Blood & Ice

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Scribe Notes

Summary

Adventure: Blood & Ice
GM: Jono
Season: Summer 821 WK
Night: Starting Monday the 14th of Dec 2020 in Albany
Area: Ivinia & north
Level: High
Info: Information from players for Jono
Playtest
Please note - Lowered specialisation to 1 per rank (from 3). See change log on last page of each doc.

Adventures related to this adventure are A Cold return, Northern Summers, Okla is missing and Half a crisp spring.

Dramatis Personae
  1. Silverfoam Elven(m) Namer - Michael. Mil Sci & Scribe
  2. Ragnfríðr Yngvarrsdóttir Human(f) Priestess - Kelsie. PL
  3. Anooke Hobbit(m) Ice Mage - Michael
  4. Lady Cher, Saurime Binder - Sean
  5. Rahne Human(f) Warrior/E&E/Dreamer - Stephen
  6. Jessica Human(f) Mind Mage - Rhys

Employer

Two friends of the Elemental Lords - known as the Elemental twins (Duncan & Charm) wish some assistance of protection.
Mission
  • See some ghosts in the ruins of the village Lip, west of Seagate.
  • Head to the northern lands to the area where the Fire Salamanders roam to hunt some Salamanders Tears, which they expect will be due between the 2nd & 3rd Full moon of the season (mostly in the month of Heat 821WK).
  • Head to the dangerous mountain of Qwal-Macca in the Elemental Plane of Earth to replenish some items and to stop some bad folks from doing the same.
    • Minions of a Titan (Matt Tumbledown) - Now Allies in the Expedition
    • Drow thieves - a follower of Loki reports they have an un-crossable river and plan to charge a toll to access the Mt.
    • Giants and others - maybe, unsubstantiated rumour from Giant in Tycho.
Payment
They can sneak us to the Block in Lunar to inscribe our names.
Thanks of the twins, resulting in training of special skills, by them and their allies.
Gems to the value of 10,000 sp each.
The shaping of an item each (given things to work with) - combining the properties of two items into one. OR An Amulet (Jasper & Gold), Ring (Protection) and Bracer (East Wind).

Party Exp and Loot PDFs



Scribe Notes

Will be split by "Night"

Chap.1: To Lip and Back Again

IN BRIEF
After General Preparations, PARTY met their employers (code-named TET). Party was advised of the Mission (as above) and completed the usual Guild formalities.

Party did brief research and further more appropriate “Preparations” — Beyond the Northern lights weird stuff happens! Then some checked the harbour, apparently meeting members of TET’s allegedly potential rivals* (in various ways).

TET & party went to the first place (The Ruins of Lip) on TETs’ list, for an important discussion with a late relative.
Complications and setbacks arose. Whereupon the party variously withdrew to the Guild.

After healing and other ministrations, party-members met associates of Mat Tumbledown. And, after clearing up some misunderstandings, the Party & employers intend to voyage to the North with Mat Tumbledown and his crew.

THE EMPLOYERS
The elemental twins (relatively attractive, tanned “humans”) — Duncan (m) & Charm (f), wish to employ us. To go North to Ivenia, then … (as per mission and payment above)

HOWEVER TET did list some “known complications” — Primarily that they are NOT the only interested parties at this Solstice Renewal... Historically, some of their would-be RIVALS have viciously attacked TET and rapaciously stolen TET’s loot. Obviously TET reciprocated! (possibly anticipatively).

  1. It is understood by the Janx that TET are at odds with them.
  2. There’s a seven-masted ship in the harbour (probably belonging to a Titan?). On board are persons that ALSO wanting to reach the dangerous mountain of Qwal-Macca in the Elemental Plane of Earth to recharge exhausted magics.
  3. Some “Elves of the Dark Ward” (Drow?) are probably going to rob us.
  4. A follower of Loki has a river that cannot be crossed that will wrap around the mountain and prevent passage (or retreat).
  5. There was a “giant”(?! we think they mean Titan, but won't push it, yet) from the Lunar Empire some time ago, in Tycho, who said there were some giants and other people planning on travelling there too (but hasn’t heard any more about it).
  6. However, if some Senators (of Decay?) turn up its an immediate truce.

But first, the employers wish to visit some giants in the village of Lip Guild rep said it’s probably “Lip Ruins” to the West of the guild.


INITIAL PREPARATIONS
We discussed various standard and less familiar SUPPORTS, specifically, including …

  • Rahne offered a tweak to our luck
GAME MECHANIC: player rolls d100 — whenever player actually rolls their number exactly in the game, they may nominate what number they want it to be (perhaps an 01 or a specific critical result). E.g., SF’s player can nominate any desired number whenever he actually rolls an unmodified 51 or 57. Did anyone generates any really lucky numbers? e.g., 100
  • From Rahne: Enchanted hair charms that endows each wearer (additional) resistance to draining if wearing more that 5pts of armour & over50 MR
  • See also the Buffs section (PLEASE ADD ANYTHING RELEVANT)

ASIDE: Working list (To be delete these when listed) … Rank 10 strength of stone. R12 Resist cold 4 gages for 13 hrs (Anooke). Cube of ice (can bite as a free action ….heals half the Dmg you’ve take upto 40 pts (Anooke). Wraithcloak (Ragna). Frost & snow. +20 pts to resistance Enchant armour from (Rahne). Cher can throw bomb that does weird shit.


… and RESEARCH
SF was shown a nasty poem (Astrology Reading?) by Ragnfríðr Yngvarrsdóttir. Consulting the notes from the previous parties in the area, She accused suggested:
EITHER SF broke his promise to assist Matt Tumbledown
AND/OR SF broke his geas to release the Elvan Queen

As per scribe notes (A Cold return, Winter 813), …as well as that SAME Astrology reading, there was a passage.
[quote]
ALSO, Not actual "employment", but near-to-future obligations include:
B.Silverfoam & Grendel WILL be summoned to help the Titans repair their ships when attacked by void cruisers
E.Michael, Grendel, & Silverfoam Geased to ourselves to return in the next 4 years with a party to release the Elven Queen. (DONE).

Obviously SF did NOT break his promise to Matt Tumbledown — would never do that, and besides M.T. never summoned SF ... So presumably the Geas to "Elven Queen", which is still in effect!


TECHNICAL DETAILS
Checking all the other scribal notes for:
Queens (especially Elvish, Dark, Drow, or Eldar);
And, for good measure Frozen or Undead or Palace or Dream.
Working backwards (in the pitiful hope that the problem had been fixed already!) that meant:

  • Summer 820 WK Okla is missing; —Fae Queen, whom we helped, Grateful & Generous! Still seems delightfully enchanting, and unfrozen
  • Spring 819 WK Half a crisp spring; —just a Vampire Qn; and Qn of Glissom elves’ agent; Oh, that’s who the (chaos-magic using) Janx are and why TET understandably dislike them.
  • Summer 819 WK Northern Summers (Employer: Ragnfríðr Yngvarrsdóttir), no details
  • Autumn 817 WK Northern Lords; —Fae Queen, whom we helped, Grateful & Generous
  • Spring 816 WK Ivinia Darkness; — just VERY pleasant, human (1st & 3rd) Queens … No other real Queens worth mentioning, not at all, not even dead ones in another country.
  • Winter 816 WK Chelemby Northern Darkness;— No Queens, No elves
  • Winter 814 WK Copper Sands and Broken Dice; Not relevant
  • Summer 816 WK Chateau Haut-Brion; Not relevant
  • Winter 813 WK A Cold return; --- where ALL the trouble started


REACHING LIP RUINS
TET said they have ancestors they need to talk. Guild maps put Lip Ruins a mere 20 miles WSW from the Aventurers’ Guild. TET suggest flying. So, with fresh Greaters on (etc) TET & Party fly West. SF used his Spyglass the confirm that the 7-master is definitely the East Wind of Tycho i.e., Matt Tumbledown’s ship.

On approach, we saw a Large Wicker Man and other signs of Activity at the hill, people carrying sticks & brush. Interestingly the single road from its neighbouring towns no longer go through it (as the old guild map suggests), but around the Remains of Lip. Indeed, the County Road is in good order.

The lands around the Ruins are still being harvested (if not actively farmed) and there were some renovated dwellings amid the ruins. We started to scout through Lip Ruins. As we reconnoitered the area we noticed patches of brambles on the ground and several walls. The derelict, former road meandered through the ex-town and its empty gibbets, but dead foxes that were hung in cages.

Because we were no long flying, quiet conversation was possible.
TET advised “The people scrying us work for the giant from the boat.”
And while we searched, they gave more background on the rivalry of the various groups: “The bracelets we brought were actually bought 4th-hand and might well have originally belonged to them. There may still be some ill will.

We found an apparently intact, decently built building — with good thatching; walls made of river stones. That would make a good House for TET to use to speak to their ancestor(s). Some party-members reconnoitered inside while TET started preparations.

Someone else spotted what appeared a wounded boar (it wasn’t); and SF, hovering towards there, to DA/talk to it, spotted 3 circular pools of bubbling water (VERY similar to transportation pools!) — now overgrown by Brambles … Definitely worthy of further investigation but w hen the alleged Brambles on a wall near the good House were DA-ed, the GTN came back as “boar” and the party was attacked.

FLEEING(!) LIP RUINS
Then some something went wrong as TET were preparing to contact their ancestor using a bowl, or rather a chalice, of Blood. The party was adjacent.

Three(?) Crystaline-like, bloody, stone-shafts shot out of the Chalice and the ground by it. SF dropped a Exsanguination Special Counterspell, but two attacks managed to get through ... dealing 57 points searing through Cher and 26 through SF, while the house’s front violently crumbled. (Very BIG crumbs!)

One hand, holding a bone orb, sticking out of the Rubble & stone that otherwise covered Ragna; and that Hand/orb was malevolently reaching out with snaring, black tendrils, wrapping around the base of the stone, partially sapping it.

Rahne dragged SF back to safety (& gave back 25 to 10 EN); and Anooke (in White Ape form) sneezed up a Wall of Ice to protect Ragna. Bless you! Two Crows flew in and perched on (what remained of) the house.

SF, after his third 3rd potion, finally had enough fatigue to start healing Cher … who was also stuck to the outside of the wall. Rahne tried Telekinesis, aiming to push the rock away and a pile of ruble impacted Cher who, when she felt a bit better, destroyed much of the ice. Meanwhile SF started a Hymn of Harmony and Purpose, since he was still partly trapped in the house.

Suddenly a Titan (not a giant!) appeared with his hand around Silverfoam’s neck and straightaway disappeared with him.

TET warned (belatedly) that “This place is exceedingly haunted. Apparently it will get more haunted as we approach the solstice.”
Anooke asked “What was that thing?” — Reply: “Some sort of greater shade.”
“Why did he give … ?” — Reply: “The Shade owed us two favours.”

The party regrouped while Rahne Located Silverfoam, and all flew towards SF’s location, with Lady Cher trailing a stream of dark ichor droplets. Flying above light woods, the party reached the guild, without further interruption, and sought Healers and boffins.

One Guild Rep obscurely explained that “Yeah! We had a couple of papers written on her (meaning Lady Cher) in the past. It’s a rift/portal between her & the Elemental plane of Blood Magic”.

Cher was give an elixir (gravity fed through a tube) and the Party was warned, “We’ve worked out what’s wrong with Cher. Some sort of undead infection. It’s in a bottle; Don’t let her see it!”

Rahne was writing a letter to the Master of the Winds of Tycho, when SF meets up with the rest of the party at the guild.


