Legacy of the Crystal Shard

A letter penned by Bazdrak for his superiors at Mithril Hall
Bazdrak letter

By Clangeddin’s grace, I have reached Bryn Shander, but not before getting a chance to battle against the local menaces known as “yetis”.  These seems quite bold – attacking our caravan as it entered the gate of Bryn Shander.  Some of the beasts scaled the walls of the settlement while others harassed the rear of the caravan.  It is difficult to say whether the assault had a defined motive.  I hope to learn more by discussing the event with locals in the coming days.

 I should note here the skill and bravery demonstrated by my fellow caravan guards.  Halan is an Elf and extremely deadly with bow and arrow.  Just when I thought the yetis might overwhelm my position, his missiles found their marks and repelled the monsters or slew them outright.  Also among the guard was a haughty Elf by the name of Aedelmar.  He is trained in wizardry and was also able to kill several yetis with fiery arrows that sprang from his hand.  Also a manipulator of fire is the human named Hiram.  He is a man of the cloth and capable of divine healing, but his use of flame in this battle particularly aided in the victory.

 One of these yetis had cornered a local man named Rierdon.  It was slain before the man was harmed, but he expressed anger that he had paid a man named “Slim” a pretty sum of gold to serve as a bodyguard, but when the yetis came, Slim was nowhere to be found.  Rierdon seems to be an honest man and he serves as the town’s apothecary.  For helping him escape the yetis, he has offered us discounts at his shop, which is more than generous.  I aim to locate Slim and inquire as to the terms of the contract with Rierdon and to determine where the difference of interpretation stems from.  I am sure this can be settled amicably and in a way that is fair to both parties.

 In our travels about the town, we encountered a barbarian tied out at a stake without the warmth of a fire or even warm clothing.  In asking some questions, we found his name was Hengar.  He’d been sentenced to die for stealing from a townsperson.  It was a difficult situation.  On one hand, the punishment seemed harsh and unnecessarily drawn out.  It seemed that Hengar’s status as a Reghed Barbarian may have not only led to the harsh penalty but may also have taken away any right to a fair trial.  We leveraged our good will with the Sheriff to gain audience with him and the Speaker, Duvessa Shane.  We sought only to make sure Hengar was fairly sentenced, but after questioning the aggrieved party, learned that the story did not hold water.  The speaker proved wise indeed, letting Hengar free, but he would have to leave town immediately.  We agreed and spoke to Hengar of his tribe (The Elk Tribe).  He had come to Bryn Shander of his own volition in the first place to seek help for his tribe.  They have been set upon by beasts and premature foul weather.  He thought that perhaps after saving him, we might be interested in assisting his tribe.  For my part, I thought there may be a connection between the yeti attack on Bryn Shander and whatever was causing the aggressive behavior of the beasts neat the Elk Tribe, so I agreed to help, but there were some things we still needed to attend to before departing.

 Hiram, the cleric of Selune, had traveled all this way to deliver an item of some importance to his faith to a man in Bryn Shander.  Aedelmar and I accompanied him.  The exchange went well enough, though both Hiram and Aedelmar were perhaps too curious and began pressing Dunavan for answers about the mysterious item.  He said it was actually intended for another person named Aarun.  Aarun was not present, but had been checking on the delivery frequently up until two days before.  To my surprise, Aedelmar attempted to trick Dunavan’s mind by magic in order to convince him to show us the contents of the crate.  Dunavan resisted and did not seem terribly angered by this uncalled for act.  I must commend him for his restraint.  I shall also have to advise these elves not to act so impulsively and that things could have gone much worse if Dunavan had mind to take offense!

 With all of these events afoot in Bryn Shander, I am still mindful of my mission.  On the caravan up here, I have befriended Helda Silverstream.  Her Uncle is none other than Stokley Silverstream!  She says she will do what she can to get me audience with Lord Silverstream.  I hope he is as friendly as his niece, but he is a Dwarf of great importance, so I will measure my words carefully and not go before him without planning my actions ahead of time.  I will send a report to Mithril Hall once again after meeting with Lord Silverstream.

Icewind Dale and Bryn Shander in particular are not quite dull.  These folk seem to live rich lives and the very first of the Ten Towns is bustling with activity.   There is much work for those able bodied and able-minded enough to get involved.  Danger is only a short distance away, it seems.  While these sturdy people have dealt with it before and still flourished, it feels as though there is room for help from the outside.  If it pleases the Lords of Mithril Hall, I will tarry here for a time and see what can be done about some of the above-mentioned issues at hand.  And if business back home calls for my return, just send word to Bryn Shander.

 Sincerely and with Valor,

 Initiate at Arms – Bazdrak Doooldwin

 Post Script:  There seems to be a great distrust between the people of Bryn Shander and the so-called barbarian tribes as well as between the barbarian tribes themselves.  I wonder what can be done to improve these relations.  It is promising that Hengar was sent to Bryn Shander to seek aid, but not a good sign how easily he was imprisoned and sentenced to death.

