Marpenoth 3 – 10:10 pm
The Heroes of the Wide clashed with a band of ragged pirates lead by Derrick the Drowner, a man with a ruined face and a soul marred by exposure to black ice. Aldric Longbeard used the last of his magical will to impede Derrick and his champion while J’ah Casavir incapacitated the cruel captain. Their ship was being helmed and by press-ganged fishermen whom Aldric shouted to, offering freedom in exchange for their assistance in foiling the pirates. On land, their companions held off a flanking maneuver from pirates approaching with loot gathered inland.
With opponents being flung into the frigid waters, and blades flashing through the snow filled air, our heroes expended their already frayed strength to put down the pirate incursion. In the end, Derrick was bound in ropes, alive but defeated. The Speaker of Easthaven arrived with blade in hand, having chased off the remaining pirate vessel, and thanked our heroes for their service. Nervous about the presence of Auril’s cult among the masses, the party was split determining what to do next.
It was decided that – of course – the now empty pirate vessel would be theirs for the taking. The freed fishers were hired to sail the ship for the party, meanwhile Alan Whitcombe and Aldric attended a debriefing with the Speaker to discuss rewards and terms of the boat’s ownership. Exhausted, Bertolf Crane accepted a hearty meal and drink offered by the staff in Cairn’s Crossing, and promptly went to bed.
Little did he know that one of the concealed cultists had spiked his drink with a sedative, putting him into a deep slumber.
While the others settled into more proper accommodations provided by the now grateful people of Easthaven, Aldric stayed up tending to those injured int he fighting, including one of the tavern girls from Carin’s Crossing, with a strangely recent wound.
In the morning, it was discovered that the girl had ascended the stairs int he inn to check on the sleeping hero, only to discover his abduction in progress. A cultist snatched the girl before she could cry for help, and cut her throat, leaving her for dead. She clung to life long enough to be found and brought to Aldric, with mere moments to spare.
Concerned for her safety in a town now infiltrated with Aurilites, it was decided that she must accompany the party for her own safety. Unable to speak openly about the threat, Easthaven’s Speaker subtly lent the party the aid of a local ranger who recommended a more more surreptitious exit from the town.
While waiting to counter-ambush any pursuing Aurilites, they discovered the trail of those who had captured Crane. Abandoning any attempts to sail as impractical, Alan used his own skill as a wilderness guide to keep the trail, and the party loaded up Aldric’s wagon with provisions and set out in pursuit of the abductors. Though she was reluctant to leave her family, after a brief but tearful goodbye, the tavern girl, Breena, made the heavy-hearted decision to accompany the Heroes of the Wide.
Marpenoth 5 – 8:12 pm
Assailed by storms and pursued by wolves driven by Auril’s wrath, our heroes kept pace with the wagon containing a bound Crane. Moving through the night, they made up for the distance and advantage that the Aurilites had, and descended on the cultists, defeating them and freeing their ally.
Careful not to distress their new “intern,” our heroes set about to interrogating the captive cultists with magic, trickery, and pain. What they discerned was that Auril’s Chosen, The Ice Witch is assembling a dreadful army of barbarians and beasts to march on Ten-Towns. She commanded this army from a dreadful tower of black ice, looming somewhere in the churning glaciers of the seas to the west. Furthermore, the cultists were attempting to take Crane to a nearby stronghold in a place called “The Veerbeeg Lair” in order to sacrifice him to some creature in Auril’s name. The outpost is guarded by goblins, hobgoblins, cultists and perhaps even a giant, as well as a woodsman and the cult’s leader, a merchant named Davrick Fain.
Breena had to confront a difficult dilemma…would she shed the blood of the unapologetic man who attempted to murder her? In the end, she was undecided, knowing that he must be punished, but too soft hearted to sentence him to death.
The party took this opportunity to rest before climbing the escarpment and attempting to breech the lair of Auril’s cult.
Treasure: 660 gold, 6 platinum pieces, 224 silver, 12 gems worth 100 gp each, 1 potion of Cold Resistance, 1 Healing Potion, x1 random magic item, an obviously magical longsword wrapped in a bolt of silk cloth.