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The torch slips slowly down the hole past several feet of jagged rocks and ice before revealing a wide, cavernous opening some fifteen to twenty feet below. Continuing to lower the torch reveals the glint of ice and water sixty feet below you and as the torch gets closer you can seen three forms in the freezing water. It's hard to see details but it's obvious they're dead from the frozen blood covering them and the fact that they're In pieces.
Rummaging through the discarded and ransacked supplies yields several more lengths of rope and a second block and tackle.
The hole descends deeply into the rocks and nothing can be seen at the bottom which is likely more than fifty feet down, a fatal drop for most, and anything could be down there.
Carefully, and quietly circling the wagon you find the remains of a small camp situated around a hole in the ground. The camp is in a similar state as the wagon, items issued about and containers broken open, while a metal tripod sits above the hole. A broken block and tackle sways and twists back and forth from the tripod over the hole, roughly six feet wide, causing the wooden wheels to creak against the remains of ropes.
One other thing pops out to you amidst this chaos. There are marks near the edge of the hole that look likes finger or claw marks moving towards the hole and if something or someone was trying to either catch themselves from slipping in or worse, dragged into the hole
The party heads roughly south from the spur towards the rocky area and as the sun begins to set you start looking for somewhere to settle in against the cold. Keen eyes spot a rocky outcropping nearby that'll block out much of the wind provides it doesn't shift direction.
It is the evening of day two leaving you three full days and tonight to solve the problem before your brooches stop working
Intelligence check DC15:
Svarrgt told you he sold several of the coins to the local Jarl
Intelligence check DC18:
The merchant said that the adventurers tried using those coins, maybe other merchants accepted them
knowledge nature or survival DC 18:
The adventurers bought mountaineering equipment so they must have gone either towards a cliff, mountain or cave. There's Cragger's rock, that you're standing in front of, and more rocky terrain south of here.
When Aizubike tosses tosses the coin into the cavern dwarves eyes catch a glimpses of movement as something scrambles closer to retrieve the coin before retreating.
The tingling feeling as if you're surrounded fades slightly but doesn't completely pass until you remove yourselves from the area.
what are you going to do? Track down the remaining 36 coins or maybe try to destroy this entity/creature so it can't follow through with its threat. Or perhaps some other alternative.
"Three times shall the warmth of the sun touch these lands. If you have not returned my coins by then...we feast."
"Hún mun ekki sofa fyrr en mynt mínir aftur til mín og við vilja eyðileggja einhver hver á að tilraunir til að stöðva okkur. Skila mynt og flýja svo við að fylla lungun með saltvatni og hátíð á þér."
"i will not sleep until my coins return to me and we will destroy anyone who tries to stop us. Return the coin and flee lest we fill your lungs with saltwater and feast upon you."
The party walks away from the tracks and strikes out along the edge of the river looking for a good place to cross. The detour eats up the rest of your day and you find yourselves returned to the crag just in time for dusk to fall. The shadows of the dark holes deepen and the passages seem to extend into forever, you know it's just a trick of your minds but it's unsettling as it is. Out if the darkness echoesloud bellowing in an old dialect of Skald. "Mynt mín! Aftur mynt mínum! Ég vil mynt mínum! Ég mun finna þig þjófa og þegar ég geri ég mun draga þig í djúpum og hátíð á hugaður eins og þú drukkna!"
"My coins! Return my coins! I want my coins! I will find you thieves and when I do I will drag you into the depths and feast on your guts as you drown!"
You'll have to cross the waters to get there. You can take your time and find a fiord or risk the broken ice.
Aizubike, you may not be near the rock formation but you do see five holes in the ice with odd footprints heading north past you. The holes in the ice have only begun to close up meaning they're less than an hour, probably less than half an hour old. You would've missed the footprints if not for the slim film of salt barely highlighting the edges of ragged boot prints and bare feet, heavy ponderous. Whatever made these cant be too far away but they're in the opposite direction.
After a cold night under the stars you rise to the sounds of the dwarves gathering up around you and preparing to move on. You go over what they know again before heading out.
The first few hours of travel pass uneventfully but somewhere around nine find yourselves confronted by a gristly scene. The snow is a dark red and you can see amongst the mess shattered bones and the tracks of wolves. The snow is still wet and the tracks fresh. Whoever this was, they were attacked and died last night.
Another couple of hours finds you in sight of a rocky formation that matches the descriptions given by the dwarves.
In the distance a jagged spur of rock stands out in comparison to the low and rounded rocks nearby. One side of the rocky outcrop seems pitted and rough overhanging a section of river broken by sharp rocks and icy water crashing against it.
...The goblins are eating posts again.
"With those shoes Cragger's point is about a four or five hour hike south of Vlogten, that town, but it south of the river. It's frozen at this point but the river runs fast so the ice can be very thin in places. Can't miss it."
Do you stay the night or risk the trek back in darkness, lit by the occasion ray of moonlight or star light that breaks through an overcast sky?
the dwarf pauses and thinks real hard. "I can't rightly remember but I think it was on a major river. But the story is generations old, more than five hundred years I'd wager."
