Frostwatch

Session #14 Summary

The PCs wrapped up their exploration of House Saravel. They were finishing their exploration of the east side of the lower floor when they came upon a storeroom. They were searching it (and finding nothing of value) when suddenly the floor gave way. None of the PCs got out of the room in time, and they all tumbled into the basement room below.

As they regained their composure, they noticed slimes coming toward them out of the darkness. Two of the slimes buzzed with elemental energy, and the other was pitch black. Their sunrods didn’t seem to functioning correctly, casing only dim light. This turned out to be due to a darkmantle that was lurking in the room along with the slimes. During the battle, a nearly-invisible gelatinous cube also joined in. The battle was tough but the PCs succeeded in slaying the revolting creatures before anyone was seriously wounded.

The PCs continued exploring the basement. Most of the rooms did not contain anything of interest. However, there were some stairs leading down to a pair of large, ornate, stone doors. The PCs familiar with religious symbolism instantly realized that the bas reliefs on the doors were commonly seen at the entrances to crypts. Their was a disconcerting sight in front of the door: a genasi corpse from House Qet’aran. It had been burned and slashed. Based on the blood trail, the wounds had clearly occurred inside the crypt, and the wounded genasi had been dragged out. Helmirion also noticed that there was a hastily cast hold portal ritual upon the door. It was designed to keep something locked inside the crypt, but it would not hold for much longer.

Since this was his ancestral home, Helmirion decided to enter the crypt alone, hoping he could diffuse any aggression due to his birthright. He entered the room cautiously, and found himself face-to-face with a lich. The creature wore markings depicting House Saravel. It wielded a powerful staff. It was surrounded with several flaming zombies. Helmirion also noticed a skeleton sneaking toward him out of the darkness. Helmirion tried to talk to the lich, who appeared to be a ancestor of his that had lost touch with reality.

At first, it seemed like Helmirion might be able to convince the lich to let him and his companions on their way. However, the lich could not see reason, and started to move past Helmirion to deal with the intruders outside the door. Helmirion cast a wall of fire blocking himself and the undead in the crypt. The flaming zombies walked through the flames and opened the doors to be met by the other PCs, who pushed them back into the room. The lich was enraged, and ordered his minions to attack Helmirion. Helmirion was almost overrun, but he managed to concentrate enough to dismiss the conjured wall of fire. The PCs could now get through into the room, and rushed in to save Helmirion and destroy the undead.

After that harrowing encounter, the exploration of House Saravel was uneventful. The PCs explored the few rooms remaining, but did not discover anything of interest. They decided to rest once more in the courtyard to recover, and then head back to their airship. It was a couple hours walk to get outside of the cloud of smoke and steam and find their ship. When the PCs made their way out of the cloud and their vision cleared, the did see the ship about 300 yards away. However, there was something amiss. Three dragons with genasi riders circled around the ship, clearly in battle with the crew members.

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Session #13 Summary

The PCs continued down the stairs toward the main floor of House Saravel. They could hear voices shouting about their approach, as well as a lower, more sinister voice talking about needing to finish a ritual. The PCs charged into battle with two iron archons, two fire genasi rogues, and a genasi knight that wielded dark powers. The genasi were from House Qet’aran.

The target of the ritual was a genasi corpse that bore the markings of House Saravel. During the battle the corpse awoke, and drew its bow to great effect against the knight and his goons. The PCs talked briefly with the revenant and it agreed to help them explore the rest of the house. The revenant introduced herself as Tela.

The PCs began to explore the first floor, splitting up a bit. Helmirion noticed the remains of a spell on the outer doors of the house. It seems that his relatives were magically sealed inside the house before it was crashed into the ground.

Lucifan and Rohak explored some of the rooms to the east while Helmirion, Tela, Rosalina, and Sariel headed west. Helmirion and Tela felt a sense of familiarity coming from the western room. When they went into the room, ghostly spirits were awakened and started swirling around the PCs, moaning and shrieking. Suddenly the door slammed shut behind them, locking Lucifan and Rohak out of the battle.

Ghosts of House Saravel materialized and started to attack the PCs in the room. The PCs implored the ghosts to stop attacking, trying to convince them of their good intentions. Meanwhile Lucifan and Rohak tried to smash through the door which was sealed with ghostly magic. Eventually Rohak and Lucifan were able to join the battle, and the PCs were able to convince the ghosts to stop fighting them. The ghosts relented, and the room returned to deathly silence.

Helmirion found that one of the skeletons belonged to his father, and he was wearing another amulet, one more key for Solkara’s prison. He was also clutching a leather-bound journal written by Helmirion’s mother.

From the windows of the main floor, the PCs could still see the large humanoids – ogres, trolls, and a frost giant – guarding the courtyard outside. They decided to take the battle to them before they were caught off guard by them while exploring the rest of the house. The ranged PCs went back upstairs and took up positions in the upper windows. Rosalina and Sariel charged through the main doors into battle, which the other PCs launched spells and arrows from the cover of the windows. The plan worked well, and the PCs were able to make easy work of the large humanoids.

After that battle, the PCs were out of energy and most of the power was spent. They decided to rest for the night in the courtyard and explore the rest of the house after recovering.

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Session #12 Summary

The PCs got a closer look at the fallen House of Saravel. The building was once 3 or 4 stories tall, but now ended at the second story. The direction the PCs approached from brought them up level to the second floor. In one corner of the building they found an area of the walls that had smashed open during the crash. Although it was a bit of a climb over some unsteady boulders, the PCs opted to use this entrance as opposed to looking around for another.

As they climbed down, some of the boulders and small rocks came loose and started an avalanche. The PCs scrambled inside but the movement caused the unstable ceiling to collapse in that corner of the house. A couple of the PCs barely avoided being buried in the crashing stones, but with the help of the others they escaped unharmed.

As the PCs recovered from the ordeal of entering the house, they overheard voices coming from a courtyard below. Lucifan snuck up to the windows to get a look. The creatures below saw him briefly, but they were not sure what they were seeing. He listened to them argue about whether they should investigate or not. They were told to guard the courtyard. And beside, it might be “them” upstairs anyways. Sariel snuck up to a different window to get a look at them. She saw the courtyard was filled with large humanoids: trolls, ogres, and a frost giant which seemed to be the leader. The PCs decided to ignore those foes for now, and focus on exploring the upstairs.

