Cold as death in here
Dragon twists our minds with seed
Barely escape ice
After some words of commemoration for their fallen friend, the heroes from Sayre reassess their circumstance, and fix themselves on the task at hand. As if things weren’t bad enough after all of this lament, Sgt. Fury starts yelling while obviously standing frozen … Locked in place he yells,
“What have you damnable stooges done to me now?! I can’t move … I can’t move a muscle.”
Peering at the sergeant the assistance says, “Is this what happened in Overlook?”
The doctor says, “Yes.”
“Hmmm, interesting.” comments the assistant.
“Interesting my arse, fix it now!” orders Sgt. Fury.
“Of course, but too much energy has been used I’d say … no forethought … batteries too small.” says the assistant while tinkering with the armor.
“Oh, looks here, I was right … tsk, tsk, tsk … click, click, click, click … the battery is almost dead. Almost unchargeable," adds the assistant.
“Unchargeable?!” exclaims the sergeant.
“I said almost unchargeable … I will fix it, but you must wait, and you must learn to monitor your power levels. Next time, maybe not so lucky.” answers the assistant, then looking towards the doctor he adds … “I warned you, the independent processes are faulty, I can still shut out the pilot?” he asserts, as a question.
“WHAT?!” asks the sergeant.
“Never mind.” answers the doctor. “That won’t be necessary yet, but sergeant you will need to be more careful. So can you fix him?” he asks the assistant.
“Possibly, but it will take time.” answers the assistant.
“We can not wait.” points out Bhenedict.
“Leave him here.” says Vani … “Manti will guard him.” he adds, pointing out the manticore. “We can come back for him later.”
Uneasy about the situation, but without any better options they agree and joined by Vani and Bhenedict the party moves up the slick icy bridge to the first of the upper chambers. The room sits in stark contrast to everything they had seen before in the iceberg complex. Here, it appears that the room has been intricately carved from the ice; no snow, rough patches, or uneven grades mar the smooth walls, floors, and ceiling of this chamber. Perfectly round ice columns frame a large-based platform at the far end. On top of that platform stand two massive ice gargoyle statues, icy mist pours off the gargoyles frozen forms to the floor of the hall. To either side of the center platform sit smaller platforms with smaller ice gargoyles. There is no visible exit from this room except from whence the party had entered.
Surprised (based of Bottellick’s story) they begin to cautiously scout the chamber. Immediately Dr. Manne-Crocre is drawn to the wall on the left side of the chamber; outwardly it is no different from the others, but he thinks, perhaps it should be.
Meanwhile, the doctor’s assistant and Vani wander deep enough into to the chamber to exam the nearest of the pillars. At the entrance doctor calls out to Fin and Benny asking them to take a look at the wall. Uneasy they stand back eyeing the wall intently, seeing nothing, approaching closer and closer.
Suddenly with the shattering sounds of crackling ice the gargoyles fly into the air, each attacking a different adventurer to varied levels of success. Some of the heroes are grabbed and lifting into the air, others hold their ground but none of them escapes unscathed. As tense seconds tick by, a loud roar interrupts the battle from the rear of the chamber as, recharged, Sgt. Fury joins the fray blasting gargoyles from the air. Rallying the heroes combine their attacks against the surviving gargoyles and soon all the monsters lie shattered and broken upon the floor. Immediately they begin breaking down and drifting as a low hanging mist back towards the pedestals; once there the mist begins to reform.
Witnessing this, Dr. Manne-Crocre announces, “I see it now, I know exactly what to do.”
The doctor rushes toward the blank wall peering so close the long nose of his mask nearly presses against the wall. Pointing he says, “Right here there is an inscription in Draconian it reads,
“Pass through this portal and enter the presence of Chillreaver, master of Icehome, greatest among the Dark Queen’s frozen children. Prepare for supplication in the proper manner, and you can enter his fearsome domain and receive his cold gift.”
Bowing the doctor takes a knee, and lowers his head solemnly … The wall slides away revealing a passageway that extends 60 feet before opening to a much larger chamber. The passage’s floor is painted a bright glistening red, the result of blood freezing after having spread from the body of a dead frost giant, his head nearly ripped off.
With no warning, Dr. Manne-Crocre begins crawling towards the larger chamber, as if approaching petition. “Where are you going?” calls out Vani.
The doctor calls back, “We have no need to fight, the message calls on us to submit, humble yourself and approach.”
“Does it?” asks Vani but the doctor pays no heed.
