12th Nightal, 1490 DR (contd.)
The crew of the Frostskimmr haul the longship onto the ice for the night. Crake scouts around the campsite, invisible and flying, after Rosie spots tracks in the ice. Three scrags attack the party’s snow shelter and have to be dealt with.
The fin of a giant shark is spotted in the water. Ug tries to dominate the fish using his trident of fish command without success.
Later, as the party and crew are getting ready to spend the night on the ice again, they spot an ice hunter running towards them being pursued by a polar bear. Rosie, Turin and Crake bring down the bear with spells and arrows, saving the hunter. He is clearly very grateful but doesn’t speak Common but Turin manages to communicate with him using the power of mime, and Rosie’s comprehend languages spell allows the PCs to learn the rough location of Arauthator’s lair, Oyaviggaton.
Stormy winds nearly blow Rosie overboard into the freezing water.
A group of ice hunters in khyeks are spotted. They paddle away rapidly as the Frostskimmr approaches, losing the PCs’ ship among the ice floes. However, Turin’s sharp eyes spot the distinctive shape of Oyaviggaton in the distance.
Spending the night on the water for once, the Frostskimmr comes under attack from two giant octopuses. One of the sailors is snatched overboard and eaten, and Ug is also grabbed. The paladin uses his trident to command the octopus to put him back on the deck and then orders it to swim away. Rosie casts hold monster on the other one, and Crake slays it with an impressive critical hit.
The Frostskimmr approaches the iceberg of Oyaviggaton, sailing past the ledge used by the ice hunters to moor their boats. Rosie casts water walk on the party and the PCs double back, arriving on the ledge. They climb the icy stairs to the top of the plateau – Turin casts fog cloud to mask their arrival.
Peering out from the cloud, Crake spots ten corpses frozen into the icy wall of a ridge. He sneaks along the ridge and looks round – he can dimly make out a village through the drifting snow. As Turin also approaches, the village’s husky dogs start to bark and a crowd of ice hunters appears.
An awkward conversation follows between the PCs and Barking Seal, the leader of the ice hunters. The tribe do not appear to be dragon cultists as the PCs suspected, but they are very wary of the party and the atmosphere is tense. Some of the ice hunters move around behind them to cut off the adventurers' retreat while others slip away to the large meeting hall.
To break the deadlock Ug agrees to fight the tribal champion Orcaheart. The ice hunter stabs the half-orc several times with his spear but Ug fights back strongly and takes him down. Despite the ban on magic, Orcaheart is healed surreptitiously by the shaman Bonecarver, and Turin uses a healing word on Ug. During the battle an invisible Crake sneaks off to the meeting hall and spots a hole in the floor leading down inside the iceberg.
Ug is declared the winner and the PCs are grudgingly shown to a storage hut where they can spend the night. Bonecarver brings them fermented fish to eat but no one is keen. When she returns later, Rosie tries a different tack and gets her to open up – the ice hunters are in fear of Arauthator and cannot leave the island. She tells the PCs that the white dragon is served by kobold, ice toads and ice trolls.
That night, the PCs climb down the chute from Bonecarver’s hut. Ug goes first, slips, and plummets down the last 60 feet, getting pretty bashed up in the process. Exploring the ice caves with their bold paladin in the lead, the party enter a den full of kobolds and massacre them. Three escape, fleeing through the junk room and larder and back out into the circular corridor.
The PCs pursue, again with Ug at the lead. In the entrance chamber they find a shivering ice hunter under a pile of furs. No one is able to cure his pneumonia-like illness so they pull the furs back over him and set off after the kobolds again.
Seeing the little humanoids run down a side corridor, Ug slides down after them, arriving feet first in a large misty chamber between two ice trolls! Reduced to 1hp, Ug battles bravely on, as the other PCs arrive to help him out. Turin casts compulsion to send the trolls to the far end of the room, allowing the party time to divide and conquer. Rosie’s hold monster spell, Turin’s fiery blade, Crake’s sneak attacks and criticals, and Ug’s trusty slash win through. The PCs return to the larder for a short rest.