Chapter 12
The Frostpeak Mountains

Breaking camp and continuing southward, the Adventurers came upon an Orc squad heading North toward the Broken Spine, where they had been recalled by the Tribe leaders. They had knowledge of the Adventurers’ deeds, and acknowledged the strength the four companions had shown, in Bronagh’s defeat of Serakna Drakebane. After a brief conversation with the orcs’ leader, Luvgar, they continued on their journey and entered the mountain pass that led south toward the Hemwood.

Between the towering peaks of the Frostpeak mountains, they encountered a Wyvern which poisoned Albinon to near-death with its stinger before it was scorched by Dasterbolt’s magic. Albinon then led the party to explore a side-cave, which contained tendrils of strange monsters waiting for prey. with a burned shoulder, Albinon pushed through and dug at a disturbed area of the cavern floor. This led him into an encounter with a giant cave spider’s web and the monster herself. Shammah leapt down onto the web, placing his bedroll between himself and the sticky substance, and stabbed between the strands, piercing the spider’s maw with his rapier.

A shaken Albinon was retrieved from the pit, and Shammah noticed his silvered oak leaf’s glow. The four camped outside the cavern in the mountain pass for night.

Chapter 11
The Dividing Blade

Bronagh’s defeat of Serakna left her wearing the Helm and having a say in the Northern Horde of Orcs’ future. She spoke with the Orc Chieftains of the various tribes and tried to tell them that the rampaging way that Serakna had led them in was not honorable. She told them (and Dasterbolt also urged them) that they could fight great monsters and threats to the world, rather than murdering villages. She broke the Helm and gave pieces of it to each Chieftain, as a symbol of their own power, that they should not have a single ruler over all the Orcs. They took these and allowed the Adventurers to leave, after they had looted Serakna’s body and Albinon had gathered materials from the Dragon’s corpse.

The Adventurers traveled southward through the Broken Spine, defeating a pair of rock-serpents and continuing out into the Horizontal Forest. Their camp within the Forest was far from peaceful. Bronagh stealthily slipped the blade of Reaver from Albinon’s pack while he slept and brought it outside the camp to attempt to destroy it. Her attack brought pain to Albinon, jolting him and the rest of the party awake to confront her. After much deliberation, the party (against Bronagh’s vote) decided to allow Albinon to keep the sword and use it, but that they should find a temple to cleanse it of its evil nature.

Chapter 10
The Helm of the Horde

Albinon went back on his decision to leave the dark blade, and left the Howling Spire with Reaver on his back. The Orcs marched West toward the Broken Spine, and toward the duel with Serakna. Accompanying the Wargs they sent for, was the Warlord herself, atop a White Dragon wyrmling, with its wings removed. They noticed the Hammerath symbols on Bronagh’s shield and Albinon’s armour. A tense conversation was held, before the Orcs that accompanied the Adventurers sided with Bronagh’s claim to a duel, wishing to see the fight and beginning to doubt Serakna’s leadership.

After further journeying, the Adventurers reached the Den where the fight would be held, and Bronagh faced the Orc Warlord. When Serakna was beaten almost to death, the white dragon charged into the arena to the dismay and outrage of the Orc onlookers. When the dragon attacked and at Dasterbolt’s urging, the Orcs rushed in to slay it together, Bronagh smiting the Orc would-be Warlord with a Sacred Flame and burning the Wyrmling as well.

Chapter 9
The Northern Wilds

The Adventurers convinced the people of Moskva to leave their assaulted town, speaking with their leader Natasha Loradov and braving their strong drink Muslaka. Shammah presented his quarterstaff to the Halfling Bosco and told him to learn to defend himself, and others around him. Albinon secretly spoke with the Monk Alyosha Karamazov in his domed abode at the edge of town whether he knew anything about demon possession and how to destroy a demon. The Monk told him the Tale of the Great Teacher on the Desert Island, and said that choice is always involved in a demon possession, at least to some degree. He didn’t know of any way to destroy demons, but suggested seeking a cleric of a Good-aligned God of Light or life.

