Dragonlance, the New Heroes of the Lance

Dragons of Winter Night
The adventure continues
Autumn Dark 3rd

Eric, Iron Bones, Cynara, Samjaya, Gregar and Zoi leave the refugees from Pax Tharkas secure in the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin. The party travels to the port city of Tarsis in search of an overseas passage that might provide a way out for the refugees. There, they also hope to learn more of the Dragon Orbs. When they arrive, they learn that the cataclysm has left Tarsis landlocked, miles away from the sea. Now their only hope is to discover more of these dragon orbs, how they work and where they can be found and use that knowledge to achieve the downfall of the Dragon Highlords.

In the first week the party eventually gains audience with the City Governor only to find that at his side, as trusted advisor, sits a DRACONIAN! The party also meets Alhana Starbreeze, a princess of the Silvanesti elven kingdom. She also is seeking a means to defeat the Dragon Highlords and protect her people. The party finds others of similar purpose: Quenthalis, a wizards donning the red robes of Lunitari; Malum Vox, a warlock that has avoided any entanglements with the Towers of High Sorcery; Temudgin, another wizard of Lunitari and Mal Talespinner, a friendly, if irritating, kender bard.

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Fleeing Tarsis
Journey to Icereach

Players present were Trevino, Tim, Nate and James. Their characters are Samjaya, Quenthalos, Malum and Eric respectively.

The blue dragon army has invaded Tarsis and the party has fled their enemy’s new stronghold. Some (Gregar, Zoi, Ironbones, Cynara, Samjaya) left on the backs of Griffons accompanied by the Silvanesti princess Alhana Starbreeze. Others (Quenthalos, Malum, Eric, Temudgin and Mal) left on foot and horseback. This second group encountered an elderly couple under attack by a group of thugs seeking to escape with the couple’s wagon and goods. The heroes prevented this and the couple safely escaped the city of Tarsis.

On their travels eastward they encounter the old man and woman. The elderly couple has a warm fire and stew enough for all and invite the party to join them. During this time Samjaya and Ironbones arrive on the back of Griffons, having changed their minds. Samjaya engages the couple in conversation and eventually has his fortune told by the elderly woman Maricel. As she reads the tea leaves she tells him that he is headed for the ice glacier and tells him to look for the white bear for those who help others shall be helped in return.

During the days travel a blue Dragon with a dragon highlord approaches but never approaches close enough for the party to even feel the touch of dragon fear. The party continues to Bazin where they learn that Warlord Karakis rules the city with an iron fist and squeezes money from all who would enter the city gates. Eric gives of his steel to the destitute who have not enough money to enter the city and Quenthalos pays to guard to allow all access to the city. (He would be dismayed to know the day the party left Bazin was the day the guard pocketed the steel and refused to allow any others entrance). Warnings to the leaders including Karakis are ignored and Karakis refuses to believe the Blue Dragon Army is headed his way.

The band of heroes continues and near nightfall find the crypt of an ancient plainsman leader. The interesting thing about this crypt is that the stone is warm. Snow falling from the sky melts as it hits the surface and the stone seems to stay warm to the touch. A secret passage is discovered that leads underneath to the burial room of the king and other warriors or leaders buried within as well. Their coffins hold items of magic held by them in life and the party attempts, and eventually is successful in opening all of the tombs but in the process an avatar of an ancient god of portals and the gatekeeper to the afterlife is summoned. What the party thinks will be a quick battle, confident in their abilities to handle any threat that comes their way, turns into a long, brutal fight that nearly claims the life of their knight, Eric, who stands toe-to-toe with the awakened stone statue. Eric also finds a greatsword of inestimable power once wielded by the plainsmen king.

The party makes the journey to Zeriack where they meet the town mayer, a human female named Galeswept. She helps them to find a guide that will take them to the camp of the Icefolk who may then help them find the Icewall Castle where Faal Thas resides, as well as the resting location of the Dragon Orb. The party learns that Galeswept had made a deal with the White Dragon Army to keep them from attacking Zeriack, much to the displeasure of the Ice Folk once they learn of it. The morning the party is about to leave they learn that the White Dragon Army has not kept its end of the bargain as they attack with draconians and dragons while a Dragonrider and observes from the air on the back of a large white dragon.

