Wintercrest: Fragments of Fate

Session 18

Chapter 3

Dueling the Defiant Circle

Summary

Shonauwenkilau briefly explains Fate, and says he believes something dire is coming before another year passes. He agrees to guard the chest, but doesn’t know how much longer he will be in the mortal plane. He flies party to the entrance of Drakkenhyde Basin so they can leave, as he cannot leave the valley himself.

Party travels back to Ironridge. When almost there, they hear sounds in the direction of town, see Hill Giant tracks. At Ironridge, they notice a Hill Giant body being burned outside, but town is otherwise fine. The Defiant Circle is also there. Guards explain that a contingent of Hill Giants raided the mine, and stole Celestium, and escaped north.

Valen demands The Natural Ones stand aside, but settles on agreement to duel for the right to pursue the giants and a magic item from each person.

Battle
The Defiant Circle: Argus, Deena, Grosh, Kenso, Tyrask, and Valen.
The Natural Ones win, and collect their winnings.

  • Wyaming gets Bracers of Infinite Blades.
  • Faemeril gets Hero’s Armor.
  • Adrik gets Repulsion Leather Armor.
  • Dredgden gets Battering Warhammer.
  • Lorna get Rod of Churning Inferno.
  • Silwen gets Blackflock Robe and gives it to Lorna.
  • Navah takes Death’s Brink Armor and gives it to Dredgden.
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Session 17

The Fire Fragment

Summary 1

The Silver-Eyed Stranger stands before the party and seems to probe their minds. So YOU are the ones who killed Rufian? he asks.

He explains that Rufian was an infiltrator, and he is a seer. He taps his silver eye. He also explains that he knew that someone would be here, but Fate was unclear as to who. He suggests that Fate is something that cannot be challenged directly, but there are places where it has no influence.

The party figures out that he is a projection from very far away – he is not really here. He tries to scan their minds for the location of the Life Fragment, but fails. He says he cannot prevent them from taking the Fire Fragment, but warns them that “Lady TK” was very possessive, then vanishes.

Party uses ritual to inquire bones of TK consequences of taking Fragment. They must battle.

Battle

Eight flame skulls rise from the magma below, and TK’s skeleton begins to rise and attack the party. Party manages to destroy pillars of energy bringing TK to life, buying them time.

Summary 2

Party grabs a handful of items from TK’s treasure (buried in layers of volcanic rock) and escapes with Shounauwenkilau’s help.

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Session 16

To Dredgden’s Homeland

Summary 1

Extended rest in Ironridge. Windy, and a layer of snow. Friendly man at inn named Roderick says town only rebuilt in last 4-5 years; was peat iron mining town prior, hence the name. Now mines Celestium.

Party travels east, passes woods and large bonfire. Wyaming investigates fire, sees 4-5 Hill Giants. Seems odd for Giants to be this far south without a reason. Continue toward mountains, ground is soft and muddy. Dredgden explains creatures live in sink holes here. Silwen navigates party to end of bog. Late night, toward bog, party hears gurgling.

Battle

Otyugh, several Troglodytes.

Summary 2

Party continues up mountain next day as skill challenge. Archers are posted at entryway on inside of valley. They tell Dredgden he is dead and no longer welcome, rest of party is hiding. They tell him only the Undertaker will speak to him, will lead Dredgden there with 6 armed guards. Rest of party hides under candle and follows at safe distance. Native people there refuse to look at Dredgden. He is led to a tunnel into ground to see the Undertaker.

Undertaker tells Dredgden, “I can see you”. He is completely blind. He also tells Dredgden where the carved dragon statue is, and what he seeks is beyond that. Party travels that direction.

Carved statue is of a Brass Dragon, and it bears some slight resemblance to Dredgden and his clan. Beyond the statue, a long trail snakes up and into the trees, rising steadily. It ends in a wide cave in the side of the mountain. Party builds a large magic chest before going in, which they will use to hold the Fragment.

In the cave, they meet Shonauwenkilau, the spirit of this land, and the last of the brass dragons, who was mortally wounded in the act of slaying the ancient Red Dragon T’kuarkhanhuarak that laid had claim to this entire region. He tells them how the tribe of that Goliaths moved to this land gradually took on the appearance of the dragons as result of the war with Lady TK.

Beyond the dragon is a declining tunnel that appears to end in an enormous hole. The faint smell of sulfur and ash drifts upward from it.

Shou flies the party down to the caverns below, where they immediately use their Enshrouding Candle to stay invisible. After some twisting volcanic passages, the party comes to an enormous dragon skeleton. Near the head, is a platform of molten stone supporting another Fragment, and in front of the Fire Fragment is a robed figure.

The figure turns and the party sees he has a scar over his left eye, and in its place is a silver orb. He looks directly at the party, saying “your candle may shield you from sight and hearing, but you cannot hide from me… your minds!”

