Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Golems, Wyverns and Octopi

     As the Ice Golem emanates waves of searing cold, Harrick and the others encircle and attack. Though it proves resilient to shards and blades, Flails, druidic spells and Hellish rebukes do much better. The battle is short and vicious, but the outcome never seems in doubt. The golem falls and the party loots the body of a fine magic broadsword, and what they eventually learn is a bag of holding.

     Cawyn notices a peculiar bit of magic that takes effect upon the creature's demise: An alarm spell that triggers upon its destruction. Fearing follow up visitors, they quickly search the body, taking the warrior's sword, dagger and satchels. They then make a quick search of the premises, but find that it's been looted clean. They then decide to make a camp somewhere off the island, leaving Cawyn nearby to watch for visitors and trusting that he can escape quickly in animal form if discovered. This nearly proves a dangerous miscalculation.

     As Snap finds a hidden, dry camp a quarter candle's distance, Cawyn finds a spot of overhanging reeds and plants, on the ice and near the waters edge, where he can view the island to see who comes in response to the magical alarm. As the Wical watches the water's edge, several miles away Calder reads from the journal they found on the fighter at the center of the ice golem. The booklet, which has a hammer, quill and scroll embossed into the cover, apparently belongs to a woman named Sorsha Nimraith Eledwyn, who belongs to some kind of brotherhood. It is an account of her mission into the murk, to seek out a fellow member of her order and retrieve some kind of important information concerning an "outworld threat." The details seem intentionally vague, as if the reader should know certain things in order to make sense of the rest.

     Of particular interest are the bits describing how the Draci seem to be in league with the enemy, and how Sorsha's agent within the camp discovered that the Draci have allied themselves with the wyverns. This bit of information being especially important to Cawyn, who is currently looking the complete wrong way when death comes from above. The wyvern's claws rake the Wical as he desperately rolls toward the water's edge. Searing Bolts of flame follow, hurled from the hands of the rider. Wounded and disoriented, Cawyn takes the form of a giant octopus and jets away into the cloudy depths. His first attempt to hide beneath the thick ice and reeds isn't good enough to avoid the Wyvern's keen senses. It cracks through the thick ice after him again, and once more he jets into the depths, this time finally finding sanctuary in a log at the bottom of the deepest channel.

     Miles away in the hidden campsite, the rest of the party hears the cries of the wyvern. Fearing what it means for Cawyn, they decide to row back, despite the danger. When they finally arrive, a half candle later, it's to find the area where he was hiding and the signs of the fight, but they can't gauge the outcome. They bring the boats ashore in the thickest trees near the water's edge, explore the shores of the island and wait.

     Octo-Cawyn meanwhile has gently repelled the questing nose of a cold-water crog, after the scent of druid blood. He eventually comes ashore, not too far from the others and remains hidden on the snow. As fate would have it, Calder comes across him eventually and brings him into their camouflaged camp. After a briefing, they fortify their hiding spot as the snow begins to fall thicker, and they settle in for a cold, but undisturbed sleep.

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