Corruption in Icewind Dale

A Rift in the Valley

Act I — Session 3

[EDITORIAL NOTE: iOS8 has disabled spellcheck in safari windows. What follows is a shitshow]

Eleint (September) 25, 10:30 pm
It seemed the part was at a standoff with the guards keeping watch over the southern entrance to Dwarven Valley. Upon learning that Helda Silverstream, the niece of the denounced Dain Stokley Silverstream was in their presence, they became more agitated, and demanded that she be handed over. Tensions finally boiled over and the battle begun. Dwarven archers fired flaming arrows as our heros rushed forward in an attempt to take the ridge, or dove for cover behind the wagon. Kharatazul the Chastised smote one of the dwarf sentries and pried a strange looking dagger, seemingly made of black ice, out of the combatant’s hand. When he used it to fell another of the aggressive guards, he noted that he felt compelled to viciously slay his opponent.

As the battle raged, our heroes gained the upper hand, though Hengar Aesnvaard and Pelagornis Sandersi IV were both critically injured in the fighting. With his last breaths, the commander of the redoubt shouted a warning into the raven figurine head of his warhammer – and to everyone’s surprise, the weapon sprung to life, flying away. Both spells and the Zuul’s nimble fey imp failed to catch the messenger effigy.

With combat over, Zuul and Tellus Casavir helped themselves to an even split of thespoils in the customs station’s lockbox, while the others dressed their wounds and bound the sole survivor for the typical interrogation.

They learned from this dwarven scout that a political civil war was on the verge of breaking out in Dwarven Valley. Due to recent zombie attacks, and his refusal to begin mining and hoarding the mysterious black ice, many declared no confidence in their leader, Stokley. Instead, dwarves began to ally themselvesin droves with the craftsman who had discovered the iron-hard material: Baerick Hammerstone. The valley was now divided brother against brother – with Stokley’s loyal follwers to the west in Battlehammer Hold, and Baerick’s usurpers holding out east in the Halls of Black Ice.

This all chagrined Helda. She knew many of the dwarves who lay dead in the snow, and even once had some fondness for Baerick. These hostilities were very recent. And suspicious.

Once inside Battlehammer Hold, the party related their encounter to a grim faced Stokley Silverstream. He agreed to offer a reward if the heroes could resolve one or both of the problems threatening to tear Dwarven Valley apart from the inside. Though Hengar took some convincing to stay on, he agreed to spare a day out of their mission to aid the dwarves with their problems.

A call to his patron granted Zuul a great deal of insight. She asked that he begin collecting as much of the black ice as he could – imbuing in his memory a ritual by which to purify the ice of the demonic taint within it. This seemed to prove a wild theory that Mr. Jones stumbled upon, impling that the black ice was in fact the remains of the enchanted fortresses raised by the nefarious magical artifact known as the Crystal Shard. The complicationinherent in this ritual being that it was a blood magic practice, and necessitated a living being to temporarily give up its life force, and its blood. Though rest would restore the subject to full health, this limitedthe amount of black ice objects that could be purified at one time.

Armed with the knowledge that the ice had a corrupting effect on those who came in contact with it, the party set to experimenting with their captive and another dwarf from Baerick’s faction. It was difficult to tell if the hostility the ice seemed to fill its victims with was a permanent shift in their demeanor. Zuul attempted his purification ritual on one of the victims, and found that it exacerbated their recovery. The effects could be reversed…and this meant that the effected dwarves were not lost to the cruelty and malice of the long dead Crystal Shard.

September 26, 7:00am
In the morning, the party decided to move quickly by dividing their resources. Alan Whitcombe, Tellus Casavir, and the barbarian youth Hengar would go to the halls of black ice in disguise to spy upon Baerick’s operation and disposition. Meanwhile, the others, (with Helda on as a guide, in spite of her uncle’s insistence) would inviestigate the supposed zombie “plague.”

Upon reaching the mine’s nexus, they found a survivor. A miner named Paldrinor had lost his wits in fear, and survived the massacre by hiding under a minecart with what little food and water he could find. His screams attracted the undead, and soon the group was surrounded by a brigade of shambling dead. Zombies moaned, skeletons fired their arrows, and ravenous ghouls clawed hungrily for the flesh of the living. After a tense but well-managed battle, our heroes prevailed. Paldrinor explained that this was indeed no plague – for he saw a humanoid of some kind casting spells and raising the fallen dwarf warriors and miners. Pointing the way, he insisted on staying safe, and so was locked into a nearby temple.

Deep in the newest section of th mines, the party was harassed by a raspy voice whispering threats from out of the darkness. As they narrowed in on the place Paldrinor saw the necromancer, they drew closer to the voice. It’s threats left no mistake that this was none other than Akar Kessell, an old enemy of Icewind Dale. Kessell led the heroes knowingly into a trap, and they fought their way past poisonous spiders of enormous size, and another horde of slavering zombies, some of which had been buried under the ice and stone since Kessell’s first attempt to conquer the valley. Defeated, Kessell swore vengence, then drifted out of the chamber in mist form.

Among the wight’s effects were a few scrolls, and a trinket carved from black ice. His mention of turning the people of Ten Towns against one another indicates his part in the appearance of the black ice.

September 26, 11:43 am
Stokely was happy to eward the teiumphant heroes, and ecstatic to see his niece returned alive, if badly banged up. In reward, he has offered the party free use of a home located in Battlehammer Hold, available to them indefinitely. Their spells expended and muscles exhausted, the group rested to restore their faculties while waiting for word from Alan, Tellus, and Hengar.

September 26, 7:45 pm
There is stll no sign of Tellus, Alan, and Hengar…


*PROPERTY: *1 Family home in dwarven valley, suited to 3 adults. Adjoined to a second apartment property that may be acquired later (for a map, see the wiki).
*GOLD: *Tellus and Zuul find: 50gp. 60 silver. 50 copper. 15 pp. 40 gp in gems (each)
*EXP: *All players should be at 5,000 exp



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