After finally finding a guide to take them through the mountains, the party was set to begin the long journey. They soon found their guide Grippa to be a man of actions and few words (although Ashio may have preffered him to be entirely silent). As they journeyed towards the looming peaks to the south, Grippa approached each party member and asked about their abilities and experience. When they camped that evening, he put their claims to the test and proceeded to explain proper stances for better balance and other tips for staying alive. It seemed though, that Ashio was little impressed by Grippa’s foreboding mood and constant warnings of danger, and it soon became evident that the two were not getting along. After a quarrel in which Grippa ended up insulting Akadi, the boy walked away and perched himself on top of the nearest tree.
The journey continued with dawn, and the terrain was soon getting more ragged. Ashio was still elated and full of excitement about the high winds on the peaks. Grippa explained that the horses would have to be set free because the passage on horseback would be impossible, but there was no need for such action – the mountain troll they soon encountered frightened the horses enough to get the message. Several discoveries were made that battle: The party discovered that Grippa has some tricks up his sleeve, or rather, in his Axe, Angel discovered that psionically switching places with a gravely inhured Gulthar while floating 2 meters above ground might cause Gulthar to fall, and Nocks discovered tha Ang can move to protect him even without his touch. The troll was finally defeated as Angel burned it’s face with acid, and the party moved on before it regenerates.
Now journeying on foot, they soon understood why the horses had to be set free. The mountains were getting steeper, and before long, Grippa fastened ropes around them and the vertical climb began. They climbed for hours, up and up, seeing the avalanche below them getting smaller until the wagon wheels sticking out of the snow seemed insignificant at best. Ashio’s excitement finally proved dangerous, when he decided to swing on his rope while resting and nearly sent Angel and Nocks toppling down. The experience, and Gulthar’s lack of reaction (and maybe the lack of oxygen) made something snap in Angel, and he threatened to untie himself if Ashio was’t careful and if the party doesn’t work together.
Having finally reached a ledge, the party camped in a small nook semi-sheltered from the winds. Gulthar and Ashio finally talked, with Angel’s prodding. Grippa mentioned that he had noticed Nocks’ unusual behavior, and he doesn’t care. The nights rest was interrupted by another mountain troll attack, this time the beast was injured by men’s weapons and had a torn harness. The party managed to push it over the ledge only then realising that Nocks was still tied to it with his whip. Nocks managed a shadow jump at the last moment, and retrieved Gulthar’s sword from the trolls head too.
That morning, as they continued the journey, Grippa informed the party that they will be passing closer to the Twin Towers of The Eclipse than he had planned, but that he knows of a secluded passage that should lead them away from the ongoing feud between banites and cyricists. The passage was narrow and shielded from the winds on both sides. It soon became evident that the battle spread wider than they had thought. A small horde of undead was advancing toward the party, a sickening green glowing mist surrounding them. With little time to plan a strategy, the party prepared for battle. As Nocks went ahead and began slashing ankles and Grippa took out his axes, Gulthar attempted to turn undead but failed. That was when they saw that the zombies weren’t the real problem. An undead stone giant was slowly getting closer into the passage. Gulthar tried to turn undead again, as the zombies were all around him now. The battle stopped abruptly, and the remaining zombies all tuned to face Gulthar with milky white eyes, unmoving. A few moments passed, the zombies, some of them in tattered robes, kept staring at a very confused Gulthar. “I think they’re waiting for something… Maybe try giving them a command”. Someone said. Gulthar raised his hand uncertainly and quietly spoke: “Attack the Giant”. The undead obeyed immediately, shuffling towards the huge mass ahead, which was by now being shot at by Angel and climbed on by Nocks, neither doing a lot of damage.
The now obedient zombies, with the help of the party and Grippa, were able to defeat the giant by shear numbers, slowly tearing him to pieces. Gulthar, looking surprisingly calm, kept giving them directions even when the giant was clearly dead, and the party was asking him to stop.
to be continued