Marina decides to accompany Anu-Bara and Hanna to search for food rather than deal with Dennor’s frequent stares. A previously unseen passenger, Nyancat the Wizard (New, Young player) also accompanies. The group heads across the stream to the east, finding a trail which leads to the top of the cliffs which surround the entire cove area where they became shipwrecked. Staying near the cliffside so as not to become disoriented and lose their way back to camp, the group is able to overlook much of the lower terrain, including a waterfall dropping into a small lake (or large pond) which feeds the stream they crossed. Fish jump in the water, and Anu-Bara makes a mental note to craft a makeshift fish-skewer later on that evening.
Not too much distance is covered before food, in the form of a large rabbit, is spotted. As Anu-Bara takes aim with his shortbow, Marina points out a skeleton in the grass nearby, flat on its back. Anu-Bara spooks the rabbit with his shot, and it scampers off, leaving the group to investigate the apparently long-dead humanoid. It wears leather armor of some sort, with a satchel or pack, and a longbow is nearby, all in severe disrepair due to age or elements.
As a Necromancer, Anu-Bara approaches the skeleton and offers respect to its spirit. Unexpectedly, the spirit responds, manifesting as a fully-formed ghost-like apparition. The wood-elf spirit seeks rest, unable to find it on this land, and in return for the respect shown offers a warning: “Beware the Chill.” Anu-Bara asks if he can make use of the dead elf’s bow, and the spirit, Varani, considers for a moment before nodding. “Take it, make use of it if you can, and when you have reached another land – some place I may Rest – burn it.” The spirit then entered the bow, making it whole (though it still bears a worn, antiquated appearance), and providing it with a spectral string. (Ghost Touch Longbow, no enhancement bonus)
Afterwards, by chance or ghostly guidance, the party travels only a short distance before finding not only the same rabbit which was spooked before, but several more – exactly enough, in fact, to feed everyone in camp. This time, Anu-Bara’s aim was true as he felled the first, and the wizard Nyan trapped the remainder of the group of rabbits with magical Webs, then roasted them to perfection with a Fireball.
Having found sufficient food for the time being, the group returns to camp and aids in the remainder of the tasks needed to set up camp. Erthrar and his apprentice continue to remain more isolated, setting their tents apart from the rest of the group. Captain Liresa calls for volunteers for Night Watch, and Anu-Bara takes the first watch, the rest of the crew filling in the other slots. Anu-Bara spends his watch making the fishing skewer he had thought of earlier in the day.
Midnight passes. During the third watch, a powerful roar awakens the group (save for Anu-Bara, who was awakened by Marina since he apparently managed to sleep through the cacophany), and cold air whips through a tunnel north of camp, one that had been explored earlier and found to lead simply to the other side of a jut in the cliffside, deeper into the cove. Everyone readies themselves for combat, and then Caregda and Anu-Bara head up the group through the tunnel.
Reaching the northern end of the tunnel, loud splashing sounds can be heard coming from the northeast, toward the lake. Anu-Bara scouts further, making his way to visual range, and sees a multi-headed draconic beast, pale in color, bathing in the lake. On his way back, Anu-Bara slips on some rocky rubble and sends it scattering noisily. Another roar indicates the sound has been noted, and Anu-Bara runs for the tunnel, ordering a hasty retreat to the far side. Just as the last of the party makes it out the south end and dives to one side, a cold blast of air and ice is shot through the tunnel, followed by large vibrations as the beast slams against the north entrance, unable to get through. After a moment, heavy footsteps indicate the beast is moving away from the entrance, to the east.
Thinking quickly, the party runs for the stream, splitting into two groups to flank the beast if it approaches between the cliffs on either side. It does, and combat ensues.
The group is successful at dispatching the five-headed cryohydra, without much difficulty. The biggest wound sustained by the party was by Marina, when Caregda’s blade slipped after seeing Marina lop off two of the hydra’s heads in the first few seconds of combat. The Wizard Nyan destroyed another head with a well-placed lightning bolt, while a spell-augmented arrow from Anu-Bara dealt significant damage to the beast without taking a head (out of concern that it might grow back exponentially). To be on the safe side, once it was felled the party used brands from the campfire to cauterize the necks.
After taking some time to rest and recuperate, the group discovered and explored another cave to the northeast of the cove, one which was still very cold and icy, and discovered a small trove of treasure within:
3000 copper coins
2 flasks of holy water
1 Mighty Composite Longbow (+2 Str. Bonus)
(End of Session)
(6 Experience to Liresa, Caregda, Dennor, Erthrar, Tarion)