There were two hallways to choose from, and the PCs decided to head north first. There were a few smaller rooms at the end of that hallway. The PCs carefully explored all of them and found no enemies. They did find a genasi corpse, clearly from House Qet’aran, which had been mauled by some sort of predatory creature. They also found an ornate key in a smashed dresser that seemed to go with a sophisticated lock.

The PCs went down the other hallway. The first door brought them into a large library and sitting room. There were a couple genasi statues and an efreet statue in the room that looked suspicious. The PCs went closer to investigate, and the guardian statues activated, attacking the PCs. Helmirion attempted to use his mother’s locket to command the statues, but was unsuccessful. The PCs were forced to fight them, but bested the constructs without too much trouble. They explored the room and found several valuable art pieces and antiques. Helmirion looked through the books and found one that detailed the genealogy of House Saravel.

The PCs continued down the hallway and found another set of smaller bedrooms. As the PCs started to explore, they realized they could hear sounds of creatures moving about throughout the rooms. They started trying to find the creatures, and came upon a large hole scratched through the wall between two of the rooms. Rosalina went to crawl through the hole, and found herself facing a large elemental boar-like beast, as well as a basilisk hissing at her over her shoulder. She backed out, and the PCs regrouped in the room to fight the beasts. Another boar and an abyssal basilisk joined the fight from another room. It was a tough fight, but the PCs managed to shake off the gaze attacks of the basilisks and slay them. Once that danger was out of the way they focus on the chillfire boars. Once the boars were wounded their fiery skin got hot enough to burn the air around them. The PCs killed them quickly, and the boars died in large explosions which the PCs managed to escape mostly unscathed.

With the creatures slain, the PCs searched the remaining bedrooms. They found a small chest that was filled with coins and gems. With the top floor fully explored, the PCs started down the stairs to the first floor. As they descended, they could hear genasi voices preparing for the PCs entrance…

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Session #11 Summary

The action resumed with the PCs facing off with the earth genasi from House Qet’aran that had followed them from the inn. He was accompanied by another fire genasi as well as a couple of water archons and an umber hulk. The PCs were surrounded in an alley and forced to fight. At the start of the battle Lucifan convinced the earth genasi that he was working for the cult and had been instructed to deliver the PCs. He managed to bluff the slow-witted genasi and ran off when he got the chance, hoping to fetch some guards.

The battle was fierce but the PCs held their own. Eventually Lufican arrived with three archon guards. The archons, however, were not particularly interested in which group of fighters were in the moral right. They demanded that the fighting cease, and started disabling foes in the order that they deemed most appropriate. Luckily, they started with the umber hulk and the PCs were able to take care of the rest while the beast distracted the archons. However, the PCs intentionally did not slay the earth genasi, hoping to question him and get some information about their enemies.

The archons demanded that the PCs accompany them to the guard house, and the PC obliged. They were taken to a cell, along with the remains of their foes. They waited there about three hours and then the captain of the guard came to talk with them. The captain of course did not trust the PCs who were strangers to Hathsarl over a senior member of one of the biggest houses. He informed the PCs that they would go on trial in front of the council in the morning. He also mentioned that if they made a small donation to the guard, they would be released tonight on the promise that they would show at their trial tomorrow. The PCs, knowing that they would not fare well in a trial, and seeing a chance for escape, agreed to pay the bribe.

The PCs took enough time to rest and recover from the battles with the slaad and with House Qet’aran. The meeting that Helmirion had arranged with Yuriel of House Mariz was scheduled for a few hours before the PCs’ trial. The PCs made it to House Mariz without issue and were escorted inside to a sitting room where Yuriel was already waiting.

Yuriel was a shriveled old fire genasi. He almost appeared to flicker weakly like a dying candle. Yuriel had several key pieces of information for the PCs:

  • He recommended that they not attend their trial, as they were almost certainly not be granted their freedom. House Qet’aran is very influential and would almost certainly pit the council against them. He offered to hide the PCs within House Mariz for at least a few days.
  • Yuriel was a good friend of Helmirion’s parents. Helmirion finally learned their names: Denri and Quora. They somehow discovered the plot of House Qet’aran to release Solkara, and were working to stop them. They were trying to find evidence against House Qet’aran to bring their treachery to light but they were not successful in time. House Qet’aran turned things around and deflected the blame onto House Saravel which caused its exile.
  • Yuriel filled in some more details on the fate of House Saravel. Apparently when a house is exiled from Hathsarl, its earthmote is sent crashing into the ground hundreds of feet below. The earthmote of House Saravel crashed inside of the large cloud of smoke and steam at the base of the river where it dumps into the lake of lava.
  • Quora kept a journal of what she and Denri uncovered about Solkara, her prison, and her various allies. The journal was never found, and might still be in the ruins of House Saravel.
  • Yuriel guessed that the disappearance of the storm giant King Aphyr is probably related. It is too coincidental not to be.
  • Yuriel offered a few servants from House Mariz to run errands into town for supplies if the PCs needed, since they had to lay low.
  • The PCs decided to investigate the ruins of House Saravel. Yuriel offered the use of one of House Mariz’ flying ships, as well as a capable pilot.
  • Helmirion came up with a plan to use a ritual to locate his mother’s journal and increasing its power using her locket, since both objects were very important to her. Yuriel offered his house’s library for use in research.
  • Yuriel noticed the lockets that Helmirion and Rosalina wore, and mentioned that he has seen a similar locket on the leader of House Qet’aran, named Etraiv. Etraiv usually remains protected within the walls of House Qet’aran, sending agents to cast votes on his behalf at the council. It is rumored that House Qet’aran keeps stone giants as elite guards.

The PCs took a few hours to prepare for their excursion to House Saravel. Helmirion did some research to figure out a ritual he could use to locate the journal. The PCs met with the pilot and started out. The pilot could only drop them off at the end of the large smoke cloud, which was over a quarter mile in diameter. The pilot promised that he would wait for a day for the PCs to return, though he would not set the ship down but remain hovering in the air.