MATT TUMBLEDOWN and The EAST WIND of TYCHO

We concurred with Rahne’s plan to parley with Matt Tumbledown. Flying to the harbour, we saw The East Wind of Tycho by a pier … With an audience of Dwarves and well-dressed Merchants are on that pier. The Elemental Twins decided to come with, because we’re clearly contacts with the “other lot”.

A Tricorned merchant/messenger-type bowed before Lady Cher. Actually, he was Richard (Matt’s Associate) and he offered her “Congratulations on Leading the party that will restore the fractured live of Silverfoam”. (No, we didn’t understand it either.)

There was talk about the Archer Elves (meaning T-- & Sh--), and the perils of other gangs. And, with a minimum of pussy-footing, between the two factions, Richard then proposed “An Alliance, that’s what we’ll have. Everyone marching up a godforsaken hill trying to protect their back.”

It was said very deliberately … but a fair point and to the advantage of all. The Elemental Twins agreed. (Apparently, Richard was pleased that the twins have a way of accessing the plane of earth.)

I believe it was then decided that the swiftest safe way to Reach the Far North was on Matt Tumbledown's most excellent ship.


Chap. 2: By ship to Fuhreling and places in between

We took a skiff from The East Wind of Tycho (will be coming back later)

Flying via The Elemental twins’ wings to Slippery rock — to replace defunct undead/demonic amulets; get some Gutbusters (eg, 10/20) etc — and back (briefly interrupted for an uneventful landing, for a necessary recasting).

Back at Seagate to rejoin the ship, we encountered Hobbits & Superstition Mountain Dwarves [Crew or passengers??) haggling over the cost of bread. (Note to self, arrange for more bread from Borovia Hold for our neighbours?). We chat with the Superstition Mountain dwarves who want to “Deal with some Destinians” and, naturally, some of the party are keen — but we settle for being supportively non-commital.

We were shown to a Room (with a window!): generous proportions & definitely not a pokey cabin down below; and the dwarves clear out humans that were there before us. We’re advised that if we hear “Constant Clanging” to hide in our room because we’re being boarded; whereas Whistles indicate that the crew are about to board someone else.

About 150 on deck are gathered to eat. Most are receiving a long bread roll, cut lengthwise with more food stuffed inside it. “Don’t eat it all at once; save some for later”. There was also a cauldron of porridge … with added dried fruit or mushrooms. The Passengers mostly speak hill-Giantish and Dwarvish.


FREETAUN
(One of the closer places where Arcane items may be easily purchased)

There were 2 other crew-changes out at sea. Then, after a pre-dawn breakfast, Freetaun was visible in the early morning. We pondered whether we go ashore, and the Twins advise that they already have a big bag of expired Freetaun items that they’ll be recharging.

Clearly it’s a Market Day there, with tents erected on open ground. The Market has 300ish people. We debarked and perceived that there are distinct groups:

  • Witches in their UNIFORMS
  • Necromancers in their distinct UNIFORMS
  • and then everybody else who is neither of the above.

We DA-ed them, to check! Each apparently had the college they claimed. And, indeed each received a 2nd Detect Aura to see who (and how many!) were pacted — variously to BELIOS or <insert name> or <insert other name>.

One RUMOUR we heard: The Necros & Witches have been dealing with Someone BIG (no name given, so we don’t know for sure, yet) — a big payer “up north”.

SF Located a few of the more suspicious Ns & Ws. Then several Fire-mages come down, bullying the witches & necromancers — poring salt on the ground to trap them. Later we tested whether salt worked on our Party Leader.

Ragna can’t cross over a ring of salt leave unless there is break in the ring ... either left by incompetence or made by someone else (presumably not another N or W). Surprising, Lady Cher the binder was unaffected by salt circles!

So Binders are not as Wickedhatever Necros & Witches are.


TEA with SUZIE
At the docks, Rahne is approached by a “fisherwoman” (E&E; not pacted) “to come & have a cuppa tea” (at a nearby Café/pub down at the docs). She asked “What are you after & how much are you willing to get?” Then showed us a bag of maybe 20 or 22 rings (confirming my suspicion that she was a fence — but they were actually expired items, making her merely an `“entrepreneur”).

Ragna suggests we try to take them for recharging for her, and “half are ours & half yours”. Apparently the silver ones may need silver dust. This pleases our used business partner, who advised, “Try not to get dwarves blood on them. … You can call me Suzie.”

The tea here was exceptionally good: Which explains why the locals were drinking it enthusiastically; but openly bringing in their own food. Both SF & the Party Leader bought some loose tea from that establishment.


Back on ship, there was a little problem with the crew/security searching for someone, even pulling up planks from walls or floors of cabins … and Jessica realises they’re probably seeking her “invisible friend”. Cher brings the Naval-Officer-cum-Purser to our cabin to explain.

Jessica: My friend is probably what you are looking for.
Officer: You’re not just wasting my time with trivia?
Cher: Don’t worry, it doesn’t do anything she doesn’t).
Officer: Ragna. Is Cher speaking the truth?
Ragna: Yes !   (Officer executes a perfect double-take.)

To FUHRELING (& What Happened there)
After 3 Days, The East Wind of Tycho arrived at Suteling (Seat of the Kingdom of Lokemheim, one of the southern-most towns on the Ivinian mainland. Then she sailed North the shortest (by water) to Fuhreling, the primary city of Seldenbal ... and Ragna’s hometown.

Fuhreling in protected by a low curtain wall. 30 boats are hauled up on shore (some for repairs, but the rest because “beaching” a longboat is a common Northerner custom. There are also vessels at the dock.

We went ashore, and SF felt like he’s dying (is being on this land making the Doom stronger?). Other passengers also disembarked.

The Populace contains Hill giants, Storm giants, and humans. The buildings and walled compounds are connected by wooden walkways raised about the mud.

Silverfoam was feeling v week — being carried for at least 10 minutes, slung over Ragna’s shoulder. The cry goes out through the town, especially on our way to Ragna's family's Longhouse: “Ragna’s back with trophies!” (And they point at Anooke.)

Naturally, Ragnfríðr’s family were substantially more brusque and self-centred: “This is an odd bunch you’ve brought us.”   AND   “Are these … husbands you’ve found us?

Ragna: “It’s not my job to find you husbands — that’s my brother’s problem.”

The party leader placed the elf on a table and called for the Cook/wise-woman … “He's Geased”.

The cook first yells at Anooke: “Skraeling get out!!” — clearly a local vulgarity for halfling — and she throws bones on the table. Studying the pattern, she declared: “He’s not going to die today, but …” [she picked up a small bone that crumbled in her fingers] “… I’d be quick about it. Unfinished business!”

Our Leader, summarises, minimally assisted by those party-members who had actually read the Scribe notes for A Cold Return, specifically §10.6 6th Snow: The Sunken City: Elven Queen & Dark Hero ... Copied here, with some mild emphasis added:

{QUOTE}
Sharks turned up with were-seals, ice otters on their back and accompanied the whale that ferried us, some hobbits, the giant, and others to the Sunken Elvish City.

The city was 90% covered with ice except for holes with wisps of smoke coming out. We went down and eventually saw two figures in ice in combat: the Elven QUEEN & the “ Dark Hero”. The myth is that the undead shall free them from the ice, the combat resolved, with the Dark hero ruling the city. That would be bad and probably has global implications. There used to be more ice, but the undead have been using Salamander hearts to chip the ice away. Michael, Geld (i.e., SF) & Grendel volunteer to sleep, perchance to dream, in the chamber — how the Frozen QUEEN communicates with her followers. In whispery speech she came to us (in our native languages) and was induced to give advice, such as   “When presented by the 4 chests, you should take the 3rd one”. {Aside: this was REALY GOOD ADVICE!}

We asked if there was anything we could do to aid her. She explained:
My peoples were cursed ... great houses were turned into various beasts [Walruses, bears, etc?] ... Several of my great heroes, their memories would be returned, perhaps, if you defeat all of the undead. The heroes are the ones in porcelain armour.”

{Then apparently nothing immediately relevant to our current 821WK mission/situation until}
    §11.2   8th Snow: Defrosted Elvish City (part-1)
We returned to the City, now the Undead were not a threat, for info for the Quest (perhaps a little light pillaging or pre-rescue of items) discovering there just the queen trapped. Methinks the Dark hero was undead.

We activated the Dwarven Priest’s spheres ... on time delay, since the party had several Rk-10 mechanicians. There was a Flash of light: Steam rose, revealing a huge walled city slightly sunk into the earth. There was excited chattering amongst the elves and hobbits (all ex-walruses & ex-were-seals, ice otters, now released).

(...) We enter the old elven city, looking about, and joined the several hundred ex-animals. In summary:

  • The city sank about 700 years ago, after all but essential personnel retreated back through the then-functioning portal to Alfheim.
  • The heroes & about 100 residents have all been freed.
  • Geld started resurrecting 40 elves: it took the last of his restoratives, about 10 strips of auto-jerky.
  • The big buildings are all still standing, but only the armoury, foodstore, & throne room were preserved. Geld (SF) offered to assist with the rebuilding once his people are safe.
  • This elven city is at 0 longitude 75 latitude North.
  • We all got rings to return here (OOPS! SF forgot this part)

NB: Celestial Counterspells help resist the Aurora.
The Dwarves also have a portal near their city to here, and way of going through Hearth magic to other Dwarven strongholds.
Cook: Surely you should go see the dwarves ?
Ragna: The Elemental twins have suggested that we go see the dwarves.


SILVER RAIN and INTERRUPTIONS

Duncan and one of Ragna’s kinsmen demonstrated that falling flakes of ICE (that rain) can be made to turn to silver dust when they land. Cook explained that he is changing it into silver.

There was a loud roar to the West. Coincidentally when we went outside we heard drums to the south where, apparently, some sporting types has let loose greased pigs in town (again) and were eagerly betting on people involved.

Through a borrowed crystal, Rangna scryed some sort of snow tiger climbing over the houses … acting as if it were wild & alarmed, probably fleeing something. At that stage, it was some 15 houses away. There were barbs(?) in its back & rear.

Ragna “Much better a snowtiger than a dragon.” (We had heard significant roars!)

Jesicca, going outside to see the danger(?), noticed that her shadow just tried to trip or ankle-tap her
[Shadow]: You weren’t listening … I been trying to tell you for ages.

Chasing the Huge Cat was a giant Black hand (literally just a hand), with inky trails being left behind it. It was about the width of two cart-horses

Anooke shouted it’s necromantic & asked for a Counterspell. SF dropped a Necro-Counter on the ground and felt alarmingly weak after such exertion.

Cook hit Anooke for 1 with the cleaver; & 6 with the spatula. Only a professional cook could use a spatula so devastatingly.

The tiger, or maybe leopard, went over the wall & Rahne tries a Sleep spell on it. Then the Hand is on the wall, and it is “LOOKING” with its three middle fingers Ranga tried an undead-attacking spell on it but it failed because it is obviously resisting (35 MR actively resister). Its’ 5 fingers spread out to 7(!) as it landed. Rahne struck it for about 15 pts; and Jessica’s spell failed (as does her shadow's).

The hand Dived onto SF and promptly died.
Ragna: The severed hand is NOT living; but it still could be a Servant of the Gods. (I guess she'd know)

The hand was is mostly not there (Mostly translucent?). Jessic caused one of the finger and it curls in like a withered frond. Rahne hit the hand well; as does Anooke; and Ragna, this time with a weapon (which would do double damage if it’s a Servant of the gods!) … so probably confirming it was NOT one of those.

Almost all fingers are down, but the Hand reared up and stabbed the tiger (and also SF through said very Big Cat) but Elf seems less feverish than he was.

