Go often to the house of thy friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path.
Some of PCs returned from the warehouse to meet with karl Geirstein. Itojin spent time recounting their epic tale to karl, gaining a small boost in his oratory skills by putting on a well-received performance. Geirstein decided to send Erling Aren Scinfaxi to take control of the warehouse, and demanded the rest of the party return to his guildhall.
The PCs who remained behind in the warehouse were able to discover an assortment of abandoned items, including a masterwork harp, some cold-weather outfits, a non-magical jade-inlaid shield, and an adamantine battleaxe. These items were collected by the party and returned to the guildhall as Aren Scinfaxi arrived to take possession of the warehouse.
At the guildhall, the group was tasked by Halvor Geir Geirstein to meet with an old acquaintance – a priest of Erastil named Alf Skamel – who had put out a call for armed assistance in a matter of some urgency. Being an old friend of the karl’s, Geirstein demanded the PCs make their way to the small church of Erastil that Skamel maintained.
At the church, the PCs entered into a discussion with Skamel about his request, and found that the priest needed a group of adventurers to slay a local terror – the ice demon, Shardtail. The creature was reputed to be a danger to local trade lanes, and Skamel had been given a vision of Erastil that the creature was to be destroyed.
A chance comment by the priest gave Einar the bright idea to attempt to slay the terrible fiend in one-on-one combat, in order to earn more reputation with the locals of Kalsgard. The party had one night of rest before making their way into the southern forests surrounding Kalsgard, where Shardtail was said to have his lair. During this prep time, the party rested and prepared new spells, with Einar insisting that Itojin prepare clerical spells that would allow him to fight against a demon.
Into the Forest
On the morning of the following day, the group headed into an unnamed forest just south of the city where they began tracking Shardtail. The journey went uneventfully up until the point when the PCs stumbled upon a group of three hunters.
The hunters met the party on a path in the woods, and after a tense conversation from afar, Larduk moved to sneak behind the hunters in case something went wrong. Instead, the servant of Gorum discovered a strange obelisk in the distance, which triggered an immediate response from the hunters who launched a surprise attack on the party.
An additional three hunters emerged from the woods, but the party was able to successfully slay the attackers with only a few scratches and strikes against them. After the battle, the party spent some time investigating the strange obelisk, with Itojin and Solva identifying some of the runes engraved on the surface as Thassilonian, particularly the symbol for ‘pride’, which showed up repeatedly.
Einar then convinced the party to leave the strange obelisk behind and continue on their mission to track down Shardtail.
That’s No Demon!
Ascending a strange snow-capped hill (it was summer after all), the party knew they were approaching the lair of Shardtail. Einar bid the rest of the party to remain behind while he moved to engage the beast and claim the glory of the kill for himself.
The situation quickly changed when Einar was struck in the chest by several spines of icy hard chitin. It then became obvious as the beast emerged that it was not a demon, but instead some horrific giant breed of manticore that radiated an aura of cold around it.
Einar only lasted a few seconds alone against the beast before Itojin rushed forward to save the strong ulfen from being consumed. The rest of the party moved in to support, and a full battle broke out between Shardtail and the PCs. Loosing spike after spike from its tail, the manticore was determined to bring the party down, and in return the party fought back with all the resources at their disposal.
When it finally looked like the PCs might be able to defeat the manticore… it began to fly up!
The battle continued with Shardtail in the air, raining down spikes on the scattered group arrayed against it. Eventually the beast was laid low by a final arrow loosed from a nearly dead Einar, after a spike lashed out and gave Skyla a deep scar across her chin. The ulfen claimed that he would take the young deaf and mute girl as a wife when she was ready, as no man would ever choose to be with a woman so scarred.
Skyla seemed unimpressed by this offer, and Einar soon slipped off into unconsciousness from the stress of the battle.