The PCs made their way carefully to the center of the cloud, and then Helmirion cast his ritual. After some searching, Helmirion did catch some sign of the journal, and the PCs made their way toward it. The terrain changed under their feet, and became much more rocky. Large boulders were scattered about, and they could see the remains of a large building in front of them. They had found House Saravel.

They climbed toward the building, but an ambush was waiting for them. As Rohak neared a stone column, it revealed itself to be a roper, with long tentacles, a single eye, and a huge mouth of razor-sharp teeth. The PCs started to fight it, but found that it was not alone. Apparently it, along with a couple of gargoyles, were the pets of a stone giant that made his home in the ruins. The PCs fought against the creatures and bested them without too much trouble.

With the stone giant and his pets slain, the PCs continued on their way into the ruins…

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Session #10 Summary

The PCs continued their battle with the latest incarnation of Natan. He was very quick and was a tough opponent, but they did prevail. They found Immeral’s necklace on him, as well as several different pieces of the red glass in different shapes and sizes. After picking up the necklace, it seemed to be pulling toward somewhere. It turned out it was Helmirion’s necklace from his mother. They appeared to be two pieces of a spell, but not all of the pieces were present. The spell seemed to have something to do with containment. The PCs deduced that these must be two of the seven keys to Solkara’s prison.

After a well-deserved night’s rest, the PCs decided to continue on their journey into the elemental chaos. Helmirion reactivated the portal to Hathsarl, and the PCs stepped through. At first the feeling of being in the EC was overwhelming. The PCs felt the hum of raw potential in the air. It was very distracting. For Helmirion it felt different; like something he had been missing his whole life.

The PCs found themselves in a small group of buildings. There was a fast-running river nearby. About a half mile downstream was a huge cloud of smoke and steam. Lightning flashes could be seen inside. The buildings were made of stone, and in an architecture that the PCs were not familiar with. The PCs noticed a genasi in front of them dressed in an official-looking uniform. He motioned them toward one of the buildings and told them to check in with the trade office.

The PCs made their over to that building and found another genasi inside behind a desk; a clerk. The clerk was clearly impatient with the PCs unfamiliarity with Hathsarl and its customs. He grudgingly explained to them that the main city was above them, and that this Lower City was a stopping point for travellers until they had a Writ of Entrance. He made an appointment with them to meet with Emere, who was responsible for vetting travellers who wished to enter the city. In the meantime, he explained that the PCs could explore the Lower City. He also explained that the smoke in the distance was a result of the river dumping into a large lake of lava beyond. The PCs also asked about House Saravel which Helmirion’s mother had mentioned in his vision. The clerk had not heard of such a house.

The PCs exited the Trade House and looked up to find the real city of Hathsarl. The city is composed of dozens of floating earthmotes hundreds of feet above ground level. Bridges of stone or rope connect the earthmotes. Various elemental phenomena can be seen on different motes, such as flowing rivers, pits of lava, lightning storms, blizzards, etc. The PCs also notice a large platform that transports travellers up to the city proper and back down to the Lower City. It is guarded by a couple archons – elementals adorned with gleaming sets of armor. Archons also seemed to make a majority of the city’s defenses, based on a look at the barracks in the Lower City.

The PCs occupied themseleves exploring Lower City a bit and trying to get a sense of the goings-on in the city. Rohak meditated alongside the river while the rest of the PCs went into the tavern to socialize. The PCs managed to glean some of the current events in the city. Apparently the storm giant king Aphyr had gone missing recently. He had not been seen in several months. Archons are posted at the entrance to the earthmote that his palace sits on, and no one has been admitted entrance. With the king missing, city politics have fallen into chaos. The Great Houses which have seats on the City Council are trying to increase their power and destroy their rivals. Some houses are threatening defection or open war.

In addition to the political strife, there had been a lot of attacks recently on the city by Slaad. No one knows where the Slaad come from or why they are suddenly targetting the city with such ferocity. So far the attacks had been repelled without any Slaad making it into the Upper City, but many archons have been lost in the battles. King Aphyr is responsible for binding the archons to the city’s defense. With him nowhere to be found, the defense of the city is dwindling. Many residents fear that the next Slaad attack will be able to penetrate into the heart of the city.

The other thing that the PCs learned from their time in the tavern was that no one seems to have heard of House Saravel. Helmirion was starting to doubt his understanding of his mother’s vision.

The PCs met with Emere at the designated time. He was a fire genasi that appeared disintereted in actually protecting the city from dangerous travelers. His only goal seemed to be to use his post for his own means. He questioned the PCs on their purpose in Hathsarl. Helmirion explained that he was from House Saravel, and Emere, as with everyone else, had not heard of it. After some additional questioning, he tried to bribe the PCs into speeding up their entrance. But Lucifan was not about to let that happen. He easily intimidated Emere and he gave the PCs a Writ of Entrance and quickly ushered them out of his office.

The PCs made their way over to the levitating platform. After showing their Writ they were allowed onto the platform and it made its way to the Upper City. They spent a couple hours exploring the city to get a lay of the land. It seemed that some of the private earthmotes which were owned by the different houses were off limits to travellers. Archons silently blocked their way when they tried to pass. But there were several larger earthmotes in the center of the city that were public, housing government buildings, markets, inns, and the like.

The PCs asked around for directions to the House of Records. They found it fairly easily and entered to find an older genasi inside. There were shelves upon shelves of scattered papers, seemingly with no organization. The historian was friendly, and was happy to help the PCs with their inquiries about House Saravel. At first he could not recall the name, but after a few moments he remembered something. He found an official notice related to House Saravel. It was dated over 20 years ago, shortly after the time where Helmirion’s mother had met his eladrin stepfather in the grove near Frostwatch. It was a declaration that House Saravel had been convincted of treason against the genasi people due to colluding with primordial cultists. The House was exiled from the city and removed from the histories. The writ also indicated that there was one councilmember that dissented with the ruling: Yuriel from House Mariz.

