Several people sick; uneventful trip back, although the sick party members had difficulties travelling; they were pushed to the limit to get back to town quickly. The party arrived at Iqaliat.
The hearthmistress and townspeople decided to throw a feast to thank us. The chief thanked us as well, and the townspeople were much friendlier, their help extended to the caravan as well, with lots of supplies brought forward to Sandru. We were now honored guests.
The chief gave an amazing speech – “these heroes have come here, and we had no expectation that they would help us with our problems – but they saved out town. This feast is going to be epic – we don’t have much, but what we do have, is yours as well.” The townspeople gave freely and gave good caravan advice to Sandru as well, plus a fully charged wand of Endure Elements.
We go investigate the Shaman’s place, where we find a crystal with the sign of an old demon lord; the shrine was to him, despite him being considered defeated and gone centuries ago; maybe the quasits were trying to bring him back? We also talk a lot about the obelisks in the surrounding region and the possibility they are being used somehow to make the storms stronger or control them somehow. The quasits talk about someone (female) they call the Master (do you think WE work for the Master?), and referred to something called the Storm Tower, which is located near the middle of the icepack. Maybe this Master is building these obelisks in some sort of grid pattern, to exercise a greater amount of control over the local storms. If so, another ought to be in the town of Iqaliat itself.
Iqaliat is only about 100 years old, but the obelisks began appearing 5-10 years ago. Detect Magic never showed much from the obelisks themselves; they were powerful but not focused. The magic emanated is more like a “rage,” which makes a certain kind of sense from a weather control standpoint.
The party left for the Storm Tower to see what that was about. The caravan made it to the dragon’s lair without incident; the cold is extreme, with numbness etc. Everyone is using spells to stay warm and functional. We didn’t see much, the cold weather is more than enough to keep us busy, and there’s also only about three hours of daylight per day.
The dire wolf comes back: “I smell death,” it says. Munpo shapechanges, flies out and spots to large groups of undead – skeletons, zombies – approaching the caravan. The soon arrive – it’s brutal, 100+ attackers including wights and ghouls alongside zombies and skeletons. The battle ebbs and flows, but the caravan circled in time and took the fight to the undead. Drinek’s fireballs are especially powerful in this environment, and ultimately the undead are defeated.
Travelling on, late that night the party sees a line of blue light in the distance, blue light in the clouds, definitely not natural. Munpo against shapechanges to investigate while the rest of us make camp. Munpo flies for about a half hour but all at once encounters a fairly bright blue light emanating from some sort of ball atop a tower-like structure. Nothing else happens that night. At daybreak, the blue light stops and we can see the tower itself from camp.
At the tower, there’s nothing moving, but lots of dark patches. A ball of energy at the top of the tower, bluish and definitely the source of the light we’d seen. The clouds seemed to pulse above the tower moving up and down like the tower or the ball is sucking it in. The tower is 150-200 feet tall. From a distance, the storms above it look very dark, but strange and patchy closer up. It looks really old, with some sort of grounds around it, with posts sticking up. The original bridge or walkway is broken and covered in ice. The doorway did not radiate magic. As we cross the bridge, we’re attacked by some sort of ice creatures, something we’ve never seen before – half insectoid, half reptilian. It’s a chaotic fight, and Esteban jumps over a break in the bridge to get a better line for archery. More creatures attacked, and the fight became two fights.
We walk through a portal to get inside; there’s no ceiling in the main column, basically a giant open cylinder. There are two control mechanisms, one of which resets a timer. We can’t get a detailed look at the inside of the cylinder; ceilings are 50 feet up; tower is 150-2000 feet tall, meaning 3-4 floors. Erebus thinks the whole thing might be some sort of infernal machine. There is some random junk against the back wall. Fifty feet up into the cylinder, there is a huge gap, link maybe a landing spot.