“They say that history is the greatest of all teachers and the tales of past deeds define who we are in the present and what we shall be in the future. It is said that such tales shall, with each telling, illuminate us all for the truth. I shall tell you of such a tale. It is a tale quite familiar to me, for I have spent nearly a lifetime piecing it together and chronicling it here… within this book. For years, I have pondered its passages, studying every line, committing each word to memory. Perhaps now, in the telling of it, I shall at last find the answers I seek.”
“Our story takes place in the northern region of Faroon known as Icewind Dale. It is a harsh frozen land, cut off from the rest of the world by a wall of jagged peaks called the spine of the world, for centuries the icy planes of the dale have been homed to the various people of the Uthgar. The barbarians lived simple lives free, proud, and independent. Until the day named Arch maged named Arakon came to Icewind Dale. With an army of mercenaries Arakon forced the barbarians into slavery. Longs weeks of battle followed and defeat seemed inevitable for the barbarians. In their darkest hour, a barbarian shaman named Jerrod came forth and demanded a counsel between all the remaining tribes of the north. A respected warrior, Jerrod persuaded all the tribes to unite against Arakon. Strengthen by a new sense of purpose, the barbarians rallied behind their new leader. Wave after wave of barbarian warriors tore into Arakon’s hired army forcing them on the defensive and into full retreat. As his army began to crumble, Arakan had time for one last desperate act before his enemies descended upon him. Drawing upon his remaining power, the Archmage breached the planar boundaries, tearing open a portal to the Lower Planes. The foolish Archmage’s cries of victory immediately turned to shrieks of terror… as the hideous and twisted shapes of demonkind materialized from the portal and poured onto the battlefield. The sudden appearance of the demons drove the combatants, barbarian and mercenary alike, to turn to meet their new threat… side by side. The remaining warriors bravely charged the portal to drive the hellspawn back…” it said, “…and were slaughtered… by the hundreds. As his people fell around him, the barbarian shaman, Jerrod, looked up from the blood-drenched snow of the battlefield and caught sight of a lone figure high upon a ridge in the distance. Jerrod immediately recognized this vision as an omen from his god, Tempos. And, in that instant, he knew what had to be done. Shouting cries to his god, he charged through the ranks of the demons and plunged into the portal! As Jerrod’s blood fused with the energies of the portal, an explosion of white light engulfed the battlefield. When the light subsided, the demons were gone and the portal was closed. In its place… hovered a disk of solid stone. Frozen within the center of the disk was Jerrod’s body, locked in his final moment of agony… in his final moment… of triumphed. For all eternity. But that is not the end of our tale…it is but the beginning.
Our tale begins here, in the quiet fishing village of Easthaven. One of the so-called “Ten Towns” of Icewind Dale, the tiny community is hardly a town, but rather a collection of ramshackle huts crowded together upon the icy shores of Lac Dinneshere. Here within a dimly lit tavern, a group of travelers sit huddled around a table, swapping tells and making grand plans for their future, completely unaware of they are part of they are about to play in the events that are about to unfold.
Sol Sabaro’s Journal entry,
Day 0, Hour 10
As our adventures begin in a tavern where we have conversations filled with laughter a slight intrusion was made in by a man named Hrothgar. He does the typical nice guy sheriff routine-welcome, but he also tells us to watch our asses while in his town. After he gives us a notice he also tells us to swing by his place for he has something he wanted to tell us. When he leaves before tipping the barkeeper she asks us for in an attempt to give us a free meal to take care of some rodents downstairs in her basement. We gladly oblige and handle the pestering critters with no problem at all. As Kyung and Nahoum boasted about their kills, we all knew that this was an easy task and that more arduous quests lies ahead.
Day 0, Hour 12
After we left the tavern we met a fisherman by the name of Jhonen. He looked disturbed, so we approached him. He told us that his sleep has been plagued by the dreams of a beautiful woman who walks upon the waves and sings to him. As he looked at us in dismay, I told him that we would take care of the situation. Steven felt as though we were waiting our time and his story was an utter fable. But as we skimmed around the area near the sea in a desolate area, we discovered a blue-skinned woman by the lake named Elisia, and she is responsible for the dreams. Apparently she promised one of his ancestors who lies dead beneath the lake that she would return his blade to Jhonen, but because of the laws of her community, she cannot allow him to see her. We agreed to take the blade to Jhonen, then return and tell her when we’ve done what she asked. We told Jhonen why he was plagued with dreams, and we returned to him the blade the beautiful woman gave to us. He seemed sad that she would not return to him but Kyung told him that he must live on and that such sadness are the way of people from two different worlds. We returned to her and told her that we delivered the blade to Jhonen. She was please, and she rewarded us with our efforts. Then within a flash singing in her lovely melody, she faded away only to return to the sea.
