Icehammer Dwarves: Session 13

Icehammer Dwarves Approaching Icespire Hold
Berreck and I entered Adabra's house to prepare for our trip to Icespire Hold.

Once inside, we presented the necklace and thin rope that were obtained from the sarcophagi, which Adabra identified as a necklace of fireballs and rope of climbing. We then discussed what we should do before making our way to Icespire Hold and fighting the dragon.

Adabra Gwynn
After a short time, we concluded that it was best to go back to Phandalin so Adabra could stock up on her goods and Berreck could buy some javelins. When we made our way out of Adabra’s house, Dobin was gone. Looking around, I could see him in the distance riding toward Icespire Hold. We continued with our plan and stocked up on supplies in Phandalin before returning to Adabra’s house. Since the dragon would be preoccupied while fighting Berreck and me, we agreed that it would be safe enough for Adabra to stay at her house.

Before going to sleep for the night, Adabra scavenged through her various scrolls and books for specific directions to Icespire Hold so we would not get lost during our journey. While she was looking for information about Icespire Hold, she mistakenly spoke of another ancient dwarven stronghold that is in the vicinity of the Sword Mountains, stating:

“Two centuries ago, the great dwarf smith Durgeddin the Black and his clan were driven from their home by a horde of fierce orcs and trolls. They plundered the dwarves' ancestral halls and slew all they could catch. Fleeing his enemies, Durgeddin led the destitute remnants of his clan in search of a new home. After years of wandering, the dwarves discovered a great cavern system beneath the Stone Tooth: a rugged, forested hill crowned by a bare rocky crag. There Durgeddin and his followers founded the stronghold of Khundrukar.

"About a century ago, a member of Durgeddin's clan was captured b a powerful orc tribe during a raid, and the orcs learned of their enemy's hidden stronghold. The orc chieftains raised a great army and marched on Khundrukar. In a hard-fought siege lasting months, the orcs tunneled around the dwarven defenses. When they finally stormed the place, they put all within to the sword, then carried off wagon loads of booty.

"In the years since the great battle, various creatures have occupied the stronghold and used the place as a base for their raids. At other times, the caverns have lain empty except for the mindless and bloodthirsty monsters that haunt such places. Today legends of Durgeddin's Vengeance (or the Smith's War) and the extraordinary blades the dwarves forged in anger still surface from time to time in the lands near the Stone Tooth.”

After realizing that she was speaking of the wrong stronghold, Adabra scrambled through her scrolls once more before finding what she was looking for. She spoke of Delsendra Amzarr, the warlord that built the stronghold and kept orcs of the Sword Mountains in check for many years. However, during one brutal winter with blizzards and heavy snows, supply lines were cut and Delsendra and her followers starved to death. Orcs later took over the fortress, which was damaged by an earthquake ten years ago and never repaired. After informing us about the history of Icespire Hold, Adabra gave us a more detailed route to Icespire Hold.

***
We woke up early the next morning ready for the journey and battle ahead of us. A few hours after midday, we passed by Mountain’s Toe Goldmine. Taking the opportunity, we went in to see how Don-Jon was fairing. He seemed to be doing good with all the workers accessible and getting the mine working again. Realizing Icespire Hold was still about a day's journey away, we thought it was safest to sleep at the mine for the night. Don-Jon was happy to make space for us, and we spent the rest of the day catching up with him, sharing our adventures since we had last seen each other.

***
Icespire Peak
We woke up extremely early the next day, about an hour before sunrise, to make our journey to Icespire Hold. On our way, we came across an ogre that was frozen in solid ice! After closer inspection, we surmised that it must have died to the breath of the dragon. Not wanting to spend time breaking the body out of the ice, we carried on our journey.
Approaching Icespire Hold
A few hours later we came to a twisting path with sheer edges on each side leading to the entrance of the stronghold. The mountain dwarfed the fortress, which consisted of two separate structures joined together by a stone bridge. After tying ourselves together with the rope of climbing, we carefully made our way along the path, with Boaromyr in between us. Luckily, we were able to make it to the entrance without any trouble. Stepping inside, we found ourselves in stables occupied by 5 horses. After taking a few more steps, we were met with three humans, one of which was Dobin.

