Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval.   Posted by DM Shard.Group: 0
DM Shard
 GM, 327 posts
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 02:04
Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
8 Marpenoth (October)
Location: Caer-Dineval

The party departs the mountain lodge early in the crisp morning and soon is descending a weaving trail along a southeasterly spine of Kelvin's Cairn toward Caer-Dineval. In the distance, sun reflects off the Lac Dineshere's broad surface, a beacon drawing the party nearer as the morning yields to afternoon.

Hengar and Arnan ably lead the party down the snowy trail, warning their companions of hazardous stretches along the way and the group gets along with very few incidents. The lake disappears out of sight for a time as the party descends into a valley between two parallel spines, only to climb back out see the lake yet again though now much closer than before.

Along the near side of the lake the party can make out smoke rising from the fireplaces of a cluster of buildings which must assuredly be Caer-Dineval. Caer-Dineval consists of a clifftop castle and a ruined watchtower at the mouth of a harbor. Most of the town's buildings form a crescent-shaped stretch of land that run from the castle to the watchtower.

Perhaps more interesting than the sight of Caer-Dineval just a few miles ahead, is the more omenous looking dark smoke rising from a much larger city across the lake from Caer-Dineval--Easthaven. The smoke rising here is not of the fireplace variety, but something else that even at a glance appears troubling.

In any event, Caer-Dineval lies at the bottom of about a 2 miles stretch of trail that both Hengar and Arnan identify as particularly hazardous...avalanche prone!

The going here might require a bit more caution...
Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 288 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 02:15
Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
"Vaelish Gant," Morgrim growled, scowling across Lac Dineshere at the spiralling smoke. "And to think I didn't believe he was telling the truth."
Thane Harkensen
 player, 162 posts
 Human Fighter/Soldier
 AC:18; HP:22/22; PP:13
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 13:46
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Morgrim Ironhammer:
"Vaelish Gant," Morgrim growled, scowling across Lac Dineshere at the spiralling smoke. "And to think I didn't believe he was telling the truth."

"Hmm?" Thane asked, not sure what the reference was about.  He was dismayed by the large amount of smoke coming from the town across the lake.  "I don't think zombies cause fires, so what in the frozen north is going on here?" he observed rhetorically.  "Do we go through Caer-Dineval to get to Easthaven?"
Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 289 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 13:57
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
"When Gant fled Bryn Shander he said Easthaven would next feel his wrath," Morgrim replied, gesturing across the lake. "And now it burns. I don't think its a coincidence. And I agree, I don't think the zombies from the dwarven valley have anything to do with it."

"So now again we are pulled in two separate directions, Easthaven, and the Dwarven Valley, and here we are faffing about chasing Helda's shadow through fishing villages."

Arnan Aldwynne
 player, 219 posts
 Human Scout/Archer
 AC:14/16; HP:20/20; PP:14
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 16:17
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Arnan glanced at the Dwarves. "You two have dealt with this Vaelish Gant before."

"What are your feelings regarding whether to press on with our search for Helda Silverstream, or make haste for Easthaven?"

Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 290 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 17:14
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
"My feelings?" Morgrim said without taking his eyes off the horizon. "We should have dealt with the Dwarven Valley while we were there and then pressed on. However - I suppose we would have never known about Easthaven then," he conceded grudgingly.

"My gut tells me Helda is there somewhere. The Gods' willing perhaps I'm wrong, but it makes no sense to me whatsoever why she would have continued on to Caer-Dineval in the first place. Or Termalaine for that matter. As far as I'm concerned we're chasing shadows, but I agreed to go along with it because - well, because of Dal," he said, glancing at his sister.

"But now we have a clear threat in Easthaven." Morgrim shrugged. "And I'll not sunder the group again. Someone lives and someone dies. And we have to live with it."
Thane Harkensen
 player, 163 posts
 Human Fighter/Soldier
 AC:18; HP:22/22; PP:13
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 18:13
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Whyn't you ask your god to look after Helda, then, if we're on the wrong track? Thane thought darkly, but did not speak as Arnan and Morgrim conversed.  With a puff of steamy breath, he nodded his agreement with Grim's final sentiments.

"So I'm thinkin' we should go through Caer-Dineval on the way to Easthaven," he suggested.  He gestured at the smoke rising from Easthaven.  "I'm also thinkin' there's nothing we can do about that fire right there.  By the time we get there, it'll be dealt with, burned out, or the whole town will be ablaze.  We're only going to be good for what comes after.  Makes sense to me to at least check in Caer for Helda.  Could be she did go there, or through there," he pointed out.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:14, Tue 19 Sept.

