While having a feast of venison and fowl, as well as delicious fried, baked, boiled, and dried sweet onions, the Romhold was visited by Bando the Lame, from Daggerford. He had news to share, of a distant friend of his, and troubles which he had heard of…troubles which he knew the restless Romsh and his company might be interested in solving.
Bando began to speak over a piping hot cup of strong cider and a pipe of smokeweed, sharing the exotic smoke with his dinner companions, all hosted by Romsh’s strong appetite for festivities when he is home:
“King Oleg is a Northlander, a prince of descent from Ruathym. His people came from Ruathym. Decades ago, the Northlanders created the kingdom of Borr, and its main holding, Valar, north of everything else in Faerun, save the Dwarves of Iron to the far north, but those are a xenophobic lot. Ten years ago, the colony fended off a attack of 3700 of Luskan captain Taerl’s raiders, with but 900 strong Northmen, but they have never wholly recovered since. Now, his people bemoan attacks of gnolls; and Fireshear hires up all the mercenaries and adventuring bands with gold that King Oleg cannot match. Strange things occur in the land of Borr now; since the past four years, teleportation magic in the Frozenfar has not worked. Strangely enough, this includes psychic powers as well. Trouble for, or by Shaundakul may be implied. Another unusual of the area is that the barbarians make slaves of the ice-kobolds. Recently, King Oleg has relayed to be a great loss of following by their own gods and instead, worship falling to the cult of Beshaba and a local ‘deity’, a cryohydra. Go and help my friend, and find adventure.”
King Oleg’s invitation was accepted, and the group travelled via the Green Hart. Successful trading landed Darkshins Shelling and Gardle 500 gold richer, and the group learned of what King Oleg wished completed: a treaty to the Dwarves of Ironmaster to the north, in which the Northmen would provide food grown for them, free transportation of their goods to the town of Valar; and favorable transport fees through their longships and the bypass of Waterdeep’s trade caravels and unreliable protection against the pirates of Luskan, which the Northmen know how both to outsail and outfight. King Oleg offered each adventurer 2000 gold, and the treasure that they found.
Notables in Valar:
Sterna Othmassun, priest of Talos, who wields a wand of frost, fire and fear; Sterna is a strong supporter of the “old ways”, and he sought to bring down King Oleg and take his people back to their birthplace. A ally of
Bjorn Harnotha, spearmaster and the only weaponsmith in town, a powerful warrior which Romsh defeated and took of his boots of snow-striding. Their plan was to cause such strife and then to speak out against the King to have their way; but Bjorn was reaping the benefits of selling weapons to the gnolls.
King Oleg, of Borr.
the cryohydra Vermafelix, which slew the hero berserker Thruttinger, and his cousin, a skald Theodorus, who attempted to end the reign of fear growing from the cult of the cryohydra. There, the group found the Rababah of the Dao; the great scimitar, Nightwatcher;, the Everbountiful soup kettle; the Leaf of falling; and the Talisman of the Chimera and the Cockatrice (1/day only).
Setting out with Gunnar Peterson, a guide who knew the way to the old Dwarven fort, the group encountered the Frost man after an attack by snow trolls. They soon came under chase by a large contingent of ogres, a frost giant, and gnolls. Leading the large group setting out after the emissaries to the Dwarves, quickly the group determined that they were being sent into a trap. A gnoll group led by Bjorn was stopped, but Gunnar fell, and with the giant and gnolls looming close, the group could not outrun them if they kept Gardle and Boffer with them. Boffer volunteered to protect Gunnar, refusing to leave him to die and Gardle hid with help by the Frost man. Gardle would make his way back to Valar, to inform the king that trouble was afoot.
Boffer fought off the gnolls, but fell under the onslaught of the frost giant. The next day, the group took refuge in the abandoned Dwarf fortress; and there, made a stand against the frost giant and gnolls. Though the frost giant smashed the fortress apart to get to Romsh, he engaged with the powerful giant, and slew him outright, which sent the gnolls and ogres into disarray.
Sterna’s plot was revealed, and the group quietly in the night slew the cryohydra, making off with much of its body to sell in Waterdeep to exotic merchants. Leaving the land of Borr behind, their mission complete, the group returned to Romhold; Vicker Gondsman once more working on new ways to spend Romsh’s gold, with the support of Steelhead and Castellan Henri.
“While I was looking through the codex of Witch Queen Valerna, I have determined a method of defense for the villages on the trade way as well as our own hold here.
Glasssteel retractable awning towers! The tower will have two of the swivelling, fast reloading ballistas, and 2 arrow catapults. This requires steel-hardness oils from Valerna, at 1000gp each per tower treated. That brings the cost of the glass and retractable systems, which is hand cranked by power of wheels and gears, at 3000gp. Or, we can speed it up by a mechanical steam dragon, at 2000 gp more. All total, each defense tower will be 5000 gp, or 7000 if we go with steam dragons. Also, the priests of Tempus will summon trenches and moats with water for a donation of 700gp per tower.”