Frostwatch

Session #26 Summary

The PCs recovered from their battles in the Rookery, and had decided to make their way to a safer neighborhood to catch some rest. As they were leaving, however, they were approached by a female githzerai who introduced herself as Liricosa. She was quite standoffish and private, but offered to tell the PCs what she know about the lich Vlaakith in exchange for them recovering a particular dagger from his person. She would not reveal how she knew about Vlaakith, what she wanted the dagger for, or anything regarding her history.

The PCs agreed eventually. She told them that Vlaakith was held up in a particular house within the Rookery, and told them what she knew of his doings in the city, which wasn’t much. She could not offer them any advise about slaying him since she had never seen him fight. In addition, she could offer no information regarding his phylactery.

The PCs left Liricosa and made their way out of the Rookery to recover and plan their assault on Vlaakith’s house. Rosalina had grown suspicious of how much Liricosa knew about their intent to find Vlaakith, since they had only mentioned it to the Azer Ven in the foundry. The PCs went seeking after Ven, but found that he had abandoned his post at the foundry, his living quarters look undisturbed, and no one knew what had become of him. Suspicious of what happened, but without any other leads, the PCs retired to an inn to get some rest.

When the PCs awoke, they headed back into the Rookery to investigate Vlaakith’s house. They found that the house had two floors, and upper floor with barred windows and drawn curtains, and a lower floor that was filled with crumbling debris and decaying furniture. The PCs cautiously entered the lower floor, and were attacked by Vlaakith’s guards: an efreet, a few tulgar, several undead arcanian spellcasters, and two obsidian golems. The battle was tough, with the PCs unable to combine their efforts to take out any of their foes. Eventually the PCs gained the upper hand, and the opposition crumbled quickly.

After a short rest, the PCs prepared to head upstairs and hopefully find Vlaakith. Sariel made her way up first, trying to remain unseen. However, Vlaakith saw right through her stealth, and gloated at her to bring her friends up. When the others came upstairs, Vlaakith had just finished a ritual involving a cauldron of lava and another vessel of concentrated flame. Helmirion and Lucifan quickly determined that Vlaakith had been working to harness the power from the lake of lava upon which the City of Brass was built. Vlaakith briefly gloated about his ritual’s success, and his ability to free Solkara from her frozen prison by harnessing the Sea of Fire.

The PCs dove into battle, and were able to best Vlaakith without too much trouble. He had some zombie minions that could not be slain. They managed to give the PCs some trouble, but Rosalina kept Vlaakith locked down and the PCs eventually overtook him.

After Vlaakith was slain, Liricosa appeared. The PCs were suspicious of her sudden appearance, but having just located the dagger that she sought, Telara handed it over to her. Liricosa suddenly changed as she thrust the dagger into Telera’s chest. Before the PCs stood Natan, now a Rakshasa. He laughed maniacally, and then dove into a swirling attack with his two razor-sharp blades…

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Session #25 Summary

The PCs finished up at Norvaldr’s compound, which the Eisk Jaat were now moving in to. Before they left, the Earthmother summons Rohak for a final conversation. She thanked him for helping her people, and urged him to pass her thanks on to his companions. In addition, she explained that she saw the power of the Mountains within him, which she had never seen in other races before. She gave Rohak an ancient totem made of leather and bone that was shaped into a geometric pattern. She told him that the totem would help him in the dark times that were to come, and that he should meditate on it to unlock its secrets.

The PCs then had to find out how to get to the City of Brass within the Elemental Chaos. Figuring that the wizards of the Red Spire would have such knowledge, that was their first stop. They found that Travius and most of the senior wizards were still securing the monolith. The PCs found out by talking to some of the junior wizards that Travius kept some books related to the City of Brass in his personal library. After some persuasion, the wizard in command of the Red Spire, an exotic woman by the name of Caliphae, agreed to let the PCs into Travius chambers to conduct their research. Helmirion made short work of the assignment, and had an excellent understanding of the City of Brass after a few hours of reading.

Before heading into the City of Brass, the PCs decided to stop back at Hathsarl to see how King Aphyr was faring in his reascension to power. Aphyr was glad to see the PCs, and held a banquet in their honor. The King told them what he could of the City of Brass, and bid the PCs to ask after an azer in one of the foundries that owed him a favor. Aphyr thought that he might be able to help the PCs to locate Vlaakith. Before leaving Hathsarl, the PCs also saw that House Mariz was being rebuilt, and that Yuriel was doing well, relaxing after his recent adventures.

