Rise of the Runelords Campaign Journal. Continued from previous entry. Session date: 5 December 2014.
After realising that the Scribbler had left vital clues to the location of Runeforge in his strange poem, the heroes sought out the local map maker. Here they discovered that the ‘steaming mirror’ was likely Lake Stormunder in northern Varisia. This lake was located beneath the famous Rimeskull mountain, so named for the intimidating face carved into it. Armed with this information, Ciaran teleported the group (some of them safely inside bags of holding) to the mountain.
The heroes were somewhat unprepared for the blizzard they teleported into the middle of, and they were even less prepared for the altitude of 16,000 feet where breathing was difficult at best. The heroes hastily made use of the other spells available to them – a combination of feather fall and dimension door – to reach the relative safety of the ground. Were it not for the hot springs, the group could well have frozen to death right there.
After a dip in Lake Stormunder, the heroes donned appropriate winter attire and started to look for anything that might lead them to Runeforge. A hill at the base of Mount Rimeskull featured several standing stones. Upon closer inspection, these turned out to clearly be of Thassilonian origin, each stone bearing the face of one of the seven Runelords. Ciaran quickly deduced that each stone would therefore be linked to a certain school of magic. He cast a spell near one of the stones, which was absorbed by the stone, causing it to glow and the ground to shake, revealing a key in the stone head’s mouth. All was quiet after that, except for the howl of the wind, and something that sounded awfully like the howl of a wolf on the wind.
It wasn’t until they had activated all seven stones and claimed the seven keys that they realised they were being watched. A huge white dragon swooped down from a cave above and snatched Nova up in its claws, dropping her from a dizzy height. Ciaran used his familiar, Snappy, to cast feather fall on Nova, allowing her to float down safely. The dragon swooped down on the group and breathed its icy breath onto them before wheeling away and disappearing into the blizzard.
The group hurried up the stairs that led up to a nearby cave, and were dismayed to find that the dragon would probably fit comfortably through the entrance. Nevertheless, they hurried on, hoping to find either the entrance to Runeforge or the dragon’s hoard. They found themselves in a long icy tunnel, fortunately finding a safe, if slow, route down into the chasm ahead. At the bottom of the seemingly-endless cavern were seven stones surrounding an eighth one. Each of the seven stones bore a keyhole that seemed to fit the keys they had collected from the stone heads.
However, the heroes thought it would be worth their while to investigate the tunnels leading away from the central chamber. They eventually found a chamber large enough to house the dragon and his hoard, though there were a number of smaller sized beds that indicated others lived in the caves too, those these inhabitants, as well as the dragon, were nowhere to be seen.
It wasn’t long until the heroes realised they had walked into an ambush as they were attacked by a number of humanoid wolflike creatures, whose white fur had allowed them to hide almost in plain sight in the icy cavern. These adlets were fast and tough, and the heroes fought long and hard for their victory over them and their dragon master. The reward was well worth it, as the chamber did indeed house the dragon’s substantial hoard.