Detect Aura: Cat of 12 tails (formerly living). We could only see 9 tails

Ragna send off one of the older children to fetch [insert Name]; After a few minutes a short, Spectalled (person?) turned up. “Greetings Ragan, Jees that a HUGEcat! That’s Fecking big hand.” CANNOT ENTER MINDSPECIALS !?

“In the smoke of pyres, you can see the bad spirits … and you can resurrect it in an hour. Or if you kill the bad spirits.”

The cat eventually got up and looked at us all. It sat back and said “That’s strange … I was being chased by a huge hand, but now its dead.” according to SF, who then passed one of his items to Ragna so that she could talk to the Cat of multiple tails — who told her that:

  • Apparently The Cat can take us to Geyserlands … Otters [elves] and Walruses [elves] or the Seals that can help. They will know how to get the City under the Frozen Lake.
  • Strange crystal caverns ...
  • The tall person has made a deal with the otters (a Titan, but he’s a bad one … they want the Queen back).
  • THE UNDEED come like hands & feet.

Jessica: Not like spectal hands? Cat: “Spectral hand are THE WORST”

There are sounds of fighting, but nothing to worry about.

Party discusses Instill flight, etc (from Jessica?) but we get to go out on rugs
GOOD HOUSE RUGS ! … Anooke: We can sleep IN FURS while the mage is flying us.


Chap.3: Flying and fleeing to Dagenborg, eventually

Combining Cher & Jessica’s spell options the party split into two groups because of “tonnage constraints” for Instill flight:

  • Lady Cher, Anouk, Silverfoam (MilSci), with Charm.
  • Jessica, Ragna, Rhane (MS) with Duncan

The party, in borrowed rugs, was flying within the cloud layer with limited visibility but good cover. When they noticed strange sounds to port — which turned out to be echoes bouncing off a very close fjord cliff, the risked going higher. Whereupon some winged lion-ish avians were spotted (spyglass confirmed GTN as Griffins), so both sub-groups swiftly descended for safety, managed to land amongst trees. The best strategic option was a cave entrance: a Natural Fissure that someone had made more accessible by some semi-regular, large stone steps placed in front of it, decidedly LARGER than humans would make, but we still hastened within.

Inside it smelt of fresh seal & beeswax and opened up into a large cavern. SF was frail but managed to put up a Rank-6 Forbidding (70min) against Griffins in the entrance. Cher and local-expert Ragna sheltered nearby to take care of the non-griffins that might enter, and the rest of the party moved in a bit more to investigate and prepare. Jessica had a “black-slug” appear (apparently a backfire of some sort), and her “special friend” says there are THINGS in an area up the slope on the North side of the cavern

Meanwhile Anouk was carefully exploring. There was an upward passage in the main hallway; but, upon discerning that the dirt “bubbled when it burped”, he snuck swiftly back to the party

Ragna (with the Crystal of vision) observed the humanoids to be “The frozen dead” and took action as did Jessica’s Special-Friend, casting a Phantasm. In reply, there was a gout of fire like a burning Wall of Flames as a Fire elemental rushed in and tried to attack the main group (SF prepares Banishment). It struck Cher [24 Ft & 20 End !]; then bounced off Anouk (that blubber armour is *very* repulsive), minor damage to SF, and TET successfully closes with it.

Meanwhile Anouk is crooned to seductively “Anoook, jooin me, You, too, can be a Meenion of Mine. Join Me.” But hobbits are not so easily swayed. Jessica got burnt as she dodged the Fire elemental

Two Frozen dead tried to close on Cher. One was split into halves; but the other was only mildy hurt and bit her in the throat with some of the poison getting it.

Ragna strikes the fire Elemental from behind [for 32!] and bannishd it with her “baby axe”. The room went stunningly cold. SF raises WP

One E.T. attempted to cast a Wall of Stone, but hacked up viscous dark which some wanted to stomp; the other produced an Iron wall. And Anouk resisted. Lots! But definitely felt a “pull from below” Time to get outta here.


The SAND DORWAY and STONED PARTY-LEADER
We all hold hands and Duncan poured out sand from a distinctive gourd on the floor which swirled up to form a doorway through which we saw a desert scene featuring a building (perhaps a Temple?) and stepped through to …

In the Sandy Desert, under a blue sky, stood a square building with, along each side, 40-foot high pillars (each about 15’ wide), surmounted by pyramid shaped roof. Duncan asked Ragna whether she had anything that protects her from being stoned. .We hastened to the Place and the Elemental Twins turned Ragna to stone, fixed her eyes, and unturned her back to flesh.

Duncan showed us his gourd (with the Silver bottom) and says, “It can take us to anywhere memorised, or back to this Place if you memorise it”. So we all studied a very specific pillar. The plan was that We go back to the cave, then fly about 9 miles to Sono(?) — Otherwise we could have gone to Sulubin.

At DAGENBORG
Ragna used the sand gourd to reach the gates of Dagenborg (v nice stone work), via our cave and a four-minute. Dagenborg is a Strong fortress, from which we will journey to the Dwarves … a Boat would take about a week (too long!); or we could fly but that will attract attention obviously

The air is very thick around SF (his personal air) and he rests, observing the others involved with the shield-wall exercises suggested by the Captain of the guard.

In due time, the High Priestess appeared, “My favourite has returned”! Harey(?) then led Ragna down into a hall … to a win-erack of scrolls. “About 35 years ago, I was told that one of my priestess would have her eyes burnt out, and that this would be what you needed.”

We were updated on what has been happening

  • (speaking about ____?): “He was eating all the food under the table that was intended for the dogs. The hunt-master was quite annoyed.”
  • There’ve been some raids, some quite sinister.
  • There was a Giant raiding force to the NW, heading North about a month ago. They were lugging baggage.

Ragna admitted she now has Salamander eyes. The Response: “Beware of Effrets.”

OUR PLANS
Salamander tears & hearts first. Then to Plane of Fire, from which we can nip to the plane of Earth for the Solstice ritual. The week either side of the solstice is the HIGH SEASON for salamander.

It was suggested that the High Priestess could take Ragna and cut her heart out (to stop charm magic from Efreets/Djinns). Ragna suggest that someone else with a higher rank might __________
And HP was advised that Anouk is being allured by a minion-loving Entity.


BIG LUNCH (& more info); PARTY-LEADER'S "Heart"
At lunch we were fed and updated further…

  • (One of the “uglier witches” wants to feed Anouk… which was fine by Anouk
  • Captain of the Guard said there were some Giants they tracked possibly lead by a big titan (based on tracks)
  • Raiding force from Gultin encountered a Destinian ship rigged for Northers waters
  • A couple of the witches in the village say the Salamander herds will be mightier that in the past 7 yrs.
  • A couple of years ago some goblins & orcs broke into to ______???___
  • About the Herds: Like rhinoceroses on fire, they come here to cool down. They breathe out steam & it turns to snow
  • “The dwarves know all the tricks, but there’s something special (from the dwarves) that you throw in the air (and the Beasts’ eyes), then you clamber on them and scrape their eyes. But you do lose a lot of people that way … so we just kill them … since the hearts are also very useful.”
  • The effreets are what’s most dangerous.
  • A cook approached Jessica to take her to the head cook. “I understand you’re heading north to do things with salamanders. She requires 6 Sal hearts.”
  • Ragna plans to cut out her heart, preserve it (Cher can do that).
  • The High Priestess does NOT like the new fad of having one breast exposed.
  • Anouk agrees to make sure that he ensures that Ragna’s body is returned.
  • Said to Anouk “Obviously you are the hero of your people” || Ranga (as an aside) “Do they know that?”

After Lunch:

  • The High Priestess cut out Ragna’s heart (elegantly). Ragan can now see things very clearly — from 3 angles L, R, & in between (which is most important). She can now “Detect living”.
  • A Large part of the Castle protected from Ragna’s vision.
  • Lady Cher now has R’s heart … it’s still beating!
  • SF is very drawn, and emaciated; but it is better to carry on than just sit down.

Chap.4: The Wisdom of Hell Puppies, Dwarves, & even (at times) party-members

CONFIRMATION on Backtoo ...& other HELP from HELL PUPPIES
Backtoo was a “Faithful servant” left on an island, in a lake, high in the mountains (presumably somewhere in Ivinia). The message/saga Ragna has was written in a language of hell.

  • Some people did an adventure in the mines near Sulubin a few years ago and found her statue.
  • About 12 years ago Clementine & Braegon (etc) ran into a Backtoo … A servant of old F*RF*R.

Perhaps we should Go to Sulubin and interrogate the succubus imprisoned there. Perhaps we need to “get lost in the forest” and then, using Rangery quasi-magic, end up near the Dwarves.

The getting lost involves strenuous travel so Lady Cher Itemised the inflected SF into a small but elegant statuette, giving him to Rahne to carry. There is a smell of bear in the area, which party avoids. Reach Jema Fjord (southern Kuzjera) about 1000 feet below us and see (about 12 miles away) a stone jetty. "That pier will take you to Dwarves. A road from it leads to the Dwarven city."

Following instruction, Rahne deliberated BROKE Silverfoam MERELY into 4 pieces (fortunately!) … which all just lay there … strongly suggesting that he should have been Unitemised rather than vandalised. LADY CHER, to the rescue again, Mended the MilSci and then correctly turned him back — almost good as of old (Medically confirmed to be down “merely” 14 points in EVERY attribute).

Henceforth, Rahne, somewhat more sensitively, carried SF (whom the sympathetic Lady Cher loaned a ring that temporarily boosted Endurance) and the party reached the 1400 ft pier. A sloop has been hauled up and was being scraped and refitted by Dwarves & Humans. From the Pier, a Road lead up (with occasional rest benches) to the Dwarven Stronghold of Kondasgel. Five minutes later we encountered…
8 armoured dwarves who Greeted Ragna warmly and She advised that we are on a mission and are looking for help/assistance. In the small talk as we ascended:

  • Some of their skraelings have had problems with goblins
  • We note the Great Doors being freshly re-armoured (having been TRASHED by goblins, orcs, and giants).

Once inside, they put us into mining carts (fitted with seats), and we clunk away on chains for about 30 minutes (at running speed).


IMPORTANT INFORMATION Learnt from the DWARVES
Hakarim (a Priest of the Furnace) answered questions about the “Frozen Queen”. Apparently FQ was involved with, quote, “the elves from the West” (a.k.a. DROW) that settled there.

  • “It was an empire rivalling ours in size.”
  • “It is a very inhospitable place compared with what it was like when she first arrived.”
  • “She was imprisoned because she was being a MENACE TO THE ELVES (of Alfheim)
  • “the Destinians sent a group up that way having heard rumours.”
  • The Dwarves salvaged the treasure and gave it to a PARTY to return those items … which were dropped down a sink-hole (our Skraeling perked up at this point!).
  • Hakarim thinks we will have to go across the Lights.
  • There’s also some golbins, orks, & giants lead by powerful being(s) headed that was.
  • The Skraelings have been very trustworthy in the past and they said there some seal-people about 2 years ago that helped or did work for the Qn.

The Dwarves could send us to their Northern-most outpost (about 200 miles north). The boats can normally go on the water and sometimes on the ice.

The Dwarves could also get us to Sulubin … get them a message to build a bonfire (and can travel by bonfire). And if needed we can arrange to return later.

There have been legends for years. Indeed, 2 years ago the Dwarves also got info (from Skraelings) that there were some seal people too

Ragna (with trademark “discrete, tactical avarice” we have long admired) about items (etc) that will help with the Magic of the Far North — We have to hold hands (which may hurt for those of winter aspect)


WARM RECEPTION in Sulubin
We stepped through the Hearth-portal. The inhabitants of Sulubin were quite surprised to see us, even though they obviously got the Dwarves’ message and had built up the fire.

