The Wilds Await

Cavern of the Draugr

From the journals of Gleipnir Oathold

Calsar 42nd-44th 1186

The party:

1. Bodi, Ranger, Halfling

2. Ida, Cleric, Human

3. Grin, Swashbuckler/Bard, Human

4. Gleipnir, Cleric, Dwarf

5. Acre, Paladin/Warlock, Half-Elf

Leaving the 42 of Calsar, my party and I headed out across the deep winterlands of Sarek.  Our new party mate Acre was advised to bring winter cloaks and tent for the lands of Sarek were at their coldest, and Vondal's storms would not be forgiving.  Fortunately for the party, Bodi and Grin looked up into the sky and predicted that though Sarek was cloaked in snow, the skies would be clear for the next two days.  East by northeast the party marched onward, hearing lightning strikes, and picking up the occasional hypothermia.  As we neared our quarry some 40 miles, we spied the frozen sea of Volkenheim.  Reaching the coastline, we moved east along the beach trekking near the mountains and foothills, as our journey east was halted by the Myst.  Chance looked kindly on us, as we spied a natural fjrod with running water, that spilled into the sea.  Following the fjord into the mountain-range, there lay the Cavern of the Draugr.

 

These strange aquatic men used the natural barrier of the cavern's fjord, which hindered our progress inwards, to delay invaders and launch their raiding longboats made of both baleen and wood into the sea below.  Kin to the sea, these strangers had the look of sailors, yet their skin was pallid and pruned, with chitinous plates and writhing reeds of seaweed growing twixt muscle and bone.  If their appearance gave off an air of menace, they certainly intended violence as we made our presence known.  However, before we could ambush the guards, the natural challenges of the fjord had to be met.  Luckily with my rituals of water-walking and Grin's blade Balanus, the party gracefully strode upon the fjord's tides.  Battle was joined, and our heroes surprised the guards with arrow and steel.  Just past the cavern's entrance a longboat rested along docks, and upon its decks many Draugr bombarded ballista bolts at our party.  Yet our courage would not falter, and boarding the ship we slew its crew even as Ida's incantations rent the ship's hull with Vondal's lightning.  With the ship ablaze and sinking, and the party having vanquished this vanguard, we swiftly made beachhead onto the shores of another dank tunnel.

 We explored the interior of this tunnel, but alas we were delayed.  A returning patrol had seen the ship ablaze, and followed our tracks in hot pursuit.  Quick thinking from Bodi split our enemy in twain, as his spike growth made the tunnel's entrance perilous ground.  The Draugr seeing their companions ripped by the spinney growths, attempted to cut us off, and headed south towards another tunnel.  Thus the cat and mouse chase began.  Eventually, we discovered them, though they had gotten to this southern tunnel faster.  The rapids of the river had carried them quickly and our blades crossed once more.  We dispatched this weakened patrol, though amidst their company a new Draugr, a larger man all but covered in chitinous plate, made this execution difficult.

The battle ended, a ghastly bride of the sea suddenly appeared in our brief respite.  Coming from the lower tunnel, she had sea salt strewn hair, and a waterlogged gown, yet she meant us no harm.  In fact, through my ward Ida's translation we parleyed with the sea witch.  Speaking in Glarnic, the Draugr introduced herself as Adonia, and explained her situation.  While she believed she could not defeat the threats within the cave, and therefore leave, she hoped we would be capable of freeing her from these threats.  Three foes lied in the cave: to the southwest was the local leader Morelion who kept the Draugr in check, to the southeast was the abominable squid known as the "Seeker" who bestowed the Draugr curse upon captured living, and also to the southwest a giant slithering sandstone snake blended in with its domain.  If we defeated Morelion we reasoned the raids who be hindered.  However, if we could slay this "Seeker" the creation of Draugr would halt in this area for a time.  Adonia explained that the "Seeker" was a grave threat in close quarter, and should be slain from afar.  In addition, she feared that if the "Seeker" was near her it would dominate her mind, and she would be under its influence once more.  The snake has been in the cave long before the Draugr claimed it, and Morelion has ever since been feeding it.  Before we ventured on the hunt for Morelion, we thought it prudent to follow up on another of Adonia's suggestions.

 An altar was hidden in the northwest of the cavern, dedicated to Lir, the dead sea god who was slain by Vondal.  Adonia recommended we find this altar and defeat the Draugr guards, for she would then regale us with lore from her past.  We agreed and set off through the winding tunnels.  Soon we sighted the altar, but no sooner than that we were sighted by the guards.  This small skirmish was dealt with rather swiftly, a taste of what was to come.  The altar now free of Draugr, Adonia thanked us and said that she would remain with this altar every new moon.  She also told us of the path of Vondal, that leads to the city Allodheim, which is the god-city of Lir, and the place where Vondal slew him.  From this cavern, we would have to travel north along the frozen sea.  Oh I forgot to mention, this place seemed dwarven in stonework and may have been an old hold of my people.  Anyways,  the final leg of our journey lay before us and we ventured south towards Morelion.

Speedily our feet carried us to Morelion's sanctum where we fought him and his elite guards.  It seemed at first we were overmatched, having to fight with two fronts.  Grin and I held the coridor leading to Morelion, while Ida, Bodi, and  Acre fought Morelion and his minions.  The greatest of Morelion's men along with his champion came down the corridor to break our defense, and aid their master.  Thankfully, through Grin's bladework, and my wards and spells their advance was thwarted, with the champion and his brutes laying cold on the damp cavern floor.  Meanwhile, Bodi, Ida, and Acre had their hands full, so much so that Bodi nearly lost life.  Fortunately Acre provided Bodi the healing he needed to entreat Bloodaxe for a boon.  This set wrath against Morelion in true form, and with claws, lightning, and eldritch fury Morelion fell.  Exhausted beyond belief, we slumped for a moment and thought our woes behind us.  It would seem Morelion had one final trick from the grave.  The flail he had wielded found its way to Ida's hands, and soon its heads found their way to Bodi's.  As if possessed by some corrupt spirit Ida attempted to kill Bodi.  Thankfully through quick intervention we prevented this, and learned that the flail would test those that sought to wield it.  Acre would be the one to pass this test and learned that its name was Brotið Ósk, or in Kothic means "Broken/Shattered Dream/Wish".  After our toil with the Draugr, we thought it best to head home, and return for the "Seeker" on a later date.

Comments

Gleipnir

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.