Session 37 - An Ice Cube in a Sea
Campaign's Master List: Dark Curtains
Previous Session: Sessions 36
Next Session: Sessions 38
Game System: Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition)
Setting: Forgotten Realms
RPG Items Referenced
Volo's Guide to the North
The Grand History of the Realms
The North: Guide to The Savage Frontier
Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Princes of the Apocalypse
Male Rock Gnome
Female Half Elf
Classes & Levels
Cleric of Ilmater 9
Battlemaster 8, Warlock 1 *ABSENT*
Captain Lerustah - Captain of the Frostskimmr, a single mast longbow with 40 crew.
Dala Silmerhelve - Member of the Arcane Brotherhood and noble of Waterdeep.
Barking Seal - An icehunter chieftain.
Bonecarver - An icehunter shaman.
Orcaheart - The icehunter's chosen champion.
Arauthator - A white dragon that who was the last known possesser of the Draakhorn.
Thus Continues the Adventure...
Meeting with Dala - Flamerule 30th, 1373 DR
After the meeting with the council of northern leaders the group took Dala Silmerhelve to a secluded parlor within the Lord's Palace. Absent good drink, they discussed the disappearance of Maccath the Crimson. Learning that she is a member of the Arcane Brotherhood, and went to the Sea of Moving Ice to discover the location of Arauthator. Arauthator is a white dragon that was the last known possessor of the Draakhorn.
Maccath is powerful enough in the art to cast sending, however she hasn't contacted anyone in the past three years. Her last messages were that she was close to discovering the dragon's lair. She last reported that she saw Ice Hunters padding their sealskin boats towards a huge iceberg. It is flattened like a plateau across its surface, but ringed by icy peaks.
Attempts to contact her have been met with no response. The Arcane Brotherhood have looked for the possibility that Maccath passed on to the afterlife, but again came up with no proof that she has perished.
The following morning they departed on the Frostskimmr for their journey north to the Sea of Moving Ice.
Searching for Trouble - Eleasis 11th to 14th
Entering into the ice flows of the north, they had little to go on but a description of a large plateau ice sheet. For days they sailed further north, witnessing the few creatures of nature within the snowy landscape. The crew fished over the side of the ship as it plied the waters searching for Maccath's destination.
On the third day of searching they saw an immense iceberg that matched the description. Eimhear sent her owl familiar to scout from above. No one took note of the strange new species as it flew over to discover a village nestled within a ring snow banks. They discussed how best to approach the native hunters. Each would carry a fish their crew had caught earlier.
Having the Frostskimmr circle the mass of ice they found a shelf the natives use to launch their seal-skinned boats. Drawn up onto the shelf were several such boats. The shelf's was covered with a bloody mess, frozen into its surface. The large rib bones stacked against the cliff side was further evidence that the village was successful in their hunting of whales.
The group found a stairwell carved into the ice, providing a path to climb to the top of the plateau. They approached openly, but their appearance wasn't welcomed.
They Want No Trouble - Eleasis 14th
Children were sent away, as the village was roused by the appearance of the party. A gruff male warrior stepped forward, backed by a woman that was clearly a shaman. Speaking their own language, their vocalizations didn't sound friendly. Mira was bestowed the spell of tongues, allowing her to communicate with the natives.
She informed them that they had come, looking for a tiefling that went missing three years ago. They denied any knowledge of a lost devil. Mira's questions of a dragon in the area went much of the same way. The discussion went back and forth, with Mira translating to the rest of the group. The ice hunters were not friendly.
Eimhear, slipped off to the side, having noticed something odd within the wall that surrounded the village. Getting a closer look, she found that frozen within the wall were several bodies. There were a few ice hunters, along with a dwarf and some humans. The sight was shocking to Eimhear, advocating leaving the island when she returned to the group, leaving her departure unnoticed.
Mervyn advocated not leaving until they made some kind of headway on learning of Maccath's location or the location of the dragon she was seeking. Eimhear informed the group of what she found. They had seen this kind of freezing before, on the Skyreach Castle within Glazhael's lair. The group unwilling to leave, Barking Seal demanded an alternate means of convincing the group to leave.
