I know I’m a very story-oriented DM, and I happen to think that’s a good thing, but sometimes you still end up with a combat-heavy session. Nothing wrong with that either – sometimes you just want to punch the hell out of some monsters and take their loot. Especially with the revelation that this AL season is going to be a bit longer than the past few, we’ve got plenty of time. And indeed, monsters were punched and loot was taken this night.
Uthgardt burial mounds of the North
The Sword Coast of Faerun
The Story So Far:
Having decided to visit the remaining three Uthgardt burial mounds that Harshnag had mapped out for them, the group proceeded onwards to Flint Rock. From the aerial view provided by their airship, they could see that the rings of mounded earth formed the image of a leaping stag, though this wouldn’t be apparent from the ground. This was the territory of the Elk tribe, although it appeared that none of them were around at the moment. The only other creatures present were a pair of – you guessed it – elk, minding their own business.
It took several of the party members a decent amount of time to move the extremely heavy altar from the center of the mounds, where Hugheorn detected a faint trace of magic. Buried beneath it was a five-foot-long mithral spear tip – and they could only imagine how large the original spear must’ve been. Certainly sized for a large giant, to say the least. No one in the group could discern what powers the spear tip held, if any, though it gave off the faintest aura of divination magic to the cleric’s spell. After a brief debate about mounting the spear tip to the front of the airship – “Ramming speed! Ramming speed!” – the group continued towards One Stone.
Several days later, they arrived at One Stone, having used some of the interim time to continue their studies into how the airship worked. Once more, they could see a recognizable shape from above, the mound circled by a stream like a kind of moat. The earth here had been formed into the shape of a pegasus – the territory of the Sky Pony tribe. Peering down, they saw no one around again – clearly the Uthgardt barbarians weren’t huge on guarding their holy burial sites. However, the moment they touched down upon the ground, a massive bulette emerged from the ground, eager to devour them all.
The land-shark, as they are commonly known, thrashed and bit and with a mighty roar, summoned two more bulettes to come and join in the fun. Heskan’s lightning damage and Relaris’ thunder damage made nice counterpoints to each other, while Ulmo summoned some giant eagles to help fight them off. Roshi’s go-to technique of punching things to death worked well; as did Madeline’s and Wade’s hacking and slashing. Hugheorn kept everybody standing throughout the fight, until all three of the monsters had been subdued. Roshi declined to kill his, preferring to deal non-lethal damage, and attempted to tame it (Ulmo Polymorphed it into a tressym, as one does). This did not go well.
At first, the group’s instinct was to dig beneath the gigantic, 12-ton boulder that formed the “eye” of the pegasus. However, the boulder itself was revealed to be the relic they sought. Carved with magical runes and carefully engraved lines, the stone could be used to control the weather or divine the future. It could also, fortunately, be shrunk down to about 6 inches in diameter (still weighing 25 pounds, so that would be a hell of a slingshot projectile), so they could carry it up and return it to the airship. And hey, they figured, if need be they could always have Ulmo in bird form drop it on someone, like cracking the shell of a turtle or a tortoise!
Just a little bit to the north of One Stone was Beorunna’s Well, the last of the burial mounds they knew about. Unlike the others, this one was a bit harder to call a “mound”, at least from a distance. The area was, in fact, an underground cavern, whose ceiling partially opened up to the sky. They found themselves in a roughly triangular area, after using various flying magics to safely descend into the cavern. They also found themselves decidedly not alone – nearly a dozen Uthgardt barbarians of the Black Lion tribe currently occupied the cavern. And much to their delight, one of them shouted, “Get the manticores!”
Some of the barbarians put up a more valiant fight than the others, and some of them were berserkers, toughened and enraged. The manticores put up an even better fight, especially after seeing the magic that these adventurers were capable of. That is, until Ulmo summoned a fire elemental and ordered it to go and sit on one of the manticores, setting them both on fire. This was going swimmingly, despite several injuries being taken from the manticores’ tail spikes, claws, and fangs. Heskan, of course, decided to walk right on over, slap the fire elemental on the ass (with his ring of fire protection, he was not at risk of catching on fire), and cast a frost mantle upon it with the shard of the ice rune. Immediately upon contact with the fire elemental, the frost mantle melted into steam, having no effect, and obscuring the visibility throughout the cave.
When they had dealt with their foes, the group turned to the third corner of the triangular cavern and found an altar there. Once more, it took the stronger party members some time to successfully move it aside, and even more time to dig into the semi-frozen earth. Finally, they found not one, but two things buried beneath it. One was merely the skeleton of some unlucky ogre, who hopefully had not been killed by the falling of the altar rock. The other was a massive carved ivory horn, engraved with images of giants battling dragons. It took them a while, but they managed to get this onto the airship as well, although Delsephine the captain was getting a little irate with all the extra weight they were carrying. With the final relic collected, they supposed it was time to return to the Eye of the All-Father for one final visit before taking on a giant lord.