The PCs decided that their next step should to contact this Yuriel, provided he was still alive. The historian explained that although the houses were generally sealed to visitors, houses each held representatives in one of the government buildings in the center of the city. The PCs headed over to that building and found the clerk for House Mariz. The clerk explained that Yuriel was indeed still alive, but he was elderly and sickly, and did not often take visitors. He promised to get a note to Yuriel though if the PCs wanted to leave one. Helmirion wrote a note for Yuriel, explaining that he was interested in discussing a matter of some importance. The clerk promised to get the note to Yuriel, and asked that the PCs stop by the next day to see if Yuriel had responded.

Meanwhile, Lucifan had gone around to the clerks of each of the other houses to ask about House Saravel. Most of the clerks responded with genuine confusion – since the House had been struck from the histories most of the citizens had forgotten about it at this point. But one clerk, of House Qet’aran, was obviously familiar with the name and did a bad job of hiding the fact.

It was getting late, and the PCs decided to find an inn and settle down for the evening. As they were checking in with the innkeeper, Rohak noticed someone following the PCs. He chased the earthsoul genasi outside but lost sight of him, and he did not reappear.

The PCs awoke after a good night’s sleep. But as soon as they had gotten ready to head out, they heard shouts from outside. Slaad were attacking again, and had managed to capture the floating platform and gained entrance to the Upper City. The PCs took to action and ran outside. They followed the sounds of battle and discovered a group of the hideous slaad destroying a shop in one of the market areas. The PCs thought quickly and ambushed the slaad. It was a tough fight but the PCs were able to slay the foul beasts. They took a short rest and then gathered themselves up to join back in the fray. As they were making their way down a side street, a voice called out. It was the same earthsoul genasi that had followed them to the inn the evening before. He was escorted by two water archons and a fire genasi. And the PCs turned to a noise behind them to see an abyssal umber hulk bearing down on them…

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Session #9 Summary

The PCs continued on downward into the crumbling temple of Ioun. They reach the bottom floor which was a huge library. There were moldy papers and crumbling tomes everywhere. The PCs made their way into the room and found the drow vampire Dorax’na waiting for them. He offered to let the PCs live if they left their magical items with him. Rohak tried to set him off guard by pretending to agree to this offer, but it didn’t seem to work. The vampire attacked, along with several living drow and a large spider that he used as a mount. It was a tough battle but the PCs prevailed. After the battle they searched the room and found the portal that they were looking for set into the back wall.

After spending the night in the library to recover, the PCs did some research, looking through all of the dusty papers and scrolls to try to figure out how to use the portal. They eventually figured out what they needed to, and got the portal working. They first pointed it back to Helmirion’s home, the eladrin city of Hesinvorn. The PCs bundled up all of the books and scrolls they could salvage. Helmirion attached a note directed to his adopted father explaining what had happened. The PCs pushed all of this through the portal, saving the knowledge from being recaptured by evil such as the likes of Dorax’na.

The PCs then pointed the portal at Hathsarl in the elemental chaos. Initially it seemed to be working; they could see the floating earthmotes of the city beyond the portal. But suddenly the view beyond the portal switched to that of an endless glacier, and the edges of the portal seemed to start to freeze. The deva Natan stepped through, along with a volcanic and blizzard dragon. He explained that the PCs had stopped being a nuisance and had started becoming a real problem, and that it was time for him to kill them. A battle started as Natan cast a spell which split him into four different elementals, one for each of air, water, fire, and earth. The battle was quite tough, but the PCs had superior tactics and were able to best him. After the battle the PCs took a short rest to recover, but Natan was not dead yet. They heard his disembodied voice at first, but then a vortex of elemental energy formed in the middle of the room, and he appeared again. But his form was changing. His limbs elongated, and his hands grew into grotesque claws. His feet burst out of his boots and changed into the webbed feet of an ocean creature. His skin became scaly, and took on a greener hue. His neck lengthened and his mouth widened to reveal hideous razor-sharp teeth.

Again the PCs dove into battle, hoping to finish Natan and make their way to Hathsarl…

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Session #8 Summary

The PCs left the safety of Hesinvorn to brave the Feywild in search of a lost temple to Ioun, god of knowledge. They slept most of the evening, but left Hesinvorn before dawn, and watched from outside the gates as it faded back into the World, leaving them alone. The beauty and strangeness of the Feywild was almost overwhelming to all but Helmirion, to whom it felt almost like returning home. The PCs picked up the trail of the ley line, and followed it east away from the city, as their research indicated that the temple would be found along it.

The travel through the feywild was difficult. The PCs encountered many different types of strange terrain, and at times it was difficult to stay aware of the ley line as it twisted and turned. But they were relatively lucky, as they reached the overgrown temple without having to spend a night in the wilderness, and without encountering any hostile creatures.

The temple was set on a hill. There were signs of outlying buildings and gardens that used to surround it, but they were all crumbled and overgrown now. The stairs leading up to the temple were still intact, and after Sariel scouted a bit, the PCs ascended. They found at the top that the temple was relatively small, only a single story building about 50 ft on either side. The large stone doors to the temple were sealed with a bronze disc. Letters were etched on the disc in an ancient language. Helmirion, Rosalina, and Lucifan worked for some time to translate the lettering, eventually figuring out that it read: “Let the light of Ioun’s knowledge overcome the shadow of deceit”. After a few minutes of thought and experimentation, Helmirion cast a Light spell on the disc, and the doors opened.

The PCs entered cautiously, and found themselves in a single large room. The walls of the room were covered in bas reliefs depicting various scenes of knowledge overcoming tyranny and evil. There were also pedestals displaying artwork, and decaying tapestries that could barely be made out. The floor was covered in a thick layer of dust. In the center of the room were spiral stairs that led down into the darkness.

The PCs took the stairs, and found themselves in a wide hallway that branched both left and right. Both hallways ended in a heavy stone door. Behind the left doorway the PCs could detect a horrid stench of death and decay. They opened the door cautiously, and entered the room. It was lined on both sides with discarded corpses. Rosalina approached the corpses, and one of them sprang up and moved to attack her. However, a beautiful female voice rang out from the darkness ahead of them, urging the undead fiend not to attack. It was a vampire, who introduced herself as Kala’shen. She tried to engage the PCs in conversation, as she did not get a lot of stimulating conversation from her usual minions. During the conversation, she mentioned that her companion, another vampire, was in the library downstairs. Eventually the PCs tired of the conversation and attacked her. The fight was tough, as several of the corpses turned out to be vampires and zombies. Eventually the PCs smote the foul undead, and Kala’shen.

