Sunday, September 11, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl Prologue and Background

Recap from 7/22/2011 Averlorn Session (Part 1 of 2)

After our second foray into the Halls of the Blind we took some time off for the winter for a much needed rest.  After we split up the loot from the foray, each of the group members went back to their city or town of origin to ride out the winter before the anvil was completely snowed in.  Beorn the Bahkshanni dwarf returned to the deep Dwarven halls hidden away in the mountains of the anvil.  Gradwin, Evelyn, Asclepius, Cyrcla, Taleth and Kaira returned to the city of Medea’s Gate where they were originally from while Teth-en-Aire and Lucias returned to the city of Ptoleph on the northern edge of the Anvil to winter over.  It was here that Lucias was granted lands and a title having finally attained named level (9th level fighter).

Lucias was granted the title of Baron by the Duke of Ptoleph.  Previously, he had been granted the title of the Marquis of Stormcall Ridge in the Gorgon’s Trench for taking part in the events that ended up saving the region from being overrun by a horde of undead zombies (see previous recap The Midnight Opal of Shadar from the Barrow Mound of Gravemoor module by Expeditious Retreat Press).  The land was not worth very much except for the occasional turnip farm so he hadn’t spent much time there afterwards as a result.  Besides, it was so far away in a remote backwater of the trench that it was hardly worth the trip. 

The land that the duke granted him was north of the great city of Ptoleph off of the main trade road in the hills near the giant statue of Hephaestus that marks the northern boundary of the Anvil.  The main population center of the Barony of Dunweilding is located in the last village near the King's Road (the main north-south trade road) before one reaches the lands of the elves to the north.  This hilly region is close to the Fossmoor Grove to the northwest and the Whisperwood Hollow to the northeast which are the forests of the elves wherein reside the three great castes of elven society - the Star Elves, the Sun Elves, and the Moon Elves of Averlorn.  The village is known as Cool Rock Springs and is a very small town sporting only one tavern.  The previous lord of this region was deceased and the Duke granted the Barony to Lucias so that he could represent his interests there and act as the protector of the region which is also the northern border of the Duke's domain.  About four miles away from the road further into the hills is the site of the ancient Iron Age hill fort of Dunweilding that is still used from time to time for the local defense due to its strategic placement on the hill top.  It was also placed there to protect the nearby mines and is ringed on three sides by limestone cliffs making it very hard to assault since there is only one logical approach for an attacker.  The mine is an ancient Gnomish copper mine and it is not known if it is played out or not so it may yet contain additional mineral wealth.  Lucias was also granted a Manor House in the city of Ptoleph as is the custom of the region to take care of his affairs while representing the Duke in the city in the House of Lords.

During this time, Lucias heard that the nearest neighbor to the Dunweilding Barony is a Marquis to the south.  Lucias and Teth-en-Aire were staying at the Emporium in Ptoleph while all of the official business of the granting of the Barony was taking place.  The proprietor of the establishment, one Argus Norviadras, told Lucias to keep an eye on his neighbor to the south.  It was being taken care of by a Marquis who was the brother of a Knight who was usually away on quests and military missions for the Duke.  He told me the Marquis has a black heart and is in fact a petty villain who was using his title for personal gain at the expense of others but that his brother the Knight was actually fair and just when he was around.  He went on to say that their father was the Baron of the region but that he is now dead.  He explained further that should the Knight come to an untimely demise, the younger brother would undoubtedly become a greedy and avaricious neighbor. 

So during the official ceremony held by the Duke of Ptoleph Lucias was granted his official baronial title.  He was to be thereafter known as Lord Lucius Artorius Petreius the Baron of Dunweilding north of Ptoleph in the service of the Duke of Ptoleph, and the Marquis of Stormcall Ridge in Spirythol.  The last bit of official business to attend to was to name his younger brother as the Marquis of Dunweilding to manage the affairs of the region in the event of his absence.  This was a happy day for the Petreius family who had moved to Ptoleph when Lucias was a youngster to get away from the rat race that is known as the city of Grand Oryx.  His father was particularly proud as he was just a simple merchant who had built up his business from nothing in the City of Grand Oryx to rise above the squalor.  Once his business was established and prosperous he eventually relocated to the city of Ptoleph after he had made a name for himself as a successful and wealthy merchant.  Seeing his son named as a Lord was more than he could have hoped for from one of his offspring.

