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.