The portal to the City of Brass went without a hitch, and the PCs found themselves at one of the major gates into the city. The PCs had to speak with a couple Efreet before being allowed entrance, and also had to place their palsm onto a magic device that tracked their essence while in the city. Once inside, the PCs sought out Aphyr’s azer friend, a blacksmith by the name of Ven.

The PCs found Ven without too much trouble, and asked him some pointed questions about Vlaakith, dancing around the subject of his lichdom. Ven was able to provide some information about the city in general, but could offer no specific information about any liches or anyone named Vlaakith. He recommended that the PCs start with an area of the city known as the Rookery, the seediest district where the law did not reach.

The PCs made their way to the Rookery, and found that they drew a lot of attention as soon as they were inside. A ragtag group of ruffians approached the PCs looking for a fight. They called themselves the Dread Fist Gang. The PCs fought and easily bested the gang. Without more than a few minutes rest, another challenger appeared. He was a priest of Imix, the fire lord. Though at first he appeared to fight alone, when the battle started he summoned a number of fire creatures. Although the PCs had already used some of their powers during the battle with the Dread Fist Gang, the Imix cultist did not prove to be any more difficult to vanquish.

After the PCs demonstrated their battle prowess, they received noticeably less attention as they made their way deeper into the Rookery…

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Session #24 Summary

The PCs dove into battle with Norvaldr’s elite guard. The battle was quick and decisively in favor of the PCs. They managed to triumph without much of their resources used, leaving them in good shape for facing Norvaldr. They rested quickly, and then moved out onto the balcony, where Norvaldr was waiting for them, taunting them from atop his dragon flying just out of range.

The battle started, and the dragon and Norvaldr charged into battle. They coordinated their attacks and initially had the PCs in a tough spot. Rohak went down under their initial volleys, but was revived by his ring. After that, the PCs held their own, though the Frost Giant King had some more surprises up his sleeve.

The king perished, just as predicted in the Eisk Jaat prophesy. He was wearing the Key to Solkara’s Prison, which Lucifan snatched up before any of the other PCs could react.

The PCs rejoined the Eisk Jaat in the courtyard and helped them dispatch the remainder of the giant forces. With the King slain, most of the fight went out of his soldiers, and they were quickly routed. Now, the PCs had to focus on Vlaakith, the lich mentor of Etraiv, who had another of the keys. All the PCs knew of him is that he is regularly seen in the City of Brass…

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Session #23 Summary

After the battle with the purple worm, the PCs continued on deeper into the mountains toward Norvaldr’s palace. Toward the end of the day, the cold started to seep through Helmirion’s protective rituals, which under normal circumstances would not have been possible. There was foul magic in the area which was preventing cold protective magic from working. Even more worrisome, those PCs with natural protection from cold were also feeling its effects.

Toward dusk, the PCs were start to try to find a place to make shelter. With the cold now affecting them, fatigue was setting in quickly. A snowstorm had moved into the area, accompanied by heavy winds. Suddenly shapes materilazed out of the swirling snow and attacked: barbarian humanoids that seemed to have command of the winter cold, along with winter wolves under their command. The PCs slew them all, their bodies disappearing back into the snowstorm.

As they were recovering, the leader of the barbarians, seemingly unharmed, appeared again. He introduced himself as Garko of the Eisk Jaat, and explained to the PCs that they had passed the test. He led them back to his village where the PCs were given food, shelter, and warmer clothing. They spent the night in the village. In the morning, Garko found them again and brought them before the Earthmother.

The Earthmother was an ancient, shriveled woman. The PCs were ushered into her hut and then sat uncomfortably before her while she examined them, spending a few minutes in front of each PC measuring their worth. She was satisfied by what she saw, indicating that the gods had sent heroes that could truly rescue her people.

