by a Snowsnake. After all the fighting his winter cloths were shredded and worthless, so he skinned the snake to keep himself warm.

Alem huddles by the fire in the cold, wearing a new snow snake snuggy and is desperately hopping to keep all his fingers. Rex comments that it looks almost as warm as his Mammoth Tongue.

Troglodyte Base

After heading north the Party eventually comes to Chillwater, the last northern outpost in the Northern wastes on their way to the Temple of Shiverwing.

On approach, they notice it is not populated by Dwarves, but Troglodytes.

Rex summons all of his diplomatic skills to convince the gate guards they he is actually in service of their Leader and has a report from the Army, that it has been defeated by a party of adventurers.

This worries the Troglodyte greatly who quickly usher them before their leader. Their leader is a Shadarkai from Shadowfell and not fooled at all. A bloody melee follows, with half of the party attempts to end the Shadarkai (Withervein) and the rest watching as Rex is mobbed by wave upon wave of Troglodyte. In spite of everyone’s best efforts. Rex survives. And a party of troglodyte scouts escape with the much pierced, incinerated and beaten body of their leader.

Morel and Alem search the tower and find information that would be crucial for the safety of the WinterWall. They also discover the dwarven defenders locked up and waiting for dinner (the troglodytes dinner) in cells beneath the outpost.

The survivors are not numerous enough to hold the outpost and decide to head back to the WinterWall for reinforcements. Morel gives them a message to deliver to the King (and update on the parties travels) as well as a message to deliver to StoneMaster Greyscales’ Wife (asking his mother to protect his ex-fiancee ’s family).

It’s not just Troglodytes who live in the snow

Further north the party runs into a curious sight. A lone Goliath battling a Hill giant. The see another Goliath and a Goblin standing back and watching (the Goliath is actually holding his own).

The party approaches the pair watching and attempts to introduce themselves. They immediately attack and the party defends themselves. The Goliath that was watching is actually a Female shaman. The Goliath fighting the Hill giant notices the fray and makes short work of the Hill giant before moving to intercede and rescue his fallen companions.

After some discussions it’s determined that the Party inadvertently interrupted a right of passage into adulthood for the Goliath. Thalin manages to apologise successfully and asks about the Dragon temple to the North. They are told the temple is surrounded and very dangerous. Most tribes people that pilgrimage to it never return, and the ones that do tell that is is surrounded by an army.
Not to be outdone, since the party is going north the Goliaths join them.

That night, after some discussion Thalin discovers that 2 Goliaths are mated. He then invites both of them for an elf sandwich, this is not taken well and the male suggests that only a dominance fight would change his mind. Thalin makes a joking comment about wrestling naked in the snow with the barbarian, who rips off his loin cloth, and throws the semi-naked Thalin into the snow.

A bit shocked, Thalin applies the skills he learned at Bertin’s Boxing institute and left jabs the Barbarian into submission. In between being smashed face first into the rocks and choked repeatedly. Thalin, like his cod-piece, does not know how to go down and with a quick rub of snow onto a broken rib would simply go back to pummelling the Barbarian.

Finding out that he is now mated with the Shaman. Thalin goes spelunking and is a bit wobbly for a few days.

The not so deserted temple

Eventually the party reaches the temple of ShiverWing. They find that is in the middle of a huge frozen lake. The entire lake bed is dotted with fires and there is plenty of movement. Spanning the lake are a number of large bridges which are heavily guarded. Yes, another army of troglodytes with ShadarKai leaders.

The party elects to sneak across the lake bed and weave through the camps. There appears to be a permanent snow storm that makes accurate visibility difficult.

Thalin, in a bizarre empathic moment. Notices that his lovely bride is a bit nervous. So he lets her return to her village to wait for him.

Much excitement occurs while the party slips across the ice. The less athletic attempt to fall down into a crevice. Rex complains about the cold.

The party climbs down and begins sneaking across the lake. As the group approaches they see a group of ShadarKai are maintaining some form of portal.

After a short discussion and remembering their previous encounters with the ShadarKai the party decides that this portal needs to get closed, ASAP. Luceous declares that the best way to close the portal would be to kill the casters. The party executes this plan flawlessly quickly slaughtering the body guards and dispatching the mages.
With narrative imperative, the portal closes by exploding.

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The much awaited update
Created from notes, scribbles and hazy recollections

Some Historian

Under instruction of the Mysters, the party brings the terrible intellectual property agreement to the ex-myster, Findel at the aptly named Findel’s Falls. Findel, while a recluse, also seems to have a large retinue whose main job is killing representatives of the House of Everlast. The disagreement about the parties needs to meet Findel ends up with several very dead dwarves and a Galeb Dhur being held over a canyon by Rex.