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Session 15

Travelling Among the Clouds

Summary 1
Fiora takes the party back to her office in the Arcane College – it looks like a hoarder’s room. Maps, papers, crystals, strange intricate devices, and a complicated telescope with interchangeable lenses are among the items there. Gives items to party members to help them track down a Fragment in Drakkenhyde Basin:

Wyaming gets Lamp of Perceiving.
Faemeril gets Enshrouding Candle.
Dredgden gets Boots of Free Movement.
Silwen gets Philosopher’s Crown.
Navah gets Map of Unseen Lands.
Lorna gets Dark Skull.
Adrik gets Dust of Arcane Insight.

She tells the party to meet with Mikhail at the Swine and Stag to make airship travel arrangements. Mikhail says in three days in the early morning they can catch an airship ride to Ironridge – takes about 6 days to travel. The party can walk from there – about 3 more days walking. Their fare is free as long as they do guard duty aboard the ship.

Night before leaving, party members have dreams again:

  • Dredgden dreams about running and playing with Goliath friend as a child again, is scolded by chief for almost running up a path that has a carved dragon statue.
  • Navah stands at the edge of a pond with a waterfall, watching a blue ghostly deer. She follows it through waterfall into a small circular clearing with waterfalls all around her.
  • Silwen dreams of giant tower again floating in a purple sky, with two figures (one dark, one light) circling it. They tell her to come to the tower, but seek out the “ancient man” first, or she will never leave.
  • Adrik dreams that he is in an enormous clock tower, with knights marching around the inside of the tower in lockstep. Cannot see out clock face to tell where he is.
  • Faemeril dreams of a huge dark cavern, with rhythmic rumblings, and a huge foot steps in front of her as she realizes that it is an underground cave with giants.
  • Lorna dreams of sneaking up from below deck on her father’s ship, hears father arguing with other man in his chamber. Lorna sneaks a peek and sees a large bracelet-sized silver ring hanging from a dagger in the wall.
  • Wyaming walks outside his home temple to see an island floating in the sky. His master grabs his wrist and pulls him away.

Cold early morning takeoff from Wintercrest’s Central Tower. On morning of third day of travel, in the middle of a storm, the ship is attacked by a young Blue Dragon!

Battle
Young Blue Dragon. Party uses cannons to blast dragon away from ship – it eventually gives up and flies away.

Summary 2
Next few days are uneventful. As party descends over Ironridge, they notice the shape of the Celestium being excavated north of town resembles a gigantic hand.

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Session 14

The Secretive Professor

Battle
2 Ironstone Gargoyles, 2 Hornstone Gargoyles

Summary
Following the battle, Astanya completes a ritual which creates a small disc of force. She requires help to use disc to levitate fragment into large-capacity bag of holding, party notices it has markings that match Navah‘s – she gets feeling of deja vu from it. Party travels back to Adventurer’s Guild.

Garyn back at the guild described the fragment as possessing extraordinary Primordial elemental energies, and a Feywild influenced focus. Could be a weapon. He recommends speaking with Nikus Garromott at the Arcane College.

Nikus has never seen anything like the fragment, but says it has very strong elemental magic. Party asks about inscription on Obelisk. Nikus tells party about The Primordials, says Apostos mentioned in the inscription was a God, not a Titan Lord like believed by most, fragment was part of his “key”, could be related to Gate of Stone. The defeat of Apostos was the turning point of the Dawn War, when the Gods gained the upper hand. “Four combined” in inscription could be four total gates – one for each element.

Party sends a raven with a message to Fiora. She agrees to meet party next morning in secrecy. She tells party she knew something was under the city because the stars told her. She is an Astroexeger, and member of a secret organization – they seek to understand the minds of the Gods and predict Fate. They want to prevent giants from getting ahold of the Fragments. She has the rubbing of a ring taken off a Frost Giant general, part of which resembles a section of the fragment. There are 9 Fragments in total.

Fiora commissioned the collection of the Fragment that was in the caravan the party found destroyed in their first adventure. She intended it to be smuggled into town, not stolen. She is paranoid and afraid someone in her organization knew about the Fragment and informed the giants. Party learns Valen’s father Arcturus is in the same organization.

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Session 13

Under the Wintercrest Tower

Summary 1
In the evening at the guild, a thin balding man brings Yelena’s belongings to the party. Next morning, Ancka has left town to see to her family. Party learns that giants had the assistance of a white dragon. Erasmus recommends the party goes to investigate the tunnel into the tower under the factory. No coincidence this all started with the giants.

Dwarf lets party through the hole in the floor of the Element Refinery. The tunnel through the foundations of the tower is being repaired, along with the backed up sewers. A Halfling allows the party into the chamber beyond, letting slip that someone else went in first. Party passes mushroom creatures carefully, battles spiders.

