Mouldy Rye Butter

Books!

A group of four gets on the levitation disk. Amun, ever the brave and curious scout, transforms into a hobgoblin of tall stature to have his head come above the illusory floor first. Fortunately for him, there were no crossbows keyed on that spot waiting to loose. He saw a room lined all around with shelves that were stuffed with books. His eyes moved toward the desk where magical lamps glowed with soft red light. Instinctively, he knew they were some sort of magical fire trap. Slowly, Quickshot urged the disk upward.

Amun took a step forward.

Nothing happened. He looked closely and saw that it was probably linked to the bookshelves. The party noticed that they were not frozen over, and became very interested that they may be important enough to have such protection. Sora observed a few magical auras on the bookshelves, one linking it to the trap and one warding them from elements and decay. Amun found the magical rune under the desk. He pulled out a small chisel and carefully changed the rune to a different one, then scratched it out.

With the trap disabled, the party begins grabbing armfulls of tomes and dives into what might be going on, searching in particular for ice-related things. The books had some variety, but they could be said to have three main topics: Cults of Khyber, Warlock Pacts, and history of this particular region of Karnnath. Quickshot looked through the books in hopes of getting practical information. Amun read with interest the history that has happened since the time that he has lived. Draigdurroch had many notes and things written in the margins, and though most were written in Dwarven, many made references to a journal which they could not find.

The search spilled out to other rooms on the floor, Amun’s curiosity in particular driving him to search for the conspicuously missing journal. He looked through the enormous, highly decorated master bedroom. There were no obvious doors going to the northeast section of the tower, so he looked along that wall. He searched behind a tapestry, which, being brittle, broke off to reveal some small cracks showing a hidden panel. Out again came his thieves tools and he picked his way in.

Meanwhile, Sora was reading a bit about the cults of Khyber and began, with the others, to wonder what else was on this level. They saw where the tapestry broke off and found the hidden door. Amun stood back as he heard loud banging and Läncen it down. Sora walked in and started searching the bookshelf in what appeared to be a study. Amun checked the desk drawer and jumped back as a jet of flame burst from a Glyph of Warding. It missed Amun and got Sora, who suffered some burns and worked to put herself out. Amun saw the journal in the drawer and quickly switched it for another book when she wasn’t looking.

The party scouted around the third floor until they found another levitation disk. They were now on top of the tower.


The top of the tower presents a bizarre scene that is strangely beautiful in its own way. The view of the surrounding area is refracted and twisted in spectacular fashion, as if you are standing inside a gigantic prism looking out. Floating several feet above the exact center point of the tower, forming the keystone at the apex of the icy cocoon, is a large crystal, entombing a red gemstone easily the size of a man’s fist.

Above the gemstone, the ice that sheathes the tower draws together into a single point about 20 feet in the air. All around this jutting finger, the air appears to harden into ice and snow, swirling away in all directions as it is propelled by a vicious wind. The clouds above the tower appear to draw energy from the gem, filling them with the pure essence of a winter storm.

The wind whips across the roof of the tower on the inside as well, with each chilling gust accompanied by a pulse of energy that erupts from the crystal’s cold facets. Its otherwise flawless surface appears to have been marred by scratches or runes that glow with their own white energy.

The red gem on the inside is the eye of an ancient demon that brought dreadful power to this land ages ago. Erdan nods as his suspicion is confirmed: Draigdurroch was messing with things he shouldn’t have.

Suddenly Läncen spies something unusual about the gem. “Nyaah! It’s alive!” Quickshot is ready to loose an arrow. He looks closer and sees that it is indeed trying to break free of its crystal prison, but it is doing so at glacial speeds. They decide to wait for Garth and Amun (who is trying to find information in Draigdurroch’s journal as fast as he can in secret) to come up to the top of the tower. Quickshot then decides it is best to destroy the cyrstal. When he attacks:

The gemstone pulses with blue light and a wave of energy knocks you back. A thin stream of white mist issues forth from the center of the sapphire, coalescing into the form of a massive, thickly muscled, white-furred monster. Thick mist rolls off the creature’s hide, congealing the air into heavy frost that clings to everything nearby. The creature roars,
and in its howl you can hear the pure elemental fury at the heart of a raging blizzard. The sapphire continues to crackle with energy, the blue light pulsing rhythmically, as if it were the beating of the very heart of winter.

Combat ensues and the spirit of winter shows itself to be a formidable adversary. It deals out cold damage and blows the party back.

Aug15

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