Not So Heroic

Fortress of the Ice Dwarves

The party gains a new ally and ventures into the tundra

The party seeks out Durdane Wayfinder, and finds his shack, with a tiny Pixie Lamp out front. After some talk, they are let in, and find a young shifter boy, Gau helping the old man, who is nursing a broken leg. Durdane offers Gau’s assistance in his stead, and insists hte young one move on to the next stage of his journey. They gather some information and supplies in town, hearing about the narcotic trade in the extracts from the Cephalos Broodqueen. They then head out into the white.

The journey to the old Tundra Dwarf ruins that Durdane spoke of takes almost two days. It is mostly uneventful, save for Durin falling in a snowdrift and being pulled out by his beard. They hunt a ptarmigan with the use of Durdane’s spyyglass.

They arrive at the ruins with a few hours of daylight left. They investigate, and Gau’s senses smell magic afoot, with the characteristic smell of burning hair that indicates Evocation. Geroldt investigates to find there are wards placed around as traps, and the party carefully avoids them. They find a plaque with the inscripitoin in Old Dwarven, which Durin can roughly translate as “He must take ice into his heart”. He taps on a wall to inspect its construction, and the crumbling structure gives way, revealing that Rune Mortar had been used to build the fort. The blast is dodged just in time, and reveals the body of a long-frozen dwarf. Before they can fully investigate, they hear howling. The howling grows close, a number of hungry wolves that Durdane warned of, lean and emaciated from the long, harsh winter. They attack brutally, knocking over the stout dwarf. Gau asserts his Dire Wolf Heritage, partially shifting his body into the ancestral wolf. He challenges the alpha for dominance, and with a few slashing claws and an exploding piece of Rune Mortar, kills it. The remaining wolves are given some food and run off.

The large explosion from the rune reveals a staircase downward. They enter, and see a frozen balroom, and at the end Gau smells great, old magic. A suit of armor that looks to be made from pure ice rests on a dwarven statue. Durin picks it up, drawn to it. It fits, the magic cold yet inviting him. He remembers the inscription “He must take ice into his heart”, and in a moment of clarity realizes what he must do to attune to the suit of magic armor, Rimeshield, the Frozen Cuirass. He takes an icicle from the roof and stabs it into his own palm. blue veins flow up his arm, coursing into his very heart, and the wound doesn’t heal, but merely freezes shut. They search the room, finding some gems, and a massive hole, eight feet across. they explore the hole, which eventually leads to a subterranean cavern. A rumbling sound comes forth, and a massive Ice Wurm bursts into the cavern and attacks. A second follows hortly after. Kitana jumps on its back, thinking it could be not too different from the horses she rode as a girl. Durin engages the other, but trips and slides, nearly falling into a chasm leading down into the depths of Khyber. Geroldt attempts to help, but slips and nearly falls in, if not for his Enchanted Jawbone. It keeps him from falling, just as it did in a wintery battle in the Last War. Gau engages a Wurm and fights ferociously. Kitana manages to stear one into the other. A heroic effort from Durin deals a devastating blow to one wurm, and the spirit of hte polar bear empowers Gau to eviscerate the other. The wounded wurm retreats into the depths.

In the viscera, they find a few coins and bones that were undigested, and a small pendant. Kitana picks it up, and it reveals itself as Laera, Pendant of the Weeping Seraph. It awaits her becoming worthy of bonding to it.

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