They set out North through the Horizontal forest, avoiding a dangerous encounter with a Great Gray Owlbear. They crossed the Glowing Fields of Snow through the strong North Wind and saw across the frozen water the spire of ice that they sought. Seeing the draconic monster that lurked below the ice, they walked as carefully as possible to reach the mounds surrounding the Howling Spire’s base. In these they saw a floating light, and frozen corpses with shining armour. None gave in to the temptation to take the armour for themselves. They passed inside the Spire and followed the orange light into a chamber of crystalline statues. This was an old place, made by the Nelduar, the People of the Wind who appeared to be humanoid-avians.

After defeating the Shadows that lurked in the chamber, and the Wisp that had led them there, the Adventurers found another chamber with an invisible Couatl that spoke of mysterious things. It spoke into their minds, and told them it was a member of Alluvion Terminus, and said he was guarding against a doom far more terrible than orcs. He also revealed some impressions of Dasterbolt (“a mystery even to me”) and Albinon (“a creature of lust and greed who has done terrible things”) to Bronagh. Shammah’s mind resisted the being’s mental penetration.

They carried on, acquired the key and entered the Hidden Armoury to find the Helm of the Horde. Albinon also picked up and discarded a dark-looking blade that spoke within his mind.

After another conversation with the Couatl, they found themselves faced with a party of Orcs entering the Spire. Bronagh put on the Helm, and Dasterbolt played some Illusion magic tricks to convince the Orcs that Bronagh had a claim to the Horde and should fight Warlord Serakna. After some convincing, the Orcs agreed to take them to the Den where the fight should be witnessed.

Chapter 8
Worg Raid on Moskva

Mikhail fell to an orc arrow in the shoulder and worg-riding orcs arrived on the outskirts of the village of Moskva. The Adventurers fought a battle in the streets of the far Northern town, with the aid of a half-dozen Moskva hunters. Despite the flaming arrows being fired at the homes, none burned down or sustained much damage.

When battle broke out, a human in a grey cloak ran across the snow and swiftly fell to the barrage of orc arrows. He made a huge mistake.

Orcs and Worgs were dispatched by the brave stand and the Captain fought Albinon in a vicious duel that ended with a spear through the Bard’s side. Before Albinon succumbed to his wounds, Bronagh stood between him and the bloodthirsty captain punching and casting Inflict wounds through her divine magic, saving her friend’s life and turning the tide of the battle.

One Worg-rider made it past the fight and ignited the Osborn Gale aflame before being slain by a well-placed bolt from Natasha Loradov. The flames were put out by Shammah, Dasterbolt, and Albinon before the Human Bard and the Gnome Wizard launched into a chase to loot the enemies.

Through various shenanigans including a snake-staff and Halfling-terror they scrambled back to find an infurated and disappointed Dwarf Cleric with no time for their nonsense.
Meanwhile, Shammah found no sign of anymore villagers on the South side of Moskva, instead finding abandoned houses.

Chapter 7
The Voyage to Moskva

The Adventurers spent two more days in the city of Nost, buying and selling weapons and items. Albinon met with a man named Oldorth Resenol in the Silver Pig tavern, who had been waiting for him. After some discussion, persuasion, pain, and haggling, Albinon received 250 gold from the man in exchange for the fingerbones of Velric the Dragonslayer.

Bronagh spoke with Archaius and the story-collector shared with her The Tale of the Hunter and the Finder in Sylvan. He also asked her to search for more information about the story and to tell him if she found any. The dwarf Cleric asked Archaius about what he knew of the Riddle-poem they had discovered within Hammerath Fortress and any information about the other items found within the ancient ruins. Archaius told her that the Lizardfolk travel from the Jungle to the East (Tlavast) to worship the bones of Lagiocrys, and that’s what the bowl of burned leaves were laid out for. He also directed the Adventurers to the Northern Wilds for their search for the Hidden Armoury. Bronagh also received a letter with the Guard-Commander’s seal to take to his sister, Natasha, who lived in Moskva, a town past the Frostpeak mountains and near the Coast of the continent, just within the Northern Wilds. He said that it would tell Natasha to aid the Adventurers in their quest.

Deciding to travel by sea, so as to avoid trekking through the mountain range to the North, the Adventurers met Bosco and Bell in the town of Westport, half a day’s travel east of Nost. They employed the Halfling siblings to take them aboard their inherited ship, the Osborn Gale, on a voyage North to the town of Moskva for 40 gold. Bosco and Bell told stories about their father, Osborn the Explorer, who in their opinion was the greatest explorer of all time.

