A Cold Day in Hell

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Eddrick's Background 1
Eddrick's Background 1

We are going to be attempting to record each session. However, we will try to keep up with this aspect as well; mostly for a test for future use and for completeness.

Gold dwarves use a system of communal children raising where placement is decided by Moradin himself by a priest of Moradin. There is no such concept as ‘birth parents’ since all children are placed almost immediately after birth (by Moradin). They have small communities and this is more a system of social engineering than anything else. When a priest blesses the child, there is no specific talk from Moradin, but the priest is not (completely) full of shit. What actually happens is a combination of where the child would belong best and a slight feeling added in during the blessing. These ‘feelings’ can be anything from a memory flash, a smell, an intense emotion; however, it’s always at least something. A family only enters church at these times if they want a baby. After being placed, all children go to a communal school. They go all day for a short while and then it becomes only half day. The second half of the day, you are required to learn your parents’ profession or whichever profession has been decided for you (since day one).

Fout Hearthshield had gone to every ceremony for a good 50 years. He had never gotten picked in all that time. Firstly, he was a single man. That made him much lower on the list than married couples. Also, he was a ‘fix-it’ blacksmith. He didn’t make fine works; he just fixed picks, pots, armor, and other such items. You don’t need two blacksmiths like that; plus he was just barely middle aged, so it would still be a while before the necessity of a successor. However, he wanted a child badly, despite the constant rejection.

Eddrick’s parental ceremony was not quite normal. Primarily, there wasn’t a high needed for a replacement in any profession; which basically made picking a decent place (pre-blessing) much, much harder. During the ceremony, the priest blessed him, and he got nothing. It was such a shock, the priest just stood there, mouth gaping, staring at Eddrick. Fout took this opportunity to make it seem like the priests shock was that he finally got chosen. He made such a ruckus that, in the end, he left with Eddrick.

He got bullied a lot in school for his lack of a mother, but he didn’t care much. Fout told him early on that the words of fools weighed less the air they took up. Eddrick quickly learned all there was to know about blacksmithing from his father. He was a real quick study. So, as their side work, they both had to work in the mines looking for new veins. Although it was a very important job in the community, it was not respected.

Eddrick quickly noticed his father had a tendency of disappearing for long periods. Curious, he started following him. It took a whole week to see him entering a cave that closed after he entered. It took another week to improvise an item that would help him follow behind his father. He was amazed to discover a huge room full of stuffed underdark denizens. Continuing to follow, he then found his father kissing a beautiful human woman with long purple hair and blue-green eyes. The room was coating entirely in a thin crystal; a giant pile of jewels, coins and precious metals was in the middle of the room. Before Eddrick could do a thing, the woman looked straight at him and said, “Honey, our son is here.”

Apparently, his father was far from single; he was married to a Sapphire dragon. By gold dwarf laws, she really was his mother. Not even for a second did he consider her different. From that moment on, his mother was the one that taught him things in the second half of the day. Sapphire dragons love tactics, so he leaned quite a bit of that. She also loved music and stories, the crystal lining made the room acoustically perfect. Together, they taught him much about what is important in life. Race is irrelevant; it’s the feeling between each other that mattered. Also, a good thing should be cherished every day, regardless of what others might think.

Things change. One day the golden dwarf settlement to the north connected a couple cave systems using a deeper, pre made, cavern system. This was a bad idea. The pre made system was not totally empty; there was actually a huge herd of metal-crazed delvers. Obsessed with the taste of unique metal, they quickly pushed through the earth and found his mother’s home. Most dragons have a sort of ‘back door’ they used in their caves to get out in an emergency. However, there were just too many delvers. They wanted to eat Fout and Eddrick more than the coins and gems. As blacksmiths and metal miners, they were covered in small metal shards of all types of metals. Kind of like a crazy buffet of flavors, in the delvers opinion. She let them use her escape door, and crushed it behind them.

She had to knock out Fout and have Eddrick drag him out. Using telepathy, in her last hours, she told Eddrick a few things. That she had been barren. Her particular species was rare to begin with, so this was a big deal. Therefore, he was her only son. Even though she may have not birthed him, she truly believed he was her son. She said that he was special, different than the others. Therefore, she would try to do what she would with any child she had and pass on some of herself. Eddrick felt something, but no clue what it meant or if it worked. Before she died, she told him that she was going to shed all her scales as a huge distraction. Hopefully it would allow them to live as well as some of the innocents.