Dalgura Ironhammer
 player, 269 posts
 Dwarf Cleric
 AC: 15; HP: 10/10; PP: 13
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 19:07
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
In reply to Thane Harkensen (msg # 7):

"I will ask my Goddess to help look after everybody in this party as well as well as those who were in the village.  I hope that Helga wasn't there but Thane is right.  If we are seeing that much smoke then we would arrive too late to do others good."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:40, Tue 19 Sept.

Kira
 player, 169 posts
 Human Rogue
 AC:14; HP: 15/15; PP: 16
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 19:14
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Kira shifted from one foot to the other, her head swiveling to whoever was talking and taking it all in quietly but alertly.  "Sooooooo ... that way?" she pointed to the direction of Caer-Dineval.
Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 291 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 19:15
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Dal, Thane's 'remark' was italicized and not quoted. He was thinking it, he didn't say it. I don't think Dal can know what was in his head.
DM Shard
 GM, 330 posts
Tue 19 Sep 2017
at 22:49
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Hengar studies the massive field of snow banked up alongside the trail and confers with Arnan on the best way to avoid triggering a potential avalanche. The tribal warrior points out a few features and offers his take, but defers to Arnan, whom is more familiar with these lands.

OOC: Hengar will use the Help action to give Arnan Advantage on a Survival check.
Arnan Aldwynne
 player, 223 posts
 Human Scout/Archer
 AC:14/16; HP:20/20; PP:14
Wed 20 Sep 2017
at 00:15
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
In reply to DM Shard (msg # 11):

After conferring with Hengar for a bit and studying the terrain, Arnan felt certain that he knew how the party could avoid having an avalanche come down on their heads as they moved forward.



OOC:

20:09, Today: Arnan Aldwynne rolled 24 using 2d20+4, dropping the lowest dice only with rolls of 3,20. Survival Check w/ Advantage.

Wow. Rolling with Advantage made a *huge* difference in this instance.

Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 293 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Wed 20 Sep 2017
at 01:11
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Morgrim sets off behind Arnan, trudging through the drifting snow with his cloak held fast around his person. The huntsman seemed to know his way about the tundra and Morgrim followed close on his heels.

Nicely done Arnan.
Thane Harkensen
 player, 165 posts
 Human Fighter/Soldier
 AC:18; HP:22/22; PP:13
Wed 20 Sep 2017
at 01:54
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Wary of all the snow, Thane is glad to have two experienced men to follow.  Left on his own, he realizes that he'd be more likely than not to step in the wrong place and either sink to his death in deep soft snow, or be buried by a sudden avalanche.

He motioned for Kira and Dal to go in front of him.  "I'll march along here at the rear," he explained.  "Morgrim can keel-haul anything that gets into melee up front," he said with a genuine chuckle, "least until me and Hengar can close in.  I want to make sure that if somethin' attacks the rear of our group, they'll hit something solid first."
Kira
 player, 170 posts
 Human Rogue
 AC:14; HP: 15/15; PP: 16
Wed 20 Sep 2017
at 11:47
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Kira leaned down to whisper something to Dal.    Then she followed the leaders next to Dal when she could.
DM Shard
 GM, 332 posts
Wed 20 Sep 2017
at 22:52
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Arnan and Hengar safely lead the party down the trail and they soon are on level ground again, approaching the small village from the west. A line of buildings fill up either side of a narrow street, and the only street for that matter, that winds its way around the village, eventually terminating at the clifftop caer. The adventurers' arrival is definitely noticed by the residents, their expressions a mixture between mild interest and outright suspicion.

Shortly after entering the village, the party spots its only inn, Dinev's Rest, situated at the bottom of the town along the loakeside road. The inn itself is built in a shallow dell a little way back from the looming cliff line. Save for private residences, the docks and storehouse and the caer itself, the only other establishment of note is The Uphill Climb, a tavern perched atop the approach to the caer with spectacular views of the lack and docks below.
Dalgura Ironhammer
 player, 274 posts
 Dwarf Cleric
 AC: 15; HP: 10/10; PP: 13
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 00:51
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
In reply to Kira (msg # 15):

Dal giggled when Kira whispered to her and nodded.  "I do believe you are right Kira."
Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 294 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 02:05
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
"Well, Arnan. That was almost pleasant," Morgrim remarked. "I fear for what we would have done with out you."

Continuing on ahead to Dinev's rest, Morgrim pushed back the door and took in the common room crowd at a glance. Unless he spotted dwarves among them he went straight to the proprietor to begin making inquires.
DM Shard
 GM, 333 posts
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 06:19
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Opening the front door of Dinev's Rest, the party enters of a large common hall where visitors sit around a central fire pit sharing stories of their latest catch or any other snippet of news from within or beyond the dale. The walls are adorned with faded banners bearing what the party may learn to be the Dinev coat of arms: an osprey grabbing a fish from a sea.