Day 0, Hour 13
We went to meet Hrothgar at his home and see what the situation was about. On our way to his house Steven said, “To be honest guys, I don’t like the way that guy looks at us. I feel as though he sees us as his pawns and just want to simply make use of us.” I told Steven not to worry as he looks like he can be a trusted individual. When we came upon his house and went inside, it was filled with magnificent things from golden treasure cups to swords which look like they’ve been carved from a very skilled blacksmith. He simply said it was from his old adventures and he’s settled down now and that’s the reason why he called us in. Apparently there’s a missing caravan out of Caer- Dinival. The Caravan was carrying valuable supplies intended for Easthaven. Hrothgar suggested we take the south bridge out of town and search for the caravan in the hills along the shores of Lac Dinneshere. We are to return to Easthaven and to Hrothgar either with the caravan, or with the news of it’s mysterious fate.
Day 0, Hour 14
As we wondered around the town we met with the local priest of Tempus, Everard, and we heard the tale of “Jerrod’s Stone.” It tells the tale of a barbarian shaman that sacrificed himself to seal a demon’s portal that lies buried beneath the temple. Strangely enough, Everard seemed to have contempt for Jerrod and his sacrifice.
Day 0, Hour 14
When we left a man came to us by the name of Aspel, and wanted to help because apparently a wolf broke into his shop. We told him not to worry as we would handle the situation. As we approached the front door it would seemed that it was locked. Steven pushed to the front of the door and cracked his knuckles. He took out his kit and easily picked the lock saying, “There’s no lock I can’t unlock!” Yoon-Jin shook her head and said,”I wonder where you learned this stuff from…” “All comes with years of practice babe! I’ll teach you sometime”, said Steven with a charismatic look on his face. “No thanks…” said Yoon-Jin. As we walked in there were broken bottles and furniture ripped into shreds. Upon looking further we saw a silver grey haired wolf ravaging upon a small area. It bestowed it’s eye on us and focused it’s attention on us. Before we even initiated to make a move, Kyung swiftly thwarted the wolf’s attempt to strike us and unleashed his arrow within a haste of a second. The arrow was caught between the eyes of the wolf and blood spurred out without a second to spare. “Well that was easy,” I said. As we looked around, apparently, the beast had chewed its way inside to get at the fish bones the old man had stored inside. Apsel was quite relieved and graciously rewarded us with some cold and a carved scrimshaw dagger. As it was getting late and our big look for the caravan was tomorrow, we knew that it was just best to get some sleep.
Day 1, Hour 7
On our way from the inn crossing the two bridges between us was a boy wrapped around in sorrow. We approached him and he told us his name was Damien. He told us that a group of monsters had invaded his fishing hole and were eating the fish he had caught. Nahoum said, “You need to start watching where you’re fishing, kid.” “I’m not a kid. I’m already old enough to hunt for my own food,” exclaimed Damien. “Well then? Why don’t you go kill those goblins yourself and show me how much you are of an adult?” said Nahoum. “I can’t…They have weapons and I’m powerless against them. Please mister, if you would just do me this one favor…” said Damien. “Fine..fine. Let’s go guys and show these goblins who they are dealing with.” Everyone agreed and we settled off into the bottom of the cliff where the boy had gone fishing and witnessed the goblins celebrating with their stolen good. Nahoum swiftly cast a magic missile spell which struck down one of the goblins in a fiery eruption. The goblins tried to make haste up the mountain to encounter us but I had taken care of two of the goblins with a bolt lunged inside each of their heads. As we went down to get the fish Nahoum picked it up and began walking towards us. Hiding from the cliffs was a goblin who was on the edge of making a preemptive strike against Nahoum. Before I can even cry out to Nahoum the enemy stopped in his place and blood started gushing out from his chest. The cold blade rages upward from his chest and stopped at his neck. Then it lunges forward as if somebody had kicked it. From the shadows behind the goblin was Steven laughing and said, “You need to pay more attention from your surroundings oh Mr. powerful wizard who acts all cool.” Nahoum said, “I could of handled it even if you would not have back-stabbed the fiend. Steven shrugged his shoulder and said, “Yeah whatever.” When we got back the fish for Damien, Nahoum told him to grow strong so he can protect what is most important to him. We gave him a few other fish we found along the way to take to his father so he wouldn’t get in trouble.
