06:30 – The group are back on the road to the Eastern Guild...
06:30 - 08:45 – As the group move along the tunnels, they begin to notice a steady decline in the amount of life. They also begin to notice strangely glowing veins of greenish ore in the stonework, and the occasional cluster of stumpy, luminous crystals; metallic black, but glowing with a sickly green sheen.
08:48 – Sadran dismounts and examines one of the crystal clusters. Ormid joins him, and they realise that it is a growth of Taintstone; a foul material that is formed from the interaction between certain baleful magical energies and normal rocks – and a sign that the environment is polluted with deadly, invisible magics that will, over time, weaken and ultimately kill the group.
08:49 – 08:55 – The group discuss this; Ormid recounting the “headache” he experienced earlier when opening himself to the local magical flux, and with the group suddenly gaining a new insight into the name of the mountain under which they will soon find themselves; Glyr'Tokth, Shining Peak....shining with tainted energy perhaps?
During this discussion, Ormid recounts tales of a highly morphic crystal being brought to Fey from the Risen Isles. Supposedly a material crafted by the little understood Settari (and ancient, extinct race thought to have created humanity), it is renowned for its ability to absorb and neutralise tainted energies (which are alleged to be plentiful and highly varied in certain areas of those strange, exotic lands).
It is also discussed how certain forms of Jade, Obsidian and a few other crystals have a buffering effect against taint.
08:55 – 09:00 – The group discuss several plans to try and prevent themselves suffering from any tainted energies. It is decided that Ormid will open a portal to Lorehaven, and that they shall attempt to obtain either Settari crystal or Jade / Obsidian from one of the vendors that congregate within the Great Halls Market.
09:15 – Ormid works the ritual needed to open the portal to Lorehaven, linking with the teleport circle located in the Apporter's Guild headquarters.
As the portal opens, a waft of foul, warm air redolent with sweat and farts. Leaping through, the group find themselves confronted by the two wild eyed, unwashed attendants who bade them farewell on their last passage through their circle.
It transpires that a few nights ago a terrible wave of blizzards swept over the city, and it seems, buried it. The Apporter's Guild Merchants have been trapped in their work place ever since (having run out of the ritual scrolls needed to open a portal to another place), their attempts to burrow out from the place resulting in tunnel collapses and panic, and the lack of rescue has fuelled a little bit of paranoia!
09:20 – The front door to the offices are opened, and a short tunnel is seen, dug into hard packed snow that has indeed, apparently completely buried the place.
09:22 – Using his enchanted belt to enable him to move more snow, The Veteran tunnels upwards and soon emerges (18' up!) on top of the snow, on a bright, crystal clear, but bitterly cold morning.
Lorehaven (and indeed, many, many other cities in this part of the north) has truly been half buried by the four day blizzard – an unnatural storm of unknown origins (at least to the group).
The lower wards of the city are completely lost beneath almost 30' of snow. As the city rises along its avenues towards the Bardic College and sky port, the degree to which the buildings are buried is lessened somewhat, those on the highest areas only being half buried.
Already the “streets”, which at this part of the city are buried to roof height, are filled with people either trying to dig out their homes, or who are enjoying the bizzare weather for what it is.
09:28 - The apporters, slightly chagrined by their attempts to tunnel along the street, instead of simply heading up, thank the group and promise them free use of their apportation circles in future.
09:30 - A patrol of the city watch hail the group, and their captain – a man Ormid knows from his college days as Rufus Morka – gives an embarrassed grin as he explains that they had completely forgot about the apporters, assuming they would use magic to escape.
09:30 – 18:00 – The group decide to help rescue those trapped by the snows, and to help clear the streets. It is hard work, each member sweating and shivering at the same time.
The day bears much joy as they rescue grateful townsfolk (their good name increasing with each person pulled free), and sorrow as they uncover collapsed homes crushed by the weight of the snows, folks who have simply frozen to death, and a few who, in dread fear, have taken their own lives.
A little after 14:00 hours, they are almost blown apart as two mages from rival schools argue over how best to remove some snow from a particularly weakened home, and eventually come to blows (their magic wrecks the house, though luckily the elderly couple inside are unharmed).
18:45 – Cold, soaking wet and bone tired, the party head to Ormid's home, only to find it still half buried under (now freezing in the sub-zero temperatures) snow.
18:46 – The warforged shoves the snow aside with ease, but stops as it becomes clear that Ormid's reinforced front door is wide open; the snow having pushed its way inside.
At first the party suspect that the sheer weight of the frozen precipitate has forced the door – until they realise that the door opens the other way.
18:48 – Llewellyn examines the doors lock, and spots subtle signs that it has been expertly picked.
18:49 – Weapons and powers at the ready, the group burst into the house...
...darkness, and cold, wet, stillness.
18:50 – 20:00 – A thorough search is conducted of the house. It is discovered that nothing is missing, though a hair-like metal strand spotted by the Vyrleen in the artificers lab is identified as one of those used by the Esoteric Hunters as trimming around the tops of their cloaks.
Worse, the Vyrleen spots a rune that reports back to its creator inscribed alongside the hidden switch that activates the secret door to the labs.
Fury, and a deep desire to hurt the Esoteric Hunters all round!!!
Ormid and the Vyrleen engage in a round of good natured competition, the artificer using his magics to enhance a lock, which the Vyrleen must then pick (end result, Ormid 1, Llewellyn 1).
18/1/50 (Biting icy winds from the north continue to howl over the Feyan North Republic. Crystal clear, but daytime temperatures only reach -12, and at night, fall to -18).
09:30 – After a good – if slightly chilly – nights rest, Ormid, Llewellyn and the Veteran head to the Bardic College to seek out some of the crystals they will need to soak up the taint. Sadran stays at the artificers home, whilst Smite and Ardwaine go to see if they can help dig out more of the cities residents.
10:10 – The group arrive at the college to find hundreds of people enjoying the steam and warmth radiating from the runes set into the main stairs (these generate heat when the air temperature gets low enough to form ice, and get correspondingly warmer the colder it gets), and after spending a little time taking in the sweeping view of the snowbound city from this vantage point, move into the markets.
10:20 – Despite everything, the markets are brimming with activity, and soon the group locate a stall run by an obese, soft-skinned Dundorin, swathed in rich cloths and dripping with jewellery, which offers unusual geological samples.
10:20 – 10:30 – A rather heated round of bartering ensues (Llewellyn manages to swipe a diamond that the merchant allowed out of his sight for a split second), and eventually the group purchase two Kai'Yassanian Jade statues (each one capable of being broken in chunks).
However, as they leave the merchant with their purchases, the treacherous bastard suddenly screams “Thieves! Robbers! Stop Them!” - and an oh so conveniently placed group of Dundorin toughs (bearing glyphs that identify them as mercenaries) moves to attack!
10:31 – 10:35 – The marketplace is ravaged by the battle! The mercenaries are tough as mountain stone, and work well together, and the group are caught off guard by how well they fight. During the fight, the merchant tries to make his escape, but he is tripped up by Ormid, and knocked unconscious.
Apart from one mercenary, who's head is smashed open by the rogues adamantium mace, all are subdued rather than killed, and as the guards arrive, they are taken into custody.
10:40 – 15:00 – The group spend time with the city officials going over what occurred in the market. Luckily for them, a number of other merchants validate their story, and they are released without any further questions being asked.