The blacksmith was destroyed. So, as things settled down, Eddrick and his father stayed in the common hall with a few others. Not long after the incident, they found her body. Because of shedding her scales, she was almost nothing but bones. The townsfolk decided that they had managed to kill a horrible evil along with all those delvers. They drug her skull into the town hall and tried to hang it like a kill trophy. Fout FREAKED out. He was certainly more than they had given him credit. He killed the mayor, the sheriff, and three of the people mutilating her skull to put it up before about 7 dwarves tackled him down.

He was sentenced to death in less than a day. They let him talk to Eddrick. He told his boy of a secret place in the smithy and then said to take what was in there and leave now. It wouldn’t be much longer before they would start eyeing him. He told him to leave before they hung him in a few days so he would be safely gone. Eddrick went to the spot; he found way more coin than he expected in a large pouch and two books. One was called Planar Manual and the other was blank. He did half of what his father wanted. He acted like he left town, but actually stayed in the cave system until the day they hung his father. He stood high up and far enough away that not even his dad could have seen him watching. He watched them hang his father for treason, under the blessing of Moradin. He did not cry.

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Eddrick's Background 2
Through the Looking Glass

Eddrick travels south, away from the dwarven settlements. He spends a large amount of money because he purchases the fastest way(s) to get out of the area. He gets out of gold dwarf lands, just to find mountain dwarves, and then to find hill dwarves. He gets very sick of trying to get away from dwarves and figures if he keeps going south (into the human lands) he would be about as far away as he can get. He starts to run out of money, so he travels on his own on the major roadways.

One day he is walking in the pouring rain and finds a stone building made of at least 10 pillars and a pitched roof. At first, he is struck by the stonework of the place; it’s one contiguous piece of stone. He hears a soft woman’s voice behind him, "Can I help you?” Turning around quickly he sees a woman (also soaking wet) with long bright red hair, pale skin, and a strange outfit made entirely of brown scarves. She’s smiling in a very welcoming way, "Would you like to come in and get out of the rain?” She extended her hand to him, it seemed odd, but he took her hand. Quickly he felt warm and dry, while still in the pouring rain. He noticed that the rain didn’t touch her, and while holding her hand, apparently it didn’t hit him either. “Nice, I need to learn that trick,” she laughed and led him into the building. It was warm, dry and inviting despite being mostly open. There was a tall stone slab in the middle with a symbol on it and niches in the sides that held food. Across from the slab was a stone bench; she sat on it and beckoned him to do the same. She asked if he wanted some food after she prayed; starving, he quickly agreed.

She prayed, in her lap was a huge plate of food, yet she looked upset. She told Eddrick that this was a temple of Fharlanghn, open to any travel, and that she was his priestess. She then explained that she had asked for food for both of them, but Fharlanghn would not grant her request. She had then asked Fharlanghn why he chose to do that; she learned that he would not directly help nor hurt this ‘creature’. He does not exist, he cannot be seen, and not something he would want to help perpetuate. Therefore, he made food for her; the choice to share would be her own. She told Eddrick that while Fharlanghn was not going to do anything about it; some of the less ‘reasonable’ deities would not be so forgiving. She warned him to stay away from the large temples; least he be seen as a threat. She gave him the food, transferred some of her ability to resist the elements, and left. Best night sleep he ever had.

Not long after that, Eddrick discovers one of the best ways to travel cheaply; caravans. Sadly, they are FAR from uniform. Some are awful, filled with people who are jerks, and others are more pleasant. Sometimes he has to pay, other times he can trade his skills for the ride. One day, before he selects another caravan, he thinks that maybe he can change his fate on this like the book taught him how to do with gambling. So, he gives the idea a go; he winds himself up like before and lets it go. He picks the first one he sees. Heck, either it worked or he got lucky. Joined a musical group who didn’t charge him a thing, just trade for blacksmithing; heck they even fed them. After two days, one of the young lads finds him and tells him that one of the performers, Lyeren Treemeld.