The PCs exited the feeding room on the other side and found themselves in a similar hallway. It branched to another set of spiral stairs heading down, as well as to the other side of the room that the PCs had bypassed. The PCs opened the door and found the room filled with thick, sticky spider webs. They tried to close the doors again and avoid encountering the spiders, but a couple swarms of tiny spiders crawled underneath the door. While the PCs were dealing with the swarms, some wight minions of the brood mother spider reopened the door, joining the combat, and allowing the brood mother to join in as well. The PCs had to deal with the constant immobilization from the webs and the necrotic energy of the wight’s claws. But they did eventually slay all of the spiders and wights.

The PCs were fairly drained after the two battles, and were faced with a tough choice. Do the press on lower into the temple, potentially getting in another fight when they were already low on resources? Or, do they attempt to rest first, either within the temple or in the wilderness of the Feywild, potentially giving their enemies time to regroup?

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Session #7 Summary

The PCs left Frostwatch to travel to Hesinvorn, Helmirion’s home. Their hope was to consult the eladrin about the situation in Frostwatch and about their new-found enemy, Solkara.

The travel through the plains around Frostwatch was uneventful, especially with some summoned magical mounts courtesy of Helmirion. After about two days travel the PCs reach the outskirts of the Everwood.

The horses were dismissed as travel through the wood become cumbersome. The standard scrub pines and evergreens of Frostwatch gave way to a more temperate forest filled with giant oaks, willows, elms, and other trees.

The Everwood was darker and more sinister than Helmirion remembered. The PCs were nervous, and strange shadows darted at the edge of their vision. The paths that Helmirion expected to find were overgrown. The sunlight seemed weaker, and barely reached the forest floor.

The PCs were just starting to think about finding a place to camp for the evening when night suddenly fell around them, at least an hour before it should’ve. They struggled in the dark to find a decent clearing to camp. They found one, but it turns out some others had already claimed the area. Spriggans, goblins that had been corrupted by Fomorian magic, sprang out of the trees and attacked. They also had a shambling mound with them, which proved to be a formidable foe. The PCs eventually fought them back and slayed them all.

After an uneasy rest in the forest, the PCs awoke to a weak sunrise and started off again toward the eladrin city. They reached the city around midday and found Sulor, Helmirion’s adoptive father. Sulor listened intently as Helmirion shared the PCs’ story, and was dismayed to hear about the threats against Frostwatch. He explained that the woods have definitely become less friendly recently, and the city council fears that an attack is imminent. They had been suspecting the drow, but now that the PCs told him about the Spriggans perhaps they should suspect the fomorians instead.

Sulor told Helmirion that he feared he should not have let Helmirion leave the city without telling him the truth about his past. He relayed the story of how he found Helmirion as a baby. He explained to Helmirion that he didn’t simply find him dropped off at the edge of the city. Once when he was travelling to Frostwatch to visit the Red Spire wizards, he stumbled upon a magnificent grove (yes, upon description, the same grove that the PCs have already had a lot of experience with) that radiated strong magic. Intrigued, he stopped to spend some time there. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a genasi woman appeared, clearly in trouble. She was running from something, carrying a bundle in her arms. The mentor turned to see robed men chasing her. He jumped in front of them, and threw a few spells toward them. They fled, clearly feeling he was too formidable for them. He turned to the woman to find her collapsed. She was gravely injured. She looked at him with purpose and pleaded for him to save her son. She told him her son’s name. The last thing she said was “When he is ready, give him this…” and handed him a trinket of blue glass she wore around her neck.

As soon as Helmirion took the trinket, he had a vision of the woman, which was apparently his mother. The vision ends with the woman saying, "Seek our people, the House of Sarravel, in the city of Hathsarl within the elemental chaos. They will be able to help you. You do not have to fight alone.” Helmirion relayed the vision to the PCs and to Sulor, who was of course very interested in it. He gave the PCs some information about traveling to the EC. There are many ways, of course, but he knows of one particular route. In the Feywild, there are lines of power called Ley Lines. Hesinvorn lies on a Ley Line when it is in the Feywild. When multiple ley lines intersect those areas are very powerful, and travel between planes is easier in those spots. If they travel east along the ley line in the Feywild from Hesinvorn they will arrive at an ancient decaying temple. This temple is built at the intersection with another ley line. It is said that from this temple one could travel to many other planes. However, the temple is rumored to be controlled by a drow vampire, who almost certainly would not let the PCs travel freely.

The PCs then finished up the meeting with Sulor, who recommended that they seek answers in the city library, while he went to the council to relay the information that the PCs brought.

The PCS found the library to be huge, with many tiny rooms and shelves upon shelves. There was no seeming order to the place. There were a few librarians around but they were very protective of the knowledge within the walls and weren’t very eager to help strangers. The PCs employed their various talents in order to do some research on various topics.

Lucifan did some research on various demons and devils. He discovered a tome that described a place in the nine hells which seemed strikingly similar to one of his visions of his Master. The ruler of that hell was known as Mammon. Perhaps Mammon, or one of his underlings, is Lucifan’s Master?

Rosalina did some research on the temple that Sulor described, and found that it is most likely an ancient temple to the god Ioun, a good god dedicated to knowledge and secrets. She also did some research on Solkara’s history, and found a book that described how Erathis imprisoned her and fashioned seven keys to lock the prison. The keys were similar in description to the trinket that was stolen by Natan from around Immeral’s neck.

Helmirion did some research on the elemental chaos, and the city of Hathsarl in particular. He found some information about the city, including some details about its political structure and ruler, as well as some details on the genasi that live there. Helmirion also found a book detailing the ancient language of the Un Hai’kapata. This could prove useful if the PCs come across more writings from that group.