Tentatively, the others fall in behind the doctor at varying distances, none of them bowing. First Vani, then Sgt. Fury and Fin, followed by the assistant, and finally, Bhenedict and Lucian. In route they each is slowed as they are required to climb over the grotesque body of the fallen giant before proceeding to the great chamber beyond. Ahead of the others, the doctor enters with Vani on his heels.
Inside is an impressive but terrifying sight. The room is bathed in blue-white light, with beams focused on a small white object floating atop a pedestal high above their heads. The beams originate from ten large silvery mirrors positioned along the east and west sides of the walkway they stand upon. Down below, they can see the base of the pedestal where the beams are focused; the pedestal’s length and girth make it a virtual obelisk of ice. An energy hangs about the room, and the air is colder than any they had ever felt anywhere before.
Briefly, both the Dr. Manne-Crocre and Vani feel an invasive presence in their minds, as if it was searching for something . . . and then ‘they’ are gone …
As Fin and Sgt. Fury enter the chamber their gazes are grabbed by the terrible form sitting upon a rune-inscribed icy dais at the far end of the room. A gigantic, two-headed dragon, it’s skin a play of black and white speckles. The dragon meets their gaze, and quickly they turn away. The dragon’s eyes, black and soulless, its mouths frothing with icy breath as it speaks,
“Ninety-nine men, entered ice. I watched them all pay the price. I saw their bodies turning blue, now I’ll take my time with you.”
Without another word. Vani and the doctor attack using their arcane power against their former friends. The doctor holds up hand and pale odiferous tendrils lash out, whipping across the bard’s face, infecting him with a horrid rotting decay. The doctor shouts in an odd voice, “Feel Chillreaver’s kiss!”
Before anyone can react, Vani attacks flinging his arms with a flourish in a wide arc he launches a wave of liquid fire upon the sergeant, as the eruption of magical fire covers the Sgt. Fury smolders, but as it clears the sergeant stands unfazed by the attack. “Vani what are you thinking boyo?” he asks.
Vani answers robotically, “Must obey winter’s will.” seemingly fighting against something within.
The dragon takes to air turning the frigid room even cooler as his great wings turn the cold air. He rises up high above the thick ice column in the center of the chamber, rising over the Seed of Winter that hovered from its vantage atop the pedestal of ice.
Stealthily, the doctor’s assistant sneaks into the chamber hidden by a combination of illusion and skill. Fin retreats and the doctor cackles madly lashing him again. As Bhenedict enters Vani retargets blasting the dwarf with the same liquid fire he had tried against Sgt. Fury. Benny tries ducks for cover to no avail leaving himself vulnerable as the dragon glides down catching Benny Fin, and the sergeant with a blast of icy breath; Lucian just escapes taking cover behind the dead giant. The others aren’t so lucky, they find themselves locked in winter’s embrace, stuck in place, dazed, and unfocused due to the biting pain of the cold. With powerful sweeps of his wings the dragon rises again flying backwards climbing back up towards the Seed of Winter. As Lucian peeks above the giant’s corpse, the dragon releases an deep blue beam from the eyes of one of its heads trapping Lucian and freezing him to the bone. As the cold closes in on him … Lucian vanishes reappearing in the large chamber.
The dragon howls, “I will turn your eyes to glass, frozen you will stare out through your own death. Frozen here your will ever tell how you suffer within your frozen Hell.”
Having stealthily crossed to the right side of the chamber, the doctor’s mysterious assistant fires a concussive blast from his mounted cannon, the closest mirror warps and twists as it is blown off its moorings. Immediately the broken mirror grabs the dragon’s attention; he turns firing another frozen beam of light from his second head. The freezing bolt hits the intrepid assistant immobilizing and dazing him, then the dragon circles in his direction as if to finish him off. Sgt. Fury rushes in screening the assistant, by interposing himself between the dragon and the heroic assistant.
Seeing the assistant’s success, Benny tries to match it making his way to the mirror on the opposite side of the chamber, but Vani intercedes blasting the dwarf so hard he is blown backwards into the mirror’s alcove bringing a halt Bhenedict’s attempt to attack the mirror.
Cackling madly the doctor moves past the sergeant attacking Finellior again. With a silent scream the bard falls, pieces of his rotting flesh stretching and shedding in moldy foul smelling chunks, “Master he is dead, DEAD … How shall I please you master?”
Furious, Sgt. Fury attacks both the dragon and the doctor hurling magic axes at both opponents. Chillreaver brushes the attack off easily, but the sergeant’s attack grievously injures the doctor, bleeding from the heavily from the blow he withdraws, calling out, “MASTER, SAVE ME!”
