Scaled Down Scales

Two Against the Leader of the Giants

Well, the Local Leader, at Least

Borg and Lyrindel Take on Nara

Lyrindel woke the rest of the Order of the Black Feather — or whatever they were calling themselves — inside the Solace Bole before the ritual’s effect dumped them back on the icy floor the crevasse room. They were still so groggy that most of them went right back to sleep.

Andrea, the warlord, didn’t even really wake up. She seemed to be caught in the depths of some dream. As soon as they were out of the Solace Bole, she lay down on the floor and fell back asleep.

But Lyrindel could see footprints in the snow which told a story: Someone had entered the room while they were hidden away in the Feywilde; the interloper had come in the way they had and immediately turned toward the tunnel excavated by the Ice-Touched Umber Hulks.

Inspecting the footprints, the druid became convinced they were made by an elf.

Re-assured, she entered the excavation and ran into an elven ranger returning to the crevasse room. The elf asked her who she was and explained that he had been sent by the High Lady to warn her about the dangers of the Seed of Winter.

“She told me it was dangerous for a member of the Summer Court to become attuned to it,” the ranger said. “We may need to find a Winter Court fey we can trust so we can hand it off to them. We might be able to carry it for a while, even use it. But we cannot risk extreme attunement.”

She introduced herself and found out the ranger was named Borg. He came from the Moonshae Islands. He told her that he had scouted the next room without being seen. It didn’t look like the giants there were watching the hole that was dug by the Umber Hulks, but they might be spotted if they enter by the main entrance.

The description of the room — which spiraled up to an ice bridge exiting to the next level — gave Lyrindel an idea: If they could sneak past the giants, she might be able to bring down the bridge with Earth Roots.

That might trap the giants on this level. Unfortunately, it would trap her sleeping companions down here with them.

So, they just went with a frontal assault. Borg went with a favorite ranger stance, the Skirmishing Stance. This stance was hampered somewhat by the fact that the giants’ ice arrows and frost attacks could slow or immobilize. Fortunately, they seldom were able to hit him.

Which was good, with their healer asleep and dreaming warlord dreams.

Once they got closer to the stream which flowed through the room, they realized the mist rising from it was dangerous in its own right. And the wolf on the other side was breathing frosty blasts of its own.

But they killed it quickly once they got under the bridge.

Andrea Ravn woke from a strange dream about a dragon and an elemental. She was still in the Solace Bole. The rest of her team was still sleeping around her. But thoughts about the dream kept running around in her head. The elemental clove the dragon in two. That was straight out of her religious training. All dragonborn are taught about the battle between Io and Erek-Hus at an early age. And two dragon-gods arising from the two halves of Io was well-known. But the part about the scales…she had no recollection of that. These thoughts seemed important somehow. And she kept going over and over them in her head. “I must get back to sleep,” she said. But it took her hours before she could actually rest.

Borg finished off the wolf before he tried to cross the river. But the crossing river was hard. As he got close, the mist around rising from the stream began to condense around his legs, slowing his progress.

“That’s gonna make it hard to jump across,” the dryad warned.

So, he decided to swim. Even that was impeded the freezing fog, but he was swept downstream. Finally he emerged from the water to discover an enormous stairway leading up to the ice bridge. He danced across the ice.

Before he even got to the stairs the first giant fell up on the ice bridge.

Seeing her companion go down, other ice giant — apparently named Nara — hightailed it up the steep incline.

Garen Bladerun jerked awake. He found himself in an unaccustomed luxury. “The River Jewel,” he thought to himself, remembering the name of the inn he was staying at. “In Sayre. But that was a weird dream.” Another dragonborn was in the dream, a warlord. And it seemed like she was trying to steal something from him. “Like she was trying to steal a part of my soul.” But that didn’t make any sense. The three who had tried to steal his soul had nothing to do with some warlord.

Hearing the laughter of Lyrindel, Jonalith made his way cautiously up the slope leading out of the crevasse room where they fought the Blue Hulks — the last thing he needed was to slip back into the hole.

Another voice — an elven voice? — joined the hamadryad’s. They seemed to be celebrating their victory over a wolf and a Frost Giant. A very large wolf. “Winter Wolf it looks like to me,” Jonalith. “It almost enough to give credit to the fey stereotype. Frolicking while there’s treasure to be found.”

As Jonalith looked around, he saw piles of equipment. Most of the weapons were too large to swung by any but a giant.

“But that doesn’t mean they don’t have baubles hidden among their personal belongings.”

Sure enough. A quick search revealed a large sack of coins, covered with runes. “Have to ask someone who knew Alexander Winterforged. These look dwarven to me. I’d guess there’s about 10,000 here.”

And Jonalith’s guesses were notoriously accurate, especially where gold was concerned.

It took a little more searching, but he also found a platinum ring with Bahamut’s symbol and a ruby-encrusted letter opener.

Introducing himself to the new elf — who turned out to be a ranger, too — he suggested they go wake up the others. “From the looks of things, about 15 Frost Giants live here. Even with this one, we can’t have accounted for more than a third of their number.”

The two wayward fey agreed, telling him the leader had escaped.

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