Marpenoth 4 – 7:34 am
Our heroes moved on the next morning, eager to be done with the task of disposing of Auril’s minions in the dark reaches of the Veerbeeg Lair. It was not long before the cart was surrounded by a blizzard, light snow obscuring the way ahead towards a spur of Kelvin’s Cairn. And out of the fog of precipatation, a mighty shadow.
A mammoth, surrounded by a rugged band of Orc warriors approached our heroes. Their demand was clear “submit to Auril’s yoke or perish.” Despite the odds, the party struck out, dropping as many orcs at a distance as they could before the mighty mammoth rammed Aldric’s coach, dealing significant damage to the vehicle. Two Orc chieftains dropped down from the beast’s wooly back, and joined the battle. While Bertolf Crane needled the Orc leader with a flurry of bolts, J’ah Casavir did his best to reason with the greenskins, and when that failed, he punched a mammoth repeatedly. Trampled and dismounted by he beast, Pelagornis Sandersi IV was eager to turn the tables by grappling himself onto the creature’s canopy in the hopes of slaying its driver.
Boldly, Alan Whitcombe dove underthe arctic titans legs and detonated a well timed Thunderwave, jolting the creature in terror and buckling it, receiving a mighty kick for his efforts. Seizing an opportunity, Aldric Longbeard cursed the orcish driver with a Crown of Madness, and bid him to strike the very mammoth he was commanding. Meanwhile, Mr. Jones struggled with his indecisiveness, finally giving into the rage within and striking at an orc Bear warrior, transformed into its horrid, shape-shifted state. The battle was fierce, but the heroes prevailed, keeping one orc alive to interrogate while Crane chased down and smote the fleeing mammoth. It became clear that The Ice Witch a girl of the Elk, one of the Reghed Tribes had drafted theorcs into Auril’s worship, and was pressing them into a mighty army mustering near the coast.
Tensions flared as Alan expressed his anger at Jones’ inability to act, and J’ah Casavir attempted to ease tensions by passionately kissing Jones. Repeatedly.
With the wagon severly damaged, it was decided that half the team would stay behind to guard Breena and th eunfortunate horse Ambrosius. The guardians would repair the wagon and get it in travelling shape, while the others reconned the lair.
Making the short climb, the others scouted the cave and located a secret entrance in the side of the mountain – though unbeknownst to them, their arrival had been noticed by goblin sentries.
What proceeded was a knock down, drag out, three-man assault of the complex. They hewed through giblins, cut down a bellowing Veerbeeg, were harried by a persistent hobgoblin commander, and faced down two of the most deadly assassins anywhere north of Waterdeep. Wounded, poisoned, and exhausted, they pressed on, uncovering a scrying mirror used to communicate with the Ice Witch herself.
Little came of the dialogue, but ajones learned that the object of his quest was in the possession of one of the Chosen of Auril’s BearTribe champions. Advancing to the end of the complex, they breached the dinning room and kitchen, busting into a lair carved directly into the rock. Within, a bushy bearded wildman was attempting to aid a shady man named Davrick Fain as he struggled for control over a young Remorhaz. Though goaded by two fierce crag cats, the remorhaz turned swiftly at the scent of fresh prey…
…Meanwhile, the rest of the party was fighting for their lives against another detachment of Auril’s forces. Two mighty Frost Giantscouts and their Seargent were passing oer the mountains, just in sight of the wagon. Though Crane fired fast, and took the eye of the leader, it was not enough, and our heroes were forced to scatter as an enormous mattock smashed the wagon, disabling it. A running battle ensued, in which Alan desperately road Ambrosius away from the oncoming foes, while a terrified Breena fired Aldric’s old crossbow wildly at the pursuing monster. J’ah weaved in and out of two massive foes, throwing jabs and punches at their knees and heels. With Casavir in peril, Alan roade higher up on the escarpment and used a thunderwave to cause an avalanche. Casavir was buried under the ice and snow, lost from sight, but as the giants struggled to free themselves, Crane filledtheir skulls full of crossbow bolts. The kill shot on their leader, however, came from Breena. Herhands had finally stopped shaking.
It took an hour, but a barely conscious J’ah Casavir was fetched from the rubble, barely alive. Reluctantly, Alan offered him medical attention, breathinglife into his lips – an opportunity J’ah barely took advantage of.
Back in the cave, Jones, Aldric, and Pelagornis made a desperate attempt to waylay the hideous remorhaz. They drenched a table in cooking oil and used it as a barricade, setting the oil aflame and hoping that the heat would draw the creature off. But there wasn’t enough heat…and the rotting wood of the table wouldn’t slake its hunger for flesh. The insectoid rushed forward, toppling the table and its mighty bulk onto Pelagornis, who squirmed desperately to escape from being crushed. Jones tossed vials of poison down the creatures throat, as his friends burnt through the last of their spells recovering from the wounds inflicted by the remorhaz’s super-heated body. When flight seemed the only wise choice, Jones made one last, final act. He imparted a last wish to his beloved Helda, and charged the remorhaz!
Against all odds, he shoved the beast back, it’s carapaced bulk toppling onto Davrick Fain, the conniving high-priest of Auril. The momentum of battle had turned, but barely…
Or heroes went on the offensive, striking out at crag cats and the remorhaz as the beasts began to snap at each other, and the fight devolved into chaos. Jones flung himself at the wildman with the bow, and they both toppled headlong off a cliff to roll on the rock and snow below, the crag cats in tow. Pelagornis leapt from the cliff edge, landing squarely on the wildman and saving an unconscious Jones from a killing blow.
Above, Aldric had been stabbed as he struggled in a desperate grapple with Davrick Fain. Gaining the upper hand, he grasped Fain’s wrist as the priest drew his curved dagger back for another jab. Aldric strained hard, overpowering Auril’s lackey. He. Whispered a simple “shhhhh” as he drove the knife slowly into Fain’s heart, until he slumped against the cavern wall in a greasy streak of blood.
Seeing his friends in peril, Aldric slammed his shield on the ground and sledded down the ridge, flopping off his metal vehicle just next to Jones and preserving him from death with a spell.
With the cats chased off and the wildman subdued, they took stock, breathed a heavy sigh of relief, and sent a message out to Alan. During their struggle they had issued an order for help, that was not forthcoming.
Alan fashioned a response in parchment and jammed it into the beak of the Raven Hammer. It read:
“Couldn’t help. Killed THREE frost giants. What the FUCK did YOU do today? Wagon is busted.”
6,000 exp EACH!