Sariel stumbled upon a book on the history of halflings in the Frostwatch region. It turns out that the Un Hai’kapata and their genasi allies were involved in imbuing a clan of halflings with increased ability to resist the extreme weather. Apparently a Frostwatch halfling is occaisionally born with stark white hair and skin, and these folk have a high concentration of this elemental power. They are known as Wintertouched halflings.

Rohak studied some of the details of Solkara’s more powerful followers. He found a book that described her top two most powerful followers. The first was a mad storm titan priest named Mirmakur, who is focused on assembling legions of fire elementals to melt her glacial prison. The second is a being called Xixecal, the Living Glacier. He was formed from her prison by another being trying to usurp her power, but Xixecal remained fiercly loyal to Solkara. It is said that when Solkara is about to be freed from her prison that Xixecal will be seen in the world again. The book also described a frost giant king rumored to be in the cult as well. Though other sources suggest that this frost giant actually gives his allegiance to the frost giant demon lord Kostchtchie, the Prince of Wrath.

After quite a while of being in the library, one of the eladrin approached Rohak. Upon noticing him, Rohak realized that the eladrin had been watching him for some time, even as he moved to different parts of the library. The eledrin introduced himself as Verath, and explained that he was a scholar of Solkara and noticed that Rohak seemed to be researching her. He had a private collection of scrolls and relics related to Solkara in a room downstairs. He offered to show Rohak, as well as his friends, in case it helped in their research. Rohak suspected a trap, but despite his intense efforts to get a read on the strange eladrin he somehow failed to do so.

Rohak found the other PCs and explained the situation. They agreed to follow Verath, and he lead them into a basement level of the library. The entrance was barely even noticeable, seemingly magically concealed. They got to the basement level and he motioned toward a room along the side of the hallway. However, just as Rohak was about to open the door he noticed an arcane rune upon it. The door was rigged with a trap! Realizing that the game was upon, Verath attacked, and several other cultists burst out of the adjoining rooms. The PCs bested the cultists without too much trouble, and made their way out of the library.

The PCs discussed it a bit, and formed a plan to travel through the Feywild, find the ancient temple of Ioun, deal with the drow vampire, unlock the secrets of the temple to travel to the elemental chaos, and find the city of Hathsarl. It was pretty simple, really.

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Session #6 Summary

As we last left our heroes, they were outside an inn in the High District of Frostwatch, nearby the Red Spire where they were scheduled to meet with Travius in the morning. There was a commotion outside, though it was hard to hear over the severe snowstorm. A volcano had erupted in the mountains, seemingly in the same area as where the PCs had found the monolith. The nearby villagers were shouting and screaming about what the gout of flame on the horizon might mean.

Out of the swirling snow the PCs started to hear snarles and growls. Suddenly flaming hellhounds were attacking them, and cultists emerged out of the darkness. Two of the cultists were humans wearing chainmail and wielding longswords. The other was a water genasi and wielded elemental magic. The PCs fought hard and managed to slay their enemies. The cultists were not dressed like the ones they had fought in the past. Their cloaks were made of shimmering blue-green scales, and seemed to dripped water constantly while they were worn by the cultists. The cloaks were clasped by a bronze symbol of a crashing wave. Although one of the cloaks was burned to cinders by a well-placed fireball from Helmirion, the PCs took the other two cloaks to investigate futher.

Sariel, Rosalina, and Lucifan recongized one of the human cultists as someone from the Erathasian church where they had stayed with Immeral. Lucifan looked toward the church and could see in its windows that there seemed to be some strange activity inside: their seemed to be lightning flashing from within.

Rosalina and Sariel rushed toward the church, and the others struggled to keep up. They past a house and heard the scream of a human woman from inside. They could hear otherworldly snarls and the sounds of smashing furniture coming from inside the house.

Sariel and Rosalina kept going, too intent on Immeral being in danger to think about the woman. The other PCs felt that they could not leave the woman to die, and went toward the house to investigate. Before they ran off, Helmirion conjured a magical horse so Rosalina and Sariel could get to the church quicker.

At the house, Rohak sent his spirit companion into the house to see what they were up against. There was a horrific demon inside that saw the spirit and charged toward the door. At the same time Rohak saw a flash near his head as a tiny demon materialized and tried to stab him with a barbed tail that was dripping poison.

If the PCs were separated and in combat with two different groups of foes, things would not have gone well. Lucifan thought quickly, and threw on one of the cloaks the PCs had taken off the dead cultists. Using his knowledge of the abyssal language of the demons, he ordered the demons to attack the spire. The bluff worked, and the demons ran off toward the spire, where the wizards would surely be able to handle them. Now that the demons had been dealt with swiftly the rest of the PCs ran toward the church to find Rosalina and Sariel.

Meanwhile, Rosalina and Sariel had charged toward the church on the magical steed. As they approached the church, Rosalina decided not to waste time with a conventional entrance. She pushed the horse forward and jumped through one of the stained glass windows directly into the main temple room.

They found a strange scene. There was a large swirling portal near the altar that was very similar to the one they had found in the mountains near the monolith. Guarding the portal was a couple of hill giants and a few ogres, who were momentarliy stunned to see a horse charge through the window. Near the portal was Immeral, who was lying on the ground with a cloaked figure looming over him. The two seemed to be arguing heatedly. The figure threw back his cowl and Rosalina recognized him to be her old friend Natan.

Before the PCs could react, Natan drew a dagger and plunged it into Immeral’s chest. At the same time, he grabbed the amulet that hung from Immeral’s neck, and pulled it away, breaking the chain. Then, he turned and saw Rosalina at the other end of the church.

He gave a quick speech. (This is what I had wrote down in my notes but I said it a bit different during the game – same idea though.) “Rosalina, how can you be so naïve after so many lifetimes? You and your pathetic friends won’t be able to stop my mistress. After all it is because of you that I even found her. You were the one that tossed me so casually into the elemental chaos so she could find me. Solkara will rise again, and the world will be hers, with me at her side!” Then, he dove into the portal, disappearing.

The giants and ogres rushed toward the horse carrying the two women. Rosalina guided the horse nimbly to avoid them, and made her way over to Immeral. As they reached him she dove off the horse to his side, and laid her hands on him, praying to Erathis to heal his wounds. It worked, and he stabilized, though he did not immediately awake. Rosalina slid him under the altar to protect him, and turned to face the attackers.

