Game Session 8: "....but the fire is so delightful"
The heroes entered the Warlock's tower to find the contents covered in a thirty year layer of frost. A huge banquet was laid out in the dining room and Li was quite amused by the tinkling noises the frosted fruit made when she dropped them to the floor.
Garusk was poking the frozen blue flames in the corner fireplace when it spat out a pair of creatures, apparently made of ice themselves, which proceeded to attack the party. Though the heroes were quickly able to deal with them, they discovered more had appeared from other frozen fireplaces within the surrounding rooms, and some were more difficult to dispatch.
Once they had dealt with the icy intruders, the heroes made their way upstairs to be confronted by yet more varied forms of the ice creatures. Aetholric sensed that they were creatures of the Elemental Chaos and coming through portals contained within the frozen flames. After finally despatching the freezing foes, the companions made sure that all the fireplaces were clear of the remaining ice-flames. When they felt more secure they set about searching the ground and first floors more thoroughly, discovering as they did a pair of frozen corpses, and several books on alchemical research and processes.
Aetholric managed to carefully damage Draigdurroch's summoning circle, ensuring that no-one could use it to "safely” summon demons again. Our daring delvers then investigated and used the teleport pad to gain access to the third floor.
A thorough search ensued of the living quarters revealed little more than frost-damaged tapestries though the small library gave up several of the warlocks books relating to his study of the failed deity Karsus and the subsequent destruction of this Netherese demi-god, indicating that he was working on creating a dark pact to draw upon the lingering power of scattered fragments of Karsus.
Hidden behind one of the tapestries was a door protected by magic, which Aetholric was able to bypass, and Li was then able to open, revealing Draigdurroch's study.
Before anyone could stop her Li searched the heavy oak desk for traps, and not finding any, proceeded to open the drawer. The magical glyph of warding exploded causing considerable damage not only to the heroes in the room but also to the drawers contents, leaving only charred blackened remnants of the warlocks notes.
Another teleportation pad was found and used, depositing the party on the roof of the tower, amidst the full splendour of the magical winter. Their attention was immediately drawn to the very large sapphire floating at the centre of the roof, pulsing menacingly with eldritch might, and then also to the hulking brute that stepped into view behind it.
(Image courtesy of Dungeon Magazine Annual 2010)
A tense struggle ensued, during which several members of the party were blown off the tower-top to land with bone-crunching force at its base. Eventually through their combined efforts the heroes were able to overcome the foe, Li dealing the final blow that not only killed the fearsome beast but sent it tumbling over the low parapet. As it breathed its last breath Li heard it say "Sorry Mistress" as its form melted into the ether and the glowing gem which was linked to its life force exploded, knocking the heroes to the floor once more.
As they recovered their wits the icy shroud crumbled around the tower as the eldritch-powered curse was broken and the wintry weather dissipated.
With the weather returning to normal the heroes thoughts turn to other questions.
What link if any was there between the tower and the blue-skinned goblins?
Why weren't there any in or around the tower?
What caused the massive damage to the surrounding woodland?