From: Fulhoff of Clan Balderk
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk
Mother & Father,
Our elf companion Astrid, returned to the main passage to use his bow on any orcs that stuck their heads out in that direction, and to target the ettin if she came into sight. The rest of us charged in to the large cavern. I Knocked the cyclops’ cage open, while Journey went in fire bolts blazing, Thorin charging in behind her. That’s then, at the rear of the cave, an only sort of noticed doorway opened up, and more orcs appeared. I dropped a Cloud of Daggers in the doorway, causing the orcs to rush through whirling blades of death (or at least some pain). The Cyclops (that we hoped was Gavin’s friend Gurak) grabbed one of the ettin’s clubs, and smashed her with it. Journey kept up the flames, while Astrid’s bow strings could be heard plinking and orc grunts of pain called out from the hall. A few of the orcs managed to get into melee, and I tossed a spark at his eye as he tried to smash me. Thorin was less lucky, and an orc knocked him boots over helm. To be fair, he’d already taken a few to the head from the ettin. Journey’s rain of fire finally felled the ettin, and we put down the rest of the orcs. Thorin was fine after he shook it off and gulped down a healing potion.
We talked to Garuk the cyclops, looted the orcs, and returned to Gavin, who was waiting nervously at his cart. It was a happy reunion, and I’ll never be able to burn the image of Gavin running to Garuk and Garuk catching Gavin in an overhead horizontal lift. Overall score was an 8/10, but they took a hit from the elf judge who only gave it a 4/10.
Checking in with The Hand, we heard about another Artifact of Astoria, located at a barbarian barrow mound containing the Well of Victory.
We dutifully made our way there, and Bran disguised himself as a barbarian, and between his fast talking, and my proselytizing of the Great Digger (thankfully she doesn’t care about this sort of thing) we were granted access to the mound. It was surprisingly well built, for a barbarian construction, and in the middle of the mound was indeed a well. It was a dry well, and probably more of a vent shaft than an actual well. We dropped some ropes and climbed down.
The shiny black mosaicked stonework was a sight to behold. Depictions of giants and dragons fighting each other covered the space clearly designed for giant-folk. The gently sloping passage’s artistry distracted us from noticing a well laid spell trap. An ancient frostwyrm depicted on the ceiling glowed briefly, and we were all suddenly blasted with arctic cold, and the hall become covered in frost. Thorin and I both lost our footing and slid down toward some ice spikes that had grown in the instantly frozen hall. After extricating ourselves from the spikes, we saw beyond into a large round chamber, lit by 4 floating candles several bodies that looked fairly fresh… and matched the descriptions of the Hand operatives that had gone missing looking for this place. I went in, carefully, to investigate.
Sadly it became apparent what killed them, as a dark spirit entered the body of one of the operatives, and animated the others. They lurched to their feet and attacked. Being alone in the room, I backed away, followed by one of the zombies, while the rest of the party moved to engage. Not feeling up to a hug from a zombie, I turned myself invisible, and snuck behind the operative… and opened up with my trusty Witch Bolt. Watching him stagger under my onslaught was particularly rewarding. The rest of the party dispatched the zombies, and my magic took down the wight.
Thankfully we found the Astorian artifact, the Kong Spira… I’m sure that sounds more impressive in giant than it does in dwarven.