SC6.05: From Wave Echo Cavern to Icespire Fortress

The level 6 Silvers for this session

In order of curiosity

Richlen, paladin;
Garth, fighter;
Dakeyras, rogue

Supported on a random basis by Vernon, wizard, NPC this session;

and sneakily undermined by Gundren Rockseeker, NPC

The Silvers begin 60xp below level 7 and end on 48

“What do we do with this guy?”

It’s the question of the hour as the Silvers haul Garth’s stabilized body out of the water and along to a secure chapel chamber, and assist the battered prisoner Gundren Rockseeker there as well.

Dak eyes Gundren suspiciously:

“You’re the sketchy so and so we first met at the Dwarf Tomb… we have no reason to trust you, and why were you here with Human Cost?”

“Ehh… that’s Hamun Kost,” Gundren corrects, and gestures to his many bruises:

“We Rockseekers were investigating on behalf of uh, the Lords Alliance. Then that dark elf and deep dwarf caught us. Tortured us. Made me help.”

Dak looks at Gundren skeptically.

Meanwhile by the power of Lord Ilmater, Rich has restored Garth.

“Did we win?”

His head rolls about: he sees a coffer full of coins that the Silvers have opened.

“Ahhh, new friends…” Garth begins counting happily, ignoring the debate, until someone demands his opinion. “Oh sure, just tie him up while we rest, like, just a hobble or tether. You elf types sleep with one eye open right?”

Long Rest.
Rich de-attunes his Ring and attunes the Boots of Striding and Springing.
Garth de-attunes his Ring and attunes the Ring of Protection
Dak dons studded leather armor+2, of Drow design
Vern may flashback attuning the Rod of Absorption or a Ring

The mysterious wave-like boom and crash have continued, but no other ominous sounds of footsteps or tapping have occurred. Now, it’s time to set an agenda.

“So yes, we had explored only to the forge room… he yes, a mysterious forge that was said to create magical energy, extinct now. But Hamun Kost and Valakh focused on finding secrets in this direction.”

This explanation sounds reasonably convincing, and the Silvers vote to explore eastward. Rich takes the lead, having raced past a couple of passages previously.

He finds the source of the wave echo. Beyond a simple-looking pool, a couple of channels open to a much larger area of water, well beyond his sight. And that large body of water surges up and down. Although the level is too low to splash out onto the channels cut for the purpose, that must be what powered the water wheel for the forge.

There’s a further passage south and Rich heads there, discovering a higher level, and a couple of obvious artificial walls in an otherwise natural looking chamber.

With a call, Rich rallies his party on him. They have been slowly working their way east, and Vern has stopped to examine the workings of the forge. He makes nothing of it all, but is terribly excited. Breaking off at Rich’s yell, he heedlessly trots east and is engulfed by a huge slime!

Ochre Jelly

Dak, hurrying after his friend, finds himself nose to feet with an engulfed wizard. He backs hastily off using his Bonus Action and drives a shaft past Vern into the slime. Over at the other corner Rich leaps up the steps and bounds across, slicing Alagondar into the slime twice! It separates into three… the good news is that the slime holding Vern is too small now, and he falls out, still slowly dissolving.

Garth frogmarches Gundren at a rush to where Dak can keep an eye on him. Then seizing the Ungart Hammer he crushes the nearest slime! Vern hauls himself to his feet:

“Water! I need water! I’m melting!”

There’s a pause, then Dak waves back the way they came, vaguely. Rich interjects: “There’s a pool down yonder” and Vern flees that way, skirting the slimes dextrously.

The slimes punch Rich about, but he replies with more devastating cuts, and stomps on the mini-slimes that result. Garth finishes the last in similar fashion:

“Aw, remember our first mission Dak? We so nearly died! Good times!”

“And we had to bargain for replacement gear.”

“Yeah, good thing Linene was on our side,” Garth recalls, his grin turning to a grimace.

Splash! Vern finishes his run and dives into the pool.

XP: lvl7-59

This chamber appears to have seen some kind of fighting or natural explosion of gas. The smaller of the two doors is charred. The double doors, while also scorched, have a still-visible design on them. Rich stoops low to look: a chummy scene of gnomes, dwarves and probably humans, all in a ring. Say, now his nose is down here, the doors are slightly ajar, and there’s a green light beyond.

“What do you know about this?” Dak demands from Gundren. The hill dwarf shrugs:

“We never got over this far, too many undead… but yeah, could be another flameskull.”