She told the PCs that they would have to go on a vision quest to reveal their fate. She prepared the ritual, and the PCs fell into a deep sleep. They were given visions of their future:

  • The frost giant compound built on a plateau within the mountains. Thick walls of ice with a heavy iron gate. Many guards manning the walls. Large huts made of wood and straw scattered around the compound. In the center of the compound, a large palace of stone and ice. Large white dragons fly above the palace.
  • A small hidden entrance through the ice walls. A frost giant would have to squeeze crawl, but the vision shows the PCs walking through with ease into the compound.
  • One of the huts packed with Eisk Jaat slaves. Many are old or infirm, but there are a number of strong warriors that still have a fight in them.
  • The slaves freed, charging at their giant captures. At the same time, Eisk Jaat swarm in from the mountains, scale the walls, break the gates, and join their slave brethren in the fight for their salvation.
  • The king Norvaldr waiting for the PCs on the roof of his palace, atop his dragon. A vicious battle, with the PCs victorious, standing above the fallen king, while his giant subjects die below by the hands of their slaves.

The Earthmother explains to the PCs that it was prophesied that they would appear to rescue her people from the oppression of Norvaldr and his frost giants. She gave the PCs what help she could: a new magic item for each of them, and command of 60 of her strongest warriors, along with Garko to lead them.

The PCs set out at once with Garko and the rest of the Eisk Jaat. They arrived at Norvaldr’s compound after a couple days travel. The compound and the palace were just as in their vision. After a bit of searching, they also found the hidden entrance through the walls.

Helmirion created some invisibility elixirs to allow the party to sneak into the compound. Sariel went first, sneaking into the hut where the slaves were kept, and picking the locks on the chains that bound them. Despite the language barrier, she got the slaves to attack, charging into the compound to get revenge on their captors. Their free brethren joined in, scaling the walls and unlocking the gates to allow their winter wolves to attack as well.

While the battle raged, the PCs snuck through to the palace, and made their way to the roof where the vision showed they would find Norvaldr. Rohak, familiar with the design of such a building, led the way, easily navigating to the throne room on the top floor which adjoined the roof. The PCs looked into the throne room and found that Norvaldr had retained his elite guard to protect him. Over a dozen fearsome frost giants blocked the way between the PCs and their target…

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Session #22 Summary

The battle for the monolith raged on, with new combatants entering the fray. Unbeknownst to the other PCs, Lucifan and Telera had been captured and were being tortured for information in an adjoining corridor. They were being guarded by a few tanarukk and demons who decided to abandon their posts and aid their masters in the fight. Somehow, Lucifan found the strength to break his bonds, freeing himself and Telara. Beaten but not broken, the two headed down the corridor after their captors.

Although it was one of the tougher battles of the PCs’ careers, they eventually won the day. The enemies were all slain or fled through the open portal. The PCs rested briefly, and then focused on closing the portal. Helmirion and Lucifan examined the portal and determined that it could be closed using a ritual, but it would require a sacrifice of life essence. Rohak quickly volunteered and the two arcanists started the ritual. Things went smoothly, and Rohak survived with only minimal damage.

With the portal sealed, the PCs felt comfortable enough to rest for the night. The next day, they focused on meeting up again with the Travius at the Red Spire to secure and restore the monolith. Travius was prepared to join the PCs, and also brought along some Red Spire assistants and a score of guards from the Frostwatch military. He was confident that he had figured out how to restore the monolith to its full power, given enough time.

Now that the portal was in safe hands, the PCs focused on their next target: the frost giant king Norvaldr. Travius had been doing some research and scrying and gave the PCs a general idea of where his mountain fortress was located. In addition, while Travius was preparing to leave Frostwatch, the PCs did some research in the library and some asking around, and gathered some information about Norvaldr. It is unclear, however, how accurate any of the information was. They learned:

  • Norvaldr controls many of the savage tribes that live in the mountains. This includes many low level humanoids such as orcs and goblins. But it also includes fiercer creatures such as tanarukk, frost trolls, giants of various types, fomorians, tulgar, and others.
  • The savage races know Norvaldr by many names, such as the White King, Mountainrender, and the Great Jarl.
  • Norvaldr wields a huge two-handed battleaxe in battle. Its head is forged from deepest ice in the mountains, and can freeze a man solid with a touch.
  • Norvaldr is said to ride an ancient white dragon into battle. Apparently the dragon is a loyal companion to the Giant King.
  • Norvaldr is known to be able to control the weather in and around his fortress. He can summon blinding blizzards, or gusts of frozen wind that will throw a man to his death.
  • Norvaldr’s fortress is built from living ice, and will defend itself against assault. It can swallow groups of men and drag them into the depths beneath the mountains.
  • Norvaldr controls a group of powerful Ogre Magi known as the Crimson Eye that wield foul blood magic.
  • There are humanoids in the mountains known as Eisk Jaat which are not inherently evil. They look human but are infused with elemental cold. Some clans are loyal to Norvaldr and will fight with him. But some try to stay neutral and eek out a living in the harsh mountain terrain. It is rumored that some will even trade with the goodly races and provide shelter.

