With Davrick Fain captured, the heroes begin the interrogation. Davrick only replies with cold stares, but the other cultist begins to squeal. As he’s speaking and about to give the companions critical information about the cult of Auril, his tongue freezes, then his mouth, head, and so forth until he is encased entirely of ice. Davrick’s maniacal laughter rises and the frozen cultist explodes knocking some on their backs. Unfortunately, they are all pierced with sharp shards of ice and it’s excruciatingly painful.
Davrick is unharmed by the explosion and as he flees he screams, “See fools?!?!? Auril is unstoppable and soon her child will be released upon Ten-Towns!!!!”
Since it is near impossible to give chase with shards of ice lodged into their legs, the heroes decide to seek shelter nearby and try to recuperate.
This gives Davrick a long head start, and they really have no specific leads on where he might have gone. They leave the next morning on a ship to Targos and quickly exit the busy ports en route to Bryn Shander. Hopes are that allies may have ideas on where Davrick may have gone and what the cultists are planning.
Arriving in Bryn Shander by midday, they meet with the speaker at her office with high hopes. It is then that they discover their friend Yew Pouchfilled has made a full recovery from his grievous wounds. He has elected to work here in Bryn Shander for the speaker and stay away from the adventuring life for now. They all see this as a good sign and that perhaps their luck is about to change for the better.
The speaker mentions that a pair of brothers from Caer-Konig where buying supplies for the hard winter and raised concern about the cult of Auril gaining a foothold there. Having no better lead, the heroes decide to travel there on foot.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse, but the heroes manage to make it to the town’s only tavern safely. While there, they meet a few friendly dwarves who are in town to trade from the dwarven valley for much needed supplies. Drinks are plentiful and tongues are loosened as the heroes try to ascertain more about the cultist activity. They spot the brothers there, and follow them back to their home after they leave. They choose to simply knock on the front door and are warmly welcomed into the home. To their relief, these two of barbarian blood are sympathetic to the plight of the Dale and their own town. They speak of smoke from near the old Verbeeg Lair on the side of Kelvin’s Cairn and of some “wild man” that has been seen hunting upon the tundra with his pet crag cats. They heroes are offered hot stew and warm beer and gladly accept.
With a warm belly, the party leaves in search of the wild man or smoke marking a nearby lair. A blinding storm blows in and slows their progress, as does the pair of crag cats that we’re out for a hunt. Their master is nowhere to be found, and they flee into the storm when the heroes put up resistance. Turned around and possibly lost, the smallest plume of smoke is spotted. They head in the direction of the smoke and eventually to the base of the cairn.
Goblins in white furs pop up from the snow and loose arrows at the heroes. The party reacts and moves to attack when even more goblins pop up at their flanks. It’s very difficult to spot them as they’re using the snow to burrow and for cover. Eventually after half a dozen are killed, the rest flee into the mountainside shouting, “Biglip! Biglip!”
Deciding against resting, they pursue the goblins into the lair. Barrels are rolled at the heroes and goblins fire from cover to try and delay the heroes. It gives them just enough time for a verbeeg to join the fight from an adjoining hallway. The fight is brutal however short lived and at it’s conclusion, the heroes hear a door slammed nearby. They can resist the urge and plow straight into another verbeeg giant. This creature is also slain, but not before a small form flees into a curved hallway that ends in a dead end. When the heroes follow, they are unable to discover where the creature went. They return to what’s obviously the verbeeg’s sleeping quarter and take a short rest.
Once the heroes recover from the encounter with the verbeeg, they delve deeper into the lair and into a hall with many doors. Most reveal nothing but storage and useless debris, but they drop their guard at just the wrong moment and barge right into a group of cultists of Auril. A quick fight ensues, and the party presses into what appears to be a dining hall. Tables have been overturned, and cultists attack from behind cover. Dropping darkness as a diversion, the assassin tries to move into the chamber under cover. He’s partially successful, but they weren’t counting on the two pet cats of the wild man being in the next room. A long battle breaks out and hits its’ peak as doors are thrown open and a creature revered by Auril’s cultists is released. A great Remorrhaz bursts in intent on making a meal out of the heroes along with Davrick Fain at it’s side. No longer a mystery, the “child of Auril” attacks with ferocity but is slain in the end. Davrick makes his last stand here and it likewise defeated and destroyed.
Deciding to explore just a little further to find a place to rest, the party discovers a scrying chamber with a large polished piece of Black Ice. On the other side they can see a great chamber within a carved crystal tower. The Ice Witch’s face suddenly appears in the image and glares menacingly at the heroes from the other side. She then picks up the mirror and tosses it out of a window from the top of her tower.
Is this mirror an actual gateway into her realm? Or will the party have to spend countless resources and days to track down this Ice Witch? Has Akar Kessel escaped, never to be seen again?
Find out next time on…