Their first night at sea, they came under attack from the luminescent tentacles of a giant squid. Shammah threw Bosco down the hatch and out of harm’s way where he helped his sister get Albinon and Bronagh armored up for battle. Dasterbolt burned two tentacles from the beast with his scorching rays and Albinon and Shammah hacked away at others. Bronagh healed Dasterbolt from his scrape with a massive tentacle smack and blessed the others’ strikes. Once several tentacles were damaged or burned off, the kraken descended once more into the dark depths of the frigid waters.

The following three days passed by with only sightings of beluga whales, a bowhead whale and drifting snow during the shortened days as the journey proceeded northward. A storm halted the Osborn Gale’s progress during the next day, but on the morrow the ship reached its destination. Traveling down a canyon between rising walls of land, the ship came upon the miniscule dock of Moskva. The crew climbed a ladder attached to the ice and rock wall that rose on the south side of the canyon from the dock. Reaching the top, they met a resident of the small village of Moskva named Mikhail. Though it was noon, darkness shrouded the land and they followed Mikhail’s lantern across the strengthened rope bridge that crossed the gorge to Moskva’s North side. He led them to a long wooden building before he took an arrow in the shoulder and went down in the snow. The Adventurers looked with apprehension at Bronagh’s shield and ring, which cast a pale blue light onto the surrounding snow, and readied themselves for battle. The bray of a horn and the flicker of orange flames in the distance told them their enemy was also ready.

Chapter 6
Riddles and Mysteries

The Adventurers woke in the Fortress basement and unlocked the sealed door, revealing the bones of an ancient dragon. A bowl of burned jungle leaves were placed before it, and an ancient forge was beside it. Shammah collected some armor and a shield of the Knights of Hammerath and gave them later to Bronagh and Albinon. Unlocking the sealed door at the other end of the chamber revealed a lizardman skeleton suspended in the air, and several rat bones, a scroll cylinder and a snake-shaped staff. After defeating the transparent cube that held these items within it, Bronagh opened the cylinder and read the scroll inside:

“In the Wilds of Unknown Breadth,
Further North than Ivorhart
In the Land of Summer’s Death,
Beneath a sky of Emerald Art,
Past the fields of Glowing Snow,
Across the sheet of frozen glass
Step careful lest you fall below
and sink into a nightmare’s grasp
If you seek the Hidden Stores
Deep within the Howling Caves
Dare to open the Golden Doors
Beware disturbing the icy graves”

It was signed by Knight-Commander Yalterran the Resolute. The four left the Fortress behind, and traveled to the Redlim Farm. Dasterbolt stayed by the road and fed a couple bits of maple treat to a small dark-feathered bird, named Twiggam. Albinon and Bronagh spoke with the Redlims and convinced them to move into the city of Nost for the time being, to avoid the possible invasion of Orcs from the North. They aided the couples’ movement into the city.

Bronagh and Dasterbolt spoke with Commander Loradov about their exploits in the Fortress and about the riddle-poem they found within. He offered help to them on their journey to find the Hidden Armory.

Albinon and Shammah went to the Temple of Deneir. Albinon’s request for information about a man with blond hair and red eyes was met with failure, but his demon possession information request brought him an old tome from the Solenar Library.

As Albinon began to pore through the text, Archaius spoke with Shammah briefly receiving cold terse replies from the Wood Elf. He then spoke with Dasterbolt and asked to see the mysterious cube from the pit the adventurers had stumbled upon almost two weeks ago. Archaius took the cube, put it in his cloak and began to leave. Dasterbolt, Shammah, and Bronagh confronted him, and he turned himself invisible. Shammah swung his rapier where he just was and missed, Bronagh cast detect magic and Dasterbolt tried to put him asleep. They convinced him to give the cube back to Dasterbolt.