Day 2, Hour 13
Upon walking up the mountain for hours on end we found the caravan and made quick haste for it. Before we could even reach the source of our destination we were ambushed by a pack of wolves. With quick reaction I took out two of the wolves in one fell swoop. As I looked back Wei-Chu has the head of one of the beasts and threw it behind her laughing at how weak they were. I began to think she was way ahead of herself for thinking like that. As our party recuperated from such an ambush we looked at the caravan and it would seemed as though it had been torn apart. The wheels were torn from the ridges and the insides were thrown around. The windows were broken and there was blood between the seats. Obviously someone cleaned up around here. As we thought upon this mystery we heard a yell echo from a further path. We rushed towards it and we approached a deep cave filled with luminous rocks. Yoon-Jin said, “I really don’t like this…” with a frowned look upon her face. “We better check it out,” said I (trying to keep a straight face). As we leisurely walked inside, three orcs boasting about who’s stronger made our acquaintance; they weren’t very happy. Within a sprung of a moment, Me and Steven took on one of the orcs. As I struck blow to blow with his axe Steven tried to backstab him, but he unfortunately got hit in the face with the orcs left elbow, as his right hand(with the axe) was cleaving clashes with my sword. I gained momentum and pushed his weapon back with force allowing me to gain another blow straight into his chest. As the orc lied on the floor, I saw that Steven was recuperating and that the other members of the team dealt with their foes as well.
As we continued further into the cave we heard the sound of deep maniacal laughter. Steven said, “Allow me to check out.” Without a chance for us to give him the heads up, he began to fade away into the shadows and push on. As we waited for him he came back he told us what was up ahead. “3 Orcs, 1 Orc mage, 1 Orc archer and…” said Steven. “And what?” said Yoon-Jin. “…an ogre…” said Steven. “An ogre?!… Are you sure your eyes aren’t twisted, man!?” said Nahoum. “Aye, I saw it with my own eyes that were given to me. Don’t believe me? Let’s push on and you’ll see.” said Steven. “An ogre? Eh? *raises sword* Allow my blade to feast upon such an exciting challenge!” said Wei-Chu in an invigorating voice. “We’ll have to give them a warm preemptive strike,” I said while raising my two-hand sword in the air. Like a dark comedy, Steven, Kyung and I went ahead and poked their heads from the corner getting a good overview of our next fight. What I saw shook me like a ravenous snake making my nerves sting with its poison. I saw the ogre standing there, holding a decapitated head and drinking the blood gushing from its neck. He was laughing as he was doing it and Kyung was in utter dismay from this monsters actions… Steven was scouring around examining to other orcs. When I gave the okay signal, Wei-Chu flew across the room like a mad woman and blazed through two of the orcs without a problem. I on the other hand was taking on one of the orcs. From a glance of my point of view I saw that a Orc mage made his appearance from the rear and tried to cast an attack. Nahoum quickly emitted an energy blast from his hand and threw it at the mage. The mage wasn’t going to be quickly defeated so easily. Before I could see what else was going on the ogre tried to crush me with his mace, but I quickly dodged it. How sluggish his movements were gained my attention and I quickly stabbed him in the chest. He roared and began to try to grab my blade, but with my left hand I took out my crossbow and with all my might I kept on hitting that trigger and stuck about 5 bolts to his face. He let go of my blade and started grabbing the bolts lodged inside of his face. I took my blade out of him and went for the swift kill. I jumped up and ,using all of my strength, made a slash to his neck severing his head off. As I looked in the far right. Nahoum and Kyung made a swift movement and threw two daggers into the ogre mages chest and the fiend fell to the ground. As I looked around Yoon-Jin was in the far back using her sling shot to help us with support. I gave a chuckle off at her and she waved back smiling. When I turned around Wei-Chu had dealt with plenty of ogres trying to make an attempt for her life… She went up to Steven and punched him in the face saying, “You never said there was this many…” Steven rubbing his face said, “How the fuck was I suppose to see all of them!? I couldn’t get that close! I just gave you an overview on what was to be expected!” She then looked at me and came walking towards me with an aggravated look on her face. I put two of my hands up trying to back up and she said to me, “You asshole…taking my kill” She then preceded to go back towards to exit of the cave… Steven said, “What the hell is she so angry about? We got the kill right? *Whispering to me and Nahoum* Dude, check out her ass as she walks… Haha, it’s great isn’t it?” She then turned around with an angry look on her face. We all jumped and Nahoum began to scratch his head, Steven started Whistling, and I acted like I kicked a rock on the ground. As we searched around Yoon-Jin checked the body of the mage and found a few scrolls with new spells. Steven checked the body of the decapitated man and found a contract that talked about Illmus Gallaway making a deal with Gaspar to get the caravan to East haven. Once we knew of the mystery of the caravan, we made our way back to Easthaven.