Rahne asks the locals about the mines etc. Key responses:

  • “we were freed from there about 3 years ago.”
  • Backtoo is a stone statue in the basement”.
  • They pointed out a statue (pretty, of average height, wearing armour & weapons & probably a spy &/or assassin.
  • Helpful flunky: “She’s here ‘cos Mordrin put her here!”

We saw a pair of glowing eyes; about 4 ft oof the ground (“Too big to be that Basalisk”) that turned out to be a hell-puppy that warned Jessica and Ragna that

  • Backtoo is a nasty being..
  • Mordren got us to research it sometime ago, bust she (Mordren) hasn’t been back since.
  • Backtoo is a ______??? mage) WARNING *** did NOT get this .... Lightning? Storm?
  • ... and Lieutenant of a demon …
  • Can do lots of fighty things,
  • Can speak of the future.

Rahne’s Divination worked. In the past 30 weeks …

  1. About 6 wks ago someone did a petrification on her after freeing her a minute or so previously.
  2. (Un-colleged magic did that -- but has a demonic taint).
  3. Un-coincidently, that was when the Hell Puppies & friends chased “something demonic”. But just bringing back a gnarled foot GTN: Ice-Devil; served Furfur.

Strategies? ...Rob her, tell her something, plant something on here. Be resistant to her shit.

Ragna: I can rip out your heart
Jessica: I’m using that!

>>> PLEASE INSERT RELEVANT QUOTE(S) from Ragna's translated Poem/Reading ??

“Come find me and I’ll teach you what skills I can. Knowledge of the future”.

The wolf says he will come back tomorrow.

Jessica did Limited Precogs on several visions of what will happen if…

  1. the head is unpetrified & chop the head off and the depetrified head died & and the rest disappeared from this plane
  2. Target depetrified here & all the boys are charmed, and everything turns to (sulphurous) custard
  3. …only Duncan (the E.T.) and Rahne stay while Charm (the other E.T.) comes with the party & when asked what she can do … APPARENTLY Charm could have protected Ragna from being charmed (and she did offer at the time that heart removal was proposed, but nobody heard it).
  4. Question: Why not just talk to B&& (since she can’t charm Charm)

PREDICTION says
A: SF need to NOT to be there (Ragna volunteered that SF was Geased to rescue the queen, so BK2 assassinated SF, then swiftly cut her way through the rest of the party. B: block of ice doesn’t work, C: We should just ... ???? [Sorry didn't catch this , or maybe overtyped it]

We decide she is too dangerous. If we leave her as is then she claims she'll be freed when the Queen is and we won't be here so it is best to decapitate the statue then revert it from stone, returning B. to hell without interacting.

According to DIVINATION & The Geas on Silverfoam was to “To bring a party within 4 years to release the Queen” (MA ??; Rank??”)

RAGNA: “It’s superb when people do know when not to tell me and also don’t tell.”

Ragna travels to Seagate and comes back next day with her heart once more in the customary place.

The Dwarves bring us back by Hearth-Portal at the agreed time.


WISE COUNSEL and AXES
We reached Prince Rellin’s city (where the high priest is). Lots of industry and specialised commerce.

  • For example: one trader sells special ferns that are very useful for sleds & making them invisible to whales! & But party-member was too cheap to buy any.
  • Jessica told to toss her blackworm into a fire (to remove the ill-luck).

SAGE COUNSEL
PRIEST: The Qn you are going to trade with …
Ragna: Actually we have to free her.
PRIEST: I was being discrete.

  • The skraelings will probably find it bad.
  • If she were to be freed, her minions (undead, living, demonic) would come back to Alusia
  • … which would be Bad for Alusia.
  • They are at odds with a demonic prince of lightning.
  • She was Succubus, not from this plane and on a mission to kill someone. This was known by many … And yet she STILL she managed to get to speak with the Prince and kill him.
  • Savage creations, worse than a ________? Polar bear.
  • The dwarves have axes that would benefit the party. (We later discussed "Alliance axes").

&& ...Anouk perked up when axes were mentioned
Ragna (gaving the Hobbit one of those looks): “What are you doing?” PRIEST: “They’re considered Weapons of mass destruction where he comes from.”

The Priest advised we could fight at "the holy mountain" (just off the top of our map) --- idealy defeating the Valkyries:
Cats of 12 tales can act as Mounts for Valkyries; :
They find creatures of significance and help them :
Query from party: Soooo we can use them to allured Black titan? & PRIEST: Yes, we thought that too.

There was discussion about AXES:& “They’re NOT Titan-killing axes”
Anouk: “They might be if you hit well enough”
[…] Anouk: "And it’s even more powerful cos she said “AXE-cidentally”."

... Which lead to talk about using alliance axes & Ragna: We have access [Anouk (aside):"Azes!!"] ... to the weapons.

Advice & Preparation for the "proposed" COMBAT WITH VALKYRIES

  • We are warned that the ravens we may see are intelligent and touched by Loki. Very, very tricksy
  • Valyries, use lightning, E&E, and other magics.
  • “Beside the whole fight thing, it’s a quest” — so would renew out items
  • The Valkyries will certainly be using magic and whatever else they have.
  • We have an item that causes All the lighting damage to the party to just effect the person it hilts.
  • Take the protection from fire potion, THEN use Firewalking to return to the Hearth fire.
  • About SF --- “It’s likely once he gets through the Northern Lights he will get better as he is TECHNICALLY leading a party to her rescue

PARTY PERSUADED to GO SLEDDING
Sort of a pre-conflict Qualifier that will give the survivors magical benefits: “It Just takes ONE hour of sheer bravery [Pause] … and then many more reattaching limbs & other body parts.”

The party was given Strength of stone (on PS) and decide to go as a single team. We were advised “You Can do it individually, but the heavier you are, the better!”

The end of the down-hill run is comparatively safe, if one has survived that far —crashing into barrels of water & sawdust

They did it and mostly survived. Each Tobogganeer each gain +5 PS, MD AG … and, if you they put their feet in the fire before going to sleep, it lasts longer. [with Rahne’s enhancement, it will should 23(?) Days.]

They will teach us firewalking (if you want …or could just learn it in the superstition Mountains)

Ragna was asked how the party is going to The Holy Mountain. Since we had no good answer, the Dwarves will summoning a flying whale into a quarry, if we help them subdue it by having magic fire on their (and our) feet.. This is really risky.

Charm: “I’m out of my depth with these whales”
Cher: “The whales fly, so aren’t you actually out of your ALTITUDE?”

The first whale (which has shadow wings) is finally Charmed by Rahne (who then casts a communication spell). The remarkably charming Whale is very impressed by Rahne: “You are one of the generous ones, who speak to others for us, you will become my little friend. The Whale had a Giant Kelp Shawl of Many Pockectses.

The dwarves broke out a flat pack, which is a low wooden dish with a few inches of water, an enchanted pin was dropped on its surface that continuous pointed out the direction towards the largest mountain nearby. Eventually we see The Mountain in the distance; it was surrounded by dark flying specks. Anouk [question] “Harpies? … or Valkyries?” ANON: “It is very difficult to tell the difference but maybe that’s just the one we have in the Guild.”


NOTES abouts ALLIANCE AXES

PDF Doc - with the two Alliance Axe on page 3

Alliance Axes
Weight: 4 lb, Value: 25,000 sp / Quest
This has two parts to it the Alliance and the Axes -
Alliance -
There is said to be ~5-8 people with Axes in any given group. Around ~17 groups with different properties exist in the north. Some groups are strong with knowledge and understanding of their group and pupos yet others are weaker with limited knowledge. Members of any group are said to be able to recognise other members who also own an Axe. All members carry a named Axe.
Known group - Hamingja, Resilience, Binding, Subjugation, Willpower & Destruction These Axes are recognisable by most skilled people in Ivinia and anyone with one is given respect.

Hamingja Axes - 6 in the group.
This is an old very fine axe made by one of the legendary Dwarf axe craftsmen for the gods in 217 wk in the great forge of Harhakeim.
It is said that when placed in the hands of Hamingja every 222 years then all axes in the group will gain an unknown bonus for a long period.
The weapon can be bonded (and then used) with 4 days of training at a holy site.

Hamingja Axes
The handle of this double headed axe has been crafted from a cool red liquid metal and wrapped in a blood red cloth covered in a fine sand grip.

  • The axe if close (250 feet) of the wealder gives a bonus of 6 to MD
  • The axe can be used as +1 on rank above max rank in the weapon's skill in any of your axe-skills with 1 handed battle axe, 2 handed battle axe, or hand axe.
  • Can use a weapon spell except for hot or dark weapon spells.
  • Can be over strength for damage.
  • Strike Chance bonus +6% (enchantment) +12% crafting = +18% bonus + spells
  • Damage bonus +5 (enchantment) +4 crafting = D+9 damage + any other bonus
  • You may sacrifice some (up to a maximum of 4 x MD) of your axe Strike Chance and add it to your Defense for 1 hour. The subtraction to Strike Chance affects the wielder (regardless of weapons) for two hours.
  • You get to add the MD of any other “group” member within 100 feet to your Ft and ½ to your EN.
  • You get to add the MD of any other “group” member within 100 feet to your SC.


GM: Jono Bean (ph 021 917 173)
Aura: Magical
Plane of Origin: Alusia
Nature of Magic: Hamingja Axes
Magically Trapped/warded/cursed: No
Level: Extreme
Game: Blood & Ice - Summer 820 WK
Characters on adventure - Silverfoam, Ragnfríðr, Anooke, Lady Cher,Rahne, Jessica


Chap.5: Up the MOUNTAIN, and what we found there

We’re all on the side of the Sacred Mountain, with some are blending in better — e.g., the white Gorilla in the mist (also white) who poured out sand from his flask which gave each party-member +d10 back. The mist restricts vision [at -5 to PC], with a mild wind blowing up from the lower area — blowing [some of] our scent towards any lurking monsters and/or heroes seeking battle.

About 200 ft up the road we can vaguely perceive bodies for the minds that Jessica’s Telepathy picked up:
Two of the three are incapacitated, they seem v bored although they are so ghostlike. all 3 v interested in us. After a pulse they start to scurry away — possibly because of Ragna calling out to them. In Laplander (apparently) {now Comprehended by SF} one shouts out, in alarm, “The priestess can see us!!” Then they’re yelling at each other … as if they’re still(?) in a raging storm, and they’re also leaning into wind-gusts that we can’t perceive or feel.
(DA: cause of Death: Fright) ...So they were probably scared to death.
In reply to Ragna, they say they were told us to come down here by the Dwarves; and were killed by an ice monster that killed them by looking at it “We call it a Basilisk”. Ragna says she’ll send them to hell — she meant it nicely!

We get up close: Ragna sees 3 spirits couching over their own bodies, which were Killed and Frozen in quick succession … (and perhaps some magical effect was ALSO involved). Seemingly, they were “Fried” or “Broilled” by the extreme cold (that Anouk says happened only15 hours), but ice & snow has built up against. All the existing footprints left by beings currently ahead of us clearly gave this site a wide berth.

Ragna is addressed: “Greeting Priestess … Between the 2 Dwarven statues, there is a Dwarven Elder, who will be drawn to you”
The dead ogres are keen to move on: “We faced a foe almost worth of killing us”. But the Giant wants to wait here: “They will kill you all for disturbing my peace.”
A black rabbit spring forth from Ragna’s hand and turns into mush, all within about 2 seconds. [Presumably a backfire effect like Jessica’s repulsive, black worms.].