Chapter 5
The Fortress of Hammerath

The glowing eyes approaching camp on Albinon’s watch belonged to a ferocious Worg. The beast assaulted the camp and was quickly dispatched by Shammah’s rapier after Dasterbolt tried unsuccessfully to make it laugh. Albinon, at Dasterbolt’s request, tried to hack the paws off the dead Worg but failed. The company set out further North and arrived at the ruins of Hammerath Fortress, spying the body of a lizardman in the snow with a black arrow protruding from his back. The lizardman also had a strange bronze contraption which Dasterbolt took. Within the fortress the remains of a spider and webs were found, along with bloodstains. Further in, a narrow stairway led to the lower levels and an encampment of orange-skinned warriors and an Orc captain as well as another Worg.

A brutal battle ensued. Bronagh blessed the four adventurers. Albinon set off an explosive bolt in the campfire. Dasterbolt charmed the Orc Captain. Shammah cut down the final warrior uttering his Sylvan axiom. After putting the Orc to sleep with magic and tying him to the statue of a hand, he was asked several questions before he was put to sleep with Shammah’s rapier. While he was still breathing, they learned that the Orc was on a mission from Serakna to find the Hidden Armory of the Knights of Hammerath. He called Serakna the soon-to-be Warlord of the Northern Horde and threatened widespread bloodshed on the Southern lands. Albinon successfully retrieved two of the Worg’s paws for Dasterbolt. The door leading onward had a cavity shaped like the bronze contraption found on the lizardman’s body. The Company decided to rest before venturing deeper within the ancient Fortress of Hammerath.

Chapter 4
The Midwinter Festival

The adventurers bore the coffin of Velric the Dragonslayer through the gates of Nost and into its hallowed place in the Temple of Chauntea on the morning before Midwinter. Preparations for the festival went on that day. Archaius went to work for the archivist of Deneir, and the Four told their exploits and encounter with the Spiders and the pit. Albinon requested information to be sought: about a man with blond hair and red eyes, and Demon Possession. The adventurers participated in the Midwinter festival in Nost. Bronagh buried Mugal the raven with Archaius outside the City. The next day, the Four set out at Bronagh’s quiet insistence to investigate the Ancient Fortress to the North. After their first day’s travel, glowing eyes could be seen in the night, approaching.

Chapter 3
Battling the Infestation

The troupe saw the remains of the cart and evidence of a battle between the guards and giant spiders. As they approached the scene, giant spiders struck from either side of the forest. They came at the adventurers in two waves, the first being dealt with swiftly and the second being more hard-fought for victory. After the first spiders were killed, a raven flew Northward to report to its master. Acid hurled from Dasterbolt and bolts from Albinon’s crossbow weakened and damaged many of their leggy adversaries. Bronagh kept Dasterbolt from death and Shammah and Refarra dispatched the giant spiders with rapier and arrow. Dasterbolt charmed the stalking Ettercap, and it held off its attack and began to leave the battle scene, before Albinon, Dasterbolt, and Bronagh yelled for it to stop. Confused, but feeling aggression return to its system, the Ettercap roared and charged back into the fray. After taking a dagger in its shoulder, and biting Shammah with its fangs, the spider-herder was slain by a crushing blow from Bronagh’s quarterstaff, as she cried “We tried to be friends!”

In the aftermath of the battle, Albinon harvested fangs from the giant spiders’ bodies, and Shammah went searching for the Dryad that had spoken to him earlier. He sensed the fey returning to that region of the woods, and found the Dryad which told him that it had been cleansed, but more darkness lay further North still.

Bronagh inspected the coffin and found that indeed it was the coffin of Velric the Dragonslayer’s bones, the bones they had been sent to retrieve. Albinon smashed the lock from the coffin and opened it to see human bones, coated with a silvery sheen. The raven returned then, and a cloaked figure approached from the North. He turned out to be a silver-scaled Dragonborn, with an interest in stories. The raven that Albinon had slain earlier turned out to be one of his, Mugal. Albinon brought this up, angrily and threw the raven’s corpse at Archaius. The storyteller seemed deeply upset at the death of his raven companion. Bronagh and Dasterbolt tried their best to comfort him, and after a bit, Albinon apologized somewhat. The adventurers took the coffin, Archaius in front, Albinon at the back and began their journey southward for the remainder of what had been a very long day. They made camp on the road, and Archaius told them a story of the Nameless God and the Beginning of things. Then they went to sleep with Bronagh, pale-faced on first watch and Albinon taking second watch.


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