Again the party flees, seeking not escape danger so much as to complete their task and acquire the Dragon Orb. Their guide leads them to the glacier and then directs them towards the camp of the Ice Folk.

As the heroes seek for a place to make camp on the frigid glacier they hear growling, laughing, yelling in some unknown language as well as cheering. The discover a band of minotaurs holding ropes to control a polar bear while one of their number jabs at it with a spear. Remembering the reading of the tea leaves for Samjaya they fight to free the white bear. The bear hesitant at first but more accepting after realizing the party intend him no harm seems to form some kind of bond with Samjaya.

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Sam's Journal

First Winged Trade, Winter Night, 352 AC

I will start my journals from this day on. It wearies me to think on recounting all that has happened since leaving Qualinost. Perhaps I will do this another day, but I do this journal to practice my letters, so I think it’s not going to happen.
Much of my experience In Tarsis is a blur. We entered a library for some information. Then battle broke out in the city. A city that thought it was safe from the Dragon Armies was now being destroyed by those armies. Let’s say we did not partake in any delights within the city of Tarsis.
After leaving the city on the back of a griffin, I spotted our companions in a wagon headed east. It took a bit of convincing but I urged Ironbones to turn around. I then met a delightful human woman just east of Tarsis. In the bitter cold of this Gods forsaken land she had the warmth of heart to offer us food. With which I accepted gratefully. Perhaps she sensed my stomach eating itself from my hunger. The actions of that night really made me hungry.
Her mate was a bit crotchety and did not stop complaining all night about us, the cold, the snow down his shirt, the fire not being tended and an infinite other minor inconveniences. I guess opposites do attract for she was warm delightful and full of conversation and well litle needs be said about her mate.
Most of my companions were kind in return, but Malum and his damn principles hurt her feelings. I trust Malum and he is an asset to our group, and I feel he is good, but his damn aloofness may get in the way of our relations with the public. Our mission partially relies on the kindness of strangers and Malum strains that tenuous bond. My hope is, he will warm his heart one day, though that is a miracle at best. He is a brother half-elf/half-human and yet he seems not.
Listen to me prattle. For one that just wants to practice his letters, I do write much.
During my night with the old couple just east of Tarsis, she offered to read my tea leaves. I’m not too sure on my belief in the validity of this practice but I had to be kind to our host and allowed her to do this. What she said intrigued me. It wasn’t the standard “You will meet the woman of your dreams and be prosperous,” that I’ve heard is the norm from this service. She referred to our destination, Ice Wall,l and that I would “set foot upon it.” She also referred to a white bear and said, “Those that help others will be helped in return.” The last part is a bit cryptic and probably meant to be such.

First World Tree, Winter’s Night, 352 AC

Early today, we almost had an unfortunate encounter. My ability to see and sense things in my surroundings has become sharper and sharper. It could the many battles I have fought since the start of this journey, have sharpened these senses. I’ll just say it, fear has shaped me in ways I’ve never imagined.
I sensed a dragon and it’s rider approaching. Yeah, yeah! Dragons are not hard to miss, but thankfully I saw it before it saw us, I hope. It gave me time to find a place to hide the wagon and allow the team to prepare for a battle that may cost us lives. The rider then turned the dragon away. Had they not seen us? Did they see us and left to get reinforcements? It is flattering to think a dragon and it’s rider might need reinforcements to battle us. I will chock this up as luck or fate. I am supposed to set foot on Ice Wall.
Later today we approached the town of Bazin and found masses of people outside it’s gates wanting shelter and safety. Eric and Quenthalos were generous with their steel. They paid the entrance fee for those people’s safety. I was however taken aback at how much steel they had. I looked in my purse to only see a few steel, at least in comparison to theirs. Oh well, I’m not one for greed and steel is not important to me.
We warned the leaders of the approaching dragon armies. We did what can be done, now we sleep.