"Oh, yes,yes come on over and warm yourselves by our fire."
sorry, had no reception when I arrived at camp
Hustling after the dwarves for the remainder of the day is a long and tiring affair but your perseverance pays off as an hour or so after dark you find yourselves on the outskirts of another farmstead with several low buildings and a high dirt wall around it. Off to the side, along the curve of the road is a caravan of wagons and tents tucked away between the wall and the road. You count two dim fires and three moving bodies there and twice as many moving within the wall itself as the figures walk the perimeter.
"Of course they paid in gold and silver, they tried to use those weird coins they found but I wouldn't take them. Heard they exchanged them at a money lender, Svarrgt I think."
The man happily trades your gold coins, after checking them, for the various gear you ask for.
A little while later as you exit the town and step back into the harsh wilderness beyond the walls the cold wind hits you and tries to work its way into your clothing to steal your warmth. You can see a faint trail or path, no one would call a road, heading roughly north with deep wagon ruts and and sled marks cutting through the shallow snow and ice drifts.
To the south you can see in the distance a small mountainous, rocky region roughly half a days travel over frozen fields.
"Adventurers? Yeah they came by a week ago and almost cleaned me out of my mountaineering section. Plus a couple dozen heavy sacks... Lanterns, chains, long poles and even had me get them some iron bars and a giant metal bear cage. I remember them well, they had gold this time. Before that they tried to buy on credit. Ha. As if I'd be dumb enough to give credit to a travelling band of adventurers. Aside from those, hmm, I think it's been quite a while. We do get some local youngsters that get the idea to make it rich travelling the land looting monster lairs but southerners don't come up here to often, too cold for their delicate skin. He he he."
The furs he is referring to are padded, leather, studded leather and hide armours that incorporate cold weather gear. Just add the prices together if you want them,
Only 5g and after travel time and running abou the city it's fast approaching noon
After leaving the guard house you ask around for a bit until you find a trader that deals with travel supplies and or more accurately trappers supplies and gear who stocks cleats, skis and snowshoes for 5g per set. Looking about the man establishment you can see dozens of various traps as well as unusual sleds suspended from the ceiling. "Greetings travellers, can I interest you in some of my fine furs or fur clothing? The wilderness can be a dangerous and cold place beyond the town walls and my gear will keep you snug and warm despite the worst weather... And turn away wolf teeth as well."
Travel to the eastern and western gate houses is rather easy so long as you travel with the large crowds heading out of town. Breaking out of the crowd so you can stay and talk to the guards, not so much. You manage to break free of the current of pedestrians and are walk up to the guards on duty. After a gruff exchange of 'Get back in line!' and introductions asking to inquire about various issues the guards point you. A door off to the side. Through the doorway is a small guard room and up the stairs you find an office with a sour looking middle aged ulfen with one eye patched over. The man, the current captain of the eastern gate, doesn't seem overly interested in chatting or discussion but with enough encouragement opens up and tells you what he knows.
Diplomacy DC15 or 1g:
The dwarves' caravan did exit through this gate and headed roughly north east yesterday.
Diplomacy DC18 or 1.5g:
(Above info plus...)
The dwarves, twelve in all, were travelling with a pair of heavy carts pulled by oxen so the distance they can travel in a day is pretty small. They claimed to be travelling through several towns and hamlets on the way to... Somewhere.
Diplomacy DC21 or 2g:
(Above info plus...)
Their next stop was supposed to be a farmstead north of here, past a semi frozen river, owned by Sven Svarggt. They said they would stay one day there before continuing onwards.
Diplomacy DC25 or 5g:
The captain remembers seeing the adventurers, that everyone keeps talking about, leave town and head south east towards Loc Merren. Loaded down with spelunking gear, lanterns and a nearly empty cart. That was eight or nine days ago.
Knowledge nobility DC17:
The banner hanging on the wall behind the captain belongs to the house of Weiylin. The Weiylin family is famous for piracy and raiding the southern peoples.
Knowledge nobility DC23:
The Weiylin family was almost wiped out almost century ago by bad fortunes and worse luck forcing the proud family to swear service to the local Jarl to survive.
Its been less than 24 hours so far. You arrived last night so this is yours first day.
Sebastian Salt looks good.
Zachariah needs to finish weapons/equipment
Evander Wulff needs to have talents typed out. Can you also drop ten years, it would make more sense for you not returning to fight the blight that way since you'd still be training (maybe tutored/squire to your uncle which could lead to either Chevalier or Templar later)
Milk needs to start his character now that he's decided on what he's playing
I'd like everyone to make up one or two ties to another character. You can discuss them or just make it up yourself and let the other person amend if they want
"Um, where's your cart?"
The two guards wait a moment for a response before one laughs me shakes his head, "Utlanders, I thinken you'd lost your cart. How can you's be delivery wit no cart? Forgot where you's parken it?"
Inside the building