With Gath rejoining the party, they set out for the cliffside lair of the white dragon Martax. Here they found the cave entirely coated with ice, and the dragon himself lying amidst his treasures in a back room. Waking him up, the group tried to reason with the young wyrm and convince him to let them take the Tear of the Sun. Despite promises of gifts, Martax was in no mood for negotiation, and he turned on the four with every weapon in his arsenal. After a long and bloody fight, the party was able to kill Martax and save the people on the mountain from his rampages. Taking the Tear of the Sun, dragonscale armor, and a symbol of Avandra from his horde, they returned to the Stalwart Hall as conquering heroes.
With the Tear in place, the Stalwart’s magically powered facilities were once more operational, and the place could be safely used as a haven until the winter had passed. After some time to rest and recuperate, the party learned from Sergeant Dural that the refugees would need supplies to help them during the long cold. These would be simple materials and foodstuffs to stock the foundry and kitchen, and other basic necessities. Deciding to journey to the crossroads town of Shackleford, they took Tesker and Henneth with them, since both had contacts in the area.
The journey out to Shackleford did not go well, as the old maps in the Stalwart proved little use in the changed landscape of the wilderness beneath the Heights. After an exhausting search for the town, the party finally located a bridge which would lead to their objective. Unfortunately, it was guarded by the bugbear thief Headsplitter and his goblin minions. Demanding an exorbitant “toll”, Headsplitter quickly tired Gath’s patience and combat was joined. After slaying the bugbear’s small companions, Gath scared Headsplitter off and the party was able to take some of his ill-gotten gains (including an amulet of protection) before crossing the bridge.
Shackleford proved to be a welcoming place, with the dwarf merchant Bolbous Filigree and the town mayor Meritt Hill both greeting the party and their comrades. The heroes spent some time resting, shopping, and getting to know the town while Henneth spoke with Hill and Tesker negotiated with Filigree. They learned of reports of demons in the woods and a Crimson force that was traveling through the area. In addition to earning the trust of Shackleford, the group received gifts in the form of a suit of dwarven chainmail and wavestrider boots. Before they could get all the supplies they needed, however, a company of Crimson soldiers entered the town and took over the central market square. They had Headsplitter in chains, and marched him out to a post in the square for everyone to see. The party hid in the cellar of the local inn with Tesker, nervously watching the new development. The human commander, Phlagos, addressed the town, saying that Headsplitter had mentioned several travelers who were of interest to the Crimson. Cutting the bugbear’s throat, Phlagos then made it clear that he wanted to know what the town new about these travelers, or there would be consequences…
Everybody got 785 XP for this session. This counts the 310 XP I gave to you after defeating Martax and ending that particular adventure, so you got 475 more for the scenes you completed in the following adventure. Everybody’s 3rd Level now, with a bit extra.
The party received 490 gold pieces via Martax’s hoard and Headsplitter’s chest. They got an ornate necklace worth 250 gp, +2 Magic Armor (white dragonscale), a Symbol of Battle +1, Amulet of Protection +2 (scarab-shaped), Dwarven Armor +2 (chainmail), and Wavestrider Boots. All in all, a big haul.
I enjoyed the session, but it was kind of short in terms of what we actually covered. The battle with Martax took a long time, but I suppose its appropriate given the fact you were fighting an actual dragon. The fight with Headsplitter was kind of a drag for me, since I really wanted to get on to the real meat of the story.
Everybody will have had time to fully rest before Phlagos arrived. The reason for this is that rest will probably be hard to come by however the adventure progresses, and I don’t want you going into it with no healing surges left following getting lost in the wild.
You also have your first opportunity to shop, and you have a good amount of gold saved up so far. I don’t know how you want to divide the gold pieces you’ve gotten – hopefully somebody’s been tracking that for the party. You’ll be able to buy any non-magical gear from the player’s handbook, within reason. You can let me know what you’re getting by email, or you can wait until we next meet to game.