The Dead of Winter - Chronicle Part 7

Gethen Barrens, July 1043TA - Giants, a Hero's Death, Assault on White Eagle Towers.

As they travel north-east to White Eagle, Wyvern discovers a series of giantish tracks heading into the hills. They party set off to investigate. They follow the tracks south and then south west, finally coming across an isolated, walled town. The town is currently under attack by two frost giants. The heroes rush in to tackle the marauding giants, taking a pounding in the process. Unfortunately Tarquin bites off more than he can chew and gets himself squashed by a giant's axe.

After killing the giants the party enter the town, but they find the townsfolk reluctant to talk to them. After resting for a night the party head off to search for more giants. The follow the giant's deep into the hills. During their investigations they are greeted by a human druid, named Jordan, who points them off to the south. Following her advice they head off, but soon lose the trail. They decide to head back north but are still unable to find the trail. Disheartened they head off north to find the last of the border keeps, White Eagle.

A few days later they approach White Eagle, two towers joined by a slim bridge at their tops. As they approach they are attacked by a half-orc ranger and Jordan, the Druid they had met several days before. After defeating them and their animal companions, they head off to assault the towers.

They decide to use the magic carpet to attack the upper levels by surprise. As they approach, a mage appears and begins to cast spells at the approaching players. The party manage to fend him off with missile fire and when the party get close to the tower, Wyveern takes a flying leap from the carpet to the tower top to attack the mage. After defeating the mage they spread through the tower killing a number of people before the remainder flee. Neraty sends word back to Brightstone and they settle down to wait.

Iron Hills, July 1043TA - Vettori and the Giants.

They head off in search of giants again. After much searching, Wyvern finally manages to find the tracks and they follow them deep into the Iron Hills and eventually to the flanks of Gethell Peak and the tower known as the Eyrie. They climb the mountain to the tower at the top only to discover a band of frost giants sitting around the tower. Tibidee gets closer to eavesdrop on them and hears them talking about a coming meeting with Vettori. Tibidee stays hidden and waits for Vettori's arrival.

A few hours later Vettori leaves the tower along with Lasseman del Ray, another of the seven conspiritors. They talk about the 'Frostfell Orb' and the giant's aid in gaining it. After making several veiled threats against each other, the giants leave, giving Vettori a present as they leave. The present turns out to be a human, bound and gagged. Vettori orders Lasseman to take the man inside for interrogation.

The party decide that they will rescue the captive. They head off to the tower and break in. They head up the empty tower until they hear screams and sounds of torture from the top floor. The burst in and confront Vettori and Lasseman. Battle ensues and the party begin to overpower the Lich until he creates a magical portal through which he and Lasseman both pass through. Without a thought, Wyvern and Callan speed through after them and find themselves in the middle of a frozen, windswept wasteland. The rest of the party follow them and the battle ensues again. Soon after Vettori teleports himself away from danger leaving Lasseman behind to face the full wrath of the party. Quickly, they overpower and slay the half-fiend.

Mordane - Stranded in Hell.

The party examine their surroundings. They are on a featureless snow covered plane. A wind continuously blows from one direction, bringing with it small shards of ice snow. There is a visible sun, far away, but it seems to be in the wrong part of the sky. Far away, perpendicular to the direction of the wind, they see a distant range of snow covered mountains. With no other point of reference they head towards them.

It soon becomes apparent that they are no longer on Gwelith. The wind is unceasing in it's strength and direction, the sun does not change position as they expected and they are finding themselves becoming bone-numbingly cold. Neraty and Ranan solve the cold problems with spells, but it soon becomes apparent that they are in a place of perpetual daylight. Unable to tell the passage of time, they find themselves wandering towards the mountains, taking breaks as they become tired and soon losing track of the time.

After many 'days' of travelling and having to fight off attacks by ice-covered undead and small white demons, they reach the mountains. The mountains are huge blocks of a hard, blue ice and deep inside they can see the bodies countless humans, dwarves and elves. All of them seem to be screaming in terror, the party can also hear the dim sound of their screams. Ranan and Neraty come to the decision that they are not on Gwelith any more - They are on Mordane, the first of the Seven Hells and the domain of Mallister the Lich Lord.

With no obvious ways of crossing the mountains the turn 'south', with the wind at their backs. After several more days travelling they come across a rift in the ice. They decide to investigate and follow the cleft. A short distance in they are ambushed by a frost giant and two undead winter-wolves. After killing the giant and his pets they follow the giant's tracks to his ice cave in the cliff wall and another four frost giants. After defeating the giants they are able to have their first camp out of Mordane's frozen winds. At the back of the cave they find a series of tunnels leading to a frozen doorway. They clear away the ice, open the door and descend into a dark subterranean complex.

The complex turns out to be some sort of wizard's laboratory. They battle frozen undead and ice golems as they explore the place. During one encounter Tibidiee is ignominiously squashed by an ice golem. Finding little but ice, snow and a few magic weapons the party decides what to do next. Neraty casts a series of divination spells to commune with his god and is instructed to follow the rift, which they do.

As they reach the far end they find themselves battling more frost giants and receiving unexpected aid from a warrior named Boris. Boris explains that he has been stranded on this plane for over a month. He and his friends had been brought here by a mage called Vettori to help him recover a magical item called the Frostfell Orb from a lich. Vettori had then abandoned them to fight the Lich alone, accompanied by Boris's companions Galvorn and Viki - who was to be a 'useful bargaining chip in Icerazer'.

Boris has a rough map of the area he liberated from the corpse of the Mordane lich. Together they plan to travel across the plane to a town called Carsis on the coast of an ocean and then cross that ocean to Icerazer that lies on a giant iceberg.

On to Part 8 of the Chronicle.

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