The Dead of Winter - Chronicle Part 6

Brightstone Keep, June 1043TA - Deals & Double Deals.

After a days rest they head off to Midwinter to report to the Churches. They explain what they saw at the Stones, with Neraty backing up their story. The Orlothian Heirarch tells the party that current events in Midwinter make it difficult for them to deal with the threat. They tell the party to return to the borderlands and try and find more about Vettori's intentions. Meanwhile the Heirarch will begin to formulate a plan of action. They return to Brightstone several days later and prepare themselves for attack.

Two days later, the guards spot a group of horsemen approaching the keep. As one of the guards alerts the adventurers, the horsemen reveal themselves as undead, lead by the half-fiend Lasseman del Ray. He tells them that Vettori wishes to meet with them. He wishes them no harm – he just wishes to talk. The party agree.

The next day they party set up a table and chairs outside the keep. Later that morning Vettori arrives with Lasseman. It is readily apparent that they are both dead. Their skin jas turned a pale blue and covered with a thin layer of frost. The area around them is cold and they leave icy footprints in their wake.

Vettori assures the party that he means them no harm. His undead army has been created to destroy the goblin 'infestation' and not attack the realms of men. Vettori asks them to travel to Midwinter and tell the authorities that he means them no harm – in fact his attacks on the orcs will aid the country. When pressed on his future objectives, Vettori remains guarded but tells them that he will destroy anyone who stands in his way.

After Vettori leaves they return to Midwinter and inform the church of the meeting. Neraty is adamant that no such deal can be made but the others are not so sure. They agree to return to the borders and seek more information which they will pass onto the Orlothians. The party return to Brightstone. They begin to reinforce their defences in preparation for a future attack.

The Gethen Barrens, June 1043TA - Dragon Hunting.

In an effort to secure the area, Wyvern broaches the subject of the dragons that were seen to the north-west. They decide to head off and hunt it down. The whole group head off to the ruined river tower and there they cross the river. Early the next morning they hear the sound of a dragon hunting further to the west. They set off in pursuit and approach the dragon from downwind. They find the dragon eating a large bull. They attack immediately, catching it by surprise. After a fierce fight, leaving several members of the party badly injured, the dragon tries to flee. Only to be bought down by a long-range bow shot from Tarquin.

Party heads north to the remains of an extinct volcano. As they approach they see a dragon take flight from the top of the volcano and fly towards them. After a lengthy fight the dragon turns to flee. Callan uses his Dimension-Slide power to jump to the back of the dragon and kills it, barely surviving the dragon’s collision with the ground. They head off to the volcano to find the dragon's lair.

They reach the volcano and use the magic carpet to reach the shattered crater at it's summit. Inside they find several wyrmlings and the dragon's hoard. They kill the young dragons and search the hoard for the best items, returning to Brightstone when they are finished.

Midwinter City & The Gethen Barrens, June 1043TA - Working for Orloth.

Upon their return there is a message from the Orlothian Heirarch requesting a meeting. After organising some of their men to recover the remnants of the dragon's hoard they head off to Midwinter. The Heirarch wants the party to begin the fortification of the west against a possible attack by Vettori. The Heirarch agree to supply arms and mercenaries to man the border forts if the party can liberate them from their current occupants. The party agree and head back to Brightstone.

Leaving their troops to mobilise the party heads back to Blacklake Keep. They search for any unwelcome residents and find none. They wait for their soldiers from Brightstone to arrive and then head off to Fossdaen Tower a days ride to the north east.

Fossdaen is a simple square keep with a number of run-down out buildings. Callan, Wyvern and Neraty approach the tower but they are spotted and fired upon. They run for the door and burst in. The tower has become home to a number of bugbears. The party work from floor to floor killing any goblinoids they come across. After killing all of the occupants, they burn the bodies outside and wait for more of their troops to arrive and take control of the keep.

After a few days they head off for the next of the border forts - Raven's Castle, an eery, lifeless castle perched on the top of a rocky outcrop. As the party enter through the gates they realise that the castle has been undisturbed since it was sacked many years ago. All around them are skeletal bodies, all showing signs of a violent death. The party soon discover that the keep is haunted by the restless spirits of the previous owners. After some time following ghostly noises and various other signs they discover that the keep's previous owner has become a wraith and is haunting the main keep - guarding it against the slayer, the undead spirit of the hobgoblin who sacked the castle. After dealing with both undead the keep returns to normal.

After more troops arrive, they head off to the last keep - White Eagle.

On to Part 7 of the Chronicle.

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