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Session 28

12/09/07
Players: Gante (Jon), Epona (Elizabeth), and Kerwyn (Will)

20th of Suncrest

After crossing the bridge, the team notices a small back road curving north on their left. They know their destination is near the northernmost point of the country, so they decide this will bring them closer. The road eventually curves eastward, intersecting back with the main road. Jen then takes another look at the structure they saw earlier. She can tell that it’s a sort of scaffolding on a peak close to the main road. They would have passed right by had they stayed on the main road earlier. She can just make out a hobgoblin at the top, keeping an eye on the road. They move back on to the main road, heading away from the hobgoblin until they notice a small path heading up to its lookout point. They sneak up the trail unbeknownst to the hobgoblin. Just fifty feet away, they notice a rather large bell on the structure within arm’s reach of the hobgoblin. They decide they don’t want to stir up a hive and sneak back down the mountain unnoticed.

They follow the trail north, which twists through the peaks and hills. Finally, they catch site of the northernmost mountain on Kendra. It contrasts starkly with the surrounding hills, as it is completely covered in snow. Gante immediately concludes the wizard they’re searching for must be responsible since it “seems like a wizardy thing to do.” The temperature drops as the group approaches the mountain. Near the base the snow is only an inch or two deep, but as they press on the snow becomes almost a foot deep. Several times along their journey they find wolf tracks, always heading south from the peak. About an hour up the mountain, which proves to be much taller than they judged, they see a small pack of wolves heading in their direction. The team stays together while the wolves slowly surround them. Gante slowly draws his sword, trying not to startle them. Kerwyn slowly draws his rapier, but only because he’s become a bit frostbitten and can’t move quite as quickly. Jen, who brought no weapon, is given a dagger by Epona. She holds it with both hands, unsure of how to wield it. After a few seconds of a standoff, Epona casts soundburst, injuring two wolves. Kerwyn and Gante charge the closest wolf, not doing much damage. Unexpectedly, instead of attacking, the wolves run off to the south.

Kerwyn listens carefully. He can just make out a somewhat windy sound. Epona fears that she may have set off an avalanche and begins backing down the mountain. Soon, however, the source of the noise makes itself known: a large white dragon glides toward them and lands with a thud. It looks at them inquisitively. Epona knows a bit of draconic, a dragon language, and attempts to communicate that they aren’t looking for a fight. The dragon doesn’t seem to understand, and pulls its head right next to Epona, staring at her with eyes as big as her head. A voice can be heard in the distance, coming from the peak. The dragon turns around as the voice grows closer. A humanoid figure appears through the snow.

“No, Ronald! Don’t eat people!”

The figure slowly walks up to the adventurers and apologizes for the dragon’s behavior. Jen, being the one to deliver the message, is pushed forward by the others to speak to the man. Fairly sure this is the man she was supposed to deliver the message to, she very nervously tells him of the item that Marlak has been working on identifying. The man recognizes Marlak’s name and goes ahead and introduces himself as Melrain.

“Ah, but let’s not talk out here in the cold. Come in, come in!”

The team is understandably confused by his statement, as the sloped landscape is featureless as far as they can see, but the snowy hillside is instantly replaced by the inside of a cave. The adventurers slowly get their bearings (Jen has the most trouble, having never teleported before). The cave is well-lit, even without any discernible lights. Melrain takes off his coat and throws in on a pile of clothes. He walks over to a small alcove and pulls out a few chairs for the group. After Jen finally recovers from her experience, she remembers the message and pulls it out of one of her many pockets. She hands a folded paper to Melrain. He reads through it and places it beside him (though there is no table at his side, the paper sits comfortably at table height, suspended in the air).

“Well, if he can’t identify it through normal means, the stone must be some sort of artifact.” Epona asks him what separates an artifact from a normal magic item. “Artifacts are extremely powerful by comparison with normal magic items. Usually, it’s any magic item that no one knows how to create.”

“Would you have any way to help Marlak identify it?” Jen asks.

“Oh my, yes. Come back to the store room with me.”

Melrain leads them to a room filled with unusual magic items. On the wall hangs a piece of paper with several lines written and scratched out. Near a backwards flowing fountain and a pair of boots lying on the wall stands a tall pole that Epona asks about.

“That would be my elephant warding pole. Keeps away the elephants.”

“I, um… do you get many elephants around here?” Epona asks.

“Of course not!” Melrain says, pointing at the pole. Epona decides not to press the issue any further. “Ah, here it is.” He holds up a small object that resembles a compass, but with no face. “This can determine most properties of any artifact. Just make sure you don’t get it wet.”

Gante asks the obvious question: “what happens if it gets wet?”

“I can’t quite remember, though I’m fairly sure you should avoid getting it wet.”

“You wouldn’t happen to have any magical bags that keep the contents dry, then?” Kerwyn asks.

“That’s a spectacular idea! I’ll have to work on that one.” He points at the paper on the wall (which is actually suspended a few inches in front of the wall). A quill appears nearby and writes the idea out at the bottom of the list.

“Well then, I guess we’ll need to get going…”

The cave promptly vanishes as the mountain trail appears before them. About a mile in front of them, they see the town of Jerez. To the west, the sun is just setting on the sea’s horizon, creating a spectacular view. It’s been a long day, and the team is happy to be back in town.

<– Back to Session 27

On to session 29 –>

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