Battle
Blade spider, 2 spider swarms

Summary 2
Party approaches young woman who is hiding behind The Obelisk. She explains she was sent here to investigate by Fiora, needs to get Fragment down from Obelisk. She begins ritual with the party’s okay, suddenly gargoyles attack.

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Session 12

Chapter 2

Giants Attack!!

Summary 1
Yelena and Wyaming away at other areas of the Winter Festival, Lorna is seated by herself, counting winnings. Adrik and Faemeril, both adventurers from the Guild seated nearby, Dirk says hi. Small explosion across town. Dirk leaves to join a couple guards headed that way, party begins to follow. Silwen approaches Dredgden, having seen him in a vision, and says that she is meant to follow him.

Scouts on horseback blowing horns headed toward keep, giants are coming! Announcement: guards to north gate, adventurers scout city. Valen and The Defiant Circle look at pocket watch and toward where sun would be and leave together. City mobilizes, mechanical sentries take to the sky, dragon and griffons come from Arcane District. Wyaming drops from roof, says 15-20 foot tall giants trying to breach front wall.

Silwen hears voices down alleyway. Ogres and humanoid leader. Party (including new members Adrik and Faemeril) gets the drop on them.

Battle
Two Ogres, a wizard, and four conjured fire elementals.

Summary 2
Yelena comes running down street, screams giant in city. Hill giant steps out, kills her with one swing. Skills challenge, party successfully flees giant. Return to Yelena’s body – she is dead. Bring body back to Guild, which is flooded with adventurers and elders handing out assignments. Dead wizard helping Ogres and Giants had symbol showing allegiance to Primordials.

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Session 11

The Winter Festival

Summary
Party returns to Adventurer’s Guild, where many adventurers from out of town have returned for tomorrow’s festival. That night, everyone has a bittersweet dream related to their past.

  • Dredgden runs and plays with a young Goliath friend from a different tribe
  • Lorna remembers her mother showing her the stars from the deck of her father’s ship
  • Yelena runs with Zara through a forest of crystal trees, then they take off and fly together
  • Wyaming’s old master scolds him for running in the halls and takes him to practice jumping
  • Navah sees a ghostly deer spirit that leads her to a waterfall

The next day, the Winter Festival is announced as the passing of the season of Sehanine and the coming season of The Raven Queen. The party enjoys various games and contests. They visit a fortune-teller who interprets their dreams.

  • Dredgden will revisit his people.
  • Lorna’s mother is alive but not in the way she might expect.
  • Great things await the party – they needn’t seek out danger, for it will come to them.

Rewards
Players receive cards for winning contests that give them bonuses for future battles.

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Session 10

Rufian’s Demise

Battle
Rufian, two Dark One Hex Knights and two Shadow Speakers. Party wins. Rufian becomes puddle of gray goo, eye falls out and has runes on it.

Summary
Orsik and Andersen help party out of the tunnel. Party notifies guards about hole in the factory wall and return to guild.

Erasmus wants party to meet Wintercrest City Council to formally congratulate and reward them. Erasmus leads party to royal hall. In front of them are 9 people in robes (4 women, 5 men: 4 humans, 3 half elves, an Eladrin, and a Goliath). They congratulate party, award armor, and ask by what name they be called. The party decides on “The Natural Ones”.

Rewards
Everyone received magic armor

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Session 9

Stop the Tunneler!

Summary
Talk to Foreman Andersen tell him not dwarves but kobolds, tells us pieces of mechanical spider are from the piece missing in factory. Walk out side to discover it has snowed can hear metal guards walking the city. all is quiet for now.

Magistrate announces that the harvest festival is still going to happen. walk back to guild on the way there Yelena find a cat with wings (her familiar). Back at Adventurer’s Guild, Erasmus Polonius Hyalmar III informs us neutralizing agent almost complete, situation at north end under control, guards are keeping an eye out for Rufian, The Dark Ones and the Longtooth leader have been delivered to the guard. Thanks to the map uncovered, eight bombs have been located at power facilities around town, along with a half dozen under the walls. making almost all 20 uncovered.

Little information is learned from Leader or Dark Ones. Leader says Rufian, Dark Ones not trust worthy but useful. However, we learn from the Black Heel helping to build tunnel

Quest
head back and investigate tunnel under the factory

Battle
Machine in tunnel (ends up falling through hole in the wall into Huge Chamber), 2 Dark One Hex Knights, 2 Xivort Slashers, lots of minions win battle.

Go to leave,huge explosion can’t get out. Out of dust walks 5 people, led by Rufian: “I’m not here to talk to the slaves of Fate. I’m here to rewrite it. Time to die.”

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