The PCs prepared themselves for a journey and then set out into the mountains. The way was uncharted so it was tough going. Often the PCs hit a dead end and had to turn back, or ran into unfriendly weather. But they made progress, travelling for a couple days toward Norvaldr’s fortress.

The third day did not prove as lucky. As the PCs were crossing a flat area toward the next set of peaks, they noticed a rumbling beneath their feat. The PCs managed to prepare themselves a bit as an ancient purple worm burst through the earth and attacked. The beast was huge, able to swallow them in a single gulp. But the PCs wore it down and eventually bested it.

Having spent a lot of their power, the PCs decided to rest in the clearing, planning to set out again on their fourth day in Norvaldr’s mountains…

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Session #21 Summary

The PCs spent the night among the ruins of Coir Dun. Rohak said his peace in front of his crumbling statue. Sariel realized that she needed a ranged weapon and dug through a few of the buildings until she found something suitable. In the morning, the PCs parted ways with Estan. He was not prepared to enter the mines, and Rohak knew the trails quite well from Coir Dun to the mines.

The trip to the mines was uneventful, until the PCs arrived at the entrance. As they were climbing the final switchbacks that lead to the mine entrance, they could hear the occasional snippet of giant speech from above. Sariel scouted ahead and found that the mine entrance was guarded by several stone giants, as well as a fomorian.

The terrain did not give the PCs much of a chance to get the jump on the guards. They charged up the last switchback and engaged their foes face-to-face. The giants proved to be amateur combatants, and Rosalina kept the fomorian from engaging the party. The battle was long but the PCs had the upper hand from the start. At the end, the fomorian was the last foe standing, and he realized that he was not going to prevail. He launched himself down the mountainside, barely surviving the fall but living to fight another day.

The PCs made their way into the mines, retracing their steps from several weeks ago when they had discovered the monolith. They entered the monolith’s chamber cautiously, approaching through one of the caverns on the upper level. They found that the monolith was as well guarded as last time, and the monolith itself was in even worse shape. It would clearly not last much longer, and there were a cultists surrounding the monolith and channeling foul energy into it even at that moment.

The PCs spent some time studying the room and their enemies, trying to come up with a plan for overcoming such overwhelming odds. The room was filled with giants, demons, elementals, cultists, and another fomorian. Eventually, the PCs landed on a plan with using one of the caverns as a choke point. They started the battle with Helmirion laying down a wall of ice to block the main passageway up to the cavern. Some of the larger enemies could still jump onto the upper level, but many were killed as they tried to smash through the wall. Sariel and Rosalina layed down some ranged fire until the enemies reach them, and then fell back into the cavern. Helmirion flew to the ceiling of the chamber, using a blur spell to remain invisible to the enemies.

The fight went well at first, with many of the weaker enemies destroyed by the wall of ice, or by Helmirion’s blasts. Eventually the wall of ice was destroyed and the enemies started to make their way toward the entrance to the caverns where the PCs made their stand. The PCs held up well, but the blasts from the cultists were wearing down their healing reserves. A fire giant ran through another cavern to try to get the jump on the PCs from behind, but they were prepared and eventually he was slain. Many enemies remained, but the PCs were determined to win the day and rescue the monolith…

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Session #20 Summary

The PCs gathered themselves to leave Frostwatch on the road toward Whiteleaf. When they awoke, they found a cryptic note from Lucifan and Telara that they had to take care of a sudden emergency and would catch up with the group as soon as possible. Confused, but unable to find their companions, the PCs had no choice but to continue on toward Coir Dun to save the monolith from total destruction.

