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Soon enough the group encounters a large tower – one of seven that the villagers described as housing the armes and beasties of the elemental lord’s hosts. The first tower is 100 feet tall and has a large bridge sticking out of one side that leads into the mountain. The tower is bypassed. The second tower looks just like the first and is also given a wide berth – well, as wide as possible on a snowy cliff. The third tower looks like the other two – except for the flock of skeletal mini-pterodactyls that start swooping around the tower top. Ok – on to tower number four – or maybe further – once the party sees that the bridge has a large section missing out of the middle. Or maybe not as the tower doors burst open and an enraged frost giant pummels Bababobo into the snow. Goldpiece responds quickly with his keen sword and strikes one of the legs off the giant. The giant topples and manages to hurl a boulder with enough force to seriously damage Laddington. While Gala delivers a cruel blow to the downed ranger, the elf finished the fight by cutting the head off of the battling giant.
They enter and investigate the tower – find loot, rest up – use an ice bridge to seal the gap and make their way to the doors that block entrance to the mountain.
These doors are eventually opened and what follows is an extended tour of the hallways of the winter king. Loot is looted, monsters are battled, heads are scratched and many of the paths that they follow eventually lead them towards one of the seven towers.
More investigations and a pair of four-headed winter wolves are slain in the throne room. At one point Gioldpiece dons a hat of disguises to bluff past a room with a few frosty ogres, at another point the party tries to parley with more blue ogres and it all goes weasel shaped – leading to a running battle in the hallways. More resting – more investigating. A room that has lockers with keys – one locker is locked and the key is gone. A waiting room. A kitchen. Storerooms. All manner of stuff. Eventually there are few options left for paths unsearched and the group prepares to travel one of the few ways left.

The party investigates the final locked door – and finds itself quickly embroiled in a battle with a form of beguiling and insanity-provoking undead monster. It ensnares two attackers in rapid succession, which provokes a bit of consternation among the remaining members of the party. Magic arrow and magic missiles fly and the beast is defeated quickly enough.What loot it has is taken, and the well in the room is investigated. A hidden ladder leads the group downward into an escape tunnel that deposits them in a hollow boulder near the edge of the treeline, outside the moat. Neato-keen…but the cart and horse is still inside the moat. Crap.

A new ice bridge and a rapid jog reunites the group and its gear. The elf discerns the merest hint of a wisp of smoke from the area near the inn – across the ruined expanse of oil oil-soaked courtyard. The ruins of the inn are investigated and it seems that it is being used as a blind to observe the road and castle area. The ranger tracks the occupant to a series of hidden stepping stones that lead across the moat. Someone has been watching the party for days and can come and go. Might be a ranger says the ranger. Crap.

Anyhoo – back to the horse and cart – lead same over ice bridge and bid farewell to the tower and head back towards the giant’s road. Along the way, the loot is divvied, and the group surprises and slays an ogre-mage, thanks to a few wild swings and some good luck. A day or two later, as the group breaks camp in the morning – a gorgon equipped with either magical horns or magical horn guards tears through the camp and attempts to gore the elf. It does that, and a bit of trampling, plus turns the hapless ranger Bababobo to stone before it is defeated. Anyone know how to turn people back from being stone? Crap.

Load the ranger into the cart and backtrack. A month and a half-later – after a 5 week journey to Botkinsburg and the friendly wizard – the group has returned to the same area on the giant’s causeway and heaves a few deep breaths and resumes the journey. Sigh.

A few weeks later they are near the base of a large ics and snow-shrouded mountain. This must be the residence of the elemental lord with whom they seek to speak. The villagers tell a tale of eternal life and eternal toil as they provide the lord and his armies of ogres and things with the sustenance they need. Creepy.

Some quick thinking allows the purchase of a whole lot of winter clothes and a large amount of food to both stimulate the local economy and be useful as a planned deception. Quickly, the group leaves town and heads onto the trail up the mountain. Once out of sight, they strip down – brrrr! – and dress as villagers. Weapons, packs and armor into the cart, food on top. Make sure your brass balls are firmly attached and try to bluff your way through the guardpost. Luck is with them and they succeed in getting waved on by the lone surly sentry. Up the mountain trail, and once out of sight of the guardpost – back into adventurer gear. On the road ahead lie seven towers, and in the heart of the mountain, dwells the elemental lord. Allrightythenoffwego!