Findel intervenes and the party indicates that the contract as printed is both soft and absorbent while being flammable. Used correctly Findel then talks to the party at length about the marks upon Luceous’ forehead, noting that the various circles seem to rotate. The marks seem to relate to one of the Avatars of the Great Dragon (Gorune) and the resurgence of the Traveler. Similarly, Findel agrees that the lack of the Great Dragons has caused a power vacuum and lesser dragons are entering the plane.

At this point the party elects, with Findel’s agreement, to call themselves the Universe Maintenance Team (UMT).

Back to town

The party goes back to the house of Everlast and reports their failure to have Findel sign the contract, but that they did get more information.
The power glut that is allowing dragons into the realm must be filled. The Myster suggests finding one of the shards of the great dragons.

The shards were imbued with the a portion of the dragons energy and strength. Possession of one essentially turned a person into an Avatar of that dragon. Someone who possesses a shard has not been seen in about 600 years.

There are only 2 temples who’s locations are still known, vaguely (since the sundering). One they already went to (The temple to Phoenix, inhabited by Mindarthis who is a priest not a shard bearer). The other is the temple of ShiverWing up in the Northern Waste.

Damn it, it’s cold again

The party locks up their house and books passage north, again.

The trip is long and uneventful save for Rex’s complaints that the deck won’t stay still and that it’s damn cold.

Once they reach Wintersveil they book passage north to the dwarven city on the edge of the Winterwall and the Northern Wastes.

During the trip the group is treated to the sight of a Giant stomping a dwarven caravan into paste. Arriving heroically late, the party rescues the survivor and uses him to guide them to the WinterWall.

Well Hello, Son

Arriving at the Dwarven stronghold, the party begins to purchase provisions for their extended stay in the wastes. Rex is completely ignored with his non-stop grousing about the bitter, never-ending cold.

Shortly after arrival Morel is summoned before Stonemaster Greyscale. After entering the room Morel says “Oh Hi, Dad”. He learns that after he left the house fortunes changed dramatically. His father defeated the last StoneMaster in combat to take leadership of the greyscales (in a conflict cause by Morel’s violent resignation). The family of Morels fiance has not been so lucky and are currently poised to be taken over by several rival clans, bitterness is clear as his fiancee is no longer of value to that family.
Morels mother comments about Thalins buttocks being of a shapely nature. Thalin (always up for a challenge) indicates that his eyesight was poor and needed a close look at her buttocks in order to make comment, the next morning he has difficulty walking. (Thalin claims that she fed him spiked ale, no one believes him especially with the gouges on his neck and the huge bite wound on his thigh that he displays by wearing short shorts).

Is this an army I see before me?

The party is in final preparations for leaving when the alarms are triggered, all of them, at the same time. Apparently, there is a large army of organised Troglodytes approaching, the first horde to attack Winterwall in centuries. As able bodied outsiders, a dwarven commander voluntolds the party for a certain suicide mission. Hungover, sore, disappointed and just grumpy the party doesn’t register the word suicide. Soon thereafter they are going down a zip line fired by Ballista, in order to attack a beholder that is firing at the battlements.

Fortunately for the party, the beholder senses Rex’s hate of the cold and spends the fight freezing him solid while the rest of the party destroys the bodyguard of troglodytes. At which point the lack of beholder beams lets the WinterWall artillery start up. Luckily, none of the 2M wide stones hit the party… much.

Sore, tired, and in Rex’s case near frozen. The victorious party find themselves on a hill looking at the retreating front line of troglodytes (and mammoths). Looking for an escape they see that with their excellent luck the second wave of attacking troglodytes are coming from the opposite direction. Which means that the party will have several thousand troglodyte friends to keep them warm.

Morel notices that Luceous has gone into a trance (Luceous is seeing visions of Gorune’s past). He pokes him to find out what is going on only to be picked up by his throat and hurled to the ground 8 meters away. At this point:
The Retreating army and Deserters meet at the party’s location
Rex charges the army
Morel picks his almost exploded head up out of the ground
The party in general begins a serious effort to die
Luceous floats in the air, and explodes

Waking up in the Infirmary several days later they find out that all anyone else knows is there was a cataclysmic explosion and the army was wiped out.
Rex was apparently found inside a Mammoth’s mouth having choked it to death while ripping out it’s tongue.

Morel Explores Family Politics

After recovering enough to walk Morel presents himself to his disgraced fiancee and gives her his Dynamic weapon as a gift to stave off people who would seek to put her into a life of servitude. He explains that he will be heading north to the dragon temple. She listens, transforms the weapon into a dagger, stabs Morel in the shoulder and then transforms it into a broadsword and walks away, leaving the blade where it is.

