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Jun 14 2012

Chronicles of Netheril, June 9th, 2012

Inside the Dire Wood – The Mysterious Clearing

{Editor’s note:  Drake and Nalla’s player couldn’t make it to the game, so for this fight his characters are pinned down under the debris caused by the Idol breaking out of its stone resting place.}

Despite it’s large size, menacing demeanour and the fact that we were short two combatants, the Idol of Nhagruul was a pushover. Because it was alone we were able to gang up on the iron golem; we destroyed it in mere seconds. {1.5 turns according to the DM}

Morda had said that if we encountered the Idol of Nhagruul it would lead to most certain death. She probably wasn’t expecting it to mean the Idol’s death.

In the debris of the destroyed Idol we found a scroll with the ritual of Endings and Beginnings. From what we could tell it is closely connected to the Book of Vile Darkness. It will allow the caster to either completely access the true power of the Book, or destroy it permanently. The Idol could have told us more; but since we failed to earn its trust and consequently had to destroy it, we may never know. Perhaps Curuvar will be able to tell us more.

Wanting to avoid any further entanglements with the creatures of this forest, we hurried back to Fellwroth.

Darkreach Mountains – The Frozen Path

Back at the Temple of the Raven Queen we informed Morda that we would be ready on the following day to make the trek up the Frozen Path to Kazzak’tul. She suggested that we purchase some cold weather clothing in town and then offered us free lodging in the temple as repayment for having destroyed the undead infestation.

After buying the specialized clothing and getting a good meal, we returned to the temple to turn in for the night.

The next morning Morda left with Drake and Nalla to scout the path ahead while the rest of us made some final preparations before leaving.

The trek up the Frozen Path was a long and arduous one. {skill challenge} And after many hours of hiking and climbing we reached a pass high in the mountains. The terrain was quite treacherous; there were deep chasms that could only be crossed by way ice bridges and there were formations of life-stealing ice stalagmites. As if that wasn’t enough, the pass was being guarded by multiple ice and magma monsters, including a beholder eye of frost.

The monsters weren’t especially tough, just really annoying. Most of their attacks left elemental residue {zones} on the battlefield that would either freeze or burn us. Combined with the life-sapping ice stalagmites, it made it very difficult to move around.

The most problematic of all the monsters was the beholder. Its eyebeams could alternatively weaken us, freeze us in place, or sends us flying some 30 feet. This last one was the most dangerous since the area was riddled with deep chasms.

The beholder seemed to be getting an unnatural amount of pleasure trying to send Ash over the edge. Each time, the shifter managed to stop himself at the last second and avoid falling to his death. Eventually he just wasn’t quick enough and ended up falling into a 70 foot deep pit. Miraculously, he survived; but just barely. Kelemvor must have been looking out for him.

The beholder followed him into the pit and was slowly descending to the bottom. Voulge came up to the edge of the pit and attempted to take out the beholder with ranged attacks before it could get close enough to Ash to attack.

One of the other ice creatures took advantage of Voulge’s inattentiveness and pushed him into the pit. On the way down, the warforged collided with the beholder and managed to grab hold of one of its eyestalks; pulling the aberrant creature along for the ride. At the last possible moment, Voulge managed to activate his hover jets and avoided hitting the ground. Unfortunately for the beholder, his momentum was too great and when he hit the ground, he shattered in a shower of frozen guts.

In a bid to press the attack against Voulge and Ash, the magma monster that had pushed the warforged, decided to jump into the pit to follow its quarry. It shattered upon impact.

Clearly, not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.

Once all the other monsters had been destroyed, Eramus used his flying boots to descend to the bottom of the pit. Using the combined strength of the boots and Voulge’s hover jets, they were able to get Ash out of the pit. But before leaving, they cut off the beholder’s eyestalks and brought them along with them. Apparently the magic that allowed the magma monster’s fiery and frozen halves to coexist had mixed with the magic of the beholder’s eyes, turning the latter into crystals of great arcane power. They might prove useful at some future juncture.