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2007-11-03

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 8 months ago

 

The adventuring party set up camp and had an uneventful night. Towards the end of the following day, they arrived at a crossroads where many stone cairns had been assembled. They assumed that this was the landmark they were looking for, so they turned north and headed up into the mountain pass. Not wishing to camp beside a cemetary, they travelled another mile before nightfall.

 

 

Lukwind amused them with tales of fire-breathing cows and man eating chickens while everyone ate their dinner. Just as they were about to head off to bed, Emilth and Garyn noticed movement in the darkness. With their Elven vision, they were able to see four humanoid figures approaching their campsite. They alerted their companions and prepared for battle.

 

In spite of the cold, no breath fogged from the mouths of the approaching figures. Unable to even see that distance, Martok fired wildly into the night. "That was a warning shot!" he shouted. Unimpressed by his bravado, the undead charged forward into the firelight.

 

Wielding her magic sword, Elsa met their charge. Lukwind summoned two celestial hounds to assist her, while Methris cast shillelagh and entered the fray. Emilth was disappointed to discover that the wights were immune to her surprise attack. The undead killed one of the hounds, but Lukwind summoned three more to take its place. Surrounded, the wights were unable to defend themselves against the blows of Elsa & Methris and the ranged attacks of the others. One by one, they were cut down.

 

Making a large bonfire, the heroes destroyed the corpses while Methris commended their spirits back to the earth. The rest of the night passed restlessly, but no more trouble came from beyond the grave.

 

The following day, while foraging for firewood, Garyn discovered the tracks of a large feline creature. When he returned to the campsite, Methris went with him to investigate further. The big cat was clearly stalking the party, following their scent while remaining out of sight. However, it was moving too quickly for Garyn and Methris to catch up by tracking it across the snow covered ground. Everyone was warned to be on the alert that night.

 

While Garyn & Martok were on watch, they spotted the sabretooth tiger approaching the horses. Martok went to wake up Methris, but the smilodon pounced on Emilth's pony, tearing its flesh with its claws.

 

Garyn, Methris & Lukwind all attempted to pacify the beast using their magical abilities, but with no effect. An eldritch blast from Martok and an arrow from Garyn convinced it to drop its kill and retreat. Garyn fired more arrows at its fleeing form. Methris used the pony's carcass as bait for a trap, in case the smilodon returned.

 

After a few hours, the trap was sprung by an inquisitive mountain lion. Methris calmed it down and released it, befriending it as his companion.

 

The following morning, Emilth was upset to find her pony dead. Fed up with this seemingly endless journey through snow and ice, she suggested that they use the wand of polymorph to transform the horses into flying creatures so that they could get this quest over and done with. Having begun to study arcane magic, Garyn had gained the knowledge required to employ the wand in a less haphazard manner. Methris spoke to the horses and explained what they wanted to do. He eventually managed to make them understand, and they agreed to allow Garyn to use the wand on them. He changed the two heavy warhorses into huge, blue dragons.

 

Elsa was quite confident that she could ride such a creature, although Martok less so. It would be much easier if they had saddles of the appropriate size.

 

The yak folk village was only 25 miles away, barely more than an hour's journey by dragon flight. Elsa decided that she would fly there and see if there were any saddlers willing to craft such an item. Meanwhile, the others would continue on horseback, although it would take more than two days to cover the same distance.

 

Flying low to the ground, Martok and his dragon mount spent some time getting used to the idea of being airborne. The adventurers lightened their journey by having snowball fights, although the dragon and its rider invariably won.

Towards the middle of the day, Elsa still hadn't returned but her companions were not overly concerned. Garyn and Methris found a patch of ice with a faint rosy hue, which they identified as faerie frost. While giving it a wide berth, they noticed they were being observed by small, blue humanoids in pointy hats.

 

The leader of the Uldras stepped forward and demanded to know what they thought they were doing, bringing horses into the alps. Methris explained that they were taking them to the next village, to sell them. The Uldras were outraged by that idea, claiming that the inhabitants of the village were likely to eat the horses. The fey viewed the keeping of domesticated animals as akin to slavery.

The Uldras offered to take care of the horses and return them to a more agreeable habitat. However, the party demanded that the Uldras should offer something in return. The leader of the Uldras offered Methris his hat, which he accepted, handing over the reins of one of the draft horses.

 

Martok and Lukwind wanted information in exchange for a horse. What could the Uldras tell them about the Yak Folk village?

The Yak Folk are infamous for keeping many slaves: humans, elves and dwarves as well as giants and Jann. They have the ability to meld with a host body, supressing the consciousness and taking control. This process can take up to half an hour, so they usually kidnap people for this purpose and keep them restrained.