A quick visual search of the dozen or so people in the common room does not reveal any dwarves among the crowd. Among those present the party spots what clearly looks to be mostly fisherpeople and locals. It does not take long to locate the innkeeper, Kadie, a vivacious young woman with fiery red hair. She weaves her way through the patrons, saying a kind word to each, before eventually making her way to the adventurers.

She warmly greets the adventurers and shows them to a spot where they might "brush off the cold and put a bit of fire in your belly."

Kadie says there are no dwarves staying at her small inn at the moment, though she does recall seeing a couple come down from the mountain a couple of days ago. "That was before the storm though. I think they were looking to book passage across the lake," she says.

She then inquires whether the party will be needing rooms, and how many, and offers whatever assistance she is able. "You'll find no finer folk in all the dale than those right here," she says proudly.
Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 295 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 11:26
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
"Across the lake to Easthaven?" Morgrim asked, privately wondering at the timing of events. "Is there a ferry of sorts? Or does one charter a fishing boat?"

He had more questions of course, Did they bring any word from the Dwarven Valley?, Was one of them a lass perhaps, or both menfolk? but he waited for Kadie to reply.
DM Shard
 GM, 334 posts
Fri 22 Sep 2017
at 07:08
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Kadie says she thinks the dwarves were headed for Easthaven with an eventual destination of Bryn Shander, having only come to Caer-Dineval when they were unable to continue traveling along the mountain road to Bryn Shander due to inclement weather.

"Sure. One can usually find a fishing boat that will take you the distance, for the right price that is. Though these days, with all the competition between Caer-Koenig, Caer-Dineval and Easthaven...and the recent pirate attacks it might take a bit more convincing. Your dwarf friends must have offered quite a handsome wage to the crew who agreed to that job," she says.

"Dangerous days and waters."

She then relates to the party tales of a pirate crew sailing aboard a ship known as the Howling Fiend. The Howling Fiend has taken to attacking fishing vessels on Lac Dinneshere, regardless of their town of origin and occasionally raiding the towns themselves.

Kadie sadly claims the outlaw pirate captain is none other than Derrick the Drownder, a hot-headed local of Caer-Dinev. "Had to throw that old broken-faced man out of here on more than one occasion," she bristles.

"If you ask me, him and his lot was made none better by that damn black ice," she hotly protests. Then, turning to Dalgura and Morgrim, "No offense, but things were better before your kind went mucking things up by bringing that black ice to Ten Towns. Should've kept that evil in the mountain, or wherever the hell you found it!" Her tone is more accusatory now.

She says the Howling Fiend is so named because it contains a black ice battering ram in the shape of a screaming devil.

Kadie, and the adventurers, notice several locals listening in to the conversation, their faces a mask of deep concern, any cheer gone.
Kira
 player, 171 posts
 Human Rogue
 AC:14; HP: 15/15; PP: 16
Fri 22 Sep 2017
at 12:37
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
"Dal and Grim don't have anything to do with that black ice," Kira chimed in to defend the two dwarves after being quiet and observing things for a bit.  "They're good folk, been traveling together quite a while now and there's no one better to have at my back," she added for good measure.  Not that they might trust her word for things but she was loyal to their group and smart enough not to say anything else they might not want said.
Thane Harkensen
 player, 168 posts
 Human Fighter/Soldier
 AC:18; HP:22/22; PP:13
Fri 22 Sep 2017
at 12:47
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
"Aye, we take no credit for that black ice", Thane also chimed in.  "We hardly even know what the stuff is, although it seems you all do."  Better for denials to come from humans than from the two dwarves in this case.

Thane glanced around the room and noticed the tensions.  "I'd like to hear more about it, but it seems a sore subject hereabouts," he probed.  "I am sorry to hear of your people's woes.  Seems Easthaven is having a rough go of it, what with all that smoke billowing up to the sky.  We noticed it coming in here today.  Any idea what happened?" he continued while settling at the bar or nearby table and asking for a mug of hot spiced cider.
DM Shard
 GM, 335 posts
Fri 22 Sep 2017
at 12:52
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Kadie simply says, "More like than not, the work of Derrick the Drownder and his Howling Fiend." She then claims locals are obviously a bit jumpy ever since seeing smoke over Easthaven.
Morgrim Ironhammer
 player, 296 posts
 Dwarf Druid
 AC:15; HP:19/19; PP:15
Fri 22 Sep 2017
at 13:26
Re: Chapter 4: Caer-Dineval
Morgrim listens in silence, quietly noting Kira and Thane's defense of the dwarven siblings. Not feeling the need to further validate himself in the eyes of the innkeeper he instead confided in his companions.

"I'm going to head over to the docks and see if anyone remembers who the dwarves chartered to sail across the lake. Hopefully we'll get some more answers."