Deeper Into The Ice

The Rambling Bumblers (it is the Rambling Bumblers, isn’t it? Are we all agreed?) explored deeper into the Nefari-built ice caverns beneath the Red Keep. Coming to a huge fanged archway carved in the ice, Jacob the mighty sliced it apart with the Thorn Sword….and released an enormous Ice Worm. Unfortunately for the poor fauna of the ice cavern, Jacob’s skill at Giant Killing made short work of the beast. Unfortunately for the party, the carcass of the worm attracted the hungry attention of the cloud beast in the chasm, which poured up out of the chasm towards them. Eleazar quickly hurled some silver crescents and put up a ward to protect the party, and after some hemming and hawing, Merath of Yahar let loose with a full-power blast of the Rose Light to try and destroy the worm carcass, so that the cloud would lose interest. Merath forgot, apparently, that within the Rose Kingdom, the power of the light was nearly unlimited, and ended up vaporizing a 30-yard diameter sphere including the worm, the archway, a goodly chunk of the cliff, and the ice bridge that the party had come in on. Ooops. It did kill or drive off the cloud beast, though.
Buried in the ice they found a new PC, Nathan (played by Brian). Nathan had somehow came to be buried there after severely annoying a curse witch three years before, but he was fuzzy on the details. Seeing no other way out, he elected to follow them, although throughout the evening they gave him cause to wonder at the wisdom of that decision.
A bit of fancy work with the rope later, and the party was in the ice tunnel (twenty yards behind the original entrance); proceeding down the tunnel, lit by Merath. After a while, the tunnel came to be suffused with at first a blue, and then a blue-green glow. Eleazar came to be more and more aware of whispering in Nefari that apparently only he could hear. Spotting shadowy humanoid figures paralleling their line of march, Jacob slashed through the ice, revealing another tunnel, and the polished surface that was reflecting the party’s images. They moved over to the new tunnel, and a fair distance farther came to a big, deep cavern, reminiscent of the cavern of the Rose Light beneath the Rose Tower. In the center of the cavern was an icy platform, and there were 24 ice bridges from the platform to tunnels in the walls; below they could see another such platform, and another beneath that, which was as far as the golden light from the torch ensorcelled by Bastriel could carry. As soon as they stepped onto the bridge, the ambient blue-green glow went out, and Eleazar stopped hearing the whispering.
Merath refused to enter the cavern once she figured out that her precious pink light wouldn’t work there, so the others investigated the platform and discovered a Nefari spiral underneath the undisturbed snow. Unlike certain other PCs, they did not walk right across the hidden spiral, so no unexpected journeys to the Nefari lands for them. Yet.
They decided to explore the tunnels methodically, starting at the immediate left, and once they had gotten to it safely managed, with some difficulty, to persuade Merath to join them. Once in the corridor her light worked again, and she was much relieved.
Down the corridor they were attacked by a horde of tiger-sized Ice Weasels, who attempted to rip their flesh. They dispatched several, but there seemed to be no end to them, and eventually (once they rediscovered the fact that Merath’s pink light worked as a damage shield) they sent Merath out into the pack, and eventually the ravening weasels were reduced to so many cauterized gobbets of flesh. In order to prevent them from being used by spirits to make undead, Merath systematically vaporized the lot of them. In the weasel’s nest they discovered a fancy red stone box with gold trim, in which they found a Nefari magical charm (a ring linked to a bracelet) that they tucked away for future examination. There was a narrow tunnel leading out, but since they would have to slither through it, they elected to ignore it.
In the second corridor they found a barrier of differently colored ice, and when Jacob poked a hole in it, water poured out (presumably from the lake above); Merath used her hedge-wizardry to reseal the hole before the entire lake came in.
In the third corridor they discovered a temple with a Nefari altar of ice (shackles, blood-grooves and everything), which Eleazar ritually defiled–although the process of doing so knocked them all out. Upon recovering, they explored two of the three adjacent rooms, in one finding feathery vestments in iridescent blue and green, and in another many sharp knives and instruments of torture as well as a big black Book O’ Evil. Jacob attempted to set fire to the book, and burst into flames himself. Unable to put out the fire on his leafy form, he raced back to corridor two, cut another hole and doused himself. Merath followed, a little belatedly, and sealed up the hole before too much of the lake came in.
At that point, we broke for the evening.

3 thoughts on “Deeper Into The Ice

  1. rachel says:

    So who is this mysterious Brian person we keep hearing about? Scott and I expected y'all to mourn us for at least a year, but it seems we've already been replaced, alas.

  2. Paul says:

    Brian is a long-time Doug-friend who has played a couple games in the distant past. He is a freelance book editor with a 16(?) month old.

    We do miss you guys. sniff

  3. Brian says:

    I'm sorry, I should have introduced myself sooner. Thanks, Paul, for doing the honors. I'm Brian MacDonald, and I've been a friend of Doug's since high school, where we played some truly bad D&D. After college, Doug and I had an apartment downtown, and I spent most of my spare time hanging out at Penn, which is how I met Paul and the rest of the PennGeeks. I also participated briefly in the infamous “Deadfire” campaign, but only for one or two sessions before work got in the way. After that, I moved out of state for a couple of years. I returned to PA and got a house in Downingtown about three years ago. Doug invited me to join his various gamey pursuits then, but I was busy with a new home and then with a new baby. My son Alex is now two and a half, a bit older than Paul thinks — funny how they keep getting older, isn't it — so I asked to join the group as part of a get-out-of-the-house-sometimes effort. Although my role-playing skills are quite rusty from disuse, nobody's thrown me out yet, so I must be at least tolerable.

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