Behind the doctor Lucian vanishes, reappearing on the ice obelisk next to the Seed of Winter, reaching out he grabs the shimmering white gem-like acorn. A tingle spreads first through his hands, then up his arms but try as he might he cannot move the Seed.
Distraught by Lucian‘s attempt, Chillreaver unfurls his great wings screeching loudly from both heads at the same time, so much so he sends cracks through the ice walls of the chamber as he screams:
“I am death at the moment of victory.”
“I am living violence.”
“I am pain–incarnate.”
Throughout the chamber, fear grips every heroic hearts as the full weight of the dragon’s threats close in upon them, one of the dragon‘s heads glares with evil intent at Sgt. Fury and to the entrance beyond the sergeant, the second head stares at Lucian. Involuntarily, both heroes take a step back giving the doctor an opportunity to escape the sergeant’s attack. Momentarily forgotten, across the chamber Vani comes to his senses; quickly looking about Vani assesses the situation as full realization come upon him. Vani takes hold as a fiery anger swells within him, “Toy with me will you? Do you know who I am? … You face … Ah? Well never mind. Take this!”
Vani raises his hands high, his fingertips extended as if reaching outward to grab the entire chamber; instantly power begins swirling: frost, fire, lightning and echoing thunder begin bursting and cascading randomly throughout the chamber focusing upon the dragon and his mirrors. All save one of the remaining mirrors shatter … then lowering one of his arms and pointing, Vani summons large ice stalagmites which form in a wall-like pattern between the dragon and Vani’s allies barring Chillreaver‘s pursuit. Once again the Seed reaches out to Vani’s mind but this time, now activated the Bejam’s elemental prism protects Vani from the Seed’s embrace.
Standing between the dragon and Vani, Lucian crouches looking for cover but finds none as the dragon circles towards him. Vani waits beyond Lucian on the opposite side of the chamber drawing deeply from his internal wells of power. The assistant ducks using the cover afforded by Vani’s stalagmites; quietly he targets the final mirror with another blast destroying the last mirror. As the mirror shatters the Seed falls into Lucian’s hands. Chillreaver immediately dives at Lucian, intent on killing the aristocratic sorcerer. Alone in a far corner near the entrance of the chamber, still stymied by the earlier attacks, with fear still clutching at his heart Bhenedict bravely yells, “Get over here you crap sack! I’m gonna part both yer necks fer you, tell you true, I’d like pull one and make me wish ye snake faced, butt ugly crap combin’ wiggly maggot!”
Drawn by Bhenedict’s taunts the distracted dragon misses Lucian crashing into the ice obelisk, already damaged pillar fails completely shattering and dropping both Lucian and the Seed to the ground.
Back near the entrance, Sgt. Fury catches up to the mad doctor. The doctor looks distraught, lost as the Seed falls, the sergeant easily drops him with one final blow, then racing to the fallen bard‘s side he is joined by Bhenedict, but Benny doesn’t stop, looking to the hall beyond he sees a cloud of approaching gargoyles, the largest of them in the lead. Raising his shield high Benny charges at the mass of approaching monsters, racing to a certain death, thinking not about himself but only to delay the gargoyles as much as one dwarf could. Benny hit’s the lead gargoyle hard knocking it back forcefully … Just as the gargoyle slams into the other gargoyles the Seed hits the ground and the icy gargoyles collide with each other exploding into millions of shards that rain with the tinkling sound of ice on ice. Benny yells “BOO-YA!” in spontaneous celebration.
With other sweep of his arms, Vani launches another attack upon the dragon but the dragon deftly dodges the attack dropping just below the level of the walkway, flapping wildly to stay aloft, he inadvertently thrashes both Vani and Lucian with a hail of sleet. Lying on the ground, shocked to still be breathing, Lucian tightens his muscles drawing from the arcane energies within his own blood then directs the power in an expression of acid back over his shoulder blindly into the storm of sleet, a globe of caustic acid bursts upon Chillreaver. Lucian is rewarded with an icy spray of dragon’s blood. Chillreaver crashes to the ground both heads reflexively unleashing a torrent of icy breath filling the lower level of the chamber with a blinding fog. Lucian reaches out blindly with grasping fingers but he cannot find the fallen Seed, he doesn’t need his eyes to feel the heavy approach of the dragon, he feels that in the tremors of the ice floor. Immediately Lucian teleports saving himself again as the dragon pounces.
Drawn to the Seed powerful call, Chillreaver easily feels it beneath the large icy remnants of the collapsed column. Grabbing the Seed the dragon’s minds are filled with a rush of thought only concerned about saving the Seed of Winter. Chillreaver acts quickly carrying the seed to a secret door in the nearby south end of chamber, the door leading to his treasure chamber and the dragon’s hidden escape.