He went to see him, a high elf in a long, flowing red robe. He smiled at Eddrick, and told him that they were the same; would he be willing to learn? He gave him Eddrick a small performance on a bone flute. He summoned the whole group, he played and did other things at the same time, he had the flute play itself, and he showed how to suggest things to others. When he let them go, he asked Eddrick to do the same. Of course, he could only do a fraction of what he had seen. When everyone left, Lyeren told him there was much, much more to learn.

A whole week went fast, Eddrick was a fast learner. At this point, Eddrick knew this elf to be more than what is seem; a powerful gut feeling. Lyeren, somewhat out of character, said he knew Eddrick was ‘different’; he could feel his presence that first time and he was immune to Lyeren’s magic. They made a trade. Lyeren explained he was not an elf, but a Fey from the Unseelie plane of fairies. Fey have 5 names, and one of them can be used to summon them from any other plane. He was in hiding, so to speak, since he went to deliver something and never came back. He explained he was a type of fey called the Banshrae. They had been exiled for so long they grew content with it; because of this, they had become less like the other chaotic fey. Then, they were forced back into servitude. He ran before anyone could force out his names, so they could not make him return. He was willing to give his summon name to Eddrick, as long as it would only be used when specified by him (via dominated fairy) and that he summon would not have any strings attached. In return, he would teach Eddrick everything and anything he knew. The deal was agreed upon, forever binding and the name Droaam forever his to know.

Over the last weeks of the caravan, Eddrick learned everything he could about magic/religion/planes/his powers. It was the beginning of understanding. He was still chewing on the info he had learned when he picked his next caravan at random; but not using any influence. He ended up with a group of definitively unfriendly humans. He was starting to get pretty far south and so it rained quite a bit (Seemed like always to Eddrick). The group always sent him out to find dry wood. He grumbled, but did it. When he came back, he felt ‘something’ in the camp; it matched Lyeren’s description of what he felt when Eddrick first showed up.

He approached as if nothing was wrong, only to find everyone dead. Up the road was a huge, ephemeral looking lion. It seemed surprised; you can see me? was a female voice in his head.
“Well yeah, you do stand out. You kill them?”
“No, I would’ve eaten them.”
“This is not putting me at ease you know. So, if not you, then who?”
" Zanth. He will be back soon; I think he went to look for you."
“I see, and why me?”

He heard a chuckle behind him. “It’s because you are unique.” Zanth stood there, smiling, we need to go Trinity ; obviously referring to the lion. “Think he can ride you?”
She stammered, “He can TRY if he wants, but shouldn’t that, well, really HURT him?”
Zanth grinned, showing his razor teeth, “Ready to try Eddrick? And yes, we know your name, it’s not like we pick up random dwarves; well other than to eat or torture. He laughed. Your choice, try to ride Trinity or I carry you. I’m not fond of carrying people.”
Eddrick decided to try option 1. Trinity got up real close to him, she seemed surprised yet again. She stretched out on the ground and let him climb up. She then hovered straight into the air, next to where Zanth had already flown up.

He seemed really pleased with himself. Then he flew forward, then into a circle, stopping where he had started. He shoved his claws into the sky, which now seemed strangely solid, and ripped the sky off almost like it was paper. Through the huge doorway was a blizzard so thick that nothing else could be seen. Zanth flew up next to him, dangled out a perfectly shaped crystal teardrop on a chain, and simply said “Wear this, now.” He put it on, and through the rabbit hole they went. Once inside, he could see through the blizzard fairly well. It also wasn’t cold, even though it was a wasteland of icebergs and frigid looking water. They didn’t fly far; they stopped on a large glacier. Trinity hunkered down again to let him off; she said simply, north.

He walked north and found that the smaller pillar he saw was actually a huge thing that looked like an ice bug. It told him to sit down, outside the circle; it sat down within it. It said his name was Erridon Alaka and that he was himself as well as the voice of Levistus, the arch-devil of this plane. That he was now in Stygia, the fifth level of The Nine Hells of Baator, and that Levistus was the ruler of this plane. He went on to explain that Levistus was trapped in this glacier by Asmodeus, the official lord of all devils. He had been trapped for thousands of years now in this glacier, and is wishing to be free above all else. All his attempts to gain influence and power had been easily thwarted by Asmodeus; for one of the things Asmodeus possesses are eyes and ears everywhere. An almost uncanny ability to see into the pattern that is magic, and actually come out with knowledge.

