Friday, January 23, 2009

Campaign Update #1. Epilogue to Tigalda

As the long dark of the polar winter finally began to wane, your party, determined to end its exile on Tigalda Island, set off to find some means of returning to the settled world. You were joined by two new members: Erth, a human druid who had fought with Ord-laf during the dark days of Hengest's reign; and BraveSlayer, an exiled goliath who had made his way to Tigalda over the sea ice. Your party first investigated the marooned ship that had carried your reinforcements, but found that it had been damaged beyond repair by the shifting and heaving of the sea ice. The shattered hull had apparently served as a camp for two ogres who met a tragic end there. Judging from the tracks that you found, those ogres were killed and devoured by a troll, whose tracks led to and from the woods on the shore.

As you returned to the shore from the ship, you were met by what appeared to be a desperate grugach. His son, he explained, had been taken by the troll, and he begged you to follow him to the troll's lair to rescue the boy. Thanks to BraveSlayer's intuition, however, you discovered that the grugach was actually a disguised hag. After a brief battle, the hag fled into the forest. Inakai and Erth tracked the hag up a gorge into an enormous amphitheatre in which there appeared to be a small cabin. The cabin was an illusion, however, and the party suddenly found itself up against a hag warlock and three ogres. A desperate battle ensued, during which BraveSlayer nearly lost his life facing down the three ogres by himself, and Kier Tuttlewynde took down an ogre with quick a feint and crushing blow from his gnome hooked hammer. The battle would have been far more desperate had Hrolff the Houseless not grappled the hag and held her fast, preventing her from raking the party with her eldritch blasts. As hrolff slowly crushed the life from the hag, Inakai and Alayna kept up a steady barrage of arrows and magic missiles, while Pangold Silverkin drew two ogres away with a risky bluff and dispatched one of them with Unferth's Bane. In the end, your party prevailed without loss of life, save for Erth's unlucky wolf companion and a brown bear that the druid summoned.

After camping for the night, you pressed on and soon discovered a small grugach village in one of the island's the northwest bays. You were welcomed warmly, and while you drank and rested, the elves described a ship that they said was marooned on an island some four days to the west. The island was unmistakable, for its peak was a narrow spire of rock that could be seen a day's journey away.. The following morning, you set out across the sea ice, through the ruptured maze of ridges and sudden leads of deep blue water. On the first night, you were attacked by a a dire polar bear who must have caught your scent as it hunted across the sea ice. After a harrowing battle, your party prevailed again, and moved on the following morning.

The following day, you passed a strange encampment on a tiny island, where three northmen were living in a hut that they had improvised from their overturned boat. After Alayna cast an invisibility spell on him, Kier investigated the camp. Inside the hut, he saw three bedraggled northmen sitting around their meager fire, and, at the end of the hut, something piled beneath some moldered furs. When he investigated the northmen's rubbish midden on the island's ridge, he found a number of humanoid bones that had clearly been scored by knives, and a leather-bound booklet, which contained only one partial page. On that torn page the following was written: “And so it was that Bataar the Heartless drove Guyuk and his stout folk across the plains into the River Gish, where it meets with sea. Many drowned. Guyuk and the survivors took refuge in the Keep of Kipchak. Bataar crossed the river, surrounded the keep, and two days later broke down the walls. But Guyuk had made a pact with some sinister darkness…”

Three days later, you found the ship, a two masted schooner named The Scarlet Lady, resting in a shallow bay of the spired island, just as the grugach had described. You are now camped on the ice at the mouth of the bay, readying to explore the ship.

Right now, there are more questions than answers. Who were those northmen? Castaways? Exiles? Does the cryptic passage in that book mean anything? To whom does The Scarlet Lady belong, and how did it get here? What will you find when you board and begin to explore? These are all questions that remain unanswered.

Thank you all for your patience and enthusiasm. I can't wait to play again!

6th Level Characters (including BraveSlayer): 3,675 XP
7th Level Characters: 2888 XP

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