Ragna has now made this a place of death by letting the ogres pass on. The Giant instructed her:
“Tell Kubin I have sent you and tell him Gubin sent you to come back to him.
Don’t tell him about Rubin.
They will want to take your special axes, so you should fight them.
They have a shaman who has death magic and amulets of skulls that will break your bodies when he hits you. Don’t be hit by him. He is the smallest so get him first.
I’m afraid of nothing, G’yuur! [possibly just a spasm or twitch?].
Use all axes on one at a time.
There is flying creature, not very good.

Lady Cher, meanwhile, had been DA-ing things as the ice began to re-cover the bodies of the ogres.
MAGICAL items: Axe, furs, belt on one; Helm & an axe.
The Ice is not magical — but there is a grisly ice creature, a cloaky/furry thing, apparently hiding behind the body an ogre. It’s keeping very low, as if devouring the bodies.
Patches of ice are exceptionally cold (and the wind is turning to ice) entering the area to slay the evil thing inflicts a lot of damage each pulse. Luckily, Cher suffers only 9 pt ice damage (Out of character, that was a PERCENTILE-roll’s worth of damage). Rahne resists and survives 90 damage.

Rahne, Jessica, and J’s special-friend sense danger: a big long serpent-like thing held aloft by 8 small wings about 40’ above the ground; it has a Snake-like mouth with big sharp teeth & droopy (rat-tail like?) moustache, flies up above the edge of the ridge/cliff — must be the “flying creature, not very good”. Very not good more like!!

Rahne lept into the air, attacking it. (Apparently she sensed it attacking her & Ragna)
Icy breath weapon, Rahne, Ragna, & Jessica all needed to resist … but Anouk didn’t need to
That was its surprise pulse. Its very withered arms were trying to snatch out.

Cher created an ice collar which chained it to the ground (briefly); Rahne who had used her Mentacles to scale the wyrm and reach the rider, avoided the rider’s lance attack and the Draganoid’s bite. The Dragon caused lighting to arc down (seemingly as a breath weapon), the protection from lightning we had been given caused it to swerve to Anouk who is immune.
Cher was meleeing with the D, so it breathed on her (she resist but was o.o.F.)

SF cast a 2nd ctr Ice Spec couterspell. Dragon whipped away. And the rider attempted to attack-cast on Cher, but she resisted.
Jessica attacked the D. Cher was meleeing with the D ... and it replied with lightning breathe on her, pt blank (She resists but is o.o.F.). Jessica attacks the D with Phantasm (and friend does the same) then the D slowed down slightly. (out of Fatigue!?, we hope)

The struck Cher with its sword and borrowed the most powerful spells on her while inflicting SEVERE damage.
But, because the Ice-D was o.o.f., Rahne manages a strong blow on it … and easily dodged the pitiful scrabbling of its almost-arms.
Anouk, who could see the wyrm threw 3 harpoon that didn’t do any actual damage, but did allows him to teleport down the rope.
Ragna aims at the Ice-d wth her eyeball(s) — ooh! Fire damage! while T.E.Tw cast something like enhanced Dragonflames 200 pts of damage (save for half!) at the IceD ….and, unfortunately, the party’s brave boarders were also included in the effect.
Fortunately Anook resisted again, but was still damaged and his frozen blubber-armour was set on fire, which did not improve its smell! Rahne dodged, resisted and survived but knocked off her perch on the dragons back, fell down the cliff. Cher failed to resist but merely unconscious from "only" two magical breath-attacks in immediate succession, fell 60' down the cliff, still alive.
…. [TO BE NOMINATED FOR JAMMIEST B] O.o.C: the flames spell does “merely’ d100 each time; and GM rolled 100 and it was a double damage cast check. All up, 200 pts damage.
The dragon and rider fled into the clouds pursued by Phantasms (which came back later reporting they lost them).

We collect and stabilise Cher's body, Ragna heals and then transfers a LOT of fatigue to Cher; but discovers that the “Sanctity of the Mountain” has enhanced the effect of her get-better gut busters (Restorative potions double or sometimes tripled effectiveness - to do with Mountain and Proximity to Ragna).

Anouk identified a very loud BANG from the air he thinks it sounded like a Destinian ship firing off its Giant-Lance-sized harpoon at a whale (also involves a cloud of hideous, black smoke).

We took a few moments to renew weapon spells, then headed up the mountain.
Jessica picked up about 20 ogres, so far, up ahead (who have their backs to us, with bows aimed away from us … thinking “WE’LL-GET-’EM”… MAY HAVE TO GO THROUGH THOSE OTHERS BUT WE WILL. We can clearly see that they are set up either side of the track, about 9 on one side and 8 on the other, about 80 feet away.
Rahne cast her Rk-11 Sleep as a mist (‘cos of her Hand of Glory), but it clattered to the ground “like a multiply-pierced black voodoo-ish doll that tried to crawl back to her caster (and was very stomped on)
Jessica’s SpecFrnd brought in a goblin (with a bone item)
… and the 17yr-4mth-old Amulet of Ice Protection went to Ragna.

We decide to sneak past invisible, someone makes noise, one of the ogres turns around and appears to search as we carry on.

In between the two Units, There were four 4x4x6 inches boxes with ropes. Anouk looks more closely and sees that the boxes have loose covers, clearly a Mechanical trap.

Ahead Jessica detects 2 minds within Telepathy range were variously wondering:

  • where their friends are,
  • when are those little guys going to attack

Is it really wrong to have sex with dead ogres

One of the giants confidently calls out to the Unseen, but definitely Sensed party (no doubt smelling certain unnamed party members): “Identify yourselves Invisible beings”
Ragna:   “We’re Friends of Kubin with a message for Gubin.”
Giant #1: “OH! A PRIESTESS!”
Ragna:   “Where’s your Shaman?”
Giant #1: HE’S DEAD.
Ragna:   “Yeah, so …? I can talk to the dead”
Giant #2: I think they’re NOT invisible … they ARE dead!

We avoid them.

The “path” heads towards a ruined Dwarven cave entrance at, or near, the top of the hill. The trail forks, we check tracks - nobody goes in, some go left, most go right — ascending steps switching in a zigzag. We go right.
Ahead, Jessica picks up angry, excited, arguing Ice Giants (cheering someone on) …about 100 ft away.
Rahne’s wizards eye went awry & slithered over.
Cher, thinking about things, realised that we’re currently OK-ish where we are … But on the North face of the Sacred Mountain, we’d be detrimentally exposed to the Northern Lights.

We had passed above the clouds, and Icicles were growing (or rather, had been blown) sideways. As we got closer to the Giants, we could actually see their heads - standing near the top of the right path, peering over the top as they are spectating some combat.

Heading back to the left path, we round the plateau then using Cher’s rope, we all climb to the top.

INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN-TOP FORT
There are two amphitheatre pits (each 250 feet or so across). Between them and beyond the two Dwarven statues

The Titans(?)* or Shadow Giant (?)* are fighting 2 giants in the pit. Three of the giants out of the pits are Shamans and another is clearly a chieftain
(SF’s D.A. failed — probably not for the 250-ft distance, but because the GTN is unknown)
Anouk thinks it’s a phantasmal creature (Rank: 15?)
Shaman & chieftain still looking at the combat.

By the dwarven statues there are 3 Dwarven ghosts & a skraeling.
Rahne leads the way presenting, above her, her axe, Ragna and Anouk follow.
Shaft and Fans of piercing light from the North shines through Gates and other gaps in the walls.
The Dwarves say something in Dwarven which nobody who can perceive them understands, but appear to be approving and indicate the other amphitheatre where Cher sees 3 ink-black figures appear (1 shorter than the other): 1 casting in grey; 1 short & round; and the other lanky (we identify them as shadowy/phantasmal copies of Ragna, Anouk and Rahne).

The Giants notice that the other pit is active. We note that the giants are fighting with tridents.
A Small black creature came running towards us, and then suddenly head towards Anouk. It explodes on all of us (95 save for half), but SF fatally failed to resist. Apparently this is an ability of Ragna's.
Anon Party member: “Let’s split up so that can’t happen again.”

Chap.6 A Return to the Hotsprings, Then a Voyage North

More I.B.F. charge the remnants of the party; so Rahne, Anouk, & Cher counter-charge; whilst Ragnar sequentially animates SF’s body, reanimates/resurrects it, and heals it. (Yay I’m back and only -4 off all stats!)

Three I.B.F. engaging Rahne, Anouk, and Cher all look abnormally like them … so Cher cast a Smoke bank (?) in the area which unfortunately only effects LIVING beings (i.e., party-members only); meanwhile, hanging back a little, the Fake-Rag quickly re-assembles recently-exploded Fake-Ank — so, probably ALL the I.B.F.s are necromantic creations-slash-caricatures? (and why Jessica’s & Friend’s Mental Attacks had no noticeable effect)

Real Ragna pre-emptively pre-engages (and beats our Rahne to) Fake-Ank , but Real Rahne, as next batter up, still hit Fake-Ank AND then multi-struck the enemy. Poor Real Cher, suffering a mere 34-fat blow was unresponsive for a few rounds. But, all in all, the party was triumphant in under a minute. But the giants 500 feet away, did witness our victory.

We walked to address the Three Dead Dwarves at “The Arch”. They were quite impressed with Ragna: “You have well, your monkey too. Your pet elf has a cat looking after him” yada, yada, yada…. (pet scribe got bored)


HOT SPRINGS SETTLEMENT
We left the mountain and decided to travel to the Hot springs for more information. We get there easily. The Springs are in and around a small town that a couple of miles from the sea and inhabited by maybe two or three hundred-ish humans (or, rather, human-ish) as well as Dwarves and other sentients: Seals, Otters; Skraelings. One skraeling in a comparatively-big group of them asked Anouk if he was Anouk, and they scattered on hearing the answer

There were buildings, but also lots of skin/fur bivouacs; Fish Drying on racks. We chanced upon RUSTY near a trading house that, apparently, MICHAEL wanted to set-up and he accosted Silverfoam about the “Missing barrel of Nails” that Michael SAID he would send (Really? As if M— always does what he says he will). Nails are used her as currency, which makes sense! &ndsp; So Jessica & Charm popped off to Seagate, via the Desert temple, thanks to her gourd, to get said Barrel o'Nails — just one. And returned sitting on it, thanks to Instilled Flight

Meanwhile the party found out a little more information at Hot Springs.

  • Destinian is their term for anyone who lives South of Ivenia. And they TRADE with this town (local goods, slaves, whatever)
  • There was a warband that went North very recently — giants leading goblins and ogres.
  • Anouk topped-up his armour with more Blubber.
  • Wolves are between the town and the Coast (OK to deal with unless they’re hungry).


Ragna was approached by ERIC who has “shoulder problems” and offers to treat her to the Baths if she fixes it (An Axe to the shoulder does cause problems). She agreed, heading off, with Rahne & Cher too, after making the party a list of “The TOP 10 THINGS that are Not Acceptable” — can’t remember of “Priestess Killing a whole town” was merely implied.
REPORTEDLY There was a Nixie in a crystal at the Top-class springs, but Rahne & Ragna resisted the Charm.

Eventually Jessica returned sitting on her Flying Barrel … which impressed so many, she was leading a parade to the Warehouse.