Helmirion’s newly-crafted Bridles of Conjuration came in handy, along with his Endure Elements ritual. The weather was horrible, with paths obscured by large snow banks, and close to zero visibility on the roads. But the PCs did manage to arrive at Whiteleaf by dusk, avoiding having to camp out on the frozen road.

As they approached the town, the PCs noticed that something was amiss. Faint sounds of screams and snarls could be hard on the wind, and black smoke wafted from a few buildings that were clearly aflame. The PCs spurred their horses and charged toward town.

They found the town overrun with orcs. Villagers were fleeing from the beasts in terror. There were dozens of the savage creatures. The PCs sprang into action and gathered the injured villagers into the town square. After the wounded were stabilized, the PCs looked to move out and end the raid. A large group of orcs ran through the square and the PCs intercepted them. Two more groups of orcs joined the fray, but the PCs made quick work of their numerous enemies.

The villagers were quite thankful that the PCs had come in time to save the town. Although the inn was badly damaged by the raid, the PCs were welcomed into the homes of the villagers for food, drink, and lodging. One of the villagers, Estan, offered to guide the PCs through the mountains to Coir Dun. The passes were growing more treacherous, and many of the normal paths were blockaded by the savage mountain tribes.

The PCs took Estan up on his offer and left for Coir Dun in the morning. At one point, they had to cross a river, and the bridge had been out since Coir Dun was raided. Estan found a spot where the river gathered into a large pond and had frozen over enough to cross. However, a couple of predators had also found the spot and were using it as an ambush point. When the PCs were in the middle of the frozen bridge, an owlbear and a frozen treant attacked from out of the surrounding forest. The predators had caught the PCs at a disadvantage but the PCs fought hard and eventually turned the tide and slayed the beasts.

The rest of the travel to Coir Dun was uneventful. The PCs found the mining town deserted and picked clean by raiders. Frozen bodies of dwarves and the occaisional orc or ogre littered the ground. But the saddest thing of all was the statue of Rohak, the hero of Coir Dun, toppled and broken on the frozen ground.

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Session #19 Summary

Lucifan had spent some time with a barbed devil that had whisked him away to the Sinking City within the third layer of the Nine Hells, the domain of his master Mammon. The barbed devil explained that if Solkara is freed it would greatly upset the power balance between the demons of the Abyss within the Elemental Chaos and the devils within the Nine Hells of the Astral Sea. The barbed devil made it clear that if Lucifan was instrumental in preventing Solkara from being freed, he would be greatly rewarded by his master. However, if Solkara was freed and Lucifan was unable to stop it, Mammon would be…displeased. Satisfied that Lucifan got the message, the barbed devil returned him to the king’s palace in Hathsarl and then disappeared.

Lucifan found that enough time had passed where the PCs were nowhere to be found. So he headed back to House Mariz where he found Telara aiding in the rebuilding efforts there. Telara explained that the other PCs had gone off to sneak into Etraiv’s vault and recover his piece of the key to Solkara’s prison. The two of them decided that the PCs could need some helped and headed off to House Qet’aran to lend a hand.

Meanwhile, the other PCs found themselves trapped in Etraiv’s vault, with a large contingent of goons, as well as Etraiv himself, on the other side of the door. Etraiv taunted the PCs, trying to get them to surrender. Helmirion realized that Etraiv was just stalling while he extended the area of the anti-teleport zone that surrounded his vault. Not wanting to give Etraiv more time to prepare, Rosalina threw open the door and the PCs dove into battle.

As the battle began, Etraiv shouted his thanks to his master Kostchtchie and began to transform into a hideous demon. Portals open and more rageborn demons, the minions of Kostchtchie, appeared and joined in the battle. Seeing the horrible monsters, Etraiv’s soldiers faltered, but under treat of death from Etraiv they joined the fray.

Lucifan and Telara arrived just in time, coming down the stairs behind the battle and the other end of the room. Helmirion threw down a wall of fire breaking the enemies into two groups. Lucifan and Telara took care of the rear guard while the rest of the PCs occupied the demons and a few soldiers up front.

Eventually Lucifan managed to shout to Helmirion to drop the wall of fire, and the two groups of PCs were able to work together to drop the rest of their enemies. Etraiv finally fell, taunting the PCs with his last breath that they would be unable to stop Solkara from being freed.