 

Fearful for Elsa, the adventurers wanted to know how to detect if someone had melded with one of the Yak Folk. A simple detect magic wouldn't work - only true seeing would reveal a Yak Folk presence. However, if it was someone you knew well, then their behaviour might give telltale signs.

 

Horrified, they asked if there was any way to reverse the process. The body meld lasts until it is dispelled or dismissed. In exchange for another horse, was there anything the Uldras could offer them to assist? Opening a portal to the fey realm, the Uldras went away to check. After a brief absence, they returned with a scroll of dispel magic. Since it was a druid scroll, Methris should be able to cast it.

 

They handed over the third horse. Their final request was extremely bold, but the Uldras were a kind hearted lot and took pity on them in their dire situation. They asked if the Uldras could open a portal for them to the Yak Folk village. While Martok flew there on the dragon, Emilth, Garyn, Lukwind & Methris would sneak around and see what they could discover.

 

 

Elsa's dragon stood, tied to a tree, about a mile from the village. Shoveling snow aside, it had been munching on the frozen grass with its powerful jaws. Emilth & Garyn approached the village and saw a group of about twenty stocky humanoids selling furs and meat in the marketplace, but no sign of Elsa. They also noticed a long flight of stairs that led a thousand feet up the mountainside to a pagoda. By the time they returned. they could see Martok approaching.

 

They decided to move the dragons further away from the village, so that they wouldn't be found by any Yak Folk who came after them. Methris cast pass without trace so that their trail could not be followed. They discovered a small, sheltered canyon about two miles from the village and left their mounts there.

 

Emilth was able to use her ring of self changing to demonstrate what the stocky humanoids looked like. Her disguise was good enough that Lukwind could identify them as Neanderthals. They decided that Martok would use the ring to disguise himself while Lukwind used his innate abilities to do the same. Lukwind was also able to make Methris invisible, while Emilth and Garyn were both experts at keeping out of sight.

 

Communicating with the tribespeople was certainly a challenge for Lukwind's acting and diplomacy skills. He and Martok mingled amongst the market stalls, but were unable to find anyone to help them in their search.

 

Emilth, Garyn & Methris decided to skirt around the edge of the village and approach the pagoda that stood at the top of the 999 steps. They noticed an enormous Roc circling overhead, so they did their best to remain hidden. There was a small landing every hundred feet or so, with a stone gazebo where they could rest out of sight before continuing their ascent.

The ornate pagoda was painted dark red and green, built on the scale of giants with wood-framed paper doors 10ft high. By balancing on Lukwind's shoulders, Emilth was able to peek over the windowsill to look inside. In a room filled with shelves containing dry foods and spices, a woman was ordering some servants about. There was no sign of Elsa, or of anything out of the ordinary. Clearly, if they were going to search all four floors of a building more than a hundred feet wide, they would need a lot of time and a lot of luck. They decided to see whether Martok and Lukwind had discovered anything in the village.

 

The pair were waiting in the arranged meeting place, still disguised as Neanderthals. They had found Elsa in a tannery, discussing saddles with a local craftsman. Posing as potential customers, they were able to observe her for long enough to detect oddities in her posture and manner of speech. To be on the safe side, they suggested that Methris should use the scroll of dispelling.

 

Emilth & Garyn waited by the rear door as Lukwind & Martok went in through the front. Still invisible, Methris snuck in alongside them. Although Lukwind & Martok had maintained their disguise, the tanner sensed that their behavior was out of place. Methris used the scroll, which cancelled his invisibility, but also forced the Yak Folk to leave its host. Suddenly the room became very crowded, as a bovine-headed giant materialized between Elsa and the tanner. Lukwind summoned a fiendish wolf as the tanner began to scream for help. Drawing her battleaxe, Elsa buried it in the Yak Folk skull before he was able to use any more of its magical abilities.

Lukwind & Martok decided to go for broke, running out the front door yelling "Wolf, wolf!" This brought the attention of the Neanderthals in the marketplace, as well as several other inhabitants of the village, who all converged on the tannery. Switching disguises, the pair managed to slip past them in all the confusion.

 

Pleased to be back in control of her own body, Elsa fled out the back door. Methris used his spike growth spell to delay any pursuers. Emilth and Garyn covered their retreat with missile weapons, but they managed to avoid any major engagement. After an exhausting hour stumbling through the snow, the six adventurers met back up at the dragons and hurriedly prepared themselves to get airborne. Clutching the horses' saddlebags in their claws, the two dragons each bore three of the heroes on their backs as they took off into the air. Holding on for grim death, they gave the village a wide berth and headed for the City of the Damned.

 

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