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.
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)
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.
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.
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.