Nightal 6th, 1372 DR The Year of Wild Magic
Day 57 – Morning
It is the morning of the fifth day since leaving Fallcrest; each day of the road north has been harder than the one before. Snow falls throughout most of the night and piles up along the road making progress difficult. Each morning the party must shake off a layer of frost and snow from their tents before packing them away and beginning another long trudge along the frozen mud of the northern road; if road it can be called for as the further they travel the less traffic it has until around Lake Nem it becomes little more than a forest trail. Passing the Ruins of Fastormel they turned north west and crossed the Nentir River at the only stable bridge between there and Fallcrest. Here the river flows freely but the banks are covered in snow and the lake beyond can be seen to be visibly icing over; with the weather turning so cold so quickly soon the whole lake and river will become frozen solid.
Passing into the Winterbole Forest finally provided some relief from the freezing winds which have been blowing down from the northern ice caps, but while the trees block the wind they also prove a further hindrance to travel. The track has narrowed into a barely discernible trail and progress has slowed to a crawl as the party must push through piles of sodden bushes that encroach upon the path. Tempers flare quickly and small scuffles are common as the effects of the weather and the hard travel prove too much even for the close-knit dwarven brothers.
One such seemingly minor argument sees the party split up as Doc and Sneezy walk some distance behind the main group trying to calm down Bashful who, angered by Haggis’ burning of the morning meal, is proving to all how well suited he is to his barbarian calling.
It is thus a reduced party who finally reach what must be the target of the journey as ahead the track looks to open up into a clearing with no discernible exits. However before the group sets foot into the open Haggis pulls everyone back with a hushed call to alarm;
“Beware, that bird call was not natural” he states “There is no way a blue finch would be this far north in winter, it must be a signal of some kind.”
Leaving the others hidden on the path Cymbalta and Robb stealthily begin to circle the clearing attempting to find whoever may have made the signal. Moving clockwise Cymbalta soon spies someone hidden in the brush ahead and stops to examine them more closely and determine their nature. Meanwhile Robb has circled eastward and also come across a disruption in the forest. Thinking to trick his quarry into revealing themselves he throws a rock into the tress north of his target but the creature, as it must be for it is far too large to be human, merely shifts as its entire being seems to blend in with the trees and snow covered brush around it.
Deciding it is best to move back and report Robb turns to go but to his great distress he steps upon the one dry twig in the forest making a noisy crack which alerts the nearby creature and combat commences.
See combat video on YouTube at: Session 45 P1
With all of their foes defeated the group pauses to rest just as the remaining dwarves finally catch up and the party is whole again. Searching the bodies reveals signs that they must be part of Gharash Vren’s bandits but their dragon-born leader is not himself present.
With no way forward obvious the party approaches an unusual mound of rocks set in the north west of the clearing. Upon nearing the pile an apparition of a tiefling appears and speaks to the group.
“Greetings, travellers, What do you seek in the Pyramid of Shadows?”
The party apparently dumbstruck, says nothing….
“We are the protector of the forest ruins, a place sacred to Melora in the distant past, What brings you to this forlorn place?”
The party managaes a few, errrss, ahhhhs & ummms
As he speaks the image of a small golden pyramid appears next to him. He finishes with an ominous warning:
“Welcome to the Pyramid of Shadows. The only way to win your freedom is to kill us-three times.”
With that the small pyramid begins to rapidly expand and soon engulfs the party in darkness, while the tiefling’s laughter slowly fades away.
The lords of the pyramid must be killed three times each to escape.
• 7,000 Residuum (875 each player)
Human Ambushers, Dwarf Hammerers, Rage Drake