Esteban introduces Erebus to the party – good fighter, plate mail, we could use someone who can swing a sword.\
unpo makes a knowledge check: what could prompt dragons to change behavior like this? Something personal, or being Dominated, either might do it. Munpo turns into an owl, overflies the shaman’s shrine and spots a small ledge, off the beaten path, kind of hidden away.
In the meantime, a blizzard
starts up has been going on for a couple days. The next morning , the party goes to the mayor and head to the shaman’s house, Esteban stealths around to the back of the shaman’s place. The townspeople seem a little warmer to the party, a few smiles as they walk through town. No footprints around the Shaman’s place. Apprentice opens the door, said the priest’s not here, come back later. The party convinces him to go check, he takes forever but comes back and says, nope, shaman’s not here.
On the way to the shrine, Munpo takes point, Esteban follows as rearguard. Nothing notable on the ridge road; Mitch moves Esteban up to check for traps. No traps but the tracks are confusing, and weirdly disproportionate – more going down than coming up.
The team continued moving up; some points of single file on the ledge, in some cases only 2-3 feet wide; blizzard gets a LOT worse, because the cliff had previously shielded the party; almost horizontal snow. Very nasty up top. The town was built in a protected valley. There’s a clearing, but no one sees anything but a crude shrine, completely covered in snow. Otherwise unremarkable. But also, no shaman.
Party checks out the shrine, nothing notable, except for snow-covered. Seems almost abandoned. Several people put offerings in the bowl, and the blizzard winds slow a bit, still there but not as bad.
Party contines back down to the landing (or launching?) and finally find something odd. Esteban finds and opens a hidden door but sets off a trap: 50 feet deep pit plus spikes. Erebus grabs him but struggles to get him back onto the stone. Nisha levitates Esteban over to reset the pit trap, successful and the door opens.
There is light coming from up above, still just as cold but no wind. Part of the hallway is carved, some natural, a fissure in the cliff, open to the sky, some ice capping. No dragon could fit in there – some places only 2.5 feet wide, fighter types have to squeeze through. Moves deeper into the mountain, pretty level but downward slightly. It eventually just ends, but Esteban quickly finds a secret door mechanism.
Inside is a dude dressed a hunter, Esteban says “Hi we’re from town,” then tries to grapple and falls prone in front of him. The rest of the party comes into the room and the man asks what we’re doing there. “We’re looking for the shaman, who disappeared last night.” “I can help find him” says the man.
It’s a natural cavern, but there’s a fair amount of light and snow; the entranceway is on a ledge. Someone recognizes the guy: he’s one of the hunter’s from the mayor’s house, a bunch of hunters had been lost, but only a few experienced hunters were left, this is one of them. Town stopped sending them out because they needed to get food.
“If you go and wind around, it’ll eventually reach the bottom; if you’re looking for the shaman, he’s usually down there.”
Party walks around the circular path; falling would send a person all the way down, moon-door style. But as the party moves through, a series of translucent ice creatures emerges from the wall and attacks. Kind of like ghosts, but with a lot of frost on them, physical frost.
Several people are injured in the initial attack, as the ghost creatures (which Nisha determines are indeed undead) use ghostly grasps against the party. The hunter spears
Nisha Mitch. It’s a brouhaha! Mitch kills two; Munpo and Mitch focus on the hunter; Esteban cracks his bow with a fumble; everybody kills the frost creatures, Munpo senses something inside the hunter and casts dispel magic and the hunter emits a gargoyle. Gargoyle tries to fly away, Mitch presses the attack; practically everyone fumbles, but the gargoyle is finally killed by Drinek.
Finally kill them all, hunter says that the shaman is responsible for the creature’s possessing hunters. Hunter says that the shaman is doing this; Nisha id’s the creature as a quasit.
“You’ve done well to get this far, but you are no match for her. She aids me, and you will die here…” sounds like Shaman. Munpo, Bellana says he’s Gating something here. From the ground, bones start to jut out, and they they form into a skeleton of sorts, plus frost and snow that forms around. It’s three giant skellies. It’s a battle of attrition, a hard fought slugfest. Drinek bombs the lower area with fireballs, but nothing is seen. Munpo nukes the site with volcanic storm, everyone ducks. Mitch comes in swinging and kills two. Gets hit by a force sword from somewhere. It’s a hard battle because no one can hit the skels.
Drinek casts Dispel, but it doesn’t work. Nisha channels negative energy to the surprise at all. Scrappy fights reduce them even more, but Mumpo is on the fence.
Shaman got away. Laying around are white semi-curved pieces, like bowl shards. Mumpo says these were once big eggs; he figures the Shaman pissed off the dragon, stole the eggs, and no one know where the hatchlings are. Paper on the table is burnt up from Drinek’s fireballs.
180gp in jewelry gold silver and copper.