 My hope is that I can aid in the forging of an alliance between these cultures…and if the Dwarves loyal to Lord Stokely Silverstream can be a part of it, then that is optimal.

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Session one - Yetis at the gate

Session date: February 26
Game date: Eleint 25

This and all DM recaps in the future will touch only on the facts of the session. Any and all embellishment will be done in the player recaps.

Beorne and his caravan arrive at Bryn Shander three days later than expected. Heavy snows and blowing winds had delayed progress.
As the wagon train arrived at Bryn Shander a wave of Yetis attacked. Three beasts assaulted the gates, a fourth yeti climbed the wall.

Aedelmar, Bazdrak, Halan and Hiram fought along side the city guards and kept the beasts from entering the city.

Just as the last of the young yeti are put down, a much larger yeti attacks, followed by yet a third wave. In the end, the assault is repelled and little damage is done.

Sheriff Markham greets the party and thanks them for what they have done. He recommends they see the speaker, Duvessa Shane. She may want to extend her thanks as well.

Just inside the main gate is the Apothecary’s shop. Rierdon, the apothecary, was attacked by one of the yeti during the conflict, but was saved by the PC’s. Later, Rierdon relates his tale of woe to Bazdrak about having paid a large sum of gold (150) to a a thug named Slim. Slim promised to protect the shop but was nowhere to be found during the yeti attack. Because of the PC’s actions they are given discounted prices. It is discovered that Slim and his men are bilking other shop owners as well.

Helda, the dwarven merchant who traveled along with the caravan, tells Bazdrak she needs a few days to unload her merchandise and prepare for the trip to the dwarven valley. She will be staying at Kelvin’s Comfort and can be found there if Brazdrak wants to travel with her.

Hiram is anxious to deliver the crate he has been protecting. The party travels toward eastgate to locate the merchant. Finding Dunavan is not difficult. The merchant accepts the delivery but says it was really meant for another man named Aarun. Aarun had been checking on the arrival of the crate for the past few days but, mysteriously, he is absent today. Dunavan tells the party that Aarun had been staying at the Northlook inn.

As they traveled to see Dunavan, the party comes across a Reghed Barbarian named Hengar. The northman is strung up on a thick pole driven into the ground at the center of the market square. Hengar has been sentenced to death by exposure for stealing from the local seamstress, Brinna. She claims he stole her lockbox but Hengar maintains his innocence. The party seeks out the sheriff at city hall and finds him in conference with the speaker Duvessa Shane. After a short faux trial, something Hengar was denied before his initial sentencing, Brinna’s changing story and weak facts convince Duvessa to allow Hengar to go free, but he must immediately be escorted out of the city. Hengar pleads with the PC’s to travel with him to the Elk Tribe encampment.

Before the party leaves city hall, they see a man enter. Vaelish is greeted by Duvessa and the two begin to talk as the characters are excused.

Having freed Hengar, but not yet ready to commit to any actions, the party makes their way to Kelvin’s comfort where they meet up with Beorne for all manner of drink and revelry. Late into the day, just as darkness takes a firm hold on the city, a cry rises above the streets. “Fire…Fire!”

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Session one teaser

The journey north is nearly finished…

The snow begins to fall more heavily, and the wind resumes its
plaintive moan. The teams struggle to pull their loads through
the growing drifts of snow, while the sky above darkens. Finally,
the lead wagon begins to ascend one of the hillsides, and the
broad walls of Bryn Shander come into view.
A guard from the tower hails your company, and as the
gates swing open the caravan lets out a ragged cheer. Slowly,
the wagons begin to file through, with the drivers in back
calling out impatiently as those in front pause to greet the
townsfolk who have come out to greet you. Suddenly, the calls
in back give way to desperate shouts and muffled screams.
The caravan is under attack!

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Destination in Sight

Aedelmar – Personal Log.

It had been a long and arduous journey. The campfire we lit each night was only enough to melt the snow and ice that had gathered on my robes—not enough to dry it. Rations were as low as the morale of my travelling companions.

Our destination was Bryn Shandar,. My destination—somewhere in the Icewind Dale. I’ve traced the rune on Aethelred’s artifact to this locale. I don’t yet understand the meaning of the carving…but I will. I’ve become attached to this mysterious piece of stone. Sandstone, I think. During the frigid nights I find myself imagining who carved it, how long ago it was made, what its use was—and why it was found at the last place my mentor was seen. I’m not sure how, but it seems to be able to aid in my studies. Every night as I pour over my lessons in my spell book, the stone seems to respond to my thoughts. So much so that I’ve come to use it as an aid in my spell casting. It’s become sort of a focusing point for my thoughts. I only hope this isn’t the last revelation the stone has to offer. It is my only lead to discover the fate of my master.

