Walking Backward Through Darkness

Cool and refreshing

Battered and… drained from their battles with the undead of the crypts our heroes stepped through yet another portal and into icy stillness. Finding themselves in a small chamber looking out over a great cavern within a glacier, the party set to seeking our a way down the 30 foot sheer ice wall to the cavern’s floor.
Thanks to the forward planning of the half-orc barbarian, the party managed to make it down with only minor frostbite and made their way to the only feature on the unnaturally flat cavern floor – an igloo.
Inside, they found an exciting slippery dip that helped them on their way into the next temple complex. Sliding feet first into a guard chamber, the party struggled to its feet as the remnants of the guards – a shadow and the skeleton of a polar owlbear – tried to prevent their entry.
The temple inside, all carved from the ice of the glacier, was structured around a symbolic hallway – a corridor in the form of the lost goddess’ twisted, rectangular holy symbol – and populated by a handful of elemental creatures left as guardians by the priests when they abandoned the stronghold, plus a few creatures that found their way in through the tunnel dug by a white dragon seeking a safe place to lay her eggs.
The mighty party slaughtered their way around the temple, pausing only for a refreshing dip in icy slush as part of the corridor gave way beneath their feet (oh, and for three days to heal between their three minutes of combat). Looting to their hearts’ content, they allowed only one creature to escape their wrath – a white dragon wyrmling that fled… probably to tell its mummy.
Amongst the better preserved goods of the ice temple, the party also finally found some enchanted items to assuage their growing hunger and thirst – although not until after they had tasted the other, other, other white meat – half white-dragon warg.
Now they stand, bundled in layers of unfashionably out of date clerical robes, before the next portal which, by all signs, leads somewhere significantly warmer…

Naught but skin and bones

Having destroyed the vermin infesting the area around the Forgotten’s ‘cell’, the characters, joined at last by their now-conscious svirfneblin companion, pressed onward through the second portal and into the next level of the prison complex.
The great undead dragon that greeted them in the following room gave some indication of what was to follow – a temple and crypt filled with undead – but, fortunately, its guardian seemed not to care about people exiting the portal.
Leaving the Ravener for later… our heroes also decided to bypass the sigil-encrusted doors with their ever-so-subtle indications of magical traps (shattered bone fragments and the outlines of scorched angels on opposite walls) and concentrate their efforts on the more… accessible… areas of the complex.
Amidst the dust and decay, battling their way past skeletons, wights and vampire spawn, our heroes begin to regret not buying more rations before going adventuring…

Tastes like Penguin
Orlock's Journal

Scorpion Soup Recipe

½ cup vegetable oil
scorpion (usually 30 – 40 living scorpions)
125g pork (or eidolon)
1 large garlic bulb, crushed
fresh ginger root, about 3cm, chopped
salt and pepper
½ litre water
1 handful dried Varisian dates
1 handful dried red berries
1 large carrot, sliced

Heat the oil in a large wok. Stir-fry the scorpion for 20 seconds.
Add the pork, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir-fry briefly, then add the
water slowly.

Add the other ingredients and simmer on a low heat for 40 minutes.

A First Mis-step

Sent from Absolom by Venture-Captain Aramis of the Pathfinders to recover the journal of one of his agents, the party travelled to the borderlands between Taldor and Qadira.
Following the description of the location of a lost temple from the missing agent’s last missive, they made their way into the mountains and along a narrow canyon to a cave. Entering, they found a narrow crawlway that led to an underground chamber with a high, domed ceiling but no other ways in or out.
Searching the area, Arahana Titan Smasher uncovered a tarnished silver rectangle, buried in the dirt floor. As she examined the item, the entire party fell upwards towards the domed ceiling. Falling and disoriented, Arahana thought, momentarily, that she saw a shadowed figure watching them.
Before she could confirm this observation, however, she hit the ceiling. Landing heavily on her companions, only Arahana remained conscious as the portal built into the chamber’s ceiling activated and dropped all of them into a room covered, floor to ceiling, with mosaics of celestial beings.


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