Rex is impressed by Morels resolve, and feels happy that someone else spends time with large sharp things stuck right through them.

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Sunshine and Lollipops

Hot time in the Big City

The party arrives back in Erinmoore, only to find that the refugee situation has not improved overly much. The merchants are still charging extravagant rates due to the demands for .. well everything, crime is high due to the prices and outlying villages are still being raved to the ground.

The route they decide to take to ‘The House of Everlast’ is not one that passes through the docks, this time.

When they report to the attendant that they are here to deliver a Wyvern tongue to the Myster, they are told unceremoniously to wait. Thalin is very convincing and told, very nicely, to ‘Wait over there with everyone else’ and pointed to a corner that contains a large number of people waiting, some have setup makeshift lean-to’s.

Not content with a tarp they make a full blown campsite, breaking one of the bench’s in order to build a fire. When the city Guards object Rex and Alem square off “You and what army?” “Well .. the one inside this city, us .. you know the guys protecting you?” “Ok, I’ll sponsor 3 to 1 odds against you … Any bookies around?”

Before a fight breaks out a clerks comes up and reports that the Myster will see them now. Many people are extremely upset as they have been waiting for days.

The party leaves the guards to put out the fire and deal with the unreset.

What’s it say already?

The party is taken to a cozy office with a nice desk, lots of books and a fireplace. Much to Rex’s pleasure it’s occupied by a nice warm fire.

The party presents the Myster with the Wyvern tongue. Very happy to receive this the party is taken to the central tower and up a several flights of stairs. Each floor is dedicated to a different theme and each floor appears to contain countless relics and books.

A ritual rooms has been setup with an extremely intricate and complicated circle designed specifically for language translation. The ritual is performed and, upon the completion the Myster approaches the party.

Apparently it was only PARTIALLY successful in translating the book. This means that the language is beyond ancient, possibly Primordial in nature or of other worldly origin.

The Myster speaks of a being that travels different worlds. Apparently this being pre-dates the greats dragons (if the writing are to be believed) but much of the book is still not translated.

Remember to tip your delivery person

In gratitude for their months of service the Myster offers the party 300gp in compensation.

The party expresses some disagreement with this offer and suggests that perhaps a place of permanent residence might be more along the appropriate lines. Further, the Mysters office is suggested as it has all the requirements of being warm and cozy.

The Myster indicates that he will look into this and the party proceeds to the happy hobbit. During the night Lucious has another dream about destruction and fire, waking up with a bad headache.

Home, such as it is

The next day the Myster comes to the party provided a deed to a house. It’s located in the warehouse district above a Fishmonger.

It’s a decent loft area and Rex is happy about the close supply of freshly dead (and sometimes live) animals. He introduces himself to their neighbour who is more then happy to sell his fish.

After the deeds is signed the Myster requests that the party go and speak to a famous historian named “Fiddle”. Apparently this person is the foremost Historian in existence and has been approached several times without success.

He asks that the party approach him on the topic of the Traveler and also requests that they see about getting him to join the society, giving them a ‘Standard Contract’. Going over it Morel and Thalin find that it states all of his current and future knowledge will become property of the society along with his research.

After assurances of compensation the party books passage on a Caravan through the Free cities.

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Did i mention it was cold?

This is for the Birds

As the party heads NE out of the valley they decide to make camp. During the evening they see a flight of large birds several miles off. They see the birds seem to be dive bombing something on the ground. One of them appears to get wounded and flies off somewhat shakily.

Using their knowledge of northern wildlife they realise that there are very few birds that large and conclude it’s likely a Wyvern, or at least something worth their time. They follow it, leaving the rest of the flight behind.

Damn it’s Cold

As the party crests a rise they get hit with a blast of incredibly cold air. Lucious has had enough and collapses in the snow. The party descends a short incline looking for shelter and noticed that a Wyvern is watching them from a high roost.

It lets out a shriek and 2 swarms of Rot Scarabs come out of the landscape. It then takes off and swoops to attack the party. After cleaning up the mess the party finds 550 gp, 1000 gp worth of gems and Jewelry, a Bloodsoaked Shield, a Masters wand of Eldritch Blast +2, Skull Bracers and a Sigil of Companionship.

The tongue is removed and Morel also takes some of the Talons.

Morel investigates a worn door blocking the entrance to cavern and discovers that this is “Morden Cross”. The original dwarf passage through the Winter Wall. With the establishment of the city it was converted into a burial center for the honored dead and those who gave their lives in defense of the pass.

