So the party finally reaches the end of their destination this past Wednesday night. The party changes quite a bit from week-to-week, but we have, in no particular order:
- Cellis – Human Ranger
- Bruce – Dragonborn Fighter
- Ragner – Dragonborn Druid
- Waldo – Dwarf Cleric
- Helga – Human Cleric
- Gavan – Elf Mage
- Belhand – Half-Orc Monk (formerly Javert, the Drow Paladin)
The player that was playing Javert wanted to try out the Monk class for D&D Next. The way I like to think of Javert is that like the Incredible Hulk television show, he got angry, and metamorphisized into a Half-Orc Monk.
It is also notable that the only player character that has been through the entire season of Legacy of the Crystal Shard is Ragner. Waldo only missed one session. Everyone else joined at various points throughout the game. A final key point is that for whatever reason, we made very slow progress in this adventure, and had to basically “jump” to the end so that we could end tonight’s adventure, as this weekend the next season of D&D Encounters launches with ‘Scourge of the Sword Coast.’
So the party had defeated a bunch of pirates, arrested some oily Luskans, a corrupt ferryman, and a mage named Gant. We’re enjoying a meal when a battered & bruised Barbarian warrior from the Elk tribe comes to see us. He waves quite a tale about his tribe and several towns defeating attacking monsters and what not. The more interesting part is that he has managed to track the location of the ice witch that is believed to be responsible for these attacks. His tribe attempted to take the fight to her door, but were promptly spanked for their efforts, so they turn to the honorary members of the Elk tribe, namely us.
So off we go trekking across ice and snow to the ice witch’s tower, a structure that appears to be mostly composed of the black ice / crystal that’s been corrupting people in the region. Along the way, we have a random encounter with a Big Polar Bear, which we rather easily defeat. Not that things weren’t treacherous; a crack in the ice suddenly ruptures, and the more clumsy among us (i.e. Gavan, the Elf with a +2 to his dexterity checks, yet proves to be a clumsy oaf when push comes to shove) find themselves tumbling down into icy waters below. The clumsy are saved; Gavan is left with 1 hit point, but magical healing brings him up to near-peak condition.
So when we get to the tower, we find a nearby cave to rest for the night to recover from our horrific ice water swim. While there, my mage suddenly remembers from his history class some of the origins surrounding the black crystal; something to do with someone that tried to conquer the lands of Icewind Dale with a crystal artifact but failed in the end. Unfortunately, there are no mention of any special defenses against the crystal’s effects, and considering the tower is mostly composed of this black ice, we were concerned with its corrupting effects. However, as it turned out, our worry was misplaced. The environmental hazard we should have worried about was the intense cold.
So the next morning, Gavan and co. enter the tower and kind of like Bruce Lee in ‘Game of Death,’ we have to fight our way to the top. On the ground floor we battle dwarves and barbarian’s under the Ice Witch’s control. That isn’t too bad, as Gavan’s Flame Sphere spell proves to be rather potent. Gavan also does his best Gandalf impression, and manages to take down a few enemies with a silver shortsword. We then proceed up the spiral staircase to what we think is the top floor. It is actually the middle floor, where we meet the Ice Witch, the ‘Chosen of Ariel, the frost maiden’, who seemingly descends from an opening in the ceiling. After some attempt at settling things peaceably, she summons a wind elemental to kill us. Joining the wind elemental, is the Undead corpse of the holder of the black crystal artifact I mentioned earlier, though this undead corpse reminded me more of a vampire. He was disappearing from view, and re-appearing; in fact, he knocked Gavan unconscious, but is thankfully defeated.
We use magical healing to recover, but are more or less out of it. To make matters worse, Gavan is completely out of magic, and has to rely on his bow-and-arrow skills. There is actually an air current (presumably magical) that takes us up to the top floor where the Ice Witch is. The battle is rather close, as her Ice Spears do a brutal amount of damage, and she takes out two party members in no time. Still, our heroes manage to prevail in the end, thanks to a well-timed arrow to the knee (just kidding) by our Ranger.
And so ends my foray into the Legacy of the Crystal Shard. I’m not sure what character type I’ll go with; I’ll probably attempt to go with something that our party lacks, like last time, as I don’t mind. Given a choice though, I may want to go with my Monk ‘archetype’ of Kirok, Disciple of Kirk-Fu!