So after all of the official business had been taken care of and he had been given a tour of his new lands at the end of the winter in early spring, it was apparent that in order to earn enough money to build a keep, as was now his right, he would need to continue adventuring for the foreseeable future.  Once the group was rejoined afterwards in the city of Medea’s Gate, we went to see Marut of the Surgeons Guild to inquire about the debt they wanted us to settle with them.  When we fought the three Chimeras outside of the Shrine of Zingalis during the previous adventuring season, our NPC ally Teth-en-Aire the Elf had been slain (see recap Of Baked Ham, Horned Devils and Chimeras).  We all contributed gold to having him raised from the dead by the Surgeons of Hecate but such services were not merely financial transactions for them since they usually only cast them on members of their own order.  In addition to financial compensation, they required a debt be repaid which usually entailed some kind of quest or errand of the adventuring kind to be completed by the recipient(s) of the powerful magic.

So when we went to see Marut to settle up this debt, he told us they still had not found the book that they lost previously and required our assistance to recover it.  More than a year ago the surgeons had contacted us about possibly hiring us to attempt to recover a very powerful and dangerous tome that had been lost when an airship went down on the way to the city of Harbor Reach on the eastern coast.  The ship is believed to have been downed near the village of Chapoi across the Forger’s Runnel River in the Anvil.  The Ancient Tome has beaten brass covers and is 16” x 12” x 6” thick and was stored in a chest with a latch.  To the west of Chapoi, a two days hike, the Wild Moon tribe of goblins holds sway and may have had something to do with the downing of the ship.  They ended up sending someone else out to try and locate the book but it was never recovered.  We ended up turning down their offer of employment at the time in order to explore the Tower of Zingalis instead and the other group never managed to locate the tome.  This was before the Ranger Taleth Flavius joined the group and we were ill suited to attempt an overland adventure of this type at the time.  We would have had a hard time just trying not to get lost, much less trying to locate a lost book in the wilderness.

So through divination spells or perhaps even with the assistance of the Oracles, the surgeons managed to locate the tome and it had been moved a great distance from the original wreckage of the dragon ship which was later found near Chapoi.  The information they had discovered revealed that the book was to be found in the treasure trove of a great Frost Giant leader located high in the snowy peaks of the Pillars of Defiance – the great mountain range far to the southwest of Medea’s Gate which marked the southwest boundary of the Anvil of the Gods.  He also told us that we were forbidden to even open up the great tome as it could be dangerous to us.  Marut arranged for the group to receive a number of healing potions and we purchased enough provisions for two weeks and winter clothing so that we could survive the extreme temperatures of the snowy peaks.  We were then flown via dragonship to a site near the glacial rift and dropped off at the drop zone where we were lowered down to the snowy ground below.  We were told that the ships would return to pick us up every three days and were given the means and method to signal them at the site when we were ready to be retrieved from the barren snowy peaks one hour after sunrise on the pre-designated day of retrieval.

So, with our quest at hand we trudged our way through the snow to find the rift of the frost giants.  The ranger managed to find an ice cave nearby which we would use as a base for our forays against the frost giants.   The cave was highly defensible, particularly against giants because it had a small entrance and was hard to locate from the outside.  From the ice cave it was another 3-4 hour hike using snow shoes through deep snows to the glacial rift itself hidden within the valley of the glacier.  So after resting up from our first hike from the drop zone and establishing our base camp, we set off to explore Dungeon Module G2 the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl.



  1. Another excting read. Thanks for sharing your adventures again.

  2. This recap was mostly background info but we've played this module for five sessions now. I'm a bit behind on the recaps but plan to post them over the next week or two since its been a seriously fun module to play in and reminds me of the games we played when I was a kid. We started out with eight to ten 7th to 9th level characters (including a few 6th level henchmen). Most of the characters were only 7th level when we started with the exception of the 8th level assassin and the 9th level fighter making it very challenging. Several have leveled up since then.