Icewind Dale 8-10: The Lake Monster

the monster of Maer Dualdon
In Termalaine, we encountered kobolds, who had been brought into town from the gem mines, skulking through town. We followed them briefly, but found no indication of mayhem.

At The Blue Clam, Bran learned that in Bremen, fishers were being terrorized by a monster that lives in Maer Dualdon. The locals had noted it strange that none of the other towns on that lake had been harangued by the monster.

The next day, Erling and Blaze arranged for their deceased companions' bodies to be exhumed, preserved, and maintained by Rodd Funeral Home.

We traveled to Targos, where Erling wanted to retrieve a reward for a previous mission, and find a powerful healer.

In Targos, we spoke with Speaker Naerth Maxildanarr, who indicated that there were no priests within the Ten Towns powerful enough to raise their companions from the dead. But he did tell us that a goblin messenger from Karkolohk brought a declaration of peace from Chief Yarb-Gnock, and would like us to visit Karkolohk to conduct "treaty negotiations." He offered us a reward of 300 gold coins for the goblin chieftain's head.

We debated taking on this mission for the untrusted Speaker Naerth, completing a delivery to Bryn Shander, or visiting Bremen to deal with the monster terrorizing Maer Dualdon, all the while still hoping to find a powerful cleric.

We agreed to visit Bremen to deal with the monster terrorizing Maer Dualdon, and told Speaker Naerth we had pressing business to attend to before taking up his mission.
Bremen Shield

The next morning we reached the sleepy town of Bremen. Bremen's harbor, where the west bank of Maer Dualdon met the mouth of the Shaengarne River, was frozen, requiring local fishers to haul their boats across the ice to put them in the lake. Targos, Termalaine, and Lonelywood were all visible from the docks. Standing between a pair of boats was a stout humanoid in cold weather clothing waving at us frantically. A gray hood hid most of the humanoid's face, but we could make out a wide nose and a long, frosty beard. It was soon clear that he had mistaken us for hired fisherman and insisted we get to work, shouting, "Good, you're here. Get to it, ingrates! Those fish ain't gonna catch themselves!" Introducing himself as Grynsk Berylbore, he offered us 5 coppers per trout.

Another figure, covered head to toe in cold weather clothing, then joined us, wagging a gloved finger at the frosty-bearded dwarf. "You have no honor, Berylbore!" the newcomer yelled, pulling down a woolen muffler to reveal a pale, half-elven face. "You're sending these innocent people to their deaths. And for what, a few fish?" Then turning to us, the half-elf asked, "Did you tell them about the monster?"

Grynsk stomped off, and the half-elf continued, "I'm getting the feeling Grynsk doesn't like me very much. Or anyone who steps between him and the gold swimming in this lake. I'm Tali. I'm studying the local animal life here in Icewind Dale. I just couldn't stay silent and watch another crew fall victim to the monster of Maer Dualdon."

In a soft voice, Tali explained that they is in Icewind Dale to study how changes in climate alter the nature of the animal wildlife. Upon hearing reports of a creature in Maer Dualdon that was attacking the Bremen fishing parties, Tali decided to investigate and found that boats from Bremen were the only vessels to suffer these attacks. Tali explained that descriptions of the monster vary wildly; some witnesses saying it's the size of an ox, while others saying it's closer to the size of a house. "Some say the monster might be a whale or a large fish, and others describe it as more lizard-like in appearance, with scaly skin and a long neck." Tali speculated that "perhaps this unending winter has affected its eating habits or demeanor in some way."

Tali handed us a notebook, saying "I can't offer you much other than my gratitude, but if you're going out on the lake, please write down any information you learn about the nature of this monster. If we know what's out there, the people of Bremen would be much safer for it. And, well, it bears the potential to be awfully interesting."
Knucklehead Trout

Erling procured fishing supplies, and we took Grynsk's two rowboats, Burly Ram and Pronged Goat, out on to the lake, despite the curious bite mark on the latter.

We managed to catch two knucklehead trout. We kept one for ourselves, and sold the other to Grynsk. Erling fell in the water, and we barely managed to retrieve him before he froze.

After four hours, we encountered no lake monster and returned to shore. Steering the boats around the ice floes proved treacherous, and we hit the ice multiple times.

We visited one of the five taverns in the town center, the Grumpy Moose. It was old and poorly maintained, but Erling had fun gambling with the locals.

We stayed at the Buried Treasures Inn, where there appeared to be few, if any, visitors. The innkeeper, Cora Mulphoon, treated us like royalty. She explained to us that her adult son and only child, Huarwar, used to help with the chores until two months ago, when he joined a search party to find Speaker Shalescar after he went missing during a blizzard one afternoon. The speaker was brought back safe and sound, but Huarwar got separated from the others and didn't find his way home until the following morning. He had frostbite and could barely walk. Over the next few days, Huarwar displayed an uncharacteristic meanness. The change in his demeanor started after Cora found what looked like a shard of black ice in her son's room. Huarwar snatched it away and threatened his mother with bodily harm if she touched it again. The next day, two tieflings (a male and a female) arrived at the inn and offered Huarwar sanctuary in their castle. He left with them willingly, taking the shard with him and telling his mother that he would never return. The tieflings wore amulets that looked much like the shard in Huarwar's possession. Cora said she missed her son terribly and hopes he is still alive.

When we asked about the Speaker, Cora explained that twice in the past two months, residents of Bremen have had to mount search parties for their town speaker and oldest living resident, Dorbulgruf Shalescar, and twice they've found him wandering the frozen shores of the Shaengarne in heavy furs, with no memory of how he got there.

We decided to explore the tundra to the west, where Shalescar had been found, but we only encountered an Ice Troll, which we fled from once Bran put it down with Hideous Laughter.

The next morning we went to Bryn Shander. Erling collected a reward for a job they completed before I joined them, and we went to the House of the Morninglord.

Blaze and Mishann, the local priest quickly got into a disagreement about whether the Morning Lord was Lathander or Amaunator. After Blaze stormed out, Mishann confirmed that there were no priests in the Ten Towns that could revive anyone from the dead unless they had died very recently.

Outside, Blaze was talking to a rock gnome named Copper Knobberknocker. He told us he's worried about a friend named Macreadus, who is conducting research at an old cabin in the wilderness. He says that if we find ourselves nearby, he would appreciate it if we looked in on Macreadus, who's trying to build a device that could end the Frostmaiden's eternal winter and return summer to Icewind Dale.

This seemed like the most promising mission we had.

Erling suggested we send runner to all the towns to verify whether there were any priests in the Ten Towns that could revive their fallen companions. I suggested that this might be a waste, since we could not necessarily trust any stranger's word. I was eager to search for Macreadus for Copper Knobberknocker, since the former was supposedly trying to build a device that could end the Frostmaiden's eternal winter and return summer to Icewind Dale. Erling was also Eager to track down Cora's son Huarwar and the shard of black ice. I suggested we look into any castle's in or around the Ten Towns, since the two tieflings said their sanctuary was located in their castle.

Since Macreadus was conducting research at an old cabin in the wilderness to the north of Lonelywood, searching for him would take us to Ravisin's shrine, and we wanted to time that with the next half moon, so we could enter one of the locked tombs.

We visited The Northlook, where Erling met some companions and confirmed that there were no priests in the Dwarven Valley that could revive their fallen companions. While there, Erling heard that all mead deliveries from Good Mead had halted.
Icewind Dale so far

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