At the same time, the other PCs arrived through the front door and found Rosalina and Sariel beset by two giants and three ogres. It was tough odds. The PCs had to use every trick they had, but they prevailed. Lucifan tried to jump through the portal but was thrown back as painful electricity surged through his body. They searched the bodies and found that one of the ogres had an item that had a jewel with a portal swirling inside. Smashing that item closed the portal.

After the battle, some of the PCs went back to the inn to regroup, while Sariel and Rosalina decided to stay at the church to make sure there were no other attacks. Before leaving, Helmirion asked Immeral what the amulet was that Natan had stolen. Immeral did not know what it did, only that it had been passed from High Priest to High Priest for many generations. It was found in the ruins of the largest church in Old Frostwatch during one of the expeditions there. It radiated powerful divine magic, but no one could discern its purpose. It bore the symbol of Erathis.

The rest of the night was uneventful, and in the morning the PCs went to meet up with Travius as they had arranged. The tower looked to be in better shape then when they had last seen it. Obviously the wizards had used magic rituals to speed their cleanup efforts. The Red Spire had not been spared in the night’s attacks, and although no more wizards were killed, there were fresh injuries on some. The PCs confirmed that the demons that Lucifan had ordered toward the Spire had indeed been slain by the wizards.

The PCs were led to a small library where comfortable chairs were laid out. Cort and Travius were there, and they both looked quite weary.

Travius again thanked them for saving the Red Spire and himself, and asked their forgiveness for his putting his trust in Heris. After some thought, he realized that he cannot keep what he knows to himself. He had decided to put his faith in Cort and the PCs and share what he knows. The conversation went back and forth as the PCs uncovered what Travius knew about the history of Frostwatch. He explained that most of the information has been passed down to the Archwizard of the Red Spire since Old Frostwatch was founded. It is contained in tomes that are magically enchanted to only be usable by that person.

This is a list of the major things that he revealed:

- Many centuries ago a group of wizards known as the Un Hai’kapata (which means “Those That Know” in their ancient language), as a large contingent of other companions, travelled into the frozen area known as Silmenimdor, the Land of the White Moon as it had been named by the eladrin. The wizards had long known that there was powerful magic emanating from the area and this group was determined to find its source and harness it.

- The group consisted of the human wizards, as well as some genasi from the Elemental Chaos. Also accompanying them were a few followers of Erathis, who were interested in establishing a foothold for civilization in this area. Two of these Erathasians were devas, a male and a female (I think I might have forgot to mention this in game – so take particular note). They brought a company of dwarven excavators as well, guessing that they would have to explore into the mountains to find what they sought.

- They searched the land for many months. Eventually they exhausted their search on the surface and began excavating into caverns underneath the mountains that they had discovered. As delving quite far they came upon a portal to the Elemental Chaos, which the PCs have now also seen.

- The wizards were not sure what lay beyond the portal, but the genasi warned them that it was a powerful force and the portal should never be entered. Even if a mortal could enter the portal without being annihilated, which was unclear, whatever was on the other side would most certainly be too powerful to deal with.

- After a time of research and deliberation, the group formed a plan. The genasi were aware of a secret method for creating an elemental glass that could channel elemental power. The wizards could use this glass to create a huge permanent ritual to draw power from the portal and harness it, distilling it into Residuum which they could use to enhance their magic significantly. Drawing power from the portal would weaken its effects on the surrounding area, so the priests of Erathis would be able to establish a foothold for civilization.

- It took decades of preparation to carry out the plan, and not everyone from the group survived to see the plan come to fruition. However, eventually the caverns were excavated to make room for the tunnels that made up the giant symbols for the ritual, which the PCs had found. The priests had been praying to their god and channeling her power into the area, which weakened the power of the Elemental Chaos streaming through the portal. The genasi crafted the large monolith and its smaller counterpart in Travius’ quarters that acted as the source and destination foci for the ritual.

- The wizards spent months casting the ritual, giving most of their remaining life force to its creation. It worked, and civilization was able to take hold in the harsh land of Silmenimdor.

- Travius knows less about the events of the previous Endless Winter. Clearly it is related to the monolith. Whatever lies beyond the portal is most likely not happy that it is being weakened by the ancient ritual. The previous Endless Winter, and these current events, are probably the work of agents of the Elemental Chaos attempting to spread their influence into the World through that portal.

- The frozen glade is the main entrance to the underground tunnels that make up the ritual. It is a shrine devoted to Erathis. The entrance to the tunnels is hidden by magic, and a ritual is required to reveal it. Once revealed, only a descendant of the Un Hai’kapata can open it, sacrificing a bit of life essence to do so.

- Travius is working on translating Heris’ journal but has not gotten that far; it is protected with strong arcane magic to avoid others from reading it. He did see the drawing of the glade and the reference to Solkara. He knows a bit about Solkara, that she is an ancient primordial who was imprisoned in the EC by the gods during the Dawn War. It could very well be that the portal leads to her prison, which is said to be a giant glacier.

After revealing all this, Travius recommends a next move for the PCs. He suggests that they go see the eladrin in their city where Helmirion hails from. The eledrin should be made aware of what is happening in Frostwatch. Also, they know more about the goings-on in other planes such as the Elemental Chaos, and would likely be able to guide the PCs toward where to find more information.

Finally, he gives the PCs the treasure that he had promised them. He gives several words that are very generous indeed. He then thanks the PCs again and takes their leave, needing to attend to the cleanup still going on in the tower.

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Session #5 Summary

The PCs were gathered at the Fallen Dragon Inn, in one of the shadier areas of the Low District of Frostwatch. The Red Spire wizard, Cort, was hiding out there, and he had sent the PCs a letter informing them of what had happened. There was an attack on Frostwatch from strange elemental beasts. Many lives were lost and lots of damage was done to the city. Even a few days later rubble and bodies were still being carted through the streets.