PREPARNG FOR OUR VOYAGE

  • Rahne asked the Dwarves about the protection from the northern lights their priests had offered. Travelling by Hearth they fetched one for each of us, “necklaces” all the same tied with a chain (Gorgets might be a better description: each contains 8 Amulets - Prot from Fire, Draining, Cold, ...).
  • Anouk distributes new icecubes.
  • There is a Hit out on SF — the bounty (~400k) was put up by the Queen of the North.
  • we purchase an old 20' long boat and spend 2 days patching it up.

We Ice Traverse at 10-12 mph north towards the Skraeling settlement. It is easily recognised, surrounded by a wall of assorted skins (Whale, Elf, Bear, … etc). It holds a large number of children. Everyone is armed. They tell us the Giant's warband dug up an old ship and took wood to help them.

THE MARVOULS SHIP

We went to the buried “Archaeological Site”.

Anouk Bound all the Snow & Ice within a 50’ radius, revealing a Barrel-keeled boat almost 120-feet long. The figurehead is a 12-foot-long Woman with six arms/hands. The Black, Enchanted(!) Keel is extraordinarily super-strengthened (Petrified?). If something comes in contact with the prow it goes to the Plane of EARTH. That is: the intent is to ram things and send then to the Plane of Earth. The Stern-post REPELS Water. We take some wood that will allow us to travel from Fire to Earth.

THE PLAN is to head north, initially on an iceberg, then on the (itemised) boat (which we'll carry on the iceberg!)


HEADING NORTH BY S.S. ICEBERG & SHIP

Anouk crafted a naturalistic iceberg Part of it has a flatish area, But the main chamber-slash-igloo is where the party sheltered and a secondary chamber contained THE SHIP. We have a one-way transparency so that there are places we can easily look out, but the berg just looks like a typical, jaggedly opaque iceberg from the outside.

Things went well … we’d casually floated (on a “convenient” current) for a while (15 miles) to the northern lights. The iceberg and all of our other magic then expired so we sailed (without magic) north in the boat.

Once we thought we were sufficiently clear, Anouk created another iceberg and capped it with ice construction which worked all too well, creating an enormous spiked berg that was too big to move. We considered our options until there was a boom & scrabbling on the outside: 3 killer whales (each 30-35’ long) about 200 feet away, one offloaded Seals armed with long pokey sticks. XXX(?) pointed out that the whales had crowns on their head that would enable the Whales to cast magic (Not nice magic, could even be Necromantic — the headgear was technically identified a little later as a Dead-man’s-hand).

And at the same time, a GIANT polar bear (20’ high at the shoulder) climbed the Iceberg, fleeing the seals. The whales ignited some flasks, breathing magical scorching flames over the ‘berg.

Rahne (Speak to Enchanted) to the Bear: “Do you require assistance?”
In response the Bear bounded back to flee the invisible voice and what a appeared to an animated toothy fish skeletal (so quiet possibly necromantic) - a Phantasm. The seal squad(s) seemed to be behaving like trained animals. By this stage there were 2 whales on the ice-shelf and one in the water. Anouk went out to communicate with the bear while Rahne swiftly counter-spelled the Phantasm. As Rahne was still invisible, the Bear assumed it was Anouk that was talking. We made a deal to help and it would then guide us to the Frozen Elven settlement.

The Bear replied: “Make the whales dive deep and force them to respect the Mightiest of the Skraeling!”. … “In the meanwhile I will hide back here.”

Surprised by the party and their magic, the whales & seals swiftly departed.

Chap.7 From Ice-cold waters to Ice-cold Queen

We got off the iceberg before it split & rolled over; so did the Bear.

Rahne proposed returning into the lights to investigate Cher's insight into the mana surge and binding it. General plan was that Rahne cast Enhance Enchant then everyone try to shape and bind the mana surge using their spells and skills.

Shipstrength on boat & Mage current (ranged to include “Our” Boat and the Bear, but not much more) - they didn't last long once we got into the lights. As we'd been told, when we went through the Lights, all spells/rituals in effect that could expire, did expire… but not permanent magics.

We tried a couple of spots and found that brighter patches where the lights appeared to dance over the water were best.

We learned that:

  • Exceptional success with magic often created permanent effects or items.
  • Ice and Celestial magics worked best.
  • Failures and backfires created slugs and adverse effects.
  • The Alliance Axes were best for harvesting cloth from the lights.
  • High MD and appropriate skill were best for crafting.
  • Areas of light were rapidly diminished by the harvesting.
  • Extended exposure to the lights changed some people and items or caused to react.

We successfully harvested and crafted:

  • Ragna makes a bone amulet, a fetish, and a creepy dolly
  • Jessica makes (with help) a cloak for herself and her invisible friend (Rahne managed to see it)
  • Anouk made Ice Lanterns and Ice Cloaks (1 adequate, 3 excellent)
  • Cher tried a mending & (Ragna) healing combination on her scars which had started glowing in the lights
  • Cher asked Rahne to work on her carpet, Rahne: “I’m a tailor not a Weaver.”
  • Rahne harvested cloth for a cloak and charged some celestial items
  • Silverfoam formed a sail from the lights.

Silverfoam raises his new sail then following the directions of our Polar Bear ally, we sail over 10 miles North without event, spotting an island (with snowy peaks) laying due North about 15 miles away.

Getting closer we discerned Clouds around the island; that there WAS land there; and even Trees (which was quite unnatural in the Far-North according to our local skraeling). The Sea itself was crisp, calm, and very cold with occasional caps of black ice.

THE ISLAND
We make it to the island, which was cold, yet warmer than we were used to. We beach the ship & tie it to a nearby tree. It is well out of the Northern Lights, yet not as dark as we would have expected. There are sounds of animals and the (perfectly normal) cracking and wailing of the ice behind us.

The twins buffed everyone with Strength of stone (+21 on either PS or EN). The bear discussed several important/interesting topics:

A) There were some other people here about 3 summers ago — “foul creatures that we steal from”
. Indeed that there are TWO groups …. Firstly, Bad people that smell of hot springs (sulphur?) and that last year they did something with “Djin or whatever you call them”.

B) Rahne talked to the bear about the dark titan’s War-party — which his people knew about and avoided. They are not whom he meant.

C) The Others were “Foreign people made to not move anymore (maybe by the ice)”:
There’s a queen (the one we're after) that has shifted to a mountain — they’re all up (or in) the mountain She is still in ice. “I think the bad company may be responsible.”

D) The Bear said he once WAS a normal bear, but became giant recently {Anouk sensed that the Bear was avoiding the issue, muttering “You are what you eat”}

We whipped out Crystals of vision and observed:

  • The mountain-top is a flat area about 3-4 miles across at the top of the mountain with a mine(?) entrance near the middle.
  • On the shoulders of that mountain is dense Arctic Forest that stretches down to the rocky beaches.
  • This island is almost certainly under the effect of a Weather Control.
  • There is a "settlement" down here several miles in from the shore.

ANOUK’S CUNNING PLAN (Mark-1)
Anooke ask the PL if we can wait while he summons a couple of Ice creatures to help us, sure she says...

The settlement is about 3 hrs tramping through the forest with unstable footing. Anooke suggests that he should get his Ice-monsters to go ahead of us to “discover” any traps or pits that may lie before us and, incidentally, casually mentioned that the Ice-monsters are 58 feet tall.

Ragna: We are NOT using 58-foot monsters crashing through trees, alerting the enemy that and leaving an obvious trail back to our Boat.
Anouk: I did say they’re monsters.
Ragna: So am I, but I’m not 58 feet tall

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID
We made our way stealthily to the Settlement with as little trace of our passing as possible And most definitely NOT in a direct line from our Beached Boat.

We spied on the “Settlement” — which was more like a dishevelled village centred around a large building, SF recognises as a ye- olde-style elvish architecture (so like home!)
Rahne saw humanoids … some with dog-heads, some with Duck-feet; and Ragna notices a demonic sigil on a flag (Beleth) (so unlike home!)
The Bear hadn’t been here for 3 years. "What is here... very bad"

Rahne suggests that we approach in DREAM-form, which is best done near the village since we will have more “Definition” where people have habitually slept (even if the new inhabitants don’t sleep). Ragna Laid hands on SF: he’s still definitely dying (although doesn’t currently feel it). We were put to sleep by The Elemental Twins who will guard our sleeping bodies (hidden well in the roots of a fallen tree).

We woke up & saw Rahne is slightly larger & noticeably more resplendent in her dreams. We were on a snow plane with trees about us and a mountain (which was not as large as the real one). Note: this costs 1ft/hour just being here.

There is a ravine beyond the village, crossed by a single-arch stone bridge with 2 large dogs walking back & forward on the bridge & third dog in the deep wide gully. Rahne cast Invisibility on everyone. Jessica cast a Mind-speech. We had defences, etc.

Sf’s Locate indicates that IQ [code for Iced Queen] is beyond the town, inside the hill (about 45 yards from the town) on the other side of the ravine… There are some imps & ice devils in the town now moving items thru an Ice Arch (like a parody of our Gate to KinLu).

Anooke constructed an Ice bridge underneath the real stone one so we could stealthily cross to the other side. This Dream-walking is wonderfully effective but somewhat uncanny: We can feel the wind on us, but none of our hair & clothes move in the wind. We were unnoticed despite Lady Cher’s faint Glow and Anouk’s re-blubbered armour
Ragna (to Anouk): You do smell like a snack.
And easily climbed up the wall. There was an alert dog awake (gtn: Ice-devil), looking down towards us.

We entered the stronghold which has very Dwarvish workmanship but to precise Elvish specifications & layout … (including the “welcome” flagstone to ensure the Help open the door for visitors.) There are some guards (more Ice Devils).

IN THE LAIR OF THE “ICE-BLOCK”
Following the Locate, we found the right chamber. Looking through the cracks in the door, one could see Two Dreaming guards on in a guardroom

Rahne pushed the door open. There are marks on the floor, and someone crosses the room and close. Jessica’s Mental-attack got three-quarters across and was attacked. (Rahne conjectured that Dream magic is especially susceptible to Demonic magic.) SF’s Counter-Rune-special landed as Anouk walked over the floor-marks and bone like hands with prehistoric tools to cut down Anouk. Rahne cast a Sleep(no prep!); and Jessica magic misfired & slept Anouk; The other guard had its head exploded by Mental-attack.

Behind metal bars there was an Iceblock with a woman inside preying … She has radiant “knitting-needles” stuck into a crown. Around her the world is more sold and pristine.

She mind-spoke(?) to Ragna & Anouk (who have no Elvish barbarians):

“I have put the other 2 guards into a deep sleep”
… then switched to Ivinian: “They came & dug us up and placed us in this garish place…”
She is pleased to see Silverfoam keep his word.

The bars are made out of metal (possibly Twisted copper over cold iron). The Queen continued her lament. She said that Demonic creatures keep her captive; their Leader has a Sceptre that makes her weak each time he comes here and drains her with it
She believes he is planning to use her Dream Magics so that he can visit Alusia … they should be out of line when they are terrorised.
He has also captured two of the Djinns or Efreets.

We confirm that Silverfoam has completed his Geas.

On mind-speech, we confirm we're sticking to the secret plan we made behind Silverfoam's back - that we should KILL the IQ (its a form of release) to avoid the Immanent Threat she presents to Alusia. We start to discuss options.

The IQ implies she's aware of our secret conversation and then forces us out of dream to be physically present.

Anook covers the door behind us with ice in case someone comes along.

Cher did a Detect Enchantment on the bars. It’s a MAGICAL BLOCK, cross-braced with vine-like decoration leaving spaces only a few inches apart. It opens, but not subtly and by an elaborate mechanism. Needing 2 operators one on either side. Cher & Anooke work together to pick it and open the gates.

We try a few things that don't work.