Sleep is not yet forthcoming, so further investigations are undertaken, but the castle seems largely uninhabited at this point. Some resting happens and then more investigating occurs. A body is found – a woman long dead and in her hand, the imprint of a coin. They climb a set of stairs – curiously carved to look like gargoyles says Gala – and then are attacked by gargoyles that crawl out from under the stair treads. Gargoyles are battled and slain and investigation reveals a wall of new construction. It is battered down and a room lies beyond – a well is capped by a carved lid and the pattern in the center is the same as a strange coin taken from the rope-monster’s lair.
More investigating and further discoveries and a bit of magical investigation of items found so far and the group is ready for the final challenge…a door that resisted their attempt to knock it down. Now armed with a knock spell, they draw near to it…

Withdrawing from the tower’s vicinity while the ungern patrol is still out seems like a great idea and the group skedaddles overland while avoiding the worst encounters the scrublands have to offer. They journey to Ludensheim, where they pick up a large quantity of cached loot and alert MIles of the golem factory on his northern border, then off to Botkinsburg and then to the port. A sail across the bay and within six months the group has landed in Impiltur. Wares are sold and bought and the Torm church is appraised of the progress of the party in the quest to undo the evil.

After some time, the group re-equips and departs to retrace their steps returning to Ludensheim in some 18 months time from when they departed. Once restocked from Mile’s supplies, they depart and travel along the giant’s road, passing beyond the crow-infested towers and heading into the uncharted regions of the steppes.

As they journey northward, they avoid most encounters, save one – an orc patrol is on the road – and after a fireball, they aren’t. The flying mage provides aerial reconnaissance and on one fine day spots an ancient ringfort. When they investigate, they find ungern and orcs chopping down trees, apparently with an eye towards reconstructing the fallen bridge that crosses the moat and leads to the fortress.

The flying mage lands and invisibly surveys the scene. Near the building site is the obvious ungern commander, builders and a quartet of bodyguards.. Out in the treeline are his sergeants and about 50 orcs. Fireball, magic missiles and ice storms pelt the the command group until all are dead. Atthe same time, the paladin and the rest of the group heave into view and the ocrs need a tiny bit of convincing, but in the end they lack the backbone for a mage-assisted knight and depart into the woods. The group rolls up and the mage creates a thick sheet of ice stop the pylons. The group crosses carefully.

They survey the scene – a large deserted area with some wells, and a few crumbling buildings. Slicks of tar dot the landscape. A log is used to batter down the portcullis and the group enters and surveys the interior. Old and disused for a long time, the group discovers a quartet of backpacks. .Soon thereafter they encounter a wight that drops from the ceiling and tries to slay Coinpiece. Luckily for the plucky elf, he now carries a mace of disruption and the wight is quickly done in. Additional exploration leads to a chamber of stuffed heads and a rug soaked in excrement and hate. A rope into the nose of the buffalo leads to an extradimensional space and the occupant is displeased. Three party members battle in the tiny room, shoving, thrusting, chewing, tearing and gnawing until the creature is dead.

They exit the extra dimensional box and trip out for a little while. What just happened? Hm. On to more mundane matters – to rest inside or out?

Rising early, the invisible party skirts the ungern camp and approaches the rubble piles near the tower base. Drawing upon information gleaned through a flyby, the Malformed one climbs up the side of the tower and drops a line to the res tof the party. Within minutes, the group is on the roof of the second floor and begins investigating.
A lovely entrance gallery ringed with crow statues – statues filled with some kind of smelly tar – is left for later and the group presses on.
They discover a priest of some sort apparently locked in a trance and communicating with a statue of the Horned One. When the group slays him, the statue bellows and this has the unfortunate effect of drawing all guards in the vicinity. A couple blasts from the staff of cold and the party has slain all that need slaying. They move onward quickly, hoping to distance themselves from the scene. A grizzled old sergeant is slain and the party finds a hidden stair down and a large staircase leading upwards.
They exit onto a rooftop and find a hot tub and a bajillion crows, most of which start trying to talk to the ranger. He doesn’t speak crow and the crows don’t speak ranger. Still, he listens politely for a bit while the rest investigate the rooftop.
Up and up they go, passing a kitchen full of goblin chefs and eventually finding themselves in a rootball choked hallway. A potion of storm giant strength is quaffed and a hand axe is produced and much root-cutting ensues.
The group gains access to the uppermost chambers and runs into a clearly insane druid, who apparently is pleased by the ranger’s politeness and as such does not lapse into a homicidal rage. The group ‘talks’ to him for a while but as time passes it becomes clear that the moment of lucidity is rapidly slipping away. Before they depart, they learn of the soul gems that are draped around each of the crow’s necks, the fact that the druid imprisoned the souls therein and that he is really sorry about it all.
They obtain a hint about where to go in the future and more information about the soul-gem forging room somewhere in the bowels of the tower.
They descend rapidly and encounter a few more guards but there is little organized resistance. They pass through the hidden stair and into the deeper realms where they encounter strength sucking shadows (obliterated) and find evidence of the soul gem operation. Exploration is resumed and the place is investigated rather thoroughly.
The final stop is a water-filled garbage pit complete with tentacle and tooth filled garbage disposal. The disposal is disposed of, some treasure is gained and another part of the shattered horn is found.

The group prepares to depart from the region before the ungern army returns, but there is some discussion about where the crazy druid map will lead.

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