After the battle, the PCs knew they didn’t have much time to look around the compound before reinforcements arrived from the city council. While Helmirion took the ten minutes necessary to cast a teleport ritual, Sariel took the time to sneak around the rest of the house and look for anything interesting. She struck pay dirt and found a journal written by Etraiv in one of the drawers in the master bedroom.

The PCs teleported back to House Mariz and got some well deserved rest. In the morning, feeling refreshed, they regrouped to figure out their next move. They read through the journal and discovered some interesting information about Etraiv’s mentor, Vlaakith.

Apparently Vlaakith had been instructing Etraiv since he was a boy. But Etraiv’s parents never realized the truth of what Vlaakith was: a powerful lich in service to Solkara. Vlaakith worked to indoctrinate Etraiv into Solkara’s cult, and Etraiv eventually pledged his soul to the primordial and in exchange for powerful magic. The final act in Etraiv’s ascension was to slay his parents in an evil ritual.

Vlaakith wanted to use Etraiv to take control of Hathsarl in order to have unfettered access to the nearby Burning Lake. The lake of molten lava had enough fire energy that Vlaakith thought he could harness it to help melt Solkara’s frozen prison.

The journal also mentioned that Vlaakith was in possession of another of the keys to Solkara’s prison. Vlaakith was always working many plots and travelling from place to place advancing his power and researching new magic. However, he has a permanent home in the City of Brass, the largest and most metropolitan city in the entire Elemental Chaos.

The strange orb that had attacked the king was created by Vlaakith. He had given it to Etraiv and Etraiv had visited the King on the ruse of a diplomatic mission in order to release the orb. It was to be the final step in securing Hathsarl under the control of House Qet’aran.

After absorbing everything from the journal, the PCs went and talked to King Aphyr, who had recovered enough from his encounter with Vlaakith’s orb to discuss things briefly with the PCs.

The PCs gave the king a rundown of everything they had discovered. The king expressed his gratitude to the PCs for saving his life and rescuing the city from Etraiv’s clutches. The PCs handed the journal over to Aphyr and explained the contents. The king promised to use the evidence in the journal to restore the good name of Helmirion’s house, and instead see that House Qet’aran was banished instead. Helmirion made a plea to spare the lives of the rest of the members of House Qet’aran, not wanting to see history repeat itself. Intsead, Helmirion thought it was appropriate that he take possession of House Qet’aran in the name of House Saravel. King Aphyr agreed to this proposal.

The king gifted the PCs with unique magic items from his personal collection. In addition, he promised that Hathsarl would always be a welcome home to the PCs should they choose to return. He also pledged to lend his resources toward rebuilding House Mariz, and making sure that Yuriel was well taken care of for his role in saving the city.

The PCs decided that it was time for them to see how Frostwatch had faired in their absense. Helmirion had not yet had a chance to master the ritual necessary to travel between planes, but the king put one of the remaining sages of the city at their disposal to help them travel back to the mortal plane.

The PCs arrived back in the Red Spire safely. They found Travius there, wrapped in thick furs and huddled over his desk. It was terribly cold in Frostwatch, much colder than it would normally be at that point in the season.

Travius explained that Frostwatch had not faired very well since the PCs had left. The giants, ogres, and orcs from the mountains had been making frequent raids. The two mining villages had been overrun, and many of the outlying cities were having trouble repelling the raiders as of late.

In addition, many farms had failed due to the cold, or been raided. Those who could have fled inside the gate of Frostwatch, which is now overrun with refugees. Due to the weather and the food shortages, there are people dying everyday within the shadows of the Red Spire, and Travius finds this very disturbing. The church is doing what it can to help the refugees, but resources are spread very thin.

The PCs and Travius exchanged information that they had gathered about Solkara and her cult. Travius explained how the weather was being affected by the weakening of the veil between Frostwatch and Solkara’s prison. If the PCs could stop the cultists from further weakening the monolith the weather would stop getting worse, but it would take all of the keys to Solkara’s prison to reseal the veil and repair the monolith. Travius thought he knew how to do it if the PCs could recover all of the keys.