We want to be warm again

The party returns to the Dwarven city. When asked about their exploits they mention their victory. A few Dwarfs question them about anything they may have found as those Wyverns have been raiding caravans for a while now. Thalin explains they found nothing but they did get some juicy Wyvern meat. The Dwarfs decline too sample.

They continue back to Cold River outpost. Thalin, apparently quite randy at seeing people after all the snow and Dwarfs, completely fails to proposition a male guard. He then proceeds to masturbate in public.

The party hops a caravan to Winterveil. Once there the party gets passage on a boat heading south.

Shiver me timbers

About 2 weeks out the ship is attacked by Pirates.

The party make short work of the pirates and negotiates a price reduction in their passage from the captain.

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Where fools fear to tread

Gambling is a dangerous game

Thalin, in an attempt to interrogate the dicer players, kindly suggests that Rex Sodomize the dicers. Feeling somewhat unnerved by this the humans made a break for it. Rex clotheslines one with his Spiked Gauntlet, caving in his face. The other one he proceeds to Sodomize with one of his hammers (despite Thalin’s rather meek claims that he wanted to question one of them). The proprietor of the Gambling Den that the fight occurred outside of (and some of his patrons) then come outside to find out what all commotion was. Being none too pleased with the mess, he convinced the party to dispose of the bodies. Everyone was fine with this. He then proceeded to insult and jab his finger in Rex’s face. Rex was not fine with this and assumed the man was offering him a snack. After biting off the small man’s Index Finger the party proceeded to make short work of most of the nearby witnesses. The barkeep vanishes in a puff of smoke and reinforced doors slam shut on his establishment. In the distance the party can hear the echoing of alarms. Being in the industrial district, they dump the bodies and move on hastily.

It’s all about what you know

As the party starts to get back to main sections of the city, Thalin becomes aware that they are covered in what can best be described as “Ichor”. The decision is made to purchase cloaks for everyone. At the Hall of knowledge the party finds that they are not the couriers that were supposed to deliver these items. Apparently the couriers were supposed to be dressed in dark cloths that had lots of feathers. These instructions apparently came from the Majister that sent the party there in the first place. Despite them not matching the description they did come with the items and are issued a receipt for 2400 gp, redeemable once the items have been inspected and processed.

Actually … it’s all about who you know, and what they’re willing to go through

Morel, being somewhat uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the city decided to go shopping and hijacked Thalin. Looking through various magical shops he found several spell scrolls he wished to purchase. The shop keeper (a human woman who was probably older then the dragon priest) demanded a price that made Morel choke on his bankers heritage. Thalin, always the opportunistic one, offered the services of his reproductive organs in exchange for a discount. She agreed and took him into the back room too “bring the rains back to her desert sands”

A night at the Roxxy, and another pizza

Everyone decided to have a good meal at the end of the day. During the meal they were approached by the same Majister that sent them to the Halls of Knowledge in the first place. He claimed that the entire information about the “proper couriers” was obviously some miscommunication. He told the party that the book provided is in code and not usefully legible. He said the ritual required to decrypt it would require the tongue of a Wyvern. He went on to say that the foremost expert on Wyverns was one Master Doman. He was an Ex-Majister running a Gambling Den down in the industrial district. The party went there and found it to be the same club they had the encounter at before. Master Doman was setting there on a throne of sorts. His finger had been regenerated. He lorded his knowledge over the party and refused to tell them anything until he was corned on the subject of dragons. The party produced a couple of dragon scales and agreed to sell them for money and information. He answered their questions on Wyverns and provided an Emerald worth about 400gp. The party booked a boat up to the Northern Areas, Wyverns country.

The Great white North … aye

Once off the boat the group immediately purchased some winter clothing. They then hired themselves out to a Caravan heading north towards The Winter Wall. It stopped at a village most of the way there and dropped off supplies. Unable to locate another caravan heading further north the group moved on by foot. Getting close to the mountains they observed some Titans having a quarrel in an adjacent valley. They wisely waited for them to move on and continued towards the dwarven city built into the mountains, marking the last major city on the way to Northern Wasteland.

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Wagons ... East

Nothing like a Hoard at the end of a long day

After defeating the dragon and putting Lucious’s insides back where they belonged the party looked to the dragon. A rather gruesome bit of hacking and slashing occurs and they extracted it’s heart. Morel managed to salvage a few dragon scales.

At this point the party turned it attention to the Horde. Rex attempted to count the approximately 1300 gp and reached the limit of his math skills
“1,2, many, many 1, many 2, lots ….oh”.
They also found a Bag of Tricks, Boots of the Fencing Master, Burning Gauntlets, and a Throwing Hammer of Lightning.

