Inside the Bear Clan Caves, the barbarians were getting tenser and tenser as the days counted down. It seems that they had been hearing strange sounds of digging over by the giant crystal column in the main cave. Toll and Balin went to investigate, and while they were there, Toll touched the crystal. Upon doing so, the symbol of Moradin began to glow on the back of his left hand. When Balin tried the same thing, there was simply a flash, and he walked away after muttering something and began to play in the sand. Toll spoke with not only the group about the problem, but also the shaman Onon. Soon after assembling in the main cavern, it was apparent that Balin was either quite mad or working under another reality. It appeared that he was making mock representations of ants on the ground – possibly letting the group know what was behind the digging sounds. While Acelia and Gwendon watched Balin, the rest of the group moved over to the crystal and touched it to see if it would react to them. Apparently, it did, and following is a list of characters and their symbol:
Gwendon: Heronious (Done but not shared with the others)
Toll: Moradin – God of the Dwarves
Misha: Obad-Hai – God of Nature
Kobort: Corellon Larethian – God of Elves
Gallandro: Wee Jas – Goddess of Death and Magic
Acelia: Ehlonna – Goddess of the Woodlands
While the group was figuring out which god had marked them, Gwendon and Acelia were talking, when Gwendon brought up the words of Baba Yaga. At the utterance of the words, Balin reached out, snatched Gwendon’s hand, and spoke words of fortune to her. Her reaction was a quick and brutal strike to Balin’s face, knocking him out, before rushing out of the cavern.
The knave’s fortune…
To once lie in nobility forgotten
To descend from glory and fame
It is apparent that in ruin
You find your right and claim
Later, while the group was involved with various tasks, Balin came running into the room naked spouting off about being an airship. Toll walked him back and helped him get dress again, using magic to enthrall him to maybe get a coherent conversation from the scribe. What he got was more words of ‘Wisdom’ about the three clans being five and something called the ‘Septerra Core’. Afterwards, Toll went to ask the Shaman Onon about the five clans, which astonished him. Onon described Balin as ‘Dangerous’ and went off to confer with the chief. Toll returned to the group just in time to see Gwendon knock Balin out once more, as it seemed he had stolen a box. The box, it turns out was Toll’s, a special box that he was to protect. Toll took the box back into his possession while Gwendon hog-tied the scribe where he could cause no further mischief. Toll then relayed what he had found out – causing Gwendon once again to abandon the group rather than hear more. Once everything had settled down, the group began to aid the barbarians in setting up a defense again the burrowing intruders…
Once every several hundred years there comes a day or a night where all five of the moons of Terral come full at the same time known as All Dragon’s Eve. If it occurs during the day, it is a good omen, and if it occurs at night, it is bad. With its coming this night, the sacred ground of the Bear Clan was preparing for an assault of what they believed to be ants burrowing through the cave walls. For most of what were the daytime hours, they waited, until finally at dusk on the outside, the ants broke through. The first thing everyone noticed was the chill breeze wafting in from the openings – a cold air with a sense of ancientness about it. The barbarians quickly dispatched the first wave of ants with little assistance from the group – so the group, with a formian worker summoned by Toll, decided to take the battle to the ants.
Through a thousand feet of ant carved passages they traveled, fighting ants every step of the way. During one fight, Gwendon was captured and dragged away from the battle kicking and screaming, but was able to kill the ant herself and rejoin the group. At another point Toll had Acelia collapse closed branch of tunnels on another group of ants to minimize the possibility of back attack on the party. Finally, they exited out of the tunnels into a large natural cavern that the ants had apparently penetrated. Waiting for them was a large force of ants guarding a single northern passage. With much sweat and blood, the group emerged victorious over the swarm and pushed on into another set of tunnels. Here they discovered ore of copper, iron, and silver amongst the rubble-strewn passage in between even more battles with ants.
Though they nearly turned back due to expending most of their magic, the group decided that this glory would be theirs for the having, and pushed onwards to discover the source of the cold. Fighting through more ants and another thousand feet or so of burrows, the group found a small tunnel from which a very icy wind was coming that the ants had failed to cover up sufficiently. Investigating, the group found a large manufactured chamber – apparently at the bottom of a very deep well from the surface, filled with an unnaturally cold ice. In one area of the room, a single fire burned from the floor, having apparently melted an area of 10′ around it but no more. The area was apparently a temple or shrine of some sort – a mixture of Elven and the Sun God Pelor. Writings in the mosaic around the fire referred to it as “The Sun Source” in Elven, and “The Heart of Pelor” in religious script. Locked in the ice near it was the figure of an Elf, frozen centuries before, his face a frozen mask of horror.