Day 3, Hour 15
When we made it in town we went off to tell Gaspar of what happened to the Caravan he requested. We showed him the contract and he said, “Rest in peace Illmus.” Once he knew of the details, Gaspar set about re-negotiating a contract and insuring that a new caravan of supplies reaches Easthaven. He thanks us for our trouble, and he paid us a good sum in gold. Steven said, “Any time my friend! If you’re willing to give us this much we’ll take any jo-” Before Steven could finish saying job, I cut him off and said to Gaspar, “Thank you.” I looked at Steven with a distinguish look and shook my head. He chuckled and shrugged. we returned to Hrothgar to tell him our discovery and of how we tracked the marauding orc raiders back to their lair. The stout warrior seemed somewhat worried about the orc attack, but was relieved to know that the supplies were still recoverable. Hrothgar asked us that we make any last minute preparations for the journey that lied ahead and return to him when we are ready to depart.
So it was that we and patchwork militia set off from Easthaven, bound for the troubled village of Kuldahar, with the party of strangers in tow. On we traveled, across the windswept tundra of the dale, through the foothills of the Spine of the World, and upwards on the steep and treacherous trails of the Kuldahar pass. As we walked across a path Kyung stopped in his tracks and carried a disturbed feeling within him. He looked up from a far view and said, “We must keep running! We have no time! Hurry!” Confused as me and the rest of the team were he began to yell out towards the militia that followed us. But before he even got a chance to yell out to them of the dangers he sensed high upon the cliffs of the pass, a band of frost giants had prepared an ambush. Hurling boulders and dislodging massive outcroppings of rock and snow, the giants sparked an avalanche that thundered down the mountainside, and crashed down upon the heads of the expedition. We made our way running from the avalanche the way we were directed to go from the beginning. Those who tried to run back the other way were met with the heavy burden of the snow and collapsed underneath it. As we ran and ran, the avalanche caught up between us and I could not see what was in front of me in a matter of seconds. A force shrouded around me and I was wrapped between the glistened snow. As I almost blacked out I began to push upward using all of my strength and lodged myself out of the snow. I looked around only to find Kyung, Nahoum, Yoon-jin and Wei-Chu in one piece as they too were pulling themselves out. As we looked around for Steven we saw a head pop out of the ground and say, “Damn it! I’m way too young to be buried like this… How’s a guy suppose to live a decent life when you have FROST GIANTS hurling boulders at you for no reason…Who’s the dick that angered them!? ” Steven popped up from the snow and brushed off the snow. Yoon-Jin let off a sigh when she looked back at the devastation that had come. Everyone but us… gone. “It’s a good thing we were not caught in the middle of the avalanche and caught the end tail of it,” said Wei-Chu. “They’re all gone… all of those men… gone…”said Yoon-Jin in a sad tone. Nahoum let out a sigh and said, “Nevertheless, we have to push on…” I felt as though all of those men simply lost their lives for no reason at all. I could feel my blood boiling with anger at those frost giants. “Damn them! Damn them to hell” I thought to myself while furiously clenching my fist. Battered and disheartened by the loss of our comrades, we had little choice but to continue to Kuldahar, alone.