The PCs knew who was in possession of the three remaining keys: the frost giant king Norvaldr in the mountains north of Frostwatch, the lich Vlaakith who lived in the City of Brass, and Mirmakur, the Raving Priest, a storm titan that resides in the Elemental Chaos outside of Solkara’s prison. Travius agreed with the PCs that the least formidable of these enemies was probably Norvaldr, though it would be no easy task to challenge him.

However, before the PCs could go after the final keys, they had to stop further damage from being done to the monolith, in order to give the residents of Frostwatch even a small hope of surviving the terrible winter. With the decision made, the PCs started to plan out their trip and gather supplies.

They planned to teleport to the city of Whiteleaf just south of Coir Dun. They would have to go on foot or on horseback from Whiteleaf into the mountains, and would need supplies and possibly a brave soul to guide them. Coir Dun had been overrun by the raiders from Norvaldr’s clan, so once the PCs left Whiteleaf they would see no friendly faces until they had reclaimed the monolith and stopped the cultists from destroying it.

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Session #18 Summary

The PCs fought hard against the strange orb that was sucking the life out of the king. Helmirion acted quickly to remove the king from the battle using a well-timed teleport, while the rest of the part distracted the undead that the orb had summoned. The PCs destroyed the summoned undead but were forced to retreat from the orb without destroying it, leaving it in the king’s throne room.

The PCs teleported the king back to the ruins of House Mariz, where some attendants set up a hasty bed for him. The PCs were quite spent, and immediately settled in for some well deserved rest.

When they awoke, the king was conscious but not really coherent. Rohak judged that it would take him a couple days to recover his wits. In the meanwhile, the PCs decided to take another shot at recovering Etraiv’s amulet.

Yuriel recommended that the PCs seek out an associate of his named Corkin. Corkin was useful when shadier dealings were required, and Yuriel was sure that he could help uncover some information about Etraiv and where he might be keeping the amulet. Yuriel described the Twisted Iron, a tavern where Corkin maintained his operations.

The PCs doned some heavy cloaks to cover their appearance, while Sariel used her shadow abilities to assume the guise of Yuriel. The PCs found the Twisted Iron without too much trouble, but getting in to see Corkin was a bit tougher. The PCs had to talk their way through his goons but eventually got in to see him.

The PCs described the amulet to Corkin and explained that Etraiv had one and they wanted to know its whereabouts. Corkin proved to be a tough negotiator. Initially his prices were quite unreasonable but eventually the PCs talked him down to 10,000g, one high level magic item, and a favor to be called in later. The PCs reluctantly agreed, and Corkin sent out his agents to get the information.

Before parting, one of Corkin’s goons rushed in and they had a whispered exchange. Then a couple other goons ushered in a young female fire genasi. Corkin explained that they had found her skulking about. She bore an emblem of House Qet’aran and had probably been following the PCs. Corkins gave her over to the PCs to deal with as they saw fit.

The PCs questioned the girl for awhile but they were not able to get much out of her. She was very green, and as her first assignment had been instructed to follow the PCs and report back on their dealings. The PCs convinced her to not report that they had been at the Twisted Iron, and had Corkin keep her captive for the time being until the PCs were through dealing with Etraiv.

Corkin summoned the PCs to his office to reveal what his agents had found. He reported that Etraiv had moved back to his estate after finishing at the Council House. The remainder of his guard and his attendants had also gathered back at House Qet’aran. So most likely anything that Etraiv considered valuable would be there as well.

Rumor had it that Etraiv had a vault where his most valuable possessions were kept. The rumors surrounding the vault were quite varied, involving horrible magic, demonic protectors, and devious traps. Corkin handed over a map to the PCs that laid out the best way into the vault from outside the estate. It described a side entrance that was only a few paces from the entrance to the vault. Unfortunately the vault was at the end of a corridor that also contained several barracks rooms for the guards.

The PCs waited until the middle of the night before heading to Etraiv’s estate. Before heading inside, Helmirion cast a locate object ritual to confirm that the amulet was inside, and indeed it was.

The PCs managed to avoid the meager patrols of guards and get inside through the side entrance just as the map suggested. Another few guards were inside patrolling but again were easily avoided. The PCs got downstairs and inside the vault without too much trouble.

The vault was filled with valuables of all sorts, but Helmirion’s ritual easily pointed out where the amulet was located: in a small chest on a pedestal at the other end of the room. Sariel teleported over toward the chest when all hell broke loose. Objects came to live and swiftly attacked the PCs. The vault was protected by several mimics and a stone golem. In addition, several tiles on the floor were rigged with magical traps.