The BLOCK *looks* like ice, but we learn when Cher starts carving it up Moulding Elements that it is actually iron … visibly turning to greyish iron when Cher carves it out.

The Master Assassin Cher attacks her with a Dagger that could only slay her now, unfortunately, despite attacking from behind, she was unable to overcome the IQ’s defence — how embarrassing; how inopportune … as her prison has been breached and she escapes, phasing through the remnant of her prison but stopping at Anooke's ice wall.

Meanwhile we hear the heavy running footfall of guards (or probably something much worse) in the corridor …


Chap.8 Killing for Gain (Queens, salamanders, etc)

The Party’s combat with IQ was briefly hindered by Her "Regal effect" …. ALL long-lived Sentients un-resistingly think that she’s Truely Magnificent! (e.g., Sf quietly quivering in pleasure that the now-released IQ appreciates him giving Her the initiative in combat),       … then Ragna (technically Short-lived) “pre-engaged” & struck IQ for 56 EN) and the queen was dead, with Jessica’s assistance. — D.A. said “The [only] extraordinary way for her to be brought back to life is by the next death of Ragna”.

Cher (when the Queen’s Charm-effect ceases): … “I know there is something useful we should be doing now”.
Ragna: LOOT THE CORPSE! [of the Queen]
But then the Disjunction ceased and Cher lost 40 EN as her Gut-busters finally kicked in.

Rahne warned we were in a dreamscape, so the way out was not necessarily the way we came in. SF cast Windwalks on all so that we could swiftly, discretely return to our bodies and the Twins; thence to the Boat and away from the Damned Island.

When we reached a mile out, the water is deep enough for Anouk to make a wide, FLAT iceberg. SF Removed Cher & Ragna’s Death curses; then we reach the ice-cliff of The Island. Cher itemises the boat and the party Flew up (courtesy of the Twins).

Standing on Ice we saw a tall Swirl of Ice & snow churning upwards like a pillar miles away — due to the circling Salamander Stampede with Flying Beings on its edge. Anouk’s Snow-sense indicated that there were Volcanic geysers to the East (and that the Ice there was thinnest); but much thicker under the Stampede to the West.

Everyone received 76 pts of ablative Fire Armour from The Elemental Twins.

Anouk cast Snow-shovel (lasting 165 min, moving upto 10 TMR) so that we could approach the Stampede from underground their feet... Initially we hit rock & had to often detour (to the West). But after 4 hours, we reached roughly where we wanted to be (confirmed by Rahne’s Wizard Eye), and much deeper than our targets on the surface. Jessica had Telepathy to 110 feet — only the party were in range!

From Wizard-Eye, there are many things in the sky and a herd of salamanders circling the piller. The Elemental Twins want 30 salamanders (each yielding 2 tears & 1 heart). So the party made various, uncertain plans ...

The plan was that Anouk raised the ceiling of “trapdoors” the ice, so that the slalmanders would be killed or weaken falling over 100 feet, and we'd harvest what was needed. Anouk last adjusting the vaulted ceiling of our tunnel.
As Anouk put it: "Why is having a bad idea slowing you down ... a bad idea never deters a hobbit".

In fact, the five "trap-doors" were sequentially thicker 10', 20',... So that they would be melted/broken sequentially. However we were all about 10 fatigue down, so SF slept (in order to Healer restore 3pt/hr FT to rest of party) while Anouk made the final adjustments: a gallery for the harvesters; death-pits; etc.

The 1st trap got 6 (the size of rhinoceroses, but stretched quite long rather than normal Rhino stockiness) ... their underside was like stone. Their Magical fire effect (assisted by their *significan*t weight) broke the ice, as intended. Anouk then reconstructed the bottom of that trap.

Two merely injured salamanders got up off the pile of [assumed] Salamander corpses (which are still v hot but dying ... with a HUGE amount of steam) Rahne stunned some salamanders with about 100 pts of damage) — it would have required about 120-160 EN, but they did take falling damage, which is reassuring

A BIG humanoid flew down and changed the ice to stone such that the wind rushed towards it & up the chimney. Meanwhile, some of the party were on killing duty; others were harvesting eyes and hearts. Although Cher, on killing duty, unintentionally (we assume) armoured the underside of her creature with stone (rather than ice). THESE SLAMANDERS, up close, ARE BIG. Would cause a lot of damage if the hadn’t fallen so hard.

Anouk cast a Rk12 Extingush Fires, temporarily snuffing the fires ... And, perfect timing, the next trap crashes.

Three 12-foof-tall beings, with the appearance of having been baked in fire [Efreeti] turned up 60’ above the Salamanader death-traps and the top of our ice “tunnel” has been consumed/melted. They announced imperiously, “There are 180 of our brethren here with us. We have summoned them ALL.” ... At that point we’d harvested only 25 Sal — we needed 50 more. Cher Itemised heads & some bodies, and we fled, using Ice Traversal, SF cast a Forbidding (to Efreets), then saw that the swiftly approaching thing was actually a giant flying-snakey-thing (Doh!), then dropped a few a counter-fire as we fled.

Chap.9 Return to civilization ... and next tasks from Dwarves and Mat Tumbledown, ...

To leave the island, we go with Anouk’s plan to make an iceberg (hollow in the middle but filled with a selection of chewey adventurers) then depart while submerged. However The Elemental Twins are uncomfortable about being underwater but will join us once we’re far enough away.

The Iceberg grounded & started leaking (temp. repaired until The Elemental Twins turn up) …

“Ah good we found you! This is the third one we’ve looked into.”

Approaching the lights we abandoned the fracturing ice berg and boarded our boat.

The bear finds us and attempting to climb in, accidental tips up the Boat …with Cher temporarily overboard … and water rushes in (“I have a cloak that will protect me”) until Rahne asks the bear to retreat.

Since we're going South, though the Northern Lights anyway, Rahne doing her thing, Ragna too — apparently ice aspect is particularly useful (with Anouk). One more fine sail from SF (a 01!); 1 critical success 1 fail for Rahne; Anouk has 2 more successful cloaks.

Bear warns us that heading south through the lights will take us to strange lands/worlds from which most do not return, he suggested going via the Crevice, which will take us to an island. Sailing west at his direction we come to land, after Itemising the boat, we went into a southbound ravine, in its shadow we are sheltered from the lights and so may pass south without changing worlds. A few hours(?) later we emerge to see a cloudy night sky. Consulting the stars via the Bracer indicate it is still in the North.

SF Divinated all, and the party is mostly as expected (everybody resisted the Efreet Charm; Cher was death-cursed for attacking/freeing the queen. Rahne Divinated the IQ (….Still a dead corpse) and the loot.

Next day we reached the skraeling village, then to the Dwarves and tell them about The Island.

Anouk: "You’ve already had a bath this year".
Anon: "...says the skraeling smelling of seal Fat."

Rahne (to Party-Leader): “You’re abandoning us ..."
Ragna “You’re abandoning me by not coming to the Baths”

Ragna “Don’t agree to anything…” (shouted on Mind speech from the baths)

The dwarves want NEED more Salamander tears. SF agrees (just casually-like, NOT a solemn promise; definitely NOT a Geas !
Dwarves also ask SF to Invite Ragna to next winter’s feast.

After leaving the dwarves, ambling south for a discrete little bit; Have a couple of hours sleep; then The Elemental Twins portal us to the Desert and then to another location where we can train for a while until it's time to go to Earth.

Ragna & her sacrifice Anooke head off to talk to her mistress for a while. Rahne makes about 600 packets of Sleep Dust.

2 weeks later...

Portal to Ragna’s family’s courtyard. There are a few people quietly working on stuff in the neighbourhood, but most people are asleep. Use one of the provided whispering winds to contact Matt T. Reply: We will meet them on the Northern side of Fuhrling.

There are 3 guards very concerned, pale, looking out to the harbour.
Guardsmen: You DON’T want to go out there. The giants are mobilising their mercenaries
Ragna: Yeah. That’s us!

Matt T is on the shore with one of Ragna’s daughters who’s selling Magic Rings for ingots of Silver to suckers off the Ship
(Apparently, The Destinians are sqeezing the Money market have taken a LOT of silver out of Ivernia)
Richard, to the party: “Have you had Breakfast?”
[simultaneously]Rahne: “Yes”   Anouk "No!"

What the Spies say about those heading to the mountain

  • The Enemy has close to 100 people in three groups, one led by Magg de l’isle(?) "It would be good if you could drive her off".
    Her group is mostly undead and some creatures in their ranks you have faced before … Sea Hags. They suck the salt out of your body and make you drink seawater.
  • Matt & the Dwarves will handle the Dark titan & giants;
  • the third group of Merchants that do not fight, but they strike unnatural bargains. They are from one of trading houses of Chlelemby. They will ALWAYS be able to strike a deal. One of our spies claims they have gone through the Gates of Hell & covered themselves with Demon Blood that made them able to make people agree to their perverted "Deals" — “Days later you wake up wondering Why did I agree to give away my best weapon."

Ragna: But we are uncharmable!
Richard: I knew there was a reason why I like you!

Richard: “Are you talking about the Evil Queen of the North?”
Anouk: “Yeah, we’ve got her in that backpack here”
Matt advises that it may become permanent "… If you take the Queen to Death." and He and Ragna popped off somewhere.
What apparently happened: MT took Ragna somewhere (the temple of death west of the Lunar Empire, an island in a lake, a set of stones with A hooded figure & a humanoid with an ox–head “Old one we have a corpse for you. You should take her now, she has been avoiding Death for many years.”

Richard [aside]: “Dealing with the elves, is one long paper-cut”

We discussed Sending the EWoT to the plane of earth. Ragna hired some locals to ram out boat with the excavated prow into the titan’s ship . . .

THE PLANE OF EARTH

"All hands Brace" ... and we vanishes into a hot broiling sea, which changes into inky dark waters. The waters turned sludgy and we were stranded on a muddy flat. Ahead is a Dark, Stormy, wind-driven Forest, Dark hills (DA confirms it is the Plane of Earth)
Briefly SF tried to generate a Rivers of the Mage with a glass of wine ... but, as expected, it did not work.

We were asked: "Do you want to handle the Undead or the Merchants?" Our reply: “The Undead sound easier!”

Richard believed that the pond we arrived in is seasonable. We'll have to walk to the Undead and their leader; but (if we get back to the ship), we should be able to leave by the "pond". "The leader? I think the three of you could kill her."

We head off with the army initially — we are all invisible. Rahne offers us the Peace-pipe (+5 each on PC, EN, Ft ...will stack!)

We see Grasshopper-like stick insect, herding strange brown animals.

We walked quickly where we can (covering tracks easily … plants grow & die many times in a day). There is no real light; brief showers. Occasionally hear & see the trickles of streams, but not much water is involved

We Passed by low huts down in a gorge. 4’-husks of spiders.

Trees nearby have thick foliage, but webs clearly visible. We could continue up the cleared path with our allies (but might be perceivable).
Jessica backfires (another black little creature she stomps it & becomes visible; is made invisible)

We heard a slight rustling of something in the forest. Rahne headed us towards the forest.

Ragna to Rahne: Mass fear, don’t you get that free with your college?
Rahne: No, just Respect.

Anouk get out his portable Adjubar Riding spider: Puts a rock on the ground & it turned into a giant spider -- that turned on him, biting viciously. (Whereupon Anouk discovered he couldn’t change into Gorilla.) Fortunately the spiders are sleepable but they wake up quickly (eager anticipation & awe of such foolish bravery). Following Rahne and her sleep mist, we go in single file along the path, at half speed.

