The story is DMed by Aaron Brown.
- Falidus (Peter) – Drow Half-Elf Soulknife Rogue with some Fey ancestry; very headstrong, passionate about the people he cares about; very dexterous and tries his best, but things don't always work out.
- Lucine (Cassie) – Satyr Bard; likes to have a good time, do satyry things, engage in general debauchery and overindulge.
- Armamore (John) – High-Elf Cleric; thinks he's better than everyone else, and will forget how to do things he's done dozens of times.
- Dharwyn (Anthony) – Human Oath of Redemption Paladin; raised at the Temple of Celestian in the Farwest Mountains, struggles with the patience tenet of the Oath he took.
Session ½ (06/15/2022)
A call has come for adventurers to travel north beyond the Spine of the World to provide aid to Ten Towns, and various mage orders have answered the call, along with the party of Falidus, Lucienne, Armamore, and Dharwyn. After traveling up Ten Trail and stopping briefly in the city of Bryn Shander, a trade city that acts as the capital of Ten Towns, the party learned that more practical knowledge of the region’s predicament could be gained in Targos, and continued on to the northwest with little trouble, awkwardly encountering guards before gaining entry through the wooden wall of the town. On the way to the Three Flags Sailing tavern, the party was approached by a large grey dog wearing a torn harness that Falidus, Armarmore, and Dharwyn decidedly did not notice; following Lucienne’s instincts, the party allowed the animal to lead them to a two-story residence in town.
There they met Keegan, owner of the dog named Boy, who was expecting his husband Garrett to be returning from an expedition. The party was invited in, and learned that Garrett had been hired by a party of three adventurers about three days prior to take them up the nearby mountain of Kelvin’s Cairn, and that the group had set out for the town of Caer-Konig to hire more sled-dogs for the journey. Keegan examines Boy, and discovers dried and frozen blood on one of his hind legs that is not the dog’s, and implores the party to find Garrett, offering to secure them lodging at The Luskan Arms tavern during their stay in Targos.
He makes tea for the party, which Dharwyn determines is not poisoned, and explains that Targos and all of Ten Towns have suffered under a perpetual winter for the last nine months since the arrival of the Frostmaiden, Auril, and that none of the Towns’ desperate attempts, even including offering living sacrifices, have appeased her; he explains further that northern Goliath tribes are rumored to have attempted unsuccessfully to mollify her, and that Duergar have begun using the Frostmaiden’s blizzard as an opportunity to raid the Towns, with one being captured several weeks prior in Lonelywood and summarily executed in Bryn Shander. The party agrees to search for Garrett, and Keegan leads them to The Luskan Arms, an old establishment that has more recently fallen into disrepair; they meet Owenn, and learn that the Town Speaker Naerth is currently the only patron of the tavern. Keegan agrees to discuss his opinions of Naerth with the party the next morning, after they return to retrieve Boy, who should be able to lead them to the last place the dog knew Garrett to be.
Lucienne promptly takes all four keys and selects her favorite room, while the rest of the party chooses among the rest; Dharwyn finds a small mirror in one of the rooms, and while checking to see if it’s silver, becomes convinced that the reflection is a magically-generated picture of himself. He proceeds to retrieve a room key from Lucienne and choose a different room, struggling to operate the door until Falidus indicates that the key is upside-down; Dharwyn insists that he was raised in a temple with stone archways, claiming that he didn’t see a door with a lock until he was 27-years-old. Dharwyn then accidentally locks the door from the outside, struggles to open it, unlocks it and heads inside, covering the mirror in his own room with a blanket.
The next morning, the party wakes for breakfast, and they learn that The Luskan Arms has been in Owenn's family for 200 years, having been built by his ancestors with timber from the city of Luskan below the Spine of the World; Lucienne pockets the spare jerky, and Dharwyn finishes the spare coffee. The party then returns to Keegan’s residence to his relief and briefly discuss Naerth, who Keegan indicates has a tendency “to know things”; Keegan then hands over Boy to Falidus, who casts Psychic Whispers in order to create a four-hour telepathic bond with both the dog and Lucienne, who gives Boy some of her jerky.
Session 1 (06/29/2022)
Departing from Keegan’s house with Boy, the party heads out of Targos and along the road back toward Bryn Shander before turning northeast toward Termalaine, fighting against the winds blowing in from The Sea of Moving Ice to the northwest. Falidus uses his telepathic bond with Boy to examine the dog’s memories of the night that Garrett went missing: after reaching a base camp in the foothills of Kelvin’s Cairn, Garrett left Boy and five rented dogs with his sled at the camp and headed up the mountain with his clients, after which the sled became overturned and the dogs were trapped, but Boy managed to free himself and return to Targos, where he spotted Lucine, Falidus, Armamore, and Dharwyn. Lucine gives Boy some more bacon and uses her Mage Hand to scratch his ears while the party continues.
By midday, the group reaches a point at which a trail breaks off to the east of the road to Termalaine, and Dharwyn takes a moment to fill his flask with fresh snow before noticing a blizzard making its way down the mountain toward them. They press on along the trail, making surprisingly good time through the growing storm until they reach the Dwarven Valley, a fifteen-foot-deep ravine carved by a clan of dwarves that lived in Kelvin’s Cairn in order to provide a shelter against the wind. As the party moves into the ravine, Lucine is struck in the back of the leg by a javelin while dodging a second projectile. They spot five kobolds along the ledges above the trail and engage them in battle, summarily picking off the enemies one by one without taking any additional damage themselves.
As the blizzard dies down, the party spots Kelvin’s Cairn about a mile away and continues onward for another two hours, reaching the base of the mountain as night begins to fall. As they approach, Boy breaks free and rushes to an icy outcropping where they find two tents set up, a sled overturned nearby with five sled dogs still harnessed to it. Falidus and Dharwyn release the dogs while Lucine feeds them jerky, after which they immediately flee in the direction of Caer-Konig; the party investigates the tents, which were pitched within the last few days by Garrett and his clients, and discover that the overturned sled is still functional. Beneath it, they find two barrels, one empty and one mostly full of provisions
The party decides to rest for the night, and Dharwyn casts Sacred Flame to start a fire in the firepit, filling a kettle with snow to brew tea; using his Divine Sense, he is able to discern that there are no evil beings within sixty feet of the camp, after which Armamore attempts to Detect Magic, but senses no enchantments in the vicinity. The team settles in, and the night passes uneventfully: Lucine takes first shift and makes a snow Solar, Falidus takes second shift and spots an owl before adding a sword to Lucine’s snow Solar, Armamore takes third shift and spots a rabbit before adds wings to Lucine’s snow Solar, and Dharwyn takes fourth shift. He places his Greatsword into the fire to heat it and spends two hours staring into the flames, ruminating on the fact that he had killed a creature that was fleeing with its back to him; without paying much attention to what he's doing, he adds a pair of twisting devil horns to Lucine's snow Solar.
As dawn should be breaking, he spots the tail end of a winged creature passing across the sky with a trail of night following behind it, covering over the sun as the rest of the party wakes for the day.