Yicak Caluprax (Prax) – White Dragonborn Fighter
Thom Fingertwitch – Half Elf Rogue
“Thirteen” – Human Druid
Vaelanesti Si’aenvier – Elf Bladesinger
Start in Bryn Shander. Staying at The North Look Inn. Scramsax, Proprietor. Trout hanging over the bar, Old Bitey. Who occasionally talks and sings.
Prax was from here but chose to return to see what was up with Auril’s curse. Vael came for similar reasons, though not from here. Thom has been here since before it started. Travel has been much more difficult for him to try to leave. Thom heard we were looking into things. The wanderlust took over, and he introduced himself to us. Thirteen’s mentor sent him here out of the Lonelywood to see why summer has not returned. Termalaine did not have an answer, so he continued south.
“Join us in our search, man. It is very auspicious magic. We have not been able to find a cleric of Auril who can explain it.”
Series of recent killings. Three killings in the last month. Dagger of ice through the heart. Murder happened while the gates were closed. Prax approaches a scarred dwarf who’s been eying us in the tavern.
Hilde Trollbane. She has spent several weeks trying to figure the murders out. She used to be a Bounty Hunter. It sounds interesting, so Vaer pulls his chair over. So do the others. She thinks only one man can be responsible: Stefik Cultrow (Human). Seems immune to the cold. Works for Torga Icevein (Dwarf), a merchant company…buys and sells wares…Peddlar. Four other human workers working with Torga. Hilde will pay us 100 Gold to apprehend Stefik and ascertain his guilt. “Isolate him and dispose of him quietly.” They are currently set up at Dougan’s Hole.
None of the 3 people who died were ones who lost the lottery on the new moon. These 3 towns sacrifice people every month to Auril.
Can travel by foot, dogsled, or domesticated axebeak (can purchase at 50 GC each…rent for 1 GC a day).
4 Gold. 8 Silver to rent from Gormar the Axebeak Rustler. Plan to leave in the morning.
Plan: Ride to Good Mead. Ask around to see if they’ve come back through. Wait for Stefik to isolate himself from his group. Pounce.
We do not encounter anyone…or anything…on the ride. Get to the Mead Hall in Good Meade. Carved with pictures of wyvern. Drone of bees, even in the winter, for making mead. Also a shrine to Tempus in town. We head to the stables to turn in the axebeaks and ask about sled dog teams coming through.
Tivern at the stables welcomes us. Thirteen wanders away to look at the other animals. He Speaks with Animals to ask about when the dogsleds came in to the stables. Thirteen confirms that one sled dog team just came recently with about 6 people. We head to the Mead Hall to see if we can find a guy matching Stefik’s description.
We stimulate the economy while looking for Stefik. We see a table with a female dwarf and 5 humans. Stefik is easy to pick out amongst the 6 people. Well built man in his 30’s. Olive complexion. No facial hair. Hair pulled back. He is unarmed…unlike all his companions. Thirteen makes plans to slip the man a laxative or emetic.
We hear that all mead deliveries are halted due to a Verbeeg maurader stealing the last delivery. The Speaker of the town is dead. Five militia have gone after the nine foot tall giant.
Prax bumbles into the man, spilling his drink…and the drink of the man beside him. He replaces Stefik’s drink with his own, laced drink. Torga: “You just walked in and you look like you’ve already had one too many.” Prax apologizes and goes for another drink. Torga suggests one for the whole table. Prax does not back down, only offering to replace what has been knocked over.
Stefik keeps drinking, undeterred by the laced drink. Torga tells them to turn in and prepare to return to Bryn Shander the next day. This is the night before the new moon, when the sacrifices are done.
Stefik comes back down to use the facilities. Prax talks him up. Thom follows as his shadow. Stefix heads around the corner of the stables. Thom follows stealthily. Tivern is putting the axebeaks away for the night. Stefix is sneaking up behind the stablemaster.
Thom calls out to Tivern, “I’m glad I caught you before you were done for the night. We might need to rent these axebeaks in the morning.” Stefik says he’s there to do the same thing. He says they have more merchandise they can carry with their current sleds. Stefix leaves Thom to speak to Tivern. Stefix stares Thom down. His eyes are strikingly blue.
Vael comes out of the tavern to dress down Prax for an ineffective interrogation. He sees Stefik turn down a side street. Vael points the way for Thom to follow again. Stefix closes in on his prey. Thom sees a bluish glow in Stefix’s left hand…like an icicle glows in the man’s hand.
Thom thrown his dagger. Hits Stefix in the left shoulder. 8 damage. He growls and spins on Thom, eyes glowing ice blue in the night. He grins and walks toward Thom…who yells “PRAX!”
Prax steps up and hits Stefix with a great axe across the chest for 16 damage. Stefix does not appear to be bleeding. Thom steps up with a short sword pierce for 13 damage. No blood on the blade. The wounds remain, just bloodless. Stefix swings for Prax and misses.
Prax swings his axe a second time. He cleaves Stefix from shoulder to midsection for 28 damage. The axe is stuck, until Prax yanks a bit harder, pulling out rotted innards. Stefik swings back in retaliation. Thom sneak attacks at the same time. Stefix hits Prax for 2 cold damage with his ice prick. Thom strikes for 13 more damage. Stefix hits Prax a second time with his off-hand dagger for 4 damage.
Chromatic Orb – Thunder: I hurl a 4-inch diameter sphere, the smoky color of a roiling storm. It hits Stefik’s body with a concussive, thunder blast for 12 damage. The body heaves off to the side. The color is gone from Stefik’s eyes.
The body has a small purse. His formed dagger and sword are still on the ground. Thirteen sets the body on fire. The dagger and sword melt into the snow. Only coins from the bag remain on the ground. 5 GP. 6 SP. 3 CP.