We could actually hear webs going up around us. Lots of dead spiders … lots of little ones, but also some very big ones. We hear the food in our back rustling —— perishing into crumbs and maggots.

Jessica picked up quite a smart spider thinking: “Breeding to the next forest might be viable with these”.
Rahne (loudly): “I have a scarring terrain. Leave us alone or I’ll use it!”

There seem to be spiders hiding on both sides coordinating an ambush ahead. The Ha'm. Axes do cut the web cleanly.
Jessica feels a wave of low-intensity hunger around us
Continuing to avoid the spiders, 20 minutes later we make it out the North side of the forest, where we see hulks of some brown animals in webs. There are 3 gaps in this forest in this side and they lead up hill to expanses of Long grass (abt 4’ high) moved … there is the sound of a bubbling brook to the right. We see trees deliberately planted and the path & tress go down into this hollow where the undead group seems to have paused. 40-odd, some are skeletal, some are semi-transparent, they are trying to eat flesh from the animals hung up from some trees, but it fades as they try to consume it.
1 skeleton has 2 heads.

Rahne: "There is a woman, clearly vampiric!"
... and they all stand up & look in our direction <Very creepy!>
Ragna: That was more than I could detect when I was dead!
Anouk: you were only part-time undead Perhaps some sort Sense danger?

We circled around and they didn’t seem to have noticed. Three dull grey tracking lights going up the bank. In the main group, 2 figures appeared to have sunken into the ground. Ragna casts so that her Rake(s) appeared to be coming from a different position (the direction we would have been approaching from if we hadn't circled around - Jessica Smartest).

Area affect damage sent at the Rakes: insects, spiders, worms were all decaying before it. Cast from some Greater Undead (definitely a good target). A sprawl of bones "sprouted" about 40’ high — transforming into a horrid Bone-construction parody of a waving plant & small skeletons are dropping from the “leaves”. The big boss was nuked by the Rakes & 2 nearby.

Rahne Enhanced our area. Cher was stabbed in the back (but not surprised!) for 62 pt damage; Unfortunately for her attacker, Cher wore one of Anooke's Ice cloaks; Anouk was stabbed from surprise but the reflected damage from his cloak slew his attacker who fell to the ground and disappeared.

Jessica Mental attacks one of the casters; SF dropped a Bane (-50 from BC in 45’ diameter circle cover)

Anouk & Ragna see a flock of small bony bats swarming around
The leader (& the skeletal horse she rose up out of the ground on) attacked Cher
Rahne cast enhanced damage
Some of the undead are banding the damage onto us, well Anooke, SF dropped a double-effect Ctr-Neco-spec which shut that down.

Cher & Ragna attacked most effectively
The mounted Uberskeleton threw 2 boney bolas (with small skulls instead of stones) towards party.
SF shot a bolt of fire at her for 28 pt; But the leader is shattered by Ragna’s Blighting undead. And it was all over - with their leader dead, her lesser minions faded out.
In summary: We’re reasonably OK although Anouk's armour is degenerated.

A horn is winded on the other side of the hill —- sounds like a military signal. We move towards the ridge: TWO larger human-appearing groups sizing each other up and preparing to fight (each about 600 strong)
Mat and a small group are off to one side.

Chap 10. Don't fly on Earth

We make our way up the ridge to Matt, he is preparing his people to face the Dark Titan. Richard tells us the merchants have liberated items from at least 3 other groups who could be bribed by the return of their stuff if we head down and liberate it while they're distracted by the other army.

We follow the suggestion, manoeuvring around to where we could fire portal into their camp, we find another small group sneaking up the ridge, preparing to ambush them, we are pre-empted by some local Earth Elementals (NB Don't summon Earth Elementals on the Plane of Earth unless prepared to deal with their grumpy mates). We decide not to engage and go back to our original plan. On our way around them we run afoul of a swarm of giant 'roaches then discover that levitating or flying will get us banished back to where we entered the plane.

We have dinner and a couple of hours sleep, packing some of the luxurious food from the ship to take back with us.

12 hours hiking back to where we were...

The two armies are now merged, our opportunity to sneak in while they were distracted is gone.

Back to Richard and Matt, they confronted the Dark Titan (a few of their team to be resurrected please), a deal has been made. The Dark Titan will withdraw this year, next year Matt will stay away.

Charm spends the time and energy on protecting Matt and all of his troops from being charmed.

The charging ritual at the altar will affect a number (MA*10) of items based on the MA of the person doing the rites.

Scrying the top of the mountain, someone is already up there concealed within shadows.

We spy on the Merchants via their fires, their leaders are having a ball in their giant central tent. Raised parquet floors, band on a raised rotunda, about 60 people, a third of them Drow Vampires (we guess by the absence of their reflections in the mirrors). 4 Mirrors in the corners of the tent are showing scenes around the mountain, we are fairly sure they are also portals.

Cher (having encountered their ilk before) recognises some of the stuff they have which includes decent armour, Smoke Bombs (like Cher has been using) and protection from sunlight.

Pre-cog on an attempt to negotiate with the merchants shows a lack of success so we decide not to tip our hand and give away that we can't be charmed. We do learn that they appear to have worked out how to levitate without being banished.

Matt shares a bit of his belt with Anooke to allow him to cast his ice magics.

Matt can still teleport without being banished, he ferries us to the EWoT to re-buff. Their armoury and the earth plane enhances some spells:

  • Armour of Earth proves 55% Def & 4 Armour and lasts much longer.
  • Strength of Stone provides 21 + TRUNC(WP / 4) EN and lasts longer
  • Trollskin lasts minutes instead of seconds and surrounds us with an Earth-Troll spirit that grapples anyone in close.
  • Waters of Strength (rk 18 D-2+18) and apples to refresh the effects.

While we could portal into the middle of the merchant camp and have some element of surprise, we decide to take the top of the hill now and then defend it from all comers until the time of the ritual.

Chap 11.

Divine stuff Ragna bought back from Hel:

  • Bowl of Snail Shells - crushing them removes terrible consequences.
  • Bowl of Dirt with Worms x 3 - to be spread on Earth. Old dead earth, will make undead on low health properly dead.
  • Tofa, her new apprentice, a teenage girl.

Walking to the top of the hill, we're met by a young woman (projecting towards us) who wishes to negotiate on behalf of her mistress Lady Salak. She is backed up by a Greater Dire Wolf (Howling attack), Woman in Red (Illusionist).

We make a deal with Lady Salak that Matt also agrees to. We will maintain a peace and share the altar. Various conditions to do with Holy Swords and trust issues.

We head up to the top of the mountain. There is a fear inducing effect from the shadows that will wear down everyone over time unless they are immune to fear but we have potions from the emissary which protect us.

Shadows would have emerged from the ground and stolen stuff from us but we foresaw it and and protected ourselves with Light Spells.

The ritual is completed, everyone keeps to the agreement, we withdraw to Matt's ship and return to Alusia.

We collect our longboat.

Stop at Freetown on the way home to honour our deal there.

Back to Seagate.

Cher & Ragna get taken to the Block and back by Matt.

We spend time training with the twins.

Loot and Costs

Buffs & Mil Sci

Long Term (assumed always on)

Magic (caster) Rk Effects Duration Rg An Je Si Ch Rn Tw
Greater Ench. (Rn) 20 +21% to Res, Mag, Com, and S&S. 6 days Y Y Y - Y Y
Witchsight (Rn) 21 12 hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Ench Armour (Rn) 16 +34% Def +1 AP 14 DR vs Phnt/Nmare. 8.5 hrs Y - Y Y - Y 2
Wraith Cloak (Rg) +14% -2 Damage hrs
Str of Stone (Tw) 10 +10 EN 11 hrs Y Y Y Y - - 2
Resist Cold (An) 12 4 Gauges, -4 Cold Dmg. 13 hrs Y Y Y - - Y
Ice Cubes (An) 20 Heal 1/2 dmg up to 40 Weeks Y Y Y Y Y Y
Mind Special Counter (Si) 20 +90% MR Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Water Breathing (Si) 20 Breathe in water 41 Hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y ?
Wind & Water Proofing (Si) 20 63 Hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y ?
Ice Traversal (Ch) 20 Travel over ice and/or snow without slipping or sinking in. (+7 TMR on flat ice) 7 hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Self Only  
Ice Armour 16 24% 4 AP, SG, Fire Armour 8.5 hrs Y
Mind Shield +10+2/rk% vs M.Att. 1+2/rk hrs ? 11 8
Sense Danger ? 66%
Navigation Extra Navigator ranks as listed and safer travel 1+rk Hrs ? 3

Enhance Enchantment (Ra) rank 11: 70 seconds

Healer Buffs

Ability(healer) Rk Effects Duration Rg An Je Si Ch Rn Tw
Soothe Pain () 10 additional resistance to pain or agony type magical effects 10 Hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y
Dampen Pain () 10 +20 to amount needed to stun 12 hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y
Fortify Other (Si) 10? Y
Cher Morning Dance
1 MR% re-roll (or stun recovery) per day.

Short Term

Magic (caster) Rk Effects Dur Rg An Je Si Ch Rn Tw
Weapon of Ice (An) 18 +19% +7 dmg 23 min Y Y Y
Enchant Weapon (Ra) 12 +13 BC%, +5 Dam. +7 vs Phn/Nm 18 min Y

Watch Order

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Jessica Silverfoam
Anooke Cher Ragna
Rahne

Marching Order

Skirmish Formations (Front)
Default

Anooke Rahne
Ragna Jessica Silverfoam
Cher

Double File

Anooke Rahne
Ragna Silverfoam
Jessica Cher

Single File

Anooke
Rahne
Silverfoam
Ragna
Jessica
Cher

Astrology

Lucky Numbers (Rahne)
Ragna Anooke Jessica Silverfoam Cher Rahne
82 45 41 51 & 57 91 00

Calendar

Summer: Meadow 821WK
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon0.jpg Beltane Full Moon 1 Guild Meeting Lip Ruins, Seagate Harbour, EWoT Sailing 2 Freetaun, Sailing 3 Palestrina, Sailing 4 .., Sailing 5 White Lotus Suteling 6 Seagate Light Festival Flying, Desert, Dagenborg
Moon1.jpg 7 Dagenborg, getting lost, Kondasgel, Sulubin 8 Sulubin (Ragna Seagate) 9 Harhakeim, sledding 10 Attune Alliance Axes at Temple in Harhakeim.
Moon2.jpg 14 Whale flight ~200 miles north to Holy Mt. 15 Whale flight north to Steam Village 16 Boat repairs 17 Boat repairs 18 Skate, iceberg, sail. Scraling fisherfolk. Northern Lights 19 Northern Lights, rest, sail to Island 20 Elven Isle
Moon3.jpg 21 Curse Removal 22 Ice berg to Salamander Run 23 Salamander Trapping 24 'Berg south to Lights 25 Rest 26 Sail to Scralings, Outpost 27 Desert, training...
Moon0.jpg 28 Full Moon 29 30 1 2 3 4
Summer: Heat 821WK
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon1.jpg 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Portal to Furheling, Earth (EE)
Moon2.jpg 12 EE: 13 EE: 14 EE: Midsummer Eve (Faerie Day) 15 EE: Solstice Qual-Macca, Furheling, Freetown, Seagate 16 Harhakeim 17 Seagate (The Block) 18
Moon3.jpg 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Moon0.jpg 26 Full Moon 27 28 29 30 1 2
Summer: Breeze 821WK
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon1.jpg 3 Day of Death 4 5 6 7 8 9
Moon2.jpg 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Moon3.jpg 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Moon0.jpg 24 Full Moon 25 26 27 28 29 30