“Vern might know… where is he?”

Somewhat to his own surprise Vern has clambered back up the steep pool-side, and now joins them, rubbing chilled arms and dripping profusely.

“Uhh, could we rest or something? That nearly killed me!”

“No we could not,” Rich says, beckoning Vern over and providing more of Ilmater’s healing.

“Oh that’s much better, so, let me see, mmm, quite a chummy ceremony… I wonder what secrets the chamber holds?”

Garth strides forward…

“Ga–!” Rich begins, and “Wai…” Dak begins.

Garth kicks the doors open.

Spectator

Lofting up from the darkness beyond a brazier that crackles with green flame, an awful floating head, with one giant eye. Garth swings the Ungart Hammer, crits, novas with Surge and hammers it lots more. Bits of head splatter about the room. Garth, who has just survived two CON SV and two WIS SV with the help of Inspirations from his friends, shrugs contemptuously and raises an eyebrow.

“So what else do you know, Gundren?”

XP: lvl7-57

“Heh. There’s always more gold, Garth my friend.”

“Hooeee! You sure are a fellow dwarf all right!”

Now its time to search the chamber. All save Vern and Gundren do so. The furniture that remains has been preserved by surface charring, but is best searched by breaking it open. In the southern remains, they uncover a gleaming breastplate and mace. In the north, they open a door into a fire-damaged but empty robing room.

Vern, who is somewhat dry by now, sneezes and inscribes his ritual circle there.

Rich examines the forge and, drawn by his own fascination with arcane research (even though it cost him his career as a sage) Gundren draws close and elaborates:

“In ancient times a union of dwarves gnomes and humans created a magical forge, one capable of harnessing mystic energies. This green flame matches legends. I need to report this great find to the Lords Alliance!”

Gundren makes a very schmaverage Deception check, and while his lie is based on truth, no-one buys the last bit

“Hmm, Agnes did say that Talon could be purged of its curse by the forge,” Rich recalls. “Say Dak, you want to team up and help me fetch Talon?”

Dak nods and the pair head away back to the stores chamber. The safe, known way. For Rich, the boots make the trip extremely easy.

Carrying the longsword Talon, and some rations and suchlike, the pair return. Rich, with due ceremony, holds the hilt and lowers Talon into the green flame.

DC20+ CHA check

Communing with the spirit of the shaman that cursed the blade, Rich points out that the incident happened 500 years ago, and wouldn’t it be best to seek peace beyond? The shaman agrees, and leaves.

Adding Talon to the ritual, Vern now conducts tests on all three: Gundren eyes the items…

Loot

Talon. +1 Longsword, hailing from the Tresendar family.
Lightbringer. This +1 mace was made for a cleric of Lathander, the god of dawn. The head of the mace is shaped like a sunburst and made of solid brass. Named Lightbringer, this weapon glows as bright as a torch when its wielder commands. While glowing, the mace deals an extra 1d6 radiant damage to undead creatures.
Dragonguard. This +1 breastplate has a gold dragon motif worked into its design. Created for a human hero of Neverwinter named Tergon, it grants its wearer advantage on saving throws against the breath weapons of creatures that have the dragon type.

XP: lvl7-54

Searching south, Rich begins by finding yet another artificial wall, with doors. And there’s something about the atmosphere that is reminiscent of… something…

Dak drifts south to support.

The double doors have no particular design, or if they have, it’s lost under severe scorching. The latching appears to have fused. “I’m strong, I bet I can just crack these doors open…” Rich thinks, and heaves…

Beyond, the ash and dust of some conflagration begins stirring and shifting about…

“Close the doors!!!” Dak yells. And the paladin listens, and does so.

XP: lvl7-52

As Rich searches further south, they both spot a large mushroom south at the end of a passage. And it’s looking at them.

“Hey Dak, did you see that…?”

“Why don’t we try waving, or something?”

Rich waves, and the large mushroom wobbles from side to side, and a second one joins it.

The smell finally recollects itself to Rich. That is the moldy smelling cavern.

“Oh, this may not be good…”

“Yeah, let’s just pull back.”

XP: lvl7-50

“That’s the south-east filled in, really, that’s about it.”

“Well there’s always the pool.”

“What do you know of the pool Gundren?”

“Heh. Always more gold… there’s got to be rich stuff, deeper down, right?”