Along the way, I’ve come to know a few of the unfortunate souls who have signed up for this frigid trek. There’s a Paladin and a Cleric who have become more than acquaintances. Neither seem too bright (I’ve saved their hides more than once) but they seem somewhat capable in battle and leave me to my studies. One human and the other a dwarf. While they aren’t the worst I’ve come across, the constant preaching from the Cleric about his god is almost more than I can take. At least he can swing a weapon—sometimes.

Late in the journey—probably five or so days out from Bryn Shandar, our caravan was raided by goblins. Tasked to retrieve the cargo, the three of us followed the trail of dropped trinkets to a small opening in the icy mountain not far from the trade road. We had not been in the cave more than two minutes before the Paladin walked right into one of those foul beasts (I said they weren’t smart). What followed was almost the end of that damned Cleric. Surrounded by three goblins, he took multiple blows—only saved by my efforts using spells channeled through my runestone.

After dispatching three of the theifs, we followed the last one deeper into the cavern. Crossing a fast-moving, subterranean creek, we found our cargo strewn about in a large opening at the end of the cave. We also found four remaining goblins who had no intention of returning it to its rightful owners.

The Paladin (stupidly) charged into the room, narrowly avoiding a hidden pit that surely would have killed the fool. Then proceeded to get hit by numerous strikes and arrows almost taking him to the great Paladin-Club-in-the-Sky. Thankfully, I again conjured enough arcane flames and distractions to defeat the filthy beasts and retrieve our belongings.

I’ve become tired of this journey. I want only to learn the meaning of this damned stone—and its connection to my teacher. However, I may have found a few who might be able to aid me in my quest. Both the Paladin and the Cleric have their uses—and if more present themselves to be useful, I’ll add them to my collection. My path may wander, and I may have to make a detour or two along the way, but the destination is clear. Find out what happened to Aethelred.

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Campaign start
The road to Bryn Shander

The adventure begins with the characters accompanying
a caravan that is on the last leg of its journey to the
town of Bryn Shander in Icewind Dale. After nearly
a month on the trail, everyone in the caravan is roadweary.
The caravan consists of a dozen wagons, an
equal number of merchants, and four caravan guards,
not including the player characters. The caravan carries
mostly food and clothing from the south.
As their destination nears, the travelers talk eagerly
of the comforts awaiting them in Bryn Shander’s inns
and alehouses.

It has been over a month since you signed up as caravan
guards for the expedition to Faerûn’s far north, the frozen
land known as Icewind Dale. The grueling trek up the southern
slopes of the Spine of the World was nothing compared
to the treacherous crossing over the mountain pass. When
the wagon train finally began its descent into Icewind Dale,
everyone in the caravan breathed a collective sigh of relief that
the journey was nearly at an end. That was five days ago.
The first sight of the dale already seems like a distant
memory. Five days of hard travel across the barren tundra
has left ache in the legs and rumble in the belly. Frozen
winds have scoured memory of warmer climes, and at night,
huddled behind the rude shelter of circled wagons, the sound
of the groaning breeze is a constant companion.
This morning, however, there is a sense of liveliness as the
caravan breaks camp. Beorne Steelstrike, the dwarf leading
the expedition, has indicated that the caravan might be able
to make its destination before nightfall if everyone pushes
hard today. Not wanting to spend a single night more than
necessary in this unforgiving wasteland, everyone hastens to
hitch their wagons.
As your fellow travelers make ready, they speak of the
comforts that await them at your destination, the trade
town of Bryn Shander. “Once I’ve seen to the wagons, it’ll be
straight to Kelvin’s Comfort for me,” declares Beorne, doing a
last check up the line. “A cup o’ Flamebeard’s Firebrandy will
warm ye up faster than any hearth fire!” Swinging up into his
seat, he gives a shout and cracks his reins, and the caravan
rumbles forward.

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So it begins
Adventure log information

As the icy hand of winter closes over the dale, one
last caravan struggles over the pass through the Spine
of the World before the snows choke off all connection
to the outside world. Accompanying it is a group of
hardy adventurers who suddenly find themselves in a
land besieged by three foes, each of whom will stop at
nothing to claim dominion over Icewind Dale. Can the
players uncover the villains’ plots before the people of
Icewind Dale are doomed to enslavement and death?
Even if they do, can the heroes hold winter’s fury at bay
long enough to thwart all of their foes, or will they save
Icewind Dale from one evil only to watch it slip into the
hands of another?

snowy_landscape.jpg

Welcome players, to our experimental journey back into the Forgotten Realms.
Please check the wiki for information concerning character choices and advancement.
After each session, you can return to this log to post and or read session recaps that are contributed by yourself and other players. Any player who posts a recap of previous sessions will receive an XP reward. I will accept multiple recaps, especially those that are written in character and that look back on the events of the session through the eyes of your character. Recap XP will be awarded at the next play session. If you expect this reward to give you enough XP to gain a level, make sure you update your character before said adventure.

Thank you for deciding to participate and I hope we can all enjoy a successful campaign from beginning to end.

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