Dining on Ashes

The Dark Call of the North, pt I

A little travelin' music, please...

Oh, it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened! – Crow T. Robot

GM’s Note: Recaps from now on are going to be simpler and more succinct. This is for both ease of use and to accommodate my own laziness. Please feel free to add anything I missed or something you think is/want to be important.

Nashton Stitch‘s vault yields much loot. Included are maps and plans for the warehouse and the tunnels under Whitthaven, vials of alchemist’s frost and a scroll of Cone of Cold. Someone was putting together a kit to capture a fire elemental…

Kothar experiments with the dragonstone crystal. Several images flash through his head – Whitthaven underground, the Creature that once was Dr. Cribbins-Whitt, schematics of the device, the plans for the warehouse, and a point on the map to the north, a town in the Oth Xhud Mountains called Hulgar’s Pass. The vision zeros in on a tavern called the Jolly Moose. Meanwhile, he unconsciously sketches out a map to Hulgar’s Pass, an unknown force controlling his hand. Then, Kothar sees a dark hand reaching for him in his mind. He breaks contact with the crystal.

The next morning, Rosie informs the group that she must leave on a secret mission for her family. There are heartfelt goodbyes. The Danderfoots remain a valuable ally for the PCs.

A meeting with Armitage Lolly lets them know the device is ready. The time to deal with the Elemental is at hand. It’s decided that the binding device would be used only as a backup; the group is willing to gamble that she won’t attack upon release. Bill spends some time regaling her with tales, hoping to soften her up for a future alliance, and then breaks the circle. The Elemental leaves in a whoosh of flame, but first grant the PCs a boon; if they every need her assistance, call her name.

Preparation is done to leave town. Our Heroes notice they are being followed, and a fight breaks out with a gang of hobgoblins and their bugbear leader. The survivors are interrogated: They were hired by a nobleman to track down his stolen binding fluid, and it was the bugbear’s bad judgment to actually attack the PCs. They were supposed to meet up with their client that evening on the Old Bridge.

The PCs fake a broken-down carriage to stake out the bridge. At the appointed hour, another carriage stops and waits on the bridge. The nobleman in question is Zelig Templesmith, and, through Kothar’s charm person spell, he becomes talkative. The binding fluid came from research he financed, hoping for a breakthrough that would alleviate his family’s money troubles. A agreement is reached that the PCs would return the fluid and Templesmith would keep them apprised of his research and business dealings. A tenuous allegiance is formed.

Off to the mountains! There are several days of overland travel by horseback and carriage. Grimloc and Chaska talk about their future with the group and Henry completes his Cloak of Elvenkind. This is the farthest Bill has ever been from home. He wants to search to woods for nymphs and dryads. He is wisely talked out of it.

One days travel outside Hulgar’s Pass, the group is attacked by goblins and wolves. Our Heroes are victorious, but not before one wolf snarls at them, saying “Outlanders, with their poison and treachery.” What looks like the goblin chieftain scowls at them over a ridge before riding off on a much larger wolf…

The next day, with fresh snow on the ground, they arrive at Hulgar’s Pass.

to be continued…

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TomK

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