Washing themselves off the party began the long trek back through the swamps too Mendarthis

I hear AT&T has good long distance rates

After a long (and wet) trek, the party returned to the temple of the dragons.

Morel waited at the bottom of the stairs as the party climbed and presented the Heart to Mendarthis.
In his hands the heart started to beat on it’s own. Placing it on the Altar he then stabbed it with a dagger causing a blue light to explode from it. After the light faded he looked much longer.

Thanking the party he explains that the dragons heart rejuvenated him and added several thousand more years to his lifespan. He goes on to explain the any extra-planar creature will provide similar results (some more then others). He also says that the heart the party provided did not taste like a black dragon so that they did not destroy the dragon he’d requested. Thalin explains that the heart he had asked for had a large number of Kobolds in the way where as this one only had a few secretaries.

Mendarthis says that 2 dragons means that the barrier between dimensions must be weakening and that this could cause problems. First it was the divine beings, now there are infernal and dragon, maybe even primordial. He asks the party to check the other dragon spires as they may have more information on the situation. He admits that he’s bound to the temple and unable to leave. He says it has been a very long time since he’s had communication from them.

When pressed for there location he explains they he does not have a map. He says the closest place to go for something like that would probably be Aranmoor. He gives the party a magic Gem that can be used to communicate with him. Lucious determines that it has 12 charges before it will need to be refreshed.

The party decides to go straight south to get out of the swamps as fast possible before branching east towards Aranmoor.

Scorched Earth

After traveling east for a couple of days the party came to an area that was very smoky. It smelled heavily of Pine and meat. As they approach visibility becomes limited to about 10 feet and the party starts to hear the sound of revelry.
In an effort to be stealthy Rexs screams at everyone to “Shut up”.
Morel, who had gotten momentarily lost, screams “What?”
The sounds stop.

After a brief introduction and inquiry as to the party’s business the bandits decide to forgo further negotiations and get it into their heads to attack the party.

After the fight the party notices that one of the bandits has died with a smile on his face. He’s also heavily tattooed and ritually scared. Lucious and Morel conclude that the this must be something mystical/religious in nature. Alem nods and quickly pulls the dead guys skin clean off.

The area used to be a small hamlet, but all of the inhabitants have been burned alive. Some strapped to their beds, others nailed to trees or on poles. Morel find a book one of the fallen called “The book of the Traveller”. Reading it shows that some sections are in a magical script, while the rest appear to be history and ramblings that date form before The sundering.

Continuing towards Aranmoor the party passes through many such towns and villages. All have had the same treatment.

Diploma …. ah screw it

Entering the city the party sees that there a great deal of refugees and that the entrance area is very crowded. Both Morel and Alem appear disgusted.

Thalin inquires to the city guard if there’s anyone they can talk to regarding the attacks. Non-plused the guard directs them to a building to the north. As they approach the honour guard there commands that they halt and identify themselves. Thalin assures them they are honoured dignitaries and the guard ushers them in to see the Captain.

They present the skin, book and a description of what they saw. The guard is interested in the book and skin and the description of the dead fellow and provided them with a receipt. He says that the items will be investigated by a Magus and they will be contacted if they are deserving of a reward. Thalin immediately announces they will be staying at “The Happy Hobbit”, close by and they leave.

VERY early the next morning there is a pounding on their room door. Thalin opens the door to find a servant saying that “The Master” is waiting for the them and demanding that they rise and dress.
Before Rexs can rise from his sleep and consume the servant, Thalin’s gives a verbal response that would have stopped an army in it’s tracks. The oral assault continues for about 30 seconds, reducing the servant to a quivery mass before the door slams in the servants face. Several hours later there is a light tapping and the servant comes with a cage of Hamsters and requests that they come with him.

The servant leads them back to the building they had been in the day before. The captain is there along with a very scholarly looking gentleman. The fellow asks a few questions and then explains that the skin came from a being of Shadowfell and these people must be followers of the Raven Queen.

When they ask about a reward he tasks the party with taking these items to the “Hall of knowledge” in the central area of town to be examined categorised and their value properly determined.

So where did you want us to drop off the pizza?

The party marched through Aranmoor heading towards the HoK. The party elects to take the most direct route, which leads them through the warehouse district.

They hear the scream of a woman and both Rexs and Thalin have an acute attack of conscience. Running down an ally they find 2 guys dicing, they claim not to have heard anything and Thalin responds with a right hook to one of them.

At this point about a dozen humans drop from the rooftops in a flurry of black feathers. Every time on of them dies there is a big of a puff of black feathers.

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