Gwendon discovered a twenty-foot high wall embedded in ice from which light was coming from the other side. After climbing up to investigate the other side, she noticed a mist break away from the ice below on the parties’ side of the wall and move in her direction. Feeling discretion being the better part of valor, she fled back to the group and led them around the ice in a circle, ending up where she saw the ice in the first place – though it was gone now. Where on the outside walls of the chamber there were murals of elves battling creatures of frost and ice in some sort of eternal struggle, the inner wall that Gwendon had attempted to climb represented a stylized fresco to Pelor with many sun and fire images entwining with other images obscured by the ice. After a few failed attempts, the group finally managed to climb the wall and prepared to investigate the glow on the other side…
After creating a makeshift rope, the group managed to climb the wall – with Toll being the last one up. As they were helping him up, the group noticed an apparition of a giant face in the ice across from them. Moments later, the frozen elf emerged from his icy tomb and began to attack the wall the group was standing on while whispering ‘Kill me’ in a tortured Elven voice.
Combat ensued, with anyone hit by the creature not wanting a second helping. The odds started looking bad for the group with member after member struck near to death – until Toll launched himself off the near crumbling wall and brought the battle up close and personal with their icy opponent. His plate mail proved once again to be worth its weight as blow after blow pounded ineffectively against him. Deciding to end the battle for the last time, Toll dropped his weapons and picked the frozen fiend up – intent on carrying him around and dumping him in the fire. This proved unnecessary, as the restricted elf became an easy target to the rest of the parties’ furious blows. The group settled down to rest after the battle, and the night of All Dragons Eve passed without any further incident.
The next morning the group went to investigate the crumbling wall, with Kobort attempting to destroy it with the sword as their foe had the night before. However, there was a ripple in the ice around the wall and it fell on the unfortunate ranger, nearly trapping him under its full weight. He managed to evade most of its brunt – however – and the group pulled him to safety. They then made their way over the wall and through the ice tunnel on the other side. There they found the true sword of the fallen Order – Brialyn.
Through investigation, they discovered than any elf could hold or wield the blade, but any other race could only do so at the cost of constantly burning at its fiery touch. Kobort decided to take the blade with him to train in the ways of it and mayhap to join the Order of Brialyn itself through the teachings of the Tome of Day and Night, a marvelous book of strange metals that they retrieved from the belongings of the frozen elf. As they left the alcove with its strange cave paintings, they discovered that the passage of the sword near the ice apparently rid the ice of whatever demon held sway over it. The group then began to explore the sanctuary, and Kobort began to melt the ice to reach some object locked within to find out what it was. While he did this, most of the others went to investigate the coffins that they had found the previous night – Gallandro swearing that there would be some item within to aid their cause. After Gwendon discovered a way to open the coffin, all they discovered was the mummified body of an elf with another mercurial great sword grasped in its hands. They then returned to the rest to see what they had discovered. The object in the ice turned out to be a shard of white crystal jutting up from the floor – like ice. Inscribed in the mosaic around it was the name “Ice King” in religious script and “Heart of Winter” in the language of elves. Remembering that the text around the fire labeled it as the “Heart of Pelor,” Kobort thought that the fire might be what is required to awaken the blade – but a little bit of experimentation did not change anything. Finally, the group decided to finish what they started and back into the ant tunnels they went
A few intersections later, the group found themselves in the hive of the ants, facing a horde of 20 worker ants, 5 soldier ants and the queen herself. The entire group but Gwendon stayed in one place, letting the creatures come to them. Gwendon, however, decided that she was going to bag the queen and started across the walls of the cavern after drinking a potion of spider climb. Unfortunately, she discovered that ants can climb walls too, finding herself surrounded by most of the soldier ants. Through much tumbling, running, and quaffing of potions, she managed to hold on until Gallandro’s Pseudo-Dragon stung the queen into unconsciousness. By the time she made it over to attack the queen, the group had all but finished off the rest of the ants and was moving to aid her. Though near to death, she still did not run from the battle, staying in the midst of it even after Toll had summoned a fiery Azer to give her a chance to flee. The group finally was able to slay the remaining ants, and after a round of healing on all injured, searched the hive. They rigged a carry bag out of the floatstone they discovered amongst the loot, a cloak, and spare bowstrings to carry all of the ore and gems. They then moved off in search of the egg chamber.
After finding the chamber and defeating the ant guardians, the group spent an hour smashing egg sacks. By the time they had finished, the first of the barbarian war parties arrived to finish searching the hive. The group decided to go back and rest, after warning the barbarians about the cold chamber…