Either way, nothing had ever worked. He hoped for his master’s sake, that this might be what they need; a person that did not exist. If the gods themselves did not see you, then what hope does Asmodeus have? In exchange, Eddrick was promised immensurable power, and damn near anything else he wanted now or in the future. He just had to swear loyalty to Levistus and accept his mark. Erridon promised that if he said no, they would allow him to leave safely. But, they would not sit idly by and watch him join the enemy. That would just be foolish.

Eddrick did agree, but only if he got to ‘run the show’ so to speak; obviously the old ideas weren’t working. Erridon nodded in agreement, took the tear pendant away from him, and then told him this would hurt. He was then transported, mentally, to the chamber holding Levistus. It wasn’t exactly a chamber, he just felt himself touching Levistus’s hands while residing in the ice near him. Levistus’s voice was soft yet stern; he confirmed that they would be in a pact. It was a binding pact to bring them freedom; their deepest desires. Eddrick’s hands burned from cold, he felt calm wash him and then consented. His whole body felt rigid, freezing, and the inside of his mouth burned. He could see an image of a rapier shoved into a block of ice; a strange knowledge of its presence inside him mouth. There was a flood of raw power, and he was pushed and pulled back up all at once.

He was sitting with Erridon, but inside the circle now. He was no longer cold, but his hands were cut open skillfully. Zanth and Trinity were also sitting in the circle, behind Erridon; all three of them bleeding into the circle. Erridon apologized about the cuts, but blood was required. Erridon told him to fix it, that he should be able to now. It took several tries, but it did work. The magic felt different, Erridon said it was like a conduit to Levistus, and therefore a different type of magic. He gave Eddrick back the tear pendant; told him that he would need it. The glacier was starting to move too close to settlement, so things were cut short. Erridon told him to ride Trinity back to the material plane.

Erridon opened a similar portal, and the two of them went back through. Trinity took him to a town of some kind, just on the other side of a large river. She said that this was Greenville. She had been instructed not to tell him why this was the right place, instead to let him learn. All she knew about it was that they needed a blacksmith. She told him that she was to be his liaison between the two planes, and that he could use the pendant to call her. She gave a short explanation of how it works and said that it is technically a piece of her due to the nature of its creation. From then on, Eddrick considered it to be Trinity’s Tear. She also explained they left him a few things in his bags for later. He found a familiar and money.

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Welcome to Greenville
Just some blacksmith

Eddrick Hearthshield has arrived in Greenville. Trinity told him before they parted ways that this place needed a Blacksmith and that she was instructed not to tell him why Greenville. Instead, he is supposed to find that out on his own.

The game picks up as I am just finishing my negotiations with the Mayor, Clive Sert, and his assistant, Jeremy Grove, for the purchase of the old ruined smithy and it’s land. With deed in hand I begin work on my new domain. Setting up a temporary forge I am almost instantly inundated with small work orders.

While banging away I am approached by Trent Riznt to discuss my plans. He is quite concerned about just what kind of work I will be doing and it’s possible effects on the surrounding Cherry Blossom groves that nearly surround my land. After satisfying his concerns he leaves well placated.

That first night I get a bit of dinner at the local bar / bathhouse, Purple Lily Pad Bathhouse and Tavern. The hostess there, Samantha Trept, seems a bit more than is on the surface. After a mug of beer, a tasty dinner, and a few brief questions about the East Winds Trading Company, I make my way back to my waiting forge and continue the long process of clearing away the old to make way for new.

Later in the week I am approached by Russell Williks about some work. He obviously wants to take his measure of me so we head to his ‘compound’ to see what he has. After some minor repairs are identified on some iron fencing and ornamental work we come to his real question. It looks like he got cheated on some pillars that he was told were composited adamantium cored. The solid platinum pillars are only flecked with surface adamantium and are bending under the pressure. When I explain the problem and show him the cores quickly becomes interested in what I can do for him. We set up some preliminary plans to replace the pillars and get as much use from the materials as possible. Now in need of gross materials we head to East Winds Trading Company.

