The Rime of Infinite Winter: Session 10 — Barrow Bound


Axeholm had been evacuated years before with a sordid tale about an elven ambassador who sought to sow dissent among the dwarves and who was, as a result, arrested and held prisoner, only to be killed while trying to escape her prison. The ambassador then rose as a banshee and drove the dwarves from their home.

But this story was fiction.

Oh, it’s true that Vyldara, the elven ambassador, was sowing dissent, but her reason for doing so was to gain access to a portal deep underground that led to the Nine Hells. Another ambassador, Thoth Aryon of Thulasia, has similar ambitions, but he became enamored with Vyldara. When she spurned his advances, he used the dwarven foundry to craft a ring of great power, the Ring of Summer Flame, and he placed within this powerful artifact a hunger — the need to consume elvenkind.

He slew his would-be lover for spite and threatened all of Axeholm with his crazed magics. The dwarves turned to the deep for help against the mad mage, awakening the balor that had lain in magical slumber for centuries. The Balor agreed to slay the wizard. The two battled far below Axeholm, and ultimately Thoth Ayron was felled by the Balor’s might. He was consumed and turned to ash, but the ring restored him to life. He was resurrected as a lich, rising from the sea near Cold Harbour, or so the stories say.

But the ring… it remained behind, lying atop the ashen corpse of its creator. A dwarf quickly recovered it, and soon the dwarves feared their demonic benefactor. They knew they were doomed. They could flee, but they had many treasures they dare not leave behind. So they bartered with a nearby dragon, an ancient white. They offered it the ring in exchange for its aid. The dragon agreed.

The dragon and demon met in battle in the bowels of Axeholm, waging war for three days and nights. The dwarves and their treasure escaped, but not the dragon. Mortally wounded, it crawled out of the depths, taking flight to its barrow, where it laid down and died, still clutching the Ring of Summer Flame, it’s last precious.

The dwarves sealed the dragon’s tomb and secretly hid the key back inside their stronghold through magical conveyance. As they abandoned Axeholm for good, the Balor’s minions came — the undead, the Drow, and the Duergar. And somewhere, in the halls of the stronghold, a banshee wailed…

Now, with the history lesson behind us, let’s see to our heroes…

After looting the treasure vault, the adventurers first found the entrance to the mines beneath Axeholm, then set out on the two day trek to the Dragon Barrow, in a quest to liberate the Ring of Summer Flame, hoping to return it to where it was made and see it destroyed.

They set up camp in the deep wintered woodlands, some six hours west of Axeholm, and while the party took a much deserved rest, Peron took up vigil in a nearby tree, while Kari watched over their companions from the ground.

Soon, they espied a large snow owl circling their camp, then fly off to the north. Sensing this as an ill omen, they prepared for the worst, and the worst came in the form of a frost giant who demanded a tribute from the interlopers to his forest.

A northern goblin crept up on Kari, encouraging him to lead the giant to slaughter his friends so they might escape to the south. Kari refused and the goblin began shouting to the giant, proclaiming himself a dangerous orc. Kari was not amused and wounded the creature.

The giant, however, was more intent on Peron, who agreed to the behemoth’s terms, offering a mastercraft short sword as payment for their camp site. Thinking it a glorious toothpick, the frost giant agreed and impressed upon the elf that the site need be returned to a pristine state when they packed up and left. Peron agreed.

Kari, binding the goblin’s wounds, led the creature back to camp where the rest of the party rose from slumber to be astonished of the night’s activities and the presence of a guest at their breakfast fire.

With little prying, they learned the goblin had abandoned his tribe after they were hire under threat of death to serve a “witchy woman”, not to be confused with the “watchy witchy woman” and her owl familiar. The “witch” took the goblin’s tribe, some fifty strong, to stake out the Dragon’s Barrow to attack some greedy treasure hunters.

The goblin, who claimed his name was Elrian, agree to help the party dissuade his tribe by making him their king. All he need do is be paid a pig to do so. But not just any pig — a “Thunderpig” which lived nearby in an old druid circle.

The party agreed and set out to find this mysterious pig and set up a puppet regime with their newfound “friend”…

to be continued

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