Second Bright Eye, Winter’s Night, 352 AC

I write early this morning and did not write last night because curiosity got the better of us and today we need to rest. Well, Eric needs to rest.
Last night we came upon a building in our rush to outrun a storm. The oddity of the building is that no snow gathers around it in an area that is cold and snow covered. The building was warm and this is to our advantage. (Damn this cold.) In it we found a secret passage. Here is our curiosity at work.
Now I must tell you of my feeling of helplessness, not in helping the group find the lever to open the door at the end of the hallway or finding the trap attached to it, but being absolutely useless in disarming that trap. As hard as we tried no one could disarm it. Quenthalos solved the problem of opening the door by doing just that with magic. This still did not solve our trap problem. We didn’t know what to expect. It took the courage of Eric to brave the entrance. As expected he set the trap off and found the threshold to be the trigger. Both our magic users literally flew over the five foot wide trigger. This left squishy little me to jump across.
Now, it is only a five foot jump but one misstep and I would have been impaled. This thought ran circles in my mind while I cleared the trigger. Damn this curiosity.
After all that we found ourselves in what appeared to be a tomb and a shrine to some God. I do not say this lightly. Both Quenthalos and Malum knew a library’s worth of information about this God. One would say they were tripping over themselves to out do one another.
Ultimately, I realized the sacredness of this place I knew we should not disturb the remains. However, once Quenthalos found that there were magical items in the tombs, an army of draconians could not stop him. He was so eager that the first heavy rock tomb lid moved by his hands alone. It later took his and Eric’s strength to access the other tombs and even then they were not fully successful. I stood near he door, safely away from what would be considered desecration to any god. Though Malum was abhored to the idea of physical labor, he stood close as they opened the tombs to appraise the booty. Quethalos’ methodic opening of tombs kept us safe for a little bit, but in time the god came to life in the form of a giant statue. The doors closed faster than I could react. I would not have left my friends, but there would have been no way to escape if I had wanted. (I hate lack of choice.) Our obvious desecration awakened and angered him. I think an” I told you so,” were uttered by my lips. Curiosity is a killer, I tell you.
I moved fast and let loose one of my good arrows, which struck home. (I seem to hit more accurately and harder after a move.) What kind of damage it could do to the statue is beyond me. It was Eric and his family’s Flail that were going toe to toe with the statue. He and the statue traded massive blows that made me cringe.
Quenthalos uttered some words and I felt as if I could shoot faster. This was about the extent of both magic dealers use. Malus tried a few spells but they seemed to just roll right off the walking boulder. Qenthalos tried the same but was just as lucky. It seemed that it was going to be up to Eric and myself to take the thing down.
Eric kept trading blows and I kept shooting. We were offered a stop to the battle for a favor done for the god. Before I could accept this offer, Malum answered no.
In hindsight I think it was funny that Malum answered but it was Eric taking the beating.
I kept letting the arrows fly not knowing what damage I was doing. Eric kept hitting, taking bigger and bigger chunks out of the statue.
Quenthalos turned into a dragon at one point. It shocked me, until I realized it was him. He again let loose some magic which again did nothing. However we did notice cracks starting to form in the body. Quenthalos, in dragon form, went in for an attack. His massive wings were in my line of sight. Not hitting the dragon wing was going to slow me down. I had to time my shots.
It seemed as if the gods had aligned the stars. Everything seemed to slow. Quenthalos’ wing was on a down stroke as I saw the statue raising it’s arms to hit Eric once again. It was as if the crack or fissure I saw on it’s left side were the size of the doorway and lit by a hundred lamps. I knew it was the shot to take and I let go the arrow. Quenthalos’ wing was just rising as the arrow passed by it. The arrow lodged itself in the crack loosening what seemed like a keystone, because after that, the statue felt to pieces. The battle was over and eric was seriously injured. He was barely able to walk himself out. Many magical items were gotten from that excursion but was it worth the risk? We have to stay an extra day to allow Eric to heal. This is time we should be on the road. We wish we had Gregar here. Now I pass my time writing this entry and play a string game I learned from the girls that live near me. Or rather, used to live near me.
I must speak about Quenthalos. He has shown great compassion, evident in his giving hard earned steel to help people. He ha also shown me kindness. This I’m not used to. He has also shown greed. He is mortal after all. He is of my people but I do not know him. Well, Qualinost is big and perhaps he’s from another town. But, his demeanor is that of someone that has seen more than a small town or all of Qualinost itself. Perhaps this is why he treats me differently than other Qualinesti. Perhaps this is why he would talk to me rather than avoid me. I look forward to finding out more about him.
I do wish Malum was more accessible.

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