Sgt. Fury saves Finellior using a magical potion of vitality taken from the giantess Nara of the Wastes. As Fin recovers, he looks about then rushes to the fallen doctor and despite having nearly been killed by the doctor he shows no hesitation as he uses all skills and powers to heal the nearly dead doctor. Sgt. Fury stands by, tensely preparing to drop the doctor again should the doctor’s mind still be addled, but as Dr. Crocre wakes it is soon clear that the doctor’s mind is once again his own.
Lucian and Vani rush to halt the dragon’s escape attacking furiously; heedless of their attacks the dragon races into the next chamber and the two sorcerers give chase. Quickly Vani calls for the manticore while Lucian silently spins and a golden blaze of energy surrounds him; Vani watches as the gold light dissipates the Lucian is gone. Lucian finds himself back on the floor of the chamber where he blasts the fleeing dragon again. Accessible only through secret entrances to the north and west, the dragon’s treasure chamber has a platform 30 feet above the floor that cuts the room in two. Icy pillars mark the boundary of the platform and the floor below. On the platform is Chillreaver’s treasure hoard, as well as an exit shaft leading out of Icehome to the top of the iceberg. This smooth ice shaft is 15 feet in diameter and heads out the top of Icehome. After 40 feet, the terrain becoming a bit easier to climb as it gradually slopes upward for another 40 feet before again becoming a 50-foot sheer climb to the top of the rim.
Chillreaver flies into the shaft disappearing from view. Vani races into the treasure chamber riding on the manticore’s back; together they chase the dragon into the shaft without hesitation leaving the rest of their party behind.
Chillreaver emerges from the top of the iceberg reflexively relaxing, injured and bloody but free, with the Seed of Winter safely within his grasp, then without warning the halfling bursts from the shaft still mounted on the manticore. Vani yells, “I’m not through with you toothless wyrm … I never knew chicken’s could fly!”
Not interested in further battle, and still thinking only to save the Seed of Winter, Chillreaver ignores the taunt flying away and fast as his wings could carry him. The manticore gives chase and Vani continues to blast the dragon using all his arcane reserves. Soon it becomes obvious that the manticore wasn’t going to be able to keep pace with the dragon, foolhardy and reckless Vani uses the last of his ebbing magic power to teleport himself forward hurling through the open air in one last desperately attack …
Chillreaver escapes, and Vani begins to plummet hundreds of feet toward the hungry ocean below. Just before he hits Vani teleports upward a few feet again narrowly escaping a certain death, slowing his fall slightly but out of power, he still hit’s the icy water hard, very hard, and his world goes black.
Within Icehome, the iceberg trembles and collapses even as the heroes work together to save themselves struggling together to climb out through the iceberg’s spout. The iceberg continues to crumble they slide and rappel down its side, until they can finally save themselves escaping upon some individual larger blocks of ice already shed from the iceberg. In ones and twos they are set adrift on the ocean’s surface.
Eventually the manticore finds them, head to a floe carrying Fin and the doctor. At first Fin fears the worst when sees Vani hanging limply in the manticore’s jaws, the manticore growling contently with his mouth full, but as the manticore flies low he drops the unconscious, but still living halfling upon the floating block of ice and Fin realizes the manticore had actually saved the halfling.
Too large to safely land upon the ice floe, Manti licks his lips appreciably before announcing, “I will go find help.”
Parcel H: Parcel 5: Crownring of Tchazzar Chillreaver’s Treasure Chamber.
Claimed by Lucian.
Crownring of Tchazzar – Level 15 UncommonA simple mithral circlet engraved with Iokharic runes reads: “Through worship ascended, by fire consumed, a god-king is reborn”.Head Slot 25,000 gpProperty: You gain a +3 item bonus to saving throws against effects that include daze, stun, or dominate.Power Daily (Standard Action)You conjure an abishai vestige, which lasts until the end of the encounter. The vestige allows you to fly with a speed of 8, and it also allows you to use the following at-will power.Power (Immediate Interrupt)Trigger: An adjacent enemy shifts.Effect: Targets triggering creature; Wisdom vs. Reflex; 2d10 + Charisma modifier fire damage, and you shift 1 square.
Parcel I: Parcel 9: A large sack of gold coins (10,000 gp) minted in a northern land beyond the Winterbole Forest. Chillreaver’s Treasure Chamber.
Parcel J: Parcel 10: A platinum ring with Bahamut’s symbol worth 2,500 gp and an ornate ruby–encrusted silver letter opener worth 1,500 gp. Chillreaver’s Treasure Chamber.