Sariel attempted to continue toward the chest containing the amulet, but as soon as she touched it a burst of magical energy exploded from it. Her arms and legs started to turn to gold. She managed to shake off the effect but it was clear that the PCs would have to battle through the room’s protectors before they could focus on recovering the amulet.

The battle was tough but the PCs finished off the constructs. Helmirion was able to disable the magical trap on the chest and recover the amulet. Helmirion realized that they couldn’t simply teleport out of the vault – it was protected by anti-teleportation runes. The PCs started to head back out the door when they heard Etraiv’s voice shouting at them from the other side, gloating that he knew they would return for the amulet.

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Session #17 Summary

The PCs had to take decisive action regarding Etraiv before more people showed up on the scene. They dragged him into the sewers beneath the alley where the battle occurred. Helmirion and Lucifan took him a few bends and turns away from the entrance while the more morally absolute PCs remained near the entrance.

Etraiv was awakened rudely by having daggers shoved through his wrists so he was pinned upright to the wall of the sewer. The interrogation was tough – Etraiv was not easy to break. In the end the PCs were forced to compromise with him. Etraiv demanded that Rosalina was included in the negotiations because he trusted her word over those of Hemlirion and Lucifan. The PCs were unable to recover his amulet as he did not have it on him and would not tell them where it was. But he knew of another person that had an amulet. He agreed to give them that information if they agreed to let him go. In addition, they would not interfere with his plans to take control of the city. In addition he agreed to leave the PCs alone provided they left the city immediately. And he would tell them where King Aphyr was, although he thought it was probably too late to save him.

This is a summary of the information that Etraiv revealed:

  • He confirmed that he did indeed kill his parents. He also claimed that his parents were responsible for the fall of House Saravel, and not him directly.
  • Solkara has some sort of leverage over Kostchtchie, the youngest of the demon lords known as the Prince of Wrath. The demons that Etraiv used to attack House Mariz were the minions of Kostchtchie.
  • Mirmakur, also known as the Raving Priest, is a mad storm titan that is Solkara’s closest follower. He leads the cultists. He is rumored to be the only person that speaks directly with Solkara.
  • King Aphyr was still on his throne within the palace. He is being kept in check by an item that was given to Etraiv by his mentor.
  • The other person that has an amulet is Norvaldr, a frost giant king that lives in a frozen citadel in the mountains north of Frostwatch.
  • Apparently Frostwatch is in even worse shape then when the PCs left. It is besieged by savage humanoids from Norvaldr’s tribes.

The interrogation was completed and Etraiv was freed by Helmirion. He limped his way back to the entrance. A few minutes later the PCs heard some conversation and comotion and then Etraiv shouted at some guards to attack them. Helmirion jumped to action and teleported the PCs to the safety of House Mariz before the guards could find them.

The PCs regrouped at House Mariz and spoke briefly with Yuriel. They borrowed some large cloaks to disguise themselves since they were still fugitives in the city. Then they made their way to the palace, hopefully in time to save the king.

They found the palace guarded by a few archons. The archons did not respond at all to conversation, and blocked the path of the PCs as they tried to cross the bridge to the palace’s earthmote. The PCs fought them, expecting an easy battle. However, some rageborn demons, minions of Kostchtchie, joined in the fight. They proved to be tough opponents but the PCs won the day.

With the guards defeated, the PCs entered the palace to find the king. Luckily the throne room was the first room they entered, and the PCs found a strange scene. The king was seated in this throne, and attendants were seated around the court. It appeared that the court was gathered to formally receive a guest. There was a large pitch-black orb hovering in the center of the room. An aura of purle-greenish light surrounded the orb, and tendrils of the dark energy flowed from each attendant, as well as the king, back to the orb. The PCs examined one of the attendants and found that he was dead. However, an examination of the king showed that he was barely alive.

The PCs continued to investigate cautiously, but eventually the orb became alerted to their presence. It surged to action, tendrils of the dark energy spinning through the room wildly. Howling ghosts started swirling out of the orb. In addition, two portals appears on the floor on either side of the orb and skeletons started crawling through them.

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