Barking Seal challenged the group to an honorable fight. Their champion versus the party's champion. If the ice hunters were to win, the group must give the ice hunters a steel blade and must also depart the iceberg and never return. If the party were to win, they would be welcomed into the tribe as members. It was a surprisingly easy offer in Mira's mind, since she would clearly be the group's champion. She quickly agreed, without conversing with the group.
Stepping forth to square off against Orcaheart, noting his spear and shield, she withdrew Hazirawn. Barking Seal stepped forth barking at Mira, "No magic! You not champion! Pick another!"
Mira looked to Cassius' family blade and considered taking it up, but thought otherwise. Explaining the situation to the group, they began discussing options. Tiring of the chatter, and feeling the group's lack of respect, they pointed to the tiefling, "He your champion!"
The group asked Naberio if he was amendable to the challenge, he accepted. Stepping forth to fight Orcaheart, the following few moments of combat went horribly. Naberio offered up little resistance, as Orcaheart repeatedly bashed and stabbed at the tiefling. The group looked on confused, as Naberio dropped to the snow.
The tribe marched forth, demanding their reward and for the group to depart. They resisted, confused that Naberio had lost. They attempted to claim Cassius' blade, but the refused to hand over the heirloom. They begrudgingly accepted a dagger from Mervyn and began to usher them out of the village and back to their awaiting ship. On the return trip Cassius walked beside Mira and admonished her, "It shouldn't have gone that far. You should have done better."
This initiated a heated argument between the two. Back and forth they went, the argument becoming more heated. Mira asking the priest for other options, he offering nothing but his admonishment for her failed negotiations. Mira became livid, as Cassius narrowed his eyes at the hilt of the wicked blade she carried.
We Need Help
Captain Lerustah had his crew pushed off from the iceberg, the adventurer's aboard. Emotions were high as the defeat was unexpected and the resulting argument was heated. They took a course south. An hour away from the village a bird landed upon the ship's railing, depositing a letter. Written in the native local language, Mervyn cast comprehend languages to decipher the script.
I hope you are powerful enough to read my words. Arauthator knows of your presence. He will hunt you. Come tonight without seen. Shaman hut. If you fail, you will doom us all. Do not come if you lack the strength.
Reading the letter out loud, the group discussed what to do. They had agreed that they will return to the iceberg. The captain nervously objected, stating that he could not keep the crew ashore of the iceberg as the adventurers returned. Mervyn and the others understood, providing him a written letter absolving the captain of his charge to see the group safely to their destination. He has served them faithfully, and couldn't demand that he have his crew face off against a dragon.
The moonless night offered little in navigation aides, but Captain Lerustah was skilled. As they were returning, the iceberg in sight, the boat felt as if struck from beneath. The thud was just the first noise as a raking sound of claws against wood followed, but it was the crack of timbers that sparked panic among the crew. Water was beginning to rush through a crack. The captain ordered their pace to increase as they brought the ship quickly ashore. Jumping from the ship to pull it onto the iceberg to prevent it from sinking, a pair of large figures rose from the water with them.
We ended the session here.
Everything went sideways with this session. I made so many mistakes that allowed room for bad behavior to boil up and explode all over the game. I'd rather not get into things publicly, but after this session the player playing Cassius has departed the game.
I wish I could speak to all that happened, but it isn't fair to air it in public. There was a lot of lessons learned.
- Be sure your players know how their character works, especially if they are new to the class.
- Be sure that you get all players to be involved. The group can't rely on just a few of the group to keep things moving forward.
- Be sure that everyone is respectful to each other.
With all that said, my favorite moments of the session:
- The discovery of the frozen bodies in the wall. This highlighted that players need to explore their surroundings and ask questions.
- When I offered Naberio a spotlight moment. This is a mixed moment. It didn't turn out exactly opposite of what I was hoping for, but it allowed us to address an issue with player knowledge. It would have been worse if we went several sessions without this discovery.
- The delivery of the letter. I wrote two copies, the first was just squiggly lines that I dropped onto the table. The moment when the players opened it. =) "Oh of course, I can't read their language."
Ultimately I really hope that the events that happened at the table this night will allow the group to come together and continue forth stronger and better. We had a boardgaming night the following game session. While everyone wasn't in attendance, I think a lot of good discussion was had. We'll see. The next game is just under a week away!
Previous Session: Sessions 36
Next Session: Sessions 38
- Last edited Sat Jan 5, 2019 2:48 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 3:45 am