The Dead of Winter - Chronicle Part 1

Midwinter, October 1042TA - Beginnings.

In Midwinter, 'Victory Square' was constructed in the heart of the Walks district. At the centre is a monument to those who died in the civil war. In the square there are notice boards which are used to distribute important news and also by many locals and merchants to advertise jobs. Amongst all the caravan guard jobs etc decorating the boards, the following one springs out.

Wanted - adventurers with Courage and Bravery to join an expedition into the Western Marches .

Make your Name and your Fortune!

  Apply at The Sprite's Claw, Tuesday 12th October.

Ask for Selbin Blademoon.

Selbin Blademoon is a son of Belbyr Blademoon, one of the Academical Society's most learned Alchemists. Selbin is about forty-five years old, a powerful Wizard and a Full Member of the Society. He is accompanied by another member, Valla Pellavaya, a Diviner. They have discovered through astronomy and divination that a meteor will impact somewhere in the Gethen Barrens in late November. They plan to arrange a low-key expedition westwards to gather the fragments of the meteor. They turn away any high-level characters, only wanting low-level people who may not know much about meteors or who will not be agents for other mages.

They meet in the Sprite's Claw, where Selbin and Valla are interviewing the prospective candidates. Valla seems to be using spells to analyze the applicants. Gerhart will recognise several mages with more experience than him being sent away, as will Wil. The remaining applicants are:

  • Wil Blake – a young Rogue from Midwinter.
  • Gerhart Julesson – a Diviner from the southern isles.
  • Ranan Dracolas– a Sorceror from Midwinter.
  • Wyvern Rising – a Barbarian from beyond Midwinter's eastern marches.
  • Tarquin Raynor– A Ranger from the Tamaraith Highlands.
  • Danny Goodchild – A happy-go-lucky Fighter from Midwinter .
  • Zagan Fitzhugh – A Cleric of Erryn from Griffany.
  • Jannell Hargen – A young Wizard from Midwinter.
  • Vikar Safnirson – A Saithi Fighter, Kveld's twin.
  • Kveld Safnirson – A Saithi Fighter, Vikar's twin.
  • Aedranell Ellrith– A half-elven Wizard from Tanglewood.
  • Selmar Thornley - A young fighter from Midwinter.

Selbin tells them that they will leave in two days time, the 14th of October. They are to meet back here at the inn with their equipment. He will be supplying rations and tents for the group. They will need weapons, armour etc. When they gather again on the 14th , Valla will teleport them to Highpine. They rest the night before setting off next day for the village of Scaresby . Scaresby lies twenty-five miles west of Highpine and takes them a day of hiking to get there.

When they arrive, Selbin has already reserved rooms at the Griffon's Nest Inn. As the evening progresses, several wagons laden with supplies roll into the Inn from Highpine. Later, Selbin gathers the 12 adventurers together. He will explain that one of the wagons has not arrived. It was last seen earlier this afternoon when it lost a wheel. Selbin asks Tarquin to take some of the gang to investigate the missing wagon while the rest of them go on ahead to the ruined village of Caerdale where they are to meet up with someone.

Athas Valley, October 1042TA - The Missing Wagons.

Tarquin, Danny, Will, Jewels and Wyvern head back eastwards. After about five miles they spot the missing wagon being ransacked by goblins under the orders of a human sorceror. The party bursts into action, slaying the goblins and capturing the sorceror. They find the wagon drivers are both dead. Tarquin tracks the goblins north to a cave in the hills. The party investigate the cave and kill three more goblins. They enter what appears to be an abandoned dwarven mine which has been deliberately sealed by rock falls. They fight more goblins as they progress further in. In the last chamber on the level the defeat a ghoul that has been trapped in an old tomb. Within the tomb they find an intelligent magical axe called Kargoth Song that has been entombed for over 1200 years.

Kargoth tells them that the mine was sealed and abandoned because the dwarven miners disturbed some evil in the depths of the mountain. He warns them against inblocking any passages. Unfazed by his warnings the group ehad down to the lower levels of the complex. They defeat some more goblins and capture a cleric of Hesburr who was controlling their movements. Satisfied that the goblins have been killed, Tarquin leads the group and their prisoners back to Scaresby.

Athas Valley, October 1042TA - The Meteor.

Meanwhile, back in Scaresby, Selbin and Valla witness a Meteor flashing overhead and impacting to the west. They rouse the others and Valla teleports them to the ruined village of Caerdale. They set up camp and spend a peaceful night.

When Tarquin and the others arrive back at The Griffon's Nest, there is a message for them from Selbin. He orders them to stay the night and carry on next morning with the three wagons and their drivers.

At 8:00 the next day, Valla and Selbin set off on their own. They leave Zagen in charge, telling them that they are going to meet someone and reconnoitre the area ahead. Later that afternoon the village is attacked by a band of goblins. While they are able to beat off the attack, only Ranan is left standing. Aedrannel, Zagen and Kveld are injured but stable and the remaining three die of their wounds. Tarquin and the others arrive at Caerdale late than afternoon and settle in to await Selbin's return..

Midday the next day they see a horse winding it's way across the barrens. The horse suffered bad frostbite and shows signs of arrow wounds and claw marks. On her back is Valla. She has been frozen almost solid and her body and clothes are rimed with ice. Against Zagen's advice some of them decide to head off and find Selbin's body.

Tarquin, Wyvern, Ranan, Jewels and Will set off next morning to find Selbin. Wyvern takes Kargoth with him. Tarquin is able to follow the horses tracks west from Caerdale. The trail leads to a ruined watch-tower. There Selbin and Valla met up with someone else and headed north. As dusk approaches the tracks lead to a huge crater caused by the meteor of several days before. They head down into the still smouldering crater and near the bottom they find Selbin's body, sliced in two by a blow from a greatsword. They also find the hacked up body of the third man. Tarquin and Wyvern search the area and find the tracks or a large, heavy individual attacking the mages. Tarquin also thought that there was a dragon there as well.

After leaving the crater, they set up camp for the night. Kargoth tells the others that his creator, a dwarven weaponsmith, often crafted metal that came from meteors. The party decide to search the crater for any strange metals the next day. Unfortunately, others are also seeking the meteoric iron. At dawn the following day, they are attacked by a half-orc and his cronies. After beating them off, they begin seeking the metoric iron. At noon, they are approached by another group of adventures from Rossfield Abbey. They strike a deal with them and together scour the crater for more metal. After completing the search they are attacked again by a Quarthen patrol. Together the party and the adventurers beat off the attackers.

After a peaceful night the party return to Caerdale. After telling the others of Selbin's fate they return to the safety of Scaresby.

On to Part 2 of the Chronicle.

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