This idea is met with great enthusiasm except by Vern, who already got plenty wet. But Dak and Rich volunteer – Rich carries Lightbringer as an underwater light – and they both drink their Potions as Garth readies the rope for them. There’s plenty of it.

Splash! Rich, towing Dak, surges out past the shallows of the pool, past the rock pillar, sinks quickly, and looks down keenly.

It is a very steep, near-vertical shaft, far too broad for the light to tell him anything about the further walls.

Down, down the sink, and as the water pressure increases greatly, they come to the rope’s end. Rich flares Lightbringer out, and a gigantic mouthful of teeth is seen, rising quickly!

jurassic world the ride mosasaurus 1 - Doctor Disney

Chomp! Attracted by Rich’s shiny plate, the vast underwater reptile gets some chipped teeth.

Up above, Garth feels the rope tugging urgently! He begins hauling.

Chomp! Dak’s heels jerk up just out of tooth-snap range, Rich hammers the great snout, and they are soaring up, too quick to be worth following.

Back to gather up all treasure and head for the exit!

XP: lvl7-48

As they retire Garth grumbles under his breath. “I can’t believe they got scared away by a fish. I should’ve gone down there by myself.”

Rich just slaps him upside the helmet.

“Oh, he heard that…”

After a long enough warm-up to completely dry clothes, it’s time to begin the march for Icespire.

Gundren finds that the Silvers are not about to let him go on his own recognizance. Instead, adding plenty of cold weather clothing from the stores, he acts as pack mule for the others, carrying rations and firewood. Vern replaces his clothing where needed, as well. And no, it’s not a good fit.

“According to what we were told, we just need to head due, uh, north?”

“Ah, not a problem, with a ranger in the party we can’t get lost.”

“LOOK!!! I’m not a ranger, guys! Goodberry, anyone?”

Seven days later

“What do you mean, we’re lost,” Garth asks Rich coldly.

“We’re not lost,” Vern (the other member to choose directions) protests. “We just don’t know exactly where we are. There’s a big difference.”

Three days later

“OK, we are down to eating one dwarf-tack biscuit per day, and goodberries. But we are finally here! Look – Icespire Fortress!”

“So it was right round the other side of Icespire Peak. Wait, does that mean we could have swung right and saved three days?!?”

“Look, let’s not get into minutiae of who said what when, we’re here now.”

Indeed they can see that Icespire Fortress is composed of a gatehouse or bastion, on left from their viewpoint, and a main keep to right. A ridiculously slender-looking bridge connects the two Heat ripples are observable from the bastion, but not the fortress proper.

“Hmm, it’s still light for at least an hour, why not let me slip forward, then I’ll come back and report.”

As Dak heads up the trail, his cloak making him hard to see from a few yards distant, Garth calls up to Rich:

“Hey Rich! Can you find your way to the fortress now? No? We better let Dak lead then!”

“I. WILL. KILL. YOU.”

Gundren grins to himself, a ten-day of subtle needling has really got the party ready to implode.

After an hour, Dak returns.

“There’s a couple of things, I think they’ll interest you.”

  1. When you walk right round the opposite side of the bastion, you can pick out a ledge and tunnel that seems to go in under the fortress
  2. The path keeps circling around and passes right under that bridge, but before you get there, there’s a place where you can climb up into a break in the fortress wall.

“I like the sound of a tunnel below the fortress,” Garth votes, but Dak warns:

“That’s a long scary climb across, it you slipped there wouldn’t be much stopping until you hit ground a thousand feet down.”

“You know, I have the spell Levitate, you could just tow me like a kite as you climbed along,” Vern ponders, but then has a brighter thought:

“How high is climb from the trail up to the break?”

“It’s steep, so 50 feet I guess?”

“I could levitate Rich that far, then he could haul Garth up, then they could combine to just haul us all up like herring on a line.”

“All right, that sounds the most promising. What have we got, less than an hour of light? Perfect, we wait for a bit then aim to be below the bastion by night.”

“Huddle up, cloaks up, get some rest…”

“Goodberry, anyone?”

“No, dwarf tack is a more fun meal after ten days of sweetish berry, thanks.”

With sunset they rise: Dak casts Pass Without Trace, and they make their way carefully around the bastion. And as they arrive at a patch of loose stone that must have fallen from the fortress high above, the session ends.

XP: lvl7-48, more coming if the choice of entry pays off

For next time: Vern has cast Levitate and all other spell slots are available.

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