Derek, Haluna, Lauchin, Rico, Silvarious, Taenis and myself left Cold Town and the realm of Shivermore in haste. Once again we ran into two men with the ultimatium your money or your life. Although this time they wanted Lauchin as well. They must have been sent to retrieve him for breaking their laws. He was a duty bound soldier who left the charge of a Dark Paladin serving their ruler.
Once again good prevailed and we bested them. Taking their things as well of course; which this time included two heavy war horses.
In our effort to return quickly to Winterburrow we decided to once again travel through the forest. This time we ran into a talking bear creature. And once again it wanted something in exchange for our passage. This time however it was for a different reason. It demanded that we release the horses so that they might be free of mans cruel hands. We complied with the bear things wishes and it allowed us to leave in peace. Perhapse the horses will one day learn to talk too in this magical forest of speaking animals.
Our aim to reach the town was slightly off it would seem because we still hadn’t reached it by the time we expected to. So we veered westward, knowing that we would eventually find the road that would get us there. The following day we did come across the road, however that’s not all we found. Graywall keep had sent another caravan. It would seem that they charged two of their best soldiers to help defend it. All we found however were battered boards and bodies. Among them was a family headed back to Winterburrow, a mother, a father and two children.
We laid to rest the soldiers and took the family with us to bury them in town. That was the plan anyway, but that night while I was on watch the tent we had wrapped the family in burst forth and the corpses lurched out of the remains. They were most certainly undead. We dispatched them quickly and returned to our usual positions, but not with out a growing sence that something was terribly wrong.
I haven’t mentioned this yet but the reason Winterburrow was having troubles in the first place was that there seemed to be some kind of malicious magic forcing the weather over Winterburrow to be even harsher than usual. And we were now begining to suspect that it was responsible for some of the spontanious undead that we’ve been encountering also.
We made it back to town the following day. We had hoped to find it prospering once more, as it was when we had left it with renewed supplies. What we found instead was desperation. It would seem that just here in the village the weather had been whipping up into a horrible flurry. There were drifts taller than I in some spots. The villagers who remained alive were huddled together at the tavern or in a few of the neighboring homes. Their food supplies were nearly exhausted and they were trapped in the town.
The dwarven keepers in the tavern had things fairly well organized despite the panic of the others. They told us that the storms showed no sign of abatement and if they rationed their food they could wait only one month more before starvation claimed them all.
As we considered our options there was a rap at the door. It turned out to be the chief of the group of goblins we had agreed to help (who we suspected was not really a goblin at all). He told us that there was a squad of hobgoblins bearing down on the town. They were after something and they would stop at nothing to get it. The goblin offered his assistance as well as what remaind of his tribe in fending off the other goblinoids. He told us that whatever it is they want, if they want it this badly, he would much rather they not get it.
We had precious little time to prepare, but we managed to collect all of the townsfolk and move them to the deep celler in the tavern, along with all of the warm cloths and provisions we had remaining. After that we barricaded all of the windows and doors except one in hopes that they would be forced into a choke. Then all there was left to do was wait.
A few days after our arrival they came. The site was set and the battle began. Our choke plan seemed to work at first, a few attempts were made at coming in through the windows which failed on the first attempt. Then a horrible monstrocity burst through right next to Silvarious. It was over 8 feet tall at least and covered in scales. We suspect it was some kind of Hellish beast summoned fourth to help in the fight. There were upwards of a score of hobgoblins and bugbear trying to press in at other entreyways as the fight with in the tavern grew.
Suddenly all sound was drowned out by a huge explosion in the fireplace. When the smoke cleared, where moments ago was a nice defensible position lay a crackling crater and a gaping portal to the outside. In poured the others through this hole but we were still managing to keep them at bay.
We began to split off, the dwarves guarded the door to the cellar where all of the other townsfolk hid, the goblins took the brunt of the attack from the rushing hobgoblins and my group (as well as the goblin leader) focused on the Devil beast. I personally left the building and called out their warlock who stood out side of the building thinking himself safe from harm.
As the battle waged our side began to win out and our victory was assured when the scaily leader was felled by Taenis. In all there were three survivers, two were hobgoblin and one was bugbear. They were little help however when we questioned them about what the group was after. It seemed that the only one who knew was the leader.
We devised a plan. We estimated that we only had about twelve days before the next attack at best and we needed answers. Silvarious who had the ability to travel quickly through the snow as a wolf was to take the monster in a magical bag to Graywall Keep where he might get a cleric there to speek with the dead body.
Our plan was successful and we learned that they were after something known as the Fallen One. It was guessed by the clergy there that that was a creature like the one we had defeated who fought in a battle ages ago. He carried with him two great artifacts of war – A suit of armor and a War Mace. Legend has it that this creature was only beaten when two full armies were brought to bear upon him.
Then the creature told Silvarious that these evil objects were in Winterburrow.
Silvarious ran back to our town with the news. The whole trip taking 8 days. I knew our options were limited but we had to find these items before the Hobgoblins did. I used a simple spell – detect magic to see if it would give us any hints to their whereabouts. I discovered that there was a large area in the town that was radiating magic from the very ground. But the more I concentrated on it the more difficult it became. It actually started to grow painful. So I hurridley marked the boundaries where the aura was coming from.
We had a One Hundred and Twenty foot diameter area that was eminating the magic. So we began to dig near the middle. It was one of the dwarves that found it. With a strangled yell he fell to the ground in the hole he was digging. Taenus ran to him and I lifted the two out of the pit, but Taenus felt violently ill just from those few short seconds being near the objects.
We are now faced with a problem. Two great and evil artifacts lay before us. We can not let them fall into the hands of the enemies and we must keep the townsfolk safe. Even so much as moving the items seems to be a daunting task now. We must find some way to secure them but we have little time. A few days at most, and then they will come.