Dragons of Winter
It all began when El Morte, the black robe plague of Southern Ansalon went ahead of his friends to search for the library of Khrystann. He didn’t search long as he was approached by a peculiar looking old man who wanted to know if he was seeking knowledge? The two conversed quickly and the old man lead him to an ally way, explaining it was an entrance to the library. El Morte, stated he appreciated the information, but all the same would return to the Red Dragon Inn and retrieve his friends first. This seemed to irritate the old man, who turned and disappeared into the crowd.
The Black Robe later returned with some of his friends who had split into two groups, promising to return to the INN in two days. His team consisted of Leargath, Ash, Longshadow, James, Tasslehoff, Flint, Laurana, Gilthanas, Sturm, and the new three knights that they met in Tarsis. Lord Derek Crownguard (Knight of the Rose), Sir Aran Tallbow (knight of the Crown), and Brian Donner (Knight of the Sword).
The group ran afoul of a mob on the way, and at one point they were about to be gassed by the black plague of Southern Ansalon, El Morte! However, a white robe wizard intervened and they group eventually dispersed. The party made it to the library eventually… there they met Lillith Hallmark, the caretaker and cleric of Gilean. The group was friendly with the cleric, and Ash even offered the aid of the Wizards of High Sorcery. The librarian aided in finding lore on the item the party sought. A Dragon Orb. After hours of searching (and arguing, mostly between LORD Derek Crownguard and Longshadow) the party found information on the Dragon Orb location. In Icewall Castle to the south.
The decision was made to leave that night, after supplies. Sir Aron and Longshadow left the library to get supplies and were greeted to an ongoing riot/invasion in the city streets! Kapaks roamed the streets striking at people at will, and the more desperate and evil element of the city had taken to beating and looting anyone within the city in frustration from being barred from the east gate of the city (which the Blue Dragon army had come through). Large blue dragons circled over the city, blasting buildings at will. The two heroes were immediately embroiled in a fight as an elderly store clerk was being beaten in front of his store as it was being looted. The knight and Noble Plainsman immediately intervened and stopped any further carnage in the immediate vicinity by running off the thugs, and neutralizing the kapak soldiers.
The group gathered supplies and decided to escape through the south gate. In route, they came across a woman being attacked by children and James attempted to intervene and was caught in an ambush. He suffered vicious blows from several assassins but fought valiantly and with the aid of his friend manage to best the assassins. (One took a disabling wound he would not soon recover from!)
Soon out the south gate, the party was subjected to harsh weather that only got worse the farther south they traveled. After a few days they took rest in Bazin. A small stone village that lied south and east along the Old Coast Road. There they met the local bazaar owner, and leader of the village. The White Robe wizard created many bungaloo’s for the refugee pouring in, and the party got some actually sleep. (The Black plague of Southern Ansalon, El Morte! Summoned what some believed was a Hell-Hound to watch over the building in which he slept, leaving a note promising a grisly end to any who disturbed his slumber. No one dared approach that hut!)
The group continued on and things got worse before they got better. One night they made camp on a Scorpion Colony, the next night they were attacked by a half-troll (Troll-hunter) who had been hired by the Red Dragon Armies to seek out and slay the party and return with Laruana and Gilthanas head. The Trollhunter was foiled by the Black Plague of Southern Ansalon, El Morte! And Leargath (No one of consequence!) The creature was disarmed, interrogated, and allowed to leave.
The party continued on through the lower half of the Plains of Dust, suffering the cold weather. Things were not better when they reached Icewall Glacier. They first day they came across a polar bear being attacked by a group of Minatours. The party warlock approached the beast-men and offered to a different distraction. Gambling. This worked and the Minatours were happy with the new diversion. The Warlock and Black robe spoke at length with the Minatours and found out they had been sent here on the orders of Emperor Ariakas to aid the Dragon Highlord. They had no other information as to why or what was entailed in their aid. Eventually, they left on their own and the Polar bear led the party into the south…They saw on the second morning a large black pillar of smoke and felt an abandoned peat mine. They took a supply of the material with them and traveled on for another day, still following the polar bear, and were almost caught in a terrible storm, but managed to take shelter in an Ice Boat. (It seems the bear was intentionally leading them to the boat…)
The storm raged for two days, but there was a coal furnace in the ship and the peat was used to heat the inside, providing heat and light. On the end of the second day an ice ship approached the party. Several barbarians met them and offered them aid after learning of their story. Their leader, Harald Haakan, Ice Folk General took a liking to the group (And that they were friendly to the White Bear was obviously a big reason)
The party accepted an invitation to come back to their camp. The party arrived at their camp on the Ice folk’s ice ship which was a rather pleasant experience for most, Tas did a scene from Titanic (the front of the ship with his arms out to his side, tears freezing on his face; while those such as Derek and Flint stayed below deck holding on for dear life as the ship flew across the ice)
The group arrived at the Ice Folk Camp and were given tents of their own, then taken to the chieftent.
They were given fish stew, water or ale, and partook in merry discussion, dancing, and laughter. Late into the night the chieftain was curious of the outside world, and welcomed news and updates of what has been happening beyond the borders of Icereach. There Sir Aron Tallbow stated:
(Showing a map of Souther Ansalon he had in his backpack to all)
“All of the lands of the north are hard pressed by the Dragonarmies. I fear that soon those rolling plains that for so long have known naught but freedom shall fall, and only one hope will be left for the peoples of Krynn. The island of Sancrist lies far to the west of Solamnia, and is so shown on this map. I have heard reports, in Solamnia and Tarsis both, that tell of a High Council of sage and powerful men gathering on that knightly isle- a council symbolized by the sacred Whitestone, spiritual birthplace of the knights. This Whitestone Council meets with the goal of ending the depredations of the Dragon Highlords and restoring peace to Krynn.
Whatever the outcome of our quest to the Icewall, I believe that Sancrist should be our next destination. If we gain the Orb, the Council may best known how to make use of it. If we do not gain the Orb, yet live to make our escape, extra swords in skilled hands will also be of some service in the war to save Krynn.”
The Chief General Harald Haakan informed the party that in Icebay Mountain, several ships had been ice locked for hundreds of years. While some where far beyond repair, others may simply have gone on untouched (save for the elements) and thus, could use the ship to sail north to Sancrist Isle. He showed the location to the party on Sir Aron’s map.
There they met Raggart Knug, the camp cleric. The nobleman Longshadow shared knowledge of the return of the gods with the cleric of Habbukuk, and the following morning he awoke with a medallion of faith and the ability to cast divine spells!
Later in the day, a ceremony was performed by the newly empowered cleric, and one of the party (Laruana) was given a frost-reaver (A magical ax made of Ice); Derek scoffed at the gesture, and the weapon itself. Laruana appeared grateful, but uneasy about accepting the weapon.
The group began to discuss that night plans for reaching Icewall castle when a scout reported trouble to the Chieftain/General Haral Haakan. Apparently, Wolves had been seen that day (rumored to be servants of Fel Thas); and now an army of 500 Thanoi and 200 minatours were marching on the camp!!
The party is asked to help defend the village while they begin making defenses and also moving the non-warriors to the ice boats below. The plan is simple. Hold off the onslaught long enough for the people to escape to a new location. In return, the Chieftain (after arguing with LORD Derek Crownguard) that his warriors will aid you in questing for the Orb.
It is estimated the group has six hours to help the Ice Folk dig several large pits in the snow west of the amp. These are excavated to a depth of 20 feet. The bottoms are then covered with large, irregular chunks of ice and the pits covered over with skins and snow. Those note helping are moving supplies down to the Ice Boats to leave…