The attacks were blamed on wizards in the Red Spire, though no one could point exactly to any evidence. The common folk were willing enough to believe that such a strange attack surely must be the fault of the wizards, so the rumors spread like wildfire. Heris, one of the more powerful wizards in the Spire, convinced Frostwatch officials that he had contained the conspiracy within the Red Spire and captured most of those responsible. He also gave the officials the names of some wizards that had escaped the Spire. Cort’s name was on that list.

Cort, of course, denied that he had anything to do with a conspiracy inside the Red Spire, or that he was involved with causing the attack on Frostwatch. He asked the PCs to help him reenter the Red Spire, free the wizards that had been captured, and confront Heris. The PCs were willing to go along with this plan.

They set out toward the Red Spire in the morning. Cort disguised himself as a lowly servant of the PCs, since his name and description would surely have been given to the city guard. It was a long walk to the Spire, which was on the other side of the city, set far back in the High District, beyond the inner gates. The gate guards initially gave the PCs some resistance to opening the gates, but after their palms were greased a bit by Sariel, they were more agreeable.

Once at the Spire, they entered cautiously. They found the main floor basically looking normal, except for some half-eaten meals and scattered notes that suggested people may have left in a hurry. Cort lead the PCs down the back stairs into the basement, where the servants’ quarters and the dungeons were located. The servants quarters initially appeared normal until the PCs reached the common room, which showed evidence of a severe magic battle. There were corpses of servants and wizards, as well as the obvious signs of magical attack: charred walls, pools of strange linquid, and the strong smell of ozone.

As the PCs explored the remains of the battle, one of the wizard’s corpses stirred, and jumped up shouting to “Defend the master!” The servants bodies also began to stir, reanimated as zombies. Cort told the PCs to hold off the undead as he ran ahead to free the captive wizards. The wizard corpses had been turned into Arcanians: undead wielding powerful arcane magic. It was a tough battle, but the PCs prevailed and their foes fell.

They moved forward into the dungeons to find Cort. The PCs found evidence of a few more zombies that Cort had fought through, but as the PCs arrived he was freeing the last of the captives. He had suffered only minor injuries from the zombies. About a dozen servants and eight wizards had been locked up in the dungeon. Cort had the servants flee the Spire but asked that the wizards aid him and the PCs in reclaiming hte tower. The wizards agreed, and the group headed back upstairs.

The main floor was as they left it, and after the servants made their way out, the wizards and the PCs climbed the ornate marble staircase to the second level. This level was much more damaged from the battle. Entire sections of walls were blown out, and the torn bodies of wizards could be found here and there. The group passed without issue and climbed the stairs to the third floor.

The third floor was in similar condition to the second. But here their enemies were still waiting. As the group got to the middle of the floor, snarling demons lept out of the rubble. The wizards fought back, and Cort shouted at the PCs to continue on. The wizards would hold off the beasts while the PCs confronted Heris. The PCs reluctantly obeyed and ran for the stairs, doing their best to dodge through the battle with the demons.

The reached the fourth floor, Travius’ private quarters. After checking the door for traps, they cautiously entered. They found Heris standing over an unconscious Travius, clearly preparing some sort of ritual. Oddly, there was an object suspended from the ceiling that looked like a smaller version of the monolith the PCs found underneath the mountains. Below it on the floor was a pedestal. The pedestal held a bowl of fine silvery white powder that Helmirion recognized as residuum. Those attuned to the arcane could see power flowing from the red glass of the tower into the monolith, and then down into the pedestal, creating the residuum.

Heris tried to engage the PCs in conversation while he went about his ritual. But the PCs noticed this as an obvious ploy to delay them long enough for him to copmlete the ritual. The PCs attacked before Heris could finish, and a difficult battle ensued. Heris was a master of powerful elemental magic, and he threw everything he had at the PCs. The PCs fought back hard, and bested his magics, injuring him severly.

Realizing that he could not finish the PCs off as he planned, and complete his ritual, Heris instead took a dangerous gambit. He motioned toward the suspended monolith, and let its power flow into him. He transferred into a hulking elemental horror, with a fiery molten core and a shell of thick ice. His skin bristled with streaks of electricity. He redoubled his efforts against the PCs, this time trying to overwhelm them with brute force. But after a fierce battle they against bested him, and he exploded in a torrent of elemental power.

As soon as Heris was slain, Lucifan suddenly felt the walls that had been blocking his memory crumble into dust. He remembered his time with the Cult of Endless Winter clearly, and he realized a bit more of his purpose in this plot. [I still owe Chris a separate email on the details around this.]

The PCs recovered briefly, and then went over to Travius. They revived him after a time, as Cort and the other wizards caught up with them after defeating the demons downstairs. Travius asked the PCs some brief questions about what had transpired, and then bid them leave him for the night. He promised that he would see them in the morning and explain what he knew about Heris, the cult, and everything else that the PCs had been pulled into.

As the PCs were leaving, Helmirion spotted Heris’ ritual book under some rubble. Most of it was in strange arcane symbols which would take time to translate. However, as Helmirion leafed through the book he found a page that had a drawing of a location familiar to him, the sacred frozen grove where he had met Rohak. Rosalina also recognized the place as the place where she had awoken in this cycle of her endless series of lives. Beneath the drawing was single phrase: “Solkara’s Prison”.

Helmirion recognized the name Solkara as one of the primordials, the beings of the Elemental Chaos that had fought with the gods in the Dawn War and eventually were beaten back and killed or imprisoned.

Now the PCs had more questions than ever about what was going on. They decided to find an inn nearby to the Red Spire so they could meet with Travius and Cort in the morning and figure out their next move. They did find an inn, and since this was the nicest area of Frostwatch, it was quite lavish. A blizzard rolled in toward early evening, which was fairly common for Frostwatch in the early spring. But their rooms were comfortable and most of them slept well despite the howling winds.

However, in the middle of the night they were awoken by shouts from outside. Townsfolk were shouting various things such as “The gods have forsaken us!” “The mountains are aflame!” “What foul magic is this?” The PCs ran outside and, squinting through the blizzard, saw that a volcano had erupted in the mountains to the north. And they realized that this mountain was directly above where they found the monolith.

Suddenly the PCs heard snarls and the clash of steel nearby. Battle had erupted. Strange shadows moved at the edges of the street lamps, hidden by the swirling blizzard…

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