The New Blood: Tyranny of Dragons

Part 16: Ice Hunters

The majority of Kaldmont had been spent struggling to find warmth in the village of Althaven. The heroes had purchased a small homestead and crammed themselves together to ride out the long and brutal winter as they awaited passage south. Ships would not dare sail to Darokin or Karameikos until the days were longer and the seas calm. The party had an estimated three months of sitting in front of the hearth before they could even attempt the voyage.

The pace of life had slowed so much for the first time in ages the party started to feel relaxed and could see their hard edges begin to soften. They did not want for food for they had coin to spare for hearty meals. They did not want for companionship for the Heldanni of Althaven welcomed them warmly where the Vanyans did not. They did not want for activity for there were always chores to be done on the homestead to keep the ever present bitter cold winds and bay. All they were in need of was comfortable warmth and that primal thrill that came from living on the cusp of death. In comparison to adventuring: stoking the hearth just left them feeling numb.

So it came as a relief when a message finally reached them from Leosin, now apparently based out of the metrolopis of Specularum. The monk sent word that he had been drumming support against the Dracologist cults activities with the free peoples of the south. He also sent the message that the wounded Dragon, Glazhael, had been discovered on a floating glacier lair in the icy seas of the north. The closest agents currently to the dragon were the party who had successfully battled the dragon once. Also, the council believed the sage Maccath had been captured or sought out Glazhael’s lair to study an artifact; a massive horn capable of drawing the chromatic dragons of the Known World together.

The party commissioned a longship, the Frostskimmr, to ferry them north in the hunt for this floating lair. Only a crew of either fools or greed-blind mercenaries would agree to such an endeavor. In this inhospitable wasteland such a crew was easy to find. The scarred captain of the ship agreed to the mission and set forth through the deadly waters of the Sea of Dawn. Unable to leave the plundered hoard defenseless the party chose to leave Karn behind as a guard, it was a bittersweet moment as the ship pulled from the dock leaving the mighty warrior behind.

It took nearly all of Nuwmont to locate the Iceberg lair. Despite attacks from icebears, sea trolls, and unfriendly locals the trip was safe enough to not need to turn back. Upon the floating plateau of ice there were signs of a village; long displaced children of Atruaghin from the Orca clan. These remote peoples were not quick to trust and their ways were foreign to the party; whether they worshipped the dragon or camped atop its lair as protection from other predators was unknown. The first meeting with the Chief of the village and it’s Shamani went dismally. The result was an outright slaughter of the villagers and those not left to die on the ice were taken back to Frostskimmr in chains for a life of slavery. The gnome Orrie was lost in the skirmish and her vessel used to expunge the draconic-soul binding that had been placed on the heroes.

Within the twisting passages of the glacier the party found the dying place of the Ice Hunters. Those too ill or wounded to pull their weight were sent below as tribute for the minions of the dragon. It was one of these ill, able to be cured by Kor-Zara’s holy miracles, that assisted the heroes in their task. Communication was difficult but not impossible and from him the location of Maccath was learned as well as warnings of Ice-trolls that wandered the frozen halls.

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Maccath was not what the party expected. Where they had expected a socially awkward and bookish sage they found a demon blooded temptress with a fascination with power and little regard for the lives around her. She was able to answer many of the heroes questions regarding the Drakkenhorn as well as Glazhael himself. The horn, as expected, had been sounded and flown from the glacier by the dragon Arauthator. Her rider, the Wyrmpriest Varram, had left with her for the dragon moot. Glazhael was actually the mate of Arauthator and had fled to her lair to recover from his injuries from his earlier defeat by the heroes. She had dismissed her mate as weak, hurt him further in her fury, and left him to lick his wounds and protect her hoard.

The heroes now knew why Glazhael had never flown south to recover the treasure lost from Skyhaven, he had been injured and cowed into waiting Arauthator’s return. Seeing this as an opportunity to finally end the threat of Glazhael the party ventured deeper into the tunnels prepared for the worst – a cornered and wounded dragon.

Glazhael.jpg

Glazhael attacked with ferocity but was reckless and easily put into a position where he could not escape. Once the final blow was struck and the threat of Wyrm finally ended Arauthator’s horde was gathered and loaded upon the Frostskimmr for the trip south. Meanwhile at the dragon-moot Arauthator sensed her hoard being moved and flew to her lair with haste. Leaving Varram without his dragon or the favor of the cult from his earlier loss of Skyreach. The dwarven Wyrmpriest was finally vulnerable which was all the figure in the shadows had been waiting for…

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Comments

Oh damn, we took the wrong dragon’s hoard!?

Part 16: Ice Hunters
Vwls Vwls

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