One of the humans stepped forward, a lean, brash woman who had her red hair pulled back in a ponytail. She introduced herself as Syleen Wintermoon and seemed to be the leader of her group. Behind Syleen and Dobin was a rugged, sullen, brute who Syleen introduced as Jabarl the Orc-Biter. They made it clear that they were not interested in slaying the dragon, but plan to steal the treasure once it leaves Icespire Hold to fly around. Syleen offered to work together in slaying the dragon and dividing the treasure we find. Berreck was not convinced. He stepped forward with his hand on his greataxe threatening them that if they took one step out of line, or gave us one reason not to trust them, we would end their lives right then and there.

Syleen seemed more than happy to let us fight the dragon by ourselves, so we began making our way through the stronghold. However, as we reached the first door, Syleen stated that those were their chambers, as were two other doors and we were not permitted to enter. So, we carried on toward the bridge connecting the two structures making up the stronghold. On our way, we passed a muscular woman with black hair and cold blue eyes, who watched us in silence at the entrance to the bridge.

We crossed the bridge to the second structure. We found many rooms filled with broken furniture, with multiple fireplaces built into the walls; however, we found nothing of interest except one room that contained many dwarven corpses, one of which was sitting on a chair in front of the fireplace. From the story we heard from Adabra, it almost seemed as though the dwarf starved to death while sitting in the chair. I also found a few secret doors in various rooms that lead to the many arrow slits facing outward. I also found a secret door that led to stairs descending down to another floor. On this lower level, we found crypts containing many unmarked stone caskets, all of which contained nothing of interest except for one that contained pieces of an unbuilt contraption that, upon closer inspection, appeared to be a toboggan. We decided that we would build the contraption after fighting the dragon.

We went back up the stairs and through the rooms, to another set of stairs that lead upward. We made our way up. At the top were a few arrow slits in the corner of a room, with a broken door leading outside, to the roof of the building. Looking through the slits, we could see the dragon sleeping right outside! Quickly, we made our way back down the stairs to safety.

Berreck then led us back to the crypts on the lower level to safely talk about our plan without fearing anyone eavesdropping. Berreck showed his concern that if we killed the dragon, Syleen and her followers may just come in and kill us while we were hurt and weak from fighting the dragon. We concluded that we would talk to them, and, if need be, knock them unconscious and tie them up.

However, as we were crossing the bridge back toward the building where Syleen and her gang were settled, an arrow from one of the arrow slits struck Berreck. We hastily made our way to the now-closed door on the other side of the bridge. With Boaromyr's help, I attempted to forcibly push the door open, to no avail. Berreck was struck once again by an arrow before he tried to ram into the door; however, he too was unsuccessful. However, on the second attempt, I was able to force the door open as we jumped into combat.

Jabarl, the brute, went to attack Berreck and me; however, he was quickly knocked unconscious. Looking around, we could see Syleen, Dobin, the muscular women, whose name seemed to be Runa, and one other unshapely human man who looked like his best years were behind him. Berreck and I quickly engaged in melee combat with Syleen and Runa as Dobin and the unshapely man shot at us with crossbows. I used my warhammer, Berreck used his greataxe, and Boaromyr continued to charge at our enemies.

After exchanging a few blows, together we knocked Syleen unconscious. However, we had difficulty landing a blow on Runa, so with newfound confidence, Dobin and the unshapely man named Brakkis dropped their crossbows and approached us with shortswords. Furthermore, Jabarl somehow managed to get back up. Thankfully, we were still able to quickly knock Jabarl, Runa, and Dobin unconscious. With all his comrades dead or dying, the unshapely man dropped his weapons in surrender.

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