Here I am introduced to Ruean Rumrun, the prioprietor of the trading company and he quickly reinforces all the stereotypes of hedonisitic halflings. A bit of haggling between the gentlemen for materials ensues. After, I speak with Ruean about my own material needs. Since I will be building a new smithy from the foundation up I set up a cycling order for rather large amounts of stone. Mr Williks vouches me in exchange for some business ventures once the smithy is fully functional. He obviously stands to make a great deal of money off of me but my greater purpose is well served. These transactions put me solidly on the path of establishing myself as a trusted pillar of the community.

With my plans significantly accelerated I am referred to Tony Myers at the farmers’ market to see about hiring some day labor for the wonderful task of clearing rubble and digging foundations. After a brief discussion I am slated to have ten men working shovels for me starting at 4am the next morning.

Favorite Line from this session:
“I’m not anybody’s replacement. I’m the new Blacksmith”

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Why Greenville
This place is...special

Picking up the work where we left off. The workers who up in the morning and get to work digging my foundation. A bit of running around town performing tasks for Johnnathan Lobst and Jeremy Grove. Meeting the priest was fairly pedestrian. While he seems sincere and well meaning, he doesn’t come off as the shiniest hammer in the box.

After a long day’s work it’s time for a moonlight stroll. I head out after dark to explore the waterway right next to my new forge. For the first night I follow it to the north. I get the strong feeling that there is a cave system in the area and discover a number of large barracks to the north of town. On my return trip I further suspect that the cave system follows the waterway and may be quite extensive in the area.

On the following night I take my explorations to the south. At the confluence of the two waterways south of town I have the undeniable feeling of power. After a rather long period of searching I find a very well concealed entrance into what I can only describe as a ceremonial chamber.

To Be Continued….

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Explore Percentage
Going for 80/80

In the back there seems to have been an entry into the river, but has long been sealed up. Right next to that seal is another optical illusion; same as before, a double switchback. It leads to a dead end. He finds another switchback that heads north. In the beginning it is rough, natural. When he gets past the orchard, it starts to look man-made; or at very least up-kept, however not in a long time. It leads to a smaller cavern under one of the northern lakes. The tunnel to the next cave/lake is not hidden and not long; same as third, but the exit is quite different. It splits into three where one goes NE, one SE, and one straight into a small chamber. The chamber reeks of fetid water; quickly explained by a small dribble from the lake above it. The dribble has made a little bowl for itself. The bowl looks to be man-made with the aid of nature. It goes way deeper than it appears; the destroyed remains of four objects remain (Iron pot, a brazier under it, a holy symbol of Levistus, and a metal object that used to be a way to suspend the holy symbol above the drip/pot and turn the water to ice before it landed in the pot). In it’s prime, it was the high priests chamber.

The other two ways lead to a fairly large dry cavern (i.e. not under the lake). They are both in terrible shape. The southern one looks like its damn near beyond hope and the northern one he squeezes through only because he’s a dwarf. The both use the same optical trick. This cavern has some carved ‘pews’ in it but no feel, like the other locale. The cave out is man-made and also in disrepair. It was obviously created on top of a real cave tunnel because it jukes more than you would imagine. It follows the river on the town side and has a hidden entry/exit point just south of the farmers market and into the Williks grazing lands. The entry is a piece of the plane of earth. It’s a living entity still because it’s growing grass, but it doesn’t look unusual from either side actually. Only the remains of a ladder lets you know it was once a way out. The ladder is too dilapidated to use, and Eddrick walks out the way he came in.

The next night he finds the exit topside since he couldn’t get out the first night. It’s hard to find and he would’ve likely never discovered if he didn’t know it was in the vicinity, was a dwarf, and had some intimate understanding of the plane of earth.

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Altering an Altar
Should I be afraid or happy it doesn't talk?
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Burned and Broken
Help me; said so softly, no mouse could hear.
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Poison
That girl is poison....
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Into the Fire
I will walk unto the fire until it's heat doesn't burn me; and I will feed the fire
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